bank rates

Highest CD Rates Roundup For Aug. 31

Bringing you the very best CD rates from credit unions and local banks.The juxtaposition speaks volumes.

First, there’s Ben Bernanke speaking at an annual conference, saying the Federal Reserve can do more to help the economy, but failing to mention how this “help” has crushed savers.

Again.

Then there’s a column in USA Today decrying the lack of outrage over what low interest rates are doing to America’s seniors.

Glenn Harlan Reynolds places a bit too much blame on things presidential administrations don’t generally control, such as gas prices, but he nonetheless makes an effective argument about how bad things have gotten for people trying to live off of the interest their bank accounts earn.

Here’s the salient point. Things — like a pound of ground beef — cost more than they ever have, even if inflation is being held in check. And savings accounts and CDs pay way less than they once did, putting the squeeze on a lot of people.

From the column:

“The squeeze is real. Some years ago, when earning say 5% on your money was realistic, a $360,000 portfolio of CDs would produce $18,000 a year in interest — that’s $1,500 a month. Couple that with an unexceptional Social Security payment of about the same amount, and that’s $36,000 a year, $3,000 a month. Nothing fancy, but enough to get by.

“Now change that 5% to 0.9%, and you’re earning $3,240 per year, or about $270 a month. Add that to $1,500 a month in Social Security, and you’ve got $1,770 a month to live on; just $21,240 a year. That’s a brutal 41% cut in income. And it is why many senior citizens around the country are being forced to draw down savings to make ends meet.”

There’s no reason to earn less than 1% APY on your CDs, but even the top CDs on our list of the highest CD rates at credit unions and local banks can’t compare with the 5% Reynolds writes about.

The situation is grim, and it probably won’t get better for some time.

This week, we added one local bank and two local credit unions to our list of deals:

  • F&A Federal Credit Union (www.fafcu.org) pays 1.16% APY on 1-year CDs, 1.36% APY on 2-year CDs, 1.61% APY on 3-year CDs and 2.12% APY on 5-year CDs with a $1,000 minimum deposit. Credit union membership is open to those who work for the L.A. County Fire Department, employees of one of the cities that contract the department’s services, employees of a number of other area government institutions and immediate family members.
  • First Bexley Bank (www.firstbexleybank.com) pays 2% on 5-year CDs with a $500 minimum deposit. You don’t have to live near this Ohio bank to purchase a CD, but you do have to buy them in person at its office in suburban Columbus.
  • MECU (www.mecu.com) pays 1.90% APY on its 5-year CD. This certificate of deposit allows for two chances to bump up rates if interest rates increase during the term. Credit union membership is available to anyone who lives, works, attends school or worships in the city of Baltimore, as well as their blood relatives and spouses, or who lives within five miles of a branch. Employees of MECU’s business partners and members’ household members may also join.

We also added one credit union deal available to all savers:

  • Sandia Laboratory Federal Credit Union (www.slfcu.org) offers three different rates on 3-year CDs — 1.61% APY with a $1,000 minimum deposit, 1.71% APY with a $50,000 deposit and 1.82% APY with a $100,000 deposit. Anyone can join this Albuquerque, N.M., credit union by joining the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History. Contact the credit union if you want to join using this option, and they’ll collect your $40 membership fee along with the $5 you need to deposit into a share savings account and contact the museum for you.

It’s the end of the month so, unfortunately, we’re seeing a number of rate cuts, as well.

GECU in Texas cut its 60-month CD rate to 2% APY and its 36-month CD rate to 1.50% APY.

Houston Police Federal Credit Union cut its 15-month CD to 1.48% APY and its 6-month CD to 1.06% APY.

San Antonio Federal Credit Union cut its 10-year CD rates to 3.25% APY and its 7-year CD rate to 2.75% APY.

These credit unions remain on our list because their offers are still better than the best nationally available deal on our CD Rates Leaderboard.

But we’ve removed offers from Port Richmond Savings in Philadelphia, Workers’ Credit Union in Massachusetts and HomeBanc in Florida after these institutions cut rates.

You’ll find all the top-paying deals clearly marked on our highest CD rates page, showing where they are available, with a quick link back to the original post, which includes more information on the institution and its requirements.

We’ll update this page weekly, so you’ll always know what great deals are out there from credit unions and local banks.

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