bank rates

Leading 36-Month CD Rates Still Top 2%

There’s absolutely no reason to buy a 36-month CD that’s paying less than 2%.

We know the average return on 3-year certificates of deposit is hovering just over 1%.

For millions of savers those rates are like the local deals we often write about, available at branches in New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and suburban Boston.

If you go to one of the big banks like Bank of America or Chase, that’s almost exactly what they’re paying right now.

But here are five perfectly good banks and credit unions that accept new customers from all 50 states — and they’re paying twice that much.

For millions of savers, those rates are local deals, available at branches in New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and suburban Boston.

Melrose Credit Union offers the best nationally available return of 2.17% APY with a $5,000 minimum deposit.

These four banks all pay the next best rate of 2.00% APY on 3-year CDs:

Country Bank, which has 14 branches in central Massachusetts and requires a $500 minimum deposit.

Danversbank, which has more than 30 branches in the Boston area and requires a $500 minimum deposit.

OneWest Bank, which has 82 branches in southern California and requires a $1,000 minimum deposit.

NOVA Bank, which has a dozen branches in the Philadelphia area and requires a $500 minimum deposit.

These banks and credit unions qualify for our rankings by imposing no restrictions on who can buy their certificates of deposit, either online or through the mail.

Melrose – which has a single office in New York City – is one of the few credit unions that qualify 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.)

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

Don't miss out on the next bank deal. Get the newest deals delivered straight to your inbox!

Comments (8)
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
8 Existing Comments
  1. Ron Hasbrouck said:
    on January 18th at 08:19 am

    Why do you not include Fort Knox Federal Credit Union whose 3-year CD rate
    of 2.25% (APY) beats them all (anyone can join for $15)?

  2. CrankySaver said:
    on January 18th at 08:51 am

    Ron: We used to include Fort Knox, but that $15 membership fee can skew the effective return on its CDs. See this post for a full explanation of why we don’t include it in our rankings:

    Having said that, we think Fort Knox Federal offers some great CD rates and continue to write about them. See this post from just last week:

  3. NickelAndDimed said:
    on January 19th at 09:25 am

    Looking for information on IRA CDs? Check out our new post over on Bankaholic’s personal finance blog:

  4. Ron Hasbrouck said:
    on January 20th at 09:19 am

    I get your point. Clearly, on shorter terms/smaller deposits, the $15 fee can distort the return stats. However, they are consistently at the top of the heap
    on deposit rates and on longer terms/larger deposits the membership fee is a negligible factor. Therefore, since the membership fee is a one-time charge
    and since it’s reasonable to assume that “Bankaholic” users (those searching
    national rate info) are more likely to be larger depositors, I think it would make
    sense for you to include them. Just my opinion. Incidentally, in addition to
    their solid rates, they used to pay a .15% rate premium for “Jumbo” CD’s.
    Sadly, they have discontinued that.

  5. NickelAndDimed said:
    on January 28th at 11:22 am

    All the top 36-month rates remained unchanged as of Jan. 28, 2011.

  6. Kathy O'Gorman said:
    on January 30th at 11:32 am

    These rates are all still good as of Jan. 30.

  7. Kathy O'Gorman said:
    on February 28th at 09:10 am

    You can still get these rates as of Feb. 28, 2011.

  8. Kathy at Bankaholic said:
    on April 3rd at 04:37 pm

    As of April 3, OneWest’s rate has slipped to 1.80% APY.