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Top 6-Month CD Rates Sag At Year’s End

The top nationally available return on 6-month CDs will almost certainly end the year lower than where it began 2014.

Two banks paid 0.90% APY, according to our CD Rates Leaderboard on Monday, Jan. 2.

Today, just one bank manages to offer 0.82% APY.

Now, we did see a return of 1.00% APY at the top of the 6-month term for a month this fall. But that rate fell in mid-October, and then its successor rate fell, too.

The current leader is Doral Bank Direct, the online operation of Doral Bank.

The big Puerto Rican bank, which also 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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‘Gift of Savings’ Perfect For Michiganders

Consumers Credit Union is paying 1.50% APY on 19-month CDs with the hashtag #GiftofSavings.

Our response: #NicePresent #OpenIt.

This odd-term special requires a $1,000 minimum deposit of new money, or funds not already on deposit at this west Michigan-based credit union.

That 1.50% APY nearly matches what you’ll earn on the top national available 24-month CD on our CD Rates Leaderboard.

Kalamazoo-based Consumers serves more than 55,000 members in 11 west Michigan counties. They can buy certificates of deposit over the phone or at one of the credit union’s 14 branches in Coldwater, Holland, Lawton, Kalamazoo, Portage and South Haven.

Highest CD Rates Roundup For Dec. 19

Check out all 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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Idaho CD Rates Heat Up The Holidays

Idaho’s Pioneer Federal Credit Union has a couple of odd-term CDs worth noting.

Its members can earn:

  • 1.35% APY on 13-month CDs
  • 1.65% APY on 25-month CDs

Go ahead and search our database for the best national deals on 1- and 2-year CDs. You won’t be able to beat Pioneer’s rates.

This is often the case when you spy odd-term offerings at a bank or credit union.

Both of these certificates of deposit also require a low $500 minimum deposit, which we like.

However, joining this credit union will cost you $25 — the minimum amount for opening a required savings account. Click here to read more

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Fed Stays The Course On Interest Rates

The day when your CDs, savings and money market accounts once again earn a decent rate of interest remains a “considerable time” away.

That’s the message from the latest policy statement issued by the Federal Reserve, the nation’s central bank, on Wednesday.

The Fed has kept interest rates near record lows for six years while working to get the struggling U.S. economy back on its feet.

As it has peered into the future, the Fed has regularly issued a statement saying the economy remains weak enough that it expects to keep interest rates where they are for a “considerable time.”

But with the economy now clearly picking up steam, the Fed was widely expected to strike those two words from its policy statement following its last rate-setting meeting of the year — signaling it was prepared to start to slowly increasing interest rates, probably beginning next June.

Instead, the nation’s central bankers reaffirmed the phrase even as they added new language: “Based on its current assessment, the Committee judges that it can be patient” in deciding when to raise interest rates. That, the statement noted, is “consistent” with its position on waiting a “considerable time.”

The Fed’s caution comes despite strong evidence of surging economic growth. Click here to read more

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Here’s Where To Earn More Than 1% On A Savings Account Without A Big Balance

You need a lot of money to qualify for the best nationally available returns on savings accounts.

But Cardinal Bank is bucking that trend, allowing savers in the Washington, D.C., area to earn 1.09% APY and pay no service fee on a First Choice Savings account with a minimum balance of just $500.

That’s a stark contrast to UFB Direct, which will pay the best nationally available return of 1.25% APY only if you keep at least $25,000 in your account.

If you don’t have that much to leave in savings, you’ll earn just 0.20% APY.

It’s a similar case at Citizens State Bank, which pays the second-best national return of 1.06% APY only if you have $10,000 or more in your account. Click here to read more

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Iowa CU Celebrates With Truly Special CDs

Members of Veridian Credit Union can’t make a bad choice when it comes to its 80th anniversary CD special.

hands holding a box

The Iowa-based credit union is paying 2.25% APY for any term between 19 and 34 months with a modest $1,000 minimum deposit.

Even the best nationally available 1-, 2- and 3-year deals on our CD Rates Leaderboard don’t pay nearly that much.

Veridian mainly serves savers in 40 Iowa and five Nebraska counties, although individuals with disabilities living anywhere in Iowa are also eligible to join.

Members can buy CDs online, over the phone or at one of its 27 branches in Iowa.

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Top 5-Year CD Rate Could End Year Higher

The top nationally available 60-month deal our CD Rates Leaderboard could end the year nearly two-tenths of a point higher than where it started, and it’s been a very long time since we could say that.

After watching savings rates fall since late 2008, this may be remembered as the year returns finally began to rise again. Slowly for sure, but setting the stage for a stronger turnaround in 2015.

Since September, Citizens State Bank has offered the leading 5-year rate of 2.35% APY.

The online division of Citizens State Bank, which has four branches in Florida, requires a $1,000 minimum deposit.

But a recent boost in rates at CIT Bank, and a same-day rate drop at Nationwide Bank, lowered the second-highest rate slightly to 2.30% APY from 2.32% APY. Click here to read more

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Jumbo Mortgage Deal: 3.75%, No Points

Aurora Financial is offering one of December’s best deals on 30-year, fixed-rate jumbo mortgages.

It’s charging just 3.75% for a purchase or refinancing, with no points and no lender fees. It comes with a 31-day rate lock period.

That’s nearly two-fifths of a percentage point less than the national average for this type of jumbo loans — 4.12%, according to our latest survey of major lenders.

Unfortunately, you’ll only find this deal in 15 states — California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia.

But this mortgage provides a great blueprint to follow. Find a similar deal from a lender in your area, and you know you’ve found a winner.

You can get started by searching Bankrate’s database for the best mortgage rates from scores of other lenders in your area. Click here to read more

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Spreading Holiday Joy Among Savers…

Signal Financial Federal Credit Union is celebrating the holidays with a special 49-month CD that pays 2.15% APY, with a $2,500 minimum deposit of new money.

The majority of Signal’s members qualified to belong because they live in the Washington, D.C., area or work for one of its affiliated companies, such as Verizon and AT&T.

But the credit union is also open to anyone who’s willing to pony up $35 and join the Washington Area Bicyclist Association, regardless of where they live or work.

Signal Financial’s 49-month special beats the best nationally available 4-year deal that we know about — 1.95% APY from Nationwide Bank.

To buy one of these certificates of deposit, you need to fax or email a request to the credit union, or visit one of its seven branches in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. This special is good through the end of the month.

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