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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 April 27, 2012


Survey of the Best CD Rates for April 27, 2012

A few of the CD rate leaders cut their rates this week. Melrose Credit Union reduced its 5-, 4- and 3-year CD rates by 10 basis points. Its new 5-year CD yield is now 2.17% which moves it below several other credit unions.

The highest nationally available 5-year CD rate had been at Air Academy FCU. This credit union is nationally available but like Navy Federal, it has membership restrictions. Air Academy's 5-year CD yield for a $10K deposit plummeted from 2.45% to 1.60%. That took it off my list.

The highest nationally available 5-year CD rate without membership restrictions continues to be at Michigan State University FCU which is offering a special 5-year Jumbo CD with a 2.31% APY. This is down 5 basis points from last week. The special is scheduled to end on April 30th.

There continues to be two all-access credit unions, Affinity Plus and McGraw-Hill, which continue to offer 2.25% APY on 5-year CDs. We'll see if these last into May. Credit unions often update their rates at the start of each month.

Ally Bank had yet another rate cut on its 5-year CD. It was a small cut which lowered the yield by 1 basis point to 1.68% APY. These small rate cuts over the months have added up. I'm still listing Ally Bank due to its small early withdrawal penalty of only 60 days of interest. You might be able to get an additional 25 basis points if you have an Ally CD that has matured and you choose to renew (see post).

Does a Long-Term CD Makes Sense Today?

I've seen comments from readers who wonder why anyone would lock into a long-term CD with such low rates. The problem is that no one knows how long this awful interest rate environment will last. If it continues to last several more years, long-term CDs can make more sense than savings accounts or short-term CDs for money that you want to keep 100% safe. CD ladders continue to be useful as a way to hedge your bets.

Long-term CDs also didn't seem like a good deal back in 2007 when FNBO Direct was offering a savings account paying 6.00%. Many thought the savings account made more sense than PenFed's 6% long-term CDs. High rates didn't last long at FNBO Direct. The savings account now only pays 0.65%. Those who opened 5- or 7-year PenFed CDs back then are probably very glad they made that decision.

Local CD Deals

I have been listing since February Belmont Savings Bank's PlatinumBlue 5-year Rising Rate CD. This has a blended 3.00% APY. The CD starts out with a 1.00% APY and it goes up 1.00% each year. There are two catches. First, it requires that the customer maintain an active checking account. Second, there's a maximum deposit. It used to be $100K. I learned today by calling the bank that it has been reduced to $25K. The 3.00% APY is nice, but you'll have to decide if it's worth maintaining the active checking with this small maximum deposit. This special is only available to MA residents (see review).

Most of the other 3.00% CDs are in Texas. The best deal continues to be a 3.00% APY 30-month CD at NavyArmy Community Credit Union. It's available to anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in the Corpus Christi metro area in Southeast Texas.

On the other side of Texas, El Paso Area Teachers Credit Union has a CD with a yield just 2 basis points below 3.00%.

In the middle of Texas, San Antonio Credit Union has CD terms with yields over 3.00%. These are Jumbo CDs with a 3.05% APY for 7 years and a 3.55% APY for 10 years.

I added two CDs from a Houston credit union to the list. It's Space City Credit Union, and even though it doesn't have 3.00% yields, the rates are very competitive with a 2.53% APY for 5 years and 2.02% APY for 4 years.

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 April 27, 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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Comment #1 by Liberida (anonymous) posted on
Ken-- Ally 5 yr. CD at 2.68%? Must be an error. -- L.

Comment #2 by KenBDG posted on
Yea, I think it might have been wishful thinking. It's fixed now. Thanks.

Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
t about this one:

Bank of the Panhandle invites everyone to take advantage of their certificates of deposit which has a very attractive interest rate. The bank has the following current CD rates:

  • 3 month CD term earns an interest rate of 0.15% APY
  • 6 month CD term earns an interest rate of 0.60% APY
  • 12 month CD term earns an interest rate of 0.80% APY
  • 18 month CD term earns an interest rate of 1.00% APY
  • 24 month CD term earns an interest rate of 1.10% APY
  • 36 month CD term earns an interest rate of 1.61% APY
  • 48 month CD term earns an interest rate of 1.91% APY
  • 60 month CD term earns an interest rate of 2.32% APY