Are IRA CDs and their rates different from regular CDs?

Hand putting coin in white piggy bank

Q. Are IRA CDs and their rates different from a regular CD account?

A. There is no hard-and-fast rule as to the interest banks pay on their IRA CDs. Some banks quote identical annual percentage yields (APYs) on both types of CDs.

Some banks will pay a little more for some CDs offered to IRA customers. But the premium is never very much -- a tenth of a point or so. Those offering both kinds of CDs generally publish their rates side-by-side for quick comparisons.

Before Oct. 3, 2008, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. had different limits on regular CDs and those held as part of an IRA. However, as part of the government's financial bailout plan, the FDIC's insurance limit on regular CDs was raised to $250,000 per depositor per insured bank -- the same as an IRA CD.

It's important not to let your savings at any one bank exceed the insured limit for an account category. If it does, spread your money around between two or three banks.