About Ken Tumin

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 December 23, 2011


Survey of the Best CD Rates for December 23, 2011

As I mentioned on Wednesday CD rates continue to trend down. This week Ally Bank's 5-year CD APY fell from 1.84% to 1.79%. Its 11-month no-penalty CD APY fell from 0.95% to 0.91%.

Fortunately, many of the all-access credit unions like Alliant, PenFed and Melrose continue to hold their rates steady. We'll see if they can continue this into the new year. I'm hoping they will, but we often see rate cuts at the start of each month. In the past PenFed has offered good CD deals in January, but I haven't heard about any such specials this year.

There was one all-access credit union on my list that cut its rates this week. Apple FCU reduced its 10-year APY from 2.80% to 2.70%. Even though Discover Bank's 10-year CD is 2.50% APY, I consider this to be a better deal than Apple's CD since Discover Bank's early withdrawal penalty is much smaller.

Local CD Deals

I added a new bank to my 3% club. Its Royal Bank America, and it's offering a 10-year CD that pays 3.00% APY. Branches are located in Philadelphia and around southeast Pennsylvania. Even though it's in a major metro area, I haven't listed it in the past since the bank's financials are weak. However, their financials have improved this year. If you stay under the FDIC limits, the main risk of going with a weak bank for a long-term CD is that you will lose the rate lock of your long-term CD.

With Royal Bank America, I now have four institutions on my list offering CD rates of at least 3% APY in major metro areas. The other three are all in Texas.

Every now and then I come across a new small credit union in a major metro area that offers very competitive CD rates. Over the years I've found several in New York City. One example is Self Reliance New York FCU which continues to offer a 3.05% APY 5-year CD. I haven't been listing this credit union in my list here since it's hard to qualify for membership. You have to be of Ukrainian descent, and as readers have learned, even that may not be good enough.

I came across a credit union that's similar to Self Reliance in Los Angeles. It's Polam Federal Credit Union, and it's field of membership is centered around Polish descendants. As I described in my review it appears to be much more accepting than Self Reliance. Anyone may be able to qualify by being a friend of the Polish Community. Unfortunately, its CD rates are not as high as Self Reliance's, but they're still competitive especially for the LA metro area. They include a 2.45% APY 5-year CD and a 1.85% APY 3-year CD.

If you live in New York City and you are unable to qualify for Self Reliance, there's a very good short-term CD deal. Alma Bank continues to offer a 12-month liquid CD that pays 1.35% APY. Thanks to reader NYCDoug for providing the CD details in the comments. The CD does require an active checking account. Please refer to Doug's comments for details (He has some new updates). This special CD is scheduled to end this month, so time is running out.

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.

Since the early withdrawal penalty of Digital Credit Union is only 6 months of interest, this makes its 5-year CD a good deal for short terms. Ally Bank's 1.79% 5-year CD is still the best deal for 6 and 12 months. However, Digital's 2.61% APY 5-year CD (2.86% with relationship checking) becomes a better deal when it's closed at 18 months or later.

As we learned last month, there is some risk that the bank or credit union may increase the early withdrawal penalty on existing CDs (see my post on a credit union that was allowed to raise the EWP on existing CDs).

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 December 23, 2011

Under 1-Year CD Rates

  • Noteworthy Local Deals
  • Alma Bank - 1.35% 12-month Liquid CD requires active chk (New York City)
  • University of Iowa Community Credit Union - 1.30% ($250K) 1.20% ($100K) 1.10% ($1K) 10-month CD (several parts of Iowa)
  • Veridian Credit Union - 1.20% ($100K) 1.00% ($1K) 7-month CD (several parts of Iowa)
  • First Choice Bank - 1.05% ($50K) 1.00% ($2.5K) 288-day CD (Los Angeles & Orange County, CA)
  • 1st Commonwealth Bank of Virginia - 1.00% 3-month CD special (Washington DC metro)
  • CapitalSource Bank - 0.95% 5-month CD (California)
  • Industrial Credit Union - 0.90% 6-month CD (Boston metro area)

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.

Related Pages: CD rates
Pritsky   |     |   Comment #1

geico c.u. still has some mid-2% cd rates.  unusual right now, you should do a feature on them as i dont think ive seen you mention them. thanks.
KenBDG   |     |   Comment #2
Thanks for the note about Geico Credit Union. According to their field of membership, eligibility in the credit union appears to be primarily limited to employees of Geico and its subsidiaries and a few other companies. My main focus is on banks and credit unions open to a fairly large group of people like a large metro area. I sometimes break this rule if rates are very high compared to what I list above.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #3
i think its a good way to bank