Spring's best 3-year CD rates start at over 2%

Clear piggy bank with coins

The best nationally available 3-year CDs have had a rough start to the year.

The two banks that were paying 1.70% APY on nationally available 36-month CDs — EverBank and iGOBanking — both cut their rates in January.

Now the best you'll earn on a nation deal is 1.50% APY (more on this later).

Fortunately, there are a slew of community banks and credit unions offering very attractive returns on this term.

In fact, you're more likely to find a local deal on 3-year CDs than most other terms.

Although most of those deals are only available to savers who live or work in a limited area or specific industry, they're more generous than the best nationally available deals.

For example, members of Gulf Coast Federal Credit Union in Texas can earn up to 2.02% APY.

And customers at Crescent Bank in Louisiana can earn up to 1.81% APY.

In many cases, those accounts must be opened in person, but the rates are well worth the trip.

Here are some examples of the best local deals currently being offered.

Some credit unions allow savers across the country to qualify for membership by paying a modest fee or donation to join an affiliated charitable organization. The deals where that option exists are labeled as “Nationwide” on our charts.

TOP 3-YEAR CD RATES: Credit Unions, Community Banks

Bank/Credit Union (APY) State Contact
Gulf Coast Federal Credit Union 2.02% Texas www.ccgcfcu.com
Crescent Bank 1.81% Louisiana www.cbtno.com
First NBC Bank 1.77% Louisiana www.firstnbcbank.com
NavyArmy Community Credit Union 1.75% Texas www.navyarmyccu.com
Massena Savings & Loan 1.73% New York www.massenasavingsloan.com
NUVO Bank & Trust 1.66% Massachusetts, Connecticut www.nuvobank.com
LOMTO Federal Credit Union 1.65% New York www.lomto.org
Suncoast Credit Union 1.65% Florida www.suncoastcreditunion.com
TEXAR Federal Credit Union 1.65% Texas www.gotexar.com
Transit Employees Federal Credit Union 1.60% Washington www.tecfu.org
First Tech Federal Credit Union 1.60% Nationwide www.firsttechfed.com
Bally Savings Bank 1.65% Pennsylvania www.ballysavingsbank.com
Melrose Credit Union 1.56% Nationwide http://www.melrosecu.org/
Bogota Savings Bank 1.56% New Jersey www.bogotasavingsbank.com
HAB Bank 1.55% California, New York, New Jersey www.habbank.com
Alliant Credit Union 1.55% Nationwide www.alliantcreditunion.org
Industrial Credit Union 1.55% Massachusetts www.industrialcu.org

If you don't see anything near you, then the best nationally available return of 1.50% APY is available from a couple of banks.

Ever since the top rate first sank to that level in June 2012, it's been pretty much stuck between 1.40% and 1.51% APY.

While there have been a few glimmers of hope, such as we saw earlier this year, they’ve all been frustratingly short-lived. That's why local deals dominate the discussion of 3-year CDs.

TOP 3-YEAR CD RATES: Nationally Available Bank Deals

Bank APY Minimum Deposit
American 1.50% $500
Capital One 360 1.50% No minimum
Synchrony Bank 1.50% $2,000
First Internet Bank 1.46% $1,000
BankDirect 1.45% $10,000
Barclays 1.45% No minimum
CIT Bank 1.45% $25,000
Discover Bank 1.45% $2,500
EverBank 1.45% $1,500
Sallie Mae 1.45% $2,500

To qualify for this list, a bank must be FDIC-insured and allow savers from all 50 states to buy its certificates of deposit online, by phone or through the mail.

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

TOP 3-YEAR CD RATES: About The Banks

Bank Description URL
American Which operates an online portal and a single branch in Allentown, Pennsylvania. www.ambk.com
Capital One 360 Formerly known as ING Direct, an online bank that is a division of Capital One. home.capitalone360.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
First Internet Bank An online bank located in Indianapolis. www.firstib.com
BankDirect The online division of Texas Capital Bank, which has 12 locations in Texas. www.bankdirect.com
Barclays The online American operation of the worldwide British bank with more than $2 trillion in assets. www.banking.barclaysus.com
CIT Bank The online consumer bank of CIT Group Inc., which offers financing to small and midsize companies. www.bankoncit.com
Discover Bank An online bank owned by the credit card company. www.discover.com
EverBank A Jacksonville bank with more than a dozen branches across Florida. www.everbank.com
Sallie Mae Bank An online bank owned by the student lender. www.salliemae.com

All of these rates are at least two to three times the current average for 36-month CDs, which is 0.56% APY, according to our most recent survey of major banks and thrifts.

Want to compare this with the best returns for 3-month to 5-year CDs?

Search Bankrate's database of the best national CD rates from dozens of banks.

Contributing editor Sabrina Karl provided research for this report.