Fort Bragg Federal Credit Union Certificate Deal: 5-year at 2.99% APY

Fort Bragg Federal Credit Union has some solid rates on their term share certificates, most notably the 5-year jumbo certificate at 2.99% APY ($25,000 minimum) and 2.89% APY ($5,000 minimum). Available both in regular taxable and IRAs. These are even “step-up” CDs where you can bump up the rate once if the advertised rates rise. NCUA-insured. Found via DepositAccounts.

This is a relatively small credit union, so this rate probably won’t last very long. I would also expect it to require a little effort to be opened if you don’t live near their branches in North Carolina. Even their 2.99% APY is a bit odd. When it’s a loan where you pay interest, you always see APRs of 2.99% or 9.99%. When it’s a bank account where you get paid interest, you always see APYs of 2.00% or 2.05%. It’s almost like they don’t want people to notice that they have the highest 5-year CD rate in the country by a decent margin.

Membership eligibility. Credit union membership is open to:

  • Active-Duty or Retired military service member
  • Family member of primary member
  • Regularly works on Fort Bragg
  • Most persons who live, work, worship, or attend school in, and businesses and other legal entities in Cumberland County, NC
  • Members of the Braxton Bragg Chapter of AUSA

The last option makes membership open to anyone nationwide. Here is the PDF application which shows the cost of $40 for a 2-year membership, but you may wish to try and apply over the phone at 855-246-6269. Be sure to join the Braxton Bragg Chapter. You will need your AUSA membership number before they can finish your credit union application.

Many credit unions do a hard credit pull upon joining, but I’m not sure about Fort Bragg.

Early withdrawal penalties and limitations. Please note the following language taken from the Full membership agreement (PDF). The penalty is short (3 months), but there may be restrictions for early withdrawals.

Early Withdrawal Penalties – All Term Share Certificate Accounts. You have agreed to leave the principal of this account on deposit for the full term stated in your Certificate. If all or part of the principal is withdrawn before the maturity date, the Credit Union may charge you a penalty. Withdrawal of the principal amount of your Certificate may be made only with the consent of the Credit Union. Unless stated otherwise, owners of non-IRA Term Share Certificate accounts shall forfeit an amount equal to three (3) months dividends on the amount withdrawn. Owners of IRA Term Share Certificate accounts shall forfeit an amount equal to three (3) months AND assessed an Administrative Fee, refer to Term Share/IRA Certificates Rates for current fee. The penalty may be calculated at the rate paid on the deposit at the time of the withdrawal. The penalty will, if necessary, be taken from the principal amount of the deposit.

Bottom line. Fort Bragg FCU has a 5-year share certificate at 2.99% APY. As of 2/19/2019, a 5-year Treasury bond currently yields only about 1.4%. The SEC yield of the Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF (BND) is only 2.14% and it has a longer duration. This margin means this rate won’t last very long. The possible credit check and $40 entry fee make it better for high balances to make it worth the trouble.

I am skipping this one as I don’t have any CDs maturing soon. Still, this is another example of smaller credit unions offering up a very high rate for a limited-time. Such opportunities only available to motivated individual investors and not big institutions.

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