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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Top Short-Term CD Deals at Two All-Access Credit Unions


Two all-access credit unions are currently offering very competitive short-term CD deals. I reported on them earlier this month, but I wanted to highlight these deals for those who might have overlooked them. I called both credit unions this morning, and the CSRs provided no clues about when these deals may end. In today's environment, I would guess they won't last too much longer. If you get any clues from the credit union CSRs, please leave a comment.

DCU 8-Month CD Special

One short-term CD deal is at Digital Federal Credit Union (DCU). It has a special certificate with a 1.50% APY and an 8-month term. Minimum deposit is $1,000. If you are not a DCU member, you may have difficulty in depositing more than $3K using the online application. Here is what one reader described about his experience joining and opening this special CD:

Just opened the 8 month CD on line and found the entire process was quite painless, smooth and surprising quick. As the previous poster indicated the CD was opened with 2985/5/10 for the initial CD/savings account/new membership fee. Once the account is opened you can increase the CD amount. According to DCU CSR one can add monies to any CD under 12 months at any time. Funds transfer is available by several means including ACH. No picture ID was requested. There are security questions you need to answer. Overall.....great customer experience and fast

I did confirm that this special certificate does allow for add-on deposits just like the regular certificates with terms of 12 months and under. So it would be best to apply for membership and fund the accounts with an ACH transfer even though there's a low maximum.

Another reader offered this useful tip about making use of the shared branch network:

tip on depositing money : i live far from DCU , but they offer shared service with other credit unions. Took my deposit check to my local CU and deposited it immediately into DCU saving account from which i was able to open cd online.

In today's interest rate environment, it's hard just to find yields of 1.00% for CD terms under 1 year. The best deal is Ally Bank's 11-month No Penalty CD which only has a 0.95% APY.

For more details and comments on DCU, please refer to my DCU special CD review.

PenFed Short-Term CD Rate Specials

In the past, PenFed special certificates were longer-term CDs. This month, the best deals are shorter-terms CDs with maturities from 1, 2 and 3 years. The APYs are 1.26% for 1 year, 1.36% for 2 years and 1.61% for 3 years. Minimum deposit is $1,000.

PenFed's CD rates are often updated at the start of each new month. I was not able to get any clues from a PenFed CSR about December rate changes. If you receive any clues, please leave a comment. I was told that when you apply, you should get the rate that's in effect on the day of the application. So you shouldn't have to worry about the rate dropping a day or two after you apply.

These PenFed CD rates are higher than the CD rates from any of the internet banks. For example, the highest 1-year CD APY is 1.12% at ableBanking and the highest 3-year CD APY is 1.35% at Discover Bank. You can get a 1.50% APY 3-year Raise Your Rate CD at Citizens State Bank. This is a community bank in Florida that currently allows anyone to open its CDs via its online application.

For more details and comments on PenFed, please refer to my PenFed CD review.

Long-Term CDs

Credit unions and banks don't seem to want to offer any decent long-term CD rates. The only internet bank that offers a 2% APY CD is Discover Bank and that requires a 7-year term. That's about the same as what PenFed offers.

There are a few all-access credit unions that are still offering 2% APY 5-year CDs. The best deal is currently at Pen Air Federal Credit Union which has a 2.20% APY Jumbo 5-year CD. This requires a $100K minimum deposit. The yield falls to 2.00% APY for smaller deposits. I have more details about Pen Air and this Jumbo CD in my Pen Air FCU CD review.

The above rates are accurate as of 11/29/2012.

Related Pages: CD rates

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Anonymous   |     |   Comment #1
I signed in to the online application with DCU.  I was approved but it has taken at least 2 weeks for the process to be completed.  I still have not been allowed to get the account number and the funds have not been withdrawn by ACH, so perhaps this is normal for DCU. I plan to add a large amount to the Certificate Special-1.50% for 8 months when I obtain the account number.  They tell me the Special should last though December.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #2
Too long, You haven't called even once??
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #3
Sure I have called several times!!  First they needed a photo ID, I responded.  Second they needed another form of address verification such as PG&E bill.  Each item took days.  Finally everything was approved and they e-mailed that it would take up to 7 days to complete the process which includes obtaining the ACH funds.  I called again and a rep actually looked up my acct #, but the funds were not there and she could not give me the acct number over the phone.  A person must wait for DCU to snail mail all the documents.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #4
My God, in this day & age these sorts of delay seems quite remarkable.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #5
Same thing as #1- still waiting after I applied on 11/17.
Kaight   |     |   Comment #6
I want to thank earlier posters here for having provided me a "feel good" moment.  I finished up with a CD at DCU roughly five or six years ago.  That was it for me in terms of real participation in their products.  Since that time I have been doing a "keep alive" at DCU, just enough activity to maintain my membership.  This is not criticism of DCU.  It's a good CU.  They just didn't have anything I wanted in those intervening years.  It was all maintenance and no "get" . . . . . until now.  For me, opening this 1.5% CD could not have been easier.  I'll close with an admission or two:

First, DCU has the easiest maintenance of any CU membership I keep up.  DCU requires account activity only every two years to keep things shipshape.  Most of my other memberships demand yearly activity.  And finally, as an Alliant member, doing these "keep alives" is not at all burdensome anyway, regardless frequency.  I can deal with and manage one ACH transfer per year for each one.  It's not too much to ask.  And for all the memberships I maintain, one ACH transfer is sufficient to get the job done.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #7
I am #5 and happy to report that my account is funded after mailing the money to them. The ACH transfer never happened due to an error on their side. All is well, friendly and helpful CSR.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #8
I am #1, and still have not got the ACH to work for the original $3000.  Today a CSR e-mailed another form for me to return by e-mail. Finally got that form returned using a different ACH bank.  Since I live in CA and the time is too late to check today I will try tomorrow.  I may have to do the same as #7 and actually snail mail my deposit to open the account.
chuck   |     |   Comment #9
Not impressed so far.  Applied online Fri.  Did not get a confirmation email by the close of Mon.  Contacted them through their online chat thing.  CSR asked if I'd received an email from them.  CSR said I need to send photo ID and proof of address.  I asked for the email address but CSR had already closed the chat.

Question:  Does DCU have any relationship with SunTrust?  Found an email from SunTrust in my junk folder saying they need verification about my account.  I figured this was a scam since I don't have an account with them.  Email did not mention DCU.

I'm starting to wish I hadn't given DCU my SSN, bank account number, address, phone number, and drivers license number.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #10
I'm #1, finally got my initial opening deposit entered today.  Don't give up Chuck!  Opened with the measly $3000, but I plan to invest a large amount into the 8 month CD with the 1.50% interest.  I talked to a Rep yesterday and she said we could add to the original CD as long as it is under 1 year.  So even if they discontinue this special, we are safe with the rate.   
chuck   |     |   Comment #11
It's been over 11 days since I submitted my online application.  I have yet to be contacted by these people.  This is absolutely unacceptable.  By far the worst service I've ever experienced with a financial institution. 

My recommendation:   DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME. 

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