I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. May you enjoy today with your family and friends full of joy and peace. Thanks for all of your support this year.
It’s sort of my blog tradition for Thanksgiving to look back at some of the bank deals this year that we can be thankful for.
First, I think we all can be thankful that rates are finally going up. For several years, it seemed like we would never see higher rates again. They may not be going up as fast as we would like (especially long-term rates), but deposit rates are rising. The Fed has now raised the federal funds rate four times and it looks very likely we’ll soon see the fifth rate hike in December. Of course, banks are in no rush to raise their deposit rates, but competition (especially among internet banks) is pushing them to increase rates. We now have internet banks offering savings account rates as high as 1.55% APY.
The best CD deals this year have come from credit unions. A few this year have even offered rates as high as 3%.
Andrews Federal Credit Union (open to anyone) received a lot of attention from us last year with its Black Friday CD specials (Unfortunately, I don’t see any CD specials this year, but there is a $150 checking account promotion). Those specials didn’t last into 2017, but Andrews did bring back one of those CDs: a 7-year CD with a 3% APY in late January. Even though it was a long term, the early withdrawal penalty was mild at 180 days of interest. The 3% lasted until March 12th.
It wasn’t quite 3%, but it was close. Two large western credit unions offered special 5-year rates early this year. Mountain America Credit Union (based in Utah and is open to anyone) and Patelco Credit Union (based Northern California) both came out with a special 2.75% APY on their 5-year CDs. Mountain America started offering its 2.75% in mid February, and it lasted until mid April. If you missed out, you’re in luck. They just recently raised the 5-year rate to 2.80% APY (see blog post). Patelco came out with its 2.75% in late March, and it lasted until mid May.
Navy Federal Credit Union (the largest credit union in the nation) also came out with a special 3% CD this year, but there were limitations (5-month term and a $10k max deposit). Nevertheless, it was still a good deal, especially with an add-on option. Last year and early this year, Navy Fed was offering some nice 2% CD specials. The last one was a 17-month CD with a 2% APY and a $50k max deposit. Like the 3% CD, it allowed add-on deposits. This ended on April 30th. Navy Fed had a short period in which anyone could join. That’s no longer the case, but membership changes have made it easy for many people in the nation to qualify (see blog post).
GTE Financial Credit Union’s recent CD specials didn’t include any 3% CD, but it came close with a top rate of 2.78% APY for a 30-month CD. Other top rates included 2.32% APY for an 18-month CD and a 2.48% APY for a 24-month CD. They even had an add-on deposit option. These specials didn’t last long. They ended on October 27th. GTE Financial is based in Tampa, Florida, but anyone can join via an association.
More 3% CD deals are starting to pop up. One popped up in early October at 1st United Credit Union which primarily serves parts of Northern California. This special CD had a 3% APY and a 3-year term. It only lasted a few days.
With rates on the rise, hopefully we’ll soon see more 3% CDs, and hopefully, we’ll see more of them at credit unions in which anyone can join. I’m thankful that more credit unions have expanded their fields of membership. You can see these in our big list of credit unions anyone can join.
What deposit account deals were you thankful for this year?