This week, the banking deal we want to highlight is a 3% APY 12-month Special EasyStart CD offered by Navy Federal Credit Union. To understand how good a deal this is, the average 1-year CD rate according to BestCashCow data is 0.61% APY while the very best 12 month bank (not credit union) CD rate in our database is 2.01% APY. So a 3% 12-month CD is fantastic.
Of course, there are some limitations, some of them quite significant. The minimum balance is a relatively small $50 but the maximum balance is only $3,000. That means the most you can put into this CD is $3,000. To get the CD, deposit holders must also have Direct Deposit of at least $300 set up, a Navy Federal Checking Account, and a monthly automatic transfer of at least $15 into your Special EasyStart Certificate within 90 days of the certificate issue date.
The second big limitation is that you have to be able to join the credit union first before you can take advantage of the offer. Credit unions, unlike banks, often restrict membership. In the case of Navy FCU, the membership criteria is quite broad. You have to have some relation to the military, civilian or uniformed personal, or be a grandparent, child, or grandchild of someone who does. A complete elibibility list is here. Note: I called and was told that if you are a child or grandchild, parent or grandparent must have retired from the military, not just served in order for you to qualify.
Assuming you are eligible, then the CD might be for you. If you are married and have children you could open one for your spouse and each of your kids, boosting the total amount eligible to receive the 3% rate. After the 3% maximum, a one year Navy CD pays .85% APY with a $1,000 minimum balance. The CD looks particulary attractive to credit union members who already have an account and relationship at Navy and for whom meeting the EasyStart CD requirements would be relatively easy.
Navy Federal Credit Union is the largest credit union in the United States according to BestCashCow data with $44 billion in assets. It is NCUA insured. The credit union has a low Texas Ratio of 8.20%, normally a sign that the institution is sound.
If this CD doesn't look like it's for you, then seach for the best CD rates in your area by accessing our tables through the tab above.
Last week's rate deal was: