Top 12-month CD rates surge to 3-year high

piggy bank in glasses

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

Citizens State Bank jumped to the top of our rankings this fall by paying savers across the country 1.25% APY, and it's still offering the same deal.

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 10 banks offering national deals of 1.10% APY or more on these popular investments. (Click here to search our database for all of the best CD rates.)

"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 modest, but enough banks have boosted their rates to affect the average return on 1-year CDs."

That's inched up from as low as 0.22% APY last winter to 0.27% APY in our most recent survey of major banks and thrifts — the highest it's been since February 2013.

"We expect the trend toward higher rates will gather momentum this 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
Citizens State Bank 1.25% $1,000
Sallie Mae 1.15% $2,500
Nationwide Bank 1.14% $500
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
BankDirect 1.10% $10,000
BAC Florida 1.10% $5,000

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
Citizens State Bank A community bank with four branches in northern Florida. www.csbdirect.com
Sallie Mae An online bank owned by the student lender. www.salliemae.com
Nationwide Bank An online bank owned by Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. and its affiliates. www.nationwide.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 Formerly known as GE Capital Retail Bank, this predominately online bank has a single branch in Bridgewater, New Jersey. 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 An online bank owned by GE Capital Corp. the financial services unit of the manufacturing company. gecapitalbank.com
BankDirect The online division of Texas Capital Bank, which has 12 locations in Texas. www.bankdirect.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

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 qualify for that return.

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

Savers living in California can earn 1.30% APY from HAB Bank with a $1,500 minimum.

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.