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CD Bonus Rates Index – Week of October 15, 2012

Oct. 15, 2012
Banking, CDs
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NerdWallet’s study of bank CD pricing data by Market Rates Insight indicated that for consumers who seek CD specials and promotional rates instead of settling for the typical returns can double their yield or better, while also requiring a shorter term to maturity. We analyzed special CD rates at thousands of banks and credit unions to determine where consumers can obtain additional yield from their certificates of deposit.


Reference Table: What are this week’s average rates and how do they compare to average promotional rates?

Length of Term Average Promo APY Average Reg. APY
< 1 year
3 months 0.29% 0.18%
6 months 0.42% 0.28%
1-2 years
12 months 0.59% 0.43%
18 months 0.56% 0.50%
24 months 0.61% 0.65%
3+ years
36 months 0.88% 0.86%
48 months 0.95% 1.04%
60 months 1.37% 1.28%

Bonus CD rates that beat the average

With these special rates, savers can be assured that they are earning a rate well above the average for a comparable term. For more rate information, use NerdWallet’s tool to find the best CD rates in your region. Below, we feature a few accounts that are currently beating the typical average yield. Membership eligibility restrictions will apply for credit unions.

Short-term CDs

Institution State Term APY
State Farm Bank 9 months 0.80%
CresCom Bank SC 5 months 0.70%
SIR FCU MI  3 months 0.45%

1-2 year CDs

Institution State Term APY
Salem Five Bank MA 18 months 1.15%
 Gateway CU TN  18 months 1.15%
Collins Community CU IA 15 months 1.05%

3+ year CDs

Institution State Term APY
CommunityWide FCU IN 59 months 2.00%
Isabella Bank MI 66 months 1.55%
 Community South CU FL  36 months 1.35%

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