bank rates

No Logic In Wells Fargo’s CD Rates

It's best CD rates are in the 58-month term.I’m not quite sure how Wells Fargo determines its CD rates.

While most big banks offer different rates for different geographic areas, a pattern usually emerges as to which state has which specials. Perhaps the Midwest states will stick together, or states in the Northeast, or the South.

But not Wells Fargo.

This big bank with more than 6,000 branches has a variety of specials offered in various states for off-terms: 7-month, 11-month, 13-month, 25-month, 26-month, 29-month, 35-month, 39-month, 45-month and 58-month.

A few of those terms are offered in only a handful of states.

But why Minnesota has a 35-month special for 0.80% APY, but 27 other states earn only 0.70%, is anyone’s guess.

It’s like someone is spinning a giant wheel over at Wells Fargo’s headquarters (www.wellsfargo.com), and a co-worker is writing down the random terms and rates that come up for each state on a poster board.

I’m looking at that chart now, and, while I’m no mathematician, it appears largely nonsensical.

The two most common specials are an 11-month special offer, which pays 0.15% APY with a $5,000 minimum deposit, and a 58-month special offer paying 1.90% APY.

Now, those aren’t for everyone.

Alaska, for whatever reason, earns 2.05% for its 58-month special. And the Dakotas and Wyoming don’t have that special at all.

Those states have different odd-term specials, although Wyoming’s differs from the Dakotas’.

The most frustrating part of this entire situation is that it took me well more than an hour to tediously chart all of Wells Fargo’s rates – not recommended for anyone’s Friday afternoon – and that 58-month rate is the best this bank has to offer.

It beats the average annual yield for 60-month CDs from large banks and thrifts, which is a pitiful 1.61% APY.

But the vast majority of Wells Fargo’s other special offers are below average.

Sure, a couple are above average by a hair, like the 39-month special in Alaska, Arizona and Washington for 1.01% APY. That technically edges out the current average annual yield for 36-month CDs, which is 0.97%.

Wondering about Wells Fargo’s standard CD rates? Don’t.

They’re as low as 0.01% APY for a 3-month CD and 0.05% APY for 6- and 12-month CDs. (The current average annual yields for those terms are 0.17%, 0.26% and 0.44%, respectively.)

This seems like a good time to remind all savers to always head to our CD Rates Leaderboard for the top nationally available rates.

Or you can compare Wells Fargo’s returns with the best CD rates from scores of other banks in our extensive database.

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