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Nice 1-Year CD Special at Navy Federal Credit Union


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).

Related Pages: Navy Federal Credit Union, CD rates

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Anonymous   |     |   Comment #1
5% CD is "One Per Member", and CANNOT be used for an IRA. It needs just $25 to open, and you can contribute at anytime during the year term, but the max allowed is still $5000. This means even if you opened with $5000 in the beginning, you'd only get $250 in interest. It's not bad, but not worth jumping through hoops for with the small cap. I opened one up yesterday myself, but let me warn people: my personal experience is that NavyFed is TERRIBLE to use as your main financial institution (ie, checking, loans, etc) and they have yet to improve. I have only occasional CDs with them, and only because they're close by (and I was eligible to join). If you have time and $5000 on hand, and you want an extra $250 you can open this up, but it's certainly not worth going out of your way for. BEST ADVICE I CAN GIVE (other than NOT to open a checking account with them or make them your main bank): make sure and WRITE DOWN on your 2015 calendar (or smartphone) the MATURITY date for your CD, as while they're SUPPOSED to send you out a maturity notice, that hasn't always happened with me, and the last thing you want to be stuck with is having it "renew" to a terrible rate CD for another year (especially if you don't have direct deposit with them -- which, trust me, you don't want with them -- it'll instead mature to a terrible rate CD). So basically if you already are a member of NavyFed, if you write down the maturity date to remind you to make SURE and close it out before it auto-renews, and if it's not too much trouble to go through for an extra $150 (as you could easily get $75 in interest somewhere else), then go for it... but it's not worth a lot of hassle (or headaches later on) unless you do it surgically -- just this CD, and write down to remind yourself when to close it out...
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #8
I've been a customer of Navy Federal--the largest credit union in the country, and perhaps in the world--for probably 40 years, and have had checking accounts, direct deposits, loans and a share certificate. I've never had problems with NFCU with regard to my checking accounts, direct deposits or loans, nor have I had any renewal problem with a share certificate that matured a few months ago. I've lived near branches where there was access to atm's and now live in a location very distant from any NFCU branch or atm. NFCU has always provided me with excellent customer service, and I believe that even their telephone customer service may offer live support 24-7. I can't speak to any of your difficulties with this credit union because I can't tell what they were other than your not having received notices of maturity of share certificates, however, based on my long experience with this credit one, I would recommend it to any prospective member.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #12
Oh, pray tell, why is navy federal so 'TERRIBLE'? Sorry you couldn't be responsible and watch your cd and it renewed into something you didn't want. 
Dev   |     |   Comment #13
I guess you're not aware of it, but Navy Federal has several "Maturity Instructions" links in their online access portal.  The day I open a CD, I go in and set the maturity instructions to close the CD and deposit it to my savings account when the CD matures.  That way I don't have to remember to keep an eye on it nor do I have to make sure to make my wishes known at some later date.

Beyond that, not sure what your issue is with them.  I have a checking account, two savings accounts, a car loan, and 4 CDs with them.  Never had any issues with them.
Patricia Burleson
Patricia Burleson   |     |   Comment #2
I disagree with the previous post!
I ACH'd $5000 to Navy yesterday and today I opened the promo 5% 1 yr CD.  It only took a couple minutes to complete.  I'm going to open a second CD for my husband tomorrow when the second ACH push from Alliant clears at Navy FCU.  GOOD DEAL!
Patricia Burleson
Patricia Burleson   |     |   Comment #7
As I said previously, I was able to open an account for my husband today.  It took about 5 minutes to complete the process. So now we have $10K, 5% 1 year CD's.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #3
$5000......who cares?  nickel and dime stuff.
Hoody   |     |   Comment #4
yeah I tend to agree with that, but for people who don't have a whole lot to put into ANY savings product, this is good for them, I'm glad to see that those people are able to get 5%.

I opened 4 @3.1  7yr CD's  with Navy when those were open, but it was for the max I could go for, so even 3% is doing pretty good, not great but good enough for now. I made it clear to them at the time that if/when 5% starts showing up on their 5yrs I'll eat the EWP and go from there :)

As for the first post, I didn't have a lot of hoops to jump here, its pretty much the same as with all banks.CU's now. The people here are good to deal with, but than again I was coming from WF and ST bank's so who knows lol. On the other hand all I have with them are the 4 cd's, a MMA, and the 2 5 buck initial savings accounts that had to be set up, that still only have the required 5 bucks in them. The MMA is setup to receive the monthly interest from the cd's. Which I do have to watch before it gets to a certain level so as not to go over the insurance limits.

Other than that I have nothing bad to say about NFCU, at least the small branch I deal with here.
pjaskate   |     |   Comment #6
I'll take $250 worth of nickels and dimes anytime!!!
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #9
As my old grandfather once said, "If you take care of your pennies, the dollars will take care of there selves". 
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #11
obvious troll is obvious
klink   |     |   Comment #5
I had no real problem either. Opened the acct. online with a $5.00 ACH transfer then waited to the next day to deposit cash into share acct. then buy the CD at the local branch. Got the welcome wagon call from NFCU and advised them that I was on the fence ref. the rest of their products and services. Learned that as long as I had the CD my share acct. would be considered active and to not worry about fees for that. Not going to take any chances there and deposit $1.00 every month. Records being kept as far as posted dividends and termination date. All in all not a bad experience and I do wish it had a higher cap.
gregk   |     |   Comment #10
Why would they offer this?