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 January 4, 2013


Survey of the Best CD Rates for January 4, 2013

Many credit unions came out with new CD rates in this first week of the new year. Most were cuts. However, PenFed was one of the rare credit unions that increased its CD rates. PenFed's 1-, 2- , 3- and 4-year CDs are now rate leaders for nationally available CDs. In my opinion, PenFed's 3-year CD is the best deal with a 1.85% APY. That matches the best 5-year CD yield that's available from an internet bank. Another nice aspect of this CD is that the early withdrawal penalty is only up to 180 days of interest. PenFed's 5-year and 7-year CDs have an EWP of up to 365 days of interest.

If you want a higher rate than 1.85%, you'll need a 5-year term, and you won't get a rate that's much higher. One all-access credit union, Pen Air FCU, used to have the top 5-year Jumbo CD with a 2.20% APY. That ended this week, and the new APY is down to 1.95%. There are still a few all-access credit unions with a 2.00% APY. Two that don't have relationship checking requirements are Mountain America Credit Union and Communitywide Federal Credit Union.

The highest 5-year CD rate that's nationally available is now at Citizens State Bank which is offering a 5-year CD with a 2.05% APY. This is a small Florida bank, but they are accepting deposits nationwide and the CDs can be opened online. Before January the bank required a $100K minimum deposit to qualify for a 2.00% APY. The minimum for this 2.05% APY is now just $1,000.

We didn't see many CD rate changes this week at the internet banks. The top 5-year CD APY continues to be 1.85% at CIT Bank and Nationwide Bank ($100K minimum deposit). For shorter terms, Salem Five Direct continues to offer the best deals with a 1.50% APY 30-month CD and a 1.15% APY 18-month CD.

Local CD Deals

For CDs that are only available locally, this was a very busy week, and unfortunately, it wasn't good for savers. Many credit unions cut rates and ended their CD specials. Some of the noteworthy credit unions that lowered rates include Fort Knox, Shell, Sea Comm, Dover and San Antonio.

The highest CD rate in the nation continues to be at San Antonio Federal Credit Union (SACU), but this is now tied with another Texas credit union. SACU's 10-year Jumbo CD yield fell from 3.25% to 3.00%. This 3.00% is also the same yield that NavyArmy Community Credit Union offers. However, the NavyArmy Community CD has a term of only 30 months. This credit union is open to residents in the Corpus Christi metro area.

I added only one new institution to the list this week. Columbia Bank in New Jersey offers a 2.00% APY on its 6-year IRA CDs (1.85% APY for non-IRA 6-year CDs).

Finally, I'm happy to see that BBVA Compass has continued its CD specials into the new year. These include a 2.00% APY 5-year CD and a 1.25% APY 2-year CD. An extra 10 bps is added to the CD rates if the customer opens a CompassLink Checking. BBVA Compass requires new customers to reside near one of the bank's branches. These are located in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, New Mexico and Texas.

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 January 4, 2013

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
Bozo   |     |   Comment #1
We hope that PenFed is the canary in the coal mine. In a good way, of course. A breath of fresh air.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #2
I don't like the way these rates are presented. Notice he is plugging in the 5yr CD with early withdrawl penalty factored in when giving rates for all kinds of terms. I would NEVER just assume that some bank is not going to increase the penalty.......Also......if you read the terms and conditions on many CD's......they don't even have to allow you to close a CD before maturity. You want to trust banks that all will be ok???  Not me.  CD's are fine but I would encourage all to plan to keep your money in the cd until maturity. Otherwise, you're asking for problems. I have a feeling Ken will now delete my comments.....but hopefully some will see them. 
Paoli2   |     |   Comment #3
It seems you can't please everyone but I think it is a big help for Ken to take the time to let us know what the Early Withdrawal Penalties are.  In all my years of banking, I have never had any bank or cu etc. refuse to allow me to take the EWP and withdraw my funds or raise the EWP before the maturity date.  I try to make sure I don't make a habit of this but there have been certain times when I needed  extra money for certain unexpected emergencies and I did have to do the EWP.  Like you posted, I also think we should try to only buy CDs for terms we can stick with.  Some depositors do like to play the switching games for higher rates but these days there is really no place to switch to since rates are low wherever we go.  I appreciate any and all info Ken shares about the rates he posts.
Wil   |     |   Comment #5
Notice how all the nasty, mean-spirited comments are almost always posted by an "anonymous."
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #7
I have never cashed in a CD before maturity.  I couldn't care less what the early withdrawal penalties are.  If your worried about unexpected, unanticipated financial emergencies, deposit some cash in a money market account and never touch it accept in an emergency situation.  Those that cash in CDs early only to reinvest the proceeds in to a higher interest paying CD are probably the cause of why banks and CUs keep upping their early withdrawal penalties.  Sort of like punishment for abusing the system.

With a CD ladder and having a different CDs maturing each year, cash is always available annually.  If you need a considerable sum of cash within a twelve month period, then its better not to have opened a CD to begin with.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #8
#7  I do keep an emergency savings account but sometimes my inner ability to predict the future just doesn't work as it should and other bills pop up which need paying.  I am about to fatten my emergency account soon because I expect to have more bills due to "unforeseen" problems.  However, you might be happy to hear I am awaiting certain CDs to mature first.  Banks do catch on to depositors playing the "switch to higher rates" game and I agree with you that I think they have a way of giving bad payback for such actions with lower rates and higher EWPs.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #9
#8.........How exactly can one "expect to have more bills due to "unforeseen" problems" :)
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #10
#9  Ha!  You caught that blip did you?  What can I say?  It was the "unforeseen" that took me down.  Ok, because I don't think you really want to dump me in the fire, I will explain just to you because you care so much about my postings.  They are problems that were "unforeseen" by me when I planned my finances and now that I have become aware of them, I have to take steps to make sure I have the funds to pay for them.  They are no longer "unforeseen" and I "expect" to have them unless some good things happen in my near future.   Hope we got this cleared up.  Thanks for catching my botches and too bad we can't correct our mistakes in this forum.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #11


Dear Bozo - #1,

>> We hope that PenFed is the canary in the coal mine.

Err ... Wrong metaphor I guess.

Rather than PenFed acting as a canary in coal mine, I hope that PenFed will be considered a bellwether Credit Union. Others in the heard will follow its lead and start raising their rates.

Two other important indicators are the minutes of the FOMC meeting, and also the the big beating the Treasuries  took recently.   High Quality bonds also moved down somewhat.  .... Surely these are encouraging signs that maybe we will start seeing higher and higher rates on CDs/Certificates.

Minutes are link: http://www.federalreserve.gov/monetarypolicy/fomcminutes20121212.htm

Yours Truly.

- Anonymous
Greg   |     |   Comment #12
To Anonymous No. 2.  I would suggest you read the archives before you criticize Ken's presentation of rates.  Countless times, he has written articles on the risks and benefits of an early withdrawal strategy, with specific institutional examples and subtle legal analysis of various deposit terms.  In other words, Ken's sound and thoughtful insights are vastly more helpful than your unfairly critical, ill-informed, one-size-fits-all "advice."