Top deal on 12-month CD surges to 3-year high

piggy bank in glasses

It's been more than three years since you could earn this much on a nationally available 12-month CD.

CSBdirect, the online division of Citizens State Bank, has jumped to the top of our rankings by paying savers across the country 1.25% APY.

Only a handful of credit unions are offering their members a better return (more on that later), and no national deal has paid this much since Sept. 1, 2011.

Savers can now find 11 banks offering national deals of 1.05% APY or more on these popular investments.

"We're finally seeing a turnaround in CD rates, even on short-term investments like this," says Mike Sante, managing editor of Interest.com. "So far, the rebound is pretty modest and not enough banks have boosted their rates to affect the average return on 1-year CDs."

That's ranged from 0.22% APY to 0.28% APY over the past year and was a paltry 0.26% APY in our most recent survey of major banks and thrifts.

"But we expect the trend toward higher rates will gain steam later this fall and winter," Sante says. "The dark days of earning practically nothing for our savings are coming to an end."

TOP 1-YEAR CD RATES: Nationally Available Bank Deals

Bank APY Minimum Deposit
CSBdirect 1.25% $1,000
CIT Bank 1.12% $25,000
Synchrony Bank 1.10% $25,000
Colorado Federal 1.10% $5,000
ableBanking 1.10% $1,000
GE Capital 1.10% $500
Nationwide Bank 1.10% $500
Silvergate Bank 1.08% $2,500
BAC Florida 1.08% $5,000
AmTrust Direct 1.05% $500
MyBankingDirect 1.05% $500

To qualify for this list, a bank must allow savers from all 50 states to buy its certificates of deposit online or through the mail.

Our CD calculator will help you figure out the interest you'll earn, for any term, amount and interest rate.

TOP 1-YEAR CD RATES: About The Banks

Bank Description URL
CSBdirect The online division of Citizens State Bank, which has four branches in Florida. www.csbdirect.com
CIT Bank The online consumer bank of CIT Group Inc., which offers financing to small businesses and middle-market companies. www.bankoncit.com
Synchrony Bank 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. www.myoptimizerplus.com
Colorado Federal Savings Bank An online bank based in Greenwood Village, Colorado. www.coloradofederalbank.com
ableBanking The online division of Northeast Bank, which has 10 branches in Maine. www.ablebanking.com
GE Capital The other bank owned by GE Capital Corp. gecapitalbank.com
Nationwide Bank An online bank owned by Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. and its affiliates. www.nationwide.com
Silvergate Bank Which has four branches in Southern California and is a subsidiary of Silvergate Capital Corp. www.silvergatebank.com
BAC Florida Bank A community bank with one location in Coral Gables that sells its products nationally through My e-BAnC. www.bacflorida.com
AmTrust Direct One of two online divisions of New York Community Bank that made our rankings. www.amtrustdirect.com
MyBankingDirect The other online division of New York Community Bank, which has 243 branches in five states. mybankingdirect.com

You might be able to earn a little more than this if you live near a community bank or credit union offering a great local deal.

Members of the General Electric Credit Union in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana can earn 1.50% APY. But it takes a very hefty $100,000 minimum deposit to get that return.

Alternatively, Gulf Coast Federal Credit Union in Corpus Christi, Texas, is offering 1.30% APY with a modest $500 minimum.

Click here to search Bankrate's database of CD rates to see if you can find a similar deal near you. Or check out the latest local deals on Bankaholic.com.

Here's one final option to consider.

Melrose Credit Union (www.melrosecu.org) has a single office in the Briarwood neighborhood of the New York City borough of Queens.

It allows anyone to join, no matter where they live or work, with a $1 membership fee and $25 deposit in a savings account.

Once those formalities are taken care of, members earn some of the best returns in the nation, including 1.15% APY on 1-year CDs with a $5,000 minimum deposit.

Contributing editor Darci Swisher contributed to this report.
Follow Mitch Strohm on Google Plus.