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 November 2, 2012


Survey of the Best CD Rates for November 2, 2012

With Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PenFed) offering auto loans with rates as low as 0.49%, I had feared the days of PenFed CD specials were over. But I was pleasantly surprised on Thursday to see PenFed bump up its rates for several CD terms. Its 1-year, 2-year and 3-year CDs are now rate leaders for CDs that are nationally available. Even though these rates are very competitive, I'm sure they will still disappoint many. It's hard to get excited about any CD rate that's below 2%. At least these CDs offer rates higher than what you can get with internet savings accounts, and you don't have to worry about locking into a long term.

If you're concerned about locking into a CD with even just a 1-year term, there's another no-penalty CD that's a good deal. Airbanking raised the yield of its 1-year No-Penalty CD to 1.02% APY. This might not seem like a good deal since you can get internet savings accounts with similar rates. Unlike the savings accounts, you don't have to worry about rate cuts on the CD until maturity. The no-penalty feature makes the CD almost as liquid as a savings account. Due to this no-penalty feature, I added this Airbanking CD to the "under 1-year CD" category in my list below. Both this and Ally Bank's No-Penalty 11-month CD beat most regular short-term CDs.

Airbanking also raised its regular 1-year CD rate this week. Its new yield of 1.12% APY took the top spot for 1-year CDs until PenFed came out with its November rates that included a 1.26% APY 1-year CD.

There was also some disappointments this week. Ally Bank cut its 5-year CD rate once again. The yield fell from 1.65% to 1.64%. Also, Patelco Credit Union ended its 2% 7-year CD. If you want a 7-year CD, Air Force Federal Credit Union still has the best deal with a 2.25% APY for a $100K minimum and 2.20% APY for a $2,500 minimum.

In today's environment, you don't get much of a higher rate by extending the CD term past 5 years. I still have 7 institutions that are paying around 2% APY for 5-year terms. One is the small Citizens State Bank in Florida. The other 5 are all-access credit unions. Two of these 5, however, require a checking account relationship.

Local CD Deals

Several of the best local CD deals had been specials, and unfortunately, some of these ended in November. The most noteworthy one that ended was the 1.25% APY 15-month CD special at Security Service FCU which has branches in Texas, Colorado and Utah. Fortunately, its standard 5-year and 7-year CD rates didn't go down, and they are still very competitive especially for its Texas branches.

One CD special that was scheduled to expire in October was extended. Generations Federal Credit Union in San Antonio continues to offer a special 1.50% APY CD with terms from 18 to 21 months. This is now scheduled to last through December.

Besides the expiration of some CD specials, there were just a few rate cuts. Most noteable for the local deals were the cuts at Wings Financial Credit Union. Its CD rates fell by 5 to 16 basis points. The largest cuts were on the longest terms with the 5-year CD yield falling from 2.12% to 1.96%. Unfortunately, that has been the trend for all credit unions and banks. The largest rate cuts this year have been on the long-term CDs.

The only new addition this week is a 1.25% APY 18-month CD special that's offered by Superior Choice Credit Union. It's available to those who live in parts of WI and MN.

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 were recently highlighted by the deposit agreement change at Ally. The risks have also been seen at credit unions which have raised the early withdrawal penalties on existing CDs. I have more details in this 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 November 2, 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.

Related Pages: CD rates