bank rates

CD Rates Leaderboard For March 31, 2011

Was it just last month that we were cheering the end of a long streak of declining CD rates?

So much for the optimism.

In March, the average annual yield for the six CD terms we track all fell.

Those declines mean large banks and thrifts are offering record-low yields for 3-, 6-, 12-, and 24-month certificates of deposit.

And four of the six top nationally available rates fell, as well.

If there is something positive to cling to, Melrose Credit Union, which holds the best nationally available rates in four terms, has not changed its rates in four months.

In 2010, you could reliably predict a rate drop once every three months on the last Tuesday of the month. That date passed without any news Feb. 22.

Here’s where to find all of the top CD rates:

TERM BANK RATE MIN. DEPOSIT
3-Month CDs California First 0.80% APY $5,000
6-Month CDs Aurora Bank 1.08% APY $1,000
12-Month CDs Melrose Credit Union 1.41% APY $5,000
24-Month CDs Melrose Credit Union 1.66% APY $5,000
36-Month CDs Melrose Credit Union 2.17% APY $5,000
60-Month CDs Melrose Credit Union 2.93% APY $5,000


Banks and credit unions qualify for our rankings by selling their certificates of deposit online or through the mail to savers nationwide.

Melrose is one of the few credit unions eligible for our rankings because its unique charter allows anyone to join for only $1, regardless of where they live or work. (You will also be required to hold at least $25 in a savings account.)

The banks on today’s Leaderboard are:

  • California First National Bank, an online bank based in Irvine, Calif.
  • Aurora Bank, the former Lehman Brothers Bank, which is based in Wilmington, Del., and has a branch in Jersey City, N.J.

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

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