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The Most Convenient Credit Unions of 2018 Ranked

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Credit unions have historically had a special place in the U.S. economy. These community-based banks are, in effect, not-for-profit financial institutions owned by their depositors. That means by design credit unions have a vested interest in keeping the cost of services like loans and banking fees low for their customers, while offering competitive rates.

On the other hand, credit unions don’t enjoy the same economies of scale of larger banks, which means they struggle to afford higher costs of adopting the latest mobile banking technology or toll-free telephone banking services. So it may be fair to ask if, by joining a credit union, you may be trading lower fees for some inconveniences, such as likely incurring more out-of-network ATM fees and shorter banking hours.

In a new study, MagnifyMoney figured out which credit unions are the true standouts when it comes to offering consumers the same conveniences of a big bank.

We collected information on the 50 largest credit unions (by assets) in the U.S., and ranked their relative convenience in five separate categories:

  • Teller hours. Average hours each local branch is open per week.
  • ATM availability. Participation in both nationwide and regional surcharge-free ATM networks.
  • Telephone hours. Number of hours per week personalized teller service via phone is offered.
  • Mobile app. The user satisfaction of the credit union’s mobile app, as determined by Apple Pay and Android smartphone users.
  • Portable transaction data. The ability to download credit union transactions to personal finance applications like Quicken and Mint.com.

We found many credit unions have also used technology to their advantage, by creating services that are nearly as good as those provided at larger banks. Some credit unions even share their branches with one another, allowing, for example, a credit union member on the East Coast to use branches and ATMs from a different credit union in California.

The 15 most convenient credit unions overall

These credit unions excelled in many, if not all, of the five criteria we used to measure relative convenience. In general, they all offer longer-than-average branch hours; extended personalized telephone service (many open 24 hours); surcharge-free ATM networks; decent smartphone apps; and the ability to track your credit union transactions from applications outside of the website.

  1. Alliant
  2. Hudson Valley
  3. Wright-Patt
  4. Alaska USA
  5. BECU
  6. Redstone
  7. Delta Community
  8. PenFed
  9. Navy
  10. Wings Financial
  11. Security Service Federal Credit Union
  12. Police and Fire Federal Credit Union
  13. Suncoast Credit Union
  14. OnPoint Community Credit Union
  15. DCU

Credit unions with the longest hours

  1. Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union
  2. Police and Fire Federal Credit Union
  3. Alaska USA Federal Credit Union
  4. America First
  5. Wescom (tie) and Logix (tie)
  6. Wright-Patt
  7. Veridian
  8. Desert Schools
  9. DCU (tie) and Redwood (tie)

Traditional bank branches have been closing in droves. There are nearly 5,000 fewer bank branches today than five years ago, according to Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation data. Meanwhile, credit unions have grown their modest footprint, with the average credit union having more branches than three years ago.

One aspect that allows credit unions to artificially expand their branch reach even further is by belonging to a cooperative that offers the same services you might receive in your hometown credit union branch. The Co-op network, one of the largest, allows its member credit union to share activities like teller deposits and withdrawals at over 5,600 credit union branches nationwide.

But locally, extended hours still count, so we checked the working hours of credit union branches of the 50 largest credit unions. All but two credit unions had branches that were open on average of more than 40 hours per week.

Credit unions with 24-hour telephone service

  • Alaska USA Federal Credit Union
  • Alliant Credit Union
  • BECU
  • Delta Community Credit Union
  • First Technology Federal Credit Union
  • Navy Federal Credit Union
  • Redwood Credit Union
  • Security Service Federal Credit Union

Even 40- to 60-hour branch hours aren’t always convenient if you have, for instance, a long commute or unusual working hours yourself. So we also wanted to see how personalized phone services were at these credit unions.

We were surprised when early one New York morning we decided to call Alaska USA Federal Credit Union, where it was really early (4:30 a.m.). Nonetheless, the representative indeed answered, and confirmed that banking assistance was available 24 hours a day. (To be fair, Alaska USA also has branches on the West Coast of the continental U.S.).

But seven other credit unions also offer round-the-clock telephone assistance, which may come in handy for procrastinators, or simply those who like to bank in the dead of night.

Best credit union smartphone apps

  • Eastman Credit Union
  • ESL Federal Credit Union
  • Redstone Federal Credit Union
  • SEFCU
  • Wright-Patt Credit Union
  • Visions Federal Credit Union
  • Delta Community Credit Union
  • Wings Financial Credit Union
  • Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union
  • Kinecta Federal Credit Union

If you can live without features like sending money on a separate mobile app like Venmo, credit union apps can be just as effective as those provided by the big banks, just with a little less bling and pizazz.

We annually rank the best smartphone apps of both banks and credit unions at MagnifyMoney, but have never looked at credit union apps separately.

As it turns out, most have relatively good ratings (as defined by iPhone and Android smartphone users). Of the 10 best-scoring credit unions, all but one ranked as high or higher than apps of the three largest brick-and-mortar banks (Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo). The credit union apps have all the features of those of larger banks, like deposit-by-photo and ability to check balances without logging into the app.

In addition, all of these credit unions allow you to download your transaction history to budget apps like Quicken and Mint.com.

Best surcharge-free ATM network coverage

  • Alliant Federal Credit Union
  • Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union
  • Northwest Federal Credit Union
  • OnPoint Community Credit Union
  • Suncoast Federal Credit Union
  • Wings Financial Credit Union
  • Wright-Patt Credit Union

Banks typically charge around $3.00 for a using a non-network ATM for cash withdrawals. Often, you get dinged for fees both coming and going by using the “wrong” ATM — once by the bank that owns the machine you use, and again by your own bank. By participating in surcharge-free ATM networks like CO-OP and Allpoint, credit union members can avoid these fees.

And with these ATMs available in many drug stores and other nationwide retail chains, you can be reasonably certain you won’t incur surcharge fees on your next out-of-town trip.

Pros and cons of credit unions

Pros:

  • Lower costs, better rates. Credit unions, on average, have more favorable rates on auto loans and credit card APRs than banks overall, and offer higher yields on savings products like CDs. And fees for checking accounts and overdraft fees are lower than those of banks.
  • More willing to work with you on providing credit. Many credit unions will allow their members to appeal credit decisions if they are initially turned down for credit. They may ask you to supply additional documentation, and a committee will review your appeal.
  • Same levels of insurance as FDIC-insured banks. Credit unions have their own insurance fund, run by the National Credit Union Administration, that insures accounts at the same $250,000 levels as the FDIC. This is important because credit unions can fail just like banks. Our sister site, Deposit Accounts, notes that five Credit Unions were liquidated last year.

Cons:

  • You may not be eligible to join. Historically, to join a credit union, one had to share a “common bond” with other members of the credit union — for example, by working for the same employer, or by some other shared affiliation. While some credit unions make this requirement easy to meet by offering multiple membership paths, others still require specific employment or residency requirements.
  • A credit union mortgage may sometimes be harder to come by than one offered by a bank. Although credit unions may have more flexibility to make loans with some products, that may not always extend to home mortgages. A recent report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia notes that credit unions turn down mortgage applications more often than small banks. (They also note that credit unions have lower charge-off rates than banks, which is good news for its members).
  • Don’t expect an instant response. While nearly all banks can immediately offer you a credit decision on loans and credit card applications, don’t expect the same sort of instant gratification with a credit union. Depending on the size of the credit union, it could take a number of business days before you hear back about a credit decision.

Methodology

MagnifyMoney collected information on the 50 largest credit unions (by assets) in the U.S., and ranked their relative convenience in five separate categories:

  • Teller Hours. Average hours each local branch is open per week.
  • ATM Availability. Participation in both nationwide and regional surcharge-free ATM networks.
  • Telephone Hours. Number of hours per week personalized teller service via phone is offered.
  • Mobile App. The user satisfaction of the credit union’s mobile app, as determined by Apple Pay and Android smartphone users.
  • Portable Transaction data. The ability to download credit union transactions to personal finance applications like Quicken and Mint.com.

Each category represented 20% of the credit union’s overall score. The highest score was 90.0 (out of 100) and the lowest score was 46.6. Credit union data was collected in November 2017 for mobile app ratings, and in February 2018 for all other categories.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Chris Horymski
Chris Horymski |

Chris Horymski is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Chris at chris.horymski@magnifymoney.com

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The Best CD Rates – October 2018

Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this articles are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any lender or provider of the products listed.

The Best CD Rates
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Updated October 16, 2018

If you are looking for a better yield on your savings, a high rate CD (certificate of deposit) offered by an online bank could be a good option. Internet-only banks offer much better interest rates than traditional banks. For example, a 12-month CD at Bank of America would require a $10,000 minimum deposit and would pay only 0.07%. At an online bank, you could earn 2.55% with no minimum deposit. (If you would rather get a savings account or money market with no time restriction, look at the best savings accounts or best money market accounts).

The Best CD Rates in October 2018

This list is updated monthly, and competition continues to intensify. Here are the accounts with some of the best CD rates:

Term

Institution

APY

Minimum Deposit Amount

 

1 year

Barclays

2.55%

$0

LEARN MORE Secured

on Barclays’s secure website

Member FDIC

2 years

CD Bank

3.00%

$10,000

LEARN MORE Secured

on CD Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

3 years

KS StateBank

3.22%

$500

LEARN MORE Secured

on KS StateBank’s secure website

Member FDIC

5 years

KS StateBank

3.49%

$500

LEARN MORE Secured

on KS StateBank’s secure website

Member FDIC

See a full list of the best CD rates below.

  • 3 months – 5 years: Ally Bank – 0.75% APY – 3.00% APY; $0 minimum deposit (higher APY with higher deposit) PLUS 1% Cash Bonus*

Ally Bank
Ally is one of the largest internet-only banks in the country. Ally’s former advertising campaign made it very clear: no branches = higher rates. And Ally has consistently paid some of the highest rates in the country across savings accounts, money market accounts and CDs. For savers with fewer funds, Ally is unique. There is no minimum deposit to open a CD. However, if you have more money, you can earn a higher APY. If you have more than $25,000 to deposit, you can earn between 0.75% APY and 3.00% APY. And one of our favorite features of Ally: they often (although not always) offer preferential rates on renewal. Far too often banks give the biggest bonuses to new customers, but Ally has done a good job of rewarding its existing customers. A good example of this is a 1% cash back promotion Ally is currently offering to new and existing customers. *Between now and October 21st, new and existing customers can sign up to participate in this offer. New or existing accounts must be funded with at least $1,000 by 10/31/2018. This deposited amount must remain in the account through 1/15/2019 and Ally will give you the cash bonus on 2/15/2019. CDs are considered to be an eligible account, but if you’re an existing customer with an Ally CD, you may want to contact the bank to see how you can add funds. All deposits at Ally are FDIC insured up to the legal limit.

  • 3-months: 0.75% APY (less than $5k); 0.75% APY ($5k minimum deposit) and 0.75% APY ($25k minimum deposit)
  • 6-months: 1.00% APY (less than $5k); 1.00% APY ($5k minimum deposit) and 1.00% APY ($25k minimum deposit)
  • 9-months: 1.25% APY (less than $5k); 1.25% APY ($5k minimum deposit) and 1.25% APY ($25k minimum deposit)
  • 12-months: 2.50% APY (less than $5k); 2.50% APY ($5k minimum deposit) and 2.50% APY ($25k minimum deposit)
  • 18-months: 2.35% APY (less than $5k); 2.45% APY ($5k minimum deposit) and 2.55% APY ($25k minimum deposit)
  • 3-year: 2.50% APY (less than $5k); 2.55% APY ($5k minimum deposit) and 2.60% APY ($25k minimum deposit)
  • 5-year: 3.00% APY (less than $5k); 3.00% APY ($5k minimum deposit) and 3.00% APY ($25k minimum deposit)

LEARN MORE Secured

on Ally Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

  • 1 year – 5 years: Barclays Bank – 2.55% – 3.10% APY, no minimum deposit

12 Month Online CD from Barclays Barclays is one of the oldest banks in the world. Although they’re based in London, they do have a U.S. presence and offer competitive rates on their CDs and savings account. Currently, they’re offering some of the highest CD rates in the market, and they have an edge over the rest of the institutions on this list: they don’t require a minimum balance to earn the APY or open an account. Deposit as little or as much as you’d like into a term of your choice and you can start earning interest as long as the account is funded within 14 days of opening the CD. Additionally, your funds are insured through the FDIC.

  • 1-year: 2.55% APY
  • 2-year: 2.60% APY
  • 3-year: 2.65% APY
  • 4-year: 2.75% APY
  • 5-year: 3.10% APY

LEARN MORE Secured

on Barclays’s secure website

Member FDIC

  • 6 months – 6 years: Goldman Sachs Bank USA – 0.60% APY – 3.15% APY; $500 minimum deposit

Goldman Sachs Bank USA
Our advertiser Marcus by Goldman Sachs is the online consumer bank of Goldman Sachs Bank USA (the large investment bank). Your funds are FDIC insured, and Goldman offers very competitive rates. Even better: there is only a $500 minimum deposit. So, if you don’t have enough money to meet the minimum deposit of the other banks on this list, or you are looking for another bank for your savings, GS is a good option. It also doesn’t hurt that they also offer some of the best CD rates in the market today. Here are their rates:

  • 6-month: 0.60% APY
  • 9-month: 0.70% APY
  • 12-month: 2.55% APY
  • 18-month: 2.55% APY
  • 2-year: 2.60% APY
  • 3-year: 2.65% APY
  • 5-year: 3.10% APY
  • 6-year: 3.15% APY

LEARN MORE Secured

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

  • 6 months – 5 years: Capital One – 0.60% APY – 3.00% APY; no minimum deposit

12 Month 360 CD from Capital OneCapital One is famous for its credit card business. However, it has recently started getting aggressive with its CD rates. There is no minimum deposit for their 360 CDs, which make them comparable to Barclays’ CDs. Capital One CDs are FDIC insured, up to the federal maximum. And you get the comfort of depositing your money with a well-known bank.

  • 6-months: 0.60% APY
  • 9-months: 0.75% APY
  • 12-months: 2.50% APY
  • 18-months: 2.50% APY
  • 24-months: 2.60% APY
  • 30-months: 2.60% APY
  • 36-months: 2.70% APY
  • 48-months: 2.75% APY
  • 60-months: 3.00% APY

LEARN MORE 

Member FDIC

  • 3 months – 5 years: Synchrony Bank – 0.75% APY – 3.10% APY; $2,000 minimum deposit

Synchrony Bank
Synchrony used to be a part of GE, and now has an online bank that pays competitive rates. The online deposits are used to fund their store credit card portfolio – and the company is publicly traded. Your deposit will be insured up to the FDIC limit. In a rising rate environment, this is a great way to get a high interest rate without locking yourself into a long term.

  • 3-months: 0.75% APY
  • 6-months: 1.00% APY
  • 9-months: 1.25% APY
  • 12-months: 2.50% APY
  • 15-months: 2.75% APY
  • 18-months: 2.75% APY
  • 24-months: 2.75% APY
  • 36-months: 2.85% APY
  • 48-months: 2.95% APY
  • 60-months: 3.10% APY

LEARN MORE Secured

on Synchrony Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

  • 12-Month CD: Vio Bank – 2.65% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit

12 Month High Yield Online CD from Vio BankVio Bank is a bank subsidiary of MidFirst Bank. While Vio Bank is practically brand new, it’s backed by a financial institution that’s been around since 1911 and has acquired over $15 billion in assets. Vio Bank is currently offering one of the highest CD rates available. With a $500 minimum deposit amount, you can earn a 2.65% APY on a 12-month CD.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Vio Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

  • 1-Year CD from a Credit Union: PenFed Credit Union – 2.60% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit

12 Month Money Market Certificate from PenFed Credit UnionPenFed is a credit union that offers very competitive interest rates. You need to join the credit union in order to benefit from their products. If you have a military or government affiliation, it is free to join. Otherwise, you would need to join an organization like Voices for America’s Troops, which costs $17.00. Once you are a member, you can open PenFed products (including this certificate) online. Your deposit would be insured by the NCUA, which is the National Credit Union Administration. There is a $1,000 minimum deposit for the one-year certificate.

LEARN MORE Secured

on PenFed Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

  • 2-Year CD: CD Bank – 3.00% APY, $10,000 minimum deposit

24 Month CD from CD BankCD Bank is the online division of TBK Bank, which is located in Dallas, Texas. With the help of TBK Bank’s backing, the two institutions have over $3 billion in assets. Currently, CD Bank is offering a 24-month CD with a 3.00% APY. There is a steep minimum deposit amount of $10,000, but your deposit is FDIC-insured.

LEARN MORE Secured

on CD Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

  • 2-Year CD from a Credit Union: Communitywide Federal Credit Union – 2.90% APY, $2,000 minimum deposit

24 Month Share Certificate from Communitywide Federal Credit UnionCommunityWide Federal Credit Union was established in 1967 to provide quality financial services to those residing on the west side of South Bend, IN. Today, the credit union operates similarly even though they’ve expanded their footprint in Michigan. Thanks to their online services, however, their able to service customers nationwide. Anyone can become a member of this credit union if they are a donor member of one of their partner organizations, such as the Y.M.C.A. Once you become a member, you can apply for their 24 month CD. You’ll need to deposit $2,000 in order to earn their outstanding 2.90% APY. This account can be managed online or through their mobile app. Deposits made to Communitywide Federal Credit Union are insured by the NCUA.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Communitywide Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

  • 3-Year CD: KS StateBank – 3.22% APY, $500 minimum deposit

3 Year CD from KS StateBankKS StateBank is mainly a brick-and-mortar institution located in Kansas and Phoenix, Arizona. However, they also offer online services to reach those not in their area. Sometimes, they even offer special rates to their online customers. While this 3-year CD is not an online special, it is a term that can be opened online rather than at a branch. With a minimum deposit amount of $500, you can begin earning an APY of 3.22%. KS StateBank not only offers online banking, they also have a mobile banking app. Deposits made to this bank are FDIC-insured.

LEARN MORE Secured

on KS StateBank’s secure website

Member FDIC

  • 3-Year CD from a Credit Union: Greenwood Credit Union, 3.25% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit

Greenwood Credit Union
Greenwood Credit Union is open to anyone and everyone. The only requirement to become a member with this credit union is to open their Share Savings Account with a minimum deposit amount of $5. You’ll also have to maintain that amount in the account to remain an active member. When you go to apply for membership, you can also add that you want to open their 30 month CD. You’ll need to deposit $1,000 in order to earn their outstanding 3.25% APY. This deposit will be in addition to the $5 to open the Share Savings Account. Accounts can be managed online or through their mobile app. Deposits made to Greenwood Credit Union are insured by the NCUA.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Greenwood Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

  • 5-Year CD: KS StateBank – 3.49% APY, $500 minimum deposit

5 Year CD from KS StateBankOnce again KS StateBank lands a top spot on our list. Its 5-year CD has an APY of 3.49%, which is one of the highest currently available. You’ll only need $500 to deposit to open the account.

LEARN MORE Secured

on KS StateBank’s secure website

Member FDIC

  • 5-Year CD from a Credit Union: United States Senate Federal Credit Union – 3.51% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit

United States Senate Federal Credit Union

Despite what the name may suggest, you do not have to be a Senate employee to join the United States Senate Federal Credit Union. If you don’t meet the work or family qualifications, you can easily become a member by joining the American Consumer Council, Virginia Chapter (VACC) or by joining the U.S. Capitol Historical Society (USCHS). This credit union was established by nine employees of the United States Senate during the Great Depression. Since then, the credit union has grown to have over $717 million in assets.

Currently, the United States Senate Federal Credit Union is offering amazing rates on its 5-year CD. With a minimum deposit of $1,000, you can earn an APY of 3.51%. If you deposit more, the APY increases. The other tiers are as follows:

  • $20,000-$59,999.99: 3.57% APY
  • $60,000-$99,999.99: 3.63% APY

 

LEARN MORE Secured

on United States Senate Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

3 Questions To Ask Before You Open A CD

1. Should I just open an online savings account instead?

With a CD, the saver and the bank make stronger commitments. The saver promises to keep the funds in the account for a specified period of time. In exchange, the bank guarantees the interest rate during the term of the CD. The longer the term, the higher the interest rate – and the higher the penalty for closing the CD early. With a savings account, there are few promises. You can empty the account without paying a penalty and the bank can change the interest rate at any time.

If you have a high level of confidence that you do not need to touch the money for a specified period of time, a CD is a much better deal. However, if you think you might need to use the money in the next couple of months, a savings account is a much better idea.

You can earn a lot more interest with a CD. Imagine you have $10,000 and know that you do not need to touch the money for two years. In a high-yield savings account earning 1.60%, you would earn $322.56 over two years. If you put that money into a 2.50% CD, you would earn $508.30. Given the ease of switching to an online CD, the extra interest income is easy money.

2. What term should I select?

The early withdrawal penalties on CDs can be significant. On a 1-year CD, 90 days is a typical penalty. And on 2 and 3 year CDs, a 6-month penalty is common. The impact of the penalty on your return can be significant. If you opened a one-year CD with a 2.20% APY and closed it after six months, you would forfeit half of the interest and earned only 1.11%. You would have been better off with a savings account paying 1.95%.

The worst case scenario is with the longest CDs. 5-year CDs usually have a one-year penalty for taking out funds early. If you open a 5-year CD and close it quickly, you could actually end up losing money.

Given the early penalties, you need complete confidence that you will not need to withdrawal the money early. Ask yourself this question: “do I have 90% confidence that I will not need access to the cash during the CD term?” If you don’t have confidence, go for a shorter term or a savings account.

3. Should I consider my local bank or credit union?

The interest rates shown in this article are all from online banks that offer products nationally. Our product database includes traditional banks, community banks and credit unions. If traditional banks offered better rates, they would have been featured in this article. The internet-only banks have dramatically better interest rates. That should not be surprising. Because internet-only banks do not have branches, they are able to pass along their cost savings to you in the form of higher interest rates.

However, you can always visit your local bank or credit union and ask them to beat the rates listed in this article. The chance of getting a better deal is extremely low (remember that Bank of America is only paying 0.07%), but you can try.

How To Find The Best Account

If you don’t find an account that meets your needs in this article, you can use the MagnifyMoney CD tool to find the best rate for your individual needs. Input your zip code, deposit amount and term. The tool will then provide you with CD options, from the highest APY to the lowest.

You can learn more about us and how we make money here.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Nick Clements
Nick Clements |

Nick Clements is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Nick at nick@magnifymoney.com

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Earning Interest

Best Money Market Rates & Accounts – October 2018

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Updated October 15, 2018

Traditional banks are paying very low interest rates on money market accounts. For example, BB&T pays between 0.01% and 0.04% APY. Fortunately, you do not need to settle for such ridiculously low rates. You can easily find the best money market rates at internet banks paying 1.85% or more. If you put $50,000 into BB&T’s account at 0.04%, you will only earn $20 of interest over one year. That same money in an account paying 1.85% would earn you $925 of interest. And you can typically open and fund an online money market account in less than 10 minutes. Also, the differences between savings accounts and money market accounts are narrowing because rates on money market account are increasing each year. You can currently earn the same top rate with a savings account from one bank and a money market account from another.

MagnifyMoney searches over 12,000 banks and credit unions to find the money market accounts paying the highest interest rates. Competition has been increasing and there is a pricing war. As a result, this month there are a lot of new names on the list (many of which you probably will not recognize). Here are the best rates for October 2018:

1. Favorite Online Package: Ally – 0.90% APY, no minimum deposit, link to free checking, and 1% cash bonus*

Online Savings Account from Ally BankAlly Bank is a very popular internet-only bank. If you keep a daily balance of $5,000 or less, you will earn the 0.90% APY. If you’re able to keep a minimum daily balance of $25,000 the APY increases to 1.00%. Although the interest rate on the money market account is not the highest, Ally does offer a very competitive overall package – particularly if you link the account to an Ally checking account. The checking account has no minimum balance and no monthly fee. You can link your money market account to your checking account to provide overdraft protection. Money would be transferred to your checking account with no transaction fee if you ever made a mistake. Also, Ally is currently offering a 1% cash bonus to new and existing customers. *Now through October 21st, new and existing customers can sign up to particpate in this offer. You’ll need to deposit at least $1,000 into a qualifying account, like this money market account, by October 31st to be eligible for the 1% cash bonus. You can either fund the account from another bank or move the money from an existing Ally account. The deposited funds must remain in the account through 1/15/2019 in order to receive the 1% cash bonus, which will be dispersed on 2/15/2019. A detailed description of how Ally’s 1% cash bonus works can be found here. You would be able to access your money market account with your Ally ATM card, which has free AllPoint access and up to $10 of non-Ally ATM fees reimbursed every month. This money market account is a nice way to provide yourself with overdraft protection while earning interest. If you don’t need check-writing capabilities on your savings, you would still be better off with Ally’s savings account.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Ally Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

2. Capital One – 1.85% APY, $10,000 minimum balance to earn APY

360 Money Market from Capital OneYou may think of credit cards when you think of Capital One, but don’t overlook their deposit accounts. The 360 Money Market account currently comes with a great 1.85% APY. While the bank doesn’t require you to have a minimum amount to open the account, you will have to maintain a balance of $10,000 or more to earn their high rate. If your balance falls below that amount, you’ll earn an APY of 0.85%. We really like that Capital One doesn’t impose any monthly fees, and while they don’t offer checks, they do provide you with an ATM card that you can use to withdraw up to $1,000 per day. While you’re able to make an unlimited amount of withdrawals from an ATM per month, remember that you’re limited to making six certain transfers and withdrawals per cycle due to Federal Law. To access this account, you may do so online, in person, or on-the-go through Capital One’s mobile app.

LEARN MORE 

Member FDIC

3. Highest Overall Rate: BankPurely – 2.25% APY, $25,000 minimum balance, ATM access

BankPurely
BankPurely, a division of Flushing Bank, currently offers a 2.25% APY on their money market account. You’ll have to either deposit a minimum amount of $25,000 or grow your balance to that amount in order to earn interest. If you’re not able to deposit that amount, you may want to go with VirtualBank or Sallie Mae since they have the same rate for a lower deposit amount. However, BankPurely does provide an ATM card, which gives you access to surcharge-free ATMs within the Allpoint Network. Just keep in mind that you’ll be limited to withdrawing $1,000 per business day. Per Federal law, you’ll also be restricted to making six transfers per month. You’ll have access to online banking as well as to their mobile banking app to manage your account. Plus, if you open an account with BankPurely, they’ll plant a tree.

LEARN MORE Secured

on BankPurely’s secure website

Member FDIC

4. High Rate: Bank7 – 2.05% APY, $5,000 minimum balance, checks and ATM access available

Bank 7
Bank7, established in 1901, originated in Oklahoma, but has been expanding its reach to Kansas, Texas, and now online. In addition to their original banking products, they have created accounts that specifically suit the needs of online consumers. One of those accounts is their High Rate Online Money Market. This account requires $5,000 to open and awards accountholders with a 2.05% APY. The account comes with check writing capabilities as well as the option to get a Visa debit card, which will provide you free access to Bank7 ATMs as well as to Allpoint Network ATMs. One downside to this account is that if the balance falls below $5,000, you’ll be hit with a $15 charge each month your balance falls below that amount. In addition to their online banking platform, they also have a mobile app.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Bank 7’s secure website

Member FDIC

5. High Rate: Virtual Bank – 2.01% APY, no minimum balance to earn APY

eMoneyMarket from Virtual BankVirtual Bank, a division of IBERIABANK, is currently offering an introductory rate on their money market account that is the highest available. This rate is guaranteed for 12 months and will adjust to the standard rate that is in effect at the time. New customers can earn the 2.01% APY by depositing a minimum of $100. While there isn’t a minimum balance requirement to earn the APY, there is a balance requirement to avoid incurring the $5 monthly service fee. All you’ll have to do is maintain a daily minimum balance of $100 and they’ll waive the monthly fee. While this account doesn’t have any check writing capabilities, you can easily move money in and out of the account via ACH. Virtual Bank has a mobile app, that has the mobile check deposit feature, in addition to their online banking platform.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Virtual Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

6. Top Choice: Sallie Mae – 2.12% APY, no minimum balance and checks available

Money Market from Sallie Mae BankIf you have student loan debt, you probably are not very excited to see Sallie Mae at the top of this list. However, many people are unaware that Sallie Mae also operates an internet-only FDIC-insured bank with some of the best interest rates in the country. You can earn 2.12% APY, compounded daily and paid monthly. There is no minimum balance and no monthly maintenance fees. You will have check-writing capabilities (although the standard money market limit of six per month applies to this account). The easiest (and best) way to fund and access your funds is via electronic transfer from your existing checking account. If you want a simple account with no fees and check access – this is a good bet. Sallie Mae has just recently increased the APY, making this one the best rates in the country.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Sallie Mae Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

7. High Rate: CIT Bank – 1.85% APY, $100 minimum balance amount

Money Market Account from CIT Bank CIT Bank recently launched a money market account with a 1.85% APY. You only need $100 to open the account and start earning the APY, and they don’t charge any monthly maintenance fees. If you appreciate the option to write checks with your money market account, or use a debit or ATM card to withdraw funds, this account may not be for you. You can fund the account with ACH, mobile check deposit, or by mailing a check directly to the bank. Accessing funds can be easily done through their online banking platform or mobile banking app. Just keep in mind that due to federal regulations, you’re not able to conduct more than six transactions in a statement cycle. CIT Bank will charge a $10 fee for each additional transaction. While CIT is a thriving bank, you can be assured that your funds are protected by the FDIC up to the legal limit.

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on CIT Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

8. High Rate: ableBanking – 1.85% APY, $250 minimum balance, but no check-writing

Money Market Savings from ableBankingableBanking is a division of Northeast Bancorp, a community bank headquartered in Maine since 1872. The bank has over $1 billion in assets, and your deposit would be FDIC insured up to the legal limit. At 1.85% APY, this is the highest money market rate that we have been able to find (from a bank) in the country. There is a minimum deposit of $250, no monthly fee and you do not need to be a resident of Maine (any US resident can open an account). Unfortunately, the account does not come with check-writing privileges and there is no ATM access. You can deposit and access your funds via ACH (electronic transfer), which can take a couple of days. Just remember: there is a limit of 6 withdrawals per calendar month. When we called to ask questions about the account, we could reach a customer service representative very quickly. This is a good option from a small bank with a great high rate.

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on AbleBanking’s secure website

Member FDIC

9. High Rate: TIAA Bank – 1.80% APY, $5,000 minimum to open, ATM access, 1st year intro rate

Yield Pledge Money Market - 1st Year Intro Rate from TIAA BankTIAA Direct and EverBank recently merged to create TIAA Bank. Currently, the bank is offering a 1st year intro rate on its Yield Pledge Money Market account. If you have $5,000 to open the account, you’ll receive a 1.80% APY. After the first year, the APY drops depending on your account balance. Fortunately, the APY won’t fall below 1% even if you have a really low balance and TIAA Bank promises to always have yields within the top 5% of its competition. Some other perks of this account are that it doesn’t have a monthly account fee and allows you to have access to ATMs via a Visa debit card. In addition to doing all of your banking online, you’ll be able to manage your account on TIAA Bank’s mobile app.

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on TIAA Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

10. High Rate: EBSB Direct – 1.80% APY, $10,000 minimum balance, checks and ATM access available

EBSB Direct
East Boston Savings Bank, or EBSB Direct, is a fairly large bank located in Massachusetts. They have over $5 billion in assets and have only been around since 1991. Currently, they’re offering a 1.80% APY on their money market account. While you’ll only need $2,500 to open the account, you’ll have to have a minimum balance amount of $10,000 to earn the APY. If you have a balance between $10 and $10,000, you’ll earn an APY of 0.50%. While this account does come with Visa debit card and checks, they do charge a monthly maintenance fee of $8 if you’re not able to maintain a minimum daily balance amount of $2,500 during the statement cycle. You’ll be limited to six transfers per statement cycle per Regulation D and if you exceed that amount of transfer, EBSB Direct will charge $15 per additional transfer. While they offer online banking, they don’t currently have a mobile banking app.

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on EBSB Direct’s secure website

Member FDIC

11. High Rate: Self-Help Credit Union – up to 1.71% APY, $500 minimum deposit and minimum balance

Money Market from Self-Help Credit UnionSelf-Help is a credit union that anyone can join. If you don’t live, work or worship in one of their eligible counties, you can join by donating $5 to the Center for Community Self-Help. The contribution is tax deductible and will make you eligible for credit union membership. (You can learn more about how to join the credit union here.) At a credit union, your funds are insured up to $250,000 – but it is by the NCUA instead of the FDIC. The money market offers an APY of 1.71% on balances from that are at least $500. You also need to maintain the balance during the month – otherwise you will be charged a monthly maintenance fee. You are allowed 6 free withdrawals or transfers from the account each month (including checks).

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on Self-Help Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Special Mention: Great Rate for Small Deposits: Premier Members Credit Union – 4.00% APY up to $2k

Premier Members Credit Union

Premier Members Credit Union is open to anyone willing to make a $5 donation Impact on Education, a charity for the Boulder Valley School District. This credit union is currently offering an incredible rate of 4.00% with only $5 to open the account. You can earn this APY on balances up to $2,000. Amazingly, even if you grow the balance up to $5,000, you’ll earn 1.49% APY. As the balance increases, the APY decreases to the following:

  • $5,000.01-$10,000: 0.75%
  • $10,000.01-$50,000: 0.50%
  • $50,000.01-$100,000: 0.40%
  • $100,000.01-$250,000: 0.35%
  • $250,000.01+: 0.30%

Premier Members Credit Union rewards low balance savers by placing the highest rate with the lowest deposit, but if the balance grows they start using a reverse tier system where they blend the APY as the balance grows. Checks are available with this account, but you can only make six withdrawals per month. Each additional withdrawal will be assessed a $10 fee.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Premier Members Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

3 Questions To Ask Before Opening A Money Market Account

1. Should I open a savings account or a money market account?

Many years ago, money market accounts were higher risk and paid higher returns. The financial crisis of 2008 changed all of that. Money market accounts are now FDIC-insured up to the legal maximum ($250,000 per institution per individual). Interest rates are now very similar – and there is no material difference. In other words – choose whichever account you want.

In general, you tend to get slightly lower interest rates on money market accounts because you have check-writing capabilities. The best savings accounts pay at least 1.50% APY – very similar to the rates on this page. But at Ally, for example, you can get 1.35% APY on a savings account (no check-writing) and 0.90% on the money market account (with check writing).   

We have written a full explanation of the difference between money market and savings accounts here.

2. Am I willing to make a longer term commitment? 

Savings accounts and money market accounts pay much lower interest rates than CDs. Right now you can easily get a 1-year CD paying 1.85% APY (with only a $2,000 minimum). You can find the best CD rates here. If you build a CD ladder, you can take advantage of 5-year rates that are now as high as 3.00%.

Money market accounts are great places to keep money that you might need immediately. But the interest rate on a money market account can change right away, at the bank’s discretion. To lock in a higher interest rate, you should consider a CD. If you need to get access to your CD early, would forfeit interest (typically from 3-6 months). In most circumstances, putting more of your money into CDs can really help boost your returns.

3. Is a money market account the same as a money market fund? 

No, money market accounts (offered by FDIC-insured banks) are not the same as money market funds (most likely sold by your broker). In fact, we really don’t know why people even buy money market funds in the current environment.

For example, Vanguard offers the Prime Money Market Fund. Like other money market funds, this one “invests in short-term, high-quality securities.” Its objective is to keep the fund trading at $1 and generate a decent return. Right now that return is 1.00% – a bit lower than the returns you see from the money market accounts listed in this article. However, money market funds do not have FDIC insurance.

Most people compare the return of a money market fund (sold by their broker) to the interest rate paid by a traditional bank (0.03%, sold by their local bank teller). As a result, they are willing to take the risk of a money market fund. However, as you can see from the best money market accounts in this article, you can get FDIC insurance and beat the return of most funds. Why earn 1.00% with no FDIC-insurance when you can easily earn 1.60% and have FDIC insurance.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Nick Clements
Nick Clements |

Nick Clements is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Nick at nick@magnifymoney.com

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Earning Interest

Top 10 Jumbo Money Market Accounts

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Jumbo money market accounts
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What is a jumbo money market account?

When you’re saving money, you want to make sure you’re stashing it in the right place. Ideally, that will be in an account with a high rate of return. While savings accounts tend to offer a higher return than checking accounts, money market accounts  — which are FDIC-insured up to $250,000, unlike money market funds — may yield an even higher rate of return.

That’s if you know where to find the best rates.

The money market accounts that offer the highest returns are known as jumbo money market accounts. In the past, these high-yielding accounts could have minimum initial deposits as much as $100,000, but today, you can get these higher rates with a much lower initial investment and sometimes there’s no minimum at all.

In this roundup, we’ll explore the top rates.

Capital One 360, 1.85% APY, $10,000 Minimum Deposit

Capital One
Capital One offers savings accounts, checking accounts, certificates of deposit (CDs), individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and, of course, money market accounts.

If you open a 360 Money Market Account and deposit at least $10,000, your money will earn 1.85% APY. While there is technically no minimum amount required to open one of these accounts, if you have less than $10,000, you will only earn 0.85% APY. You can find higher paying basic savings accounts elsewhere or another good option to consider would be their 360 Savings Account which earns 1.00% APY regardless of balance, until you are able to hit the $10,000 threshold.

While 360 Money Market Account does not come with any fees, it also does not come with any checks. It does come with a debit card, which you can get after the account has been opened. You may withdraw money through an ATM. Just keep in mind that you’ll be restricted to six certain transfers and withdrawals per month due to federal law. You can easily access your account through Capital One’s online portal, mobile app, or you can call to speak to one of their representatives.

LEARN MORE 

Member FDIC

BankPurely, 2.25% APY, $25,000 Minimum Deposit

BankPurely
BankPurely is a division of Flushing Bank. Built to attract conscious consumers focused on an ethical lifestyle, this division attempts to build the “community” aspect of a community bank online rather than in person. One of their social initiatives is planting one tree for every new account opened.

To open a PurelyMoneyMarket account with BankPurely, you must have an initial deposit of $25,000. You will be required to keep your account balance at or above $25,000 to earn the account’s 2.25% APY. You will be able to withdraw money using online services and a debit card, but remember to keep it below the six withdrawal per month limit.

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on BankPurely’s secure website

Member FDIC

KeyBank, 2.20% APY, $25,000 Minimum Deposit

KeyBank
KeyBank offers one of the highest APY money market accounts — at least during the initial twelve-month promo period. During the first year, money market accounts with balances between $25,000 and $2,000,000 earn an APY of 2.20%. Unfortunately, this rate may not be available in all markets, so make sure you enter your zip code to get the rate that pertains to your location. Also, you must open a checking account with KeyBank to qualify for this promotion.

After the promotional period is over, your rates will drop to 0.12% APY for balances over $25,000 as long as you have an average of at least one deposit and eight withdrawals from your KeyBank checking account during the past three statement periods. At this point, amounts under $25,000 will earn 0.10% APY.

Whether you’re in the promotional period or not, you will be charged an $18 monthly maintenance fee. You will also be charged a $15 fee every time you make more than six withdrawals from your money market account in any given statement period.

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on KeyBank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Bank7, 2.05% APY, $5,000 Minimum Deposit

Bank 7
Bank7 is based in Oklahoma but has branches in Texas and Kansas as well. It also offers access to its deposit products online nationwide.
To open a high-yielding money market account at Bank7, you must have a minimum deposit of at least $5,000. From there, your account will earn 2.05% APY until your balance reaches $1 million. Then, you’ll stop earning interest. If your daily balance drops below $5,000, you will be charged a $15 fee per month.
To take money out of your account, you can use a debit card or online transfer. As with all of the accounts on our list, you will only be able to make six withdrawals/transfers per month. If you make more than six withdrawals in a monthly statement cycle, Bank7 will charge you a $3 fee each time you take out more money.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Bank 7’s secure website

Member FDIC

North American Savings Bank, 2.02% APY, $50,000 Minimum Deposit

North American Savings Bank

North American Savings Bank is headquartered in Missouri, but offers products online nationwide. The minimum deposit on North American Savings Bank’s money market account is only $1,000, but if you want to earn the 2.02% APY on your balance, you must keep it at or above that $50,000 threshold. If you do deposit the minimum amount, you can still earn a decent APY of 1.77%. If you balance grows anywhere between $25,000 and $49,999, the APY will increase to 2.02%. You will have online banking capabilities for withdrawals — up to six per month. This account comes with no monthly maintenance fees as long as you maintain a minimum balance of $1,000.

It is important to note that this account is an online only special and is subject to change without any notice.

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on North American Savings Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

VirtualBank, 2.01% APY, $100 Minimum Deposit to Open

eMoneyMarket from Virtual BankVirtualBank is based in Louisiana but mainly offers access to its deposit products online nationwide.

To open a high-yielding money market account at VirtualBank, you must have a minimum opening deposit of at least $100. From there, your account will earn 2.01% APY for the first year. Then, the APY will drop to 0.80%. If your daily balance drops below $100, you will be charged a $5 fee per month.

To take money out of your account, you can conduct an online transfer. As with all of the accounts on our list, you will only be able to make six withdrawals/transfers per month. If you make more than six withdrawals in a monthly statement cycle, VirtualBank will charge you a $15 fee each time you take out more money.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Virtual Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Sallie Mae, 2.12% APY, No Minimum Deposit

Sallie Mae Bank
Sallie Mae is probably best known for underwriting mortgages and student loans. However, they also offer deposit accounts direct to consumers.

For example, their high-yield money market account pulls in 2.12% APY with no monthly maintenance fees and no minimum upfront deposit. You can write checks from this account, but keep in mind that you’ll have to stay below six withdrawals per month. If you don’t you’ll be charged a $10 excessive transaction fee. This fee will be applied for each withdrawal after six in a statement period, up to $70 per period. If you make more than seven excessive transactions, the additional $10 fees will be applied to the following month’s statement.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Sallie Mae Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

CIT Bank, 1.85% APY, $100 Minimum Deposit

CIT Bank
CIT Bank focuses on banking for businesses, but it does also have consumer products via its online portal and a series of brick-and-mortar locations in Southern California. One of the consumer products accessible online is their high-yield money market account.

With a low minimum deposit of $100, CIT Bank’s money market account still earns a respectable 1.85% APY. You can withdraw your money through People Pay — a free service which allows you to direct the money toward a specific email address or phone number. But remember, you can only make six withdrawals per month. If you go over this amount, you will be charged $10 for each additional withdrawal in a statement cycle, up to $50.

There are no monthly maintenance fees with this account.

LEARN MORE Secured

on CIT Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

ableBanking, 1.85% APY, $250 Minimum Deposit

ableBanking
AbleBanking is an offshoot of Northeast Bank, which is based in the state of Maine. While Northeast Bank has been in business since 1872, ableBanking — which has no physical locations and is based completely online — was launched in 2012.

With no monthly maintenance fees, any amount saved in one of ableBanking’s high-yield money market accounts will earn 1.85% APY. To open one of these accounts, you only need a minimum initial deposit of $250.

If you take money out of your account more than six times in a statement cycle, you will be billed a $10 excess fee for each additional withdrawal. If you do this more than twice within a 12-month period, ableBanking may close your account. You can make these withdrawals online, or pay a $20 fee for a wire transfer.

When you join ableBanking as a new customer, the institution will make a $25 donation out of their own pocket to a charity of your choice. To claim this perk, fill out this form, designating which 501(c)(3) you would like to receive the donation.

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on AbleBanking’s secure website

Member FDIC

State Bank of Texas, 1.85% APY, $100,000 Minimum Deposit

State Bank of Texas (SBT)

State Bank of Texas is a family owned and operated bank with a rich history. This bank was built by a man who immigrated to America from India in the hopes of attaining the American Dream. Once he overcame the challenge of acquiring enough capital to open the bank, he opened the bank’s doors on October 19, 1987 – a day known as Black Monday due to the crash of the stock market. With only one employee on the payroll, and a lot of help from his family, the bank successfully made it through one of the worst economic times in history. Today, the bank has thrived with its lending solutions and is quickly becoming a competitor in the deposits space.

To open a jumbo money market account with State Bank of Texas, you must have an initial deposit of $100,000. You will be required to keep your account balance at or above $100,000 to earn the account’s 1.85% APY. You will be able to withdraw money using online services, but remember to keep it below the six withdrawal per month limit.

LEARN MORE Secured

on State Bank Of Texas (SBT)’s secure website

Member FDIC

How these jumbo money market accounts’ rates compare with regular money market rates

Jumbo money market accounts are typically called jumbo because they require a significant deposit to earn the top rate. You may have noticed that many of these accounts do not necessarily have the label “jumbo” attached to them. This is because with the advent of online banking, more and more financial institutions are passing along the savings they incur from not having to maintain brick-and-mortar locations on to their customers via higher returns on products like money market accounts.

For that reason, you’ll notice that many of the highest-yielding accounts on this list can also be found on our Best Money Market Rates & Accounts lineup.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Brynne Conroy
Brynne Conroy |

Brynne Conroy is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Brynne here

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Earning Interest

Review of USAA CD Rates

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

USAA CD rates
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Founded and based in San Antonio, USAA is an FDIC-insured bank, insurance and financial services company that serves current and former military members and their families. Started by 25 U.S. Army officers, USAA has since grown to more than 11 million members. Most of their products are only available to USAA members, who are military members or their families.

USAA won a number of awards in 2016, including the title World’s Most Ethical Company from the Ethisphere Institute. It scored top rankings in the bank, insurance, and credit card categories in the Temkin Customer Service Ratings from 2013 to 2016.

Looking beyond high customer service standards, USAA CD rates are pretty comparable to the national average, though with some products they are significantly lower. Minimum deposit requirements are lower than with many similar products, though there are CDs out there with better rates and lower minimum deposits than USAA’s CDs. If you’re a member of the military (or a family member of military member) and looking for a bank that offers a wide variety of products as well as excellent customer service, USAA could be a good bet if you’re will to make the tradeoff for lower CD rates.

*All rates are current as of 10/8/2018

USAA Fixed-Rate CDs

A USAA fixed-rate CD is for those who intend to make one deposit to get a guaranteed rate of return over the agreed-upon term. Once you make your initial deposit (which differs depending on the type of CD you choose), your interest rate is set for the duration of the CD term. You are not allowed to make any additional deposits into your CD account after the initial amount.

Interest accumulates daily, and you have the choice to keep any interest earned in the CD until it matures (the interest will compound monthly) or have it paid out monthly to an account of your choosing. The CD will not be renewed automatically once it matures, though you have the option to do so if you want. If not, all the money in the account will be paid into an investment account until you withdraw it or invest it in another type of account.

Early-withdrawal penalties apply depending on the term of your CD:

  • Terms of 30 days or less: 30 days’ worth of interest
  • 30 days to 364 days: 90 days’ interest
  • 365 days to five years: 180 days’ interest
  • Five years or more: 365 days’ interest

Also, if you make a withdrawal within six calendar days of a deposit or another withdrawal, you’ll have to pay at least seven days’ worth of interest.

LEARN MORE Secured

on USAA Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Standard rates

A standard CD requires a minimum deposit of $1,000 and up to a maximum of $95,000. This type of account is best for those who do not have a large amount of money to invest and want a guaranteed rate for their savings.

CD Term

APY

91 days

0.30%

182 days

0.56%

7 months

0.56%

270 days

0.66%

1 year

0.71%

15 months

0.71%

18 months

0.76%

2 years

1.51%

30 months

1.54%

3 years

1.71%

4 years

1.87%

5 years

2.12%

7 years

2.17%

USAA fixed jumbo CD rates

Fixed jumbo CDs require a minimum deposit of $95,000 and a maximum amount up to $175,000.

CD Term

APY

30 days

0.22%

91 days

0.35%

120 days

0.45%

150 days

0.50%

182 days

0.61%

7 months

0.61%

270 days

0.71%

1 year

0.76%

15 months

0.76%

18 months

0.81%

2 years

1.56%

30 months

1.59%

3 years

1.76%

4 years

1.92%

5 years

2.17%

7 years

2.22%

USAA fixed super jumbo CD rates

Fixed super jumbo CDs require a minimum deposit of at least $175,000 with no maximum amount. However, FDIC only insures up to $250,000.

CD Term

APY

30 days

0.22%

91 days

0.35%

120 days

0.45%

150 days

0.50%

182 days

0.61%

7 months

0.61%

270 days

0.71%

1 year

0.76%

15 months

0.76%

18 months

0.81%

2 years

1.56%

30 months

1.59%

3 years

1.76%

4 years

1.92%

5 years

2.17%

7 years

2.22%

USAA Adjustable-Rate CDs

Like the fixed-rate CDs, the interest rate is locked for the entirety of the agreed term with an adjustable-rate CD. All interest is compounded daily starting on your settlement date (the actual date when your deposit goes into your account) and the interest either paid out monthly or kept in the account until your CD matures. Your CD will not be automatically renewed. Instead the money will be put into an investment account until you decide to put it back into another CD account or withdraw the entire balance.

Unlike with the fixed-rate CD, however, you can adjust your rate once during your CD term as well as make one other deposit when you request a rate adjustment. If rates go up, you can make an adjustment up to a 2 percent increase. The additional deposit needs to be a minimum of $25.

Early-withdrawal penalties are the same as with the fixed-rate CD:

  • Terms of 30 days or less: 30 days’ worth of interest
  • 30 days to 364 days: 90 days’ interest
  • 365 days to five years: 180 days’ interest
  • Five years or more: 365 days’ interest

In addition, you will be required to pay at least seven days’ worth of interest if you withdrawal money within six calendar days of either a deposit or another withdrawal from your account.

Standard rates

The minimum opening deposit for an adjustable standard CD account is $1,000. You’re allowed up to a maximum of $95,000. Otherwise, you will need to open an adjustable jumbo CD account.

CD Term

APY

3 years

0.91%

4 years

1.22%

5 years

1.49%

7 years

1.54%

Jumbo rates

Adjustable Jumbo CDs need a $95,000 minimum deposit and rates are applicable up to $175,000.

CD Term

APY

3 years

0.96%

4 years

1.27%

5 years

1.54%

7 years

1.59%

Super jumbo rates

Adjustable super jumbo CDs have a minimum deposit of $175,000 with no limits on how much you can keep in your account. Keep in mind that FDIC insures up to $250,000 in your account.

CD Term

APY

3 years

0.96%

4 years

1.27%

5 years

1.54%

7 years

1.59%

As of 8/6/2018

USAA variable-rate CDs

This type of CD account is best suited to those who want the ability to make more than one deposit any time they choose. The rate tends to be lower than the other CDs of the same term length, but you are allowed to make as many additional deposits as you like without extending the maturity date, as long it’s $25 or more each time. This could help you earn more on your deposits than you would with a traditional savings account, though there are better rates to be had among those products, as well.

Unlike the fixed- and adjustable-rate CDs, the interest rate on a variable-rate CD may fluctuate daily so earnings may be affected. However, interest is compounded daily and just like the other CD accounts and you can either keep earned interest with the CD balance and allow the interest to compound, or you can have it paid out to another account every month.

There are also early-withdrawal penalties with a variable rate CD. You’ll be charged 30 days’ worth of interest if you take your money out before the maturity date.

CD Term

APY

Minimum Deposit Amount

182 days

0.46%

$250

1 year

0.46%

$250

Overall review on USAA’s CD rates

Above all, it’s important to remember that only USAA members can get its products, so if you’re not eligible for membership, USAA CDs aren’t an option for you.USAA’s CD rates are not as competitive as other institutions’ products (you can see the best CD rates in our monthly roundup). While the $1,000 minimum deposit requirement is lower than some other banks that offer higher APYs on their CDs, you can get a better CD rate on accounts with deposit requirements as low as $500. While the rates for jumbo and super jumbo CDs are better than its standard offers, you can find better rates.

One of the main advantages of opening a CD with USAA is the ability to bump up your rate with an adjustable-rate CD, as other banks don’t always offer this option.. It’s important to note that a rate increase is not guaranteed. However, you are given an opportunity to make another deposit into your account before maturity.

As for USAA’s variable-rate CD, you may be better off opening a high-interest savings account if you’re looking for an account with a good APY and some liquidity.

Overall, if you want a bank with excellent customer service and the ability to choose from a wide variety of services, USAA is a good option. USAA may be your best choice if you want your CDs at a bank that understands needs specific to military members and their families. But if high yields are your priority, you’re better off looking elsewhere.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Sarah Li Cain
Sarah Li Cain |

Sarah Li Cain is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Sarah Li here

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Earning Interest

Top Jumbo CD Rates for October 2018

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Jumbo CD rates
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In the banking world, CD stands for certificate of deposit. This is a type of savings account where you agree to put a certain amount of money in for a set period of time. In return, the bank agrees to pay you interest. You may have to pay early-withdrawal penalties if you access your money before the CD term ends.

There is a type of CD called a jumbo CD, in which you generally have to put in a minimum deposit of $100,000. Sometimes these jumbo CDs have higher interest rates than CDs where you deposit less than $100,000.

Best CD Rate Currently Available: Barclays Bank – 12-Month CD – 2.55% APY

Barclays Bank is currently offering one of the highest CD rates available on a 1-year CD. While this CD is technically not a jumbo CD, it offers a rate that is too good to pass up at a lower minimum deposit than a jumbo CD. You can earn the 2.55% APY with any amount as this account doesn’t have a minimum balance. This high rate will be locked in for the duration of the term once the account is funded.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Barclays’s secure website

Member FDIC

Your deposit is FDIC-insured up to the maximum limit.

The top jumbo CD rates

To compile a list of the top jumbo CD rates, we used information from DepositAccounts.com, which, like MagnifyMoney, is a LendingTree company. We sorted products by APY. Then, we excluded any institutions with a health rating below a B, as well as any credit unions with very restrictive membership requirements. If there was a tie between APYs, we chose the CD with a minimum deposit of $100,000. All products on this list are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) or the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), but with jumbo CDs, it’s especially important to remember that only deposits up to $250,000 are insured.

Keep in mind that other banks might offer a CD with a better APY and a lower minimum deposit than $100,000. However, the chart below reflects the true definition of a jumbo CD, which involves a deposit of $100,000 or more.

This table is updated as of October 4, 2018, but it’s always a good idea to double-check the annual percentage yield (APY) before making your choice of where to invest. Some banks on the list offer promotional APYs, so be sure to check that the rates below are still available since rates can change day to day.

Institution

CD Term

APY

Minimum Deposit Amount

M.Y. Safra Bank

3 months

1.25%

$100,000

My eBanc

6 months

2.20%

$100,000

My eBanc

1 year

2.53%

$100,000

KS StateBank

18 months

2.75%

$100,000

KS StateBank

2 years

3.10%

$100,000

KS StateBank

3 years

3.22%

$100,000

KS StateBank

4 years

3.35%

$100,000

KS StateBank

5 years

3.49%

$100,000

As of October 4, 2018

Banks that offer the best jumbo CD rates

M.Y. Safra Bank

M.Y. Safra Bank
M.Y. Safra Bank holds three spots on this list. When you go to its homepage, you’ll notice the banner shows “Special CD Offers.” This means that it’s important to keep track of these interest rates to make sure you get one that is current. This page has asterisks next to online promotions, so you know which ones might not be offered for a long time.

One downside to M.Y. Safra Bank is that the website is hard to navigate and is slow to load. This could be difficult for sophisticated investors who are used to banking with ease.

For a three-month jumbo CD, the APY is 1.25%. Currently, M.Y. Safra Bank is offering a 3 Month Online Promo CD with a better rate at 1.61%, but it wasn’t factored into this chart since this category is specifically for jumbo CD offerings.

LEARN MORE  Secured

on M.Y. Safra Bank’s secure website

My eBanc

My eBanc
My eBanc is an online-only bank. It’s a division of BAC Florida Bank. Unlike M.Y. Safra Bank’s, the eBanc website is much easier to navigate and has clear instructions on how to open a jumbo CD.

According to the site, My eBanc has no maintenance fees and compounds interest daily. When your jumbo CD matures, withdrawing your money is simple, although there is an early-withdrawal fee.

For a six-month jumbo CD, their APY is 2.20%. Their one-year CD currently has an APY of 2.53%.

LEARN MORE Secured

on My eBanc’s secure website

KS StateBank

KS StateBank

KS StateBank currently has internet-only specials on their 18-month, 2, 3, 4, and 5-year jumbo CDs. This bank has truly outstanding rates on all of their terms.

Although KS StateBank is mainly located in Kansas, they do have the option to bank online or through their mobile banking app. This allows them to reach customers nationwide.

LEARN MORE Secured

on KS StateBank’s secure website

Member FDIC

The difference between jumbo and regular CDs

As mentioned previously, you can open a CD with less than $100,000. You can even get CD rates comparable to the ones above, with a lower minimum deposit requirement. Of course, the more money you put in a CD, the more interest you can earn, but if you don’t have $100,000 to open a jumbo CD, it’s important to know you do have other options with lower minimums.

Withdrawal penalties on jumbo CDs

According to a recent survey, the penalties for withdrawing your money from your CD early could be serious. Some banks will even take part of your principal as a penalty.

Below are the most common penalties, according to the survey:

  • 3 month CD: Three months of interest
  • 6 month CD: Three months of interest
  • 1 year CD: Six months of interest
  • 2 year CD: Six months of interest
  • 5 year CD: A year’s worth of interest

So, it’s important to be confident that you want to put your money in a CD. When you do this, you’re making an agreement with the bank to leave it there for a set period of time. If you’re unsure if you want to tie up your money for a long period of time, consider a high-yield savings account instead.

How jumbo CDs are taxed

It’s important to know that the interest you earn on your jumbo CD will be taxed as interest income, not as capital gains income.

This means that your bank or credit union will send you a 1099-INT form at the end of the year to show how much interest you earned in your jumbo CD and you will be taxed on that.

Are jumbo CDs safe?

According to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission: “Certificates of deposit are considered to be one of the safest savings options. A CD bought through a federally insured bank is insured up to $250,000.”

Some people prefer investing in the stock market over CDs because you can often get higher rates of returns; however, the stock market is a riskier bet, and returns are not guaranteed like those associated with CDs.

CDs are not affected by the whims of the stock market. The interest rate you agree on with your bank is the rate you will get. That interest rate, however, may not outpace inflation, meaning you may not really earn much, if anything, over time.

Final thoughts

If you have over $100,000 and want to invest it in a jumbo CD, you have several options. Like the chart above shows, you can choose many different terms and durations for your jumbo CD. Just be sure to research the bank you invest with so you know you’re putting your money with a top-rated institution. Also, be sure that you’re comfortable with putting your money in a CD long-term because there are often penalties for withdrawing your money early.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Cat Alford
Cat Alford |

Cat Alford is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Catherine at cat@magnifymoney.com

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Best of, Earning Interest

The Best Credit Union CD Rates – October 2018

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

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 June 2018, the average one-year credit union CD had a 0.92% annual percentage yield (APY), compared to the 0.75% APY average among one-year bank CDs.

Using data from DepositAccounts.com, another LendingTree company, we identified the top one-year credit union CD rates, as of October 3, 2018. 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, 1.75% APY, min. deposit $1,000

UNIFY Financial Credit Union
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 1.75%, compared to the national average of 0.92% in June. You would earn $17.50 on a $1,000 deposit. If you withdraw your money early, however, you’ll face a penalty of 90 days’ worth of interest.

LEARN MORE Secured

on UNIFY Financial Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

NASA Federal Credit Union – 1-Year Share Certificate, 1.25% APY, min. deposit $1,000

NASA Federal Credit Union
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.

LEARN MORE Secured

on NASA Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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 Special, 2.30% 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. They currently have a 12-month CD special with an outstanding rate, but you have to be a new customer to open the account. If you already have money being held in a USALLIANCE Financial account, you’ll still be able to open a 12-month CD with a great rate of 2.30%. Their early withdrawal penalty equals 180 days’ worth of interest earned on the amount you withdraw.

LEARN MORE Secured

on USALLIANCE Financial’s secure website

NCUA Insured

CommunityWide Federal Credit Union – 12 Month CD, 2.65% APY, min. deposit $2,000

Communitywide Federal Credit Union
Membership to CommunityWide Federal Credit Union is open to members of the Michiana Goodwill Boosters or Marine Corps. of St. Joseph Valley. However, if you’re not a member of either of those organizations, you can qualify by becoming a donor member of select organizations such as the Y.M.C.A.

Once you’re a member of CommunityWide Federal Credit Union, you can open a 12-month CD with a minimum of $2,000. Their early withdrawal penalty equals the withdrawn amount multiplied by the number of days that remain in the term.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Communitywide Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Alliant Credit Union – 12-17 Month Share CD, 2.65% APY, min. deposit $1,000

Alliant Credit Union
With a minimum deposit of $1,000, you could earn an APY of 2.65% on a 12-17 month CD. An early withdrawal penalty of 90 days’ worth of interest may be imposed if you withdraw funds prior to the CD’s maturity date.

With a $10 donation to Foster Care to Success, you can easily become a member of Alliant Credit Union. You can also become a member if you are an employee or retiree of certain organizations, related to existing Alliant members, or live or work in qualifying communities.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Alliant Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

PenFed Credit Union – 1-Year Money Market Certificate, 2.60% APY, min. deposit $1,000

PenFed Credit Union
PenFed has an outstanding APY of 2.60%. With a minimum deposit of $1,000, you could earn $24.50 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.

LEARN MORE Secured

on PenFed Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Connexus Credit Union – 12 Month Certificate, 2.50% APY, min. deposit $5,000

12 Month Certificate from Connexus Credit Union With a $5 donation to the Connexus Association, anyone can join Connexus Credit Union. The Connexus Association assists educational institutions by providing scholarships and financial information. Once you become a member of the credit union, you’ll be able to open their 12 month CD with a $5,000 deposit.

If you’re able to deposit $5,000 into Connexus’s 12 month CD, you’ll earn $125 by the end of the term. However, if you withdraw funds early, you’ll be penalized with 90 days’ worth of interest.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Connexus Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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 2017 mobile banking app analysis.

Redstone Federal Credit Union – 12 Month MemberPlus Regular Share Certificate, 2.22% APY, min. deposit $1,000

Redstone Federal Credit Union
You can’t just make a simple donation to join to Redstone Federal Credit Union if you fail to meet their membership criteria. You need to be a government employee or contractor, a member of the military, reserve, or National Guard, or affiliated with a number of organizations listed on their website among other options.

However, if you do qualify for membership, you could earn an APY of 2.22% with a minimum deposit of $1,000. Redstone FCU has compounding and non-compounding certificates, which allow you to have the option to withdraw interest earned or not throughout the term of the certificate.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Redstone Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Eastman Credit Union – 1-Year Investment Certificate, 2.00% APY, min. deposit $1,000

Eastman Credit Union
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 2.00% on a 12-month CD with a minimum deposit of $1,000. 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.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Eastman Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Wright-Patt Credit Union – 1-Year Certificate, 1.76% APY, min. deposit $500

Wright-Patt Credit Union
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 $8.80 on a 12-month CD with just a relatively small $500 deposit. However, if you’re able to deposit $100,000 or more, you’ll earn an APY of 1.87%, which will return $1,870 in interest. Early withdrawal penalties vary depending on the original term of your CD, however they’ll be anywhere between 5-12 months’ worth of dividends.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Wright-Patt Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Delta Community Credit Union – 1-Year Certificate, 1.40% APY, min. deposit $1,000

Delta Community Credit Union
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 1.10% to 1.40%. The early withdrawal penalty is 90 days’ worth of interest on a 12-month CD.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Delta Community Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

 

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 March 2018. 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.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

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 Best IRA CD Rates – October 2018

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Top IRA CD rates
Source: iStock

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 best 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 October 3, 2018, 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 October 3, 2018.)

The best IRA rates in October 2018

Term

Institution

APY

Minimum Deposit Amount

3 months

Bethpage Federal Credit Union

1.75%

$50

6 months

CommunityWide Federal Credit Union

2.30%

$2,000

12 months

State Department Federal Credit Union

2.68%

$500

18 months

Synchrony Bank

2.75%

$2,000

2 years

Communitywide Federal Credit Union

2.90%

$2,000

3 years

Greenwood Credit Union

3.25%

$1,000

4 years

Third Federal Savings & Loan

3.15%

$2,000

5 years

Achieva Credit Union

2.95%

$500

 

3 Month IRA CD – Bethpage Federal Credit Union, 3 Month IRA (Traditional, Roth)

Bethpage Federal Credit Union

Three-month IRA CDs typically offer the lowest interest rates of any IRA CD term. Bethpage offers the best rate of 1.75% APY and a minimum deposit of $50. That rate is well above the national average.

LEARN MORE 

NCUA Insured

6-Month IRA CD – CommunityWide Credit Union, 6 Month IRA (Traditional, Roth)

Communitywide Federal Credit Union

Six-month IRA CDs typically earn a little bit better, but they’re normally still not great. CommunityWide Federal Credit Union, however, is breaking that norm by offering the highest interest rate at 2.30% APY for deposits of $2,000 and over. That translates into earnings of $21.39 if you were only to deposit the minimum amount. Compare that to the average of all regular 6 month CDs, at 0.69%.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Communitywide Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

1-Year IRA CD Rates – State Department Federal Credit Union, 12 Month IRA Certificate (Traditional, Roth)

12 Month IRA Certificate from State Department Federal Credit UnionRegular one-year CDs earn an average interest rate of 1.09% APY. State Department Federal Credit Union, however, is offering a one-year IRA CD at 2.68% APY. You’ll need a $50 minimum deposit to earn interest once you’ve been approved for membership.

LEARN MORE Secured

on State Department Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

18-Month IRA CD Rates – Synchrony Bank, 18 Month IRA CD (Traditional, Roth)

18 Month IRA CD from Synchrony Bank18-month regular CDs earn an average interest rate of 1.33% APY. Synchrony Bank on the other hand, is currently offering 2.75% APY on an 18-month IRA CD. You’ll need a minimum deposit of $2,000 to open the account.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Synchrony Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

2-Year IRA CD Rates – CommunityWide Federal Credit Union, 24 Month IRA (Traditional, Roth)

60 Month IRA from Communitywide Federal Credit UnionTwo-year regular CDs earn an average interest rate of 1.44% APY. CommunityWide Federal Credit Union, on the other hand, is currently offering 2.90% APY on a 2-year IRA CD. This would translate into earnings of $117.68 with a minimum $2,000 deposit.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Communitywide Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

3-Year IRA CD Rates – Greenwood Credit Union, 30 Month IRA Certificate (Traditional, Roth, CESA, SEP)

30 Month IRA Certificate from Greenwood Credit UnionThree-year regular CDs are earning an average interest rate of 1.61% APY currently. Greenwood Credit Union is exceeding that, with an interest rate of 3.25% APY with their 30-month IRA CD. Surprisingly, the rate on the 30-month IRA CD is higher than the 36-month CD, so if you’re okay with storing your money for about three years, you can’t go wrong with this account. You’ll need a minimum deposit amount of $1,000 to open this account.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Greenwood Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

4-Year IRA CD Rates – Third Federal Savings and Loan, 45 Month IRA Special (Traditional, Roth, SEP)

45 Month CD Special from Third Federal Savings and Loan (OH)Four-year regular CDs are currently earning an average interest rate of 1.76% APY. Third Federal Savings & Loan claims the top interest rate for these IRA CDs, with an interest rate of 3.15% APY. You need a $2,000 minimum deposit to open the account.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Third Federal Savings And Loan (OH)’s secure website

Member FDIC

 

5-Year IRA CD Rates – Achieva Credit Union – 60 Month IRA/457B (Traditional, Roth, CESA)

Achieva Credit Union
Five-year IRA CDs hold the top spot for interest rates out of any category on our list. The national average for a regular 5-year CD is 2.05% APY, however Achieva Credit Union outperforms the average with a 2.95% APY on its 5-year IRA CD for members. The minimum deposit is $500 to earn this APY. If you’re able to deposit more than $500, you may eligible for a higher APY. With a deposit of $25,000 you may be able to earn an APY of 4.10%. If you’re able to deposit $75,000, you may be able to earn 4.20% APY.

One item to note with this credit union: the rates may vary by region, so make sure you check to see if you’re eligible for the above rates in your location.

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on Achieva Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

6+ Year IRA CD Rates – Air Force Federal Credit Union, 7 Year IRA (Traditional, Roth, CESA)

AFFCU

We’re starting to see these very-long-term IRA CDs 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 3.20% APY. That’s less than Achieva Credit Union which offers a 4.00% APY for a five-year IRA CD. Still, with Air Force Federal Credit Union’s seven-year IRA CD, you would earn $616.72 on a minimum deposit of $2,500 when the IRA CD matures.

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on AFFCU’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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 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.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

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 6 Month CD Rates for October 2018

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

The top 6 month CD rates
Source: iStock

Short-term certificate of deposit (CD) accounts offer investors a safe opportunity to squirrel away money for a future expense. If you’re looking for a brief solution for storing your cash and want to earn more interest than a typical savings account will offer, a 6 month CD can make a lot of sense. (It’s also a good place to start if you’re building a CD ladder.)

Using information from DepositAccounts.com, another LendingTree company and a database of offerings at more than 17,100 banks and credit unions, we found the five banks and five credit unions with the top 6 month CD rates. If there was a tie, we chose the institution with the smaller minimum-deposit requirement. We pulled these rates on October 2, 2018, and we excluded promotional offerings. The national average APY on 6 month CDs (among banks and credit unions) is 0.68%, according to the DepositAccounts.com database. These options outperform that average by a long shot. (You may also want to view our picks for the overall best CD rates.)

Banks with the best 6 month CD rates

6 Month CD from DollarSavingsDirect

DollarSavingsDirect

6 month CD APY: 2.25%
Bank information: DollarSavingsDirect is an online division of Emigrant Bank. Founded by Irish emigrants in 1850, Emigrant Bank has created various online divisions throughout the years. DollarSavingsDirect seems to be the most active and competitive online division when it comes to its rates.
Where to open CD account: Online
Minimum balance to open: $1,000
Maintenance fees: $0
Early withdrawal penalties: 90 days’ interest

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on DollarSavingsDirect’s secure website

Member FDIC

Banesco USA

Banesco USA

6 month CD APY: 2.20%
Bank information: Banesco is an international bank serving seven different countries, including the U.S. Banesco USA, located in South Florida, serves customers nationwide through its online banking platform.
Where to open CD account: Online
Minimum balance to open: $1,500
Maintenance fees: $0
Early withdrawal penalties: 30 days’ interest

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on Banesco USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

6 Month Online Time Deposit from My eBanc

My eBanc

6-month CD APY: 2.20%
Bank information: BAC Florida Bank of Coral Gables, Fla., is part of The Pellas Group. The CD program, open to all foreign and domestic customers, is designated as a “BAC Internet Time Deposit.” Overseas CDs based on the euro are not insured by the FDIC.
Where to open CD account: Online
Minimum balance to open: $5,000
Maintenance fees: $0
Early withdrawal penalties: 90 days’ interest

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Member FDIC

My Banking Direct

My Banking Direct

6 month CD APY: 2.15%
Bank information: My Banking Direct is a division of New York Community Bank. The bank was originally chartered in 1859 in Queens, NY. My Banking Direct was created as a way to offer consumers higher rates on deposit accounts.
Where to open CD account: Online
Minimum balance to open: $2,500
Maintenance fees: $0
Early withdrawal penalties: 90 days’ interest

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on My Banking Direct’s secure website

Member FDIC

NexBank

NexBank

6 month CD APY: 2.15%
Bank information: NexBank is also located in Dallas, TX. While it primarily focuses on commercial banking, mortgage banking, and institutional services, it does offer CDs and personal banking to customers nationwide.
Where to open CD account: Online
Minimum balance to open: $10,000
Maintenance fees: $0
Early withdrawal penalties: Determined by the bank

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on NexBank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Credit unions with the best 6 month CD rates

36 Month Share Certificate from Communitywide Federal Credit Union

CommunityWide Federal Credit Union

6 month CD APY: 2.30%
Credit union information: Founded as a credit union to provide quality financial services to individuals in South Bend, IN, CommunityWide Federal  Credit Union has grown to offer their services to various communities within Indiana as well as the digital world.
Membership details: Anyone can become a member by donating to a list of organizations including the Y.M.C.A. If you’re a member of the Michiana Goodwill Boosters or Marine Corps. League of St. Joseph Valley, you’re also eligible to become a member.
Where to open CD account: Online
Minimum balance to open: $2,000
Maintenance fees: $0
Early withdrawal penalties: Equal to the amount withdrawn multiplied by the remaining days left in the term.

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on Communitywide Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

6 Month Certificate from State Department Federal Credit Union

State Department Federal Credit Union

6 month CD APY: 2.01%
Credit union information: State Department Federal Credit Union was established in 1935 by eight people employed by the United States Department of State. Since then, they have expanded to serve a multitude of members worldwide.
Membership details: Anyone can join by the credit union by joining the American Consumer Council, which you can do when you’re filling out your application. Check to see, however, if you’re able to join through employment, organization affiliation, or through an immediate family member.
Where to open CD account: You can open an account online or at one of their many branches.
Minimum balance to open: $500
Maintenance fees: $0
Early withdrawal penalties: 30 days of dividends on the withdrawn amount or the amount of dividends you’ve earned since the account opened – the credit union will impose the lesser of the two.

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on State Department Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Service Credit Union

Service Credit Union

6 month CD APY: 2.00%
Credit union information: Founded in Portsmouth, N.H., in 1957, Service Credit Union originally served employees of Pease Air Force Base. Today, it has grown to serve over 200,000 people throughout New Hampshire, North Dakota, Massachusetts, and even Germany.
Membership details: To become a member, you must live or work, or have family members that live or work in New Hampshire or Falmouth, Bourne, Mashpee, and Sandwich, Mass. Current members of the military, veterans, retirees, and reservists of the U.S. Armed Forces along with their families are also eligible for membership.
Where to open CD account: You can open an account online or at one of their many branches.
Minimum balance to open: $250
Maintenance fees: $0
Early withdrawal penalties: Determined by credit union.

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on Service Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

PenFed Credit Union

PenFed Credit Union

6 month CD APY: 2.00%
Credit union information: PenFed, established in 1935, today serves more than 1.6 million members at branch locations in all 50 states and select overseas facilities.
Membership details: Open to current or retired members of the U.S. military, federal employees, affinity partners, members of qualifying organizations, or by donating to Voices for America’s Troops or the National Military Family Association.
Where to open CD account: You can open an account online or at one of their branches.
Minimum balance to open: $1,000
Maintenance fees: $0
Early withdrawal penalties: 90 days’ interest

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on PenFed Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Bellco Credit Union

Bellco Credit Union

6 month CD APY: 1.90%
Credit union information: Bellco Credit Union was founded in 1936. This credit union is located in Colorado and is focused on supporting their community.
Membership details: If you don’t qualify by one of their location or employment field of membership requirements, you may join the Bellco Foundation with minimum donation of $10. All new members will also need to pay a one-time $5 membership fee and make a minimum deposit of $25.
Where to open CD account: Online
Minimum balance to open: $500
Maintenance fees: $0
Early withdrawal penalties: 90 days’ interest.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Bellco Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Pros and cons of using 6 month CDs

Pros:

  • The CD rates offered by banks and credit unions are generally higher than those on savings accounts.
  • The rates are fixed and guaranteed for the length of their term.
  • The discipline of keeping the funds in the CD means the money will be available upon maturity. (Note: Most banks offer a seven-day grace period to reinvest or withdraw the investment, after which the funds will roll over into a new CD. However, you are not guaranteed the same rate.)

Cons:

  • Six-month CD rates are lower than those offered on longer CD investment terms.
  • To tap into the CD funds — even for emergencies — consumers must accept a loss through penalties, which can include a percentage of the funds, a percentage of the earned interest, or a combination of both. A typical penalty on a short-term CD is between 30 and 90 days’ worth of interest earnings.
  • If you’re not confident you can do without access to the funds for six months, you may be better off putting your money in a traditional savings account, which is likely to earn less interest than a CD.
  • Since CD rollovers may reset at a different percentage rate, consumers must speak with the bank before the grace period ends to ensure they are getting the best deal.

Using a 6 month CD for laddering

A CD ladder comprises small-amount CDs with varying terms and respective interest rates that contribute to a long-term investment strategy. After the 6 month CD matures, investors can withdraw the funds for a predetermined expense. Or, they can reinvest the money into a longer-term CD with a better rate. By staggering the maturity dates on short-term CDs, consumers have access to their cash on a regular, predictable basis.

Where can you open a CD account?

Consumers can open 6 month CD accounts (or longer) from banks and credit unions. Bank and credit union CD rates are based on Federal Reserve rates, and there may be strategic times to pursue these short-term instruments following a rate increase.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Gabby Hyman
Gabby Hyman |

Gabby Hyman is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Gabby here

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