Navy Fed Offers New Special Certificates


Deal Summary: 2.25% APY 15-month add-on CD, Maximum deposit $50k. 2.75% APY 32-month add-on IRA CD, Maximum deposit $250k.

Availability: Requires a connection to the military.

Navy Federal Credit Union (Navy Fed) has come out with two high-rate add-on certificate specials: a 15-month share certificate and a 32-month IRA Certificate. The 15-month share certificate has a 2.25% APY and a $50k maximum balance. The 32-month IRA certificate has a 2.75% APY and a $250k maximum balance. Both have a minimum deposit of only $50, and both have an add-on deposit feature that allows unlimited number of deposits up to the maximum balance. Of course, the IRA Certificate balance is also limited to IRS contribution limits.

2.75%$50$250kNavy Federal Credit Union32 Month IRA Special (Traditional, Roth, CESA)
2.25%$50$50kNavy Federal Credit Union15 Month CD Special
Rates as of March 21, 2018.

These special certificates are similar to Navy Fed’s past 17-month, 20-month and 5-month specials. Deposits can be made anytime subject to the maximum balance. Only one special 15-month share certificate and only one special 32-month IRA certificate are allowed per member. It’s actually a maximum deposit of principal instead of a maximum balance. If you specify the certificate to redeposit the interest, the balance (principal plus interest) may exceed the maximum. Only the principal cannot exceed the maximum limit.

Navy Fed has made it very easy to open these special share certificates. Existing members can open the certificate online by logging into online banking and clicking on the “open a new account” link on the top right of the account page. The quick and easy way to fund these certificates is to select the funding account to be one of your existing Navy Fed liquid accounts. Since it’s an add-on CD with only a minimum deposit of $50, there’s little reason why existing Navy Fed members should not open the special with money from their Navy Fed savings, checking or money market account. Once it’s opened, it’s easy to add money online after you log into Navy Fed online banking.

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

(b) If the term to maturity is greater than one year, the amount forfeited is equal to the lesser of: (1) all dividends for 180 days on the amount withdrawn, or (2) all dividends on the amount withdrawn since the date of issuance or renewal. (c) If the term to maturity is five years or greater, the amount forfeited is equal to the lesser of: (1) all dividends for 365 days on the amount withdrawn, or (2) all dividends on the amount withdrawn since the date of issuance or renewal.

Thus, for the 15-month and 32-month certificates, the EWP is 180 days of interest unless closed before 180 days of opening, in which case it’s only equal to all interest earned. Essentially, this avoids the case of the EWP eating into the principal (losing money on the CD).

Another noteworthy feature in the disclosure is the grace period:

Grace Period: You have 21 calendar days after the maturity date to change the conditions under which the Certificate will be renewed. During this period, the balance in the Certificate will earn dividends at the prevailing offering rate.

For grace periods, 21 calendar days is on the high-end.

Thanks to DA readers who emailed me news of these specials.


In February, Navy Fed expanded its field of membership, allowing many more people to join. All veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces are now eligible. In addition, if your immediate family member had ever been in the military (even if they’re now deceased), you are eligible to join. Please refer to my February blog post for more details.

Navy Fed has an online membership application. The application guides you through membership qualifications. The first question asks:

Are you or have you ever been affiliated in any way with the Armed Forces, DoD, Coast Guard or National Guard?

Joining Navy Fed and/or opening Certificates can be done online or at any of the over 300 branches located in 30 different states, the District of Columbia, and Guam.

Note, there used to be a backdoor to Navy Fed membership through the San Diego Council of the Navy League. However, this ended in May. Joining the Navy League will no longer qualify you for Navy Fed membership.

Credit Union Overview

Navy Federal Credit Union (NCUA Charter # 5536) has an overall health grade of "A" at, with a Texas ratio of 5.44% (excellent) based on June 30, 2017 data. In the past year, Navy Fed has increased its total deposits by $6.89 billion, an excellent annual growth rate of 12.9%. 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 7.3 million members and assets in excess of $82 billion.

How the Certificates Compare

When compared to the 159 similar length-of-term CDs tracked by that are available nationwide, Navy Fed’s 15-month Certificate is way out in front

When compared to the 151 similar length-of-term CDs tracked by that are available nationwide, Navy Fed’s 32-month IRA Certificate is also way out in front

The above rates are accurate as of 12/4/2017.

You can find the full listing of the highest nationwide and local rates in our CD rates table and IRA CD rates table.

Related Pages: 1-year CD rates, IRA CD rates, nationwide deals

ClickHere   |     |   Comment #1
Meh. 2.25% not worth it for 15 months. That's quite a downgrade (when rates are supposed to go up) from their 5-month 3% or the 3% Andrews had a while back.

As far as IRAs, even though it's 2.75, that's still not that great (I have an Andrews 3% IRA from last year but come January, can make another IRA contribution). Most people lock their IRA money away for a long time, so instead of a mediocre rate for just over a year, I'll wait until someone comes out with another 3% for an IRA. Even if it's 5 or 7 years, I won't use it until retirement anyway.

Deals are worth noting in case they fit someone's needs, but nothing all that great, honestly.
ClickHere   |     |   Comment #2
Just noticed the IRA was for 32mo not 15mo... well, for almost 3 years I'll wait for 3%. By this time of year, most people have already contributed probably for their 2017 IRA. So we still have 16 months left to contribute to a 2018 IRA. I'll wait.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #5
Perhaps you have not noticed that it is an add-on CD with a minimum of $50 to open. One could easily open the CD with $50 say today or tomorrow and not add another penny until sometime down the line at possibly one year left to maturity or even 6 months left to maturity. At this point, you will have not a 15 months CD at 2.25% but either a 1 year or 6 month CD at 2.25%. You could even do it for the last 90 days meaning a 3 month CD yielding 2.25%. This account with $50 in it acts like an insurance policy --- at least for this individual. I know I have a place to put some funds if I can find nothing better at the time.
Kaight   |     |   Comment #7

Very, very well analyzed and explained. Thumbs up and I certainly agree. The $50 minimum to open makes BOTH of these CDs absolute no brainers.

Ken: Thank you! These are really nice offerings.
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #12
My thoughts exactly Anonymous. I love add-on CD's for exactly that reason.
pattyb53   |     |   Comment #4
I think 2.25% for only 15months is reasonable! I'm going to invest.
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #11
Well actually you need to compare this to the old 17 month 2% NFCU CD with a $50 cap. This is a even better deal and rate on a shorter term. This shows that rates ARE going up. All you have to do is lock it in for $50 and add on later. I'll be getting 2 of these for $100,000. This is a 3 year CD rate for 15 months.
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #18
I meant $50,000 cap in my previous comment.
klink   |     |   Comment #14
Have to agree with CkickHere, this is a downgrade. I mean a 5 mo. at 3% to a 15 mo. at 2.25% in a rising interest enviornment (sp) aw come on. But, it do fit my agenda so without further ado I'm jumping as none of my current add ons offer anything close. Happy Holidays.....HO HO HO HUM.
jimdog   |     |   Comment #3
Wow, these are competitive rates and just indicates that all rates are going up in the months ahead!
Rickny   |     |   Comment #6
They are much higher than Penfed.
RickZ   |     |   Comment #8
Thanks for the posting - I just opened both of these by telephone. As others have mentioned, these are both good deals given that they are add-on CDs. One note regarding the IRA CD: if you have an existing IRA CD at Navy Federal you can pull out without penalty some or all of your accumulated dividends to fund the new CD, which is a big help in case you can't make any more contributions for 2017 and don't want to deal with an IRA transfer.
Kaight   |     |   Comment #9
I have just checked on this. Was unable to find a way to fund new NFCU CD accounts using a credit card. They want actual money.

If anyone disagrees with my finding, I would be absolutely delighted to be shown to be in error on this matter.
rhutnik   |     |   Comment #10
Have you had any luck finding more credit card funding opportunities since the GTE deal?
Kaight   |     |   Comment #16
Not a lot. But my search efforts are being slowed by lack of available funds. This will change.
pattyb53   |     |   Comment #21
Yes, I had to break down & withdraw funds from Agfed which was paying 1.84%. But had to go for this 15mo 2.25%.
rhutnik   |     |   Comment #23
That was 30 months I think right? How was their withdrawal process? I missed getting in on that no-penalty CD by a day or two. I heard getting funds out was hard?
pattyb53   |     |   Comment #24
Easy process to withdraw funds from AgFed. Just call & have the fund closed & transferred to Savings Acct. Then ACH funds to Alliant CU & proceed with "what ever".
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #13
I forgot about cc funding. That's a great idea. I'll have to call and ask them what their policy is on that.
anonymous   |     |   Comment #15
According to thus article, "if your immediate family member had ever been in the military (even if they’re now deceased), you are eligible to join." I've called Navy Fed in the past and been told otherwise. According to Navy Fed representatives, the family member must have received an honorable discharge, and documentation is required.

Were the representatives correctly stating Navy Fed's policy re membership requirements and documentation?
Kaight   |     |   Comment #17
Probably. It's not at all an unreasonable requirement. My own dad, for example, served honorably during WWII. He passed away MANY years ago. But I still have his discharge papers and other items which would prove his service.
Always hope
Always hope   |     |   Comment #20
My brother was killed in action in Vietnam and I was accepted. I am not sure if it was that reason but I brought all my papers and found Navy Federal by far bets any bank that I have dealt with.
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #19
I'm a Navy vet and they didn't require any documentation from me when I joined. Probably because they could just look it up. I think what they are trying to do is make sure that you actually did have a immediate family member in the service. Otherwise anyone could just say they do. I really don't understand all the restrictions with joining credit unions anyway. I was only able to join NFCU when they started letting in vets, before that you had to be either active or retired military which was ridiculous IMHO.
Robb   |     |   Comment #27
I joined this week and had no issues with regards to any documentation required to open an account although my father did serve many years in the Air Force years ago. The customer service was very good in my opinion with one rep taking a good 25 minutes to help me set everything up.
anonymous   |     |   Comment #22
Since I'm not eligible for a roth ira, can I do a nondeductible ira for $50, conver to a roth ira, and then add if I need to? Would I have to do the conversion when adding to the converted roth ira?
anonymous   |     |   Comment #28
I'm no expert, but I assume that if you were to add new funds directly to the Roth IRA CD, it would be characterized as Roth contributions. My guess is that you would have to put additional funds into the nondeductible IRA first, then convert them, before adding to the Roth IRA CD.
anonymous   |     |   Comment #25
For the IRA certificate, instead of making additional deposits by current year contributions, can existing (older) IRA deposits be later added to the certificate? (E.g., by trustee-to-trustee transfer from another financial institution?) I have some IRA certificates maturing in about a year at another CU.
Luvcd   |     |   Comment #26
I opened an ira cd today with a token “transfer” from current ira bank trustee. I plan to move the balance upon maturity next year into that account AND I got the forms (also) today to move those funds then. Told the current bank trustee, “up to you next year on whether the balance of funds go or stay.”
TheBombingRange   |     |   Comment #29
Has anybody had issues opening this account online? When I try to submit an application the "Continue" button is blacked out and I can't click it. Can you open by phone?
Sylvia   |     |   Comment #30
TheBombingRange, you can always open CDs there by phone, though I did mine yesterday online. By "continue" button, are you referring to the one following disclosures? if yes, you need to go through motion of reading them before system allows you to proceed. Scroll down text entirely or click on link, I forget which. Good luck.
TheBombingRange   |     |   Comment #31
I called them and had them do a "Check By Phone." They said it was free and the ACH would get there faster than if I put it in myself. Also, they said the back office back dates the CD opening date to the date of the call, not the date of the money arriving, which is nice. They explained a CD can only be opened online with money already in a checking or savings account with NFCU. Apparently when I tried to transfer money in externally to open the CD, it should have popped open a message telling me to call to do Check By Phone. That message wasn't readily obvious to me.
Sylvia   |     |   Comment #32
I've done the check by phone. The backdating of interest is a manual process and not very transparent. After establishing link with external CU (Alliant), I now prefer pushing money into checking which can then be used to fund CD. It took me only a day between initiating transfer at Alliant and opening CD at NFCU. Your NFCU checking account will also be useful for withdrawing funds at maturity, if you choose not to rollover CD. NFCU does not allow withdrawals out of savings account; it's one of their quirks.
TheBombingRange   |     |   Comment #33
Alliant has single day transfers, right? I think at Ally, it takes longer to transfer funds out, unless they have granted you single day transfers. I don't have that available between Ally and NFCU, only between Ally and another account.
???   |     |   Comment #34
I thought submission of Ally Transfer Links are immediate.
If you have single day out for another acct, NFCU could have that too
Sylvia   |     |   Comment #36
??? (#34), NFCU has a few restrictions on ACH's initiated through them that limit its utility, e.g., $5K daily limit, other account must be "(non-commercial) personal checking," no ACH withdrawals from NFCU savings accounts. The last one, no ACH w/drawals from savings, applies whether initiated from within or without.
TheBombingRange   |     |   Comment #37
When these CDs mature, for example, the 3% 5 month one, how can I get the money from a NFCU checking to an external savings account? Pull from the savings, in an amount greater than $5k?
Sylvia   |     |   Comment #38
TheBombingRange (#37), the $5K restriction applies only to ACHs initiated through NFCU. It's not relevant if you're about to pull from an outside account with higher limits.
Sylvia   |     |   Comment #39
Edit to #38: "able" to pull, not "about" to pull.
Sylvia   |     |   Comment #40
Sorry, just reread #38, another edit: not relevant if you're able to pull WITH an outside account. Rules of that account would then apply.
Sylvia   |     |   Comment #35
The BombingRange (#33), yes, as long as you make cutoff time of noon CT.
anonymous   |     |   Comment #41
Established membership today in a branch and opened both the 15-month and 32-month IRA special. Thank you, Ken! The branch looked very inviting and everyone was very friendly.

I noticed in the branch that they also have a $100 bonus promotion when you open your first Navy Fed IRA. The CSR made sure that we would also qualify for the $100 bonus when we open the 32-month IRA special. Overall, a pleasant experience so far!
Bogie   |     |   Comment #42
I have been a member for sometime now. I opened a 15-mo special on line last week. Simple process and all went smoothly. Good to hear the branch you visited was very accommodating. I hope all the branches are like that. I have never visited one yet.
anon   |     |   Comment #43
FWIW.....For those who have trusts....such as a revocable can open two in trust and one not in trust for a total of 100K. Of course this defeats the purpose of having a trust but it does allow one to take advantage of the interest rate. I've done this several times at NFCU ......and was even suggested by their CSRs
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Availability: Requires a connection to the military.

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