Home Mutual Funds 5.75% Remains Overall Leader, 5.56% Best From a Bank

5.75% Remains Overall Leader, 5.56% Best From a Bank

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Below you’ll find featured rates available from our partners, followed by details from our complete ranking of the best CDs available nationwide.

The Best CD Rates Are Still Very High

Although certificate of deposit (CD) rates have settled since the fall—the highest rate we recorded was 6.50% in late October—today’s top CD rates are still near historic highs.

Bank CD rates have actually inched up a bit this week, although today saw no changes. Yesterday, a new 6-month bank CD leader emerged, from One American Bank, with a rate of 5.51%. And earlier in the week we got a new best 1-year bank CD rate of 5.55%, offered by Salem Five, beating out the previous leader of 5.51%.

The current national leader across all terms remains 5.75%, available from Andrews Federal Credit Union for 6 months. That’s been the best you can get since Jan. 29.

At the end of January, our list of nationwide CDs that pay a benchmark rate of 5.50% or better stood at 34 offers. There’s been some attrition since, and that elite group has shrunk to 25 options. Nine jumbo CDs are paying at least 5.50%, too.

It might be smart to lock in rates like these before the Federal Reserve acts to lower the federal funds rate—as that will put downward pressure on CD rates. While we don’t know when the Fed will start reducing its benchmark rate, the central bank’s Dec. 13 dot plot showed a median prediction among committee members of three rate cuts—totaling 0.75%—sometime during calendar year 2024.

To view the top 15–20 nationwide rates in any term, click on the desired term length in the left column above.

If you want to lock in a high interest rate for a longer term than you can get with the national leader, you may like the 18-month rate of 5.45% APY from XCEL Federal Credit Union. Want to extend your rate guarantee even further? In addition to the leading 2-year rate of 5.27% APY, the best 3-year CD is paying 5.10% APY. You can also lock in an upper 4% return in the 4-year and 5-year CD durations.

While the yields on these longer certificates are lower than shorter-term CDs, securing an extended return means you’ll be able to enjoy it until 2026—or even until, 2027, 2028, or 2029—when it’s likely that rates on high-yield savings accounts and new CDs will have fallen.

Top Bank, Credit Union, and Jumbo CD Rates Today

The best jumbo CD rate remains 5.65% APY on a 17-month term, available from Hughes Federal Credit Union. Beware that the best jumbo CD rates don’t always pay more than standard certificates. Often, you can do just as well—or better—with a standard CD. That’s the case right now in three of the eight terms below, so it’s always wise to shop both certificate types before making a final decision.

*Indicates the highest APY offered in each term. To view our lists of the top-paying CDs across terms for bank, credit union, and jumbo certificates, click on the column headers above.

Where Are CD Rates Headed This Year?

The Federal Reserve announced at its last meeting that it is holding rates steady, the fourth meeting in a row it’s done so. To combat decades-high inflation, the Fed aggressively hiked interest rates between March 2022 and July 2023, raising the federal funds rate to its highest level in 22 years.

This in turn created historically favorable conditions for CD shoppers, as well as for anyone holding cash in a high-yield savings or money market account. Rates on CDs continued rising to a peak this fall, reaching their highest levels in two decades.

But with inflation cooling and the Fed in a holding pattern since July, many banks and credit unions have begun lowering their CD rates. And that’s likely to continue after this last Fed announcement. That’s because the central bank’s statement last week abandoned previous language about future rate hikes still being possible. It now appears clear the Fed’s rate-hike campaign is finished.

This means we have entered a new phase, where the Fed committee is focused on deciding the right timing to pull the trigger on a first rate cut. But Fed Chair Jerome Powell stated that, though the economy has seen promising progress, inflation is still too high, and the committee therefore won’t discuss implementing a rate cut until it feels assured inflation’s downward trajectory is both sufficient and sustainable.

Friday’s job market report surely won’t help on that front. New jobs and wage growth were way higher than expected, which may prompt the Fed to keep rates high longer than investors thought a few days ago.

“The job gains, if not revised down in future releases, will definitely put a dampener on early rate-cut prospects,” wrote Scott Anderson, chief U.S. economist for BMO Capital Markets. “The Fed was right to be cautious in signaling near-term rate cuts at (last) week’s FOMC meeting.”

The Fed’s next rate announcement will be made on March 20. During his press conference last week, Chair Powell indicated he doesn’t predict a rate cut will come as soon as the first quarter, saying, “I don’t think it’s likely the committee will reach a level of confidence by the time of the March meeting.” He repeated his cautious stance on “60 Minutes” Sunday night, sending Treasury yields, which influence interest rates, surging.

What this means for CD rates is that they are likely to soften further, since it appears confirmed the Fed will make no further increases. But the declines are likely to be gradual, at least until a Fed rate cut appears imminent. Once that seems to be in the cards, banks and credit unions will likely begin lowering rates more substantially.

Note that the “top rates” quoted here are the highest nationally available rates Investopedia has identified in its daily rate research on hundreds of banks and credit unions. This is much different than the national average, which includes all banks offering a CD with that term, including many large banks that pay a pittance in interest. Thus, the national averages are always quite low, while the top rates you can unearth by shopping around are often 5, 10, or even 15 times higher.

How We Find the Best CD Rates

Every business day, Investopedia tracks the rate data of more than 200 banks and credit unions that offer CDs to customers nationwide and determines daily rankings of the top-paying certificates in every major term. To qualify for our lists, the institution must be federally insured (FDIC for banks, NCUA for credit unions), and the CD’s minimum initial deposit must not exceed $25,000.

Banks must be available in at least 40 states. And while some credit unions require you to donate to a specific charity or association to become a member if you don’t meet other eligibility criteria (e.g., you don’t live in a certain area or work in a certain kind of job), we exclude credit unions whose donation requirement is $40 or more. For more about how we choose the best rates, read our full methodology.

Investopedia / Alice Morgan

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