About Ken Tumin

Ken Tumin founded the Bank Deals Blog in 2005 and has been passionately covering the best deposit deals ever since. He is frequently referenced by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and other publications as a top expert, but he is first and foremost a fellow deal seeker and member of the wonderful community of savers that frequents DepositAccounts.

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2.17%$1k-PenFed Credit Union7 Year Money Market Certificate
2.12%$1k-PenFed Credit Union5 Year Money Market Certificate
Accounts mentioned in this post. Rates as of August 18, 2017.

PenFed CD Update for January


Update: Only those who reserved CDs in September were able to qualify for these 10-year certificates. PenFed is not currently offering a promotion on new money 10-year certificates to any member.

Those who reserved CDs at PenFed in their Watch it Grow promotion should be seeing their CDs take effect (based on when they specified the start date). A reader had reported being told that those who did not qualify for these CDs may not have their CDs funded. This does not appear to be correct. Here's a comment from one reader who has verified that all CDs are being funded:

For all those worried about PenFed's 10yr CD promo, fear not. I had reserved through the glitch starting 1 Jan 2011. It is now posted as one of my CDs. Note: I had no CD maturing in Sep or Oct or whatever those stupid promo rules stipulated. Was all new money.

This corresponds to what I was told by my PenFed contact in September.

Those who reserved these CDs are fortunate because rates have continued to fall since the time this promotion was announced. PenFed released its new January rates today, and the 7-year and 5-year CD rates have fallen by 25 basis points.

I'm afraid the 10-year CD is still not publicly available. In September I was told they had planned to make this 10-year CD available to all members in January, but recently I was told this has been delayed. In the CD reservation promotion, the 10-year CD had rates 75 basis points higher than the 7-year CD (5.00% APY vs 4.25% APY). Hopefully, when the 10-year CDs are available to all members, there will be a similar premium on the rates. The 10-year term is long, but I was told the early withdrawal penalty would be the same as the 7-year CD.

Below are the new PenFed CD yields for January 2011. I've noted the old yields in parenthesis.

  • 3.00% APY 7-year CD (was 3.25%)
  • 2.50% APY 5-year CD (was 2.75%)
  • 2.25% APY 4-year CD (no change)
  • 1.75% APY 3-year CD (no change)
  • 1.50% APY 2-year CD (no change)
  • 1.26% APY 1-year CD (no change)

Minimum deposit is $1,000. The rates are also available in an IRA. These yields are listed in PenFed's Money Market Certificates page as of 1/01/2011. Even though PenFed typically maintains CD rates through the month, they no longer guarantee it. For more details about PenFed CDs, please refer to my PenFed CD review.

PenFed Membership

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.

Branch Locations

Accounts can be opened online, but for those who prefer opening accounts in an office, PenFed has branches in several parts of the country including Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey, New York, Colorado, North Carolina, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Missouri and Texas.

Financial/NCUA Info

PenFed has an overall health score at DepositAccounts.com of 4 out of 5 with a Texas Ratio of 7.07% (excellent) based on September 2010 data. It's one of the largest credit unions in the nation with $14.87 billion in assets and $11.79 billion in deposits. Please refer to our financial overview of Pentagon Federal Credit Union for more details. It's federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 227).

Searching for the Best CD Rates

To search for the best nationwide rates and the best rates in your state, please refer to the following tables at DepositAccounts.com:

Related Pages: CD rates, IRA rates

Related Posts

Anonymous   |     |   Comment #1
I checked my Pen Fed account this money and all of my reserved 10 years CD's received the 5% rate.  Thank you Pen Fed for the promotion and honoring it.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #2
PenFed is a big helper for savers. Thanks.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #3
Yup, got my CD's too - reserved through the "trick" several months ago.  thanks!
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #4
I had a Roth IRA reservation that could only be funded by calling.  The CSR stated that the promotion was only for people who had a CD maturing at a specific time and I didn't qualify.  I stated that it allowed me to make a reservation so I must qualify.  In an irritated voice she asked me to prove it by giving her the CD number.  I demanded that she transfer me to someone that will honor the reservation.  The next person funded it without question.  I would love to hear her reaction to those with a $500,000 reservation!
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #5
I wonder how many people here that were worried about PenFed not honoring their commitment through their CD reservation system will not honor their own personal commitment and request to cash in the CDs before they mature in ten years if rates sky rocket long before then.

I have been a PenFed member for years, thanks to Ken and this site.  And also have my own CD reserved for this month.  I believe PenFed is one of the BEST credit unions around.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #6
Ten years is a long time and rates most likely will rise during that amount of time, but I wouldn't mind my lowest CD to be 5%.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #7
@Anonymous #4, where do you see the CD number for the reserved CD? I can't find the CD number for my reserved CD. It showed the founding account number, certificate status (pending, as it won't open until 1/10), but no CD number.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #10
#7 - She wanted the CD number of the qualifying CD not the reserved one.  She was trying to deny me the promotion because I got in through the glitch.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #8
Regarding the comment of Anonymous #5, I believe that a CD is a simple contract the terms of which enable the holder to withdraw pursuant to the withdrawal terms of the CD at any time for any reason.  There is no personal commitment not to withdraw.  The only commitment is on both parties to comply with the terms of the contract.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #9
Penfed is the BEST.  2nd TO NONE.

...BTW, no thanks to you the *(#@&@!!! that kept calling them.   

All thanks goes to Ken for sharing such a valuable deposit opportunity. 
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #12
Good news......original cd was only a third of this amount.:


Congratulations! You are now the proud owner of a new Money Market certificate. Thank you for taking part in our certificate reservation program and we hope you found it a great experience. If you have a minute please click here to take a survey about the program.

The certificate details are as follows: Certificate Account Number: ******
Term: 10 Year
Open Date: January 1, 2011
Maturity Date: January 1, 2021
Dividend Rate: 4.880%
APY Rate: 5.00%
Amount: $300,000.00
Thaiguyinla   |     |   Comment #16
#12, your info above says you opened a $300,000 CD or CDs with Penfed... The current FDIC insurance limit is $250,000 per institution (not per account). Did you open an account that went beyond the FDIC limit, or stay under it through some other means such as joint accounts or something?
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #13
Anonymous #6,

I'm with you.
Bozo   |     |   Comment #14
Have not a clue how PenFed expects to make money in the short term on these accounts. However, I wish you all glad tidings of the New Year, as it might be many years before rates nudge over 5%. I locked in a smidge at 3.49%, and that doesn't look too shabby these days. I cannot believe I would ever say 3% was a good deal. Ugggh.

Anonymous   |     |   Comment #17
Mine opened already too, despite the fact that I reserved it for January 3rd.  Good thing I funded it early!
BluBaroness   |     |   Comment #18
Happy New Year Ken & all!

Have been following your blog for years & getting $ deals, like CDs & rewards checking, I couldn't find elsewhere.

Regarding PenFed, I got a CD (thanks to your blog) that serendipitously matured as the 10 year reservations became available. Simply transferred CD $ into regular share to wait the transfer into January CD.

Got an e-mail stating I was NOT qualified for the new CD! Called yesterday, as e-mail claimed if this was my 2nd notice of refusal I had NO recourse. Despite holiday, I got a live fellow who helped me thru the glitch. My original matured CD was under $30,000, the max for new 10 year CD, but I had earned a pittance of interest in the last couple of months which is not eligible for transfer into new CD. So they refused to honor reservation, even tho entire account is still under $30,000.

The phone fellow said I AM eligible for the 10 year CD for the original matured CD $ only & put it into effect. I will check my account on Monday & see if his claim sticks.

Please tell, #1, 3 & 4, how you were able to bust the $30,000 ceiling? Was it due to Roth IRA, multiple accounts under different family names??
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #20
To BluBaroness - post #18,

I’m Anonymous #1.  You asked in your above post how I broke through the 30k ceiling.  Well, I didn’t.  I am a “little fish” in the financial world.  I had a few CD’s mature last Fall and I reserved the new 5% rate for them.  Their combined total is less than 30k.  I have no problems staying under the FIDC insured rates :-)

Happy New Years to all!
lou   |     |   Comment #21
Thaiguyinla, deposit insurance is calculated by the type of the account. Individual, joint and pod accounts are insured separately and if used properly one can insure a geat deal more than $250,000. For example, a joint account with two beneficiaries can have a million dollars of insurance. If you have only one child, you could apportion 99.9% of the beneficiary interest to that child and the balance to a friend and still qualify for the million dollars. You can do this for up to 5 beneficiaries. The law was changed in 2008 after the demise of Indymac, because the FDIC had great difficulty monitoring these accounts to see if they were done correctly, so they simplified the rules. Very few people are actually aware of the new rules. Ken reported on them at the time, but he may want to devote a thread to provide a refesher course.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #22
To BluBaroness, You're talking rubbish. I got all my reserved CD honored and got my CD accounts number for each one of them as well! My new CDs are wayyyyyy over my CD that expired last October.

I don't understand why some adults can be so juveniles. If you're not qualified, well life is not always fair. It's wrong to spread lies.


Anonymous   |     |   Comment #24
Perhaps their reason to delay the 10 year CD to the public was the recent spike in 10 year Treasury rates.  In recent weeks, an apt timer could have purchased 10 year Treasuries at nearly 3.5%.  Offering a 3.75% CD in that environment is decent, but nothing amazing.

Anonymous   |     |   Comment #25
"Your Reserved Certificate Was Rejected"  :-(

I actually qualified - my CD closed in October, I had the insert advertising the offer and successfully reserved a CD (for an amount just a bit less than it was worth at closing) before the deadline.  It was supposed to open on the 1st, but I got this E-mail instead.

Not fair!
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #26
@#22, I think it's OK for BluBaroness to post what happened to him/her. It seems #25 has CD rejected too. That means not everyone got the same deal. It's good that you had your CD opened with 3X of your qualified CD, I am hoping the same will happen to me too. I reserved a little bit higher than my qualified CD too, and it's in reserved CD record. So, I hope I am as luck as you to get this CD through :)
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #27
My question is, "Why are some people getting emails from Pen Fed, and other are not?"  I reserved a CD in the Fall and it is now showing up in my account as a ten year CD.  Yet I never received an email letting me know that my reservation was honored or denied.  Does this mean that Pen Fed can cancel my CD and send me an email telling me that I didn't qualify?
Anyone's input on this would be appreciated!
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #28
To the author of Post #22

I don't think the author of post #18 was talking rumbish.  He was telling us what Pen Fed told him.  You may have your account numbers, but your CD's may still be pulled if you violated the rules of the promotion.  I hope you are able to keep your CD's, but it's looking like many of us aren't going to be able to, even though we play by the book.  It almost seems the luck of the draw.  Life's not fair, we better get used to it.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #29
Follow-up from author of post #25...it seems that PenFed's system made some sort of error.  The rep couldn't even say why it was rejected, but said that she will get it opened and it should show up online soon.  So, if you have a CD rejected, call them.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #30
To : BluBaroness, From : Anon #22

I would like to apologize for jumping into conclusion too fast and offending you.

I hope your problem would be resolved to your satisfaction. Good luck.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #31
To anonymous #30 from anonymous #28,

Great post...thank you!!!  "Let there be peace on Earth and let it begin with me."
BluBaroness   |     |   Comment #32
Re: my post #18 & resulting comments-

 Thanks for the apology, #30. I was taken aback. My purpose was not to whine, certainly not to spread rumors, but let others with similar "declined" e-mails know a possible reason & resolution.

   In my case -TA DA!!- new 10 year CD @ 5%APY from PenFed, dated 1/01/11, is now in my portfolio. New CD only contains the original matured CD value.

   So #25, try asking PenFed if refusal is due to additional deposits or accumulated interest since CD matured in October.

  My question about how some got around the $25,000 limit is of interest & not yet answered.

 Thanks all!

P.S. #28, I'm a Baroness = female. well. ok, not really a baroness...but really female.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #33
To #32 from #28,

Well, I have never have been accused of being very bright :-)

Thank you for the correction.
BluBaroness   |     |   Comment #34
I mean $30,000.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #35
I had a cd reservation for next week and transferred in the funds to cover it a week early in anticipation of possible clearing delays.  It posted the next day and the full amount showed as available.  So I risked editing my reservation and changed it to the soonest date available which was yesterday.  After waiting all day yesterday to see if it would go through, it finally showed up this morning.  

Anonymous   |     |   Comment #52
#35:  Thank you for sharing your early-funding experience. It enboldened me to transfer the funds early, and, as you reported, my new CD opened exactly on the amended date. 
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #36
...reserved twenty-five, $10,000 CDs - followed all guidelines - CDs opened without a hitch.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #37
Same experience as Anon #35.  Reserved CD for 1/14/11, transferred funds in early.  Edited opening date.  CD opened with no problems. Account email alert received, with a survey request. 

Answered survey positively, and told PenFed that I appreciated their support to savers.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #38
once again penfed has shown that it does not know what a cu is. It is an Inst owned by all members and all are entitled to the same benefits such as spec cd rates.a cu cannot offer a spec rate to only some of its members.They did the same thing last year an nearly caused a riot.I call on all owner members at the next mgt meeting to vote a change get rid of QUINN and is unfair idiot polices We all own the the cu . What is good for one is good for all
lou   |     |   Comment #39
#38  You sound upset that you missed this promotion back in August. Listen, if they had to make their promotions available to everyone, they probably wouldn't offer them. Kind of like cutting off your nose to spite your face. Rather than preventing them from offering any promotions, be ready to take advantage of them when they become available. I am not thrilled with their selective promotions, but it is better than the alternative. I wish the computer glitch wasn't necessary, and the promotion was offered that way without the glitch.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #42
#39 You stated, "be ready to take advantage of them when they become available", but how can one take advantage of it if one doesn't have a CD maturing in a certain month?  Pen Fed may as well offer a 5% CD to everyone born in February.  That wouldn't seem fair to the people born in the other eleven months.  I think that poster #38 has a valid point.
lou   |     |   Comment #43
#42...  you have a very weak argument just because you didn't have an existing CD at Penfed. Many credit unions give deals to members with maturing CD's to get them to renew instead of taking their money elsewhere. This is nothing new and not something unique to Penfed. You could have purchased a CD back in August, and you would have been eligible for the promotion. It is really stupefying that people are angry at Penfed, one of the best CU in the country, where many of us have been able to take advantage of their great rates for years. If you want to vent your anger, do it at Bank of America, Chase or Wells Fargo,  the banking behemoths that really do not give a f**k about their customers.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #44
#43 Nope, you're wrong.  I would have purchased a CD back in August if they told me I would receive the 5% rate in January.  It was only for those who had CD's maturing that qualified (something you can't foresee a year in advance!).  I'm happy you got your CD's and for everyone else who did, but it would have been nice to let all of the members of the credit union participate.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #40
#38... I guess penfed will offer other good deals. You obviously found this "back door" one to late too take advantage. ALOT of people got in on a goof-up by PF. It was intended to be a loyalty reward ...right? They may intend to make a similar deal for NEW CDs .
lou   |     |   Comment #41
#38  I one ohter thing - it is laughable that you want to have Quinn fired; he may be the best CU administrator in the country. They consistently have the best CD and loan rates, which they are able to offer because they have one of the most efficient and low-cost operations among all credit unions. I don't know another credit union anywhere that treats their members as well as Penfed.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #45
P.S. to my comments #42 & #44.  I agree with lou in which he states that Pen Fed is a great credit union and that Mr. Quinn is doing a great job.  My point was that every member should have been allowed to open a 5% CD.  Especially after reading some of these posts who took advantage of a computer glitch to open several at high amounts.
lou   |     |   Comment #46
#45  I read a couple of the comments by posters back then who did purchase a CD for the $1,000 minimum in August and found that they were eligible for the promtions as a result. They did this online and did not go through the CSR. Too many people believe everything the CSR's tell them.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #47
lou, Thank you for correcting me.  I was unaware of this.  And yes, I agree that you can't believe everything the CSR's say.  It seems to be the luck of the draw when it comes to CSR's.  Some really know what they are talking about, others are lacking in their knowledge. Still, I believe Pen Fed is a great credit union that offers some great deals.

Thank you for your comments.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #48
I was able to edit the CD details for the reserved CD prior to the opening date.  I used this feature to maneuver through a funding glitch when I discovered too late that I could not ACH transfer in the $$ and my mailed in check couldn't arrive in time to be credited to my regular share account to fund.  I edited the opening date to a later day, and voila, the rate and everything else stayed the same and it funded on the newly changed date.  At that point I wondered if I might be able to edit the amount to increase it since this is an even better deal than it was when reserved, but I didn't try it. 
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #49
I got a letter from PenFed telling me my "sensitive  information was accessed and/or obtained". Furthermore, "This information may have included your name, address, Social Security number, credit card number and/or debit card number. No personal identification numbers (PIN) or password were accessed and/or obtained."

They are sending out new credit cards with new numbers. That protects them especially because they are responsible for unauthorized charges.

They also gave a free two-year subscription to a credit monitoring service. That is the least they can do in my opinion. I am not happy about this. I am so careful with my personal information and then a bank lets it out. I monitor my credit reports and will  keep doing so even with the credit monitoring service.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #50
To Anonymous #45.  Promotions are targeted by banks all the time.  They change there rates weekly.  Pen Fed made a goof in there system by allowing some people to get cds, which they were not intending to offer them to.  However, they honored those reservations.  Big plus.  They are not under any obligation to offer it to every member.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #51
To add to my #49 post - quite a few here have said how great PenFed is. I always thought so too. I remember some great CD rates in the past. But nothing is as important as their ability to guard your personal information. I called them today to get more details on their data leak. They are very tightlipped about it. And of course always quick to say "we are sorry for the inconvenience". Not as sorry as I am !!  Utimately I am the one who has to be extra vigilant monitoring my credit.  And that is no guarantee.  The crooks out there can still manage to be one step ahead. You can't really do anything until something actually happens. Fraud alerts only work if the people viewing them actually take notice and follow up.
Anonymous #35
Anonymous #35   |     |   Comment #53
Your welcome #52.  Glad everything went smoothly for you.  The tips I've gotten from Ken and other commenters have helped me a lot, so I'm glad I could do my part in sharing.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #54
So far, so good, everything went smooth as planned. Thank you Penfed!
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #55
I just had my second CD opened as scheduled which was about 1.5x the amount of an October maturing CD, so seems like everything is proceeding as anticipated.  Also just got in the mail the paperwork for the first one that opened earlier in the week.  Nice service from PenFed. And thanks Ken for the info on your blog.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #56
I know some had reserved multiple CDs, but has anyone tried to break a large single CD into several smaller ones? I have done it with past regular maturing roll-over CDs at PenFed with a CSR, but am very nervous about doing the "back door" ones through a CSR.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #57
To : #48

You can decrease the amount but NOT increase it. Two peoples at other websites actually tried it and

"no go". Got message : "The promotion period is over".

To : #56

If I were you, I would not dare to do it. The back door is closed.
lou   |     |   Comment #58
Has anyone noticed that the disclosures on the reverse side of the 10 year certificates have not been updated to reflect an early withdrawal penalty for 10 year certificates. The language only contemplates penalties for certificates up to 7 years. I guess they forgot to amend the terms and conditions to incorporate these new certificates.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #59
Anonymous - #56, Saturday, January 8, 2011 - 4:06 PM

I know some had reserved multiple CDs, but has anyone tried to break a large single CD into several smaller ones? I have done it with past regular maturing roll-over CDs at PenFed with a CSR, but am very nervous about doing the "back door" ones through a CSR.

Anonymous - #57, Saturday, January 8, 2011 - 4:49 PM

To : #56

If I were you, I would not dare to do it. The back door is closed.

I am #56......I already have a large cd from the Glitch. Looking for opion on my above statement


Anonymous   |     |   Comment #60
I'm #57.

To : #59

First, are you Penfed targeted customer? I mean, were you eligible for the promo ( having a CD matured in October 2010)?

If yes, you can to call CSR, if NOT believe me they will give you a hard time. I was eligible, but my newly open CDs are way over my original. When I called CSR about the time of funding matter, they grilled me like a criminal, still they gave me a wrong answer. The lady said I have to fund the CDs right away, even asking me which bank I would used to transfer the money, etc. I hangup and read the promo fine print, it's turn out I only had to fund the accts several days before they opened. I did just fine and all CDs opened without any problems at all.

Anonymous   |     |   Comment #61
From all I've read here, PenFed is a great place to do business just so long as you do it online and avoid CSR telephone contact.  I joined in August, bought a small CD in September, reserved a large one through the back door and had it uneventfully funded as expected, all online.  That's fine with me.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #62
Thanks for your advice

I wasn't targeted but reserved a CD in mid august. Made funding date Jan 31 to give me time to see how things went before sending money. Doing that now and may bump up date seeing as things are going OK.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #63
The ten year CD that I had reserved, during the apparent glitch period, was opened on schedule today.  It was for a considerable amount and even though I bumped up the opening date for the CD from Jan 19 to Jan 10, it came through without a hitch.  All was transacted on-line accept for mailing in the check to fund the CD after I learned PenFed had a $5000 limit on ACH transfers.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #64
Are you sure about the $5000 ACH limit?  I was able to have my funding source bank transfer $100K to PenFed in one lump sum.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #65
Now I'm not sure about the $5000 limit.  But I did read it on the PenFed's site when I originally went in to my PenFed Acct to do an ACH transfer from my local bank to the Credit Union.  Just something more for me to check into should the need arise in the future.   Either way, I'm all set for now.  Thanks for the info on your experience.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #66
The ACH limit is for transfer out, not transfer in.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #67
I experienced the $5K ACH limit while transfering in.  Fortunately I had initated the transfer enough days in the future that I was able to still complete multiple transfers in time.  Am wondering if I set that limit when I established the account with PENFED?
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #68
Some of the posters are talking about going through the "back door."  What do you mean by that?
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #69
I have 300,000 that I am unable to fund.  Any way to transfer to another?
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #70
Initiate the transfers from the other bank(takes 3-5 business days). Or just do WIRE TRANSFER from other bank to your Penfed acct. for a small fee ($ 20-30), if you do it early in the morning (9 am local time), Penfed would received on the same day (in the afternoon, after 1pm). I have done  this many times over the past 10 years.

You have to provide your acct. no. at Penfed, their address & ABA number.