CD Bonus Rates Index – December 2012 - NerdWallet
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CD Bonus Rates Index – December 2012


On the lookout for CD promotions? Try a short-term account of 3-6 months. On average, banks and credit unions are offering CD specials yielding almost 50% higher than the average non-promotional APY for a comparable.

For more rate information, use our tool to enter your zip code and how long you’re willing to invest your cash to find the best CD rates in your area.

Reference Table: What are average rates and how do they compare to average promotional rates?

Length of Term (months) Average Promo APY Average Reg. APY
3 0.32% 0.17%
6 0.44% 0.27%
12 0.55% 0.41%
18 0.57% 0.47%
24 0.66% 0.62%
30 0.93% 0.65%
36 0.82% 0.82%
48 1.09% 0.99%
60 1.30% 1.22%

Bonus CD rates that beat the average

Short-term CDs

Institution State Term APY Notes
Xceed Financial FCU CA 9 months 1.00% Min $500
Fort Knox FCU KY, IN, TN 6 months 1.00% Min $500; Member must live in Kentucky, Indiana or Tennessee OR must have opened his/her account prior to November 1, 2009
CapitalSource Bank CA 10 months 0.90% Min $25,000; “Liquid CD”

1-2 year CDs

Institution State Term APY Notes
PATELCO Credit Union CA 12 months 5.00% $1,000 Max; New members only
Arrowhead Central CU CA 12 months 2.01% $2,500 Max
Generations Federal Credit Union TX 18-21 monts 1.50% Min $1,000

3+ year CDs

Institution State Term APY Notes
Citizens Community CU IA 5 years 2.20% Min $5,000
Idaho Central CU ID 5 years 2.15% Min $500; “Freedom” CD
Superior Choice CU WI 58 months 2.08% Min $10,000

Note: Promotional rates are subject to change. Make sure to confirm CD rates with your bank or credit union.

A Refresher: Why Promotional/Special Rates Make a Difference

CD rates are historically low, and are likely to remain so for the near future. Yields are primarily a product of two forces that are out of a consumer’s control: (1) economic environment and  (2) the fact that longer-term investments will demand higher returns.

There is however, one factor that offers more flexibility for consumers: individual banks and credit unions each have their own capital strategies, which cause them to offer different promotional rates for certain CDs (in an effort to drive  balances towards the most ideal deposit products for them).   Such promotional/bonus rates can easily outperform typical accounts of a comparable term and are worth looking for to help boost returns.

Bonus button image via shutterstock

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