bank rates

Rate Changes Rare Among Top 2-Year CDs

hand holding 100 dollar billsWe’ve written before about how little movement there’s been among the top nationally available 24-month CD rates.

The best offer has, on but a few short occasions, remained between 1.25% and 1.35% APY since mid-September 2011.

The top deal on our CD Rates Leaderboard pays 1.25% APY today.

But there’s also been surprisingly little movement among the banks that we track that offer rates slightly below the top deal.

Since June, there have been just five rate changes among the top 14 banks in this term – four rate cuts and one rate increase.

It’s a logjam here, folks.

Chart showing the best 24-month cd rates versus average rates.

Salem Five Direct (, the online division of Salem Five Bank, which has 23 branches just north of Boston, offers the lead rate of 1.25% APY with a $10,000 minimum deposit.

CIT Bank (, the online consumer bank of CIT Group Inc., which finances small businesses and middle-market companies, pays the second-highest rate of 1.20% APY.

This Achiever CD requires a $25,000 minimum deposit but allows you to add money to your account once, as well as bump up the rate once, during the term.

Three banks pay the third-highest rate of 1.15% APY:

GE Capital Bank (, which is one of two online banks, each with its own FDIC insurance, that are subsidiaries of GE Capital Corp., the financial services unit of the manufacturing giant, requires a $500 minimum deposit.

GE Capital Retail Bank (, which is also a subsidiary of GE Capital Corp., requires a $25,000 minimum deposit.

Nationwide Bank (, which is an online bank owned by Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. and its affiliates, requires a $500 minimum deposit.

BAC Florida Bank (, which has one location in south Florida and sells its products nationally through My e-BAnC, pays 1.11% APY and requires a $500 minimum deposit.

AloStar Bank of Commerce (, which is an online bank based in Birmingham, Ala., pays 1.10% APY and requires a $1,000 minimum deposit.

The average annual yield that large banks and thrifts offer for 24-month CDs is 0.37% for the 12th week.

These 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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