If you had been planning to open a PenFed CD, you need to hurry before March. PenFed CD rates appear to be falling quite a bit for March. Thanks to the reader who forwarded me the new rates he received from his correspondence with PenFed. Below are the new rates that the reader received by email. I also included the current rates. All of the new rates are 25 bps lower.
- 1.75% APY 7-year CD (was 2.00% APY)
- 1.65% APY 5-year CD (was 1.90% APY)
- 1.60% APY 4-year CD (was 1.85% APY)
- 1.60% APY 3-year CD (was 1.85% APY)
- 1.35% APY 2-year CD (was 1.60% APY)
- 1.00% APY 1-year CD (was 1.25% APY)
Update 3/1/13: I'm sorry to report that the above rates are now posted at PenFed's rates page as of 3/1/2013.
I've been told by a PenFed CSR that you should be able to lock in the February rates if you apply for the CD and use ACH to fund the CD no later than February 28th. This can be done online or by phone. I was told that an ACH transfer is limited to $25,000, but they can make exceptions especially if you're a long-time member.
PenFed calls their CDs "Money Market Certificates", but they are essentially certificates of deposit (CD) with fixed rates for specific terms.
Minimum deposit is $1,000. The rates are also available in an IRA. 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 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 (one-time $20 fee) or by joining the Voices for America's Troops (one-time $15 fee). Joining one of these organizations and joining PenFed can be done at the same time all online.
To join PenFed, click on the "Join PenFed" link at the top of any PenFed page. This will take you to the start of the online application. That first page asks about eligibility. If you don't qualify via any of the listed options, click "None of the above". A popup informs users that "We can establish your membership eligibility through either National Military Family Association or Voices for America's Troops." When you close the popup, you are then asked to select one of these two organizations.
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 York, North Carolina, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and Texas.
PenFed is the third largest credit union in the nation. It has $12 billion in deposits. PenFed has an overall health score at DepositAccounts.com of 5 stars (out of 5) with a Texas Ratio of 3.55% (excellent) based on September 2012 data. Please refer to our financial overview of PenFed 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: