Merck Sharp & Dohme FCU Ups 24-Month CD To 3.50% APY


UPDATE 3/27/2019: the 24-month CD is only available through the end of business on March 29, 2019. Opening funds must be received by 3:30 pm EDT. The good news is that I've just confirmed with MSDFCU that they are making an exception to the policy of only providing a new account number through USPS. I was told that upon application approval, you will be contacted by email with all the information about your account, including account number.

Deal Summary: 24-month CD, 3.50% APY, $1k minimum deposit

Availability: Easy membership requirement

Pennsylvania-based Merck Sharp & Dohme Federal Credit Union (MSDFCU) recently raised the rate on its 24-month CD to 3.50% APY. The minimum deposit is $1k, with no stated balance cap. While MSDFCU offers a Jumbo version of the 24-month CD ($25k minimum), the APY is also 3.50%.

The 24-month CD is also available as an IRA (Traditional), earning the same APY with the same funding requirements.

As stated in the Truth-in-Savings disclosure, the Early Withdrawal Penalty reads as follows:

Withdrawals of principal prior to maturity are subject to a penalty equal to 90 days of dividends for terms under 12 months or 180 days of dividends for terms of 12 months or longer. If dividends have already been paid, the penalty will be deducted from principal.

Funding a CD Online

While a CD can be opened online, the online application states,

Maximum online funding for new members is $2,500. Existing members maximum online funding is $25,000. For deposits greater than $25,000, please contact the Credit Union


Headquartered in Chalfont, Pennsylvania, Merck Sharp & Dohme Federal Credit Union’s field of membership (FOM) offers almost any US citizen or resident alien (with a valid Social Security number) a way to join.

Easy membership: Joining the New Britain Charitable Foundation (NBCF) with a $10 donation qualifies for MSDFCU membership. NBCF was established in 2016 “to serve recognized charitable organizations, community organizations, and other entities who serve the communities in Bucks and Montgomery Counties.”

According to NBCF’s Donate/Referral page,

To join the Credit Union please visit the Merck Sharp & Dohme FCU website and complete your membership by opening an account using the “Become a Member” button. Select item 3, and use the drop-down menu to locate New Britain Charitable Foundation as your organization.

Employment: Employees of Merck & Company, Inc, Flik International (West Point, PA), Merck plants in Durham and Wilson (North Carolina), and Telerex are eligible to join, as are employees/members of more than 400 sponsor companies/associations.

Relationship: Immediate family members or household members of a current MSDFCU member are welcome to apply.

Joining MSDFCU and/or opening a CD can be done online or at any of six Pennsylvania branches located in Chalfont, Harleysville, Lansdale, North Wales, Trappe, and West Point.

The Membership Application is also available as a download and can be returned in person or by snail mail.

Credit Union Overview

Merck Sharp & Dohme Federal Credit Union has an overall health grade of "A" at, with a Texas Ratio of 1.96% (excellent) based on December 31, 2018 data. In the past year, MSDFCU has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $17.54 million, an excellent annual growth rate of 3.67%. Please refer to our financial overview of Merck Sharp & Dohme Federal Credit Union (NCUA Charter # 6574) for more details.

Founded in 1950, Merck Sharp & Dohme Federal Credit Union was originally known as The Drug Works Federal Credit Union, serving Sharp & Dohme employees. (Starting as an apothecary shop in 1845, Sharp & Dohme had great success in the development of sulfa drugs, vaccines, and blood plasma products.) When Merck merged with Sharp & Dohme in 1953, the Credit Union’s name was changed to reflect the new company. MSDFCU is currently the 20th largest credit union in Pennsylvania, with more than 29,400 members and assets in excess of $552 million.

How the CD Compares

When compared to 194 similar length-of-term CDs tracked by that require a similar minimum deposit and are nationally available, Merck Sharp & Dohme Federal Credit Union's 24-month CD APY currently ranks first.

The above rates are accurate as of 3/27/2019.

To search for the best CD rates, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to the CD Rates Table page.

Related Pages: Philadelphia CD rates, 5-year CD rates, nationwide deals

  |     |   Comment #1
Curious to hear what others think of this offer. On one hand, the Fed indicating no more interest rate hikes (and others hinting at a cut) has me wondering if I should jump on this or a longer (e.g. Unitus) 3.5% CD while I still can. On the other hand, despite the Fed backing off on interest rate hikes, we've seen a few of these higher rate offers like this in the past few weeks, and I'm wondering if I should hold out in hopes that the increasing competition for cash will bring about some some 4% CD offers (even if they're 5-year).
  |     |   Comment #2
Agreed. This is an attractive, competitive offering. My own plan is to go in, but only in a modest manner. Will not be betting the farm or jumping in with both feet on this one. I think better opportunities could surely lie ahead.  But since that is uncertain this deal cannot be ignored.
  |     |   Comment #4
A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
  |     |   Comment #79
For a two year 3.50 APY I could not pass this one up. The closest branch office to me is about 100 miles but I made the trip with check in hand to get this done. I was impressed with the branch and agent and I just got lucky because I had a CD that matured from another bank so I had the deposit. With a rate like this and the Fed getting stingy with rates this is a no brainer.
deplorable 1
  |     |   Comment #3
This is a good deal but I already have the Hyperion 19 month 3.5% CD. My current strategy is to take advantage of the shorter term CD specials while opening up various long term add-on CDs. This way no matter which way the FED moves I have options. If a good CD deal comes up I'll be able to take advantage of that with a maturing short term CD. If the FED stops hiking or God forbid cuts rates I'll put the cash into the add-on CDs.
  |     |   Comment #5
I missed that Hyperion deal. Am finding a 19 month Hyperion deal at 3.1% APY back last month.. Cannot locate their 19 month deal at 3.5% APY. Must have been asleep the day that was offered.
  |     |   Comment #9
QED#5 yup you must've been it was just last end of Feb also took Guarranty @3.75for 5
  |     |   Comment #18
I'm trending in the wrong direction. Got Sharonview, got AgFed No-Penalty increase, got Keesler. But later, missed 2, 4%. 6-month EWP CDs, missed MACU. Maybe time to go to Vegas for a change of luck.
  |     |   Comment #34
Good idea, We have an America's First in Vegas with 3% for 6 to 12 months
  |     |   Comment #6
Just called customer service and she said that the promotion ends this Friday March 29.
  |     |   Comment #7
I just got off the phone with a MSDFCU representative. Unless I was given incorrect information, I don’t see how this offer can be taken advantage off.

I was told that the 3.5% CD offering started on 3/1/19 and ends on 3/31/19. So for practical purposes, you need to have the CD funded by Friday. It takes about a day to get your membership account opened. They are not part of the shared branch network so you’d have to mail them a check or send a wire.

The main problem is that I was told that they will not give you your account number by telephone or email – it comes in a separate snail mail. Therefore, you can’t do a wire without your account number. I suppose you could send them an overnight letter with your check for deposit into your new account. It’s a good promotion, but with only three days to finalize everything I’m going to have to pass.
Sad Saver
  |     |   Comment #8
I am probably doomed to failure, but I am in process of attempting to (a) fund the savings account, (b) receive an account number by mail and (c) fund the CD by 3/31.

This is probably masochistic but I will post my outcome here
  |     |   Comment #10
The customer service person said they got a lot of calls already today and that they are not making any exceptions or extensions. Maybe this will change, but that is their position this morning. Sending you an account number through the US post office seem archaic, but they refuse to email you this info.
  |     |   Comment #20
To RickZ #7

Probably worth mentioning their $15 INCOMING wire fee.
  |     |   Comment #11
So sad, too bad. No way to open this as it ends Monday and you now have to wait until you receive the account number in the mail to fund
  |     |   Comment #12
Wait....Maybe I'll fly to Pennsylvania to open the account. It actually makes sense for a large deposit.

But, Pennsylvania is cold and there are no lie-flat first class seats going there.
I might have to fire up my jet.
I wonder how they would feel if I walked in with a cashiers check for more than their total assets.
  |     |   Comment #13
I was thinking the same thing. Perhaps we can pool or resources and fly together in one jet, yours or mine, and then we could save even more money.
  |     |   Comment #14
if your jet has the "Anonymous" hacker face on the side we should take it.
  |     |   Comment #17
Maybe cheaper to hire a low-level thug in PA to intercept the CU's snail-mail before they bring it to the Post Office, then text you your account no., then you open up CD(s) online and overnight a check to fund. Problem - thug must be both criminal and trustworthy - a tough skillset to find.
  |     |   Comment #15
Careful. The deal actually dies a mean and ugly death on Sunday. The deal is NOT good on Monday and it does not die on Monday. By Monday the deal will ALREADY be dead, and deposits received that day will be rejected.
  |     |   Comment #16

Waiting for a CU to offer a good deal with a 5 minute window

Its coming
  |     |   Comment #19
Comment #16 That's humorous and accurate how investment ideas are being posted the last several months. I thought Ken had a pipeline when new deals were available. Posted on Wed with two days to complete?
  |     |   Comment #21

Ken actually made brief mention of this deal in one of his posts on Tuesday, 26 March. I applied immediately that day. Still, sadly, not really enough time to get the deal.

MSDFCU has told me they have only a single person, just ONE person, processing applications received online. Lotsa luck with that. I still have not heard back regarding my application from yesterday.

You would hope they might extend the deal, even if only just by a day or two.  Appears that ain't gonna happen.
  |     |   Comment #23
I think the issue might be that Merck Sharp Dohme didn't have an "anyone can join" membership until fairly recently. And credit unions usually don't advertise changes in their field of membership.
  |     |   Comment #22
Finally a decent deal. Too bad I already put my funds elsewhere. But especially for a 24mo term, quite appealing, for anyone who can catch it before it ends.
  |     |   Comment #25
Calm down. MSD just told me they are making an exception to their usual policy of only providing the account number via USPS so that people can take advantage of the CD promotion by wiring in funds.
I applied last night 3/26 and I'm waiting for an email/call back with instructions on what the CU needs beyond my membership application (probably ID documentation). Once the savings account is open and funded (they already debited my external account) they said they will give me my account number over the phone.
  |     |   Comment #27
Ken's update:

UPDATE 3/27/2019: the 24-month CD is only available through the end of business on March 29, 2019. Opening funds must be received by 3:30 pm EDT. The good news is that I've just confirmed with MSDFCU that they are making an exception to the policy of only providing a new account number through USPS. I was told that upon application approval, you will be contacted by email with all the information about your account, including account number.
  |     |   Comment #26
Do you think I can get an IRA transfer there in time?
  |     |   Comment #29
I had no idea of the whole issue of account numbers/snail mail was in play. So last night I joined via the New Britain whatever council for $10, thinking I'd join today and set up a wire for cash infusion into the acct. By what everyone has said, this is likely not going to work, unless they process applications in a timely manner, and I get an account number today, so I can set up a wire that will arrive by tomorrow. Seems dubious, but as long as I've blown my $10, it's probably worth a shot to try.
  |     |   Comment #30
Read Ken's update and comment #25.
  |     |   Comment #35

In practice, even though they've said they'll contact people by phone with an acct. number, it's clear that this is a dicey deal. I'd need to get an account number today, so I could send a wire by tomorrow, and then set up the 24 month CD with the wired money that (hopefully) arrived in my savings acct. Possible, but certainly a frazzling situation, given that I've got an open offer on another CD with a somewhat lower APR. Seems like all kinds of things can go wrong. But the deal is good enough to give it a try.
Except that.........when I applied online, I got an email saying they couldn't 'automatically approve' my account, and would have to have their New Accounts team review the application and get back to me. This happened to me just last week. It's a funny kind of 'glitch' - the institution from last week's application showed that I had opened a high number of accounts in the last 18 months, and rejected my application. I called in, and they said that opening a lot of accounts in a short period of time was a signature mark of a scammer. The fact that I called in, immediately changed their minds and they approved the account. They said scammers never call them back, while legit customers do. Funny, eh? Putting funds into CD in (what was) a rising rate environment, where institutions leap-frog each other constantly stirs up suspicion of the customer.
In any case, I doubt this is a doable deal unless they extend the deadline, of which there is no indication at this time that they will. And, if they actually did get back to me today with a savings acct number, any slip of the lip with the wire, or with opening the 24 month with the wired funds before 3:30 pm EST Friday would be a real mess. Still, I'm giving it a shot. I could probably find a better use of my time :-)
  |     |   Comment #41
Comment #35 I hope someone on here has success opening up an account in this three day period. I wonder what the mean when they say a signature mark of a scammer. I thought scammers try to steal money? I guess they might be hinting at money laundering?
  |     |   Comment #47
Zemo, I'm curious what your number of accounts in 18mo was, and which bank/CU had a problem with it.
  |     |   Comment #51
Ann0 #47 FYI, I was turned down by Unitus Community Credit Union out of Portland for too many inquiries on a ChexSystems report. I had 19 inquiries in the report, unfortunately with some multiple inquiries from the same Financial Institutions and most of the FI's with multiple inquiries I never opened accounts with. 16 of the inquiries were within the last 7 months. The knuckleheads at ChexSystems had my birth year wrong, but at least they made me younger by 5 years.
  |     |   Comment #56
SMT1 and AnnO,
I think readers would like to know more about the Chex and Credit checks when opening a new account. My experience in the last 12 months has been that the best deals on CDs have come from Credit Unions. The Credit Unions seem to scrutinize more compared to Banks. Only one Credit Union did NOT do a hard pull on my credit (Navy Federal), as far as I know, and I do not know if they pulled a Chex report. The latest account I opened recently was with a Credit Union, and they called and inquired as to why I had opened "numerous accounts" in the past year. I explained that the rates were rising all last year and that I was taking advantage of it, which sufficed. However, I tried to open an account at Mt. America CU for about 4 weeks with no success. They never responded to my calls or email? So I guess it's possible they denied my application due to too many accounts?
It might be a good idea to start a thread where everyone could share their experiences with Chex and Credit Inquiries. My question is: If you are flagged as having too many new accounts, then how do you fix that?.....Should you close accounts you are not using; If so, how long till they disappear from your report?
  |     |   Comment #69
I agree even. Chase S I was turned down by Synchony Bank for a 2 year CD. Synchrony sent a Letter with CHEX complaint!
  |     |   Comment #75

You could try to dispute duplicate Chex entries, and those from institutions where you never actually opened an account. Data stays on your Chex report for up to 5 years (and IIRC sometimes something older accidentally gets left on there; you can dispute any of those too), though most banks/CUs only look at accounts opened in the past 1-2 years. I don't think having closed the account is a valid dispute reason; Chex is just trying to say when you opened the account, not its current status.

I think Navy FCU mostly uses an alternative to Chex, called EWS (Early Warning System). You can request a report from EWS too.
  |     |   Comment #77
AnnO and others,
I just received my Chex report, just reviewed it, and here is what I found: Mt. Am. CU never made an inquiry to Chex or my credit report?....Who Knows?
The Chex report shows that 3 different Credit Unions pulled my report 2 times, which I assume their computer system triggered because of joint ownership?
Several Banks/CUs are NOT listed there for which I opened accounts.
All of the inquiries I see are since rates started to rise. None of my old accounts that I have had for years are listed. These recent inquiries are listed under a category 'Inquiries Viewed By Others'.
Thanks for the information about EWS, that is also something I need to check into.
  |     |   Comment #32
Customer service told me just now that they might not get back to me until Friday afternoon with a membership number. If that is the case, then there is no way for me to get my wired money to them by 3:30pm Philadelphia time.
  |     |   Comment #37
Ya gotta consider this from the credit union's side. For them, things have been peaceful and under control for most of this month of March. The weather has been warming a bit where they live. It's been quiet and good in Philly, and getting better. The Phillies home opener is tomorrow. All is right with the world.

Then: Kaboom!!

MSD FCU did not plan for, or even realize, the possibility of a last minute tidal wave hitting them amidships. They are reeling from the impact and risk annoying, even antagonizing, many folks who sadly learned of the deal very late. What to do?

Well, if they would honor deposits initiated before month's end that would help a lot. I hope their so far rigid cutoff on the deal flexes at least that much.  There is a chance here for MSD FCU to make a great many new friends and enlarge their membership significantly. We shall see what happens and we must hope for the best.
  |     |   Comment #36
Not calling them back . It's good, but not fantastic.
  |     |   Comment #38
Here is a potential Plan B if you are not able to get the Merck, Sharp and Dohme deal. I just posted details in the Forum about a 3.65%, 36 month CD with easy membership at Dow Chemical Employees' Credit Union.
Disclaimer: I have no idea how much longer this Dow deal will last.
  |     |   Comment #39
Thank you for posting. Gosh, another great deal which has been around since the beginning of this month!! This overall situation is making me think and giving me some doubts.
gig mouth
  |     |   Comment #40
Does Lending Tree have a premium service which announces deals as they happen?
Sam Kiggle
  |     |   Comment #57
Today, Lending Tree makes its money by selling advertising.

A premium service would allow Lending Tree to make money by announcing deals. Free market incentive.
  |     |   Comment #42
This is not looking good. I still haven't gotten an email from the CU asking for documentation like a copy of my driver's license. I told them I need an acct number by noon Thursday to guarantee getting them funds wired by 3:30 PM Friday.

On their website, it says the deal expires noon on 3/30, so that is inconsistent with what they told Ken.

I agree I've missed out on several deals lately because we find out about them too late.
Bill Barr
  |     |   Comment #43
Yes, what is happening? We used to get timely notice of deals. Now, by the time we get notice, it is too late to take advantage of the deals.
  |     |   Comment #44
Yeah i called them this afternoon, to see if there was any way that opening the cd online prior to the deadline would lock in the rate, since i have no control over how fast my bank can get a wire in to them. The CSR politely lectured me that "This deal has been open since March 1. It's not our fault you're just no calling. No Deal!"
  |     |   Comment #52
Bill Barr #43. See comment #50.
Bill Barr
  |     |   Comment #62
There is no comment #50.
info source
  |     |   Comment #66
read kens post in the forum
at post Rate Comparison
  |     |   Comment #46
It's not entirely inconsistent, it's just complicated:

The deal actually expires with March's end. But of course March ends on a Sunday and no business whatsoever is conducted then so . . . now we are back to Saturday.

The credit union is open locally on Saturday morning. If you walk into a branch office then you can get the deal. But how many of Ken's readers could do that? Not too many I think you will agree. And neither the branches nor the main Chalfont office can be relied upon to process US Mail incoming deposits on Saturday, either. Hence for most of us you can scratch both Saturday and Sunday as being of any use to us whatsoever.

So now we are backed up, as a practical matter, to close of business Friday, which is exactly what Ken told all of us in his update. It's a pity March does not end this coming Monday, instead of on Sunday. That would offer so many of us a fighting chance to get the deal.
  |     |   Comment #45
Side note - CSR says that they do NOT allow POD or ITF beneficiaries to be named.
  |     |   Comment #76
Hmm. edinperk went there in person and was given a POD form:
  |     |   Comment #59
Still no approval/account number. Has anyone who applied after this deal was posted gotten approved? Maybe the CU just doesn't want the new members and their funds. Even if I get approved Friday morning, there's little chance a wire will reach them by 3:30 PM. Lots of banks don't start sending out wires until after 2 PM, some even later.
  |     |   Comment #60
I was able to start the process tomorrow after this post was posted. Got a call with Account number around 4 yesterday. Wired money from Fidelity for free ($15 fee for them to receive it) and got a call this morning confirmation they have the money and will open the CD ..
  |     |   Comment #61
Not claiming this will be helpful. But this is very quick, effortless, and free to do and is surely not harmful:

Go to MSD FCU home website and bring up offer noting it says there deal is good until noon on March 30th. Take a screenshot of that page and save it.

You never know. ;-)
  |     |   Comment #70
I've spoken at length with a Merck rep. Quite knowledgeable. But given that neither she nor I can know the internal working of how quickly wire funds are accounted for and deposited into an account, even if I initiate a wire tomorrow that the sending institution guarantees will go out by day's end, it may, or may even be likely, that it'll miss the 3 PM cut-off time. I actually solved this one by getting my bank to do me the great favor of sending the wire out before the end of business today. The Merck rep said that would pretty much guarantee that it makes the deadline.
  |     |   Comment #71
Well the CU let me down. They have had 2 full days to process my application and still haven't called me with an account number. Even if they call me tomorrow 3/29 before noon, it's doubtful I can wire them funds in time. The CU had told me their usual processing time for membership applications is 24-48 hours. This was a good deal. Sad.
  |     |   Comment #73
Update ... the CU called me at 10 AM on Friday 3/31 asking for a copy of my driver's license and the $10 donation. So I had until 3:30 PM the SAME day to wire them the funds. I made it with 30 minutes to spare! I see the wired funds in my savings account. The CU told me they will look after opening the 24-month CD without further follow up. We'll see.

It's a good deal but I'll never go through this much hassle again. My bank had the wire transfer instructions in their system before noon, but I had to go into the branch again at 2 PM and ask why they hadn't sent it. Turns out it was waiting for management sign off. Many banks don't even start sending out wires until mid afternoon. The 3:30 PM requirement was IMHO unreasonable.
  |     |   Comment #74
That should read Friday 3/29.
  |     |   Comment #72
Thanks Ken! Application submitted on-line (Wed) and received a call the next morning requesting front and back images of drivers license. I live nearby and ended up driving there today with a check. There was a line for opening CDs but it moved quickly. The CSR provided a beneficiary/trust account form for specifying POD information. On-line account has been setup and shows the CD. Quick setup of primary share and CD at the branch, and probably the most pleasant CU that I've dealt with (CU#7). Getting a knowledgeable CSR made a good impression.
  |     |   Comment #78
Thank you, Ken. Managed to get my deposit to them in the nick of time, with only a couple of hours to spare. Have to wonder, had I missed the deadline by only one day, would they have opened the account for me regardless. Guess I'll never have the answer to that. Anyway, a decent rate of interest given the term of this CD so am happy camper.

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