Spectra Credit Union Adds 2% To New CDs With Checking Relationship
Virginia-based Spectra Credit Union (Spectra CU) has a unique Share Certificate promotion: a dividend rate bump of 2.00% on a new Share Certificate (new money required) with a monthly minimum $500 direct deposit to new or existing checking account. The fine print on the landing page describes (in part) the new High 5 Certificate Special,
The rate increase applies only to new certificates with terms up to 60 months funded with new money not currently on deposit at Spectra Credit Union. […] Canceling your monthly direct deposit may result in your certificate returning to the original certificate rate. […] This promotion is a limited-time offer, and Spectra Credit Union reserves the right to end this promotion at any time without further notice.
Spectra CU’s product line includes six different Share Certificates (6-, 12-, 24-, 36-, 48-, and 60-month) with six APRs between 2.35% and 3.10%. As DA reader, thowellIII, noted in his very informative Forum post,
The shorter end isn't so interesting, but the 3-5 year range looks competitive. (5.0 - 5.1--and that's before the compounding to get the APY, which would add about another 0.1 to the rates.)
According to the landing page, the 60-month Share Certificate could potential have a 5.22% APY.
With terms up to 60 months and dividend rates up to 3.10% (3.14% APY), that means you can earn a dividend rate up to 5.10% (5.22% APY).
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
- Terms of 24-35 months 180 days’ dividends
- Terms of 36-47 months 270 days’ dividends
- Terms of 48-60 months 365 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, and adoptive relationships.
Joining Spectra CU and/or opening a Certificate (using promo code “High5”) 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.
Spectra CU participates in the CO-OP Shared Branch network and ATM network.
Funding and Other Details
The following information was obtained in a conversation with CSR.
- Funding – ACH or Shared Branch transfer.
- CO-OP Shared Branch Network – Yes.
- Dividends – compounded/credited monthly; dividends can be credited to the Share Certificate 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 6.64% (excellent) based on September 30, 2022 data. In the past year, Spectra CU has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $7.25 million, an above average annual growth rate of 1.51%. 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 more than 26,000 members and assets in excess of $588 million.
How the 60-Month High5 Share Certificate 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, no banks or credit unions have higher rates than currently offered on the Spectra Credit Union 60-Month High5 Share Certificate. The following table compares the 60-Month High5 Share Certificate to the two highest-rate CDs from other credit unions and the two highest-rate CDs from banks.
|APY||CD Term (Early Withdrawal Penalty)||Credit Union/Bank|
|5.22%||60-Month High5 Share Certificate (EWP=365 days)||Spectra Credit Union|
|4.70%||60-Month CD (EWP=180 days)||Seattle Bank|
|4.69%||Senior Citizens 60-Month CD (EWP=180 days)||State Bank of India (IL)|
|4.65%||36-59 Month CD (EWP=greater of $50 or 365 days)||Credit Human|
|4.63%||5-Year Fixed CD (EWP=600 days)||Lafayette Federal Credit Union|
|3.14%||60-Month Share Certificate (EWP=365 days)||Spectra Credit Union|
How the 48-Month High5 Share Certificate 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, no banks or credit unions have higher rates than currently offered on the Spectra Credit Union 48-Month High5 Share Certificate. The following table compares the 48-Month High5 Share Certificate to the two highest-rate CDs from other credit unions and the two highest-rate CDs from banks.
|APY||CD Term (Early Withdrawal Penalty)||Credit Union/Bank|
|5.17%||48-Month High5 Share Certificate (EWP=365 days)||Spectra Credit Union|
|5.00%||48-Month Fixed CD (EWP=lesser of all accrued dividends or 25% of maturity dividends)||University Federal Credit Union|
|4.90%||49-Month Share Certificate Special (EWP=365 days)||NASA Federal Credit Union|
|4.65%||48-Month CD (EWP=180 days)||Seattle Bank|
|4.49%||48-Month CD (EWP=360 days)||First Internet Bank|
|3.09%||48-Month Share Certificate (EWP=365 days)||Spectra Credit Union|
The above information and rates are accurate as of 3/4/2023.
To look for the best CD rates, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to our CD Rates Table page.
If you buy the High5 60m CD and you have direct deposit $500, you will get 5.22% APY (Rate=3.10% + extra 2%).
1) Do you get 5.22% from the day the CD is opened or only when the first $500 direct deposit hits the checking account?
2) Is this extra 2% guaranteed for the entire CD term as long as you have $500 direct deposit? Let's say High5 promotion ends 3 months from now, at which time do we still get the extra 2%? In other words, do we get the extra 2% only when the promo is still in effect?
3) Does the direct deposit need to be from employer?
4) If you miss just one month of direct deposit, do you just get 3.10% (without extra 2%) for that month or do you get 3.10% for the remaining of the CD term (not going back to 5.22% even if you resume direct deposit the following month).