bank rates

Highest CD Rates Roundup For March 7

Bringing you the very best CD rates from credit unions and local banks.Way to go, Bankaholic readers.

The folks who answered our poll question last week about buying CDs at Pentagon Federal Credit Union really put up some cash.

Conservatively, Bankaholic readers purchased at least $1 million in PenFed CDs over the last couple of months.

I say conservatively because we erred in the way we constructed the poll question in that we didn’t get specific enough.

Nearly three dozen readers said they invested more than $25,000 in PenFed CDs during the recent rate hike. We just don’t know how much more than $25,000. Could have been $25,001. Could have been $250,000.

Even so, it looks like a bunch of you jumped at the 3% CD offer. Overall, our poll showed two-thirds of the respondents bought CDs at PenFed in December and January.

Unfortunately, those wonderful rates are gone, and the Alexandria, Va.-based credit union now offers no competitive certificates of deposit. The 60-month CD, for example, today pays just 1.76% APY.

We’re tracking for our CD Rates Leaderboard 15 nationally available offers from banks that pay more than PenFed’s current rate.

This rate-changing behavior is not unusual for PenFed.

The credit union has in the past boosted CD rates for a month or two, only to cut them back to uncompetitive levels.

In late 2012 into 2013, PenFed boosted rates three times (ultimately offering a rate of 1.90% on 5-year CDs, better than any nationally available bank offer at the time), only to cut all rates by a quarter of a percentage point in March 2013, where they remained uncompetitive until the big rate boost in December.

If the pattern holds, PenFed might not offer attractive rates again until the end of the year.

Highest CD Rates

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

  • Firstmark Credit Union in San Antonio (www.firstmarkcu.org) pays 1.50% APY on 40-month CDs with a $500 minimum deposit. Credit union membership is open to residents of Bexar County, Texas.
  • Transportation Federal Credit Union in Washington, D.C., (www.transfcu.org) pays 2.00% APY on 36-month CDs with a $1,000 minimum deposit. Credit Union membership is open to anyone who lives near the nation’s capital.

PenFed was just one of a number of institutions that made rate cuts this week.

We removed from our list deals from Sharonview Federal Credit Union with branches in New Jersey and North and South Carolina, MountainOne Bank in Massachusetts, University of Iowa Community Credit Union and Island Federal Credit Union in New York.

Suntide Credit Union in Texas cut its 24-month CD rate from 1.35% to 1.25% APY, but remains on our list. Its 12- and 6-month CDs also saw rate cuts and have been removed from our list.

You’ll find 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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