There’s a double reason why Nevada and Utah savers, plus anyone with family in those areas, should check out the 5-year certificate offer from America First Credit Union.
For one, its 2.30% APY edges out the top nationally available bank return of 2.27% APY on our CD Rates Leaderboard and earns it a spot in our roundup of the best-paying credit union and community bank CDs in the country.
But more significant is that America First — the nation’s seventh-largest credit union, with over 700,000 members — imposes the mildest early-withdrawal penalty we’ve seen across hundreds of banks and credit unions.
When we recently analyzed the best and worst penalties among all the banks in our national CD rankings, the absolute minimum hit you could hope for on a 60-month certificate was five months’ interest, with six months being considered reasonable.
At America First, the penalty is a scant three months’ interest.
This is a great feature for long-term CDs right now, when we’re faced with so much uncertainty about what the Federal Reserve will do with rates over the next few years.
If the Fed raises rates steadily, as it had been planning, then it makes sense to buy long-term CDs with mild exit penalties, allowing you to reasonably cash out when new, better rates become available.
Of course, membership in America First is required to get your hands on this CD. Centered mostly on the greater Las Vegas and Salt Lake City areas, savers living and working in a handful of Utah and Nevada counties are eligible, as are the employees of a long list of affiliated employers.
But savers from other parts of the country have a potential way in as well. If you’re a family member of someone eligible for membership, you can join yourself, even if your eligible family member doesn’t join.
America First’s 60-month certificate requires a minimum deposit of $500 and can be opened online, by phone or at one of more than 100 Utah and Nevada branches.
As always, though, be sure to check Bankrate’s extensive database of the day’s best CD rates before locking your money into any certificate of deposit, especially long-term ones like this.