(DEAD) New Bank Opportunity – A 7 month ~7% CD at NRLFCU

5/2/16 UPDATE: NRLFCU appears to have stopped the 777 promotion and it is not possible at this time to sign up for the promotional account.

While the master of bank bonuses, Doctor of Credit, is enjoying his vacation, I thought I’d cover the latest opportunity I came across today.  NRL Federal Credit Union is allowing members to open a 7-month CD that pays out close to 7% APY on up to $7,000 in funds as a part of their “777” promotion.  While this isn’t a traditional “Meet X requirements and get $XXX” bank signup bonus, the payout can be pretty high if you have the funds to float.  As far as guaranteed returns go, this is the highest I’ve ever seen.  Even the best of the rewards checking/savings accounts only go up to ~5% and often have hoops to jump through with minimum transactions and such.  The good news is you can potentially fund up to $9,000 with a credit card, but it might cost you a hard credit pull to open.  I’ll break down all of the details below.

nrlfcu_777cd

Overview

  • CD Interest: 6.73% APY (with potential to bump up to 7% APY)
  • CD Amount Range: $500-$7,000
  • 777 CD Limit: 1 per member
  • Membership Availability: Nationwide
  • Credit Card Funding: Up to $9,000
  • Hard Credit Pull: Most Likely Probably Not
  • Promotion End Date: Unknown
  • Direct Link to Offer: NRLFCU Home Page

Thanks to steiner_math on reddit for bringing the promotion to my attention.

Details

Joining NRLFCU

Anyone is eligible to open an account at NRLFCU as long as they first join the American Consumer Council which is 100% free to join.  They make it extremely easy to join as well and only require inputting your name, address, and email to this web form on their website:

NRLFCU Link to Join ACC

Like many credit unions, you must open their Savings Account with a minimum of $5, but there are no fees to worry about.

777 Share Certificate Details

For the life of me, I can’t find any details about the 777 Share Certificate promotion aside from the picture above found on their home page, but you can see some more information once you start the process of opening an account.

777_info

Basically the Share Certificate operates like a normal CD where you put in money up-front and it gains interest at the advertised rate until the end of the CD’s term where you get the full balance back plus interest.  In this case, the interest rate is 6.734%+ APY with a term of 7 months.

Early Termination Fee

The basic idea behind a CD is that the bank will have access to your money for the full term and you won’t be able to withdraw it until the end, but it is still possible to withdraw your money in the case of an emergency where you need it.  This 777 Share Certificate doesn’t seem to differ from the bank’s other Share Certificates and appears to be subject to the same Early Withdrawal penalty as their other products which is based on the length of the term.

nrlfcu_cancel_penalty

In the case of this 7-month CD, you would be penalized the previous 30 day’s dividends if you decided to withdraw the funds before the 7 months were up.  For example, if you withdrew the money after 6 months, you would only gain interest on the first 5 months (6 months minus the 30 day penalty).  So you’re not really at any risk of losing money, simply at risk of not getting the full interest.

Increasing the APY Above 6.734%

NRLFCU offers a “Loyalty Rewards” system that allows you to increase the payout on their Share Certificate products by up to 0.25% APY by using different services they offer.  Here are the different services that can increase your interest rate:

  • Direct Deposit to NRLFCU
  • eStatements with NRLFCU
  • An active Visa CheckCard with NRLFCU
  • A loan refinance from another financial institution
  • Apply for a loan or new certificate account online with NRLFCU
  • Deposits totaling $250,000 or more with NRLFCU
  • A mortgage with NRLFCU

If you qualify for any of the above requirements, your interest rate will increase by the total number met:

  • 1 Requirement met = 0.05% increase
  • 2 Requirements met = 0.10% increase
  • 3+ Requirements met = 0.25% increase

Given the promotional CD is only for a short term, it’s probably not worth going out of your way to max out this Loyalty Rewards benefit.  Everyone should sign up for eStatements and opening the 777 Share Certificate online meets two of the requirements for a free 0.10% bonus, but I don’t see any others that justify the effort for the final 0.15% bonus.

Value of the Offer

  • Return on $7,000 at 6.884% APY (6.734% + 0.10% Loyalty Bonus) = $281
  • Compare to $7,000 in a 1% savings account for 7 months = $41
  • Compare to $7,000 split across 5% Netspend accounts = $204

If you have $7,000 simply sitting in an account that is yielding 1% or less that you don’t need for 7 months, there is over $240 worth of opportunity you could take advantage of by shifting your money into this promotional account for 7 months.  If instead you’ve already moved all of your cash into high-yielding accounts like Netspend, your total benefit is reduced, but still available if you don’t mind the effort of opening up another account.

Credit Card Funding

The other place you might be able to get value from this offer is via credit card funding to open the account.  The account funding page allows you to fund the account initially with up to $9,000 with a Visa or Mastercard.  I do not know if any credit cards will run this as a cash advance, so I highly recommend you reduce your cash advance limit to $0 or close before attempting to fund this account.

If you are opening the account with the full $7,000 CD, you can fund it completely and add an extra $2000 to the Savings Account you have to open to maximize the funding limit:

nrlfcu_funding

Credit Pull

The final page of the application screen forces you to check a box that specifies:

By clicking this checkbox, you agree that the information provided is true and correct. You authorize us to verify the information submitted and to obtain your credit reports. Upon request, we will inform you of a credit pull with the credit reporting agency’s information.

I do not know if they actually follow through with the hard pull if you’re not opening an overdraft account or any other credit based account, but the potential is definitely there if you decide to open an account.

Other Notes

I think this is pretty standard for banks offering CD-like products, but it’s worth noting this info from the fine print on how to access your money after the maturity date.  If you don’t do anything, they will roll the money into a 6-month CD at the standard (very low) interest rate, but I believe it would be possible to simply close that account early to get your money out if you miss the initial window.

Twenty (20) days prior to maturity, we will send a notice to you. You may choose to have the matured share certificate transfer to any of your savings or checking accounts. Unless we receive notice from you, the share certificate account will automatically roll into another share certificate account on the maturity date, for the same term range rounded down to 6, 12, 24, 36, 48, 60 or 84 month terms at the then current rate. There is a 10-day grace period after the maturity date, during which you may elect to make changes without penalty. Please call the Credit Union to obtain current rate information.

Final Verdict

The close to 7% guaranteed returns were enough to make me jump on opening a new account and the credit card funding will be a nice bonus if it goes through successfully.  I attempted to fund the full $9,000 on my new United Business card and will probably update on Twitter whether or not it succeeds.  I had Credit Karma soft pull my credit soon after applying and didn’t have any new inquiries on TransUnion or Equifax, so the jury is still out as to whether or not they will actually pull my credit.  I’ll also update on Twitter if I find out for sure, but let me know in the comments below if you find out yourself!

If you can float $7,000 for the next 7 months and want to get a good guaranteed return, this is just about the best place to park your money.  I would feel comfortable putting my emergency fund in this CD because in the case of a real emergency it shouldn’t be too difficult to pull the cash out and simply lose out on the expected interest.  As I currently have my emergency fund sitting in a 0.95% account (Discover Savings), if the credit card funding goes through I’ll get ~$400 worth of value from opening the account.  For an account with no minimum spend or other hoops to jump through, that’s definitely worth the risk of a hard pull in my book.

If anyone is able to find a page on the NRLFCU website with more promotion specific details, please let me know below so I can update the post.


121 thoughts on “(DEAD) New Bank Opportunity – A 7 month ~7% CD at NRLFCU

    1. Don’t know yet. They didn’t immediately pull TU or EQ for me, but that doesn’t mean they won’t during the approval process. I also have a free credit monitoring service thing from a data breach that looks at EX inquiries and usually get an email right after applying for a new CC. No alert yet, but it’s possible they have someone manually approve the account or something before they actually pull the credit.

      I’m crossing my fingers there won’t be any pull at all since I’m not opening a checking account with overdraft or anything, but I definitely authorized them to do it when applying.

      1. I see. Another question. I want to use my Chase southwest to finish the spending on a companion pass, but not sure if Chase will allow this ¿? I guess I just have to try?

        I couldn´t find any data points at doctorofcredit regarding funding an account at NRL…

        1. I tried with one of my Chase cards (United Biz), but they haven’t attempted to actually charge it yet. I’ll update once I find out, but there’s no guarantee you’ll have the same experience with the Southwest card (although most Chase cards are usually correlated).

          1. Hi again. I filled up the form to join the American Consumer Council, but I haven’t received any reply since April 29th. Since this is a requirement, I am not sure if I should wait of go ahead and apply for the CD. Did you receive a confirmation from ACC?

          2. I did not wait for the confirmation from the ACC before applying. In fact, I still haven’t received any communication from the ACC and have been approved for the account (still waiting for confirmation it’s been activated so I can log in).

    1. Great data points! So far it matches my experience because they haven’t’ pulled my credit yet, but I also haven’t been fully approved for the account yet either.

  1. Perhaps a silly question, but if I set CA to $0 and try to fund with a cc and it’s declined, will the bank require me to use an alternative (non-cc) method? Or is it pretty YMMV? Anyone have any random experiences with cc funding, denial (due to CA set to $0) and trying to fund again with a different cc?

    Reason I ask is because Cap1 seems to be sensitive to bank funding. If I only have one shot though I’d go with another card despite the fact that using my Cap1 Spark for min spend and 2% cb would be much preferred.

    1. It varies by bank and I haven’t seen any data points of successful or unsuccessful cc loads for NRLFCU yet. Citigold for example (when they allowed CC funding) would give you two chances before forcing you to use an alternative. I imagine most banks will at least give a second chance in case the first one triggers a fraud alert or similar, but it’s up to the individual banks.

      I’ll be sure to share once my attempt get accepted/denied, but it’s a waiting game until then I suppose and won’t necessarily apply to your Cap One attempt.

      1. Thanks, I’ll also update on whatever I do.

        Here’s another newbie question as far as cash advance is concerned. From some digging around it looks like you can’t change your CA limit with Cap1. In this case, my CA limit is $7,500. If I try to fund this account for $10k and we assume it triggers CA, would the transaction be declined based on the fact that I exceed my CA limit? My fear is they’d charge me $7,500 CA and then allow the remaining purchase to go as posted to my CC.

        1. Confirmed from Cap1 rep that you cannot reduce your CA limit. If a purchase exceeds the CA limit it’ll automatically be declined.

          So in this case, as long as 777 provides a second chance CC funding opportunity, there’s nothing to lose by trying a Cap1 card. I’ve read various data points on DoC that suggest Cap1 is a mixed bag. TechCU for example doesn’t code as CA. Obviously many banks do though.

          If I go through with this and fund with my Cap1 Spark I’ll update here, probably DoC too.

          1. I’ve actually never had a Cap1 card before, so that’s good info. It does match my understanding that any attempt to charge a cash transaction above your cash advance limit will decline the entire purchase. I can’t imagine the bank would ever split it in any way based on limits.

          2. Ah, $500 bonus isn’t too shabby. Plus 2% cash back w/ Visa. I usually pair a Cap1 application with another credit card, reduces the impact on the triple pulls.

          3. Be careful with Cap1. Awhile back, they approved a Citi funding charge significantly in excess of my CA limit and charged me a CA fee. (At the time, there was no public data point on DoC, FT, etc. about Citi funding with Cap1, so I chose to test it.) I had to fight with them to waive the fee on the grounds that the charge shouldn’t have been approved in the first place.

  2. I’m going to try to fund mine with my new United (personal) card to hit the minimum spend, but my CL is only 5k and I’d like to fund this account with 7k. After the initial funding of 5k, is there a way to transfer in an add’l 2k?

    1. Assuming you have other Chase personal cards, you can call up Chase and shift some credit around to the United card to get up to whatever limit you want.

      Beyond that option, I doubt they will let you fund with a CC twice. It should be possible to simply fund a savings account with the 5k, ACH in another 2k once it’s up and running, and then open a 777 Share Certificate instead of doing it all initially.

    1. Good question and I was thinking along the same lines. If you’re married/living with a partner you’ll share the same address. Maybe Noah can chime in here since he has the ball rolling since he’s in this same boat and I’d venture to guess that as long as his attempt (no hard inquiry, cc funding) is successful he’ll try to double up.

    2. I still haven’t found any fine print or official terms and conditions for the 777 promotion, so it’s unclear. The other website discussing the promotion mentions 1 per member (which makes sense given the $7k limit), but I’m not sure where they got their information.

      If you have a significant other, there shouldn’t be any reason you can’t both become members and open separate accounts to increase the total limit to $14k between the two of you. I don’t know of any bank that restricts accounts to one per household, but I suppose anything is possible.

  3. From my understanding, it seems like the product is a stock certificate, not a certificate of deposit. According to Wikipedia, a stock certificate is “a legal document that certifies ownership of a specific number of shares or stock in a corporation”. So just be cautious when investing in stock.

    1. I forgot to mention that I have limited knowledge in these sorts of matters. I hope I’m incorrect, because it sounds like a wonderful opportunity for churning 😀

    2. I don’t see anything that indicates this is a “stock certificate”, Share Certificate is just what credit unions call their CD products. Fixed term, fixed interest, and insured by the NCUA. Definitely no risk involved as you would get from buying stock.

      Excerpt from a NerdWallet article (https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/banking/cd-share-certificate-rates/):
      “CDs are offered by banks, while share certificates come from credit unions, but they are similar investments. Both are government-insured for up to $250,000 at participating financial institutions, making them among the safest possible investments. You pay a price for that safety, though: lower returns.

      With both, you invest a fixed sum of money for a specified time period, anywhere from a few days to years. Typically, you earn a predetermined yield. But unlike with money in a savings account, you generally have no access to your funds during the term of the investment, or you may incur a penalty for withdrawing any of the money.”

    1. True, but even if it’s a hard pull you’re getting $200 in credit card points ($10k @ 2%) plus the 7% CD. Put another way, if I asked you if you’d be willing to be compensated with $200 for a hard inquiry and not have to hassle with a new account and negative impact to credit (AAOA) would you take it?

      If your answer is yes, then it’s go time. If you’re indecisive, does the 7% CD put you over the hump? Of course I understand if anyone doesn’t jump on this, but I personally look at this as a great deal that I don’t suspect will last long.

      There’s data points in the post I linked earlier that suggest it’s a soft pull as well. Based on limited data I feel it’s better than a 50/50 at this point. I like these chances, hard pull or not.

  4. Great find and thanks for posting!

    I am curious to see what happens when your credit card goes through via Chase. Hopefully no issues for you. Please post what happens!

  5. The online application uses a software known as Loans PQ (on your browser tab you’ll see an LPQ logo). This is a fairly standard system utilized by many credit unions nationwide for new loan and new account processing. I manage a CU in the NW that uses LPQ. This software still requires an individual to “touch” the application to move it forward. If the response is as expected, you should see an “Approved Pending” status. Assuming large # of apps come in, I’d expect a minimum 2-3 business day wait time to move from “Pending” status. Typically, a CU doesn’t staff their back office processing areas heavily on weekends, if at all. Hope this helps someone to avoid getting too impatient.

    1. Thanks for the detailed info on the CU software. I actually got an approval email this morning and had to eSign a document to finish opening the account, but still have to wait for a final confirmation before I can log in.

      Still no alerts for any hard credit pulls which is a good sign.
      They still haven’t attempted to charge my credit card yet, so no update there.

  6. Anyone should now be able to subscribe to the comments without actually commenting, look for the link in
    “You can also subscribe without commenting.” below.

    Let me know if you have any issues with it. Thanks!

  7. Immediately after submitting my application, it went to a screen telling me to login and upload my driver’s license. I also got an email with the same message. But I can’t log in (presumably b/c my account’s still in their queue like most people’s today). Anyone else get that message?

    Funded with BofA MC where I have the cash adv limit set to $10 (the minimum they allow). No sign of a pending transaction in my BofA account. Will try to remember to report back.

    1. The driver’s license upload is pretty standard for opening a banking account online. As for uploading, are you sure you went through the link they provided in the email? You can’t simply log into the bank website normally because your account hasn’t been officially opened yet.

      If you go through the “My Account Homepage” link they provided, you should see the link to login with your email and upload the image of your drivers license.

  8. i’m confused. the “CD amount range” is listed at a max of $7000.

    but “credit card funding” is listed as up to $9000.

    ??

    1. “If you are opening the account with the full $7,000 CD, you can fund it completely and add an extra $2000 to the Savings Account you have to open to maximize the funding limit”

      You must open a Savings account to become a member, so you can put the extra $2k in there if you want to max out the funding.

  9. NCUA is the normal insurance mechanism of national insurance for a credit union. So not that stupid a question.

  10. UPDATE:
    I was fully approved for the NRLFCU account this morning and the credit card funding with my Chase United Biz card appears to have gone through successfully (charge is pending w/ no change in CA limit). As far as I can tell, I did not receive any hard pull for opening the account.

    Unfortunately, if you were waiting on these data points before applying it appears you are too late. They appear to have pulled the 777 promotional account this morning and there’s no indication that it might come back. Best of luck to everyone who got in early!

    1. Does the status of your application change after it is fully approved? Mine is still in “approved pending” state. Hope to clear soon.

      1. I received a request to eSign a document Saturday to confirm opening the account, the status changed to “Approved”, but I still couldn’t log in. This morning (Monday), I received a confirmation my account was fully open.

    2. did you charge post with your Chase United Biz

      Even though, it’s dead, I might do a checking account to rack up miles.

  11. Same here. ‘Approved Pending’. My credit card does not have Pre-Auth or Charge from NRLFCU.
    So far no email other from NRLFCU other then requesting DL document.
    I hope they will not reject applications.

  12. Did anybody fund it with a CapI CC? Any results? I am curious. Noah although I missed this. Thanks for sharing.

  13. will you post a comment on this thread if the deal comes back? i’m receiving email updates on this thread and this info would be useful.

    thanks

    1. I doubt it will come back because they appear to have met their desired amount of new customers/money from the promotion. If it does happen to come back though, I’ll try to update here.

  14. I applied Friday/Saturday for me/SO. Got the esign request Tuesday/Wednesday. I notified Chase (automated line) that I will have 2x $9k charges. Got a fraud alert text that I approved. I now have 2x $2k and 2x $7k charges on my Freedom Unlimited (CA limit set to $0). So far, so good. I just hope I didn’t push things too far…

    1. thanks for the good data points. did your application status say “approved pending” until you received the esign request? I applied Monday morning, sent in a copy of my DL and the status has read pending since. I called and they said they are still processing some applications.
      I used my Chase Ink to fund. My CA limit is set to 3K but hopefully that wont be an issue since the transaction is 9K… Or should i call and decrease the CA limit?

      1. I didn’t look that carefully at the status. I think mine was “pending” and my SO was “approved pending.” I would just let them process the presumably larger-than-expected backlog of applications.

        About the cash advance limit, you should be safe since Chase doesn’t seem to be posting this as a cash advance. But, I would lower the limit anyway since it could help in the future. Also, I wasn’t expecting the $9k to be split into $7k and $2k. If, for whatever reason, it does post as a cash advance, it’s possible the $2k would make it through with a $3k limit.

  15. I applied for the savings account only, and upon reviewing my app, they asked if I wanted the 7% CD deal and they allowed me to split the 9000.00 payment into the CD and Savings account. Feeling pretty lucky right now!

      1. Applied on Monday the 2nd, they asked me on Thursday the 5th. Was approved today on the 6th. Im still waiting for the money to be requested from my credit card.

    1. That’s awesome, I wonder if they reevaluated how many promotional CDs they wanted to give out and tried to extend the offer to some that applied just for the cc funding.

  16. I applied on Sunday but haven’t heard from the bank yet other than the driver’s license upload and e-mail verification which I completed on Sunday right after applying. Are other people still waiting ?

    1. Same situation was for me.
      I went to application status page and send a private message.
      Next day, they worked on my application and Approved it.

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