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Citibank Review: Savings, Checking, CD, and IRA CD and Money Market Accounts

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Citibank Reviews
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You might think of credit cards when you hear the name “Citi,” and you wouldn’t be wrong. This bank — one of the largest banks in the entire world — is well-known for its line of credit cards. But Citibank offers a variety of financial products, including several deposit accounts where you can safely store your cash. But are they any good? And how do their rates and rules compare to other banks?

We’re going to dive into Citibank’s deposit accounts in this review so that you can decide whether it’s right for you or not.

One important note: The rates for each of these accounts vary depending on where you live. To compare consistent numbers, we decided to report rates from South Dakota, because Citibank is headquartered there, in Sioux Falls. Rates are accurate as of Dec. 08, 2017. To see rates for your area, go to Citibank’s website and enter your state.

How Citibank’s checking and savings accounts work

You can’t really get an individual checking or savings account at Citibank. Instead, you have to apply for one of five account packages. That means that when you open a checking account, you’ll also get a linked savings account, and vice versa.

Some account packages come with a monthly maintenance fee, which applies to the account package as a whole. For example, if there is a $30 monthly fee and you don’t meet the requirements to waive it using either your checking or savings account, the fee will be taken out once that month from your checking account.

To make things less confusing, we’ll go through all of the account packages first describing the checking accounts, because these accounts differ the most between account packages. Then, we’ll describe how the savings account works within each of these packages.

Citibank checking accounts

Checking account offer

Citibank is currently offering a great sign-up bonus when you open a new qualifying checking account before December 31, 2017.

To get a sign-up bonus of $300, you’ll have to do three things. First, open a new checking account within a Citibank® Account Package. Second, you’ll have to fund it with at least $15,000 within 30 days of opening the account and keep the money there for at least 60 days. Third, you’ll have to set up a direct deposit into your new account for at least two consecutive months.

If you have a bit more cash on hand, you can earn a larger sign up bonus of $500. Instead, you’ll have to open a premium checking account in a Citi Priority Account Package and deposit $50,000 within 30 days and leave it for at least 60 days. You’ll need to set up a direct deposit for two consecutive months into this account as well to be eligible for the cash bonus.

When applying for a Citibank deposit account, you’ll need to provide basic information about yourself (including your Social Security number) and a valid form of ID. Both offers require you to be a “New-to-Citibank” customer.

Citigold® Package

Myriad exclusive deals and perks for people with a lot of cash

Checking account details:

  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Interest rate: 0.03% APY
  • Monthly maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fees: None
  • ATM refunds: All ATM surcharges from non-Citibank ATMs are refunded for any statement period you are eligible for Citigold®.
  • Overdraft fees: None

The Citigold® account package is more than just a checking account. To qualify for this account package you’ll need to bring a lot of cash to the table: You’ll need at least $200,000 in all linked Citi accounts, whether they be in your deposit, retirement or investment accounts. If your balances dip below that amount, Citi will automatically convert your account to the Citi Priority account package.

But, if you can meet that high bar, you’ll be eligible for numerous perks, even if the interest rate on this savings account is admittedly quite low. You’ll get a personal team to help you navigate the intricacies of all this account package has to offer — and it offers a lot more than just free checks. You’ll get a personal financial adviser, a concierge service and numerous travel perks, as well as discounts and waived fees on various loans, lines of credit and investments. Plus, you can enroll your checking account in Citi’s ThankYou Rewards® program.

You can apply for a Citigold® account online, over the phone, or by visiting a local branch.

Citi Priority Account Package

Nice perks for people with less — but still a lot — of money

Checking account details:

  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Interest rate: 0.03% APY
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $30
  • How to waive monthly maintenance fee: Keep at least $50,000 in linked Citibank accounts, including deposit accounts, retirement accounts and investment accounts.
  • ATM fees: None
  • ATM refunds: Not available
  • Overdraft fees: None

Unlike the Citigold® account, which has no fees, you’ll pay a high monthly fee of $30 with this account unless you can keep at least $50,000 in other linked Citi accounts. If you’re able to do that, though, you can still take advantage of many of the same perks offered to the premium Citigold® members.

You’re eligible to link your checking account with the Citi ThankYou® Rewards program. This account still waives all banking fees, and offers you discounts and waived fees off of investment products, loans, and lines of credit. And while you may not have an entire team waiting at your fingertips, you still have exclusive access to financial advisors to help you make investment decisions.

You can apply for a Citi Priority account online, over the phone or by visiting a local branch.

The Citibank® Account Package

Average account with above-average requirements

Checking account details:

  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Interest rate: 0.01% APY
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $25
  • How to waive monthly maintenance fee: Keep at least $10,000 in linked Citibank deposit, retirement or investment accounts.
  • ATM fees: $2.50 for each non-Citibank ATM use, unless you have at least $10,000 in linked Citibank accounts.
  • ATM refunds: None
  • Overdraft fees: $10 per day when funds are transferred to cover an overdraft.

If you can’t meet the high minimum balance requirements of the Citigold® or Citi Priority account packages, you might consider the Citibank Account. You can enroll your account in Citi ThankYou® Rewards, and your first order of checks is free.

But, you’ll still need to keep a high account balance of $10,000 in linked Citibank accounts to avoid paying the high monthly fee. In return, you earn interest on this account, but it’s a miniscule 0.01% APY.

You can apply for a the Citibank Account in online, over the phone or at a local branch.

Basic Banking Package

A no-frills account—but watch out for high fees.

Checking account details:

  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $12
  • How to waive monthly maintenance fee: You can get out of the maintenance fee if you
      1. 1. are 62 years or older
        2. make one bill payment from your account and one qualifying direct deposit into your account each month
        3. keep at least $1,500 in your checking and/or savings account
  • ATM fees: $2.50 for each withdrawal at a non-Citi ATM.
  • ATM refunds: None
  • Overdraft fees: $10 per day when funds are transferred to cover an overdraft.

This account is truly a no-frills version of Citi’s premium checking accounts. Not only does it not pay any interest or earn any Citi ThankYou® Rewards points, but you’ll have to watch out for high fees, as well. If you can’t meet the minimum deposit or age requirements, you’ll also be shelling out $12 per month for this austere account.

You can apply for the Basic Banking account online, over the phone or at a local branch.

Access Account Package

A high-fee checking account—that doesn’t let you write physical checks

Checking account details:

  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $10
  • How to waive monthly maintenance fee: There are three options:
      1. 1. Keep at least $1,500 in your account
        2. Make a bill payment from your account
        3. Have at least one qualifying direct deposit into your account each month
  • ATM fees: $2.50 for each withdrawal at a non-Citi ATM.
  • ATM refunds: None
  • Overdraft fees: None

This is a bit of a bizarre account. In exchange for a slightly lower fee ($2 less), you can get basically the same thing as the Basic Banking account but without the ability to write physical checks. If all you need to do is pay bills online, this account might work for you — but as soon as you need to write a physical check, you’re out of luck with this account.

Besides, the requirements to waive the monthly fee are almost the same, though the Access Account lets you slide by with one fewer bill payment/direct deposit per month. If you meet the requirements to have the Access Account maintenance fee waived, why not at least upgrade to the Basic Account and the ability to write physical checks?

If you do decide that this account is right for you, you for a Citi Access account online, over the phone or at a branch.

How Citibank’s checking accounts compare

Citibank’s premium account packages (Citigold® and Citi Priority) offer a lot of perks by way of waived fees and free services. However, unless you have deep pockets, you’ll likely be limited to considering The Citibank Account, Basic Banking or Access Account. These accounts come with high monthly account maintenance fees unless you can qualify for one of the ways to waive these pesky fees.

All of Citi’s checking accounts — even the ones with the nice premium perks — offer very low yields, especially compared to high-interest checking accounts available elsewhere.

Citi® Savings

Generally lackluster interest rates on savings account packages

  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Monthly maintenance fee: For Basic and Access savings accounts, an additional $4.50 monthly maintenance fee applies if they are not linked to checking accounts. For account packages with linked checking and savings accounts, the fee may be charged to the checking account (see above account package descriptions for details).
  • How to waive monthly maintenance fee: For Basic and Access savings accounts, maintain a $500 minimum balance in your savings account or open the savings account with a linked checking account. Requirements for getting maintenance fees waived on other account packages are listed above.

Citi Savings Account (for Citigold®, Citi Priority and The Citibank Account)

 

Annual Percentage Yield (APY) by Account Balance

<$10,000

$10,000-
$24,999.99

$25,000-
$49,999.99

$50,000-
$99,999.99

$100,000-
$499,999.99

$500,000-
$999,999.99

$1,000,000+

Promotional Interest Rate

0.10%

0.10%

1.00%

1.00%

1.00%

1.00%

1.00%

Standard Interest Rate

0.04%

0.04%

0.08%

0.08%

0.10%

0.13%

0.13%

*As of Dec. 08, 2017

Basic Banking Package

APY by Account Balance

<$10,000

$10,000-
$24,999.99

$25,000-
$49,999.99

$50,000-
$99,999.99

$100,000-
$499,999.99

$500,000-
$999,999.99

$1,000,000+

Standard Interest Rate

0.04%

0.04%

0.06%

0.06%

0.06%

0.06%

0.06%

*As of Dec. 08, 2017

Access Account Package

APY by Account Balance

<$10,000

$10,000-
$24,999.99

$25,000-
$49,999.99

$50,000-
$99,999.99

$100,000-
$499,999.99

$500,000-
$999,999.99

$1,000,000+

Standard Interest Rate

0.04%

0.04%

0.06%

0.06%

0.06%

0.06%

0.06%

*As of Dec. 08, 2017

To qualify for the promotional interest rates offered with some of the packages, you’ll need to meet a few requirements. You’ll need to open a new savings account (within an account package) and fund it with at least $25,000. You’ll also need to be 18 years or older, and provide Citibank with a W-9 or W-8BEN. Unfortunately, these promotional interest rates only last for 90 days after you open your account, after which they revert to the much lower standard interest rates.

You can apply for a Citi Savings account online, over the phone or at al branch.

How Citibank’s savings accounts compare

Although Citibank offers good rates as high as 1.00% APY, it’s for a very short period of time and only if you bring a large amount of cash to the table and still meet other requirements.

Once the promotional period has passed, you’ll be left with piddly interest rates in account packages that may not meet your needs and potentially carry high fees to boot. If you’re looking for a low-fee and high-interest-rate savings account, you can do much better with other banks and credit unions like those in the roundup of the best online savings accounts.

Citibank CD Rates

Small earnings, but small early withdrawal penalties as well.

  • Minimum deposit amount: $1,000
  • How interest is calculated: Interest is calculated and paid monthly for CDs with terms longer than one year. For CDs with terms of one year or less, interest may be calculated and paid at maturity.
  • Early withdrawal penalties: For CDs with terms of one year or less, you’ll pay 90 days’ worth of interest. For CDs with terms of over one year, you’ll pay 180 days’ worth of interest. However, you can withdraw the interest at any time without paying a penalty.
  • When the CD matures: It’ll automatically renew for another CD of the same term length but with the current interest rate.
  • Grace period: After your CD matures and renews to another of the same term, you have seven calendar days to add or withdraw the funds penalty-free or change the CD to a different term length.

Citibank says that it offers different rates depending on which account package you open up a CD with. (That’s right — you can’t just go to the bank and open a CD. You need to have an existing account with them first.) But, as you’ll see below, the rates actually are the same for each type of account package.

CD Rates for Citigold® account holders

CD Term

APY by Deposit Amount

Below $10,000

$10,000-
$24,999.99

$25,000-
$49,999.99

$50,000-
$99,999.99

$100,000+

3 month

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

4 month

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

5 month

0.05%

0.75%

0.75%

0.75%

0.75%

6 month

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

7 month

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

8 month

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

9 month

0.10%

0.10%

0.10%

0.10%

0.10%

10 month

0.10%

0.10%

0.10%

0.10%

0.10%

12 month

0.15%

0.15%

0.15%

0.15%

0.15%

13 month

0.20%

0.20%

0.20%

0.20%

0.20%

18 month

0.25%

1.01%

1.01%

1.01%

1.01%

2 year

0.25%

0.25%

0.25%

0.25%

0.25%

30 month

0.25%

0.25%

0.25%

0.25%

0.25%

3 year

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

4 year

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

5 year

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

*As of Dec. 08, 2017

CD Rates for Citi Priority account holders

CD Term

APY by Deposit Amount

Below $10,000

$10,000-
$24,999.99

$25,000-
$49,999.99

$50,000-
$99,999.99

$100,000+

3 month

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

4 month

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

5 month

0.05%

0.75%

0.75%

0.75%

0.75%

6 month

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

7 month

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

8 month

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

9 month

0.10%

0.10%

0.10%

0.10%

0.10%

10 month

0.10%

0.10%

0.10%

0.10%

0.10%

12 month

0.15%

0.15%

0.15%

0.15%

0.15%

13 month

0.20%

0.20%

0.20%

0.20%

0.20%

18 month

0.25%

1.01%

1.01%

1.01%

1.01%

2 year

0.25%

0.25%

0.25%

0.25%

0.25%

30 month

0.25%

0.25%

0.25%

0.25%

0.25%

3 year

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

4 year

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

5 year

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

*As of Dec. 08, 2017

CD Rates for The Citibank Account, Basic Banking, and Access Account packages

CD Term

APY by Deposit Amount

Below $10,000

$10,000-
$24,999.99

$25,000-
$49,999.99

$50,000-
$99,999.99

$100,000+

3 month

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

4 month

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

5 month

0.05%

0.75%

0.75%

0.75%

0.75%

6 month

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

7 month

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

8 month

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

9 month

0.10%

0.10%

0.10%

0.10%

0.10%

10 month

0.10%

0.10%

0.10%

0.10%

0.10%

12 month

0.15%

0.15%

0.15%

0.15%

0.15%

13 month

0.20%

0.20%

0.20%

0.20%

0.20%

18 month

0.25%

1.01%

1.01%

1.01%

1.01%

2 year

0.25%

0.25%

0.25%

0.25%

0.25%

30 month

0.25%

0.25%

0.25%

0.25%

0.25%

3 year

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

4 year

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

5 year

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

*As of Dec. 08, 2017

If you already have an account package with Citi and you’d like to apply for a CD, you can do so online, over the phone or at a branch. All you’ll need to provide is basic information about yourself (including your Social Security number), have a physical address in the United States, and have a valid form of ID.

If you have “issues with your credit history” or are depositing more than $100,000 into your CD, you cannot do so online or over the phone — you’ll have to go and visit a Citibank branch in person.

How Citibank’s CDs compare

Citibank offers very low rates on its CDs, especially compared to high yield CDs you can get elsewhere without having to mess around with account packages.

One clear advantage of Citibank CDs is that the early withdrawal penalties are relatively low. For example, the early withdrawal penalty on a five-year Citibank CD is 180 days’ worth of interest. Discover Bank — which offers much better CD rates — charges a whopping 18 months’ worth of interest if you withdraw the cash early from Discover’s five-year CD. However, Citi’s CD rates are so low, you’d be better off putting money in a high-yield savings account — the best ones offer rates higher than Citi’s CDs — and not worrying about early withdrawal fees. That wouldn’t necessarily be a good strategy in a falling-rates market, but since rates hit a historic low after the financial crisis, we’ve been in a rising-rates market.

Unless you a) already have an existing account with Citibank, b) don’t want to go through the hassle of opening a CD at another institution (it’s not hard, we promise), and c) think that there’s a high likelihood that you’ll withdraw the money early and don’t want to open accounts elsewhere, we wouldn’t recommend a Citibank CD.

Citibank banking IRA

Guaranteed low returns, especially when compared to equity investments

Citibank offers banking IRAs in two flavors: as CDs (with the rates listed in the section above), or as a money market account at an interest rate of 0.20% APY*. These rates are extremely low, especially when compared to higher-yielding IRA CDs.

In general, the returns on IRA CDs and money market accounts don’t even come close to the kind of gains you need to be making while growing your retirement accounts, and Citibank’s banking IRAs are no exception. For example, equities (i.e., stocks and bonds) earn average returns of around 7% per year — far higher than the piddly 0.50% APY that you can get in a best-case scenario with a Citibank CD.

In fact, the rates that Citi offers for banking IRAs are far lower than typical inflation levels (around 3% per year). This means that even if you opt for the highest rates that Citi offers, your money won’t even keep pace with inflation over time and you’ll be left with less and less each year (albeit at a guaranteed rate).

Overall review of Citibank

Although Citibank offers some great credit cards (such as the Citi® Double Cash Card and Citi® Simplicity Card), they fall short in the deposits department.

Citibank does offer some nice perks, such as some accounts being eligible for Citi’s ThankYou® Rewards program. The Citigold® and Citi Priority account packages come with features that can save you money and make your life easier, if you have the deep pockets required for these account packages.

All-in-all, while there are some bright spots to Citibank’s accounts, you can earn higher rates and pay lower fees at other banks and credit unions.

Lindsay VanSomeren
Lindsay VanSomeren |

Lindsay VanSomeren is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Lindsay here

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The Best Credit Union CD Rates – December 2017

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

The top credit union CD rates
Source: iStock

Certificates of deposit (CDs) are a great way to safely store your savings at a financial institution, as they offer a guaranteed rate of return, and CD rates tend to be higher than those on traditional savings accounts. Maybe you’ve even heard that credit union CD rates offer higher returns—but is that really the case?

On average, yes. As of September 2017, the average one-year credit union CD had a 0.63% annual percentage yield (APY), compared to the 0.51% APY average among one-year bank CDs. (You may also want to view our picks for the overall best CD rates.)

Using data from DepositAccounts.com, another LendingTree company, we identified the top one-year credit union CD rates, as of Dec. 6, 2017. We then eliminated any credit union with a health rating lower than a B and identified the top three offerings in three categories: restricted, no cost, and best banking app. If there was a tie by APY, we went with the product with the lower minimum deposit. Here are the best one-year credit union CD rates.

Best CD rates for credit unions with no cost to join

The thing about credit unions is that they’re not usually just open to anyone. You usually need to meet some membership criteria in order to get in and get access to all of their really nice products. These credit unions, however, will let you in for free regardless of your personal details. (Note: Only two credit unions met our criteria for this list.)

Unify Financial Credit Union – 1-Year Share Certificate, 1.00% APY, min. deposit $1,000

Certificates of Deposit Unify FCU offers the highest interest rates on CDs (which it calls share certificates) of any credit union with no cost to join. The interest rate on their 12-month CD, for example, is 1.00%, compared to the national average of 0.64% in August. You would earn $8.50 on a $1,000 deposit. If you withdraw your money early, however, you’ll face a penalty of 90 days’ worth of interest.

NASA Federal Credit Union – 1-Year Share Certificate, 0.55% APY, min. deposit $1,000

Share Certificates If the rigid inflexibility of CDs makes you leery, NASA FCU might be your best bet. They have a lot of flexible certificates, such as add-on certificates that let you start with as little as $250, and bump-rate certificates that let you opt for a one-time interest rate increase if rates go up. You can even take out a loan from your certificate should you need the cash before it’s matured. You can join NASA FCU with a complimentary membership to the National Space Society.

If you do need to make an early withdrawal, you will face a penalty of 180 days’ worth of interest.

Best credit union CD rates with restricted memberships or membership fees

Each of these credit unions have restricted membership criteria, but don’t let that scare you away. If you don’t meet their membership criteria, it’s possible to make a small donation to their charity of choice in order to become eligible for membership. Furthermore, these credit union CD rates offer some of the highest-returning share certificates out of any category.

USAlliance Financial – 12 Month CD, 1.71% APY, min. deposit $500

USAlliance Financial Membership to USAlliance Financial is open to anyone who lives, works or worships in certain counties of Massachusetts, the city of West Haven, Conn., and a few districts in New York. However, if you don’t qualify by location, you can qualify by giving USAlliance authorization to make you a member of various organizations, including the American Consumer Council, if you aren’t already a member of these organizations. Keep in mind that these organizations may request fees.

Once you’re a member of USAlliance Financial, you can open a 12-month CD with a minimum of $500. Their early withdrawal penalty equals 180 days’ worth of interest earned on the amount you withdraw.

CapEd Credit Union – 12 Month CD, 1.70% APY, min. deposit $500

CapEd Credit Union
CapEd Credit Union supports teachers in the state of Idaho, but they don’t just serve teachers. Those who are willing to support education with a one-time $20 donation to the Idaho CapEd Foundation can become members of the credit union. Also, if you live in the state of Idaho and work for, volunteer with, or are retired from the industry of education, you are qualified for membership.

After becoming a member of CapEd Credit Union, you may open a 12 month CD with a minimum deposit of $500. Just make sure that you can afford to keep your money in the CD for one year because the early withdrawal penalty is 90 days’ worth of interest.

PenFed Credit Union – 1-Year Money Market Certificate, 1.61% APY, min. deposit $1,000

PenFed Credit Union CDs PenFed tops this list with an APY of 1.61%. With a minimum deposit of $1,000, you could earn $16.10 in one year. Interest is compounded daily and posts to accounts monthly. However, be aware of the steep early withdrawal penalty. If you withdraw funds before the year is up, you may forfeit all interest accrued up to that point.

Eligibility for this credit union is mainly based on military status, governmental employment status, affiliation with certain associations and organizations or relation to eligible members. However, if you don’t qualify through those criteria, getting a membership to this credit union is not difficult if you’re willing to pay a one-time fee of $17 to either Voices for America’s Troops or the National Military Family Association.

Air Force Federal Credit Union – 1-Year Certificate, 1.56% APY, min. deposit $1,000

Share Certificates Members and family members of the military, civilian contractors, and certain employees are eligible to join the Air Force FCU, along with anyone willing to join the Airman Heritage Foundation ($25 annual membership fee).

This credit union comes in first place overall for highest interest rates for 12-month CDs. You can earn $15.60 by depositing a minimum of $1,000 in a 12-month CD, with an APY of 1.56%. You can also use your CD as collateral to earn a lower interest rate on a loan, and membership comes with a host of discounts for parks and businesses in the San Antonio, Texas area. Watch out for the early withdrawal penalties, however, worth half of whatever you would have earned between when you withdrew the funds and when it would have matured.

Latino Credit Union – 12-Month CD, 1.55% APY, min. deposit $500

Latino Credit Union Latino Credit Union is open to anyone willing to join the Latino Community Development Center with a one-time membership fee of $10. You don’t have to be Latino to join this credit union.

With a small deposit of $500, you can earn an APY of 1.55% on a 12-month CD. If you decide to withdraw funds early, you’ll face a penalty of 90 days’ interest or all interest earned, depending on which is less.

Best CD rates for credit unions with the best mobile apps

By their very nature, CDs aren’t something that require constant attention, poking, and prodding. It’s a set-it-and-forget-it kind of a deal, so you won’t need any spiffy banking apps to use CDs.

But, if you’d like to switch all of your banking to the same institution that holds your CDs, it might be a wise idea to consider one of these credit unions if you’re a digital junkie. Most credit unions lag behind their bank compatriots in terms of mobile banking apps, but these credit unions offer top-notch mobile apps, according to MagnifyMoney’s 2016 mobile banking app analysis.

Wright-Patt Credit Union – 1-Year Certificate, 1.74% APY, min. deposit $500

Share Certificates Unlike many credit unions, you can’t just make a simple donation to join Wright-Patt CU if you fail to meet their membership criteria. You need to live in certain areas of Ohio, be associated with Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, or be an employee of their select employer group, among other options.

You can earn $8.70 on a 12-month CD with just a relatively small $500 deposit. Early withdrawal penalties vary depending on the original term of your CD, however they’ll be anywhere between 5-12 months’ worth of dividends.

Delta Community Credit Union – 1-Year Certificate, 1.50% APY, min. deposit $1,000

Certificate of Deposit There are many ways to join Delta Community CU, such as living in certain parts of Georgia, being a member of one of their select employers, or being a member of one of their partner organizations. Interestingly, citizens of many countries like Argentina, France, and Peru are also eligible to join.

Delta Community CU used to be the lowest-earning credit union on our list, but recently increased the APY on this product from 0.75% to 1.50%. The early withdrawal penalty is 90 days’ worth of interest on a 12-month CD.

Eastman Credit Union – 1-Year Investment Certificate, 1.25% APY, min. deposit $1,000

Investment Certificate - 365 to 1,826 days Eastman Credit Union also has pretty restrictive membership requirements. You’ll have to be an employee (or a family member of an employee) of one of their select employers, or live in certain parts of Tennessee, Texas, or Virginia.

Eastman CU is another one of the rare credit unions that allow you to withdraw your dividends penalty-free before the maturity date, although again, doing so will lower your total returns. Currently, you can earn an interest rate of 1.25% on a 12-month CD. With a minimum deposit of $1,000, that translates into earnings of $12.50 after one year. If you withdraw your money before the CD matures, you’ll owe a penalty fee of anywhere between seven days’ worth of dividend earnings or all of your dividend earnings.

3 questions to consider before opening a credit union CD

Banks are more likely to call their products certificates of deposit, while credit unions often refer to them as share certificates. Aside from the name, the biggest difference between the two is that credit unions have higher average annual percentage yields (APYs), as of September 2017. That’s good news: It means more money back in your pocket when the CD matures (i.e., reaches the end of its term and is available for withdrawal).

There really is no difference in safety between depositing money in a CD with a credit union versus a bank, as long as they participate in either the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) for credit unions, or the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for banks.

According to Neal Frankle, a Los Angeles-based Certified Financial Planner with Wealth Pilgrim, deposits of up to $250,000 per financial institution are “backed by the full faith and credit of United States Government, so it’s pretty solid.”

For the most part, choosing a CD at a bank or a credit union boils down to your preference as a consumer: Do you want to be a bank customer or a member of a credit union? Here’s a primer on the differences.

The biggest advantage of credit union CDs over bank CDs is that you can likely earn more interest. But with both products, the longer the CD term, the more interest you will earn. And with a CD laddering strategy, you can have the best of both worlds: frequent access to your money, yet you can still keep it locked away in high-interest, long-term CDs.

Beyond that, the disadvantages of opening a credit union CD are the same as if you’re opening a CD with a bank. You can’t access that money without paying an early withdrawal penalty until the CD matures. While CDs do offer some of the highest rates for any financial product you’re likely to come across at a bank or credit union, they still don’t really earn great interest. If you’re investing for the long-term (like retirement savings), your money is better invested in the riskier (but higher-earning) stock or bond market.

Lindsay VanSomeren
Lindsay VanSomeren |

Lindsay VanSomeren is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Lindsay here

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Best of, Earning Interest

The Top IRA CD Rates – December 2017

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Top IRA CD rates
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Perhaps you’ve decided to build a CD ladder within your IRA, or maybe you’re looking for a safe way to store your retirement cash for a specific period of time. Whatever the reason, you’re interested in getting an IRA CD and, understandably, want to know what products will give you the best rate of return.

You can get an IRA CD with terms ranging from three months to more than six years, with interest rates generally increasing with the term length. There are lots of options, so we’ve rounded up the top IRA CD rates that are available right now for a variety of terms. You’ll select your IRA CD terms based on your CD-ladder master plan or whenever you’ll need access to your money.

Every month, we choose the top IRA CD rates using data from another LendingTree company DepositAccounts.com, a database of offerings at more than 17,100 banks and credit unions. On Dec. 6, 2017, we sorted the products by APY, then eliminated institutions with a health rating below a B. We then eliminated products that are not available nationwide. From there, we chose the IRA CD with the highest APY among products with a minimum deposit no greater than $5,000. Here are the best options. (Average CD rates referenced below are based on DepositAccounts.com data as of Dec. 6, 2017.)

The top IRA rates in December 2017

3 Month IRA CD – EverBank, 3 Month Yield Pledge IRA

3 Month IRA CD Three-month IRA CDs typically offer the lowest interest rates of any IRA CD term. EverBank offers the best rate of 1.01% APY and a minimum deposit of $5,000. That rate is well above the national average.

6-Month IRA CD – Nationwide Bank, 6-month IRA

6-Month IRA CD Six-month IRA CDs typically earn a little bit better, but they’re still not great. Nationwide Bank offers the highest interest rate at 1.20% APY for deposits less than $100,000. That translates into an earning of $5.98 on a $1,000 deposit. Compare that to the average of all regular 6 month CDs, at 0.41%.

1-Year IRA CD Rates – EverBank, 1-Year Yield Pledge IRA (Traditional, Roth)

1-Year IRA CD Rates – EverBank Regular one-year CDs earn an average interest rate of 0.64% APY. EverBank, however, is offering a one-year IRA CD at 1.72% APY. You’ll need a $5,000 minimum deposit to earn $86 in interest once the CD matures.

18-Month IRA CD Rates – First Internet Bank of IN, 18 Month IRA (Traditional, Roth)

2-Year IRA CD Rates – First Internet Bank of Indiana Two-year regular CDs earn an average interest rate of 0.90% APY. Nationwide Bank, on the other hand, is currently offering 1.90% APY on a 2-year IRA CD. This would translate into an earning of $38.36 with a minimum $1,000 deposit.

2-Year IRA CD Rates – Nationwide Bank, 24 Month IRA (Traditional, Roth)

6-Month IRA CD Two-year regular CDs earn an average interest rate of 0.88% APY. First Internet Bank, on the other hand, is currently offering 1.85% APY on a 2-year IRA CD. This would translate into an earning of $37.34 with a minimum $1,000 deposit.

3-Year IRA CD Rates – EverBank, 3-Year Yield Pledge IRA (Traditional, Roth)

3-Year IRA CD Rates – EverBank Three-year regular CDs are earning an average interest rate of 1.11% APY currently. EverBank is nearly doubling that, with an interest rate of 2.10% APY with their 3-Year Yield Pledge IRA CD. With those interest rates and a $5,000 minimum deposit, you would earn $321.66 when the certificate matures.

4-Year IRA CD Rates – GTE Financial, 48-Month IRA Certificate – Member Advantage

4-Year IRA CD Rates GTE Financial Four-year regular CDs are currently earning an average interest rate of 1.30% APY. GTE Financial again claims the top interest rate for these IRA CDs, with an interest rate of 2.27% APY. You would earn $46.97 on this CD with a $500 minimum deposit.

5-Year IRA CD Rates – Mountain America Credit Union, 5 Year IRA

5 Year IRA CD Rates Five-year IRA CDs hold the top spot for interest rates out of any category on our list. National averages for a regular 5-year CD is 1.57% APY, however Mountain America Credit Union outperforms the average with a 2.80% APY on its 5-year IRA CD for members. The minimum deposit is $500

6+ Year IRA CD Rates – Air Force Federal Credit Union, 7 Year IRA

6 Year IRA CD Rates Interestingly, these very-long-term IRA CDs don’t offer higher interest rates than the shorter-term five-year IRA CDs. Air Force Federal Credit Union offers the highest term for their seven-year IRA CD, at 2.50% APY. That’s still a lot less than Mountain America Credit Union which offered a 2.80% APY for a five-year IRA CD. Still, with Air Force Federal Credit Union’s seven-year IRA CD, you would earn $471.71 on a minimum deposit of $2,500 when the IRA CD matures.

3 questions to consider before opening an IRA CD

Opening an IRA CD generally requires filling out a form or talking to a banker. You’ll have to have a way to fund your IRA CD, whether that’s rolling over an existing retirement account into an IRA CD or depositing cash into the product. The same limits that apply to IRA contributions apply to IRA CDs: $5,500 per year ($6,500 if you’re over age 50) of your own money across all your IRA accounts each year, and you can do a rollover once per year.

Unless you’ve invested in a bump-up IRA CD, you won’t be able to take advantage of a higher rate until your CD matures. Withdrawing funds from an IRA CD before they mature will result in a stiff penalty. Bump-up IRA CDs give you a chance to increase your interest rate to a higher level if it’s available, but you’re generally only allowed to do this once or twice during the life of the CD.

You can either use the the direct-transfer method or the indirect-transfer method. The direct transfer method requires setting up your new IRA account filling out a form authorizing the bank or credit union to transfer money from the old account into the new account. The indirect transfer method involves you asking for a check from your old IRA account. You have up to 60 days to deposit that check into your IRA CD to avoid incurring a penalty.

Lindsay VanSomeren
Lindsay VanSomeren |

Lindsay VanSomeren is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Lindsay here

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Earning Interest, Reviews, Strategies to Save

Review of Live Oak Bank’s Deposit Rates

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Review of Live Oak Bank
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Chances are you haven’t heard of Live Oak Bank. After all, this lender, based mostly on the web, has only been around since 2008, and it mostly focuses on giving out small business loans to businesses in specific industries, such as veterinary practices or craft breweries.

That’s no reason to pass it up for your personal banking needs, however. In fact, this little gem of a bank has one of the best-kept secrets in the personal banking world: it has one of the highest savings account interest rates you’ll find from an online bank. (More on that below.) And, most of its other personal deposit accounts offer relatively high rates as well.

Let’s take a more in-depth look at its deposit accounts to see if they’re right for you.

How Live Oak Bank rates compare

Live Oak Bank is right on par with the current highest CD rates.

This bank’s minimum deposit requirements also seem to be right on par with other bank’s minimum deposit requirements. The current best CDs out there have minimum deposit requirements both above and below Live Oak Bank’s $2,500 benchmark.

Term

APY

Minimum Deposit

6-month CD

1.25%

$2,500

1-year CD

1.70%

$2,500

18-month CD

1.75%

$2,500

2-year CD

1.85%

$2,500

3-year CD

2.00%

$2,500

4-year CD

2.05%

$2,500

5-year CD

2.30%

$2,500

Rates current as of Dec. 5, 2017.

What else do I need to know about Live Oak Bank’s CDs?

Only U.S. citizens and permanent residents are eligible to open these accounts. It’s a relatively straightforward process to open a CD: Simply complete the forms online, provide any needed documentation (such as your current bank account details), and wait for an account approval. Once your account is open, you can transfer over your deposit, where it will be held for five days before officially launching your CD.

If you need to take out your deposit early, bad news: As with many CDs, you’ll face an early-withdrawal penalty at Live Oak Bank. If your original CD term was for six months, one year or 18 months, you’ll be charged 90 days’ worth of interest. If your original CD term was for longer than that, you’ll be charged a higher rate of 180 days’ worth of interest.

If you are able to resist the urge to withdraw your money early, congratulations! Your CD will automatically renew into a second CD with the same term length. However, don’t panic if that’s not what you want: You have up to 10 days after the CD has matured to withdraw your money penalty-free and park it in your own bank account (whether it’s with Live Oak Bank or not).

APY

Minimum Deposit

1.45%

Up to $5 million

(but only up to $250,000 is FDIC-insured)

Rates current as of Dec. 5, 2017.

How do Live Oak Bank’s savings accounts compare?

When it comes to the best savings accounts with high interest rates, Live Oak Bank is right up there. This means that Live Oak Bank is lowering the bar and allowing anyone to take advantage of these high interest rates, no matter how much is in his or her pocket right now.

What else do I need to know about Live Oak Bank’s savings account?

Live Oak Bank wants you to use your savings account, and use it often, which is one reason why it has no monthly maintenance fee. If there is no activity on your account for 24 months and your balance is less than $10.01, Live Oak Bank will take the remainder of your balance as a Dormant Account Fee and close your account.

Getting money into a Live Oak Bank savings account from an external bank account can take a little bit of time depending on how you do it. If you request the money through Live Oak Bank’s online portal, the funds won’t be available for up to five or six business days. But if you opt instead to send the money to Live Oak Bank from your current bank, the money will be available as soon as it’s received. Your Live Oak Bank savings account will start earning interest as soon as the money posts to your account.

You can easily withdraw your money at any time via ACH transfer. Simply log into your Live Oak Bank savings account and electronically transfer it to whichever bank account you wish. It’ll be available in two to three business days.

You are limited to making just six transactions (deposits or withdrawals) per month with this savings account. That’s not a Live Oak Bank thing; that’s a federal regulation imposed upon savings accounts in the U.S. If you absolutely can’t wait until next month to make another deposit or withdrawal past your allotted six per month, you’ll be charged a $10 transaction fee for each additional action.

Overall review of Live Oak Bank

It’s easy to overlook Live Oak Bank for other larger, more established consumer banks like Ally or Discover Bank. But Live Oak has some of the best CD rates around, and the best savings account available on the market today.

Lest you be scared away by its smaller name, consider this: This tiny-but-growing bank is getting rave reviews from customers and employees alike. It carries an “A” health rating, and has a top-notch online banking portal. About the only thing missing is a checking account to let you seamlessly do all of your daily banking with this great company.

Lindsay VanSomeren
Lindsay VanSomeren |

Lindsay VanSomeren is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Lindsay here

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Reviews

PNC Bank Reviews: Checking, Savings, CD, Money Market, and IRA Rates

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

pnc bank reviews
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PNC Bank is one of the oldest and largest banks in the country, founded shortly after the American Revolution. Although it is based out of Pittsburgh and its 2,600 branches are mostly located across the Eastern U.S., that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck if you’re in the western U.S.

PNC Bank offers a robust online banking platform with plenty of helpful features. But is it the right bank for you? How do its rates compare with those of other banks? Let’s walk you through the different types of PNC Bank account offerings.

It’s important to note that PNC Bank charges different rates across the country. To keep things consistent for comparison purposes, we’ll present you with the rates closest to their headquarters in Pittsburgh using the ZIP code 15222. To see rates for your local area, click here.

PNC Bank’s Virtual Wallet®

Wouldn’t it be great if you could get a super-easy holistic account package when you decide to switch banks? That’s what PNC Bank aims to offer with its Virtual Wallet® kit. It’s a complete set of accounts for everything you need to do, including:

  • Spend : An everyday checking account.
  • Reserve : A savings account for short-term goals, like a vacation or Christmas gifts.
  • Growth : A savings account for long-term goals, like a down payment on a house.

Virtual Wallet® accounts also come with different tiers of interest rates, depending on whether you meet certain qualifications. We’ll do a deeper dive on that later.

What’s really neat about PNC Bank’s Virtual Wallet® is that it comes with all sorts of tools to help you manage your money better. Within the checking account, you can take advantage of the following tools:

  • Calendar : Allows you to see scheduled bills and amounts due.
  • Online bill pay : Will pay your bills for you automatically on their due dates.
  • Danger Day : Shows you when you might run out of money for the month.
  • Spending Zone : Allows you to set up and track your spending in a budget.
  • Money Bar : Shows you how your money is divvied up: savings, scheduled for bills, or free to spend.

The Virtual Wallet® even makes it easier to save in Reserve and Growth savings accounts with the following features:

  • Punch The Pig : Gamifies your savings when you hit a pig icon to transfer money to your Growth account.
  • Wish List : Allows you to set up and track individual savings goals separately from each other.
  • Early closure fee: $25 if you close the account within 180 days of opening.
  • Savings Engine : Automatically puts money into savings when you’re paid, or if you pay a bill.

PNC Checking Accounts

PNC Bank’s checking accounts are, overall, pretty lackluster. The only advantage of using them is that you get access to the Virtual Wallet® account package, which actually does offer some nice money management tools. But you can still get access to budgeting tools and savings apps elsewhere that can do all the same jobs as the Virtual Wallet®.

The rewards structure for these checking accounts is confusing. There’s no way to know whether you’ll earn good rewards, since you have to log into a portal and manually activate them ahead of time. Furthermore, once you do earn those rewards points, you have to redeem them through another portal. Some checking accounts do come with discounts, but they’re mostly on more obscure banking products you probably aren’t going to use much anyway, like cashier’s checks or safety deposit boxes.

These accounts carry a lot of red tape and fees. They also don’t pay much interest, if any. If earning the highest interest rates possible (with the least amount of fine print and fees) is your goal, there are much better checking accounts elsewhere.

Read on to find out more about all of PNC’s checking account offerings:

Checking accounts with Virtual Wallet®

Virtual Wallet® Basic

A basic account for lower-income earners who want to use Virtual Wallet® features to manage their money.

If you’re looking to take advantage of PNC Bank’s Virtual Wallet® account package but don’t earn a huge income, this basic account is where you’ll want to start.

Just beware of fees; there are plenty that come with this product, including the following:

  • Minimum opening deposit : $25
  • Interest rate : The Spend account does not earn interest. The Reserve and Growth accounts earn 0.01% APY. If you meet qualifications (such as making at least five debit transactions per month from your Spend account), you can earn up to 0.10% APY with your Growth account.
  • Monthly account maintenance fee : $7
  • How to waive the account maintenance fee :
    1. Keep at least $500 in your Spend and/or Reserve accounts
    2. Have at least $500 direct-deposited into your Spend account
    3. Be 62 or older
    4. Provide proof of active enrollment in a qualifying education institution (expires six years after the account is enrolled in the student banking program).
  • ATM fees : No charge at PNC Bank ATMs. $3 for every domestic non-PNC Bank ATM transaction, and $5 for every international non-PNC ATMS.
  • ATM fee refunds:None.
  • Overdraft fees : $36 per charge, up to four charges per day. $7 per day for each day the account remains overdrawn. Any overdraft fees will be refunded if the overdrafted amount is less than $5. They will not charge you if you set up Overdraft Protection Transfer from your Reserve or Grow accounts.
  • Early closure fee : $25 if you close the account within 180 days of opening.

This checking account does come with a rewards program, but we’ll be honest: it is confusing.

To earn rewards points, you’ll need to log into the PNC Bank Rewards Portal to see and manually activate customized offers just for you, based on your spending history.

You can redeem your rewards through the online rewards catalog or receive cash back directly into your account. If you link up a PNC Points Visa credit card with your account, you can also earn 25 percent more rewards points for your purchases.

Because of the complexity of assessing the value of the rewards program before you sign up, we think that this is a nice bonus feature but not one you should base your decision on. If you’re looking for cashback rewards, there are many better, more transparent options for you.

If you decide to open a basic Virtual Wallet® account with PNC Bank, the process is relatively straightforward.

You can do it online, over the phone, or in a local branch if one is nearby. Simply provide some basic information (name, address, Social Security number and the like), have a government-issued photo ID ready, and a way to make an opening deposit with your existing bank’s routing and account numbers, or with a debit or credit card.


Virtual Wallet® with Performance Spend

A low-interest-earning account for those who earn a higher income and want to use the Virtual Wallet® package.

The Virtual Wallet® with Performance Spend works exactly like the basic Virtual Wallet® accounts, albeit with some extra threshold levels for higher rewards.

  • Minimum opening deposit : $25
  • Interest rate : 0.01% APY on balances over $2,000 for your Spend account or $1 for your Reserve account. Up to 0.35% APY on balances on your Growth account if you meet certain qualifications (such as making at least five debit purchases per month).
  • Monthly account maintenance fee : $15
  • How to waive the account maintenance fee :
    1. Keep at least $2,000 in your Spend and/or Reserve accounts
    2. Have at least $15,000 in another PNC Bank account or loan
    3. Have at least $2,000 direct-deposited into your Spend account each month ($1,000 for military members).
  • ATM fees : No charge at PNC Bank ATMs. It’s $3 for every domestic non-PNC Bank ATM transaction, and $5 for every international non-PNC Bank ATMS.
  • ATM fee refunds : Two refunds per statement. However, ATM surcharges from the originating financial institution ATMs may not be refunded.
  • Overdraft fees : $36 per charge, up to four charges per day. $7 per day for each day the account remains overdrawn. Any overdraft fees will be refunded if the overdrafted amount is less than $5. You won’t be charged if you set up Overdraft Protection Transfer from your Reserve or Grow accounts.
  • Early closure fee : $25 if you close the account within 180 days of opening.

The rewards program is structured the same way as with the basic Virtual Wallet package. You’ll need to log into a portal to view and activate different rewards offers for purchases you make. When you’ve accumulated enough rewards, you can redeem them for an unknown amount of cash back or other rewards.

The Performance Spend also adds in a few extra rewards: You get up to two ATM fee refunds per month. You’ll also get discounts on check designs, an annual safe deposit box rental,`free cashier’s checks, and higher rates on certain CDs and IRA CDs You do have the potential to earn slightly higher (but still paltry) interest rates on your savings accounts.


Virtual Wallet® with Performance Select

A low-interest-earning account for high earners who want to take advantage of Virtual Wallet® features.

This Virtual Wallet® package is built to be used by high-income earners. After all, you do not want to be paying a $25 monthly account fee, especially when you can get a much better rates at another bank.

  • Minimum opening deposit : $25
  • Interest rate : 0.01% APY on balances over $2,000 for your Spend account or $1 for your Reserve account. Up to 1.00% APY on balances over $1 on your Growth account if you meet certain qualifications (such as making at least five debit purchases per month).
  • Monthly account maintenance fee : $25
  • How to waive the account maintenance fee :
    1. Keep at least $5,000 in your Spend and/or Reserve accounts
    2. Have at least $25,000 in another PNC Bank account or loan
    3. Have at least $5,000 direct-deposited into your account each month.
  • ATM fees : None for PNC Bank ATMS and non-PNC Bank ATMS.
  • ATM fee refunds : Up to $10 per month in non-PNC Bank surcharges (i.e., the fees the ATM owner tacks on).
  • Overdraft fees : $36 per charge, up to four charges per day. $7 per day for each day the account remains overdrawn. Any overdraft fees will be refunded if the overdrafted amount is less than $5. They will not charge you if you set up Overdraft Protection Transfer from your Reserve or Growth accounts.
  • Early closure fee : $25 if you close the account within 180 days of opening.

The Performance Select package comes with added bonus perks. In addition to all the perks from the Performance Spending package, you also will have fees waived for more obscure services, such as Stop Payment and ATM statements. You’ll also be eligible for savings on home equity lines of credit and personal lines of credit, and up to $10,000 in identity theft protection reimbursement.

Overall, though, we’re left feeling underwhelmed by the bonus perks that this account offers for all of the requirements.

Bonus: New checking account offer

PNC Bank is currently offering sign-up bonuses with the Virtual Wallet® account package. If you open a new account and meet the requirements, you could be eligible for a lucrative sign-up bonus.

The bonus amount and the requirements depend on which account tier you open.

For a basic-level Virtual Wallet account, you’ll need to set up at least $500 of direct deposits into the account and make at least 10 purchases with your debit card. If you do those things, you’ll earn a $50 sign-up bonus.

The next level up is the Performance Spend account. To get the $200 sign-up bonus for this account, you’ll need to set up $2,000 of direct deposits and also make 10 purchases with your debit card.

Finally, you can earn a $300 sign-up bonus by opening a Virtual Wallet package with the Performance Select level. To earn this hefty bonus, you’ll need to schedule a $5,000 direct deposit into your account and make 10 debit card purchases.

PNC checking accounts without Virtual Wallet®

Performance Select Checking

A basic interest-earning checking account for high-income earners who don’t need all the fancy Virtual Wallet® features.

The Virtual Wallet® account package is nice for people who want an all-inclusive money management experience. But what if you’re a high-income earner who just wants a simple, no-frills checking account?

That’s where the base Performance Select Checking account comes in. It has the same fees, reward program, requirements and interest-earning structure as the Virtual Wallet®’s Performance Select, just without the extra two Reserve and Growth savings accounts.

Signing up for the Performance Select checking account is easy and takes just a few minutes. You can go to a local branch if you’re near one, call or sign up online. You’ll need that photo ID, a way to fund your new account, and all the basic info, like Social Security number.


Performance checking

A basic interest-earning checking account for medium-income earners who don’t want Virtual Wallet® features.

PNC Bank’s Performance checking account is its lowest-requirement interest-earning checking account. But with an interest rate of 0.01% APY that only applies to balances over $2,000, the amount of money you’ll earn with this account will be peanuts.

Furthermore, if you don’t meet all the same requirements (keeping at least $2,000 in your account, having $2,000 of direct deposits, or having $15,000 in another PNC Bank account or loan) as the Virtual Wallet with Performance Spend, you’ll have to pay a $15 monthly account fee.

This account does come with the same reward structure and banking discounts as the Virtual Wallet® with Performance Spend account, however. If this sounds like the right account for you, you can easily sign up online, via phone or by visiting a local branch.


Standard checking

A basic-reward checking account for lower-income or retired consumers.

If you’re not interested in taking advantage of PNC Bank’s Virtual Wallet® money management features but still want a reward checking account without all the red tape, the Standard account might be for you.

This non-interest-earning account, which carries the same fee, reward, and requirement structure as the basic Virtual Wallet® account package, is easy to sign up for. All you need is a photo ID, basic personal information and a way to fund your account. You can sign up in just a few minutes online, over the phone or at a local branch.


PNC Savings Accounts

While you can save money with PNC Bank’s savings accounts, they’re not an effective way to earn interest. Their rates are well below the national average of around 0.20% APY and there are many hidden fees that can trip you up if you aren’t a model customer.

The “S” is for Savings account for children is an exception if you’re looking to teach your youngsters about money, however. With its neat interactive interface and “Sesame Street” characters, it can get any child excited about savings.

That doesn’t mean it’s the best tool for the job, though. There are many other savings accounts that offer better rates for both you and your children.

Read on to learn more about PNC’s savings account offerings.

Standard savings

Low interest rates for a fee-heavy savings account.

PNC Bank’s basic savings account does technically earn interest — but that’s about all we can say about it. Though national savings account rates average around 0.19% APY, the best you can hope for with this account is 0.10% APY—-and only if you have more than $2,500 in your account and qualify for relationship rates.

To do this, you can set up a direct deposit into another account in one of the following amounts:

  1. $500 to a Standard checking account
  2. $2,000 to a Performance checking account
  3. $5,000 to a Performance Select checking account

Alternatively, you can also qualify for the higher rates by making at least five purchases with your PNC Bank credit or debit card.

If you’re not able to meet these requirements for the higher relationship interest rates, you’ll only earn a measly 0.01% APY on your savings. That’s as low as you can go while still technically saying it does earn interest.

Furthermore, there are many hidden-fee traps with this account. For example, if you don’t meet another set of requirements to waive the monthly account fee, you’ll pay a $5 monthly account fee.

  • Minimum opening deposit : $25
  • Interest rate : 0.01% APY on balances over $1.00
  • Relationship interest rate : 0.05% APY on balances between $1.00 and $2,499.99. 0.10% APY on balances over $2,500.
  • Monthly account maintenance fee : $5
  • How to waive the account maintenance fee :
    1. Keep $300 in your savings account
    2. Be under age 18
    3. Transfer at least $25 from this account to an Auto Savings account
  • ATM fees : No charge at PNC Bank ATMs. $3 for every domestic non-PNC Bank ATM transaction, and $5 for every international non-PNC Bank ATMS.
  • ATM fee refunds : None
  • Overdraft fees : $36 per charge, up to four charges per day. $7 per day for each day the account remains overdrawn. Any overdraft fees will be refunded if the overdrafted amount is less than $5.
  • Early closure fee : $25 if closed within 180 days of opening
  • Regulation D violation fee : You get six free transactions per month, as per Federal Regulation D. After that, you’ll pay $15 per transaction.

At least the bank does make it easy to open an account if you decide you want to go this route. You can do it online, over the phone, or at a local branch. You’ll need just a few minutes of your time along with a photo ID, basic personal information and a way to fund your new account.

“S” is for Savings

Fun savings tools for children, but don’t expect to teach them about earning interest.

It can be tough to teach young ones about money, but this savings account can help in a few ways. Children can set savings goals for things like a new bike or a toy.

When money is deposited into the account, children are presented with a visual of three buckets that they can choose to put the money in:

  1. Saving (for later)
  2. Sharing (to be given to charity or other people)
  3. Spending (to be spent right away)

Even cooler is an interactive learning center where young savers can learn about basic money management from “Sesame Street” characters.

These features are great for teaching basic financial concepts, except for one thing: how compound interest works. This account earns a rock-bottom interest rate of 0.01% APY. Since your child probably isn’t going to be saving hundreds of thousands of dollars in this account, he or she won’t really be able to see compound interest in action.

  • Minimum opening deposit : $25
  • Interest rate : 0.01% APY on balances over $1
  • Monthly account maintenance fee : $5
  • How to waive the account maintenance fee :
    1. Be under age 18
    2. Keep at least $300 in this account
    3. Transfer at least $25 from this account to an Auto Savings account each month
  • ATM fees : No charge at PNC Bank ATMs. $3 for every domestic non-PNC Bank ATM transaction, and $5 for every international non-PNC Bank ATMS.
  • ATM fee refunds : None
  • Overdraft fees : $36 per charge, up to four charges per day. $7 per day for each day the account remains overdrawn. Any overdraft fees will be refunded if the overdrafted amount is less than $5.
  • Early closure fee : $25 if you close the account within 180 days of opening.

Luckily, this account is pretty easy to open. All you need is a photo ID for yourself (not your child), a way to fund the account, and your child’s personal information. It only takes a few minutes to complete an application, which you can do online, in person at a local branch or over the phone.

PNC CD Rates

PNC Bank offers a diverse set of CDs, which is great because it provides you with the most flexibility for your personal situation. Not everyone is able or willing to use a one-size-fits-all CD.

The rates offered for these CDs fall well short of national averages, however. If you’re looking to maximize the amount of return for your money, there are many better options.

Read on for more on PNC’s CD offerings:

Fixed-rate CDs

Large amounts of cash needed for below-average returns.

To get started with a PNC Bank Fixed Rate CD, you’ll need a deposit of at least $1,000. The bank will notify you and give you a 10-day grace period when your CD term is due to allow you to decide what to do with it (withdraw, or renew?). If you do nothing, the CD will automatically renew with the same term.

Although PNC Bank does allow CDs with a deposit of as little as $1, there’s a hidden catch: deposit amounts between $1 and $999.99 are only available for CDs that are being renewed — which means you can’t start out at this level with your first deposit amount.

Furthermore, the rates offered for their CDs are again very low.

For example, the average national rates for a 1-year and 5-year CD are 0.63% APY and 1.56% APY with a $1,000 deposit, respectively. But PNC Bank? They’re just 0.13% APY and 0.60% APY, respectively—less than half the national average.

Standard CD rates

 

$1.00 - $999.99

$1k - $9,999.99

$10k - $24,999.9

$25k - $99,999.99

$100k - $499,999.99

$500k +

1 month

0.04%

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

3 months

0.04%

0.05%

0.06%

0.07%

0.08%

0.09%

6 months

0.04%

0.06%

0.08%

0.10%

0.12%

0.14%

12 months

0.04%

0.13%

0.15%

0.18%

0.20%

0.22%

18 months

0.04%

0.18%

0.25%

0.28%

0.30%

0.35%

24 months

0.04%

0.25%

0.30%

0.35%

0.38%

0.43%

36 months

0.04%

0.30%

0.35%

0.38%

0.40%

0.45%

48 months

0.04%

0.50%

0.55%

0.65%

0.70%

0.75%

60 months

0.04%

0.60%

0.70%

0.90%

0.95%

1.00%

84 months

0.04%

0.90%

0.95%

1.05%

1.15%

1.25%

120 months

0.04%

1.10%

1.20%

1.30%

1.40%

1.50%

Promotional rates

$1.00 - $999.99

$1k - $9,999.99

$10k - $24,999.99

$25k - $99,999.99

$100k - $499,999.99

$500k +

9 months

0.04%

0.06%

0.08%

0.10%

0.12%

0.15%

Rates as of Dec. 05, 2017

  • Minimum deposit amount : $1,000
  • Interest compounded : Monthly
  • How interest is paid : Deposited into your CD account monthly
  • Grace period : 10 days to decide whether to renew or withdraw the CD
  • Early withdrawal penalties : For CDs with terms between 3 months and one year, you’ll lose the amount of interest you would have earned. For CDs with terms over one year, you’ll lose six months’ worth of interest.

If you do decide to open a Fixed Rate CD, you’ll need a bit more information than with a standard checking or savings account. You’ll need current personal and employment information, and a photo ID. You can apply online, at a local branch, or over the phone.

Ready Access CDs

A better option to earn higher interest rates and skirt around the rules of PNC Bank’s savings account.

CDs can be tough to invest with. On one hand, they offer higher rates than a savings account. But, if something comes up and you need the cash, you generally can’t withdraw it without paying an early withdrawal fee that could wipe out your earnings.

You can withdraw the money from this CD at any time penalty-free after the account has been open for at least seven days. These CDs will also automatically renew, meaning they’re a great option to store your emergency savings to earn a higher interest rate. In a worst-case scenario, you won’t be able to pull the money out within a brief seven-day period each year without incurring an early withdrawal fee.

Otherwise, it’s a great way to skirt around the rules and fees of their savings account while still earning a higher rate.

Term

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

3 months

0.05%

$1,000

12 months

0.15%

$1,000

Rates as of Dec. 05, 2017

  • Minimum deposit amount : $1,000
  • Interest compounded : Monthly
  • How interest is paid : Deposited into your CD account monthly
  • Grace period : 10 days to decide whether to renew or withdraw the CD
  • Early withdrawal penalties : You will forfeit any interest earned.

You can open a Ready Access CD online, over the phone or in-person at a local branch. You’ll need a photo ID, employment and personal information, and a way to fund your new account.

Callable CDs

Higher rates that still underperform national averages with added fine print.

If the rates of PNC Bank’s Fixed Rate CDs left you feeling a bit underwhelmed, you do have an opportunity to earn a slightly higher rate with Callable CDs. Still these rates are around half of what national averages are for these CD term lengths.

The way it works is a little confusing. PNC Bank has the right to call back its CD if it decides the interest rate isn’t working in its favor. This just means that it’ll pay out what you’ve already earned instead of paying a higher interest rate for the full term length of the CD. It can only call back the CD after you’ve had it open for 12 months (for a 36-month Callable CD), or 24 months (for a 60-month Callable).

If this happens, you’ll get an advance notice of the actual “call date” of the CD. After this date, you’ll have 10 full days to decide whether you want to withdraw the cash or renew it into another CD. If you do nothing, the bank will automatically roll the funds over into a 12-month fixed-rate CD.

Term

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

36 months

0.50%

$10,000

60 months

1.10%

$10,000

Rates as of Dec. 05, 2017

  • Minimum deposit amount : $10,000
  • Interest compounded : Monthly
  • How interest is paid : Deposited into your CD account monthly
  • Grace period : 10 days to decide whether to renew or withdraw the CD
  • Early withdrawal penalties : Six months’ worth of interest.

Getting a Callable CD is relatively straightforward, but you’ll need a few pieces of information. You can open an account over the phone, in person at a local branch or online. You’ll need a photo ID, employment and personal information, and a way to fund your new CD.

Variable-rate CDs

Earn fair rates through a changing interest rate environment.

You’ve probably heard all the kerfuffle surrounding the Federal Reserve changing interest rates. That can cause banks to change their own CD rates, and if you’re locked into a long-term CD, that change might not be in your favor.

Instead, PNC Bank offers an option for these scenarios. You can choose from just one term length — 18 months — and the interest rate you earn will be tied to the current price of a three-month Treasury Bill. Right now, as of December 2017, that’s running at 1.28% APY.

After the 18-month period is up, your variable-rate CD will renew into another CD of the same type.

  • Minimum deposit amount:$1,000
  • Interest compounded: Monthly
  • How interest is paid: Deposited into your CD account monthly
  • Grace period:10 days to decide whether to renew or withdraw the CD
  • Early withdrawal penalties:You’ll lose six months’ worth of interest.

To open a Variable Rate CD, you’ll need a few things. You’ll need to provide personal information and employment history, as well as a photo ID. You can apply in person at a local branch, over the phone or online.

Step-rate CDs

Frequent access to your cash with an unknown earning potential.

If you want more frequent access to your money but don’t want to commit to a Ready Access CD, then a step-rate CD might be right for you. This CD is available in 36-month term lengths, which are further subdivided into six six-month terms.

Every six months you’re given a 10-day period where you can withdraw your cash penalty-free if you wish. If you choose to leave it in the account, the interest rate will be bumped up a notch each time.

The downside of this CD is that the bank won’t tell you what the interest rates for each step are until you sign up for an account. So, it’ll be a surprise!

  • Minimum deposit amount : $2,500
  • Interest compounded : Monthly
  • How interest is paid : Deposited into your CD account monthly
  • Grace period : 10 days to decide whether to renew or withdraw the CD
  • Early withdrawal penalties : You’ll lose six months’ worth of interest.

To open a Step Rate CD, simply go online, call PNC Bank, or visit them in person if you live near a local branch. You’ll need to provide them with basic personal and employment information, and a photo ID.

PNC Bank Money Market Accounts

For most products, PNC Bank offers below-average rates. Its money market account is one exception — if you can meet the added requirements. Otherwise, you’ll earn measly rates and might actually lose money if you have to pay the monthly account fee.

The higher rates offered for customers who qualify are actually right on par with national averages. But, as with the rest of their products, you can still find better account rates and terms with other banks.

PNC Bank’s basic money market account isn’t anything to write home about on its own. But, if you can take advantage of the higher rates offered if you have a Performance Checking or Performance Select Checking account, you can actually earn decent returns on your savings.

To qualify for these higher interest rates, you’ll need to meet at least one of these other requirements in addition to having the extra checking account:

  1. Set up a monthly direct deposit amount ($2,000 to a Performance Checking account, or $5,000 to a Performance Select Checking account)
  2. Make at least five purchases a month with your PNC credit or debit card

Just be sure to watch out for the hidden fees, especially the monthly account maintenance fee. If you’re not able to keep $5,000 in your account, it’ll be a $12 fee each month.

  • Minimum opening deposit : $100
  • Maximum opening deposit : $10,000
  • Monthly account maintenance fee : $12
  • How to waive the account maintenance fee : Keep at least $5,000 in your account.
  • ATM fees : No charge at PNC Bank ATMs. $3 for every domestic non-PNC Bank ATM transaction, and $5 for every international non-PNC Bank ATMS.
  • ATM fee refunds : None
  • Overdraft fees : $36 per charge, up to four charges per day. $7 per day for each day the account remains overdrawn. Any overdraft fees will be refunded if the overdrafted amount is less than $5.
  • Early closure fee : $25 if closed within 180 days of opening
  • Regulation D violation fee : You get six free transactions per month, as per Federal Regulation D. After that, you’ll pay $15 per transaction.

Balance to earn interest

Standard APY

APY when linked to Performance Checking

APY when linked to Performance Select Checking

$1.00 - $9,999.99

0.03%

0.25%

0.60%

$10k - $24,999.99

0.09%

0.27%

0.60%

$25k - $49,999.99

0.11%

0.30%

0.70%

$50k - $99,999.99

0.13%

0.32%

0.80%

$100k - $249,999.99

0.15%

0.35%

0.85%

$250k - $499,999.99

0.15%

0.35%

0.85%

$500k - $999,999.99

0.17%

0.35%

1.00%

$1M and above

0.17%

0.35%

1.00%

Rates as of Dec. 05, 2017

To sign up for a PNC Bank Money Market account, you’ll need to apply either online, in person at a local branch, or over the phone. You’ll need a photo ID, and be able to provide bank account or credit card numbers to provide an opening deposit. Finally, you’ll also need to provide PNC Bank with basic personal information.

PNC IRA CDs

Unfortunately, PNC Bank falls short of the mark for Fixed Rate IRA CDs as well. The rates offered are measly compared with those of competitors, even when you look at the longest-running CDs with the highest deposit amounts. If you’re looking to grow your money, you can find better rates and terms for IRA CDs elsewhere.

Furthermore, there are fees to watch out for with this account. Unless you come to the table with a $2,000 minimum deposit, you’ll have to pay an annual account fee. If you ever want to transfer your money out of the bank, you’ll need to pay another fee. These fees could really eat into your already-tiny earnings.

Fixed-rate IRA CD account

Low rates for high-fee retirement savings.

This is one of the safest options around for growing your savings. PNC Bank offers multiple term lengths and rate tiers depending on how much money you want to invest and for how long.

Although it does offer IRA CDs in amounts from $1.00-$999.99, you actually can’t start your account with these. You can only renew existing IRA CDs in this amount, meaning that you’ll need to bring at least $1,000 to the table if you want to open an account.

  • Minimum opening deposit : $1,000
  • Annual custodian fee : $25
  • How to waive the annual custodian fee : Keep at least $2,000 in your account.
  • Interest compounded : Monthly
  • How interest is paid : Deposited into your CD account monthly
  • Transfer fee : $25 if transferring money to another PNC savings or checking account, or to another bank.
  • Grace period : 10 days to decide whether to renew or withdraw the CD
  • Early withdrawal penalties : For Fixed Rate IRAs with terms between three months and one year, you’ll lose the amount of interest you would have earned. For CDs with terms over one year, you’ll lose six months’ worth of interest.

Standard rates

 

$1.00 - $999.99

$1k - $9,999.99

$10k - $24,999.99

$25k - $99,999.99

$100k - $499,999.99

$500k +

6 months

0.04%

0.06%

0.08%

0.10%

0.12%

0.14%

12 months

0.04%

0.13%

0.15%

0.18%

0.20%

0.22%

18 months

0.04%

0.18%

0.25%

0.28%

0.30%

0.35%

24 months

0.04%

0.25%

0.30%

0.35%

0.38%

0.43%

36 months

0.04%

0.30%

0.35%

0.38%

0.40%

0.45%

48 months

0.04%

0.50%

0.55%

0.65%

0.70%

0.75%

60 months

0.04%

0.60%

0.70%

0.90%

0.95%

1.00%

84 months

0.04%

0.90%

0.95%

1.05%

1.15%

1.25%

120 months

0.04%

1.10%

1.20%

1.30%

1.40%

1.50%

Rates as of Dec. 05, 2017


Promotional rates

9-month fixed term

Fixed rate only

Fixed rate with Choice/Premium plan

Fixed Rate with Performance/Performance Select/VW Performance

$1.00 - $999.99

0.04%

0.24%

0.29%

$1k - $9,999.99

0.06%

0.26%

0.31%

$10k - $24,999.99

0.08%

0.28%

0.33%

$25k - $99,999.99

0.10%

0.30%

0.35%

$25k - $99,999.99

0.12%

0.32%

0.37%

$500k+

0.15%

0.35%

0.40%

Rates as of Dec. 05, 2017

If you’d like to open a fixed-rate IRA CD account with PNC Bank, you’ll need to block out about 15 minutes of time from your day. You can apply over the phone, online or in person at a local branch.

New IRA account offer

PNC Bank is offering a nice promotion when you sign up for a new IRA Account until Dec. 31, 2017. First, you’ll need to sign up to receive the sign-up bonus coupon. After that, you’ll need to call up PNC Bank or visit a local branch in-person to open your account. You cannot take advantage of this sign-up bonus by signing up for an account online.

You’ll also need a hefty deposit amount to be able to take advantage of this offer. You’ll earn the following sign-up bonus based on your deposit amount:

  • $50 sign-up bonus for a $20,000 deposit
  • $100 sign-up bonus for a $50,000 deposit
  • $200 sign-up bonus for a $100,000 deposit
  • $600 sign-up bonus for a $250,000 deposit
  • $1500 sign-up bonus for a $500,000 deposit

PNC Bank’s Student Virtual Wallet® Review

Great account package for young adults to learn money management skills.

PNC Bank offers all the functionality and perks of its regular Virtual Wallet® package (Spend, Reserve, and Growth accounts) with added bonuses for students. One of these great features is parental alerts, so parents can also see, along with students, when the account balance is low.

This account package also comes with helpful financial education. It provides in-person financial education seminars if you’re lucky enough to have a local branch on your campus.

  • Minimum opening deposit : $25
  • Interest rate : The Spend account does not earn interest. The Reserve and Growth accounts earn 0.01% APY. If you meet qualifications (such as making at least five debit transactions per month from your Spend account), you can earn up to 0.10% APY with your Grow account.
  • Monthly account maintenance fee : None if you provide proof that you’re actively enrolled in an educational institution. Status expires 6 years from when you open the account.
  • ATM fees : No charge at PNC Bank ATMs. $3 for every domestic non-PNC Bank ATM transaction, and $5 for every international non-PNC Bank ATMS.
  • ATM fee refunds : Two per month. ATM surcharges (i.e., the extra fee the ATM’s owner tacks on) are not refunded.
  • Overdraft fees : $36 per charge, up to four charges per day. $7 per day for each day the account remains overdrawn. Any overdraft fees will be refunded if the overdrafted amount is less than $5. They will not charge you if you set up Overdraft Protection Transfer from your Reserve or Grow accounts.
  • Overdraft fee courtesy pay : Your first overdraft fee within 12 months of account opening will be refunded.
  • Early closure fee : $25 if you close the account within 180 days of opening.
    Opening an account is the same as for the regular Virtual Wallet® accounts. In addition, you’ll need some way to prove that you actually are a student for this particular account.

Overall review of PNC Bank

We’ll be honest. PNC Bank really does offer some neat money management tools, especially with its Virtual Wallet® and “S” is for Savings® accounts. These accounts come with seamless tools that help you to simplify your hectic financial life.

But that doesn’t mean these are the only places you can get these tools. Other financial products such as Mint or FamZoo can also do just about everything that the Virtual Wallet® does. You’ll have to do research and piecemeal these tools together to create a custom package for you, but it is possible to replace all the functionality of the PNC offerings with other products.

Furthermore, PNC Bank offers rock-bottom rates and super-high fees for most of its banking products. Unless you’re a model customer, these fees have the potential to wipe out your meager earnings.

Instead, you can search for higher-earning, more transparent checking and savings accounts elsewhere and finding your own budgeting and savings tools to help you manage your money. That way, you’ll have the best of both worlds: custom ways to simplify your finances and, with luck and due diligence, the highest-earning accounts possible.

Lindsay VanSomeren
Lindsay VanSomeren |

Lindsay VanSomeren is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Lindsay here

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Earning Interest, Reviews

Discover Bank CD Rates Review

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Discover Bank
Most people know Discover as a credit card company, but it also operates an online bank and offers some of the best rates and terms on checking and savings accounts and certificates of deposit (CDs).

If you’re looking for CDs in particular, Discover is currently considered one of the best CDs due to their customer service and digital tools.

Discover Bank CD rates

CD term

Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

Minimum deposit amount

3 months

0.35%

$2,500

6 months

0.65%

$2,500

9 months

0.70%

$2,500

12 months

1.50%

$2,500

18 months

1.55%

$2,500

24 months

1.65%

$2,500

30 months

1.70%

$2,500

3 years

1.76%

$2,500

4 years

1.85%

$2,500

5 years

2.25%

$2,500

7 years

2.30%

$2,500

10 years

2.35%

$2,500

Rates as of Dec. 5, 2017

Learn More Secured

on Discover’s secure website

How do Discover Bank CD rates compare?

While Discover Bank CD rates aren’t always the highest available, they are consistently among the top offers across all terms. However, you may be able to find a similar or even better rate with a CD that has a lower minimum deposit than Discover’s. Currently, several nationwide banks offered a 12-month CD at a rate higher than Discover’s 12-month CD APY, while requiring a lower minimum deposit. For example, at the same time the above rates were available at Discover, there were 12-month CDs with rates as high as 1.65% APY with a minimum deposit of $500.

It’s always great to go for the highest interest rates possible, but keep your CD investing strategy in mind. If you’re investing in CDs using the ladder strategy, it might be easier to keep everything in one bank since you’ll be switching in and out of CDs frequently.

Discover also stands out from its competition in the CD space with its mobile app and 24/7 U.S.-based customer service. If you value such features, keep those particulars in mind when weighing Discover CD rates against others’.

What you need to know about Discover Bank’s CDs

Discover Bank is very transparent in terms of fine print. It’s not difficult to understand what’ll happen with your money after you invest it. We’ll cover the basics here about what you need to know to invest in Discover Bank’s CDs.

How to open a CD

It’s very simple to open up a CD with Discover Bank. Go to their CD webpage and click on the orange “Open an Account” button near the top right of the page. You can then choose which accounts you’d like to open. Select “CD,” choose a CD term and enter how much you’d like to deposit.

You’ll then need to complete the application by providing your name, address, date of birth, phone number, Social Security number, employment status and possibly even your driver’s license. Once your application is complete and accepted, you’ll need to fund the account.

How to fund the CD

You’ll need to fund it within 45 days of submitting your application, which you can do in one of three ways:

  • Transfer funds from another bank account over the phone. (You can only do this when you first fund your account.)
  • Transfer funds from another bank via online transfer.
  • Write a check to yourself and send it to the following address:Discover Bank
    P.O. Box 30417
    Salt Lake City, UT 84130

The minimum deposit amount for each of Discover Bank’s CDs is, as the chart above indicates, $2,500. Once you open a CD, you can’t deposit more money later, so it’s a good idea to make sure you have all the cash you want to invest before you open the account.

Withdrawing funds from the CD

When you want to withdraw money from your CD, the biggest thing to consider is whether that CD has matured yet, or finished its term.

If your CD has not matured, you’ve got options: You can take the interest out penalty-free at any time, or you can withdraw the principal (or the money you deposited) at any time as long as you pay an early-withdrawal penalty. This penalty varies depending on the original term of your CD:

  • less than one year: three months’ worth of simple interest
  • one year to less than four years: six months’ worth of simple interest
  • four years: nine months’ worth of simple interest
  • five years to less than seven years: 18 months’ worth of simple interest
  • seven years or longer: 24 months’ worth of simple interest

If your CD has finished its term, you can withdraw your money penalty-free, allow the CD to renew or roll it into a CD of a different term length. (More on that in a bit).

Earning interest on a Discover CD

Your CD will start earning interest on the same business day that you fund the account. The interest will be added to your account once each month, however.

When it comes to what to do with your interest, you have two options: The default option is to allow it to compound within the CD (meaning you’ll earn interest on that interest), or you can have it automatically deposited each month into another Discover bank account.

What happens once the CD matures?

You’ll get a heads-up notice about a month before your CD matures so you can decide what to do with the money. You have two main options: Either reinvest it into another CD (of the same term length or a different term length), or withdraw the money from the CD and put it into another account (such as a checking or savings account, or perhaps a CD at a different institution).

If you don’t let Discover know what you want to do with the maturing CD, the CD will automatically renew into another one of the same term length. You have a nine-day grace period after your CD automatically rolls over to make any changes or withdrawals penalty-free.

The bottom line

As far as big-name banks go, Discover offers great CD products. Wells Fargo, for example, only offers interest rates as high as 1.55% APY on a $5,000 deposit for a 58-month CD. Chase Bank offers even lower maximum rates — an abysmal 1.05% APY, and only if you can commit a minimum of $100,000 for 10 years.

If you’re the kind of person who likes to keep your finances in one place, Discover also has great credit cards, as well as competitive online savings and checking accounts. No matter how long you’re considering putting money in a CD, Discover is worth a look. Even if it doesn’t have the best available rate, it’s usually within several basis points of the top offerings and well above the average APY.

Learn More Secured

on Discover’s secure website

Lindsay VanSomeren
Lindsay VanSomeren |

Lindsay VanSomeren is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Lindsay here

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Reviews

TD Bank Review: Savings, Checking, CD, Money Market, and IRA Accounts

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TD Bank got an early start in the 1850s. Today, it’s one of the largest banks in the nation. Even though it’s a nationwide bank, you can really go into a physical branch only if you live along the East Coast. If you are that lucky, you can take your pick from over 1,200 branches, many of which have convenient extended hours during the week and on weekends.

People living in the Midwest and on the West coast will have to suffice with online-only banking. But, rest assured, they still make it easy: they maintain a 24/7 customer service line if you do need to chat with a real person.

We’ll go over everything you need to know about TD Bank’s deposit accounts in this article. One important note: TD Bank’s rates vary depending on where you live. To compare apples to apples, we’ll look at the rates from Cherry Hill, N.J., which is where TD Bank is headquartered. However, we recommend checking your local rates when deciding whether these accounts are right for you. All rates are current as of Dec. 4, 2017.

TD Bank Savings Accounts

TD Simple Savings account

Simply low savings for a fee-heavy savings account.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

0.05%

$0 ($300 to waive monthly maintenance fee)

  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5 ($4 if you’re signed up for online statements)
  • How to waive the account maintenance fee:
    1. Keep at least $300 in your account
    2. Have a linked TD student checking account
    3. Be under age 18 or over age 62
    4. Transfer at least $25 per month from a TD Bank account and have a linked TD Bank personal checking account (but this will only waive the fee for 12 months)
  • ATM fees: None if using a TD ATM; $3 for non-TD ATMs (plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner tacks on).
  • ATM fee refunds: None.
  • Overdraft fees: $35 for each item, up to five items per day.

You’ll need to keep an eye out for fees with this account. It’s not hard to waive the monthly account fee if you keep it stocked full of savings (which is how you should use a savings account, after all), but if you decide to empty the account, you’ll have to pay this steep monthly fee. Furthermore, the rates offered are very low, especially when compared with savings accounts at other banks.

Opening a Simple Savings account with TD Bank takes only a few minutes. You’ll need basic personal information about yourself, a photo ID, and a way to fund your new account. You can apply online, over the phone or by visiting a local branch.

TD Preferred Savings account

Moderate interest rates for high-balance savers.

 

$0.01 - $19,999.99

$20k - $49,999.99

$50k - $99,999.99

$100k - $249,999.99

$250k - $499,999.99

$500k - $999,999.99

$1M – $9,999,999.99

$10M+

APY with standard rate

0.05%

0.20%

0.35%

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

0.45%

APY with bump rate

0.10%

0.50%

0.75%

1.00%

1.00%

1.00%

1.00%

0.95%

  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $15 ($14 if you’re signed up for online statements)
  • How to waive the account maintenance fee: Keep at least $20,000 in your account.
  • ATM fees: None. However, you may be charged a surcharge fee (i.e., the fee that the ATM’s owner tacks on) unless you keep at least $2,500 in your account.
  • Overdraft fees: $35 for each item, up to five items per day.

TD Bank does offer semi-OK returns for their Preferred Savings account, with a catch: You’ll need to keep a lot of money in it. Otherwise, you’ll face a hefty monthly account fee that will wipe away your earnings.

For example, let’s say that you have $15,000 in your account. That’s $5,000 under the $20,000 threshold needed to waive the $15 monthly fee. If you receive the rate bump for having another eligible TD Bank account, you’ll earn $1.25 in interest that month — meaning you’ll lose $13.75 after paying the monthly account maintenance fee.

You can qualify for the higher bump rates by also having one of the following types of accounts with TD Bank and making three transactions per month with it: a mortgage, a home equity loan, a credit card, or a personal or small business checking account.

Opening a Preferred Savings account with TD Bank is simple and takes only a few minutes. You’ll need basic personal information about yourself, a photo ID, and a way to fund your new account. You can apply online, over the phone, or by visiting a local branch.

How TD Bank’s savings accounts compare

TD Bank’s savings accounts are pretty lackluster. They carry the potential for a lot of fees and for very little return.

Their Preferred Savings account in particular does offer high earning potential with interest rates up to five times greater than the national average. But you’ll need to have heavy pockets to be able to reach those levels, in addition to meeting a list of other requirements to waive the monthly fee and be eligible for these high interest rates.

Most people probably won’t be able to reach these high interest rates. But there’s good news: There are many other high-interest savings accounts that offer better rates without so much fine print holding you back.

TD Bank Checking Accounts

TD Premier Checking account

Earn low interest rates for keeping a high balance in your checking account.

Minimum Balance Amount

$0.01 - $2,499.99

$2,500 - $49,999.99

$50k - $249,999.99

$250k+

APY

0.00%

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $25
  • How to waive the account maintenance fee: Keep at least $2,500 in your account.
  • ATM fees: None. However, you may be charged a surcharge fee (i.e., the fee that the ATM’s owner tacks on) unless you keep at least $2,500 in your account.
  • Overdraft fees: $35 for each item, up to five items per day.

If you’re looking to earn interest on the money held within your checking account, you might consider this account. Just be careful: you’ll need to keep a pretty high balance to a) earn any interest at all, and b) avoid the high monthly account fee.

A few minor side benefits of having this account also include things like free bank checks and money orders, and no service charge for more obscure things like stop payments on checks, incoming wire transfers and paper statements. You’ll also get a 0.25% interest rate reduction if you decide to apply for a home equity line of credit.

If high interest rates on your checking account with less fees are what you’re after, there are actually many other better online checking accounts to choose from.

Opening a Premier Checking account with TD Bank is simple and takes only a few minutes. You’ll need basic personal information about yourself, a photo ID, and a way to fund your new account. You can apply online, over the phone or by visiting a local branch.

TD Convenience Checking account

A standard-level checking account — but stay vigilant for high fees.

  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $15
  • How to waive the account maintenance fee: Keep at least $100 in your account.
  • ATM fees: None if using a TD ATM. $3 for non-TD ATMS (plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner tacks on).
  • ATM fee refunds: None.
  • Overdraft fees: $35 for each item, up to five items per day.

If you can’t keep the required $2,500 in your checking account to waive the monthly fee for the TD Premier Checking account, consider this one. You still need to keep some cash in this account to waive the $15 monthly fee, but at $100, it’s much more manageable.

Unfortunately, you’ll have to sacrifice earning any return on your funds with this account, since it pays no interest. But there still are some minor perks that come with this account. You’ll get a discount on your first order of checks, and discounts on TD Bank home loans and home equity lines of credit.

Opening a Convenience Checking account with TD Bank is simple and takes only a few minutes. You’ll need basic personal information about yourself, a photo ID, and a way to fund your new account. You can apply online, over the phone or by visiting a local branch.

TD Simple Checking account

Simply high fees for a basic-level checking account.

  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5.99
  • ATM fees: None if using a TD ATM. $3 for non-TD ATMS (plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner tacks on).
  • ATM fee refunds: None.
  • Overdraft fees: $35 for each item, up to five items per day.

As far as checking accounts go, this isn’t really a good one. It charges a high monthly account fee and there’s no way to waive the fee. That’s a bit ridiculous with so many free checking accounts.

The only reason you might choose this checking account is if you can’t afford to keep the minimum $100 deposit in the TD convenience checking account to waive that monthly account fee. But if you’re not able to do that, you’ll pay out $100 in fees in a little over a year with this account anyway, so what’s the point?

You do get minor perks as with the other accounts — a discount on your first order of checks, and a discount on a home loan or home equity line of credit — but let’s be honest: That’s probably not going to save you a whole lot of money.

Opening a Simple Checking account with TD Bank is simple and takes only a few minutes. You’ll need basic personal information about yourself, a photo ID, and a way to fund your new account. You can apply online, over the phone or by visiting a local branch.

TD Relationship Checking account

Small earnings for big account requirements.

  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Interest rate: 0.03% APY
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $25
  • How to waive the account maintenance fee: Keep at least $20,000 in all of your TD Bank accounts combined (including checking, savings, loans, etc — but not credit cards).
  • ATM fees: None.
  • ATM fee refunds: You can be refunded for any ATM surcharges (the money the ATM’s owner charges) if you keep at least $2,500 in your account.
  • Overdraft fees: $35 for each item, up to 5 items per day.

If you have existing deposit (savings, checking, or CDs) or loan accounts with TD Bank, you can actually leverage them to earn at least something on the money in your checking account. It’s not much — 0.03% APY — but it’s still better than nothing.

This account also comes with a discount on home loans and home equity lines of credit, You’ll also get a few more perks than with their other checking accounts, such as free checks (not just a discount), free services that normally come with high fees (such as a stop payment order, overdraft transfers or money orders), and a fee waiver for another checking account and a savings account.

In return, just keep a close eye on your accounts to make sure you are meeting the requirements to waive the monthly fee. $25 per month is not a fee you want to pay.

Opening a Relationship Checking account with TD Bank is simple and takes only a few minutes. You’ll need basic personal information about yourself, a photo ID, and a way to fund your new account. You can apply online, over the phone or by visiting a local branch.

TD 60 Plus Checking account

A great checking account for seniors, but keep an eye on the account balance.

  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Interest rate: 0.05% APY
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10
  • How to waive the account maintenance fee: Keep at least $250 in your account.
  • ATM fees: None if using a TD ATM. $3 for non-TD ATMS (plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner tacks on).
  • ATM fee refunds: None.
  • Overdraft fees: $35 for each item, up to five items per day.

If you’re over age 60, you are eligible for this account. TD Bank has generously waived many of its high fees for some account services. You’ll get free money orders, free checks and free paper statements. This account also comes with the standard rate discounts on home loans and home equity lines of credit.

Plus you’ll earn interest on your balance. Not a lot of interest, but 0.05% APY is better than 0.00% APY.

We recommend this account only if you can keep at least $250 in your account to waive the monthly fee. Otherwise, the $10 monthly fee will wipe out any interest you’ll earn.

Opening a 60 Plus Checking account with TD Bank is simple and takes only a few minutes. You’ll need basic personal information about yourself, a photo ID, and a way to fund your new account. You can apply online, over the phone or by visiting a local branch.

TD Student Checking account

A no-frills student checking account with no monthly fee.

  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fees: None if using a TD ATM. $3 for non-TD ATMS (plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner tacks on).
  • ATM fee refunds: None.
  • Overdraft fees: $35 for each item, up to five items per day.

This is perhaps one of TD Bank’s best checking accounts, but only because it’s the only one not to come with a monthly account maintenance fee. Full-time students under age 24 are eligible to open this account. (You’ll need a joint checking account with a parent if you’re under age 18). This account will automatically transfer over to a Convenience Checking account after your 24th birthday or five years from the account opening, whichever occurs first.

You won’t earn any interest on this account, but you will get some other benefits. If you link a TD Simple Savings account alongside this checking account, you won’t have to pay the $5 monthly fee for the savings account. You’ll also get a discount on your first box of checks. You can even get a discount on a home loan or a home equity line of credit, but as a student, are you really likely to use that?

Opening a Student Checking account with TD Bank is simple and takes only a few minutes. You’ll need basic personal information about yourself, a photo ID and a way to fund your new account. You can apply online, over the phone or by visiting a local branch. You’ll also need to provide either your student ID or a student loan bill or receipt to prove you’re actually a student.

How TD Bank’s checking accounts compare

TD Bank does offer a lot of different types of checking accounts. This is nice because it offers you a wider range of ways to avoid their notorious account fees — and there are many to watch out for.

Plus, many of these accounts don’t even earn any interest, and when they do, the minimum balance requirements are often far above what you’d likely be keeping in a checking account anyway. If you’re looking for the best checking account possible, you’d be better off looking elsewhere unless you really are attached the TD Bank.

TD Bank CD Rates

TD Choice CDs

Moderate returns if you have a TD Bank Checking account.

Standard rate

 

$250 - $9,999.99

$10k - $49,999.99

$50k - $99,999.99

$100k+

3 months

0.10%

0.15%

0.15%

0.20%

6 months

0.15%

0.20%

0.20%

0.25%

9 months

0.20%

0.25%

0.25%

0.30%

12 months

0.30%

0.35%

0.40%

0.50%

18 months

0.30%

0.35%

0.40%

0.50%

24 months

0.35%

0.40%

0.45%

0.55%

3 years

0.40%

0.45%

0.50%

0.65%

5 years

0.45%

0.50%

0.60%

0.70%

Bump Rate

 

$250 - $9,999.99

$10k - $49,999.99

$50k - $99,999.99

$100k+

3 months

0.15%

0.20%

0.20%

0.25%

6 months

0.20%

0.25%

0.30%

0.35%

9 months

0.25%

0.30%

0.35%

0.40%

12 months

0.65%

0.80%

0.90%

1.10%

18 months

0.40%

0.45%

0.50%

0.60%

24 months

0.45%

0.50%

0.55%

0.65%

3 years

0.80%

1.00%

1.10%

1.30%

5 years

0.75%

0.90%

1.00%

1.10%

TD Bank’s Choice CDs are their standard line of CDs. You’ll need at least $250 to invest in them, which is a pretty low requirement and makes saving accessible for most people. Of course, you’ll earn higher rates if you put in much larger amounts of cash. You can also earn higher “bump rates” if you hold a checking account with TD Bank. You’ll also earn higher rates for larger deposits and longer terms.

Just be aware when you’re choosing longer terms, however, that you’ll pay an early withdrawal penalty if you do need to take that cash out early. You also can’t take out your cash at all for the first seven days after you initially open your CD. Early withdrawal penalties depend on the original term of the CD and are as follows:

  • < 3 months: All interest
  • 3 months < 1 year: 3 months’ worth of interest
  • 1 year < 2 years: 6 months’ worth of interest
  • 2 years < 3 years: 9 months’ worth of interest
  • 3 years < 4 years: 12 months’ worth of interest
  • 4 years < 5 years: 18 months’ worth of interest
  • 5 years: 24 months’ worth of interest

Once you open your account, you can’t add any more funds until the CD’s term is over. When that happens, your CD will automatically renew to another one of the same length with whatever the current interest rate is. But you have 10 days after this happens to decide what to do with it — withdraw the cash penalty-free, add in more funds or just let the CD continue.

Opening a Choice CD with TD Bank is simple and takes only a few minutes. You’ll need basic personal information about yourself, a photo ID and a way to fund your new account. You can apply online, over the phone or by visiting a local branch.

TD No-Catch CDs

Moderate returns that give you the flexibility of making a free withdrawal once per term.

CD Term

APY

6 months

0.15%

12 months

0.20%

If the idea of having your money locked away makes you a little queasy, the No-Catch CD might be a good choice for you. It’s currently only offered in two term lengths — six and 12 months. Once per term, you’re allowed to make one withdrawal without paying an early withdrawal penalty if you need the cash. But remember, you can only make a withdrawal after the account has been open for at least seven days. If you need to make more than one withdrawal, you’ll pay a penalty for each additional transaction.

This will save you from paying a penalty of three months’ worth of interest (for the six-month CD) or six months’ worth of interest (for the 12-month CD). In return for this advantage, you’ll get a slightly lower return on the 12-month CD than the normal TD Choice CD (without the higher bump rates, that is). The interest rate is currently the same for the six-month Choice CD.

Just as with the TD Choice CD, you can open a TD No-Catch CD with at least $250. After the CD matures, it’ll roll over into another CD of the same term length (but with the current interest rate), and you’ll get 10 days to withdraw the money, add funds or let it continue in the current CD.

Opening a No-Catch CD with TD Bank is simple and takes only a few minutes. You’ll need basic personal information about yourself, a photo ID, and a way to fund your new account. You can apply online, over the phone or by visiting a local branch.

TD Step Rate CDs

Higher rates over time with more frequent penalty-free access to your cash.

CD Term

APY

3 years

Year 1: 0.25%
Year 2: 0.30%
Year 3: 0.45%
Composite: 0.33%

5 years

Year 1: 0.35%
Year 2: 0.40%
Year 3: 0.55%
Year 4: 0.70%
Year 5: 1.19%
Composite: 0.64%

If you really want frequent penalty-free access to your cash but want higher rates than the No-Catch CDs offer, consider the Step Rate CDs. You can open them with as little as $250.

These CDs will allow you to make one penalty-free withdrawal per year during a 10-day window around your account’s anniversary. If you make a withdrawal outside of these windows, you’ll face an early-withdrawal penalty of 12 months’ worth of interest (for a three-year CD), or 24 months’ worth of interest (for a five-year CD).

If you leave some or all of your money in the account on each anniversary, you’ll be rewarded with sequentially higher interest rates until the term of the CD ends. When that happens, it’ll automatically roll over into a 12-month Step Rate CD with the current interest rate of the day. But you’ll still have another 10-day window where you can add or withdraw funds or let the CD investment continue.

How TD Bank’s CDs compare

TD Bank does offer a nice suite of CDs that allow you more frequent access to your money. This is especially helpful for folks who want to earn higher rates than their paltry savings and checking accounts (when interest is even earned at all), but still want to be able to get their money on a more frequent basis if needed.

Compared with other banks, however, the interest rates offered on these CDs are fairly low. If higher interest rates are what you’re after, consider these CD accounts with higher rates.

TD Bank IRA Accounts

TD Simple Savings IRA

Guaranteed low rates on your retirement savings.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

0.05%

$0.01

The TD Simple Savings IRA account is the mirror image of its regular TD Simple Savings account, but in an IRA form. And, just like the regular TD Simple Savings account, it earns peanuts for interest.

Its saving grace is that the monthly maintenance fee is waived for the IRA version of this account (which would normally cost you up to $5 per month). You’ll also need at least $300 to open this account, making it more accessible if you’re just starting to save for retirement and don’t have a lot of cash yet.

Another disadvantage of this account is that you can only open them in a local branch — so, if you’re not near any branches, this account will be unavailable to you.

TD Preferred Savings IRA

Higher (but still low) rates for having larger balances and linked TD accounts.

 

$0.01 - $19,999.99

$20k - $49,999.99

$50k - $99,999.99

$100k - $249,999.99

$250k - $499,999.99

$500k - $999,999.99

$1M - $9,999,999.99

$10M +

APY with Standard Rate

0.05%

0.20%

0.35%

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

0.45%

APY with Bump Rates

0.10%

0.50%

0.75%

1.00%

1.00%

1.00%

1.00%

0.95%

If you’d still like to save for your retirement using a plain-vanilla savings account but want to earn slightly higher rates, the TD Preferred Savings IRA might be for you. You’ll need at least $20,000 to open an account, but there are no monthly maintenance fees.

You can also earn higher interest rates in two ways. First, you’ll earn more by keeping larger balances in your account (the highest rates are offered on balances between $100,000 and $9,999,999). Second, you can earn higher “bump rates” if you have a another linked TD Bank account, such as a checking account, or even a mortgage or a credit card.

As with the rest of their retirement savings account, you can only open this account by going to a local branch in-person. You cannot open this account online or over the phone, so you’re out of luck if you don’t have a local branch near you.

TD Choice IRA CDs

Getting warmer… but still pretty low rates on an IRA CD.

Standard rate

 

$250 - $9,999.99

$10k - $49,999.99

$50k - $99,999.99

$100k+

3 months

0.10%

0.15%

0.15%

0.20%

6 months

0.15%

0.20%

0.20%

0.25%

9 months

0.20%

0.25%

0.25%

0.30%

12 months

0.30%

0.35%

0.40%

0.50%

18 months

0.30%

0.35%

0.40%

0.50%

24 months

0.35%

0.40%

0.45%

0.55%

3 years

0.40%

0.45%

0.50%

0.65%

5 years

0.45%

0.50%

0.60%

0.70%

Bump Rate

 

$250 - $9,999.99

$10k - $49,999.99

$50k - $99,999.99

$100k+

3 months

0.15%

0.20%

0.20%

0.25%

6 months

0.20%

0.25%

0.30%

0.35%

9 months

0.25%

0.30%

0.35%

0.40%

12 months

0.65%

0.80%

0.90%

1.10%

18 months

0.40%

0.45%

0.50%

0.60%

24 months

0.45%

0.50%

0.55%

0.65%

3 years

0.80%

1.00%

1.10%

1.30%

5 years

0.75%

0.90%

1.00%

1.10%

These CDs are also the mirror image of their regular TD Choice CD accounts, but in an IRA form. You can also open these CDs with a minimum $250 deposit, but of course you’ll earn higher rates if you put more money in. Still, if you’re just starting out and you really want a TD Bank IRA, this is one of your lowest-barrier options. You can also earn higher rates if you own another TD Bank checking account.

If you need to withdraw the money before the term is up, you’ll face the following early withdrawal penalties depending on the original term length of the IRA CD:

  • < 3 months: All interest
  • 3 months < 1 year: 3 months’ worth of interest
  • 1 year < 2 years: 6 months’ worth of interest
  • 2 years < 3 years: 9 months’ worth of interest
  • 3 years < 4 years: 12 months’ worth of interest
  • 4 years < 5 years: 18 months’ worth of interest
  • 5 years: 24 months’ worth of interest

To open this IRA CD you’ll need to go into a local TD Bank branch in person. No phone or online options exist for those away from a local branch, unfortunately.

TD IRA Add-Vantage CD

Term

APY

12 months

0.25%

One of the disadvantages of CDs is that you generally can’t add more money to them once they get started. That’s a real pain if you do come into some more money and want to take advantage of the higher rates that CDs offer. This is especially true if you’re relying on CDs as a part of your retirement savings strategy.

The TD IRA Add-Vantage CD adds a neat little feature to get around this. You can deposit more money into the account at any time, as long as you follow these two rules:

  1. You can only add money in $500 increments
  2. You can’t make more than $250,000 in deposits during the CD’s term

Thus, this IRA CD functions generally like a savings account, except you can’t withdraw your money but once per year due to the sole 12-month CD term offered. If you do withdraw the money, you’ll face an early withdrawal penalty of six months’ worth of interest.

This CD is also only available to people who can visit a local branch to open an account. You’re out of luck if you don’t live near a TD Bank branch, unfortunately.

How TD Bank’s IRA CDs Compare

The trend in low rates for TD Bank’s accounts continues. These rates are all-around low compared with the best IRA CD rates out there.

CDs already offer notoriously low returns compared with more mainstream IRA investments like mutual funds and stocks (which in general offer nonguaranteed average returns of 7.0% per year), and that’s especially the case here. If you’re relying on TD Bank’s IRAs as your primary retirement strategy, you won’t get very far.

TD Bank Money Market Accounts

TD Growth Money Market account

Earn similar rates to TD’s Preferred Savings account, but with a lower minimum balance.

 

$0.01 - $999.99

$1k - $1,999.99

$2k - $4,999.99

$5k - $9,999.99

$10k - $24,999.99

$25k - $49,999.99

$50k - $99,999.99

$100k - $249,999.99

$250k+

APY with Qualified Amount

0.05%

0.05%

0.10%

0.15%

0.20%

0.25%

0.30%

0.35%

0.35%

APY without Qualified Amount

0.03%

0.03%

0.05%

0.10%

0.15%

0.20%

0.25%

0.30%

0.30%

  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $12 (or $11 if you sign up for online statements only).
  • How to waive the account maintenance fee: Keep at least $2,000 in your account, or be age 62 or older.
  • ATM fees: None if using a TD ATM. $3 for non-TD ATMS (plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner tacks on).
  • ATM fee refunds: None.
  • Overdraft fees: $35 for each item, up to five items per day.

This account offers a nice balance between the lower balance requirements of the TD Simple Savings account and the higher rates of the TD Preferred Savings account. You only need a $2,000 minimum balance to waive the monthly fee (compared to the Preferred Savings’ $20,000 minimum balance to waive that account’s fee).

You’re also eligible to receive a higher rate if

  1. You have a linked TD Bank account
  2. You use it to make at least a $50 recurring monthly deposit into this account

How TD Bank’s Money Market account compares

Again, TD Bank comes up well short when compared with the best money market account rates available today. Plus, you need a fairly high opening deposit to even get access to this account.

This leaves savers who are just getting started high and dry, since all TD Bank offers for these folks is their Simple Savings account that offers a miniscule interest rate (and a minimum $300 deposit to avoid the monthly fee, to boot).

Overall review

We do like TD Bank’s ease of access if you’re looking to visit an in-person branch. Their local branches generally offer good hours and are open seven days per week. But for folks who don’t live near a local branch — and that’s most of the country — you’re kind of out of luck aside from the 24-hour customer service line. And if you want to open an IRA, you’re again out of luck since this must be done in person.

Furthermore, you’ll need to keep large balances in most of TD Bank’s accounts to waive high monthly fees. In return for this, you get rock-bottom interest rates. If you want to use TD Bank, we recommend you come with a hefty amount of cash.

In general, we’re left feeling rather unimpressed with these products. You can get much better rates and terms on every single one of these accounts elsewhere, without being tricked into paying out a boatload of banking fees.

Lindsay VanSomeren
Lindsay VanSomeren |

Lindsay VanSomeren is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Lindsay here

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Best of, College Students and Recent Grads, Credit Cards

Best Student Credit Cards December 2017

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Getting a credit card while you’re in college might seem dangerous or confusing. But if you are able to use a student credit card responsibly, you do not need to be afraid, and you can set yourself up for financial success after you leave school.

Fortunately, learning how to choose and use the right student credit card is relatively simple. Make sure you avoid annual fees and go with a bank or credit union you can trust. When you get the card, make sure you use it responsibly and pay the balance in full and on time every month. If you do these things consistently over time, you can leave school with an excellent credit score. And if you want to rent an apartment or buy a car, having a good credit score is very important.

Our Top Pick

Discover it® for Students

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on Discover Bank’s secure website

Rates & Fees

Read Full Review

Discover it® for Students

Annual fee
$0
Cashback Rate
up to 5%
APR
13.99%-22.99%

Variable

Credit required
fair-credit
Fair

Best for Commuter Students

Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card for Students

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on Bank Of America’s secure website

Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card for Students

Annual fee
$0 For First Year
$0 Ongoing
Cashback Rate
1% cash back on every purchase, 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, and 3% on gas for the first $2,500 in combined grocery/wholesale club/gas purchases each quarter
APR
13.99%-23.99%

Variable

Credit required
fair-credit

Average OK

Best Flat-Rate Card

Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®

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on Capital One’s secure website

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Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®

Annual fee
$0
Cashback Rate
up to 1.25%
APR
24.99%

Variable

Credit required
fair-credit

Average Credit

Best Intro Bonus

Wells Fargo Cash Back College℠ Card

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on Wells Fargo Bank’s secure website

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Wells Fargo Cash Back College℠ Card

Annual fee
$0 For First Year
$0 Ongoing
Cashback Rate
up to 3%
APR
11.90%-21.90%

Variable

Credit required
fair-credit
Fair Credit

Best Credit Union Card

Altra Federal Credit Union Student Visa

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on Altra’s secure website

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Altra Federal Credit Union Student Visa

Annual fee
$0 For First Year
$0 Ongoing
Rewards
1 point per dollar spent
APR
14.90%

Fixed

Credit required
zero-credit
New to Credit

Best for Studying Abroad

Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card for Students

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on Bank Of America’s secure website

Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card for Students

Annual fee
$0 For First Year
$0 Ongoing
Rewards
1.5 points per dollar spent
APR
15.99%-23.99%

Variable

Credit required
fair-credit
Fair Credit, Limited Credit history

Best Secured Card

Discover it® Secured Card - No Annual Fee

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on Discover Bank’s secure website

Rates & Fees

Read Full Review

Discover it® Secured Card - No Annual Fee

Annual fee
$0
Minimum Deposit
$200
APR
23.99% APR

Variable

Credit required
bad-credit
Bad

Best for No Credit History

Deserve Edu Mastercard

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on Deserve’s secure website

Deserve Edu Mastercard

Annual fee
$0 For First Year
$0 Ongoing
Cashback Rate
1% on all purchases
APR
19.74%

Variable

Credit required
zero-credit
New to Credit

Also ConsiderAlso Consider

Golden 1 Platinum Rewards for Students

Golden 1 Credit Union Platinum Rewards for Students:

This credit card offers a snazzy rewards program: rather than accumulate points, you’ll get a cash rebate instead. All you have to do is make a purchase. At the end of the month, you’ll get a rebate of 3% of gas, grocery, and restaurant purchases, and 1% of all other purchases deposited back into your Golden 1 savings account at the end of the month. You can join Golden 1 by joining the Financial Fitness Association for $8 per year and keeping at least $5 in a savings account.

What should I look for in a student credit card?

The most important thing to consider when looking for a student credit card is that it charges no annual fee. You should never have to pay to build your credit score. Fortunately, most student cards don’t charge you an annual fee, but it’s still something to watch out for.

The second most important thing you should keep an eye out for are tools that help you learn about credit or even promote good credit-building habits. For example, some student credit cards will give you a free monthly FICO score update. You can use this freebie to see in real time how your credit score changes as you build credit history by keeping the card open, or paying down your credit card balance, for example.

The last thing you should be considering when picking out a student credit card is the rewards program. I know, I know, it seems counterintuitive. But stick with me — I’ll show you why in the next question.

Why shouldn’t I be concerned about maximizing my rewards while in college?

Rewards cards are nice to have. But if you’re a college student, here’s the truth: you probably won’t spend enough to earn meaningful rewards.

Why? With a good rewards program, you can earn points or cash back. A small percentage of your monthly spending can add up quickly. However, given the tight budget that most college students live on, it will probably take a while to earn meaningful rewards. For example, if you earn 1.25% cash back and spend $300 a month on your card, you would earn $45 of cash back during the year.

College students are very good at making good use of $45. And our favorite card offers a great cash back rewards program. Just don’t expect to earn a lot of cash back, given the tight budget of a college student.

Why should I get a credit card as a college student?

There are a lot of great reasons why you should get a credit card, as long as you can commit to using it responsibly.

The single biggest reason why you should get a credit card as a college student is because you can start establishing a credit history now. When you graduate from college, you will need a good credit score to get an apartment. And your future employer will likely check your credit report. Building a good credit history while still in college will help prepare you for life after graduation.

Getting a credit card while in college can also train you to develop good credit habits now. But you need to be honest with yourself. If you find that you can’t avoid the temptation of maxing out your credit card, you might want to switch to a debit card or cash.

Finally, getting a credit card now can be the motivation you need to start learning about credit. These skills aren’t hard to learn, and they could save you thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars later in life (when you want a mortgage, for example).

What is the CARD Act and why should I care about it?

Many years ago, credit card companies would market on college campuses. You could get a free beer mug or t-shirt in exchange for a credit card application. And you would be able to qualify for a credit card without having any income. The Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act was signed into law in May 2009 to change a number of practices.

How did the CARD Act change student credit cards?

The CARD Act made a lot of changes in how credit card issuers do business with students. One of the biggest changes was requiring students to be able to demonstrate an ability to pay. If you are under 21 and do not have sufficient income (a campus job, for example), you would need to get a co-signer.

In addition, colleges must now limit the amount of credit card marketing on campus. The days of free t-shirts and pizzas in exchange for credit card applications are gone. But that doesn’t mean it is impossible for a college student to get a credit card. Some highly reputable banks and credit unions still offer student cards. And building a good credit score while still in college is still highly recommended.

How can I protect myself from racking up debt?

When used properly, credit cards are a very convenient method of repayment. However, when not used properly, you can end up deep in credit card debt. It is important to establish a healthy relationship to credit now, with your first credit card.

You should try to ensure that you pay off your credit card bill in full and on time every month. Ideally, you should set up an automatic monthly payment. And to keep yourself on track, take advantage of alerts offered by most credit card companies. You can even get daily text messages reminding you of your balance.

How can I automate my credit card usage?

If all of this sounds confusing, don’t worry. There’s actually a way you can automate your payments so you never even have to bother with the hassle of using a credit card. All it takes is a few minutes of upfront work.

First, you’ll need at least one recurring monthly bill of the same amount, such as Netflix or Spotify. Log in to your account and set up an automatic payment each month using your credit card. Make a note of how much your monthly bill costs.

Next, log in to your bank account. Set up a second automatic payment to go to your credit card each month for the same amount as the bill. If your bank doesn’t offer the option to set up automatic payments, you may also be able to set up your credit card to automatically withdraw the amount of the bill from your bank.

Because you know this bill will be for the same amount each month (barring any price increases), you can literally just leave this running in the background each month on autopilot. You don’t even have to carry your credit card in your wallet if you don’t want to. Then, when you graduate, you’ll automatically have an improved credit score!

What happens to my student credit card when I graduate?

Congratulations! You’ve made it to the finish line. But what about your student credit card? You will have a few options once you graduate.

First, you can simply keep it. You will want to keep the credit card open, because it helps you build a long credit history. However, you might want to call your credit card company and ask if you can migrate to a standard (non-student) credit card.

But if you have been using your credit card properly, you will have an excellent credit score when you graduate – and you will be able to get any credit card that you want.

Here is a summary of our favorite cards:

Lindsay VanSomeren
Lindsay VanSomeren |

Lindsay VanSomeren is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Lindsay here

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Best of, Credit Cards

Best Credit Cards for Good Credit December 2017

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

If you’re someone with good credit you should be able to qualify for a variety of credit cards. There are cards if you want to earn cash back, earn travel rewards or complete a balance transfer. MagnifyMoney has reviewed our database of over 2,000 credit cards to find cards you can qualify for with good credit. Here are our favorite cards for people with good credit.

Best cash back credit cards

Cash back credit cards can be great tools to boost your financial position. They basically make your life just a few percentage points cheaper — who wouldn’t want that?

Watch out for the pitfalls with these rewards cards, though. Don’t talk yourself into spending more because you’ll receive cash back. If you opt for a cash back card that offers you up to 5X more points on certain categories, make sure you understand that you often have to activate the bonus categories and set up reminders for yourself if necessary.

Best flat-rate cash back

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

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on Citibank’s secure website

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Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Annual fee
$0*
Cashback Rate
1% when you buy, 1% when you pay
APR
14.49%-24.49%

Variable

Credit required
good-credit

Excellent/Good

Best 5% cash back

Discover it® - Cashback Match<sup>TM</sup>

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on Discover Bank’s secure website

Rates & Fees

Read Full Review

Discover it® - Cashback MatchTM

Annual fee
$0
Cashback Rate
5% on certain categories, 1% on everything else
APR
11.99%-23.99%

Variable

Credit required
good-credit
Good / Excellent

Also Consider

Platinum Rewards Card from Nusenda CU

Nusenda Credit Union Platinum Rewards

This card is a great choice for forgetful people who want cash back rewards. It’s one of the only cards offering revolving categories each quarter that you don’t have to opt in for; you will get these rewards automatically. This card would also be a great choice for those who want cash back rewards and don’t mind working with a credit union.

Best for big spenders in gas

Commuting can be a huge cost, especially if you live far away from your work and don’t use public transportation. If you spend a lot of money on gas each month, consider getting a cash back rewards card that gives you higher rates of return for these purchases. It’s like having an instant coupon for gas with you all the time.

Fort Knox Federal Credit Union Visa® Platinum Card

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on Fort Knox Federal’s secure website

Fort Knox Federal Credit Union Visa® Platinum Card

Annual fee
$0 For First Year
$0 Ongoing
Cashback Rate
5% back on all gas station spending, 1% on all other purchases
APR
10.25%-15.25%

Variable

Credit required
good-credit

Good

Best for big spenders in groceries

Groceries can be one of your biggest budget-busters, especially if you have a large family, a specialized diet, or live in certain parts of the country. The good news is there are certain credit cards that offer great rewards for grocery purchases. Here’s our top pick for a credit card to maximize your grocery cash back rewards.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

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on American Express Bank’s secure website

Terms Apply

Rates & Fees

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Annual fee
$95
Cashback Rate
6% at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%), 3% at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores, 1% on other purchases
APR
13.99%-24.99%

Variable

Best travel rewards credit card

Travel can seem like a pipe dream to a lot of people. Even if you do have the cash, it still stings to see that much hard-won money leaving your bank account. But with a travel rewards credit card, you can have a sort of de facto savings account specifically for travel. And with a sign-on bonus like the one for our top pick, you can be jet-setting somewhere fun and interesting as soon as a few months from now.

The information related to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has been collected by MagnifyMoney.com and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Annual fee
$0 Intro for the First Year, then $95
Rewards
2 points on travel and dining, 1 point on all other spending
APR
16.99%-23.99%

Variable

Credit required
good-credit

Good/Excellent

Best airline credit cards

One of the biggest travel expenses is airfare. Even if you don’t have specific goals to travel regularly, surprises like cross-country family emergencies or get-togethers can take a big bite out of your budget.

Before signing up for an airline-specific card, it’s helpful to know what airline options you have near you. Different airlines tend to congregate more in different parts of the country; you won’t see any Alaska Airlines planes if you live in Maine, for example.

The information related to the Southwest Airlines® Rapid Rewards® Plus Card has been collected by MagnifyMoney.com and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

Best for Southwest frequent flyers

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

Annual fee
$69 For First Year
$69 Ongoing
Rewards
2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchase
APR
16.99%-23.99%

Variable

Credit required
excellent-credit

Excellent

The information related to the United MileagePlus® Explorer Card has been collected by MagnifyMoney.com and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

Best for United frequent flyers

United MileagePlus® Explorer Card from Chase Bank

Annual fee
$0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95
Rewards
2X miles on tickets purchase from United, 1 mile on everything else
APR
16.99%-23.99%

Variable

Credit required
good-credit

Good

Best for American Airlines frequent flyers

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard<sup>®</sup>

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on Citibank’s secure website

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®

Annual fee
$95, waived for first 12 Months*
Rewards
2 AAdvantage® miles on American Airlines purchases, 1 AAdvantage® mile on everything else
APR
16.74%-24.74%

Variable

Credit required
good-credit

Good

Best for Delta frequent flyers

 Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card From American Express

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on American Express Bank’s secure website

Terms Apply

Rates & Fees

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card From American Express

Annual fee
$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
Rewards
2 miles on Delta purchases, 1 mile on everything else
APR
16.74%-25.74%

Variable

Best luxury credit card

Even though traveling is fun, it can still be a stressful experience. In between fighting throngs of crowds and cramming into airline seats, it can be enough to drive even the most ardent travel-lover insane sometimes.

The good news is you can avoid all of that with a luxury credit card. These credit cards will give you an across-the-board better travel experience, from the moment you arrive at the airport until you make it back home. Here is our top pick for a luxury credit card.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

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on American Express Bank’s secure website

Terms Apply

Rates & Fees

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Annual fee
$550
Rewards
5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel, 5X Membership Rewards® points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com
APR
-
Credit required
excellent-credit

Excellent

0% APR credit cards

If you really need to buy something moderately expensive but don’t have the cash for it yet, 0% APR purchase cards can be a great way to go. They’re basically like free short-term loans. These cards are similar to 0% balance transfer cards, but not all of them also offer you the ability to make new purchases with the free promo rates.

It’s recommended to only use these cards to buy things that you absolutely need rather than a new big-screen TV. For example, I used a 0% APR card to purchase the very computer I’m typing this on. I didn’t have $800 to spend at the time, but within a couple of months I had made enough money to pay it off in full — without having to pay a penny of interest. These cards offer great opportunities to better your life, without the extra cost — if you can pay off the card before the promo period is over.

21 months, 0% intro APR, 3% BT fee

Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

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on Citibank’s secure website

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Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

Intro BT APR
0%

promotional rate

Balance Transfer Fee
$5 or 3% of the amount of the transfer, whichever is greater
APR
14.99%-24.99%

Variable

Duration
21 months
Credit required
good-credit

Excellent/Good

15 months, 0% intro APR, $0 intro BT fee

Chase Slate<sup>®</sup>

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on Chase’s secure website

Read Full Review

Chase Slate®

Intro BT APR
0%

Introductory rate

Balance Transfer Fee
$0 intro balance transfer fee when you transfer a balance during the first 60 days your account is open. After 5% of the amount transferred, with a minimum of $5.
APR
15.99%-24.74%

Variable

Duration
15 months
Credit required
fair-credit

Average

14 months, 0% intro APR, 3% BT fee

Discover it® - Cashback Match<sup>TM</sup>

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on Discover Bank’s secure website

Rates & Fees

Read Full Review

Discover it® - Cashback MatchTM

Intro BT APR
0%

promotional rate

Balance Transfer Fee
$5 or 3% of the amount of the transfer, whichever is greater
APR
11.99%-23.99%

Variable

Duration
14 months
Credit required
good-credit
Good / Excellent

Learn more

You don’t need a perfect credit score to qualify for the best financial products. You’ll still get access to virtually all of the things an 850 credit score would unlock as long as you have a credit score of at least 760.

Good credit scores don’t happen by accident. Whether you deliberately aimed for your score or not, you have good financial management skills. However, this isn’t enough to guarantee your approval for a large number of financial products.

It’s actually possible to have a good credit score yet still be a high financial risk. For example, your credit score doesn’t take your salary into account. You could have a perfect credit score yet be unemployed with no income, in some cases.

When you apply for financial products, banks will look at your entire situation beyond just your credit score. Each bank will have their own approval criteria, and you might not pass one of them even if you have a good credit score.

Take heart, however; in general, you will be approved for most good financial products and services if you have a good credit score. But if the bank is very picky or something uncommon has happened to you (such as a recent job loss), it’s not surprising to be rejected.

Potential creditors don’t like to see a string of recent credit inquiries on your report because it might be a sign that you’re going on an out-of-control credit binge. Your score will be docked a few points per credit inquiry. This is a relatively small cut compared to more major transgressions like late payments and foreclosures, however.

When you have a poor credit score (600-648), you need every point you can get. The difference between a poor and a fair credit score is just 48 points; you need to do everything you can to gain those points and move up into the next bracket. Having a hard credit pull on your credit report will set you back even longer.

If you’ve got good credit, though, you don’t need to worry as much. You have 150 points between 700 and the maximum score of 850. That’s plenty of room to pay for small dings on your credit. You can have a hard inquiry on your credit report and still have a good credit score, unless you’re starting with a borderline good score of 700-705.

You’ve worked hard getting your score to this point, now how do you keep it there? Luckily, it’s not hard; basically, continue doing the good things you’re already doing.

Paying all of your statements on time and in full is one of the best things you can do to maintain your high credit score. A single late payment on your mortgage could set you back 60 points or more, downgrading you from good credit to average. Make sure all of your debt accounts are set up on autopay to avoid this potentially costly error.

Credit utilization (the percentage of available credit you’re using) is also one of the biggest factors in determining your credit score. The less available credit you’re using, the better. In general, a credit utilization ratio of 10% or less will boost your score the most. This means that you’ll have a credit card balance of $1,000 or less for each $10,000 of credit you have available to you.

A few minor factors will also boost your credit score, but not as much as having a good payment history and a low credit utilization ratio. Keep credit inquiries to a minimum. In order to avoid a slew of inquiries that will be reflected in your credit score, make sure companies use soft pulls if you need to shop around for the best interest rates.

Also consider keeping your oldest credit cards open and closing any newer ones you’re not using. This will increase your average credit age. In general, an average credit age of five years or more is considered best and will boost your credit score.

You don’t want to be juggling around a ton of cards you’re not using. Closing old cards sounds like a good idea until you consider one factor: It may ding your credit score.

Creditors like to see that you can effectively handle credit accounts over long periods of time. That’s why average credit age is one factor included in credit scoring models.
If you close out an old card, your average credit age might drop. This would cause a corresponding dip in your score. The effect wouldn’t be huge (not as large as a late payment, for example), but it could be there nonetheless, especially if your average credit age is five years or less (over five years is the optimal average credit age).

That’s why most experts recommend keeping your oldest credit card open. If you want to juggle fewer accounts, close any newer ones that you’re not using. Of course, if your oldest credit card charges an annual fee and you’re not using it, then go ahead and close it anyway. Paying an annual fee for a card you’re not using likely outweighs any benefits from keeping the card open for the sake of boosting your average credit age.

Furthermore, if you close your old credit card before you apply for a new card, it’s possible that your credit score will drop enough that your application will be rejected, especially if you have a borderline good credit score. In this case, it’s better to wait until after you’ve applied and been approved for the new credit card before closing your old card, if you decide to do so.

Lindsay VanSomeren
Lindsay VanSomeren |

Lindsay VanSomeren is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Lindsay here

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Best of, Credit Cards

Best Credit Cards for Fair Credit December 2017

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Having fair credit doesn’t mean you’re ineligible for great credit cards. We’ve rounded up the top credit cards with the best offers in a range of different categories that you’re still likely to be approved for, even with fair credit. These credit cards can help you build credit as long as you use them wisely. In this guide, we’ll show you the best credit cards for fair credit scores as well as how to use them to boost your credit score even higher.

Here are some of the products we will be discussing today:

Check If You’re Pre-qualified

Before applying for any credit card it’s helpful to check if you’re pre-qualified from a variety of institutions. The soft credit check the institutions perform does not harm your credit score and allows you to compare credit options. Sites such as CreditCards.com provide good tools that can match you to offers from multiple credit card companies without impacting your credit score. You can read our complete guide to getting pre-qualified for a credit card here.

Build Credit with Secured Cards

A great approach to rebuilding credit is to get a secured credit card. In order to get the card, you will have to deposit money that will be your line of credit. To effectively rebuild your credit, you must use the card, and we recommend not charging more than 20% of your credit line. For example, if you have a $500 credit line, you should not charge more than $100. Then, pay off your balance in full every single month. You can even build credit with $10 a month on a secured card and see your credit score rise.

After you’ve consistently managed your secured card well over a period of time, you may be able to increase your credit line beyond your initial deposit or migrate to an unsecured credit card.

We’ve reviewed the best secured cards in the market and found our top pick — the Discover it® Secured Card. This card has no annual fee, a reasonable security deposit and offers an easy transition to an unsecured card. In addition, Discover offers a rewards program and free access to your FICO score.

Discover it® Secured Card - No Annual Fee

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on Discover Bank’s secure website

Rates & Fees

Read Full Review

Discover it® Secured Card - No Annual Fee

Annual fee
$0
Minimum Deposit
$200
APR
23.99% APR

Variable

Credit required
bad-credit
Bad

Best for Cash Back

If you have fair credit and want a cash back card the Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Rewards credit card is a good option. As a consumer with fair credit you may not qualify for all cash back cards, but you may qualify for the Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Rewards credit card since it is made for those with fair credit. With this card you will earn unlimited cash back, with no changing categories, and the rewards never expire.

However, this card comes with a high APR and annual fee. To earn enough cash back rewards to pay for the card itself each year you’ll need to spend $2,600 annually ($217 per month). To net a cash back of $50 you need to spend $5,933 in a year ($494 per month). This card may be an option for you if you want to earn more than 1% cash back.

Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

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on Capital One’s secure website

Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Annual fee
$39
Cashback Rate
Unlimited 1.5%
APR
24.99%

Variable

Credit required
fair-credit

Average

 

Best Low Ongoing APR

No one wants to carry a balance on their credit cards, but if you must, it’s best to get a card with a low ongoing APR. Many lenders charge high APRs around 25%, but you can potentially qualify for a variable APR as low as 8.90%. This card will charge you less money on your debt than the typical credit card, which can save you big dollars in the long run.

MasterCard Platinum from Aspire FCU

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on Aspire Credit Union’s secure website

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MasterCard Platinum from Aspire FCU

Intro BT APR
0%

promotional rate

Balance Transfer Fee
$5 or 2% of the amount of the transfer, whichever is greater
APR
9.15%-18.00%

Variable

Duration
6 months
Credit required
fair-credit

Average

Best for Small Business Owners

Running a business is hard. Small business credit cards can make it a bit easier for you by giving you rewards for everyday purchases. Nevertheless, be aware: Business credit cards forego certain protections that personal credit cards have under the Credit CARD Act. For example, card issuers can change the payment due date or interest rate without giving you prior notice.

Still, small business cards can be a great option for you to build your credit and save money, even if you don’t have a traditional brick-and-mortar business. You can apply for these cards with just a DBA or even your own name, if you’re a freelancer.

Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business

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on Capital One’s secure website

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Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business

Annual fee
$0
Cashback Rate
1% on all spend
APR
23.99%

Variable

Credit required
fair-credit

Average

Best for Students

You may have a fair credit score because you are a student. Student cards provide a great way for you to build your credit score and establish good credit history. The Discover it® for Students card is made with students in mind and offers ways to help you build credit and also earn rewards.

Discover it® for Students

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on Discover Bank’s secure website

Rates & Fees

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Discover it® for Students

Annual fee
$0
Cashback Rate
up to 5%
APR
13.99%-22.99%

Variable

Credit required
fair-credit
Fair

FAQ

There’s a lot of math that goes into computing your credit scores, but at the end of the day, a fair credit score is defined as being between 649 and 699. Here’s how a fair credit score sits in relation to other credit scoring classes:

  • Excellent: Above 760
  • Good: 700-759
  • Fair/Average: 649-699
  • Poor: 600-648
  • Very Poor: Under 599

You can check your credit score for free on sites like Credit Karma, Chase Credit Journey, or AnnualCreditReport.com.

Having a good or excellent credit score unlocks a lot of advantages, such as lower interest rates and better approval odds for high-value credit cards and other financial products. These advantages will result in more dollars in your wallet at the end of the day. For example, having a high credit score can save you tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in interest payments over your lifetime, especially for big-ticket loans like a home mortgage.

But if you have a fair credit score, don’t fret! There is a reason that your score is less than optimal, and thus there are real, concrete steps you can take to boost your credit score into the good and excellent range.

If you play your cards right, you can even join the exclusive 800+ credit score club (unfortunately, it’s not an official club, and you don’t get a shower of balloons and confetti once you reach it — but you will get access to some of the most exclusive financial products).

There can be many reasons why your credit score is below 700. Here are some of the most common ones:

  • You have late payments on your credit report. Having even just one late payment on your credit report can seriously harm it because payment history makes up 35% of your credit score. Unfortunately, unless it’s an error, you’ll just need to wait for it to drop off of your credit report in seven years. To prevent this from happening, make sure all of your debt payments are set up on autopay. That way, you won’t have to worry about it.
  • You have a lot of credit card debt. Credit utilization ratio is one of the biggest factors in calculating your credit score — it affects 30% of the final score. It’s simply how much you owe relative to how much you are allowed to spend. For example, let’s say you have two credit cards with a $5,000 limit each, and you owe $2,000. Your credit utilization ratio is 20% because you owe $2,000 out of a possible $10,000. Luckily, this is one of the easiest factors to correct that will boost your credit score big time in the short run: Pay off your balance, and your score will bump up immediately.
  • You don’t have a long credit history. Although credit history doesn’t factor into the calculation of your credit score as much as the credit utilization ratio and payment history, it still makes up a sizable chunk at 15%. There’s not much you can do about this one: Simply wait for your accounts to age.
  • You have a lot of credit inquiries. Banks don’t like to see you applying for credit like an out-of-control spender in Las Vegas. Each time you apply for credit or a loan, it’s recorded on your credit report as a credit inquiry, and it stays there for two years. To minimize the number of credit inquiries you have, always shop around and make sure creditors use a soft pull credit check unless you’re absolutely ready to apply for the line of credit. This factor makes up just 10% of your credit score, but it’s an easy one you can affect as long as you’re careful about applying for credit.
  • You don’t have a wide variety of account types. You may be an ace at handling your student loans, but creditors also want to know you can handle other types of credit like mortgages and credit card debt, too. The more types of credit accounts you have on file, the better. However, we don’t recommend taking out a loan just for the sake of boosting your credit score — that costs money, and you’ll only receive a modest benefit from it because credit mix only makes up 10% of your credit score.

As you can see, you do have a lot of options when it comes to fine-tuning your credit score into the good or excellent category. We recommend the helpful credit score simulator at Chase Credit Journey to check your current score and see how these adjustments can potentially change your credit level. It’s available whether you’re a Chase customer or not. Give it a try!

Applying for a credit card is easy. You’ll need some basic information like name, address, and Social Security number. You’ll also need employment and income information. Simply enter it into the online form on the credit card company’s website, visit a branch of the bank (if they have one), or call the credit card company directly. You’ll usually receive instant notification if you’ve been approved or not.

There are many ways for you to increase your credit score. Ultimately practicing responsible credit behavior is the best way to see your score rise. Here are a few ways you can increase your credit score:

  • Have someone add you as an authorized user: If you have a willing (and very trusting) friend or family member with better credit, you can ask them to add you as an authorized user onto one or more of their credit cards. Their credit will not be harmed by this (as long as you don’t rack up charges or missed payments), and the credit card will show up on your credit report just as if you had applied for it — boosting your credit utilization ratio, number of accounts, and account age if you keep it for a long time.
  • Increase your credit history length: Unfortunately, you can’t go back in time, but you can still affect your credit history length. Your credit score is partially based off of average credit history length, and the more old accounts you have, the better. If you already have credit cards open, consider keeping them open so your average credit history won’t decrease and ding your credit. Each new credit card you get will drop your average account age, and it’ll take longer to boost this portion of your score.
  • Maintain a low credit utilization: Credit utilization (the percentage of available credit you’re using) is one of the biggest factors in calculating your credit score. The lower, the better. To decrease your utilization ratio, simply pay off your credit card. You can also request a credit limit increase from your credit card issuer to lower your credit utilization ratio — just make sure not to rack up a balance again with that extra credit or you’ll be back to square one.

Missing a payment can single-handedly cause your credit score to drop by 100 points or more. To avoid this, simply set up your credit card on autopay for the minimum amount due — that way you’ll never have to worry about missing a payment.

You can always apply for a personal loan if you need some cash right now for something. You can use this tool to shop around for the best interest rates without hurting your credit score. It’s smart to avoid hard inquiries until you’re ready to actually apply for a personal loan so that your credit isn’t dinged with multiple inquiries.

Each credit card is different, so you’ll need to check the fine print. Usually, though, you’ll need to both charge a purchase and pay off your bill before you’re eligible for those cash back rewards. Then, they’ll tally up this amount and periodically either send you a check, or offer a statement credit.

If you’re running a small business, it’s often easy to mix your personal and business accounts, especially if you’re self-employed. This creates an accounting nightmare to sort through, so it’s recommended (but not required) that you have a separate business banking account and credit card, if you need one.

Lindsay VanSomeren
Lindsay VanSomeren |

Lindsay VanSomeren is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Lindsay here

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