bank rates

May’s Top 6-Month CDs Still Paying 0.88%

Stocks swooned last week after Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said the central bank might start winding down its campaign to depress long-term interest rates later this year.

That would be a necessary first step toward the Fed allowing record-low short-term interest rates to rise.

Any relief from Bernanke’s unprecedented, five years and counting intervention in the economy would be welcomed by savers surveying the dismal returns on 6-month CDs.

Our May survey of the top nationally available rates finds Doral Bank Direct (www.doralbankdirect.com) still has the best deal — 0.88% with a $500 minimum deposit.

That’s the online division of Doral Bank, which has five branches in northwest Florida and two in New York City, and is the leading community bank in Puerto Rico.

(You can always find the best deals for all terms on Bankaholic’s CD Rates Leaderboard, which is updated every day.)

EH National Bank (www.ehnbank.com), with its single branch in Beverly Hills, Calif., offers the second best rate of 0.85% APY but requires a considerably larger $10,000 minimum deposit.

Four banks pay the third-highest rate of 0.70% APY:

Atlantic Coast Bank (www.atlanticcoastbank.net), which has 11 branches in northeast Florida and southeast Georgia, requires a $1,000 minimum deposit.

Colorado Federal Savings Bank (www.coloradofederalbank.com), an online bank based in Greenwood Village, Colo., requires a $5,000 minimum deposit.

Discover Bank (www.discoverbank.com), an online bank owned by the credit card company, requires a $2,500 minimum deposit.

The FDIC-insured Chicago branch of State Bank of India (www.sbichicago.com), which operates independently of the bank’s other U.S. branches, requires a $2,500 minimum deposit.

Three banks pay 0.65% APY:

Ascencia (www.ascenciabank.com), the online division of PBI Bank, which has 18 branches in Kentucky, requires a $500 minimum deposit.

GE Capital Retail Bank (www.gecrb.com), an online bank that is a subsidiary of GE Capital Corp., the financial services unit of the manufacturing giant, requires a $25,000 minimum deposit.

Virtual Bank (www.virtualbank.com), the online division of Sabadell United Bank, based in Miami, requires a $10,000 minimum deposit.

Large banks and thrifts continue to pay an annual average yield of 0.15% for 6-month CDs.

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

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

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