Two banks tie for the top 36-month CD rates

Glass piggy bank with coins

There's been a lead change in the race for the best nationally available 3-year CD rates.

After a rate cut from longtime leader AmTrust Direct, there are now two banks that pay the top rate of 1.50% APY.

Those banks are:

Doral Bank Direct (www.doralbankdirect.com), the online bank of Doral Bank, the leading community bank in Puerto Rico, which also has five branches in northwest Florida and two in New York City, with a $1,000 minimum deposit.

Astoria Federal Savings (www.astoriafederal.com), which has 85 New York branches in Brooklyn, Queens, Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties, with a $500 minimum deposit.

Both of these banks just recently moved to the top of our list, but Doral has been paying that same top rate on 3-year CDs since mid-January.

Doral and Astoria pay more than four-fifths of a percentage point higher than the current national average for 36-month CD rates, which is a new record low of 0.66% APY.

As of July 13, 2012, five other banks pay at least 1.35% APY:

Barclays (www.banking.barclaysus.com), the online American operation of the big British bank, pays 1.45% APY with no minimum deposit.

CIT Bank (www.bankoncit.com), the online consumer bank of CIT Group Inc., which offers financing to small businesses and middle-market companies, pays 1.42% APY with a $1,000 minimum deposit.

The National Republic Bank of Chicago (www.nrbchicago.com), which has two branches in Chicago, pays 1.41% APY with a $1,000 minimum deposit.

AmTrust Direct (www.amtrustdirect.com), the online division of AmTrust Bank, a division of New York Community Bank, pays 1.35% APY with a $1,000 minimum deposit. AmTrust had led this term prior to its rate cut with a 1.55% APY offer.

Discover Bank (www.discoverbank.com), an online bank owned by the credit card company, pays 1.35% APY with a $2,500 deposit.

To qualify for this list, a bank must allow savers from all 50 states to buy its certificates of deposit online or through the mail.

Click here to compare these returns with the top CD rates from dozens of banks in your area.

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