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The Best Credit Union CD Rates – May 2019

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

The top credit union CD rates
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Certificates of deposit (CDs) are a great way to safely store your savings at a financial institution, as they offer a guaranteed rate of return, and CD rates tend to be higher than those on traditional savings accounts. Maybe you’ve even heard that credit union CD rates offer higher returns—but is that really the case?

On average, yes. As of March 2019, the average one-year credit union CD had a 1.40% annual percentage yield (APY), compared to the 1.10% APY average among one-year bank CDs.

Using data from DepositAccounts.com, another LendingTree company, we identified the top one-year credit union CD rates, as of May 1, 2019. We then eliminated any credit union with a health rating lower than a B and identified the top offerings in three categories: restricted, no cost, and best banking app. If there was a tie by APY, we went with the product with the lower minimum deposit. Here are the best one-year credit union CD rates.

Best credit union CD rates with restricted memberships or membership fees

Each of these credit unions have restricted membership criteria, but don’t let that scare you away. If you don’t meet their membership criteria, it’s possible to make a small donation to their charity of choice in order to become eligible for membership. Furthermore, these credit union CD rates offer some of the highest-returning share certificates out of any category.

State Department Federal Credit Union – 12 Month Share Certificate, 2.73% APY, min. deposit $500

12 Month Certificate from State Department Federal Credit UnionDon’t worry, you don’t need a security clearance from the federal government to join this credit union—you simply need to sign up with the American Consumer Council and you can begin enjoying the benefits of your new membership.

One of those benefits, should you so choose, includes this 12-Month Share Certificate, which allows you to park your money in an account earning 2.73% APY with a minimum deposit of at least $500. You’ll have to pay 180 days worth of interest if you withdrawal your money from the certificate before it matures, but it’s worth noting you can make a partial early withdrawal — and pay the penalty — without closing out the account completely.

LEARN MORE Secured

on State Department Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Advancial Credit Union – 1 Year Junior Jumbo Certificate, 2.71% APY, min. $25,000

1 Year Junior Jumbo Certificate from AdvancialThe first thing that should grab your attention when you look at the savings certificate offered by this Texas-based credit union is the high minimum deposit. $25,000 is probably more than your grandma sent you in your last birthday card and should represent a significant investment. However, you do get one of the best rates around for that price (which should be the second thing you notice).

This credit union doesn’t joke around when it comes to its restricted membership. While most of the so-called restricted credit unions allows anyone to sign up by giving a small donation to a charity or organization of their choosing, the only way for anyone in the country to join Advancial is to first join one of their selected organizations before applying to the credit union. It’s a pain, but maybe worth it if you want one of the highest rates out there for your CD.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Advancial’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Alliant Credit Union – 12-17 Month Share CD, 2.70% APY, min. deposit $1,000

Alliant Credit Union
With a minimum deposit of $1,000, you could earn an APY of 2.70% on a 12-17 month CD. An early withdrawal penalty of 90 days’ worth of interest may be imposed if you withdraw funds prior to the CD’s maturity date.

With a $10 donation to Foster Care to Success, you can easily become a member of Alliant Credit Union. You can also become a member if you are an employee or retiree of certain organizations, related to existing Alliant members, or live or work in qualifying communities.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Alliant Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Sun East Federal Credit Union – 12 Month CD, 2.50% APY, min. deposit $500

12 Month CD from Sun East Federal Credit Union

Headquartered in Aston, PA, this credit union offers its services to members nationwide via the internet. Anyone can join this credit union by making a $10 donation to the Sun East Charitable Foundation, allowing them to enjoy one of the most competitive CDs around.

Depositors into this CD can expect an APY of 2.50% should they let the certificate fully mature. Otherwise, they face a penalty of 180 days worth of interest if they withdrawal the funds early.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Sun East Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Mountain America Credit Union–12 Month Term Deposit, 2.60% APY, min. Deposit $500

12 Month Term Deposit from Mountain America Credit UnionMembership in this Utah-based credit union is automatically open to residents of Salt Lake County, Duchesne County, and select areas of Wasatch and Uintah Counties in Utah. However you aren’t completely out of luck if you don’t happen to reside in the Beehive State. Anyone can become eligible by signing up for the American Consumer Council. The APY of 2.60% and low minimum deposit of $500 makes this CD a strong competitor in its class.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Mountain America Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Best CD rates for credit unions with no cost to join

The thing about credit unions is that they’re not usually just open to anyone. You usually need to meet some membership criteria in order to get in and get access to all of their really nice products. These credit unions, however, will let you in for free regardless of your personal details. (Note: Only two credit unions met our criteria for this list.)

Unify Financial Credit Union – 1-Year Share Certificate, 1.75% APY, min. deposit $1,000

UNIFY Financial Credit Union
Unify FCU offers the highest interest rates on CDs (which it calls share certificates) of any credit union with no cost to join. The interest rate on their 12-month CD, for example, is 1.75%, compared to the national average of 1.38% in May. You’ll need to deposit a minimum of $1,000 to open this CD. If you withdraw your money early, however, you’ll face a penalty of 90 days’ worth of interest.

LEARN MORE Secured

on UNIFY Financial Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

NASA Federal Credit Union – 1-Year Share Certificate, 1.60% APY, min. deposit $1,000

NASA Federal Credit Union
If the rigid inflexibility of CDs makes you leery, NASA FCU might be your best bet. They have a lot of flexible certificates, such as add-on certificates that let you start with as little as $250, and bump-rate certificates that let you opt for a one-time interest rate increase if rates go up. You can even take out a loan from your certificate should you need the cash before it’s matured. You can join NASA FCU with a complimentary membership to the National Space Society.

If you do need to make an early withdrawal, you will face a penalty of 180 days’ worth of interest.

LEARN MORE Secured

on NASA Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Best CD rates for credit unions with the best mobile apps

By their very nature, CDs aren’t something that require constant attention, poking, and prodding. It’s a set-it-and-forget-it kind of a deal, so you won’t need any spiffy banking apps to use CDs.

But, if you’d like to switch all of your banking to the same institution that holds your CDs, it might be a wise idea to consider one of these credit unions if you’re a digital junkie. Most credit unions lag behind their bank compatriots in terms of mobile banking apps, but these credit unions offer top-notch mobile apps, according to MagnifyMoney’s 2018 mobile banking app analysis.

Wright-Patt Credit Union – 1-Year Certificate, 2.07% APY, min. deposit $500

Wright-Patt Credit Union
Unlike many credit unions, you can’t just make a simple donation to join Wright-Patt CU if you fail to meet their membership criteria. You need to live in certain areas of Ohio, be associated with Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, or be an employee of their select employer group, among other options.

You can earn $10.35 on a 12-month CD with just a relatively small $500 deposit. However, if you’re able to deposit $100,000 or more, you’ll earn an APY of 2.17%, which will return $2,170 in interest. Early withdrawal penalties vary depending on the original term of your CD, however they’ll be anywhere between 5-12 months’ worth of dividends.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Wright-Patt Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Eastman Credit Union – 1-Year Investment Certificate, 2.00% APY, min. deposit $1,000

Eastman Credit Union
Eastman Credit Union also has pretty restrictive membership requirements. You’ll have to be an employee (or a family member of an employee) of one of their select employers, or live in certain parts of Tennessee, Texas, or Virginia.

Eastman CU is another one of the rare credit unions that allow you to withdraw your dividends penalty-free before the maturity date, although again, doing so will lower your total returns. Currently, you can earn an interest rate of 2.00% on a 12-month CD with a minimum deposit of $1,000. If you withdraw your money before the CD matures, you’ll owe a penalty fee of anywhere between seven days’ worth of dividend earnings or all of your dividend earnings.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Eastman Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Redstone Federal Credit Union – 12 Month MemberPlus Regular Share Certificate, 1.90% APY, min. deposit $1,000

Redstone Federal Credit Union
You can’t just make a simple donation to join to Redstone Federal Credit Union if you fail to meet their membership criteria. You need to be a government employee or contractor, a member of the military, reserve, or National Guard, or affiliated with a number of organizations listed on their website among other options.

However, if you do qualify for membership, you could earn an APY of 1.90% with a minimum deposit of $1,000. Redstone FCU has compounding and non-compounding certificates, which allow you to have the option to withdraw interest earned or not throughout the term of the certificate.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Redstone Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Delta Community Credit Union – 1-Year Certificate, 1.75% APY, min. deposit $1,000

Delta Community Credit Union
There are many ways to join Delta Community CU, such as living in certain parts of Georgia, being a member of one of their select employers, or being a member of one of their partner organizations. Interestingly, citizens of many countries like Argentina, France, and Peru are also eligible to join.

Delta Community CU used to be the lowest-earning credit union on our list, but recently increased the APY on this product from 1.10% to 1.75%. The early withdrawal penalty is 90 days’ worth of interest on a 12-month CD.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Delta Community Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

 

3 questions to consider before opening a credit union CD

Banks are more likely to call their products certificates of deposit, while credit unions often refer to them as share certificates. Aside from the name, the biggest difference between the two is that credit unions have higher average annual percentage yields (APYs) than traditional banks, as of September 2018. That’s good news: It means more money back in your pocket when the CD matures (i.e., reaches the end of its term and is available for withdrawal).

There really is no difference in safety between depositing money in a CD with a credit union versus a bank, as long as they participate in either the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) for credit unions, or the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for banks.

According to Neal Frankle, a Los Angeles-based Certified Financial Planner with Wealth Pilgrim, deposits of up to $250,000 per financial institution are “backed by the full faith and credit of United States Government, so it’s pretty solid.”

For the most part, choosing a CD at a bank or a credit union boils down to your preference as a consumer: Do you want to be a bank customer or a member of a credit union? Here’s a primer on the differences.

The biggest advantage of credit union CDs over bank CDs is that you can likely earn more interest. But with both products, the longer the CD term, the more interest you will earn. And with a CD laddering strategy, you can have the best of both worlds: frequent access to your money, yet you can still keep it locked away in high-interest, long-term CDs.

Beyond that, the disadvantages of opening a credit union CD are the same as if you’re opening a CD with a bank. You can’t access that money without paying an early withdrawal penalty until the CD matures. While CDs do offer some of the highest rates for any financial product you’re likely to come across at a bank or credit union, they still don’t really earn great interest. If you’re investing for the long-term (like retirement savings), your money is better invested in the riskier (but higher-earning) stock or bond market.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Lindsay VanSomeren
Lindsay VanSomeren |

Lindsay VanSomeren is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Lindsay here

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The Best 6-Year CD Rates

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

If you want to earn the highest CD rates, you generally need to invest in a longer-term CD. When the bank or credit union gets to keep your money for an extended period of time, it rewards you with higher interest rates.

Higher rates can make a 6-year term an appealing choice when considering CDs. However, there aren’t as many 6-year CDs available as with other CD terms. Most banks don’t offer this particular term, often maxing out at five years or skipping to 7-year CDs. In our analysis, we managed to find nine great choices when sorting through long-term CD data from DepositAccounts.com, a LendingTree-owned company.

To find the best 6-year CDs, we first looked at the highest 6-year CD rates available nationwide. Then we ranked each by APY, taking the accounts’ minimum deposit requirements into consideration for wider availability. We also made sure to include institutions with great health ratings so you know you’re working with a reputable bank with FDIC or NCUA insurance.

The Best 6-year CD rates

Institution

APY

Minimum deposit amount

INOVA FCU

3.25%

$200

Chartway FCU

3.10%

$500

Goldman Sachs Bank USA

3.05%

$500

Third Federal Savings and Loan

2.90%

$500

Evansville Teachers FCU

2.90%

$1,000

New Buffalo Savings Bank

1.76%

$1,000

MySavingsDirect

1.65%

$1,000

1st Source Bank

1.50%

$500

EmigrantDirect

1.50%

$1,000

INOVA FCU— 3.25% APY, $200 minimum deposit

Earn the best 6-year CD rate from Inova FCU. You need at least $200 to deposit and open up INOVA’s 6-year certificate. The penalty for an early withdrawal from this account is equal to 180 days’ of dividends.

Headquartered in Indiana, INOVA Federal was originally founded to serve the employees of Miles Laboratories in 1942. You can join INOVA through your employer or other organization, or through an immediate family member who is already an INOVA member.

Learn more Secured

on INOVA Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Chartway FCU— 3.10% APY, $500 minimum deposit

You can take advantage of Chartway FCU’s longest share certificate term of 71 months starting with $500. It earns at a competitive rate, which applies to certificates between 60 and 71 months. The penalty for making an early withdrawal from a 71-month certificate will equal 180 days’ worth of interest.

Chartway FCU started as NorVA N.A.S. Federal Credit Union by civilian workers at the Norfolk Naval Air Station in 1959. Today, you can join Chartway if you live, work, go to school or worship in select areas in Texas, Utah or Virgina, you work for a select partner employer or you have an immediate family member who is a member. You may also join by donating $10 to the We Promise Foundation, Chartway’s philanthropic arm.

Learn more Secured

on Chartway Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Goldman Sachs Bank USA— 3.05% APY, $500 minimum deposit

A big name in the online banking space, Goldman Sachs Bank USA, also known as Marcus by Goldman Sachs, offers consistently competitive rates. This includes its high-yield 6-year CD, the longest term among its offerings. It requires an initial deposit of at least $500 within 10 days after opening the account. Marcus by Goldman Sachs makes a 10-day CD rate guarantee, so if the rate increases during that period, you can snag that higher rate.

Just be careful of making an early withdrawal from the 6-year CD as it will trigger a penalty of 365 days’ worth of simple interest on the principal.

An entirely online bank, Marcus by Goldman Sachs is a brand of Goldman Sachs Bank USA, the banking branch of investment giant Goldman Sachs, which traces its history back to 1869.

Learn more Secured

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

Third Federal Savings and Loan— 2.90% APY, $500 minimum deposit

The 72-month standard CD is the longest term offered by Third Federal Savings and Loan. It earns at a competitive rate and requires only $500 to open and start saving. The penalty for an early withdrawal from a 72-month CD equals 18 months’ interest.

Third Federal is based in Cleveland, where it was founded back in 1938.

Learn more Secured

on Third Federal Savings And Loan (OH)’s secure website

Member FDIC

Evansville Teachers FCU— 2.90% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit

The 6-year certificate is Evansville Teachers FCU’s longest term and earns at a competitive interest rate alongside the credit union’s other certificates. You’ll need at least $1,000 to open an account. The penalty for an early withdrawal will equal either $100 or 180 days’ worth of interest, whichever is greater.

ETFCU was founded in 1936 by several teachers in Evansville, Ind. who needed better financial services. Today, you can be eligible for Evansville Teachers FCU membership not just as a teacher, but also through select employers or organizations, or a family or household member. You may also join by donating $5 to the Mater Dei Friends & Alumni Association.

Learn more Secured

on Evansville Teachers Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

New Buffalo Savings Bank— 1.76% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit

With at least $1,000, you can start saving your money in a 6-year CD from New Buffalo Savings Bank at a pretty solid rate. Interestingly, no matter which term you have, the early withdrawal penalty will equal six months’ of interest.

New Buffalo Savings Bank was founded in 1921, and maintains its headquarters and a few branches in the New Buffalo, Mich. area.

Learn more Secured

on New Buffalo Savings Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

MySavingsDirect— 1.65% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit

MySavingsDirect offers a wide range of MyTerm Certificates of Deposit. Its 6-year term falls in between its range of 60 to 120 month terms available at the given APY. Plus, interest is compounded daily for faster savings growth. You’ll need at least $1,000 to open an account. Making an early withdrawal from this account will trigger a penalty of 180 days’ worth of interest.

MySavingsDirect is a digital-only division of Emigrant Bank which dates back to 1850.

Learn more Secured

on MySavingsDirect’s secure website

Member FDIC

EmigrantDirect—1.50% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit

EmigrantDirect offers a lower but still decent rate on its 60- to 120-month certificates of deposit, including its 6-year term. You need $1,000 to open an account here. The penalty for early withdrawals will be an amount equal to 180 days’ interest.

Like MySavingsDirect, EmigrantDirect is another digital-only division of Emigrant Bank.

Learn more Secured

on EmigrantDirect.com’s secure website

Member FDIC

1st Source Bank— 1.50% APY, $500 minimum deposit

You can get started with 1st Source Bank’s 6-year CD with just $500. The penalty for an early withdrawal is 12 months’ interest earned on the amount withdrawn.

1st Source Bank was established back in 1863 in South Bend, Ind. It has branches in Florida, Indiana and Michigan.

Learn more Secured

on 1st Source Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Is it worth getting a 6-year CD?

It can be worth getting a 6-year CD if you’re signing up for the highest rates on our list. Perhaps it would make a solid addition to a CD ladder you’re building. Let’s say you have $1,000 to deposit into a CD. Depositing that into the highest-earning 6-year CD above, at 3.25% APY, will result in $215 total interest earned. Making that same deposit into the best 5-year CD at 3.35% APY yields about $182.

But this is just looking at the top rates for both terms. In truth, 6-year CD rates aren’t always competitive enough to make them a reliable investment. In fact, 5- and 7-year CD terms consistently have much better rates, despite the small one-year difference.

When we compare 6-year CD rates with 5-year CD rates, the 6-year yields struggle to keep up. You can see above that the best 6-year CD rates jump from 3.25% APY at the top all the way to just above 1%. Meanwhile, all the best 5-year CD rates offer a much better savings opportunity ranging between 3.35% and 3.20% APY. No matter which 5-year CD you pick from the list, you’re bound to yield some solid earnings.

We tend to expect that the longer the CD term, the higher the rate will be, but we just don’t see that when comparing 6-year CDs with other long-term CDs. On the whole, 6-year CD terms are bookended by better-earning products. Opening 5- and 7-year CDs will give you a wider product selection to choose from and a better chance at growing your savings.

Alternative long-term investments

Other than 5- and 7-year CDs, Ken Tumin, founder of DepositAccounts.com (which similar to MagnifyMoney, is owned by LendingTree) suggests turning to individual bonds to beef up your savings. “Much like a CD ladder, the same technique can be used with individual bonds (Treasury, municipal, corporate, etc.) to build steady savings over time,” he offered. Note that non-Treasury bonds do have some default risk that CDs don’t carry when they have FDIC/NCUA insurance.

Another alternative to a bond ladder is a mutual fund or an ETF of bonds. Unlike a ladder, the value of a bond mutual fund or ETF fluctuates with interest rates. This can give you the chance to boost your savings when interest rates go down. However, the opposite is also true, where the value of your bonds decrease when interest rates rise.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Lauren Perez
Lauren Perez |

Lauren Perez is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Lauren here

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