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Zions Bank VS PenFed Credit Union

Which bank is better for you?

  • Financial Rates: 4.0 Star Icon
  • Customer Service: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Variety of Terms: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Required Opening Amount: 5.0 Star Icon
No Rate Information
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  • Low opening required amounts
  • Good variety of terms available
  • Early withdrawal fees are low
  • CDs renew automatically


  • Cannot open CDs online
  • Best rates require large account balance
  • Rates may change based on location
  • Short-term CDs have low rates
  • Financial Rates: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Customer Service: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Variety of Terms: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Required Opening Amount: 5.0 Star Icon
No Rate Information
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  • Low opening required amounts
  • Good variety of CD terms available
  • Competitive interest rates on CDs
  • Can choose how to receive interest


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

The opening amount required for Zions Bank CDs is low. Each of the standard CD terms requires $1,000 to open. The IRA CD accounts also require $1,000 to open. The jumbo CDs require $100,000 to open.

There are a good variety of CD terms available through Zions Bank. The CD terms range from one month to five years. They include standard, IRA, and jumbo CDs. The CD term lengths are the same for the different CD types.

The early withdrawal penalties for Zions Bank CDs are low. If you withdraw money from terms 31-days or less, the fee is all the interest earned. If the term is from 32-days to one-year, the fee is 90 days of interest. For all terms longer than one year, the fee is 180-days of interest.

You can set up your Zions Bank CDs to renew automatically. If you select this option, your CD will renew at maturity. The interest rate for the renewed CD are the interest rates offered at the time of renewal. Contact customer service to set up automatic renewal.

You cannot open Zions Bank CDs online; you must visit a branch location. Branch locations are listed on their website. Once you open a CD in a branch location, you can access your CD and other accounts online.

The interest rates for Zions Bank CDs are lower than other online CD rates. To earn the highest interest rates requires a balance of at least $100,000. The highest rates are just higher than the standard rate. Even the highest rate is lower than online CD rates.

The interest rates for Zions Bank CDs may change based on your location. To know the correct rates for your area, input your zip code on the Zions Bank website. You can also call customer service or visit a branch location.

The short-term CDs with Zions Bank offer low interest rates. These rates are not competitive with other online CDs of the same term length. These term lengths include a one, three, six, and nine-month CDs. The interest rates increase with terms 12-months or longer.

Read the full Zions Bank review.

PenFed Credit Union CD Review

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.

Read the full PenFed Credit Union review.

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