Maryland-based NASA Federal Credit Union (NASA Federal) has been offering competitive Share Certificate Specials over the past several years. Last month, I wrote about the 49-month Share Certificate Special (SCS), following its impressive 70 bps increase. The other two SCS (9-month and 15-month) also had modest rate increases (10 bps) at that time.
The good news is that all three SCS are still available; the not-so-good news is the APYs have dropped, but only by 10 bps. Even with the rate decreases, all three SCS are still competitive.
The minimum opening deposit is $10k, with no stated balance cap. As stated in the fine print on the Share Certificate Rates page, “new funds brought from an external source” are required for the opening deposit that must be made between May 1, 2021 and May 31, 2021. While no balance cap is specified, the Rates page also states,
Credit Union reserves the right to limit deposits into this special Certificate.
This limited-time offer is subject to change at any time without notice.
While the 49-month SCS obviously has the most competitive rate, the 9-month and 15-month SCS have rates near the top for their respective terms. For those not willing to lock into long-term CDs in the current low-rate environment, these shorter-term SCS may be a more viable option.
All three SCS are also offered as IRA SCS (Traditional and Roth), earning the same APYs with the same deposit requirements.
As stated in the Certificate Terms and Conditions document, the Early Withdrawal Penalty reads as follows:
182 days for certificate accounts with terms up to 24 months and
365 days for certificate accounts with terms greater than 24 months.
There is a 10-day grace period before a SCS automatically renews as a standard Share Certificate (SC) at the rate in effect at the time of renewal. The 49-month SCS renews as a 48-month SC; the 15-month SCS renews as a 12-month SC; and the 9-month SCS renews as a 6-month SC. If you withdraw the funds, no interest will be paid for the grace period.
Funding and Accessing Maturing Funds
A Share Certificate Special must be funded within ten days of opening, with the rate guaranteed during those ten days. Options for funding include ACH, wire transfer, or through a transfer from an existing NASA Federal checking or savings account. NASA Federal participates in the CO-OP Shared Branch network, making the transfer of funds relatively simple.
Maturing funds can be distributed by check, wire, or transferred into an existing NASA Federal checking or savings account.
Unlimited beneficiaries (equal shares) can be named, with a Social Security number required for each beneficiary.
Headquartered in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, NASA Federal Credit Union’s field of membership offers a way for virtually any U.S. citizen/resident to qualify:
Easy Membership: Membership in one of 14 affiliated associations, qualifies for Credit Union membership. NASA Federal will provide a one-year complimentary affiliated membership in the National Space Society (NSS), which “entitles you to full NASA Federal membership.”
Employment: Employees or retirees of NASA Headquarters, any NASA Center or Facility, or National Academy of Sciences are eligible for membership. In addition, any employee or member of one of 900+ NASA Federal partner companies also qualify for membership. (A complete list of partner companies can be found on the first page of the online application.)
Relationship: Relatives or household members of current NASA Federal members are eligible for membership (the online application requires the current member’s account number).
Joining NASA Federal and/or opening a Share Certificate Special can be done online. The Membership Certificate Application is also available as a download and specifically lists the SCSs at the top of application.
Mail Application and Check to: NASA Federal Credit Union, Special Offer, P.O. Box 1538,
Bowie, MD 20717-1538. Be sure to fund your Certificate within 10 days of account opening!
Eight NASA Federal branch lobbies have reopened to walk-in traffic on a limited basis. The number of members allowed in the lobby vary by branch and are listed on the Corona Virus Update page.
A Primary Savings account (minimum $5 deposit) is required to establish a NASA Federal membership.
NASA Federal is a member of the CO-OP Shared Branch network, giving members access to more than 5,000 branch locations across the country (including more than 120 locations in the Washington DC metro area) to conduct many business transactions.
Shared Branches allow members of participating credit unions across the country to conduct most of their financial transactions as if they were at their own credit union branch.
Credit Union Overview
NASA Federal Credit Union has an overall health grade of "A+" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 3.60% (excellent) based on December 31, 2020 data. In the past year, NASA Federal has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $224.46 million, an excellent annual growth rate of 9.3%. Please refer to our financial overview of NASA Federal Credit Union (NCUA Certificate # 6328) for more details.
NASA Federal Credit Union was established in 1949 when seven members of the scientific community (with a total of $2 in deposits) received approval for a credit union charter serving NASA employees. NASA FCU is currently the third largest credit union headquartered in Maryland and the 98th largest credit union in the nation, with assets in excess of $3.3 billion and more than 191,000 members.
How the Share Certificate Special Compares
When compared to 172 similar length-of-term CDs tracked by DepositAccounts.com, which are nationally available and require a minimum deposit of $10k or less, NASA Federal Credit Union's 49-month Share Certificate Special APY currently ranks first.
When compared to 155 similar length-of-term CDs tracked by DepositAccounts.com, which are nationally available and require a minimum deposit of $10k or less, NASA Federal Credit Union's 15-month Share Certificate Special APY currently ranks third.
When compared to 206 similar length-of-term CDs tracked by DepositAccounts.com, which are nationally available and require a minimum deposit of $10k or less, NASA Federal Credit Union's 9-month Share Certificate Special APY currently ranks third.
The above information and rates are accurate as of 5/6/2021.
To find the best CD rates, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to our CD Rates Table page.