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New Leader In 3- And 6-Month CDs Pushes Up Top Returns Morning After Fed Meeting

Less than a day after the Federal Reserve inched toward raising interest rates later this year, we have two new top returns on our CD Rates Leaderboard.

Even more amazing: They’re short-term rates, the most stagnant of all of the terms we track.

But California First National Bank has boosted its 3-month CD rate by two-tenths of a percentage point, to 0.60% APY, and its 6-month CD rate by nearly a half of a percentage point, to 1.00% APY.

That moves the previous leaders in our rankings of the best nationally available CDs down to second place.

Umbrella Bank continues to pay 0.51% APY on 3-month CDs. Doral Bank Direct still offers 0.82% APY on 6-month CDs. Click here to read more

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Top Savings Accounts Pay Up To 1.25%

Seven banks now pay more than 1.00% APY on nationally available savings accounts, up from only one at this time last year.

That trend toward more banks offering better returns on all types of deposits should continue with the Federal Reserve cautiously moving toward a decision to start pushing short-term interest rates higher this summer or fall.

Hand grabbing money out of a jar

Right now, you’ll get the biggest bang for your buck with UFB Direct, which is well ahead of its competition, paying 1.25% APY.

But there are strings attached.

While you won’t be charged any monthly maintenance fees, you need to have at least $25,000 in your account to earn the top rate.

Lower balances are paid just 0.20% APY by this division of BofI Federal Bank in San Diego.

You’ll earn a little less interest but need a lot less cash to open an account with Incredible Bank.

The online division of River Valley Bank, which has 16 branches in Wisconsin and Michigan, has a return of 1.07% APY and a minimum deposit of $2,500 to open an account. Click here to read more

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Fed Tiptoes Toward Higher Interest Rates

We need to be “patient” for a few more months, but the day interest rates finally start to climb for CDs, money market and savings accounts appears to be getting closer.

That’s the signal the Federal Reserve, the nation’s central bank, seems to have sent with its latest policy statement, released today.

Such is the power of the Fed that the reason for optimism revolves around the change of just a few words in the statement.

Here’s what’s happened:

For six years, the Fed has kept interest rates at record lows to spur growth while it worked to pull the economy out of the recession and its aftermath.

As it looked forward, the Fed’s rate-setting committee regularly issued statements saying it expected to keep interest rates near zero for “a considerable time,” which economists took to mean at least six months.

In December, the central bankers added additional language to the statement, saying they could be “patient” when it comes to raising rates.

At a news conference, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said “patient” meant at least two committee meetings — or less than six months.

Today, the committee kept “patient” but dropped “considerable time.” Click here to read more

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30-Year Mortgage Deal: 3.625%, No Points

Total Mortgage is offering one of winter’s best deals on 30-year. fixed-rate mortgages in 35 states across the country.

It’s charging just 3.625% with no points and no lender fees (lender fees for loan amounts lower than $300,000 for this deal may be slightly higher). It comes with a 45-day rate lock period.

Percentage signs falling on red house

That’s nearly one-fifth of a percentage point less than the national average of 30-year loans — 3.81%, according to our latest survey of major lenders.

The monthly principal and interest payment for this loan would be $456 for every $100,000 borrowed.

You can use this mortgage calculator to determine the monthly payments for the amount you want to borrow with this or any home loan.

It will also provide a month-by-month amortization schedule that shows how much you’ve reduced your debt and how much you still owe if you want to pay off the loan. Click here to read more

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Maryland CD Deal: 1.50% For 15 Months

Revere Bank has a special 15-month CD for Maryland savers from Annapolis to suburban Washington and Baltimore that pays 1.50% APY.

The top nationally available 12-month CD rate on our CD Rates Leaderboard has dropped to a significantly lower 1.20% APY.

But to buy this certificate of deposit, you’ll need to deposit a minimum of $1,000 in new money, or funds not already in an account at Revere Bank.

You’ll also have to buy your CD in person by Friday, when this offer is scheduled to expire.

Revere Bank only opens accounts for savers living in Anne Arundel, Howard, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, and has branches in Ellicott City, Gaithersburg, Laurel, Millersville and Rockville.

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Synchrony To The Rescue With Higher CD Rates…Now Leads 1-, 2- And 3-Year CDs

At least one bank isn’t pulling back on interest rates this year.

Synchrony Bank raised the yield on three nationally available CDs today, and now leads two terms on our CD Rates Leaderboard and co-leads a third.

Let’s start with 36-month CDs.

Synchrony now pays 1.50% APY, a tenth of a percentage point higher than its previous offering of 1.40% APY.

That increase came the same morning Nationwide Bank cut its top 3-year CD rate from 1.50% APY to 1.45% APY — a move we gave you a heads up about over the weekend.

Of course, the best national deals on 36-month certificates of deposit began the year at 1.70% APY, but at least we’re not losing more ground.

At least not today.

Synchrony also boosted its return on 12-month CDs from 1.15% to 1.20% APY, moving past the 1.17% APY previous leader BankDirect is paying. Click here to read more

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Nationwide Cutting Top 3-Year CD Rate

When the year began just a few short weeks ago, two banks were paying the top nationally available return of 1.70% APY on 3-year CDs.

By tomorrow it will be 1.45% APY — a terrible start to the year if we ever saw one.

Current leader Nationwide Bank will reduce its return from 1.50% APY to 1.45% APY on Monday for all new certificates of deposit under $100,000.

If you invest $100,000 or more, you’ll continue to qualify for the 1.50% APY yield. But we know that minimum deposit is too high for most savers to meet — or to qualify that rate for our rankings.

That reduction will drop the online bank owned by the giant insurance company back into an eight-way tie for the best national deal on our CD Rates Leaderboard.

Here are banks that will now share the top spot with Nationwide: Click here to read more

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Leading 6-Month CDs Show No Sign Of Life

I hate to ruin a perfectly good Sunday by bringing up 6-month CD rates.

I know that we stopped talking about 3-month CDs long ago because they were so depressing.

But we’ve continued to update savers on nationally available 6-month rates, even though they stopped showing any signs of life.

Current leader Doral Bank Direct pays 0.82% APY — that’s even less than the (still sad) 0.90% APY that led the term a year ago.

The online bank of Doral Bank, the leading community bank in Puerto Rico that has five branches in northwest Florida and two in New York City, requires a $500 minimum deposit.

The second-highest rate, 0.80% APY, is from EH National Bank, which has a single branch in Beverly Hills, California, and requires a $10,000 minimum deposit. Click here to read more

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Northwest Deal: 1.61% On 15-Month CDs

Horizon Credit Union has a history of offering decent specials to Idaho, Montana and Washington State savers.

This time around, it’s paying 1.61% APY for 15-month CDs.

That’s nearly a half point more than you can earn from the best nationally available 12-month deal on our CD Rates Leaderboard.

A hefty $10,000 minimum deposit is required to buy this CD, and it must come from what the financial industry calls “new money” — funds that aren’t already on deposit at Horizon.

There’s also a $20 membership fee to join Horizon, but once you’re in, certificates of deposit are sold online, over the phone and at any of the credit union’s 16 branches.

Highest CD Rates Roundup For January 24

Check out all of the top returns we’ve found at credit unions and community banks across the country. These local deals pay more than the best nationally available CD rates.

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