Deal Summary: Most competitive are the 18-month (1.77% APY) and 1-year (1.61%); $1k minimum deposit
PenFed Credit Union (PenFed) increased the rates on all of its Money Market Certificates (CDs) today. PenFed typically changes rates at the start of each month, so this increase is a good sign that PenFed saw the need to do another rate hike so soon after its October 1st increase. The new rates aren’t exceptional, but they are competitive. The most competitive ones are the 18-month CD (1.77% APY) and the 12-month CD (1.61% APY). The long-term rates also went up, but they’re still not real competitive when compared to internet banks.
Below is a summary of the new CD rates and how they have changed.
- 1.00% APY 6-month (was 0.85%)
- 1.61% APY 1-year (was 1.46%)
- 1.61% APY 15-month (was 1.46%)
- 1.77% APY 18-month (was 1.51%)
- 1.82% APY 2-year (was 1.66%)
- 1.92% APY 3-year (was 1.76%)
- 2.02% APY 4-year (was 1.87%)
- 2.27% APY 5-year (was 2.12%)
- 2.27% APY 7-year (was 2.22%)
The minimum opening deposit is $1k, with no stated balance cap. PenFed calls these Money Market Certificates, but they are essentially CDs. All of the above terms except for the 6-, 15- and 18-months are available as IRAs (Traditional, Roth, and CESA) but with rates that are 5 bps lower.
Please refer to our PenFed's CD rates table for the full listing of CD and IRA CD rates.
Last year, PenFed’s Early Withdrawal Penalty (EWP) changed and now reads as follows:
Certificates Having a Term Greater Than Six Months:
If redeemed within the first year, all dividends will be forfeited.
If redeemed thereafter, but prior to the maturity date, the early withdrawal penalty will equal 30% of what would have been earned if the certificate had been held to maturity, not to exceed total dividends earned.
As you can see, the EWP is harsh. For a 5-year term, 30% of total dividends is 18 months’ interest.
On the positive side, PenFed continues to allow penalty-free partial withdrawals of IRA CDs for members over the age of 59 1/2. The following is an excerpt from the IRA CD disclosure:
Partial withdrawals for members over the age 59 1/2 (including Required Minimum Distributions) and qualified distributions regardless of age (including Disability) may be processed from IRA certificates without incurring an early redemption penalty.
This may be one reason PenFed now keeps its IRA CD rates 5 bps lower than its standard CDs.
Another Winter CD Deal?
I’m hoping we’ll see a repeat of 2013 when PenFed came out with 3% 5-year CDs in December. I have no word of PenFed’s plans, but today’s rate increases are a step in the right direction. To give you an idea how competitive PenFed’s 2013 CD deal was, the top 5-year CD rate from an internet bank in December 2013 was 2.11% APY at EverBank. That was 93 bps under the 3.04% APY that PenFed was offering on its 5- and 7-year CDs.
Headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, Pentagon Federal Credit Union offers membership to virtually all U.S. residents. PenFed’s online application lists the various ways in which individuals can qualify for membership.
If you meet any of the following requirements, you are eligible to join PenFed:
1. I am active/retired United States Military & Uniformed Services.
2. I am an employee of a qualifying organization.
3. I belong to the following association or organization.
4. I am an employee of the United State government.
5. I am a relative or housemate of someone who is eligible.
6. I live or work at an eligible location.
Selecting Option #7, "Other," provides information about joining PenFed through membership in either Voices for America’s Troops ($17, one-time only dues) or the National Military Family Association ($17, one-time only dues). Joining either of these associations and PenFed can be done simultaneously using PenFed’s online application.
Need another way to join? No problem!
Members of the National Military Family Association and Voices for America's Troops
are among those eligible for PenFed membership. We've made it easy for you to join
one of these associations, which makes you eligible to join PenFed.
Joining PenFed and/or opening a Money Market Certificate can also be done in person at any of branches located in the District of Columbia (6), Florida, Georgia (6), Hawaii (3), Maryland (4), North Carolina, Nebraska, New York (2), Tennessee, Texas (8), Virginia (9), and Puerto Rico (1).
Credit Union Overview
PenFed Credit Union (NCUA Charter # 227) has an overall health grade of "A" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas ratio of 3.57% (excellent), based on June 30, 2017 data. In the past year, PenFed has increased its total deposits by $1.73 billion, an excellent annual growth rate of 10.85%. Please refer to our financial overview of PenFed Credit Union for more details.
Established in 1935, PenFed Credit Union is one of the largest credit unions in the nation, with assets in excess of $22 billion.
How the Money Market Certificates Compare
When compared to the 215 similar length-of-term CDs tracked by DepositAccounts.com that require a similar minimum deposit and are nationally available, there are 10 banks and credit unions that offer higher rates than PenFed’s 1-year CD. Below is a sample of these:
When compared to the 153 similar length-of-term CDs tracked by DepositAccounts.com that require a similar minimum deposit and are nationally available, there are 3 credit unions that offer higher rates than PenFed’s 18-month CD. These are shown below:
The above rates are accurate as of 10/18/2017.
Edit 10/30/17: PenFed corrected the 18mo APY from 1.76% to 1.77%. Updates made to reflect this correction.