Virginia-based Spectra Credit Union (Spectra CU) introduced two competitive Share Certificate Specials (SCS) last November. These limited-time SCS were available for about six weeks before disappearing from the product line. Spectra CU has brought the SCS back with significantly improved rates: 14-month SCS (5.15% APY) and 7-month SCS (4.99% APY). The minimum opening deposit is $5k of new money, with no stated balance. New money is defined as “fund from sources other than Spectra Credit Union.”
As stated in the Spectra CU Truth-in Savings disclosure in the New Members booklet (page 16), the Early Withdrawal Penalty reads as follows:
The penalty schedule is as follows:
- Terms of less than 12 months, 30 days’ dividends
- Terms of 12-23 months, 90 days’ dividends.
If the account has not yet earned enough dividends or if the dividends have already been paid, the penalty will be deducted from the principal.
Headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, Spectra Credit Union offers a way to join for almost any U.S. citizen or resident alien (18 years or older with a valid Social Security number).
Easy Membership - Membership in the American Consumer Council (ACC) qualifies for Spectra CU membership eligibility. Joining ACC can be done using Spectra CU online membership application.
Employment - Government employees (civilian or military), or contract employees stationed at or paid by the Naval Research Lab are eligible to join.
Affiliation - Employees, students, or members of more than 150 Select Employee Groups (SEGs) are also eligible for membership. The SEGs are listed on the first page of the Spectra CU online application.
Family - Immediate family and household members of current Spectra CU members are eligible to join. This includes spouse, parent, child, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, stepparent, stepchild, stepsibling, adoptive relationships, domestic partners, roommates, and legal guardian relationships.
Joining Spectra CU and/or opening a Special Share Certificate can be done online, or at either of two full-service branches, located in Alexandria (VA) and Waldorf (MD). The Washington, D.C. branch, located in the Naval Research Lab, is no longer open to the general public.
Effective immediately, access to our Naval Research Lab branch is only available to members who have unexpired badge access for the facility. The visitor center will
no longer supply daily passes to non-badged member to visit the branch.
Opening a Share Membership Savings with a $5 minimum deposit establishes a Spectra CU membership.
Funding and Other Particulars
- Funding – ACH or Shared Branch transfer.
- CO-OP Shared Branch Network – Yes.
- Dividends – compounded/credited monthly; dividends can be credited to SCS or paid out by check.
- Maturing Funds – Cashier’s check or internal transfer to Share Membership Savings or checking account.
- Grace Period – 10 calendar days.
- Beneficiaries – Unlimited, equal shares, Social Security numbers required.
- Credit Check – Soft pull.
Credit Union Overview
Spectra Credit Union has an overall health grade of "B+" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas ratio of 5.06% (excellent) based on December 31, 2022 data. In the past year, Spectra CU has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $11.57 million, an above average annual growth rate of 2.32%. Please refer to our financial overview of Spectra Credit Union (NCUA Charter # 5380) for more details.
Founded in 1946 as the NRL Federal Credit Union, the original field of membership included employees of the United States Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), the corporate research laboratory for the United States Navy, and the United States Marine Corps. (NRL carries out a variety of basic scientific research, applied research, technological development, and prototyping.) The FOM was expanded more than five years ago to include members of the American Consumer Council. In 2021, as part of the credit union’s 75th anniversary celebration, the Spectra Credit Union rebrand occurred. Currently the 20th largest credit union headquartered in Virginia, Spectra has nearly 27,0000 members and assets in excess of $597 million.
How the 14-Month Share Certificate Special Compares
When compared to similar length-of-term CDs tracked by DepositAccounts.com which are available nationwide and have minimum deposit requirements of $10k or less, two banks have higher rates than currently offered on the Spectra 14-Month Share Certificate Special. The following table compares the 14-Month Share Certificate Special to the two highest-rate CDs from other credit unions and the two highest-rate CDs from banks.
The above information and rates are accurate as of 4/11/2023.
To look for the best CD rates, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to our CD Rates Table page.