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Pentagon Federal Credit Union — more commonly known as PenFed — is a national credit union that offers a variety of banking services, including certificates of deposit. PenFed refers to its certificates as Money Market Certificates, which are essentially CDs.
Though PenFed was originally designated for only customers with military ties, that is no longer the case. Now anyone can become a member, regardless of military status, simply by opening a savings account and depositing $5. Once you’ve opened the savings account, you’re free to open other accounts like CDs.
PenFed CD Rates
PenFed CD rates range from Pentagon Federal Credit Union Money Market Certificate – APY APY (Annual Percentage Yield). The credit union offers nine terms, from six months to seven years.
Here is a full breakdown of PenFed CD rates:
CD TermAPY6 months3.00%1 yearPentagon Federal Credit Union 1 Year Money Market Certificate – APY15 monthsPentagon Federal Credit Union 15 Month Money Market Certificate – APY18 monthsPentagon Federal Credit Union 18 Month Money Market Certificate – APY2 yearsPentagon Federal Credit Union 2 Year Money Market Certificate – APY3 years4.30%4 years4.00%5 years4.00%7 years3.90%
PenFed CD Rates Pros and Cons
Relatively high interest rates
Many CD term options
Most CDs compound dividends daily and pay them monthly
Anyone can become a member of PenFed
A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau
Many online institutions pay even higher rates right nowPotentially large early withdrawal penalties6-month CDs do not compound dividends
PenFed CD Rates FAQs
What are the current PenFed CD rates?
PenFed’s current CD rates range from Pentagon Federal Credit Union Money Market Certificate – APY APY, depending on the term.
Are PenFed CD rates good?
PenFed CD rates are much higher than national average CD rates, but they aren’t the highest rates out there right now. The best online banks pay even better rates.
What is PenFed?
PenFed stands for Pentagon Federal Credit Union. The credit union opened in 1935 and offers bank accounts, loans, and credit cards. It currently has nearly 3 million members across the world.
Is PenFed only for military members?
Though PenFed was started with military members and their families in mind, membership is now open to anyone, regardless of their military ties. To become a member, you just need to fill out a form, open a savings account, and deposit at least $5.
Is PenFed legitimate?
PenFed is a legitimate credit union that offers a variety of banking, lending, and financial services. It currently has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, indicating the company responds to customer complaints effectively and is transparent about its business practices. It is federally insured by the NCUA.
How PenFed CD Rates Compare
PenFed CDs vs. Navy Federal CDs
Navy Federal CD rates range from Navy Federal Credit Union Standard Certificate – APY APY on standard CDs, so the best choice between Navy Federal and PenFed could come down to which term you want. With Navy Federal, you can choose a term from three months to seven years, and rates are tiered based on the amount of your deposit.
Navy Federal pays an even higher rate — Navy Federal Credit Union EasyStart℠ Certificate – APY APY — on the Navy Federal Credit Union EasyStart℠ Certificate – Editorial Name Only. An EasyStart Certificate only requires a Navy Federal Credit Union EasyStart℠ Certificate – Minimum Deposit deposit (much less than the Pentagon Federal Credit Union Money Market Certificate – Minimum Deposit required for PenFed CDs).
Membership isn’t as easy with Navy Federal as it is at PenFed, though. To join Navy Federal or open its CDs, you must be an active duty or retired military service member, veteran, Department of Defense employee, or immediate family member of a military member.
PenFed CDs vs. USAA CDs
Again, the higher CD rate between these two institutions depends on which term you choose. USAA currently pays USAA Bank CD – APY APY on CDs. USAA offers more term options than PenFed, with terms as short as 30 days.
The downside of USAA is that membership is not open to just anyone. You must be a US military member, veteran, precommissioned officer, or spouse or child of a current USAA member.
The bottom line: PenFed CDs may be a good option if you want a CD that pays a high interest rate. Other banks and credit unions pay even higher rates right now, but PenFed CDs might be worth it if you have other accounts at PenFed and want to do all of your banking with the same company.
Why You Should Trust Us: How We Reviewed PenFed CDs
To review PenFed CDs, we used Personal Finance Insider’s certificate of deposit methodology, which considers interest rates, minimum deposit requirements, CD term variety, and early withdrawal penalties. We also look at the credit union’s overall ethics, and the quality of its mobile app and customer service.