Connexus Credit Union has raised the rates on their 5-year Share Certificate to 3.00% APY with a 365-day early withdrawal penalty. They also have 1-year Share Certificate at 2.01% APY (90-day early withdrawal penalty). Both have a $5,000 minimum deposit. Anyone can join this credit union via partner organization Connexus Association for a one-time $5 fee.
It’s nice to see a 5-year CD hit 3% APY again, but the main drawbacks are that (2) rates may continue rising and (2) a year of lost interest is a significant early withdrawal penalty. To help illustrate this, I ran a comparison with the Ally Bank 5-year CD with a shorter 150-day early withdrawal penalty. The Ally CD is currently paying 2.30% APY with a $5,000 minimum deposit, so I will use that as the comparison rate. (You can also get 2.35% APY with $25,000+.)
As you can see, the penalty makes a big difference. Even if you make an early withdrawal at the last possible moment (59 months), you will never get anything higher than 2.39% APY.
If you do end up having to make an early withdrawal, the Ally CD with a smaller penalty will actually net you more money up until about 36 months. After 36 months, the Connexus 5-year wins out. For periods shorter than about a year, the likely best option is to just keep your money in a liquid online savings account. If you think rates will stay higher, you could also buy a 1-year CD and hope to roll it over.
Bottom line. If you’ve been waiting for 3% and/or you’re building a ladder of 5-year CDs where you are confident you won’t have to break it early, this Connexus certificate is currently a top rate and should be considered. Just be aware of the sizable early withdrawal penalty.
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