bank rates

Same Top 1-Year CD Rates, Different Rules

A year ago, you could still earn 2.00% APY with our best nationally available 12-month CD rates.

Now Melrose Credit Union and Bank of Internet are tied for the lead in our rankings of the top-paying 1-year CDs, with a rate of just 1.41% APY — down from more than 1.5% just last month.

Bank of Internet and Melrose Credit Union now offer the best nationally available return of 1.41% APY.But the same rate doesn’t mean the same amount of effort is required to buy these certificates of deposit.

Bank of Internet, an online bank based in San Diego, requires a $1,000 minimum deposit and has an online application process.

Savers must join Melrose before they can buy one of its CDs. Although the membership fee is only $1, customers must also keep $25 in a savings account, meet its demand for a higher $5,000 minimum deposit for CDs, and submit all paperwork by snail mail to its New York office.

So it would seem that Bank of Internet makes it easier to buy one of its CDs. If anyone has a different experience let us know.

The next-best nationally available 1-year CD rates are:

1.40% APY with a $500 minimum deposit from Ascencia, the online division of PBI Bank in Louisville, Ky.

1.35% APY with a $5,000 minimum deposit from Colorado Federal Savings Bank in Greenwood Village, Colo.

1.30% APY with no minimum deposit required from American Express Bank, owned by the credit card company.

1.30% APY with a $1,000 minimum deposit from Aurora Bank, with its main office in Wilmington, Del. and a branch in Jersey City, N.J.

1.30% APY with a $2,500 minimum deposit from Discover Bank, owned by the credit card company.

1.30% APY with no minimum deposit required from Sallie Mae Bank, owned by the big student loan lender.

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

Melrose is one of the few credit unions that qualify for our rankings because its unique charter allows anyone to join, regardless of where they live or work.

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

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Comments (3)
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (7 votes, average: 4.29 out of 5)
3 Existing Comments
  1. CharleyR said:
    on December 9th at 01:38 pm

    I find the current online application process at BOI to be easy and straightforward. (BOI is, however, converting to a new online system over the next two days, so whether the process stays that way remains to be seen.) I had a very positive experience with the current BOI Senior VP in charge of consumer banking when she was at IndyMac. She took care of a row I got into with an inexperienced and disagreeable customer service rep during the difficult process IndyMac went through becoming OneWest. She’s a real positive addition to the BOI team.

  2. Nicholas Snitzer said:
    on December 10th at 02:31 am

    BOI charges an intrest penalty in case of early redemption of a CD because of a death. This is the only bank I have encountered with this policy.

  3. DealMaven said:
    on December 16th at 09:31 am

    There was one rate change in 12-month CDs.

    American Express lowered its APY to 0.90% from 1.30%, dropping it out of the ranking. But the top CD rates are still available.