National increase seen in CD rates

Your bank wants your money and may be willing to pay a decent rate for it.

After falling for most of the last year, average rates on certificates of deposit have been picking up since the end of April. Some banks are offering more than 4 percent on a one-year CD.

Nationwide, the average annual yield on one-year CDs fell to as low as 1.92 percent in April, down from 3.75 percent a year ago.

"During the past 12 months, savers really took it on the chin," said Greg McBride at, noting that inflation also worsened during that time.

But since then the average yield on a one-year CD has rebounded to 2.38 percent. That's still not great, but if you shop around you can get considerably more.

Mortgage lender Countrywide, now a division of Bank of America, is promoting a seven-month CD paying a 4.10 percent annual rate. Online lender E-Loan is offering 4.17 percent for one-year deposits. Santa Monica, Calif.-based First Federal Bank is offering a nine-month CD paying 4.23 percent, which will be reset upward at three-month intervals if Treasury rates rise. At Washington Mutual you can get 4.25 percent on a 13-month certificate.

Even Wells Fargo Corp., which is not known for high rates, is offering a 19-month CD that pays 3.35 percent — and a bit more than that for some good customers.

If you're not satisfied with the rate your bank is offering you, you might want to ask for something better.

"Consumers can really take advantage of this," said First Federal Chief Executive Babette Heimbuch. "Go into your bank and say, 'What can you do for me?' Don't be passive."

Meanwhile, with the credit crunch showing signs of re-intensifying in recent weeks, banks may view higher CD rates as their best option.

Share This Story