Navy Federal Credit Union launched a nice certificate special as part of its September "Member-ific Specials". It’s called a Celebration Certificate, and its rate brings back memories of the good old days when deposit rates were respectable. The certificate has a 5.00% APY with a 1-year term. Maximum balance is $5,000, and there’s a limit of one Celebration Certificate per member. This limits the maximum interest that you can earn to $250. That’s about $200 more than you can earn in the best 1-year CDs available today. So if you’re a Navy Fed member, this is an easy way to make an extra $200. This special is currently listed at Navy Fed’s promotions page as of 9/5/2014. This page suggests this offer will last through September, but the small print says "Navy Federal reserves the right to end or modify this offer at any time." Thanks to DA member Kennewickman who first mentioned the special in the DA forum.
Celebration Certificate has a $25 minimum deposit, and additional deposits are accepted at any time. There’s an online application that allows you to fund the CD with money from your Navy Federal savings, money market or checking account. If you don’t have $5,000 in your Navy Fed savings account, you can just fund it with $25. You can then transfer more money into your Navy Fed savings account and add onto the CD until the balance reaches $5,000.
At maturity, the Celebration Certificate will automatically renew into a standard EasyStart Certificate unless instructed otherwise. This CD has long been offered by Navy Federal. It’s similar to this Celebration CD. It’s a 3% APY 12-month CD with a $3,000 maximum balance. However, it requires direct deposit and checking. You’ll have to decide if $90 a year in interest on a $3K balance is worth maintaining a checking account with direct deposit at Navy Federal.
Navy Federal does have a good reputation of offering competitive rates on its standard CDs and IRA CDs. Currently, its longer term CDs have the most competitive rates. Please refer to our Navy Fed CD rates page to view the latest interest rates. The early withdrawal penalty and other CD details are listed in the Navy Federal Combined Certificate Disclosure.
Other September Specials
In addition to the CD special, Navy Federal is offering a credit card special. You can get 15,000 points for spending $1,500 during the first 90 days of opening your new GOREWARDS card. There’s also an auto loan refinance deal. Please refer to Navy Fed’s promotions page for the details.
Unlike PenFed, there's no association that can be joined to qualify for Navy Federal 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. Unfortunately, not all veterans will be able to qualify.
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 $60 billion in assets and $43 billion in deposits. It has an overall health grade at DepositAccounts.com of an A+ with a Texas Ratio of 4.81% (excellent) based on June 2014 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).