bank rates

Highest CD Rates Roundup For March 1

Bringing you the very best CD rates from credit unions and local banks.Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke made his semiannual appearance before House and Senate committees this week.

And while he didn’t make any news, it did seem to me the statements regarding the state of savers in this low-interest-rates environment were more pointed than usual.

For example, here’s Rep. Steve Pearce, R-N.M.: “It’s eating the lunch of our seniors, who can’t afford to fill their fuel tanks and buy groceries,” Pearce said, according to The Hill. “At some point, it would be nice for (Bernanke) to get out among people who have manure on the bottom of their boots.”

And then there’s the contentious exchange between Bernanke and Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn.

MarketWatch.com has the transcript (my emphasis added):

Corker: “I’m just wondering if you – if y’all talk at all in your meetings about the degrading effect that’s having on our society and how it’s basically punishing people who’ve done the right things and throwing seniors under the bus and others that have saved money. Do y’all ever talk about the longer-term degrading effect of these policies as we try to, you know, live for today?”

Bernanke’s response, once again, was to tell savers they have to just take it.

Bernanke: “I would just point out that if we tried to raise interest rates to – from, say – current 10-year yield is 2 percent – if we tried to raise to 3 or 4 or 5 percent while the economy was still weak, it could not be sustained. Our economy’s not weak (sic) enough to sustain high real returns to savers. If we tried to do that, we would throw our economy back into recession and we would have low interest rates like the Japanese do.

“The only way to get interest rates up for savers is to get a strong recovery. And the only way to get a strong recovery is to provide adequate support to the recovery.”

In other words, no relief soon.

This week we added three deals to our list of the highest CD rates from credit unions and local banks:

  • Alamo Federal Credit Union (www.alamofcu.org) pays 2.02% APY on 5-year CDs and 2.38% APY on 7-year CDs. Credit union membership is limited to certain areas of San Antonio.
  • ACMG Federal Credit Union (www.acmgfcu.org) pays 2.00% APY on 5-year CDs. Credit union membership is open to certain areas of Syracuse, N.Y.
  • Warren Federal Credit Union (www.warrenfcu.com) pays 1.50% APY on 30-month CDs. This “expandable” CD lets you make additional deposits throughout the term, through either weekly, monthly or quarterly transfers of funds not already on deposit at the bank. It also pays 1.95% APY on 5-year CDs. Membership is limited to those who live, work, worship or attend school in the credit union’s investment area in Cheyenne, Wyo.; military and civilian personnel assigned to Francis E. Warren Air Force Base; and those affiliated with a long list of select employee groups in Laramie and Albany counties in Wyoming and northern Colorado.

Unfortunately, there were a lot of rate cuts this week, led by Pentagon Federal Credit Union.

PenFed cut its top rates by a quarter of a percentage point, enough for us to drop its 60-month and 12-month certificates from our list. Its 36-month CD, which now pays 1.60% APY, and its 24-month CD, which now pays 1.35% APY, remain on the list.

We also removed the 5-year CD from San Antonio Federal Credit Union and all of the specials from USAlliance Federal Credit Union.

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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