Navy Fed Adds 2.00% APY 17-Month Special Certificate


Availability: Nationwide, but with membership requirements (military relationship). Update: A new path to Navy Fed membership has been identified. Please refer to this post for details.

Navy Federal Credit Union’s (Navy Fed) 20-month Special Certificate is no longer available, but the Credit Union has filled the void with a new 17-month Special Certificate, which earns the same 2.00% APY as the 20-month did. The minimum opening deposit has been raised to $50, but the balance cap is now $50k (as opposed to the $20k for the 20-month), with additional deposits "allowed at any time subject to the maximum balance." There is a limit of one 17-month Special Certificate per member.

The 17-month Special Certificate is also available as an IRA/ESA, earning the same APY with the same funding requirements.

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Certificates with a term greater than one year: Forfeiture of all dividends on the amount withdrawn for 180 days or since the date of purchase or renewal (whichever is less).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, CTRX, for mentioning this Special Certificate in the Forum.


Update 12/19/16: A new path to Navy Fed membership has been identified. Please refer to this post for details.

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 17-month Special Certificate can be done online or at any of 285 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 5.59% (excellent) based on September 30, 2016 data. In the past year, Navy Fed has increased its total deposits by $6.74 billion, an excellent annual growth rate of 14.09%. 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 6.7 million members and assets in excess of $78 billion.

How the Special Certificate Compares

When compared to the 140 similar length-of-term CDs tracked by that require a similar deposit and are available to nationwide, Navy Federal Credit Union’s 17-Month Special Certificate APY currently ranks first.

The above rates are accurate as of 12/6/2016.

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%.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #36
2% on 50K for 17 months is nothing to sneeze at. Great short term parking space for the money.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #28
The new CD is available as a Roth - my wife and I established new certificates by phone.  They did state this offer is for a limited time and subject to change.  They've always been helpful by phone and we've been members for a couple of years.
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)
Smokeboat   |     |   Comment #40
Yes, credit unions pay taxes.  Withholding tax on employees, property taxes and taxes paid by the member/owners on any dividends  paid out by the CU.  The better rates come from satisfying the member/owners vs the stockholders of banks. 
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #41
I agree and to add to your comment: And not like the banks that satisfy the executives compensation and stockholders at the cost of lower savings rates to it's unfortunate customers.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #64
I wish more had you attitude, #6.  If enough deposit money left PenFed, they would once again offer higher rates to those of us who still had money with them. 
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.  
matthewgast   |     |   Comment #59
Yes, PenFed allows membership through the Navy League (any council in the country).

However, the poster is not confused.  Navy Fed merged with another credit union (USA Fed, I think, but I'm not sure) that allowed anybody who joined the San Diego council of the Navy League to join.  Navy Fed has continued that bit of the FOM from the credit union they took over, so yup, it works.

There's also a thread on MyFico.  The short version: join the Navy League, and fill out a paper application for Navy Fed, and use surface mail instead of an electronic form.  I think it took me about three weeks to get everything done between joining the Navy League, getting confirmation, and sending mail across the country.
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   |     |   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.
Frank Walker
Frank Walker   |     |   Comment #29
This is difficult with the intermixing of the old and the new.  The last new comment here was right smack in the middle of a bunch of comments many months old.  I see this as a new, really great, deal that well deserves its own space!  The old NFCU deal expired weeks ago.  
Anon456   |     |   Comment #30
I agree ... these notes should NOT be co-mingled. 
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #31
Was the old deal even an add-on deal?  I really don't know.  But the new deal is, which means we all need to get $50 in to NFCU ASAP just to keep our options open.  $50 is very cheap insurance, and NFCU even pays you interest on the cost and returns the $50 to you in seventeen months!!  This is the best short deal Ken has posted in a while and it richly deserves its own thread.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #32
Whatever.  Ken obviously disagrees with you and the others and is not going to fix this.  It will help if everyone who posts does so here at the end of the thread.  Posting about the new CD up among posts relating to the old CD really causes confusion.  While it without question would be best to have a new thread, I don't think that will happen, so we have to fend for ourselves and try not to make matters even worse.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #33
With the 50k cap, it's nothing fantastic, but is okay I guess. The add-on makes it nice. For those of you who simply put your feet in the door the last time around, and have just the $20 min for the old version of this, you can of course close it out (you'll only be out a couple pennies interest and won't lose any of the principal), add $30 more, and open up one of these in its place (which gives you a 50k cap instead of a 20k cap like on the old one, and 17 months from today).
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #34
RE: Qualifying for Navy FCU
Just finished using the "Chat" function while on the Navy FCU online membership form page. The Navy FCU CSR stated:
1- membership in Navy League, San Diego will qualify for Navy FCU membership
2-The online Navy membership form is not set up for that.  Fill out a paper application and mail or fax to Navy FCU @ 703 206-4600. I obtained the form from them through the "Chat" function.

RE: $50,000 max for 17 month 2%
The CSR confirmed that my spouse and I could each become members of Navy FCU, each with our own membership savings account; the account can be joint with spouse.  Then, each of us, as a member, can open a $50,000 special 2% 17 month Cd for a total of $100,000. We can each be joint on the other's CD.
You should verify yourself. I'm just starting the process.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #35
The online Navy League membership form has a box for "Preferred Council".

All you have to do is enter "San Diego Council" in that box and you should be fine.
Carpline   |     |   Comment #53
Here's the transcript of a Chat I did with Navy Federal today.

Melissa: Hello! Thank you for chatting with Navy Federal. My name is Melissa. How may I help you today?

James: Hi, Melissa. A friend told me I could qualify for NavyFed membership if I join the Navy League, but I don't see anything on your website about that. Is that true?

Melissa: Hi, James! Potential members eligible through the Navy League must complete a paper application, which can be downloaded hereOnce completed, send us the application plus documentation proving your eligibility through the Navy League via fax at 1-703-206-4600 or by email at

James: Thank you so much!
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #57
Follow-up to my comment #34
RE: Joining Navy FCU through Navy League: The initial advice I followed did not work.  I faxed 1) my Navy FCU application, 2) driver's licenses for me and joint account holder, and 3) Navy League welcome email (which included copy of my NL online application and credit card payment to Navy FCU). Ultimately, I was required instead to email all those items to  in order for Navy FCU to review.  I took photos of the documents on my phone and emailed; could have scanned them instead. Was told that email address was specifically for review of membership qualification via Navy League. They seem to be looking for: proof of source of email, of payment, and of election of San Diego Council.
Although one CSR told me before I sent the email that method would take a minimum of 7 days for Navy FCU to verify, I was able to get another CSR  later to get the documents  located and reviewed as I waited and open the accounts immediately.
So, be sure to email your Navy League (San Diego Council) eligibility info and application to join Navy FCU.
Good Luck.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #58
Actually I snail mailed all that stuff to 'em at the postal address provided at the bottom of the NFCU application.  No problems.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #60
The period for which the special 17 months 2% is available is not specified, so I would expedite the process if possible.  As noted in my Comment #34, both my spouse and I joined (you could make it any other family member who qualifies through your membership), and so we were able to open 2 joint special CDs for a total of $100,000 max.  Ready for the next Navy FCU special to add more for a ladder, subject to NCUA insurance limits.
MarkBot   |     |   Comment #67
A Navy Federal Credit Union representative told me by phone today that the current 17-month CD special rate (2.00%) will be available through April 30, 2017.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #37
35 comments ????  Over a 2% CD????  Wow.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #38
No........... 38 comments!!!
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #39
#39 now. Costs $25 to join the Navy League.
Bozo   |     |   Comment #42
Point being, membership in NFCU was (until apparently recently) quite strict. Even as a Navy veteran (and former reservist), I was ineligible. If this new affinity group is solid, I'm tempted. Thank you DA posters for the heads up!
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #44
No, actually not recently.  The Navy League doorway into NFCU dates back circa six years:

It was the acquisition by NFCU of San Diego-based USA FCU which opened that door.  USA FCU rules allowed members of the Navy League, San Diego Council, to become members of USA FCU.  Following its acquisition, that same doorway became an entrance into NFCU itself.  This is why Navy League membership alone does NOT suffice as a way into NFCU, and you must also request membership in the San Diego Council when you join the Navy League.  The basis is, again, that old tie to USA FCU, which was based in San Diego.

Only one aspect of this entire matter remains unclear to this day, and that is NCUA involvement.  It is not known whether the NCUA allowed NFCU to maintain the Navy League doorway, or whether instead the NCUA demanded NFCU maintain the Navy League doorway.  Regardless which, the doorway has existed for a while, though it went largely unnoticed until last year, and still remains rather unpublicized even now
Bozo   |     |   Comment #45
To: Anonymous (Comment #44).

Thanks for the clarification. I'm saving your "road map" for future reference.
Bozo   |     |   Comment #46
To: Anonymous (Comment #37).

From time-to-time (albeit, perhaps not right now), NFCU comes out with very attractive CD offers. Back when I was on active duty (or in the active reserve), it never dawned on me to join. The anonymous poster of comment #44 has suggested I might be able to remedy that error.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #47
What is puzzling to me is why Ken has not discussed this method to obtain membership?
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #48
From the very beginnings of his service here, Ken has always been very cautious about misleading his readers.  The Navy League way into NFCU was poorly publicized, if at all.  And when it first came to light more widely, certain individuals for reasons known only to themselves, posted lies on the internet about the Navy League doorway.  This led many persons astray, harming them.  So Ken might not have known about Navy League, or if he was aware he might simply have been trying to protect his readers by not pointing to something uncertain.

I did the research on Navy League several months ago, being far from the first.  Based on everything I could learn I decided to risk the twenty-five bucks to join the Navy League, in hope it might get me into NFCU.  Point is, even after research I remained uncertain I would be successful, but I decided to risk the $25 because getting into NFCU was that important to me.

Well, you do not know until you try.  And now having succeeded personally in becoming an NFCU member this way, I'm seeing the entire issue today as a boring no-brainer.  But I did not know that when I spent $25 to join the Navy League, San Diego Council.
Bozo   |     |   Comment #49
To: Anonymous (Comment #48).

I suspect $25 is a rounding error for most readers of Ken's blog. Worst comes to worst, the San Diego Council rejects your membership application, and you're SOL. That said, the downside is fairly modest. The upside (being able to grab NFCU specials as they appear) more than covers the membership fee. Once again, thanks for the heads up.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #50
The downside (always) is if deemed later to be improper membership, then one could be toast in any liquidation/sale...perhaps not for a large CU like NFCU.  "But never to large to fail?"  And, ethically speaking....
Bozo   |     |   Comment #56
To: Anonymous (Comment #50).

Joining the Navy League seems fairly straight-forward. Joining the San Diego Council might be a tad more problematic, but I look forward to any in the DA community who have been refused membership. As for your suggestion improper membership could result in "toast" in any liquidation or receivership, that might need substantiation.

So long as a person applies in good faith, and is accepted in good faith, would a "deemed later" impropriety nullify NCUA insurance coverage? That would be news to me.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #52
Most readers here are worried about the intrest they will lose on for a few day check float ;). I have come to a point that 4 CU accounts are enough after just adding Andrews. I also have CDs at some banks. I did the 3% at Andrews with the low EWP. Paying $25 to open a 50Kax CD and having another CU in my portfolio are stopping me from doing this. I'm still keeping some funds in my savings account to see if another offer comes around. Maybe if they have a higher offer in the future I'll reconsider.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #55
I agree with you #52.  If Andrews CU ever gets around to approving my membership, it will make number 3 credit unions for me.  That's already one more CU membership than I ever wanted.  And I always keep money in a fluid account waiting for better opportunities or should an emergency arise.  That's why early withdrawal penalties are never a concern of mine.  Decades of laddering CDs and I have never cashed a single one out before it's maturity.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #65
I closed a CD to take advantage of a 5% Penfed CD I believe in 2010. It was advantageous for me to do so. I do however have a ladder weighted into CDs 3 years and longer. Also keeps are tax deductible.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #43
Thanks, Ken. You do a wonderful job with your website.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #61
I'm amazed of all the "excitement" about 2%.  GE Credit Union of Ohio has/is running a 2.75% 5 year CD with no cap and 180 EWP...why isn't there interest (pun intended) there?  AND, does anyone know of a "back/easy way" to qualify for its membership?
CapitalClimate   |     |   Comment #62
I think you've answered your first question with your second. Previous discussions have indicated that there is no easy way to join GECU.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #63
Ken, any help?  Thanks
MarkBot   |     |   Comment #68
Speaking for myself, I'm excited because I'm willing to lock-up a large sum for 17 months. I'm not comfortable locking it up for five years.