Credit Union Certificate of Deposit Rates: Get the highest APY

February 24, 2011 4 Comments »

If you’ve been in the market for a CD (certificate of deposit) lately, then you may have come to the conclusion that credit unions can offer slightly higher rates.

Big banks, online banks and even regional ranks are pumping out some of the lowest APY’s on record lately and have left consumers scratching their heads in search for higher returns.

Traditionally online banks have been able to put up the best annual percentage yields for certificates of deposits, however, you may want to give your local credit union a second glance before jumping on that bandwagon. Credit Unions are not-for-profit financial institutions that are owned by their members. Therefor whatever profits they incur are generally passed back down to their members in the form of higher certificate of deposit rates. They are also federally insured by the NCUA (FDIC equivalent) and don’t have the same competitive dynamic in which most large banks do.

Related: 5 things to consider before joining a credit union.

Large banks, both regional and national, compete for your savings dollars by regularly one-upping each other on certificate of deposit rates. However, because the Fed is currently loaning money to banks at near zero interest, banks no longer need to compete for private funds.

Credit Unions on the other hand can sometimes offer slightly higher rates on certificate of deposits even in a downturn market because they need only answer to their members (who function as their share holders).


Comb through our CD rate archives and tables to find today’s highest rates from credit unions and banks in order to lock in the top APY.

Be sure to always look for promotional CD offers from credit unions as they’ll regularly offer CD’s with oddball maturities such as 7 months, 9 months, 15 months, etc with exceptionally high interest rates. Here are a few historical examples of noteworthy credit union deposit offers we’ve dug up from our archives.

Highest Rate Offered on a Certificate of Deposit from a Credit Union (Historical Offers):

- Elevations Federal Credit Union out of Colorado had a promotional CD going for 7% APY on a term of just 7 months!

- WYMAR Federal Credit Union had some phenomenal deposit rates as well if you had the ability to invest large sums of money. When we covered their CDs they had a fantastic rate being offered for deposit amounts of $75,000 or more.

- Piedmont Credit Union out of Virginia perhaps still has the highest CD rates offered from a credit union. We just covered their deposit offerings this month and found that their 6 month CD and 12 month CD both beat the current national average for those terms by nearly 90%.

If you’re local credit union is offering deposit rates with exceptionally high APY’s, please share by leaving a comment!

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  • Dr. Timothy Lawler

    7% in 7 months! Holy cow! Thanks for the awesome article and sharing these amazing resources with us all. Please keep up the awesome posts!

  • BankVibe

    No prob Doc!

  • AJay Olson

    Can we open up 4 of the easy start deposits from Navy Federal Credit Union under different names from people in our family and max them each out at 3k?

    I know I am eligible to join this credit union but Im looking for a 10,000 dollar deposit.

  • Ian

    @ Ajay – Yea, you can open them for each of your kids as long as they are under 18. Just have their social security numbers and you should be good to go.