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PenFed Extends the 5% CDs into November


Pentagon Federal Credit Union has extended the 5% APY Money Market Certificates into November. The terms for these 5% CDs continue to be 3, 4, 5 and 7 years.

I had concerns that these would not be extended. Early in October I had received a PenFed email stating that money for these CDs had to be on deposit by 10/31. Based on this and the latest Fed rate cuts, it seemed likely that 5% CDs would be over in November. Then a reader received word on Thursday from a PenFed CSR of the extension. I wasn't able to confirm this Friday, but I called again this morning, and the CSR said that these 5% CDs are indeed scheduled to last through November.

One thing to note is that they no longer include a date range below their CD rate table. Last year when they were offering 6% CDs, they did end them in the middle of the month. So I wouldn't consider it a 100% guarantee that it'll last through all of November. If they receive more deposits than expected, they may end it early.

The CDs have a minimum deposit of $1,000. They're also available as Coverdell Education Savings Certificates and as IRA Certificates. For more details about PenFed's CDs and joining PenFed, please refer to this PenFed review post. PenFed makes it easy for anyone to join and open accounts online. If you don't qualify based on military, employer or family, you can become eligible by joining the National Military Family Association (NMFA). Please refer to How to Join Overview Page for details. Joining NMFA and Penfed can be done at the same time all online. The yearly membership for NMFA is $20, but your membership in the association does not need to be maintained to continue as a Penfed member.

In addition to high CD rates, PenFed has several other competitive banking products including a cash back Visa credit card with 5% cash back for gas purchases and auto loans with very low rates (see post).

PenFed's financial rating for soundness at Bankrate.com has improved since last year. It's now 4 stars (sound) based on 6/30/08 data (up from 3 stars last year). PenFed's rating at BauerFinancial remains at 5 stars (superior) based on 6/30/08 data.

PenFed is one of the largest credit unions in the US with $12.2 billion in assets and 825,527 members. It's federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 227).

Thanks to the reader who first reported on this 5% extension.
Related Pages: CD rates, IRA rates

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Anonymous   |     |   Comment #1
My experience with different credit unions is that the board meets the first Tuesday or Wednesday of the month. This is when rates usually get changed, so it sometimes takes a couple days.
Banking Guy
Banking Guy   |     |   Comment #2
Yes, I've seen the same thing. The board typically votes each month for the next month's interest rates proposed by the management. Unfortunately, the PenFed CSRs haven't been as open in revealing the board's decision for the next month (at least for me).
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #3
For the couple of years that I've been following PenFed interest rates, with few exceptions, the new rates have taken effect on the last Thursday of the month and stayed in effect until the day before the last Thursday of the next month.
Bozo   |     |   Comment #4
I was quite impressed with PedFed's CSR when I spoke with her last month.

Although I don't have a CD coming due this month, if I did, I'd certainly think about PenFed.

Just my $.02.

Slug   |     |   Comment #5
I've had the PenFed credit card all this year and have loved it. The CSR has been top notch everytime I've talked to them. If they don't know the answer, they do a good job of putting you in touch with someone who does.

Also this week I was shopping for a mortgage and PenFed has a competitive 30yr FR with no origination that anyone should consider. I think you need a credit score over 680 to qualify, but it was the only competition that had my mortgage broker sweating.