Top national 6-month CD rates pay 2.35%
The top nationally available 6-month CD rate is currently 2.35% APY.
That's lower than it was at this time last month.
Overall interest rates overall are beginning to stall. For most people that means it’s best to opt for short-term CDs. Tying up your money for three or four years to squeeze out an extra 10 or 20 basis points isn't worth it.
Generally, CD yields are based on interest rates set by the Federal Reserve. And in its latest meeting, the Fed decided to cut its benchmark interest rate. We'll tell you what the Fed indicated about additional rate cuts in 2019.
The top national deals
Four banks are tied for the top spot. My eBanc, TIAA Bank, Live Oak Bank and CDBank are all paying 2.35% APY.
My eBanc and TIAA Bank both have a $5,000 minimum deposit requirement. Live Oak charges a $2,500 minimum. And CDBank requires a $10,000 minimum.
In total, there are 12 banks offering 2.15% APY or better on nationally available 6-month CDs.
These CDs are, of course, a great place to invest for short-term financial obligations, like a wedding or family vacation. But they can also be useful financial tools when used in a CD ladder.
RATE SEARCH: Shop CD rates.
TOP 6-MONTH CD RATES: Nationally Available Bank Deals
|Live Oak Bank||2.35%||$2,500|
|First Internet Bank of Indiana||2.19%||$1,000|
Credit union and community bank CDs can often be the best game in town for those who live in the right place or work for a certain employer.
To find the best 6-month CD rates, always compare offers from both online banks and credit unions.
The Fed impact
The national average for 6-month CDs sank to a record low of 0.14% APY in September 2013 and remained there as recently as June 2014.
Back in February 2007, before irresponsible mortgage lending led the economy over a cliff, the average return for 6-month CDs was 3.50% APY.
But after the Federal Reserve stepped in to talk the markets off a ledge by holding interest rates down to allow the economy to rebuild to full capacity, it kept them there for seven years.
That era finally concluded in December 2015 when the Fed's rate-setting committee launched a series of gradual rate hikes over the next several years.
Now rate cuts are back on the table.
In its latest move, the Federal Reserve cut its benchmark rate by a quarter of a percentage point. And it left the door open for future cuts, writing in its post-meeting statement that “uncertainties about this outlook remain.”
So there's a chance that additional decreases could arrive in 2019 that would translate into lower bank returns down the line.
RATE SEARCH: Compare CD rates.
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