Navy Fed’s New Competitive Special Certificate: 5-Month ($10K Max)


Deal Summary: 3% APY 5-month add-on CD, Maximum deposit $10k.

Availability: Requires a connection to the military.

Navy Federal Credit Union’s (Navy Fed) has come out with another high-rate add-on certificate special. This new one has a 3.00% APY with a term of 5 months. The downside is a maximum balance of only $10k. Thus, if you’re not already a Navy Fed member, this special may not be worth the effort. However, if you’re already a Navy Fed member with enough extra cash sitting in savings or checking accounts, this is easy money. Just log into Navy Fed’s online banking and open the CD with money from one of your Navy Fed checking, savings or money market accounts. If your initial deposit is $10,000, you’ll earn about $125. That’s $83 over what you would earn in a 1% savings account.

3.00%$50$10kNavy Federal Credit Union5 Month Certificate Special
Accounts mentioned in this post. Rates as of September 24, 2017.

The features of this special CD are similar to Navy Fed’s past 17-month and 20-month CD specials. Minimum deposit is $50. It’s not available for IRAs or ESAs. Deposits can be made anytime subject to the maximum balance. Only one special 5-month CD is allowed per member. I was told by a CSR that it’s really a maximum deposit of principal, and not a maximum balance. If you specify the CD to redeposit the interest, the balance (principal plus interest) may exceed $10,000. Only the principal cannot exceed $10,000.

As stated in Navy Fed’s Certificates brochure, the Early Withdrawal Penalty reads as follows:

Certificates with a one-year term or less: Forfeiture of all dividends on the amount withdrawn for 90 days or from the date of purchase or renewal (whichever is less).

Thanks to DA reader, Anon456, for posting on this CD in the DA Forum.


In February, Navy Fed expanded its field of membership, allowing many more people to join. All veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces are now eligible. In addition, if your immediate family member had ever been in the military (even if they’re now deceased), you are eligible to join. Please refer to my February blog post for more details.

Navy Fed has an online membership application. The application guides you through membership qualifications. The first question asks:

Are you or have you ever been affiliated in any way with the Armed Forces, DoD, Coast Guard or National Guard?

Joining Navy Fed and/or opening Certificates can be done online or at any of 295 branches located in 30 different states, the District of Columbia, and Guam.

Note, there used to be a backdoor to Navy Fed membership through the San Diego Council of the Navy League. However, this ended in May. Joining the Navy League will no longer qualify you for Navy Fed membership.

Credit Union Overview

Navy Federal Credit Union (NCUA Charter # 5536) has an overall health grade of "A" at, with a Texas ratio of 5.41% (excellent) based on March 31, 2017 data. In the past year, Navy Fed has increased its total deposits by $6.9 billion, an excellent annual growth rate of 13.23%. Please refer to our financial overview of Navy Federal Credit Union for more details.

Navy Federal Credit Union is considered to be the largest credit union in the world. Headquartered in Vienna, Virginia, Navy Federal has grown from its initial seven members in 1933, to over 6.8 million members and assets in excess of $81 billion.

How the Certificates Compare

When compared to the 194 similar length-of-term CDs tracked by that are available nationwide, Navy Fed’s 5-month CD is way out in front for a $10k deposit.

Another alternative to this special CD is an internet savings account. DollarSavingsDirect’s savings account currently has a 1.40% APY. If this rate holds for 5 months, you’ll earn about $58 for a $10k balance. With a $10k initial deposit in this Navy Fed 5-month CD, you’ll earn about $125. That’s $67 more than what you would earn at DollarSavingsDirect (assuming the savings account rate remains at 1.40% APY).

The above rates are accurate as of 7/31/2017.

To find the best CD rates, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to our CD rates table, or our Rates Map page.

Related Pages: 1-year CD rates, nationwide deals

NFCU member
NFCU member | | Comment #1
You know I guess their heart is in the right place, however, this is just silly in my opinion, I mean 5 mo and a 10k max ?? So OK I guess its a great deal for that HS kid that had a part time summer job and actually "saved" the money, or a new PVT that has a few extra bucks around to stick away while on a short assignment or sea duty for 6 mo. Other than that this is pretty much worthless.

Now when they decide to come up with a 3%er with no cap, @ 3 to 5 yrs, than I'll say they're keeping up.

BTW I like NF, and am glad they opened a local branch close enough for me to go to and Yes I do use them :).
hrubkdhgkoeh | | Comment #2
Thanks for the heads up of course... but this is simply not worth the time or bother for most people -- not only because of the cap, but because of the term. 5 months? Yeah, right. Next....
hrubkdhgkoeh | | Comment #3
PS: Don't forget, besides savings accounts at 1.4% you can also get 1.5% at ally for a "no penalty" CD, so your money is essentially "liquid" (as you can close it anytime without penalty 6 days after opening it). With either a longer term (3, 4 years) or a higher cap (or both) it would make sense, but this is nothing but hot air.
Cat Chance
Cat Chance | | Comment #4
It's good for those that got the "special" 3% 15mo term CD last year May... cuz obviously those are all maturing this month :-) x2 people = 20K. Now I don't have to worry about what to do with this 20K till Jan...
Kaight | | Comment #5
Very good deal. Thank you, Ken. Probably better, though, to wait and open tomorrow. Accounts opened today will mature on 1/1/2018, a holiday.

In any event, the NFCU website has very easy and straightforward online CD account opening capability. There is no need to endure the hassle of a telephone call.
Sam | | Comment #6
Great deal. Thanks, Ken. :-)
Fam | | Comment #7
Every penny counts, folks! I would not have even had a Navy Fed account had it not been for this blog. Some smaller credit union got bought out by Navy Fed and Ken wrote about it so I jumped in at the right time and now I am enjoying the interest on the CDs I have opened since then. I will be opening this one tomorrow.
Casey Kasem
Casey Kasem | | Comment #8
I quote the Village People.....I wish i was "In The Navy"!!!
Att | | Comment #9
Maybe this will be the start of longer term CDs going up.
I like Silly Rates!!
I like Silly Rates!! | | Comment #10
It is puzzling to me how many scoff at the size of a return. Yes, you do have to weigh time and effort vs the 3%, assuming you are not a Navy Fed member. However, for a Navy fed member this is a no brainer. It is found money, especially if your spouse is also a member. I would put 20k at 3% into Navy in a heart beat vs. current 3,6 month cds or money market rates. There is nothing silly about this rate!!
deplorable 1
deplorable 1 | | Comment #21
Same here just like the folks who complain about the 1.5% at All America/Redneck bank because it is capped at $35,000 per person. I'll take the best rate I can get and max it out while looking for the next deal to pop up which is this CD. I think some people on here are multi millionaires and don't want to be bothered with small accounts. They forget what it was like trying to get to their first million or second. I for one appreciate the heads up on all these deals.
Att | | Comment #11
I was thinking about joining navy when they had the easy membership but I'm with 5 credit unions now. Just don't like having all those $5 accounts. Have to have a spread sheet to keep track of everything. If I was a member I would do this. Doubt this would increase membership
Fam | | Comment #12
Get Quicken. It tracks everything for you.
Kaight | | Comment #13

Gosh, five credit unions! I belong to twenty-three credit unions. This situation is going to start presenting problems and annoyance the moment I no longer have interest in money. So far, though, it's all good.
Att | | Comment #15
Wow. ... You must get a lot of 1099s. I'm trying to simplify. Between tracking my stocks, bonds, CDs, mutual funds, 3 401K accounts, 2 IRAs etc. It can be a bit overwhelming. And we have condensed the fund families and number of funds and rolled2 401Ks into 1 of the 401Ks we have. We like all 3 401Ks so not merging any further. We also monitor other investments on our spreadsheet. My wife likes the spreadsheet she set up.
Anon456 | | Comment #31
- to Kaight - FYI, I'm available for adoption.
Bogie | | Comment #14
Could be the reason for the unusual short term and relatively low maximum limit. Maybe Navy FCU didn't want to be inundated with new membership applications like a while back.

I do think it's a good deal for exiting members with extra $$ tucked in their savings.
Anonymous | | Comment #16
Will be looking for better deals! I phoned Navy Federal and spoke with a CSR and indicated they need to increase the amount of the deposit and make it for a longer period of time. I like NFCU but am dissatisfied with the offerings and have done much better ones with them in the past. Will be placing funds at other institutions in the meantime.

Just think about all the paper work they have made for themselves. 10 - 10K deposits and they get $100K or 2 50K deposits or 1 100K deposit and they still get 100K but with only 1/10th of the paperwork!
SteveInPa | | Comment #18
Maybe I am misunderstanding what your saying, but this 5 month special says in the disclosure 1 per member, so we wouldn't be able to do 10 - 10k deposits....
Ann | | Comment #40
I think Anonymous was trying to say that the total amount of paperwork NFCU has to deal with for 10 separate people each making one $10k deposit could have been greatly reduced for the same total amount of money coming into NFCU if larger deposits per person were allowed.
Att | | Comment #17
As long as Navy offers these rates it's great. Hope they don't turn into Penfed who were once leaders and are now laggards.
DOA | | Comment #25
It is nice to be able to verify and see the beneficiary designations online.

PENFED shows this on the non Ira accounts only but not on the Ira accounts, and NAVY shows it on the Ira accounts only and not on the non Ira accounts? Not sure why they do not take the extra effort to show beneficiaries on all accounts. Someday maybe?
mrvirgo | | Comment #19
I'm taking advantage of this offer because the rate is better than 1.5 I'm getting with my Memory Bank checking and because I like the fact that interest is swept into my Navy checking account the last day of the month.
deplorable 1
deplorable 1 | | Comment #20
Well it's only for 5 months but I'm in since I'm already a member with the 17 month 2% special. Hey it's 3% and it isn't a 7 year CD! Who knows maybe in 5 months there will be a 4 or 5 year 3% CD. I may as well pick one up for the wife too for $20,000 @ 3%.
anonymously | | Comment #22
FWIW......For those who have trust accounts at NFCU you can open two special in the trust account and one in the non trust or regular account. I didn't realize this until the CSR mentioned this. Wish I had know about this for the 17 month.
peacejogger | | Comment #24
This might make sense for someone who is already a member of Navy Federal, but otherwise it does not seem to be worth the trouble.
Kaight | | Comment #27
Agreed. This 5 month deal does not by itself justify the hassle of joining NFCU. But here's the thing:

NFCU is one of those "must join" credit unions. They are forever running CD specials of one sort or another. When I joined there was a special CD happening. Because of the time it took to solidify my membership it was a close shave. I ended up getting that CD on the very last day. But either way I would have been fine because I really joined owing to confidence more specials would be coming along. And sure enough, NFCU brought out still another special CD within a month or two after I became a member. And now they are doing it yet again. NFCU features a veritable parade of special CD offerings.

So bottom line best thing to do is to join if you can, whenever you can. If you get this 5 month deal fine, if not still fine. There were any number of NFCU special CDs I missed out on before I joined. Needed to put a stop to that and finally I did, once I finally found a way in.
rhutnik | | Comment #26
I'm not a member yet but I'm eligible, a family member who was in the military. Do they make you verify this with their discharge papers? And upon membership application, do you also have to open an account with them? Do you recommend opening a checking/savings/MMA with them first in order to transfer money into the CD?
Anonymous | | Comment #28
No paperwork verification is done. Like all credit unions, you are required to open a savings account to be a member.
??? | | Comment #29
Navy prohibits withdrawals from savings accounts by ACH
rhutnik | | Comment #30
So how do you get money out of their savings account?
Anon456 | | Comment #32
Just to be clear, I understand they will allow ACH into Navy. They do not want to originate an ACH out. BUT I have established a checking account for that. It is a pain, but they have been a leader on rates ( in General ) - so I go with the flow. It is NO PROBLEM to move money into savings and then establish this CD online in minutes using the savings as the funding source.

This SPECIAL is probably a whopping $20 difference rather than sitting in a money market somewhere at 1.5%. Still, it only take a few minutes (about the time spent on this blog post) to make it happen. Better than clipping coupons.
Anon456 | | Comment #33
Sorry - I should have said $60, not $20. New math. ( i wish we could edit a post to make a correction )
rhutnik | | Comment #34
Not really a worry since I don't plan to keep money in the savings, just to establish a membership, open a savings account, and open this CD. Otherwise ACH pull out from their savings or checking is possible? And transfers between the savings and checking is okay as well?
Sylvia | | Comment #35
No ACH withdrawals from savings, whether initiated from within or without. That is one of Navy's quirks. To ACH money out, you will need a checking account, from which withdrawals can be made.
CapitalClimate | | Comment #36
Yes, you can edit your posts, as long as you're logged in.
I've just edited this post to add that the "Edit" link is just to the right of your comment number.
Ann | | Comment #41
Money in a 3% CD for 5 months would earn twice as much as the same amount of money in a 1.5% MM account for 5 months...
#38 - This comment has been removed for violating our comment policy.
#39 - This comment has been removed for violating our comment policy.
Susan | | Comment #42
I've had an account at NFCU for many years. When we lived on Mare Island we got a car loan there and now, almost 50 years later, I still have an account there. I like them because they are so easy to do business with and 90% of the time have the lowest car loan rates. My sons have accounts with them and when my oldest had a mix up with Bank of America and was put on the no fly list, he was able to get an account here. My younger son once borrowed $40,000 for a refi (unsecured) and it took only a few minutes. All over the computer. Of course he had a good record. I financed a car twice and they just sent me a blank check and that was that. So easy. I also trust them because I've been with them so long.
#43 - This comment has been removed for violating our comment policy.
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