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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 September 21, 2012


Survey of the Best CD Rates for September 21, 2012

It has been more than a week since the Fed announced major new actions, and I'm happy to report that so far there have been no widespread CD rate cuts, at least with the rates that I monitor in this survey. For the CDs available nationwide, only one institution in my survey reduced its rates. Sandia Laboratory FCU cut its 3-year CD rates by about 30 basis points. Its top Jumbo 3-year CD yield is now 1.61% APY which remains near the top for the 3-year CDs.

Ally Bank just had one tiny rate change. Its 11-month No Penalty CD yield increased from 0.94% to 0.95% which coincidentally matches Ally's savings and money market yield. The only advantage of this CD is that you won't have to worry about rate cuts for 11 months.

With 1-year CD rates around the same level as the best savings and money market rates, the only incentive to lock into a short-term CD is to guard against falling rates. There was one exception this week when Navy Federal Credit Union came out with its Member Appreciation Week promotion which includes a 4.00% APY 12-month CD. Unfortunately, the maximum deposit is only $4,000. Also, Navy Federal isn't available to everyone. You must have some military connection to join. Those who do qualify still have a couple a days left before this offer ends (see review).

Eli Lilly Federal Credit Union continues to offer its special 2% 5-year CD. Anyone can join the credit union via an association. One nice aspect of this CD is a small early withdrawal penalty of 90 days of interest. It's the clear leader in my updated comparison of the best CD rates after early withdrawal penalties. If you have other CDs that you want to see how the early withdrawal penalties affect the yields, a reader converted the spreadsheet that I was using to an online calculator.

I continue to have 4 all-access credit unions with a 2% 5-year CD. The highest 5-year CD yield at a bank continues to be 1.90% at CIT Bank.

You can still get a 2.00% APY 5-year CD at BBVA Compass, but this isn't nationally available. You have to live in the market areas where Compass has branches. These are in AZ, CA, CO, NM, AL, FL and TX.

Local CD Deals

There were only a few rate cuts on the local deals this week. One noteworthy cut was at Cole Taylor Bank in Chicago. It was offering a 2.00% APY 4-year CD available online to Illinois residents. That rate was slashed to 1.15% APY. However, there's still a 2% APY 5-year CD, but this is only available at its Chicago area branches.

Another noteworthy cut was at mBank which has branches in several parts of Michigan. The bank slashed its 4-year CD rate from 2.00% APY to 1.50% APY.

Finally, San Antonio Credit Union (SACU) had another rate cut. It continues to offer the highest CD rate in the nation with a 3.30% APY Jumbo 10-year CD. This is down from 3.35% APY last week. Its 7-year and 5-year CD rates also fell by 5 basis points.

I added a few new CDs to my survey. Unfortunately, not many will be eligible for these deals.

There are two good short-term CD deals in Florida. One is a 2.02% APY 1-year CD at Florida State Employees FCU. Only some residents of the Florida counties in the Pensacola metro area are eligible (see review). The other CD deal is at South Florida FCU. It's not as good as the Pensacola deal, but it's still very competitive with a 1.25% APY for a 1-year term. Only certain South Florida residents are eligible to join (see review).

The third new institution that I added is Texell Credit Union. It's offering a 1.30% APY 18-month CD and a 2.10% APY 5-year CD. Some residents in Central Texas may be able to qualify (see review).

One new CD that I added is a little misleading. It's a special type of CD at American Airlines Credit Union. It's designed to be a CD ladder in which you open two CDs with equal amounts of money. One is a 3.09% APY 5-year CD and the other is a 1.81% APY 30-month CD. When the 30-month CD matures, it'll roll into a new 5-year CD. You can close the 30-month CD at maturity, but you won't get a new premium rate when the 5-year CD matures. There's another issue with this CD. It's not available to most people since American Airlines Credit Union's field of membership is primarily limited to those employed in the air transportation industry (see review).

For those who can qualify for membership in American Airlines Credit Union, that CD ladder program is a very good deal, but it's not the typical CD. It's a little like Wilshire State Bank's installment savings account in that you can't just invest one lump sum into one CD. Nevertheless, I thought some may be able to profit from these special CDs. In today's awful interest rate environment, anyway to get a little higher yield without additional risk is a benefit.

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 September 21, 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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