bank rates

6-Month CD Or Savings Account?

Bank vault door openingA couple of weeks ago, we wrote that buying a 3-month CD is largely a waste of your money because rates on the top savings and money market accounts are just so much better.

But what about 6-month CDs?

The top nationally available 6-month CD rate on our CD Rates Leaderboard has settled in at 0.90% APY.

Longtime leader Doral Bank Direct (www.doralbankdirect.com) began offering that rate, with a $500 minimum deposit, in the first part of December.

In this case, we still think a top-rated money market or savings account might be a better bet, as the best nationally available deals pay about a third of a percentage point more than Doral Bank Direct’s 6-month CD.

And, in the case of EverBank’s money market account, you’ll get a six-month guaranteed rate of 1.25% APY. That guarantee erases any concern about near-term interest rate cuts.

But if you do have you’re heart set on a CD, go with Doral Direct because the rates at the online division of Doral Bank are well above the competition:

Colorado Federal Savings Bank (www.coloradofederalbank.com), which is an online bank based in Greenwood Village, Colo., offers 0.80% APY with a $5,000 minimum deposit.

Ascencia (www.ascenciabank.com), which is the online division of PBI Bank in Louisville, Ky., pays the third-highest rate of 0.78% APY and requires a $500 minimum deposit.

Three banks offer 0.75% APY:

ableBanking (www.ablebanking.com), which is the online division of Northeast Bank in Maine, requires a $1,000 minimum deposit.

Discover Bank (www.discoverbank.com), which is an online bank owned by the credit card company, requires a $2,500 minimum deposit.

Presidential Bank (www.presidential.com), which has two branches in Maryland, six in Virginia and one in Washington, D.C., requires a $1,000 minimum deposit.

Large banks and thrifts offer an annual average yield of 0.17% for 6-month CDs.

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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