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PenFed Credit Union CD Review

How does your bank stack up?

  • Financial Rates: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Customer Service: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Variety of Terms: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Opening Required Amount: 5.0 Star Icon

Pros:

  • Low opening required amounts
  • Good variety of CD terms available
  • Competitive interest rates on CDs
  • Can choose how to receive interest

Cons:

  • Must become a member first
  • Can only open standard CDs online
  • No interest rate guarantee for CDs
  • Early withdrawal fees are high

What You Need to Know

The opening required amount for PenFed CDs is low. Each standard and IRA CD terms only require $1,000 to open. The education CDs only require $500 to open. You can open the CDs online or in a branch location.

There are a good variety of CDs available through PenFed. They offer nine standard CD terms from six months to seven years. Their IRA CDs and educational savings certificates terms range from one to seven years.

Each CD term with PenFed offers competitive interest rates. The rates are competitive with other online CDs. The standard, IRA, and education CDs interest rates are competitive. They are higher than the typical bank interest rates.

There is more than one way to choose how to receive interest payments earned from your PenFed CDs. You can have the money added to the CD or another account. You can choose to have the money sent to you in a check. You can receive the interest earned monthly or when the CD matures.

To open a CD with PenFed, you must first become a member of the credit union. If you have or are currently serving in the military, you can become a member. Living in certain areas or being a member of set organizations qualifies you. If you work for the U.S. government or other organizations, you are eligible as well. If you do not meet any of these requirements, you can pay a $5 fee. Once you are a member, you can apply for accounts.

PenFed offers standard CDs, IRA CDs, and educational CDs. Members can only open standard CDs online. To open the other types of CDs, you must visit a branch location or contact customer service. All the standard CD terms are available to open online.

The standard PenFed CDs do not offer an interest rate guarantee. If you open a CD and the interest rates increase shortly after, your interest rates will not increase. The PenFed standard CDs offer competitive interest rates.

The early withdrawal fees for PenFed CDs are high. If you withdraw money early from a six-month CD, you will lose all your interest. For CD terms longer than six-month the fee is all interest earned if withdrawn in the first year. After the first year, the fee is 30 percent of what would have been earned if the CD had reached maturity.

Cool Things

Learning Center

The PenFed website offers a financial learning center. Here you can read articles on financial topics. Some of these topics include planning for a wedding or a new baby. They offer articles on home buying and saving for a vacation.

History

PenFed started in 1935. Today they have 1.7 million members across the world. They have members in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. They also have members in Guam, Puerto Rico, and Okinawa. They are the second-largest credit union in America with assets more than $25 billion.

Awards and Recognition

  • ”Best Credit Union” by My Bank Tracker in 2018
  • ”Best Military Banks and Credit Unions of 2018” by Nerd Wallet
  • ”Best Savings Account” by Bank Deal Guy

Giving Back

PenFed recently opened a financial center to serve 12,000 students. This program will teach seventh-grade students about budgets and finance. They also launched a financial center in Puerto Rico. This program teaches students how to make smart financial decisions to succeed.

The PenFed Foundation puts on a ‘Night of Heroes Gala.’ At this event they raised over $2.5 million. This money supports over 35,000 veterans and their families each year.

PenFed launched a Veteran Entrepreneur Investment Program. This program raised $1.4 million to help veteran-owned small businesses.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is PenFed FDIC insured?

Yes. PenFed Credit Union is backed by the NCUA. The National Credit Union Association is an agency of the United States government. It protects funds deposited in credit unions, up to $250,000 per customer, per credit union. The money deposited in NCUA insured credit unions means money is backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government.

How many different terms does PenFed offer?

There are nine standard CDs offered through PenFed. They also offer IRA CDs and six terms of education CDs.

What is the required amount to open a CD with PenFed?

Each standard CD and IRA CDs requires $1,000 to open. The educational CDs require $500. You can open the standard CDs online.

How do I deposit money into PenFed CDs?

Electronic transfers, wire transfers, or mailing in a check. You can visit a local branch location to deposit money into your CD.

How do I access my money?

The easiest way is through electronic transfers. You can receive a check by contacting customer service.

Do I have to open other PenFed accounts before I can open a CD?

No, but you must first become a member of the credit union. To become a member, you must meet specific requirements. If you do not meet those requirements, you can pay $5 to join. Once you are a member, you can open any of their accounts.

Do PenFed CDs offer competitive interest rates?

Yes. The PenFed CDs offer competitive interest rates. The rates are competitive with other online CDs.

Can I choose how to receive my interest payments from PenFed CDs?

Yes. You can choose to have the money deposited back into the CD or another account. You can also choose to have the money sent to you in a check.

What percentage am I charged if I withdraw money before the maturity date?

For six-month terms, the fee is all interest earned. For terms longer than six months, the fee is all interest earned if closed in the first year. After the first year the fee is 30 percent of what interest would have been earned if the CD had reached maturity.

How do I make changes during the grace period?

Contact customer service.

How will I know my PenFed CD is nearing maturity?

Contact customer service to find out more about when your CD reaches maturity.

How long is the grace period between renewal?

If you select automatic renewal, there is no grace period. Otherwise, the grace period is typically ten days.

Are PenFed CD rates guaranteed for the entire term?

Yes. PenFed guarantees CD rates for the life of the CD term.

Does PenFed offer mobile banking?

Yes. PenFed offers a mobile app. With the app, you can deposit checks through mobile deposit. You can transfer money and see account balances and transactions. PenFed also offers Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay.

Is PenFed a good bank?

Their CDs offer competitive interest rates and a variety of CD terms. You can open the standard CDs online. The opening required amount for CDs is low. You can choose how to receive interest earned on the CD. The early withdrawal fees are high.

Is PenFed secure online?

Their security measures comply with federal laws. Their computers have safeguards, and their buildings and files are secure.

What is the shortest PenFed CD term offered?

The shortest term available is a six-month term.

What is the longest PenFed CD term offered?

The longest term available is a seven-year term.

Does PenFed offer accounts other than CDs?

Yes. They offer checking, savings, and money market accounts. They offer cash rewards cards and lending options.

Can I use PenFed CDs for my business accounts?

No. PenFed offers personal accounts.

How do I reach customer service?

Through phone, email, mail, or by visiting a local branch location. You can follow PenFed on Facebook and Twitter.

Bank Contact Information

PenFed Customer Care
Box 1432
Alexandria, VA 22313-2032

Box 247009
Omaha, NE 68124-7009

1-800-247-5626

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