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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 9, 2012

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It was another week with a few more CD rate cuts. The rate cuts on the nationwide lists weren't too bad. Navy Federal Credit Union cut its 7-year CD rates by 10 basis points and its 5-year CD rates by 5 basis points. This was Navy Fed's first rate cut since September.

There is a little bit of good news. I added two new institutions to the nationwide list. The first one is Justice Federal Credit Union. Its Jumbo 5-year CD is currently the leader with a 2.35% APY. Over the years I have done several posts on this credit union due to its competitive rates and a field of membership that allows many people to qualify. Even though many may be able to qualify for JFCU membership, it doesn't mean it's easy as a reader described in this forum thread. Because of this problem, I haven't included it in my list. However, several readers have reported being able to join. At the bottom of that forum thread, another reader provided some useful tips for those interested in joining.

The other new addition is Northpointe Bank in Michigan. This bank used to limit their CDs to Michigan residents, but I was told people in any state can now apply by mail. At first look its CD rates may not seem that great. For example, its 5-year CD yield is 1.80%. However, these special CDs have a useful feature. They allow the CD holder to close the CD without an early withdrawal penalty half way through the term. For example, the 60-month CD can be closed without a penalty anytime from 30 to 60 months. This effectively turns the 60-month CD into a 30-month CD. In fact, it's even better since if rates stay low and you don't need the money, you can just keep the CD until full maturity.

Local CD Deals

This week there were more rate cuts on the local lists than on the nationwide lists. Two of the larger institutions that cut rates this week were Wings Financial Credit Union and Washington Federal. For the last year Washington Federal had a competitive 2.30% 5-year Jumbo CD. The rate fell this week 25 basis points to 2.05%. It's a large drop but the new rate is still competitive for a 5-year CD. It's a sizable bank with branches in several western states.

I added a few new institutions to the lists. Libertad Bank in Austin has a good short-term CD deal for Texas residents. It's offering a special 1.50% APY 15-month CD and a 1.20% APY 1-year CD. Hat tip to the reader txsaver for posting on this special in the forum.

I added two competitive 5-year CD rates that are being offered at two western credit unions. One is a 2.35% APY 5-year CD at Denver Community Credit Union. The other 5-year CD is at Pacific Marine Credit Union in Southern California. It has a yield is 2.15% for the regular CD and a 2.25% APY for the IRA 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 9, 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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