Navy Federal Adds 37-Month IRA Certificate Special, 3.00% APY


Deal Summary: 37-month IRA/ESA Certificate Special, 3.00% APY, $50 min/$150k max deposit, additional deposits allowed.

Availability: Nationwide, but a military relationship required for membership.

In the past, I’ve written a couple “good news Monday” blog posts about Navy Federal Credit Union (Navy Fed). The latest good news Monday offering is a 37-month IRA/ESA Certificate Special, earning 3.00% APY. This limited-time Special can be opened with as little at $50 and is capped at $150k. Additional deposits are allowed throughout the term, subject to the $150k balance cap.

3.00%$50$150kNavy Federal Credit Union37 Month IRA Special (Traditional, Roth, SEP)
3.00%$50$150kNavy Federal Credit Union37 Month ESA Special
Rates as of January 17, 2020.

DA readers who follow Navy Fed may recall the 40-month IRA/ESA Certificate Special (3.75% APY) that was unveiled in December 2018. That Special lasted through the end of April 2019.

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Certificates with a term greater than one year: Forfeiture of all dividends on the amount withdrawn for 180 days or since the date of purchase or renewal (whichever is less).

Accrued interest can always be withdrawn without any penalty. According to Navy Fed’s Certificate Brochure,

Dividends on Navy Federal certificates are compounded daily and credited monthly. They’re posted to the account on both the last business day in the period in which they are earned and at maturity. Dividends that have been credited are available for withdrawal anytime without penalty.

Many thanks to DA reader, CapitalClimate, for the “good news Monday” Forum post.

$50 IRA Bonus

Members who open their first IRA and deposit at least $50 in the new IRA no later than 45 days after account opening will earn a $50 bonus. The bonus will be credited into the IRA account within 30 days of funding. The $50 bonus will be classified as a dividend and “will not be reportable as a contribution."

Funding and Accessing Maturing Funds

The easiest way to fund a Certificate online is probably through a transfer from an existing Navy Fed checking, savings, or Money Market Savings account. An ACH transfer initiated by another institution may be the quickest way to get the funds into your Navy Fed liquid account. Once the funds are received, a Certificate can be opened using the online application, which allows you to specify that funds be pulled from that Navy Fed account.

A straightforward way to access maturing funds is to transfer the funds into any existing Navy Fed checking, savings or Money Market Savings account. There is a 21-day grace period following maturity before the IRA Certificate automatically renews.

Note – Navy Fed has restrictions on ACH debits from its savings account. Navy Fed’s Electronic Funds Transfer Agreement and Disclosure reads in part,

When you originate an ACH transfer at another financial institution, please note that your Navy Federal savings account may only receive ACH credits. Checking accounts may receive ACH credits and debits. MMSAs may receive ACH credits and debits in accordance with the limitations set forth in the MMSA agreement.

If you plan to pull funds from Navy Fed using the ACH service of another institution, you should consider opening either the Money Market Savings account or one of Navy Fed’s checking accounts.

Beneficiaries and Trust Accounts

Unlimited beneficiaries (with assigned percentages) can be named, with name, address, DOB, and Social Security numbers required for each beneficiary. To designate beneficiaries, refer to Navy Fed’s Payable on Death (POD) and Deposit Trust Accounts Form. This form can also be used to open accounts under a legal trust; Navy Fed calls that type of account a “Deposit Trust Account.”


Unlike PenFed's nearly universal membership eligibility, Navy Fed’s field of membership (FOM) is restricted to individuals who have a military connection, regardless of residency status.

As I discussed in a 2017 blog post, Navy Fed’s FOM has expanded and, while a military connection is still required, many more people are now eligible to join. The most recent group added are individuals with family members who were affiliated with the military at any time.

Navy Fed’s "Member Eligibility" page lists the various ways to qualify for membership.

Active Duty, Retired and Veterans – Service members in all branches of the armed forces are membership-eligible, including:

  • Active Duty members of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Ait National Guard.
  • Delayed Entry Program (DEP)
  • DoD Officer Candidate/ROTC
  • DoD Reservists
  • Veterans, retirees, and annuitants

Family Members – Individuals with parents, grandparents, spouses, siblings, children (adopted and step), grandchildren, or household members who at any time were affiliated with the military or are already Navy Fed members are also eligible to join.

Department of Defense (DoD) Civilians – Any DoD civilian employee, U.S. government employees/contractors assigned to DoD installations, and DoD retiree/annuitants are welcome to apply.

Joining Navy Fed and/or opening a Special IRA Certificate can be done online or at any of 337 branches located in 30 different states and the District of Columbia.

A Basic Savings account (minimum $5 deposit) comes with your Navy
Federal membership and opens the door to our suite of saving products.

Credit Union Overview

Navy Federal Credit Union has an overall health grade of "A" at, with a Texas Ratio of 5.65% (excellent) based on June 30, 2019 data. In the past year, Navy Fed has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $11.63 billion, an excellent annual growth rate of 17.06%. Please refer to our financial overview of Navy Federal Credit Union (NCUA Charter # 5536) for more details.

Headquartered in Vienna, Virginia, Navy Federal Credit Union is considered the largest credit union in the world. Founded in 1933 as the Navy Department Employees’ Credit Union of the District of Columbia, Navy Federal has grown from its initial seven members to more than 8,850,000 members and assets in excess of $110 billion.

How the IRA Certificate Compares

When compared to 158 similar length-of-term IRA Certificates tracked by that are available nationwide, Navy Federal Credit Union’s 37-month IRA Certificate Special APY currently ranks first, regardless of deposit limitations.

The above rates are accurate as of 12/11/2019.

To search for the best IRA Certificate rates, both nationwide and in state specific, please refer to our IRA Certificate Rates Table page.

Related Pages: IRA CD rates, nationwide deals

Predatory Depositor
Predatory Depositor   |     |   Comment #1
Thanks Ken ...for highlighting this new NFCU add on IRA CD deal at this time. For those seeking a new CD for an IRA thats at 3% with the add on feature its a winner, and the 37 month term is a good mid-range one as well.
HoodyE8   |     |   Comment #2
Would be good if they also made it a regular CD to.
RichReg   |     |   Comment #3
Would be even better if you didn't need a military relationship. (sigh)
Kaight   |     |   Comment #4
It is not necessary for you personally to have served. If ANY close family member, even if that family member is now deceased, ever has served you are good to go regarding NFCU membership.
milwar5   |     |   Comment #5
How do they verify it? Will they just take your word for it if your grandfather was in the military, for example? If you don't have any proof. He died years ago.
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Say What?
Say What?   |     |   Comment #7
My brokerage firm has a 3 year IRA CD yielding 1.85%.
That's over a point spread versus this CD special from Navy.
Which works out to over 10K a year lost interest on a million bucks.
That's why I don't have any CD's with them anymore.
Nothing   |     |   Comment #9
Lying is not an option...e.g. lie on a life insurance or ...application, policy then issued. When do you think they investigate fraud? When a claim is filed...years later! Lie to CU, when do you think they investigate? When/if NCUA has to pay off and/or their compliance officer catches it in a routine audit.
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Nothing   |     |   Comment #12
Sounds like, "It's okay if you're not caught." Why would the NCUA, for example, not research before paying out? Wouldn't an auditor care about compliance efforts?
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David   |     |   Comment #10
You might need to provide a DD 214 form which is issued upon a military service member’s retirement, separation, or discharge from active duty in the Armed Forces.
Even my 96 year old father-in-law veteran of WWll has his (DD Form 214s were issued in 1950, replacing the older "WD AGO" (War Department Adjutant General's Office) Forms and the NAVPERS (Naval Personnel) discharge documents. These documents had existed since 1941.
Predatory Depositor
Predatory Depositor   |     |   Comment #19
My Dad was Navy WWII. I have lots of documents showing he served, but he told me many years ago he got a letter that his official records were destroyed in a fire. So I don't know if I could obtain a DD-214 or how much hassle it would be.

He passed away at 97 a few months ago and the records we had were good enough for the Navy to give him military honors at his funeral, and they were also good enough for the VA, so I assume they're good enough for NFCU.

If they have a deal that fits for me in the future, I plan to give it a try with the documents that I have. Based on my original conversation with them I'm pretty sure it's more than enough.
Predatory Depositor
Predatory Depositor   |     |   Comment #8
I investigated becoming a member about a year ago or so and they said they needed certain specific government forms. They may be able to waive that though if there is a reasonable reason why you can't provide them those forms. But they may also require some other form of documentation. I never followed through because I don't have the specific forms they asked for and it would require effort to obtain them.
moi   |     |   Comment #16
When I first opened a NFCU account, I brought in my deceased father's military file. They never asked to see what was in it.
Confused1   |     |   Comment #18
They can check it really easily and if they can't find it then they will ask for proof or discharge papers. My son in law signed up for an account, using his Grandpas name who served in the Korean War and he was approved on the spot. My daughter his wife then was automatically approved at the same time through him and the next day I called and was approved through my daughter. Navy gave my daughter a code to give me for when I called and it was easy peasy setting up an account.
Interest$   |     |   Comment #20
There you go. For anyone in a family who has a close relative who served and is willing to put forth a little effort to prove it, can become a NFCU member. If you're not willing to take the time to come up with the documentation required then NFCU just isn't for you. It's your choice...
Heat Miser
Heat Miser   |     |   Comment #34
Also if you have a family member who works for NFCU (thanks daughter!!)
Kaight   |     |   Comment #13
I just completed the funding process, via transfer, for this CD. It's not impossible but it is not easy, either. Worst problem I encountered was unyielding refusal by NFCU to accept attached JPEG files. JPEG is not one of their approved file formats. I was told to message them from within my account, and attach a scan of the required transfer form. All good and I did that right up to the "attach" part. That is when I learned NFCU has a bias against JPEGs. Ended up having to embed the JPEG files into a Word document. They will accept DOC files. What an unnecessary hassle.

NFCU is the largest credit union in the USA. I have made JPEG submissions to really small banks and credit unions without ever so much as a wrinkle. NFCU IT needs work.  It's not up to speed.
Jimdog   |     |   Comment #28
All you have to do is print that jpeg file to a pdf format from your printer. Select the Microsoft printer to pdf file in your printer setup. Takes 5 seconds.
RateSeeker   |     |   Comment #17
We joined NFCU this past summer for their 3.5% IRA. I was able to join because my late father served in the Army for a couple of years, back when he was in college, and my Grandfather was in the Navy. I did have my dad's DD214 in hand when I applied, but they never did ask for a copy of it. I think most Americans have parents or grandparents who have served since it used to be mandatory. So if you would like to join NFCU, ask your parents who has served in your family. You might be surprised to find out that many of them have.
Bozo   |     |   Comment #21
Trivia factoid. If you go to the NFCU website, look under "forms"; you will find, among other things, the form for an IRA Custodian-to-Custodian transfer. Note: the form clearly says the transfer might take between two to six weeks to be effectuated, depending on the response from the "transferring" financial institution (your current custodian).

Which gets us to the main glitch in these C-to-C transfers. What happens if the funds are "in transit" and the rate and/or term goes "poof".

Some financial institutions (INOVA and StateFarmBank come to mind) will "lock" the rate and term upon application. Not at all clear if NFCU will do the same. Generally, unless otherwise agreed by the receiving custodian, the rate and term are dictated by the rate and term upon receipt of the funds. As a general rule, folks considering a C-to-C transfer to avail themselves of a "hot" IRA special should ask a few questions about rate/term lock, or lack thereof.

Worst case scenario: your funds are in transit, the rate/term goes "poof", and you want to retrieve the funds and unwind the deal.
Predatory Depositor
Predatory Depositor   |     |   Comment #23
#21 Whenever I do a C2C IRA I always do the following:

1. Do you allow wires and how much time will it save? Some FIs do and it can significantly reduce the transit time although it still takes too long even in the best cases.

2. What happens if the rate is no longer available? Typically FIs will not guarantee the rate. It's a crap shoot. Some will give you a certain period of time.

3. Remember to complain about the process to both ends. I always tell them this is a ridiculous process in the 21st century. Why should it take weeks for something that should take seconds? I mean one bank sending a check through the mail to another bank in the age of instant transfers? Give me a break! And it potentially costs depositors a lot of money in lost interest and missed opportunities. I ask them if they can bring this up at a meeting and pass it up the line. Although I suspect the reason this system is so antiquated is that FIs like the fact that you are hesitant to move your IRA around. They have you captive with the high transaction cost of changing FIs. It's undoubtedly a conspiracy between FIs and regulators. The FIs tell you "sorry, we have no choice... it's regulations." while they contribute to political candidates who ensure them the regulations never change. It's a political problem. The C2C IRA system has to be changed! It sucks.
Predatory Depositor
Predatory Depositor   |     |   Comment #24
NFCU will lock the rate and term upon processing. They did it for me on my recent IRA allowing up to 6 weeks for the IRA check to arrive at NFCU. Once the check arrived it was date stamped then starting earning interest from that day forward. It took about a week for the account to finally post online with the deposit showing and date NFCU received the deposit.
Bozo   |     |   Comment #25
Predatory Depositor (re comment # 24): This is an excellent bit of information. It was not at all clear from the website, so your experience is valuable, to say the least.

Query: did you get the rate lock in writing, or was it just "verbal"? Also, does your "upon processing" mean "upon application" for the transfer?
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Predatory Depositor
Predatory Depositor   |     |   Comment #27
#25 the rate lock was verbal from 3 different customer reps, i recorded the convo. and the convo was recorded on their side as well. Just get a good rep and question it all, if you don't get the answers you want elevate it to a supervisor and push the point/get names. Re processing as soon as NFCU gets the mail from your FI with the check in it they date stamp it(day of postal delivery) then it might take the back office a week/ten days to create the account and post the funds so you can see it all online.
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Say What?
Say What?   |     |   Comment #30
Unless there's a rate lock for the IRA CD, it's just easier to put the funds in an IRA savings account first. This just makes it a lot easier to move the funds somewhere else if the deal no longer exists by the time the funds get there. I haven't had to do this yet, but I've come close a couple of times.
Predatory Depositor
Predatory Depositor   |     |   Comment #22
I opened up a 37 month IRA CD earlier this year with NFCU. I opened it up over the phone and stated I had a family member that was in the navy retired. No verification was needed and the account was opened up over the phone. The phone reps have the ability to push an account open if they want without any additional verification needed for military association. Talk to the rep and develop a friendly conversation with them and it should all go thru without verification.
CdBob   |     |   Comment #31
I called today and they opened this 3% 37 month traditional IRA CD, and funded it with all the earned interest from another traditional IRA CD that I have with them at a lower rate. Nice!
Navy has been the best over the years that I have dealt with them!
Peachy   |     |   Comment #32
For those who got the 3.75% IRA a while back, not much need for this, as this is only 3%, so funds should go to the 3.75% CD, and it'll extend only about 8 months after the 3.75% expires. If it was longer, perhaps. But since IRA money is a pain in the butt to transfer I don't see it as worth it for only 8 more months. For someone who didn't get the 3.75% back then, I suppose it's okay. For those who got the 3.75%, best to get a longer-term one, or wait until about 6-12 mos before the 3.75% expires, to see if Navy pops up with anything then.
Nothing   |     |   Comment #33
$50 for insurance for 8 months of 3% is a no brainer!
Att   |     |   Comment #35
My dad was in ww2 but I can't get any papers showing his enlistment. Last year for the 1st time Navy CU was at the Home show near me. If they are at the show this year I'll ask if I can join.
Va wife
Va wife   |     |   Comment #53
You might be able to look it up on the internet. don't remember the website but I know I found my father in law information years ago. Then there is always They might have info about the your dad. And lastly called the CU up and ask what info they need. They may take your word for it.
blazer9   |     |   Comment #36
If your Father or Mother made a Career (20+ yrs) of the Service and left an Annuity to either spouse
they could join and then pass on the membership.
Go Navy
Go Navy   |     |   Comment #37
For those who don't have an IRA, the Navy savings account pays 0.25%.
And the 3-yr regular cd pays 2.25%. (100k min.)
And the 7-yr regular cd pays 2.45%. (100k min.)
Life is good.
Nothing   |     |   Comment #38
Navy will be losing funds next year when add on CDs are scheduled to mature, albeit max. of 50K per account, unless a new add on is offered next May
Att   |     |   Comment #40
#38 Penfed for a long time was a rate leader which much higher than other CUs and banks. They had some 5 year CDs that matured a few years back and haven't been competitive. They also have some 10 year 5% CDs coming due in 2021. My 10 year is the only CD with Penfed.
Nothing   |     |   Comment #41
Penfed from my perspective is a non-player in CD rates...especially since the much previously referred to posted note about a private regulatory letter being sent to it...about 3(?) years ago, as I recall
Sunk   |     |   Comment #39
#37 Surely you are being sarcastic in your post. Navy rates totally suck and pretty much always have. Except for the occasional special. Those poor troops only getting a measly 0.25% on their savings?
Anchors Away!
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Bozo   |     |   Comment #44
Based on an e-mail from NFCU, the IRA CD rate and term (37-mo @ 3%) is locked only upon receipt by NFCU of the transferred funds in a C-to-C transfer.

Observations: (1) If you do not have an IRA established at NFCU, you must open one. That's paperwork step one. The funds to be transferred from another custodian need a "vessel" in which to be placed. (2) The funds being transferred must go through what is, in my mind, a needlessly complicated procedure. You first need to open an NFCU IRA (see above); then you need to fill out a transfer request (NFCU form) and send it to NFCU; then, NFCU needs to send it to your current custodian; then, your current custodian needs to crank out a check and send it snail-mail to NFCU. NFCU estimates this could take 4-6 weeks. If the stated rate and term for what you want (e.g., the 37-mo @ 3%) goes "poof" while all this is in progress, you're SOL Then, you get to try to unwind.

Folks, there must be an easier way.
Nothing   |     |   Comment #45
There is! Get a check payable to Navy and hand carry or overnight it by commercial carrier...Navy will pay carrier cost
anonymous   |     |   Comment #46
Funded this CD special by transferring the dividends from an existing IRA CD that I have at NFCU (I had already maxed out my annual contribution, so couldn't fund it by contributing). Someone very helpful posted about doing this last year and it's worked for me the second time now with no problem. I did this process over the phone with their IRA department and it only took a few minutes. (I heard that you want to make sure to do it in one step with their IRA specialists, so it's not considered an IRA distribution or anything like that.)

I already have the 3.75% add-on special so I had to think for a little bit for what purpose I would use the 3% CD. I concluded that this 3% CD will provide me with useful rate insurance for about 9 months beyond the maturity date of the 3.75% CD. So in case rates keep dropping until 2022 (I hope not, but it is very possible), I can roll my 3.75% funds into this 3% CD and keep the funds at NFCU through early 2023 rather than going through the headache of transferring the IRA elsewhere to the next best rate in 2022.

But of course I'm hoping for more add-on CD options at NFCU to come before 2023 so I can keep transferring the matured CDs to some good long-term rates seamlessly ...
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Heat Mizer
Heat Mizer   |     |   Comment #54
37 month CD @3% still available as of 1/2/20. I plan on opening today with dividends earned on another IRA CD at Navy so I won't use up my contributions for this year. Thanks for the tip Anonymous.
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Darrell   |     |   Comment #55
When opening my IRA the agent mentioned that they will be opening a similar standard CD beginning in February sometime. She was not specific on the rate, but her suggestion seem to indicate that it would be a 3% 37 month cd
#56 - This comment has been removed for violating our comment policy.
Navy Federal Adds 18-Month CD Special, 3.00% APY
UPDATE 8/19/19: The 5-year Certificate Special rate has fallen to 3.25% APY.

Deal Summary: Certificate Specials – 18-month (3.00% APY) and 9-month (2.50% APY), $1k minimum deposit.

Availability: Nationwide, but a military relationship required for membership.

At the beginning of the month, I stated, “It’s another good news Monday” at Navy Federal Credit Union (Navy Fed) because the 5-year Certificate Special rate had been increased to 3.50% APY on all deposit tiers.

In that July 8 blog post, I wondered how long the 3.50% APY would last....

Continue Reading
Navy Federal Offers Very Competitive 5-Year CD
UPDATE 8/19/19: The 5-year Certificate Special rate has fallen to 3.25% APY.

Deal Summary: 5-Year Certificate, 3.50% APY, $1k minimum.

Availability: Nationwide, but a military relationship required for membership.

It’s another good news Monday at Navy Federal Credit Union (Navy Fed). The 5-year Share Certificate rate has been increased to 3.50% APY on all tiers. Minimum deposit is $1k. There is no maximum deposit. This is just a standard type of Certificate. There are no special features. For example, add-on deposits are not allowed until maturity.

Continue Reading
Navy Federal Adds 10-month Special CD, 2.75% APY w/Add-Ons
Deal Summary: 10-Month Special Certificate, 2.75% APY, $50 minimum, additional deposits up to $100k total balance.

Availability: Nationwide, but a military relationship required for membership.

It’s a good news/bad news Monday at Navy Federal Credit Union (Navy Fed). Might as well do the bad news first: Navy Fed’s 6-, 17-, and 40-month Special Certificates are no longer available.

The good news is there’s a new 10-month Special Certificate that can be opened with a minimum $50 deposit, but its 2.75% APY isn’t as competitive as the APYs offered...

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Navy Federal Offers 6-Month CD Special, 3.00% APY
Deal Summary: Celebration Special Rate 6-Month Certificate, 3.00% APY, $1k minimum deposit.

Availability: Nationwide, but a military relationship required for membership.

On Saturday, Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow, leading to predictions of another dismal six weeks of winter. Perhaps Navy Federal Credit Union’s (Navy Fed) new Celebration Special Rate 6-month Certificate (3.00% APY, $1k minimum) can help you weather the prospect of more ice, snow, and frigid temps.

The Celebration Certificate is also available as an IRA (Traditional, Roth, SEP, ESA), earning the...

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Navy Federal Introduces 17-Month Add-On CD Special, 3.25% APY
Deal Summary: 17-month Share Certificate Special, 3.25% APY, $50 minimum/$50k maximum deposit, additional deposits up to $50k.

Availability: Nationwide, but restricted to those with a military relationship.

Navy Federal Credit Union (Navy Fed) has added a 17-month Share Certificate Special (3.25% APY, $50 min/$50k max) to their product line. The new Special features unlimited additional deposits (up to $50k) throughout the term. According to the fine print on the promotion page, there is a limit of one 17-month Special per member.

As stated in Navy Fed’s Certificates...

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