Navy Fed Adds 20-Month Special Certificate


Availability: Nationwide, but with membership requirements (military relationship)

Navy Federal Credit Union (Navy Fed) started August by offering a 20-month Special Certificate (2.00% APY). The minimum opening deposit is $20, with a balance cap of $20k, but additional deposits are "allowed at any time subject to the maximum balance." There is a limit of one 20-month Special Certificate per member.

As stated in Navy Fed’s Certificates brochure, the Early Withdrawal Penalty reads as follows:

Certificates with a term greater than one year: Forfeiture of all dividends on the amount withdrawn for 180 days or since the date of purchase or renewal (whichever is less).

Many thanks to DA reader, vjrampello, for mentioning this Special Certificate in the Forum.


Not to be confused with PenFed's almost universal membership eligibility, Navy Fed’s membership is strictly for individuals who are connected to the military, regardless of where they reside.

Navy Fed’s "How to Become a Member" page very clearly qualifies individuals through a series of questions.

You must be able to answer "Yes" to one of the following questions to qualify for Navy Federal Credit Union membership.

  • Are you currently serving as an Active Duty or reservist personnel for the DoD, Coast Guard, or National Guard?
  • Are you a Military Officer Candidate?
  • Are you a Military Recruit and/or part of the Delayed Entry Program (DEP)?
  • Are you a Department of Defense Civilian?
  • Are you a retiree receiving an annuity from the DoD, Coast Guard, or National Guard?
  • Are you a U.S. government Civilian (including Coast Guard) assigned to a DoD installation?
  • Are you a DoD contractor assigned to a U.S. government installation or facility?
  • Are you a family member of one of the previously mentioned individuals?

Joining Navy Fed and/or opening the 20-month Special Certificate can be done online or at any of 277 branches located in 30 different states, the District of Columbia, and Guam.

Credit Union Overview

Navy Federal Credit Union (NCUA Charter # 5536) has an overall health grade of "A+" at, with a Texas ratio of 5.30% (excellent) based on March 31, 2016 data. In the past year, Navy Fed has increased its total deposits by $5.58 billion, an excellent annual growth rate of 11.97%. Please refer to our financial overview of Navy Federal Credit Union for more details.

Navy Federal Credit Union is considered to be the largest credit union in the world. Headquartered in Vienna, Virginia, Navy Federal has grown from its initial seven members in 1933, to over 6.3 million members and assets in excess of $75 billion.

How the CD Compares

When compared to the 110 similar length-of-term CDs tracked by that require a similar deposit and are available to nationwide, Navy Federal Credit Union’s 20-Month Special Certificate APY currently ranks first.

The above rates are accurate as of 8/3/2016.

To look for the best CD rates, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to our CD rates table, or our Rates Map page.

Anonymous   |     |   Comment #1
Please note that this CD is not available as a Roth.  Its previous version which stopped being offered in May'16 was available as a Roth.
highrate   |     |   Comment #2
it's a great rate for 20 months but they don't allow much money to be put into it
Hoody   |     |   Comment #3
exactly, I think its just another way to deal with offering what looks like better rate, but with the cap it limits their output. Good of course for those starting out saving or with that amount on had for use.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #11
Agree.. I did ACH $20K to Navy CU to gain the 2%, to bad they won't allow more $'s.  I have 2 large CD's with Navy, one will mature in 9/16 @1.65%, the other matures 7/18 @ 2.5%.
#4 - This comment has been removed for violating our comment policy.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #6
Another limited availability CD with s Cap. Many of the blog posts are for limited eligibility CU's and/or have rate caps. I have membership in 4 CU's that are easy membership CUs. The way Penfed is going my 10 year @ 5% will be my last CD with them.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #7
I guess you made a reply to #4 but another TimeOut has been issued.
So we'll never know why you  replied to a NFCU post with a reference to PFCU
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #8
My point is that the CU's that are being posted are limiting either by membership and/or deposit limits. CU's should be paying higher rates as they do not pay taxes. Penfed is no longer competitive as compared to other CUs like Navy. With the internet if a bank or CU offers a good rate they will get bombarded with deposits. Navy is a limited CU and has a deposit limit. I'm sure they can pull this offer at anytime.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #9
Credit Unions in principal are limited by membership. Be happy that we do have some that let others join by whatever means they are willing to accept. About the taxes, haven't they given better rates? You want to get 2% from a Bank on a 100'000 $ 5 yr CD. I trust the CU to use the money for good purposes rather than the bank (Wall Street)
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #10
Anyone can join Navy Federal by joining the San Diego Council of the Navy League.  There is an enormous thread on Creditboards about this.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #12
#10...Good input!   Anyone know of way to join GEcu...they use to have good rates, too?
Joe Cipriani
Joe Cipriani   |     |   Comment #13
It's simply not true that one needs a military connection to join Navy Federal Credit Union.  Anybody, anywhere can join the San Diego Council of the Navy League for $25 and immediately obtain eligibility for NFCU.  It's important to note that it must be the San Diego Council.  
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #14
I think you are confusing Navy federal CU with PenFed CU.  I see no reference to Navy federal on the San Diego Council's website.  
Anon456   |     |   Comment #15
thanks for the post.  Was able to open one for myself, and my wife.  Keep up the good work.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #16
Good rate, too small a balance for retirees looking for regular good rates on all or larger pieces  of their retirement savings.   I will probably do the CD anyway, but still looking for other good deals.

One of the commentors mentioned another way to join Navy Federal.  I was not aware of that and Another commentor asked if anyone knew of way in to GE Credit Union.  I also, would like to join GE but don't meet their qualifications unless there is an organization to join that I am not aware of.   They have Jumbo 1 year CD rate of 1,54% which I would like to take advantage of.   So kindly post if you know of another way to join GE Credit Union.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #17
Yes, very good rate.. I have been with Navy FCU for many years.  Only $20K max balance is hardly worth the effort, but I did.  I have a couple other CD's with Navy @ very good % rates, so decided to go with this one.  I opened a second one for spouse, so together, $40K @ 2%, is better than leaving funds to draw 1%.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #25
Still not worth the effort. The extra $200 per year over the 1% rate can be made with a credit card offer with no tax liability. Why tie up $20k for an extra $200 when you can simply apply for a credit card offer?
Cat Chance
Cat Chance   |     |   Comment #18
Just remember that NavFed will probably have a Christmas CD Special in December again same as last year. So what I am doing is opening two at $20 (the minimum amount) and just leaving it there as an insurance policy in case I can't get a higher rate later this year
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #19
It's one per customer according to the NavyFed website.
Jason (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #21
I don't understand the benefit of doing this.  How would a $20 cd be an insurance policy?  It's not an add-on cd.  Or is it?
CapitalClimate   |     |   Comment #22
Yes, it is an add-on CD, but of course waiting limits the amount of remaining time to earn the 2% rate.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #23
No, this is not an add-on CD.  $20K max when opening CD.  2% for 20 months.
jackiere   |     |   Comment #26
Actually eligibility is very generous.  I'm a military brat and qualified by producing my dead father's retirement papers -- I'm 66 and my father has been dead for 15 years!  It's sad that I'm excited about 2% for 20 months but I'll take it.  Thanks to Deposit Accounts I also opened a CD at Northwest Federal Credit Union last year at 3% for 5 years. 
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #27
WE can only wish the NWFCU CD was for 5 years.  In fact it's 3 years.