Best one-year CD rates pay 2.85%

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The top nationally available 12-month CD rate is currently 2.85% APY.

That's up more than a full percentage point since this time last year.

Indeed, we're finally starting to see shorter-term CDs move north.

But they are still a far cry from the nearly 4.00% yields we saw on 1-year CDs pre-recession.

It's likely we'll see some more upward movement for 12-month CDs, given the Federal Reserve's decision to keep increasing its benchmark interest rate this year. We'll tell you what the Fed indicated about potential additional rate hikes in 2019.

Of course, it can still pay off to shop at local banks and credit unions, where you can occasionally find deals beating the best national rates.

The top national deals

The top spot on our list is shared by three banks, which are all paying 2.85% APY.

The main difference between the three offers is the minimum deposit requirement. Banesco USA requires a $1,500 minimum,  Live Oak Bank requires a minimum of $2,500 and Citizens Access requires a somewhat heftier minimum of $5,000.

In total, there are now 17 banks offering 2.51% APY or better on nationally available 12-month CDs.

Yet while rates are creeping up, they're still historically low since drastically falling during the recession.

After plunging in the spring of 2011, the leading 12-month yield wavered between its post-recession low of 1.05% and 1.10% APY for all of 2012 and half of 2013.

Fast forward to 2019 and 17 banks are offering more than twice that post-recession low.

That makes it crucial to shop around for the best CD rates.

All of the deals below pay at least three times the current national average of 1-year CDs, which is 0.88% APY.

TOP 12-MONTH CD RATES: Nationally Available Bank Deals

 

Bank APY Minimum Deposit
Banesco USA 2.85% $1,500
Citizens Access  2.85% $5,000
Live Oak Bank 2.85% $2,500
State Bank of India - New York 2.84% $5,000
Merrick Bank 2.84% $25,000
State Bank of India - Chicago 2.81% $2,500
First Internet Bank of Indiana 2.81% $1,000
PurePoint Financial  2.80% $10,000
Synchrony Bank 2.80% $2,000
Sallie Mae 2.75% $2,500
Ally Bank 2.75% $25,000
TIAA Bank 2.74% $5,000
My eBanc 2.70% $1,500
Capital One 360 2.70% $0
BankPurely  2.65% $1,000
Popular Direct 2.63% $10,000
Colorado Federal Savings Bank 2.51% $5,000

Earning more with local deals

Savers can often find better, or at least competitive, 1-year returns by turning to credit unions and community banks.

USAlliance Financial Credit Union, for instance, is offering 2.80% APY, just below our national leaders.

But for those who live in the right place or work for the right employer, it's possible to earn even more. That's why it pays to shop for rates locally.

On all of the deals below, eligibility requirements apply. Contact the bank or credit union directly to determine if you qualify for membership.

TOP REGIONAL 1-YEAR CDS: Credit Unions & Community Banks

Bank States Term (in months) APY
USAlliance Financial Credit Union Nationwide 15 2.80%
Penfed Credit Union Nationwide 12 2.50%
Idaho Central Credit Union Idaho, Nevada 12 2.60%
TFCU Nationwide 12 2.55%

 

Watching for a Fed impact

Average 1-year CD rates have been on the rise, but improvements have been slow, finally pushing to just 0.88% APY this February.

Of course, all of these rates are dismal compared to the 12-month average of 3.78% APY we saw before reckless mortgage lending plunged us into the Great Recession.

The dramatic descent in rates is a result of the Federal Reserve aiming to stave off a complete financial collapse by dropping interest rates to about zero in December 2008 — and keeping them anchored there for 7 years.

That dismal period ended with the Fed's rate-setting committee approving what was expected to be the first of several small increases in the federal funds rate.

The Fed is forecasting that it will make 2-3 additional hikes in 2019.

So there is reasonable hope that additional increases will arrive in 2019 that will translate into higher bank returns by the time a 1-year CD bought now matures next winter.

Disclaimer: The rates above were verified March 2019. Credit unions and banks should be contacted directly to determine eligibility for opening accounts with that institution, as well as to verify current rates.

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