bank rates

March Madness: Pick Winners, Boost Yield

Closeup picture of a basketballCountryside Federal Credit Union in New York State once again is tying special 12-month CD rates to America’s favorite basketball tournament.

With the right bracket, you can earn as much as 1.50% APY through its March Madness CD special.

This is the same deal the credit union offered last year, and it beats the top nationally 12-month CD rate on our CD Rates Leaderboard by nearly half of a percentage point.

But not everyone will get such a slam dunk. To play, you start by buying a 12-month certificate of deposit at 0.50% APY with a $500 minimum deposit.

True, that’s not a great yield – but if you open your CD and submit a bracket with your Final Four and National Championship predictions, you could boost that rate a full percentage point.

Here’s how:

  • Each correct pick of a team that makes Final Four will net you a tenth of a percentage point, or 0.40% for all four.
  • Each correct team you pick to make it to the National Championship nets you a fifth of a percentage point, or 0.40% for both.
  • Correctly picking the National Champion is worth a fifth of a percentage point.

So, even if your bracket isn’t entirely spot-on, you might still score a rate higher than 0.50% APY.

Or not.

Brackets are available on the website and must be submitted to the credit union by 4:30 p.m. March 26, the day before the Sweet Sixteen round begins.

You have to be a member of Countryside Federal Credit Union to purchase these certificates of deposit. Membership is open to anyone who lives, works, worship or attends school in New York’s Onondaga County.

A $5 deposit in a share savings account is required for membership.

Members can buy CDs over the phone or in person at the credit union’s single office at 5720 Commons Park Drive in East Syracuse.

Learn more about Countryside Federal Credit Union at or call 315-445-2300.

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

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