bank rates

5 Banks Offer Top 12-Month CD Rate

hand holding a penny between two fingersThe 12-month term lost ground in February, with its top CD rate sliding back to 1.05% APY from 1.10% APY.

That mirrors what happened last March, and it took half the year to regain that five one-hundredths of a percentage point.

Five banks currently pay the top nationally available 12-month CD rate on our CD Rates Leaderboard, although we recommend one above the rest.

CIT Bank (www.bankoncit.com), the online consumer bank of CIT Group Inc., which offers financing to small businesses and middle-market companies, offers one of its Achiever CDs for the 12-month term.

With a $25,000 minimum deposit, you can raise the rate once during the term, as well as add to your deposit once.

The other four co-leaders:

AmTrust Direct (www.amtrustdirect.com), an online division of New York Community Bank, which has 240 branches in five states, requires a $500 minimum deposit.

CapitalSource Bank (www.capitalsourcebank.com), a Los Angeles-based lender to small- and middle-market business, which has 21 branches in central and southern California and requires a $10,000 minimum deposit.

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. It requires a $500 minimum deposit.

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

Pacific Mercantile Bank (www.pmbank.com), which is a community bank with seven branches in southern California, pays the third-highest rate of 1.02% APY and requires a $10,000 minimum deposit.

The current average annual yield offered by big banks and thrifts for the 12-month term is 0.23% for a fourth week.

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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