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Ken Tumin founded the Bank Deals Blog in 2005 and has been passionately covering the best deposit deals ever since. He is frequently referenced by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and other publications as a top expert, but he is first and foremost a fellow deal seeker and member of the wonderful community of savers that frequents DepositAccounts.

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Survey of the Best CD Rates for March 16, 2012

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Signs of an improving economy pushed yields higher on long-term Treasuries. According to the the Washington Post, it was "pushing long-term interest rates to nearly five-month highs." There is speculation that we may have finally reached the bottom of CD rates. I hope this is the case, but we have seen many false bottoms over the last few years.

My list of top nationally available CD rates support the case that we have reached the bottom. All of these CD rates held steady this week. The only change this week was my addition of the 7-year CD at Northrop Grumman Federal Credit Union. It's 7-year CD rate for a $40K minimum isn't quite as high as PenFed's 7-year CD rate, but the CD has a more favorable early withdrawal penalty as I described in my review.

If you're worried about being stuck in a long-term CD if rates do start climbing, you may want to consider flexible CDs. On Tuesday I reviewed flexible CDs available from Ally Bank, CIT Bank and Northpointe Bank.

Local CD Deals

There were a few rate cuts on my local lists. One notable rate cut was at Alaska USA FCU with branches in California, Washington and Alaska. Some of the CD rates fell by 50 basis points which knocked the credit union off my list.

Another notable rate drop was at Department of Commerce FCU in Washington, DC. Even after the rate cuts, its CD rates remain very competitive. So I kepts its CDs on my list. Its two most competitive ones include its 2.25% APY 4-year CD and its 2.65% APY 5-year CD.

I added two institutions to the list this week. Both are from Texas which seems to be one of the best states for CD investors. The first is Texas Security Bank in Dallas which is offering a special 1.60% APY 16-month CD. The other is First Central Credit Union in Waco which is offering three competitive CD specials: 1.80% APY 25-month CD, 2.00% APY 37-month CD and 2.30% APY 49-month CD.

Long-Term CD Break Strategy

For the short-term CDs in my lists, you might notice CDs with the note "5-year CD closed after X years". These take into account the yield after the early withdrawal penalty is applied. Since Ally Bank's 5-year CD only has a 60-day interest penalty, it's still a good deal when closed early even with the recent rate cuts.

The risks of planning for early withdrawals of long-term CDs was recently highlighted by another credit union which raised the early withdrawal penalty on existing CDs. The credit union is CEFCU which is based in Illinois. I have more details in this blog post. CEFCU is now the second credit union which has raised the early withdrawal penalty on existing CDs. Last year Fort Knox FCU did the same thing (see my blog post).

Note About the CD Survey

As I described in my rate table overview, you can use our CD rate tables to find the best rates for both nationally available CDs and local CDs. This CD survey blog posts are intended to highlight nationwide CD deals that may not be apparent in the tables. For example, I'll include the post-penalty yields of a few long-term CDs.

The CD survey blog posts are also intended to highlight the local CD deals that are available in large metro areas. There are many high CD rates, but most of these are at small banks in rural areas or at small credit unions with very narrow fields of membership. In these local CD surveys, my focus is on local CD deals that are in big cities or that are available in large areas of a state.

Yields Accurate as of March 16, 2012

Under 1-Year CD Rates

  • Noteworthy Local Deals

1-Year CD Rates

  • Noteworthy Local Deals

18-month CD Rates

  • Noteworthy Local Deals

2-Year CD Rates

  • Noteworthy Local Deals

3-Year CD Rates

  • Noteworthy Local Deals

4-Year CD Rates

  • Noteworthy Local Deals

5-Year CD Rates

  • Noteworthy Local Deals

Over 5-Year CD Rates

  • Noteworthy Local Deals

Note: All rates listed above are Annual Percentage Yields (APY) which factor in compounding.


  Tags: CD rates

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