Top 5-year CD rates going nowhere right now
Summer’s almost here, and we're still waiting for 60-month CDs to start paying better than they did last winter.
For more than three months now, the top nationally available 5-year yield has been mired at 2.25% APY, a return currently offered by three banks — Barclays, Synchrony and EverBank.
While that's a significant improvement over the post-recession low of 1.75% APY reached in the summer of 2013, it's the worst rate the top national deal has paid over the past 16 months.
Savers who saw returns briefly rise as high as 2.50% APY early this year can only wonder what happened to the fledgling rally in savings rates and when it might resume. (More on that later.)
TOP 5-YEAR CD RATES: Nationally Available Bank Deals
|Capital One 360||2.20%||No minimum|
|First Internet Bank of Indiana||2.12%||$1,000|
|State Bank of India — Chicago||2.12%||$2,500|
|Sallie Mae Bank||2.10%||$2,500|
|Ally Bank||2.00%||No minimum|
|GE Capital Bank||2.00%||$500|
|Salem Five Direct||2.00%||$10,000|
Fortunately, there are almost always some lucky savers who can outearn the top national rate by purchasing CDs from a community bank or credit union.
These institutions often offer chart-topping yields to savers who live nearby or are willing to jump through a hoop or two to become a member.
Among the best local and regional offerings are 5-year CDs currently paying up to 2.50% APY.
TOP LONG-TERM CD RATES: Credit Union, Community Bank Deals
|Bank||States||Term (in months)||APY|
|Bank of Utica||New York||60||2.50%|
|City Credit Union||Texas||60||2.50%|
|General Electric Credit Union||Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky||60||2.50%|
|Vibe Credit Union||Michigan||60||2.50%|
|Advancial Federal Credit Union||Alaska, Louisiana, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Texas||60||2.38%|
|Citizens State Bank||Florida||60||2.35%|
|Bayer Heritage Federal Credit Union||Ohio, South Carolina, West Virginia||60||2.27%|
|Founders Federal Credit Union||South Carolina||60||2.27%|
A few credit unions allow savers across the country to join regardless of where they live or work. Melrose Credit Union in New York City is one of those.
It's paying 2.27% APY on 5-year CDs that may be purchased by mail, phone or in person at the credit union’s single office in the Briarwood section of Queens.
According to our weekly survey of banks and thrifts, the average return for these CDs bottomed out at 0.77% APY in the summer of 2013.
After gradually rising to 0.89% APY earlier this spring, it's faltered lately, down to 0.86% APY for the last four weeks.
Back in February 2007, before irresponsible mortgage lending led the economy over a cliff, the national average return for 5-year CDs was 4.02% APY.
By most historical standards, that’s a reasonable rate for savers to expect.
But in December 2008, the Federal Reserve stepped in to avert a complete financial meltdown by artificially repressing interest rates until the economy could recover.
The current expectation is that the Fed will finally begin raising rates sometime this year -- perhaps as soon as this month, but more likely sometime in the fall or early winter.