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Top CD & IRA CD Rates at Navy Federal - Limited Membership


It's common for Pentagon Federal Credit Union and Navy Federal Credit Union to both have very competitive long-term CD rates. Their rates are often close, and consequently, I usually give the focus to PenFed since they make it easy to join. However, in March that has changed when PenFed reduced its rates. Navy Federal held steady, and now it has a big lead on several long-term rates. The two best rates are a 2.70% APY 7-year CD with a $20K minimum and a 2.25% APY 5-year CD with a $100K minimum. Rates apply to both share and IRA certificates. These rates are listed in the Navy Federal's certificate rates page as of 4/12/2012.

Navy Federal is still offering a special 3.00% APY 20-month IRA certificate. In addition to being limited to IRAs and ESAs, it also has a maximum deposit of $18,000. I reviewed this special last December.

The maximum early withdrawal penalty for the 7-year CD is 365 days of interest. For terms greater than one year and up to 5 years, the penalty is up to 180 days of interest. The penalty won't eat into the principal. Details are listed in Navy Fed's disclosure. Note, there are some risks in relying on mild early withdrawals penalties.


Unlike PenFed, there's no association that can be joined to qualify for Navy Fed membership. To be eligible to join Navy Fed, you must have some connection with the military. This includes Navy, Army, Marine Corps and Air Force. Please refer to their Eligibility Checklist for the full details.

Navy Federal Overview

Navy Federal Credit Union branches are located around the US and the world.

Navy Federal is the largest credit union in the nation with $46.93 billion in assets and $33.64 billion in deposits. It has an overall health score at DepositAccounts.com of 5 stars (out of 5) with a Texas Ratio of 8.24% (above average) based on December 2011 data. Please refer to our financial overview of Navy Federal Credit Union for more details. The credit union is federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 5536).

How These CD Rates Compare

The highest 7-year CD rate that's available to everyone is 2.50% APY at Pentagon Federal Credit Union. The best 5-year CD rate is 2.36% APY at Michigan State University FCU. This requires a $100K minimum deposit. If you have a military connection, you may be able to qualify for Air Academy Federal Credit Union which has a 2.45% APY 5-year CD for a $10K minimum deposit. For a minimum deposit of $5K, the best 5-year CD rate is 2.27% APY at Melrose Credit Union. These rates are accurate as of 4/12/2012.

Searching for Top CD Rates

To search for nationwide CD rates and CD rates in your state, please refer to the best CD rates section of DepositAccounts.com.

Related Pages: Navy Federal Credit Union, CD rates, IRA rates

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Anonymous   |     |   Comment #1



Dear Ken Tumin,

>> Unlike PenFed, there's no association that can be
>> joined to qualify for Navy Fed membership. To be
>> eligible to join Navy Fed, you must have some connection
>> with the military. This includes Navy, Army, Marine Corps
>> and Air Force. Please refer to their Eligibility Checklist
>> for the full details.

A few months/quarters ago a ralatively small CU called USA Credit Union based in South California was taken over by (or merged with) Navy FCU.  This allowed the folks with no connection with the military to join Navy FCU merely by first joining USA CU.  I became a member of USA CU just so that I will be able to get-in into Navy FCU, and per my expectation, my membership was transitioned over to Navy FCU without any issues!

Yours Truly,
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #2
Thanks to this blog I was also able to join USA CU and became a member of Navy Fedral when they merged.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #3
Just recently I asked them if my wife could become a member and they said yes. It said on their website no but she is now a member also.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #6
I also joined usa and subsequently became a member of navy fcu and I'm glad I did.
KenBDG   |     |   Comment #8
Several readers were able to join Navy Federal by joining USA Fed before they were merged into Navy Fed. This took place in September 2010. Unfortunately, after the merger, Navy Fed did not keep USA Fed's field of member which allowed anyone to join via an association. However, those who joined USA Fed via that association did become Navy Fed members.

We'll have to keep on the lookout for future Navy Fed acquisitions. Hopefully, they'll take over another easy-to-join credit union which will allow many others to join.

I still would like to know how Navy Fed has been able to become the largest credit union in the nation.
Anonymous #3
Anonymous #3   |     |   Comment #12
The family association that many of us joined to qualify for membership in USA Fed was run out of the latter's offices. Navy Federal has always been fastidious about not drawing the attention of the NCUA to schemes like this, so it doesn't surprise me that they deleted the association from their field of membership.

I suspect that Navy Fed got as big as it is (3.3 million members) because the bulk of its membership is nonmilitary. It may have started out as a bank for naval personnel but, after expanding to other branches of the armed services, it appears that most of its growth has come through adding dependents and their dependents to its field of membership. My branch of Navy Federal may attract a few military retirees, but I have yet to see any uniformed personnel in there. The depositors are all civilians.

Anonymous   |     |   Comment #13
# 3  The depositors could all look like civilians because they may be retired military or relatives of military personel.  I tried to get into the Navy CU some months ago due to DP having done his "stint" in Navy but they wouldn't accept us because he wasn't a fully "retired" military person.  They don't make it easy and I did not know about getting in thru their "back door".  Anyway, I did manage to get the Penfed 7 year CD which I am happy with and Penfed did not make me jump through hoops of fire to join!