bank rates

2-Year CDs Begin 2014 Heading Higher

bank safeEven with an end-of-year spike, 24-month CD rates rang in 2014 lower than 2013.

The top nationally available CD rate for the 24-month term on our CD Rates Leaderboard is 1.25% APY – slightly off the 2013 high point of 1.30% APY.

The average annual yield offered by big banks and thrifts is 0.36%, a record low set Dec. 4.

AloStar Bank of Commerce (www.alostarbank.com), which is an online bank based in Birmingham, Ala., requires a $1,000 minimum deposit for its lead rate of 1.25% APY. It boosted its rate in December from 1.20% APY.

CIT Bank (www.bankoncit.com) pays the second-highest rate of 1.20% APY for its 24-month Achiever CD.

The online consumer bank of CIT Group Inc., which offers financing to small businesses and middle-market companies, requires a $25,000 minimum deposit, but you can add money to your account once, as well as bump up the rate once, during the term.

chart showing the top 24-month CD rates versus average rates

Pacific Mercantile Bank (www.pmbank.com), which has seven branches in Southern California, pays 1.16% APY and requires a $10,000 minimum deposit.

Three banks pay 1.15% APY:

GE Capital Bank (www.gecapitalbank.com), which is one of two online banks, each with its own FDIC insurance, that are subsidiaries of GE Capital Corp., the financial services unit of the manufacturing giant, requires a $500 minimum deposit.

GE Capital Retail Bank (www.gecrb.com), the other bank that’s a subsidiary of GE Capital Corp., requires a $25,000 minimum deposit.

Hudson City Savings Bank (www.hcsbonline.com), which has 130 branches in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut, requires a $500 minimum deposit for anyone living in that tri-state area but a $5,000 minimum deposit for everyone else.

These banks qualify for our rankings by imposing no restrictions on who can buy their certificates of deposit, either online or through the mail.

Compare these returns with the best CD rates from scores of banks in our extensive database.

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