June's best 3-year CD rates top out at 2.5%

Clear piggy bank with coins

If you're looking to get the best rate possible on a 3-year CD, make sure to check out the returns being offered at community banks and credit unions near you.

You'll find more local deals on 3-year CDs than on any other term.

And while those rates are only available to savers who live or work in a limited area or industry, they are more generous than the best nationally available deals.

Qualifying customers can earn up to 2.50% APY at Greater Nevada Credit Union in Nevada or 2.02% APY from Gulf Coast Federal Credit Union in Texas.

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. (If you know of one near you, please share that info by placing a comment on this story.)

TOP 3-YEAR CD RATES: Local Deals

Bank/Credit Union (APY) State Contact
Greater Nevada Credit Union 2.50% Nevada https://www.gncu.org/
Gulf Coast Federal Credit Union 2.02% Texas http://www.ccgcfcu.com/
Mobiloil Federal Credit Union 1.76% Texas https://www.mobiloilcu.org/
Montauk Credit Union 1.75% New York http://montauk-cu.com/
Cintel Financial Federal Credit Union 1.75% Ohio https://www.cintelfcu.org/home/home
NavyArmy Community Credit Union 1.75% Texas http://www.navyarmyccu.com/
Valley Green Bank 1.75% Pennsylvania https://www.valleygreenbank.com
Massena Savings & Loan 1.73% New York http://www.massenasavingsloan.com/
Doral Bank 1.67% New York http://www.doralbank.com/
LOMTO Federal Credit Union 1.65% New York http://www.lomto.org/
Transit Employees Federal Credit Union 1.60% Washington https://www.tefcu.org/
Department of Commerce Federal Credit Union 1.55% Washington, D.C., plus employees of Department of Commerce and NOAA https://www.docfcu.org
Industrial Credit Union 1.55% Massachusetts http://www.icu.org
Texas Workforce Credit Union 1.51% Texas http://www.texasworkforcecu.com
First Republic Bank 1.50% California, Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon https://www.firstrepublic.com/
Police and Fire Federal Credit Union 1.50% Pennsylvania http://www.pffcu.org/
Beach Community Bank 1.49% Florida https://www.beachcommunitybank.com/

If you don't see anything near you, try searching Bankrate's database of CD rates and checking out the latest local deals on Bankaholic.com.

Still no luck? Then the best nationally available return of 1.66% APY is available from a small New York City credit union with a minimum deposit of $5,000.

Although you have to join Melrose Credit Union (www.melrosecu.org) to take advantage of that rate, anyone can do so, regardless of where they live, by paying a $1 membership fee and putting $25 in a savings account.

Members can purchase CDs through the mail or in person at its office in Queens' Briarwood neighborhood.

If you don't want to go through the extra work of joining Melrose, the best nationally available deal from a bank is 1.45% APY with a $2,500 minimum deposit.

TOP 3-YEAR CD RATES: Nationally Available Bank Deals

Bank APY Minimum Deposit
Intervest 1.45% $2,500
Sallie Mae 1.45% $2,500
EverBank 1.45% $1,500
VirtualBank 1.36% $10,000
Barclays 1.35% No minimum
GE Capital 1.35% $500
CIT Bank 1.35% $25,000
Synchrony Bank 1.30% $25,000
CalFirst 1.30% $5,000
State Bank of India-New York 1.30% $5,000
BAC Florida 1.30% $5,000
AloStar 1.30% $5,000

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.

Our 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
Intervest National Bank A community bank headquartered in New York City. It has one branch there and six branches in Clearwater and Pinellas counties in Florida. www.intervestnatbank.com
Sallie Mae Bank An online bank owned by the student lender. www.salliemae.com
EverBank Primarily an online bank with 14 branches in Florida. www.everbank.com
VirtualBank The online division of Sabadell United Bank, which has 23 branches in Florida and is owned by Banco Sabadell, Spain's fourth-largest bank. www.virtualbank.com
Barclays The online American operation of the worldwide British bank with more than $2 trillion in assets. www.banking.barclaysus.com
GE Capital 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. gecapitalbank.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, N.J. The huge manufacturer General Electric plans to end its ownership of this bank through a future stock offering. www.myoptimizerplus.com/
California First National Bank An online bank owned by the same company that runs California First Leasing Corp., which finances all sorts of high-tech business equipment. www.calfirst.com
State Bank of India- New York The FDIC-insured New York branch of India's largest bank, which operates independently of other U.S. branches. www.statebank.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
AloStar Bank of Commerce An online bank based in Birmingham, Ala., formerly known as Nexity Bank. retail.alostarbank.com

As you can see, all of these rates are two to three times the current average for 36-month CDs, which is 0.49% APY, according to our most recent survey of major banks and thrifts.

Historically, savers could expect to earn 3.5% or 4% on these CDs. But the Federal Reserve has spent the past six years driving down short-term interest rates to boost the economy.

The Fed's rate-setting committee has indicated that it will not reverse course and allow interest rates to rise until late 2015, and any increases will be small and gradual once they begin.

But it's a good bet that rates will be higher by the time a 3-year CD purchased now matures in June 2017.

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