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New Leader Shakes Up Savings Accounts

Just when it seemed things would never improve, CSB Direct has swooped in and reclaimed the top spot in our rankings of the best nationally available savings accounts.

After raising rates this week, CSB Direct is paying 1.06% APY on Internet Savings accounts with balances between $10,000 and $249,999.

Accounts with $2,500 to $9,999 in them will earn 0.75% APY, and deposits of $100 to $2,499 are paid 0.50% APY.

Savers who open an account online by Aug. 31 – and all of these accounts must be opened through the bank’s website — will have their rate guaranteed for the next six months.

You’ll only pay a monthly fee of $2 if your balance falls below $100, and CSB Direct does not charge you for using ATMs outside its network.

CSB Direct (csbdirect.com) is the online division of Citizens State Bank, which is based in Perry, Fla., and has four branches in the northern part of the state.

It had been our savings leader from February to May 2013, paying 1.01% APY until it slashed its return and disappeared completely from our rankings.

If you plan to open an account with the bank, be prepared for the possibility rates may be cut dramatically after the guaranteed period expires.

But let’s be clear, this is the best deal on a savings account we’ve seen since February 2013, when Salem Five Direct was paying 1.25% APY.

Over the past 19 months the best nationally available rate had never topped 1.01% APY, and even dipped as low as 0.90% APY last summer.

That’s why it’s encouraging to see CSB Direct competing for deposits again, and to find three other banks paying at least 1.00% this summer:

SFGI Direct (www.sfgidirect.com), which had led our rankings since the start of the year, continues to pay 1.01% APY on your entire balance. It takes a minimum deposit of $500 to open an account, but you don’t need to maintain a certain amount in your account to earn interest. There are no monthly service fees. SFGI Direct is the online division of Summit Community Bank of Moorefield, W.Va.

MySavingsDirect (www.mysavingsdirect.com), which is paying 1.00% APY on your entire balance. You don’t need to deposit a certain amount to open an account and there are no monthly fees. MySavingsDirect is the online division of Emigrant Bank in New York City.

Salem Five Direct (www.salemfivedirect.com), also is paying 1.00% APY. That rate for the eOne Savings account is paid on balances up to $500,000. The account requires a $100 minimum deposit to open, but you don’t need to keep a set amount in your account to earn interest. You pay no monthly fees.

You can apply for the account if don’t already have a savings account with Salem Five Direct or a checking or savings account with its parent company, Salem Five Cent Saving Bank, which has 29 locations around the Boston area.

To qualify for our rankings, banks must be willing to open accounts online or through the mail for any customer, regardless of where they live.

Check our extensive database to compare these returns with the best savings and money market account rates in your area.

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Frankenmuth CU: 2 Good CD Rate Deals

Michigan quarterFrankenmuth Credit Union has two odd-term special CD rates for its 28,000 members in Central Michigan.

It pays:

  • 1.51% APY for 21-month CDs with a $500 minimum deposit using funds not already on deposit at the credit union.
  • 2.00% APY for 37-month CDs with a $500 minimum deposit. (This can be opened with money already deposited at the credit union.)

Click here to read more

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10 Most-Complained-About Banks

In a little more than two years, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has heard from 33,000 people who have had big enough problems with their bank accounts that they sought government intervention.

We recently wrote about the problems savers have had with certificates of deposit.

But CD complaints actually make up a small portion of the banking issues consumers raise. Those issues are chronicled in a database the federal agency hosts online for public inspection.

So today we’re looking at the 14,000 banking complaints logged in the last year. Click here to read more

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17-Month CD For All At Darien Rowayton

Dollar signDarien Rowayton Bank has special 17-month CD rates available online to savers everywhere.

It pays 1.50% APY with a $500 minimum deposit of new money.

That’s nearly four-tenths of a percentage point higher than the top nationally available 12-month offer on our CD Rates Leaderboard. Click here to read more

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Another Bank Surges To Top Of 2-Year CDs

A second Florida bank has claimed a spot at the top of our rankings of the best 2-year CD rates.

CSB Direct boosted the return on its time deposits from 1.01% APY to 1.26% APY with a very reasonable $1,000 minimum deposit.

That’s the online division of Citizens State Bank, which has branches in four north Florida towns — Gainesville, Madison, Perry and Steinhatchee.

It joins EverBank, which is based in Jacksonville, at the top of our CD Rates Leaderboard.

Together, they’re now offering the best deals we’ve seen this year on 24-month CDs. Click here to read more

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IRA Contributions Are Up; Are Yours?

Poll QuestionFinally, some good retirement savings news to share.

Average IRA contributions increased during the 2013 tax year, according to a new Fidelity Investments study that analyzed more than 7 million individual retirement accounts.

The average contribution for tax year 2013 was $4,150 — an increase of 5.7% from 2012. That’s an all-time high. Click here to read more

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Slight Movement In 6-Month CD Rates

In the last month, one of the top nationally available 6-month CD offers increased.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t the rate leader, which means we’re still waiting for this term to show some life.

The top 6-month offer on our CD Rates Leaderboard paid 0.90% APY at the beginning of the year but fell to 0.87% APY in early April.

And it hasn’t budged since. Click here to read more

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We Love This Alabama Checking Account

We really like the rewards checking account from New Horizons Credit Union in Mobile, Ala.

The Ultimate Checking rewards account pays 2.02% APY for balances up to $25,000. That’s not the highest rate we’ve seen, but the top yield isn’t why we like this account so much.

We like this account because of what happens after you hit that $25,000 cap. Click here to read more

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Highest CD Rates Roundup For July 25

Bringing you the very best CD rates from credit unions and local banks.In two weeks, EverBank has gone from offering the top nationally available 1-year CD to no longer rating a mention on our list of the best 12-month CD rates.

This Florida-based, primarily online bank last week cut its rate from 1.10% APY to 1.01% APY. Today, EverBank pushed its offer all the way down to 0.86% APY. Truly terrible.

We saw another cut in 12-month CDs this week when the online bank VirtualBank trimmed its offer from 1.07% APY to 1.01% APY. VirtualBank, a division of Sabadell United Bank in Florida, also knocked off a tenth of a percentage point on its 24-month CD, from 1.26% APY to 1.16% APY.

It had been offering the best nationally available deal in that term.

But not all the news is bad. Click here to read more

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