Connexus Credit Union 5-Year CD at 3.00% APY: Early Withdrawal Penalty Comparison

percentage2Connexus 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+.)

con_ally_cd

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.

The Fall of Landlines and Rise of Cell Phone-Only Households

Here’s an interesting chart from Statista showing how landline telephones are slowly dying away and being replaced by cell phones only.

landlines

In 2004, more than 90 percent of households in the U.S. had an operational landline phone – now it’s (significantly) less than 50 percent.

We use our cell phones almost exclusively, but we technically have a home phone line (though not a landline). If you still want home phone service, consider purchasing an Obi200 VoIP box and use it with Google Voice to get free home phone service over your internet at the great price of $0 a month and no taxes. Setup takes under 15 minutes and you can use your existing landline phones.

We should be thankful that long distance phone calls no longer cost so much, as I still remember the days of calling cards and when 10 cents a minute was cheap. (I’m getting rather old…) Heck, we are only paying $6 a month for unlimited cell phone service this year.

Sprint One Year of Free Unlimited Data Plan: Still Available

springfreeban

Updated: Offer still available, my 6-month update. Sprint still has a pretty solid promotion that isn't being advertised (TV, radio, newspaper, etc) and is only available online to new customers. If you bring over your own eligible smartphone … [Read the rest]

Berkshire Hathaway vs. S&P 500: Shrinking Edge?

brkvsp500_red

It is well-known that the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK) is Warren Buffett, and that its long-term performance has crushed the S&P 500. This is usually illustrated with an impressive chart like this one from Business Insider: I'm currently … [Read the rest]

Big List of Free Consumer Data Reports (2/2): See Your Confidential Rental History, Insurance, & Employment Data

Links updated 2018. Here is the second part of my big list of free consumer reports from over 50 different reporting agencies. The first part included your credit, banking, and subprime lending-related information. This part includes your housing, … [Read the rest]

Sam’s Club: Free 3-Month Membership Extension (or Full Refund Upon Cancellation)

(Update: Sam's Club has added that language that this offer is limited to "members in closing clubs". I'm not sure if that includes if you live in the same area as a closing club.) Sam's Club is offering all of their members a free 3-month … [Read the rest]

50% of American Households Don’t Own Any Stocks At All

ownsstock

Here's another stat to add to your knowledge. For roughly half of Americans, the stock market’s record highs don’t help at all, according to a recent Washington Post article. This chart shows that half of US household have no exposure to stocks, … [Read the rest]

Big List of Free Consumer Data Reports (1/2): See Your Confidential Credit, Banking, and Payday Lending Data

mag

Links updated for 2018. Since these are available every 12 months, it is a good idea to check these near or around the same time each year. A lot of companies make their money by collecting and selling data - your personal data. In the past, it … [Read the rest]

Markets Rise and Fall: Is Your Portfolio Ready For Both?

risefall_720b

It would be great if you could invest in things with high and reliable returns, going up and up consistently like clockwork and without worry. Unfortunately, that's usually the sign of a Ponzi scheme. The chart above illustrates what you have to … [Read the rest]

What If You Invested $10,000 Every Year For the Last 10 Years? 2008-2017 Edition

2008-2017x10k

Instead of just looking at one year of returns, here's an annual exercise that helps you look at the bigger picture. You may know the 10-year historical return of the S&P 500, but most of us didn't just invest a big lump sum of money a decade ago, … [Read the rest]

Best Interest Rates on Cash – January 2018

Short-term interest rates are rising. Megabanks make billions by pay you nothing for your idle cash. Here is my monthly roundup of the best safe rates available, roughly sorted from shortest to longest maturities. Check out my Ultimate … [Read the rest]

Navy Federal Credit Union 0% APR No Balance Transfer Fee Promotion

Navy Federal Credit Union (NFCU) has a limited-time promotion where both new and existing NFCU credit cardholders can get 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 12 months. You must transfer a non-Navy Federal credit card balance before February 28, … [Read the rest]