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Select PenFed Members Can Reserve CDs with Yields from 3.50% to 5.00%


Update: The reservation end date is now 9/30/2010.

I received the details of PenFed's CD promotion called "Watch it Grow in 2011". Unfortunately, PenFed calls it a "special test offer to a select portion of our membership only." It appears those who have PenFed CDs that are maturing in October are receiving this offer. Those members should receive the offer in the mail with the notice about their maturing CDs. I just received the notice in the mail for my PenFed CD that's maturing on October 1st. I've scanned the inserts and placed them into this PDF.

One thing that's unusual about this offer is that you must select to have the CD closed with the funds transferred to your PenFed savings or checking account. For the start date of the new CD, you have to select a day in January 2011. I called PenFed this evening, and according to the CSR, you don't have to leave the funds in your PenFed savings or checking account during this time. You just have to ensure the funds are in your PenFed savings or checking account within 48 hours of the start date of the new CD.

The big news with this promo is a 5.00% APY CD. However, it's a new 10-year term which is a very long term. The other two CDs include a 3.50% APY 5-year CD and a 4.25% APY 7-year CD.

The 10-year CD is not yet available to members. According to the CSR, it will be available to all members starting this January. When it becomes available in January, it probably won't be 5.00%. However, if it's 75 basis points over the regular 7-year CD rate, it may still be a good deal. According to the CSR, the 10-year CD has the same early withdrawal penalty as the 7-year CD: one year of interest.

Another downside for this deal is that eligible members are limited to the amount they can contribute to these special CDs. According to the small print in the insert that I received in the mail, it states "The new certificate amount cannot exceed the balance of your maturing certificate - that is, no additional funds can be added."

The small print also states that the offer is subject to change without notice. As we learned last year, these promos can end early. Last November PenFed launched a Certificate Reservation program that ended only days after it was first published. Those who were late received rates 25 basis points lower than those who jump on the deal early.

In this case they CD reservation period will end either on 10/31/2010 or until the promotion amount is depleted. PenFed is listing the real time total funds available on the first page of the certificate reservations page when you are logged in. In this snapshot that I took, it was at $237,554,543.92. It started at $240 million.

Also mentioned in the snapshot is that you can cancel the reservation with no penalty. According to the website, "if you decide to cancel prior to purchasing your certificate, all it takes is one step and there is NO penalty."

So for those who are eligible, is this deal worth it? And which is the best term? The concern is that rates will shoot up in the next few years, and you'll be stuck in the long-term low-rate CD. However, you can always make an early withdrawal with a penalty. If you factor in the penalty, the 10-year CD becomes the best deal if you close the CD from year 3 to 7. Even if you close the 10-year CD at year 2, the resulting APY after taking into account the penalty is very competitive compared to 2-year CDs (2.47% APY). However, if you close the CD any time during the first year, you'll earn no interest. At least with PenFed CDs, they don't eat into the principal.

I've calculated the approximate APYs that would result if you made early withdrawals from these CDs. These are listed in the table below.

Approximate Yields After Early Withdrawal Penalties

Year of Early Withdrawal PenFed's 10-year 5.00% CD promo
PenFed's 7-year 4.25% CD promo
PenFed's 5-year 3.50% CD promo
year 1 0.00% 0.00% 1.75%
year 2 2.47% 2.11% 2.62%
year 3 3.31% 2.82% 2.91%
year 4 3.73% 3.18% 3.06%
year 5 3.98% 3.39% 3.50% (no penalty)
year 6 4.15% 3.54% n/a
year 7 4.27% 4.25% (no penalty)
year 8 4.36% n/a n/a
year 9 4.43% n/a n/a
year 10 5.00% (no penalty)
n/a n/a


Other Long-Term CD Deals

This is similar to the table I did for PenFed's current 7-year and 5-year CDs in this post. I also included Ally's 5-year CD (the CD rate has recently dropped). Please refer to that post for more details about PenFed.

Discover Bank also has a 10-year CD with only a 9-month early withdrawal penalty. However, the yield is much lower than PenFed's 10-year CD. It's currently only 3.50% APY. I reviewed this deal in my Discover Bank CD review post.

For more long-term CD rates, please refer to our 6+ Year CD Rates table.

Related Pages: CD rates, IRA rates

Related Posts

Anonymous   |     |   Comment #1
On the reservation page, it states that rates are accurate as of 01/01/2011, which I presume is a holiday, so are these rates guaranteed through January?
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #2
I have a CD due in Oct and just received my renewal notice, but did not get this special promotion offer.  I'm stuck with their regular rates
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #3
To Anonymous #2.  No you're not struck.  You didn't cash the CD in yet.  Call them and reqests this offer.  I'd bet that you will get it!  The notice you received is just letting you know that your CD is getting ready to mature.  You can change the reinvests options anytime prior to your maturity.

Hope this helps.
scottj   |     |   Comment #4
"I have a CD due in Oct and just received my renewal notice, but did not get this special promotion offer.  I'm stuck with their regular rates"

My CD matures on 9/29 and my renewal notice did not mention this promo, but when I logged in and went to certificate options it had the promotion. So you need to check there. Also total for my maturing CD is about $118k but I was able to reserve 2, $100k 10 year CDs. Nice that you can watch the rate environment  and edit term or amount before Jan 1. Another thing is it seems the money must be available and not just there, anyone know hold times at Penfed?
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #6
If you are a Pen Fed member with ANY kind of CD (not just one maturing in the fall), check your certificate options tab for the promotion.  Thanks to scottj, I did this and was able to reserve one of these new CDs for January.  My existing CD is newly opened and doesn't mature until 2017, but I was still able to get the deal. 
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #7
Anonymous #6, not sure what you mean by the "certificate options tab", can you further explain.  Would like to get in on one of these.
Anonymous 6
Anonymous 6   |     |   Comment #8
When you're in the main menu, the menu bar shows "account options."  Click on that.   Then you will see a list of "account services."  One of the choices is "certificate options."  When I click on that, it displays a yellow box that says "certificate reservations" on the righthand side of the page under "promotions."  Click on that and it should let you reserve one of these CDs.
rjm   |     |   Comment #9
I have CDs maturing in Sept & Oct and have not gotten any notice regarding this. I did get a letter for my sept one a week or so ago alerting me that it was ending and they would be sending me a check.

I WISH I had the option of one of these specials.

Found "certificate options" but its only offering up to 7 years on both CDs.

I was hoping for at least the historical .25% bonus for renewing.

Anyone think calling would do any good ?
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #10
Found them online under account actions & certificate options.

Did not get a paper notice with my recent letter about my Sept expiring CD. (Also have an OCT)

My question is what do we do in the meantime, take the money out & then resend it ?


Tried to post with my initials but my posts didnt show up.
plowking   |     |   Comment #11
It's Official: 6.00% 3 to 7 Year CDs at Penfed That aws sept 2007 I had the same decision to make in 2007 go 3 or go 7 years . I kick myself for not going for the 7 year term.My CD will mature in OCT 2010 and this time I`m going long. No regrets.

Anonymous #7
Anonymous #7   |     |   Comment #14
Anonymous #6, I see it now!  Thanks for the help.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #15
I can verify that this is available to at least some members that do not have a certificate expiring this fall.  I was able to see the promotion in my online account and made a successful reservation.

rjm   |     |   Comment #16
Did anyone reserve more than they have coming from an old CD ?

We can take the money out and then send it back on on Jan, 1, right ?
the thinman
the thinman   |     |   Comment #17
I called and their csr said their computer has a temporary 'glitch' that allows anyone who sees the promo button for this offer to reserve any amount.  However, they are aware of this glitch and will later fix it to limit your actual new promo cd to a maximum of the amount of your maturing penfed cd that matures in Sept/Oct if you see the promo button.

So if you see the promo for this offer when you login, your actual promo cd will be limited to an amount equal to your mature sept/oct penfed cd.  This amount will be enforced in January when you fund the new cd.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #18
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #20
I have a cd maturing Sept 20 --  did not receive the offer with my notice of c/d maturing.

Called PenFed-- rep said could not do it------went to options page (as previously suggested)--

was able to sign up for 10 yr  cd. Thanks --Scottj
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #21
I have been with PenFed for years, thanks to Ken and this site.  I have several CDs in my CD ladder with PenFed and have confidence in the credit union.  But now it looks like somebody there really ****ed up with their present CD reservation system.   CRs say one thing, yet the web-site allows another.  Come January there may be a lot of confirmed reserved CDs not honored or will they end up honoring them all?  PenFed had a little fiasco last fall with their advance CD reservation special but not near as big as this one appears to be.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #22
Why do clowns always call up reps and ruin it for everyone? 

It never fails, there's always someone who has to CALL.....
soul sacrifice
soul sacrifice   |     |   Comment #23
hay 22 just ask bozo
tomlawler   |     |   Comment #24
I just reserved $300k for January 1st.  I didn't see any limitations concerning maturing PenFed CDs.  Hopefully they honor this reservation. 
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #25
I just finished speaking with a CSR from Penfed and the promotional certificate reservations are only available to existing customers with maturing Penfed CD's in September/October 2010.  There is currently a glitch in their web site that is allowing all customers to see this offer.  So all of the people who think they are reserving CD's starting in January 2011 will eventually be denied.  Nice try though.  Maybe next time.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #28
No. 26, reserve your CD and let everyone know how you made out in January 2011.
scottj   |     |   Comment #29
You really think by not calling we will slip this mistake by them? I would prefer to know whats going on now and not waiting. I do have a CD maturing in Sept and am more concerned with the amount we can reserve
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #30
Interesting... I logged on and saw no such tab as "account options" on the menu bar... I clicked on every bar there and none took me to certificate options or anything like that.  I have both a 3 year CD that has a ways to go and an IRA cd... anyone else have this problem?
tomlawler   |     |   Comment #31
Anon #28,  I already have reserved a CD (see post #24).  I expect them to honor it.  If not, they are going to have a lot of angry clients. 
tomlawler   |     |   Comment #32
Anon #30:  Log In, Click on Account Actions, and then click Certificate Options.  Offer should appear in upper right.
Wammer   |     |   Comment #33
At this point anyone can get this deal or at least reserve certificates.  I did it for my parents who didn't even have a PenFed account.  I opened a $5 savings account and then bought a $1000 Certificate.  Once you own a certificate you can get to the Certificate Options which shows the promo.  I reserved $150K for them.  If Penfed doesn't honor it then tomlawler is right - lots of customers new and old are going to be angry.  The promo page says they had $240M available and it isn't going that fast.  I expect them to honor it.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #34

Icalled Penfed, they told me yes the reservations are filling slowly.  They told me right now it had to be a cd maturing at Penfed in Oct. They said there is no way to bypass on the internet. So I do not know what is true or not.

Ken maybe you can call your comtact at Penfed to see if they are going to open this up for current Penfed members who have money matiring at other banks.  One chick put me on hold for 10 minutes and never came back. There custimer serice is going down hill.  Anyway this is ****ed up.
tomlawler   |     |   Comment #35
All I know is that I have a confirmation that states one single limitation--the funds need to be present prior to the January 1st date I chose.  "It's that simple" by their own admission.  Now if there is some glitch, and apparently they seem to be aware of it by those of you that called in, then they've had plenty of time to fix it.  They are on the hook as far as I'm concerned.  My advice is to make your own reservation before they set additional limitations. 

Dear Tom Lawler,

Congratulations! You have reserved your Money Market certificate. There is nothing to do now but make sure the funds are available on your funding date. You probably never thought it would be so easy to get a great deal.

The certificate details are as follows:
Term: 10 Year
Open Date: January 1, 2011
Maturity Date: January 1, 2021
Dividend Rate: 4.880%
APY Rate: 5.00%
Funding Account Number: **********
Amount: $300,000.00

You may view or edit your certificate details at any time prior to the open date by logging on to PenFed Online with your username and password at www.penfed.org.

Thank You,
Pentagon Federal Credit Union

Anonymous   |     |   Comment #36
Does anyone know if there's an EASIER process to opening an IRA Certificate than by filling out a form and mailing it in?  I have a Premier Traditional IRA Share account, but no options for opening an IRA Certificate online.  Kind of annoying, I think. 

I can open a regular money market certificate online, though, but not a IRA certificate.  Anyone else got the same problem?


Anonymous   |     |   Comment #37
Unfortunately No.36 you have to download and mail in the required IRA forms from their web site.  This is usually the case when it comes to opening IRA's with most credit unions and banks.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #38
No. 37, so even if you already have an IRA account (in this case a IRA Savings w/ Penfed), you still have to fill out "forms" to open a share certificate? 

That's rather odd.  I thought once you open an IRA account, it's kind of like a brokerage where everything you purchase is within the realm of being an "IRA". 
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #39
Yes No.38 because an IRA savings account is totally different than an IRA certificate and you have to indicate that when you fill out the required mail in application.  They need to know your investment choice each and every time.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #40
Has anyone tried to do more than one 'reservation'??  It appears that you are able to do it but I have not tried. 
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #41
Yes, you can complete more than 1 reservation
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #42
38 and 39,


I currently have a IRA cert with PFCU that matures in a year.  I was still able to RESERVE a similar IRA certificate for Jan with instructions to use that funding account for the new CD.  So, at least for the promotion, it looks like you don't have to send in paperwork for the Jan CD, you just have to have a current CD of the same type of IRA (Roth and/or Traditional) to make the reservation.

Also, if you have a non-IRA CD you can reserve a non-IRA CD, but can't reserve either type of IRA CD.  So, the reservation process requires the exact same type of account with a current valid CD.  At least that's my experience playing with the 2 accounts in the household--  like someone else pointed out, I also made a $1000 CD online (non-IRA), and that's what triggered the ability to do a bigger non-IRA for January.

I also fail to see PFCU reneging on any CDs done even if there is a "glitch".  There is no disclosures online as to amount or requiring a CD to be maturing in Oct.  My guess is they opened this up wide long after the mailing was printed (several months ago most likely). 
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #43

Called Penfed again. they said maybe in January 2011 will be a good 10 year rate open to the public.  This current promotion in a test.
tomlawler   |     |   Comment #44
Yes, this current promo is a test.  It's a test to see if you're smart enough to reserve a 5% CD before they fix their glitch.
rjm   |     |   Comment #46
Are we indeed limited to the amount of our CDs that come due in Sept & Oct ?


I got the promo paperwork in the mail today. Says you must choose your new certificate date before your current certificate expires.

Also says, ANY questions, CALL US !
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #47
I reserved my 3 CDs coming due in October  but they would not allow me to open another CD or add to these. Only good for maturing CDs they said. May take out the money for a few months as the Pen Fed share account only pays .35% and Ally online banking pays 1.29%. What are others doing? Pen Fed will not send to linked account so can only have them send me check or put it in the Pen Fed Share account and then what? If they send me a  check and then put the check into my local checking account and then link it to Ally savings account. About Dec 23rd (is that long enough time for Jan 1st opening of new CD?) have Ally link the money to my checking account and then send check back to Pen Fed Shares account. A pain.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #48


Shame on you. You are clearly attempting to "Game" the system, and are attempting to obtain terms NOT ONLY not complying with the letter of the deal, but not even close to the obvious intent! I not only hope you don't get funded, but I hope they cancel your PEn Fed accounts and membership for such nasty behavior.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #49
To Ken and all other helpful posters, I want to say "Thank you."  Although I have only recently joined PenFed, my online attempt to reserve a piece of this 5%/10yr. action was quick and smooth.  I received the confirming email within an hour, and am encouraged they'll allow the CD to open in January.  This is a great deal which suits my situation perfectly.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #50
i agree with 48 tommy boy needs to be taken down a couple of pegs
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #51
yea  what 48 says u r nasty
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #52
tomlawler   |     |   Comment #53
Make that 7 posts Anon #52, and you probably have more.  At least I identify myself in each post instead of continually hiding behind an anonymous handle.  I make no apologies for reserving a CD online.  Unlike many of you, I didn't receive a letter in the mail.  My only Penfed CD matures in 2011, so when I  went online and checked on it, the offer appeared w/o restrictions--and I gladly took it.   How does this make me a "gamer"?   PenFed has $240 Million devoted to this promo, which they have very poorly defined.  I've staked my claim for what I'll have to invest in January, and I encourage others to do the same.
scottj   |     |   Comment #54
I agree with TL, Like him I received no mention of this offer in my  notice for my CD that matures 9/29/10. I followed the instructions Penfed has online when logged into my account to reserve a promo CD. No mention of max's or if my 9/29 qualifies.  You would think that after a week of CSR's saying there is a mistake it would have been corrected online. The CDs show as pending and I'm sure Penfed can  get out of opening since nothing is signed yet, But they will have some very angry customers who might have  rights to go after them for damages. Could just say you had the opportunity to open a CD somewhere now and lost it waiting because you were told by Penfed in a message that a CD is reserved for you. 
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #62
To #47, I was just planning to push/pull from my Share savings account with Ally.  Sending checks makes it overly complicated.

1.  Have closing CD put into Penfed share account.

2. Pull $$ using Ally.

3. In late December, push $$ using Ally back into Penfed share account.

For those that don't have a CD closing before January, just use step #3.  ;-)

Chris Farley
Chris Farley   |     |   Comment #73
Right now/Your Mama's house
Chris Farley
Chris Farley   |     |   Comment #75
Speaking of needles, have you finished patching those pin holes in your blow-up dolls?
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #76
It is very sad to see how this site has turned into a SlopBlog.

Wish Ken never went to get  so much national publicity and attract the likes of those

posting above.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #77
Agreed.  This new spam device is obviously not working.
Robert   |     |   Comment #80
Called Pen Fed and reserve a 10 year 5% CD. An interesting comment from the customer service rep was I'm now reserve for the CD unless the program is cancelled by the Pen Fed board in the future. I ask why the board would cancel the program. He didn't know why they would cancel, but Pen Fed reserves the right to cancel the program.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #81
Wouldn't be surprised if they pull the entire program.  Their current CDs dropped .25% today.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #85
PenFed pulled a similar promo last year after just 1 month.  On the bright side, they honored the reservations already made.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #86

I was able to talk to supervisor and got my reservations.  NOTE: They are going to fix the glitch in the system tomorrow Sat, 9/4/10.  So anyone wanting to do it should make reservation today.

Anonymous   |     |   Comment #87
#86, what were you able to get them to reserve for you?  IRA CD or regular CD? 

Also, who on Earth is going to work on a long weekend Saturday to fix a "so called" glitch?
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #88
I recently changed the start date for my Penfed 10Y 5% CD reservations. 

When I did this, it caused the count down number to decrease by the exact amount of the CD value of my reserved CDs.  This amount should have been previously deducted.  So, I have to conclude the countdown number is irrelevant and/or not accurate.


Anonymous   |     |   Comment #89
for # 87 it was a regulard cd and I tried to log in and looks like they fixed the glitch
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #90
Yup, it appears that this deal is history...unless of course you've got one of those things coming due in Fall. 
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #91
It looks like the so called web site glitch has finally been corrected.  No longer does it appear when you log into your account.  Is anyone else still seeing the promo or not.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #92
I've been a member of PenFed for almost 10 years and I find it highly objectionable that they would offer very competitive rates based soley on the maturity date of a member's CD, and only make this known to those specific members.  I thought this credit union held itself to higher standards than this.  Frankly, I wonder if what they'te doing would hold up in court.  In any event, I'm sure that if all of the members were informed of how they are treating a select few and of the criteria by which they were doing it, there would be an uproar.  My local credit union would NEVER think of doing something like this.  They would have to have armed security at the next annual meeting!
lou   |     |   Comment #93
To poster # 88  I didn't understand your comment about a count down number being deducted. Would you please clarify what you meant.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #94
Pen Feds eems to be confused also. Each CSR tells me something else. I did reserve in the promotion for the CDs maturing in Oct. After 3 different answers, I believe the last one was accurate. Can NOT reserve any other new money. She said she checked with the manager and any other answers I received were wrong. NO new money. No new money can be added to October maturing CD amount. If any one has that set up she said, Pen Fed will NOT accept it when you process it after Jan 1st. Also still have 2 diff. answers concerning the maturing CDs. All 4 CSR told me that when it matures I must put it into Pen Fed account like checking or share account and it comes out of there when January rolls around. 2 CSR told me I have to leave it there for the whole time. 2 CRP told me I can take it out of my Pen Fed share account and temporarly put it anywhere as long as it is back in my share account 48 hours before it gets set up in an. Go figure!  When I go with the promption page Pen Fed send me the instrucion 3 says " Select the option to "close at maturity" and have your certificate proceeds deposited into Pen Fed savings or checking account"    no 5 says "Ensure that the January 2011 opening funds are in the designated PenFed account 48 hours prior to selected open date"

So I think you can switch out to get higher interest rates elsewhere. Will depend I think on how much you have. At $36000 it probably is not worth the hassle. If I had $300000 it would probab;ly be worth it.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #95
#94, maybe you should keep calling back.  Stay on hold with the CSR until January and keep asking them about "new money" and whether or not they are absolutely sure they really, really, really want to be offering a 10 year CD @ 5%.  In fact, you may want to provide them with news articles about how the Fed is going to keep the interest rates low for "an extended" period of time.

Maybe if you annoy them enough, they'll just cancel your membership and ask YOU to pay THEM for all the time you wasted with their CSRs. 

People like you need to be paying interest, not the other way around.  Ask them to give you a loan for 5%. 
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #96

Is that you Snippy?
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #102
Thank you for all your work, Ken. We have received our reservation and were able to increase the funding amount. Very courteous staff as usual. They are @ just under 167 million.
Andy   |     |   Comment #104
Hmmm... so for those that reserved their 10 year CDs using the "glitch" that didn't have any money coming due this fall, what do you think our chances are of being able to "get" one of those CDs come January? I have no CDs coming due this fall but still reserved a 10-year CD using the glitch. So far it still shows me as having it reserved when I log into PenFed. I guess we all just have our collective fingers crossed eh?
PenfedCU Customer
PenfedCU Customer   |     |   Comment #105
I was able to reserve some CD's beyond the amount I have coming due in October. I hope it works in January, but from everyting I hear its going to go through.

If by chance I have to cancel the 10 year CD before the first year does anyone know what the penalty will be? Will it be a year interest? Or just the amount of interest earned? for example 6 months interest, if it was cancelled within the first 6 months.

Also once you have a CD open, can you change your dividend option to pay the interest to an account vs have it re-invested into the CD?

Thanks All

Anonymous   |     |   Comment #106
I believe that Pen Fed does not touch principle if you break a CD.
OPA   |     |   Comment #112
GREECE IS TOAst who cares beam me up lets do lunch on beacon hill
mark 3:16
mark 3:16   |     |   Comment #114
IT IS Easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than  a rich man to get into heaven
Paoli   |     |   Comment #119
# 118  At least Fluffy knows its 2011 and those nice rates are for 2010!  Fluffy will have to wait a bit longer for his chewy biscuits and so will I.  Thanks anyway for trying to help Fluffy.  Penfed probably wouldn't accept me as a member.  No military experience!
TAMIbien   |     |   Comment #127
paoili not that you will respond  pero how did you join if no military experience see  118
Paoli   |     |   Comment #128
Tam:  #118 has been deleted but if you still want to know how I got to join Penfed, it was by paying $15.00 to join something called "Voices for America's Troops".  That got me in as a member.  They also have Shared Branches in most cities  (especially mine) so everything goes smoothly.  It was worth the $15.00 to get in as a member.  
scottj   |     |   Comment #141
Boy arent you the busy troll today