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Susan Tompor: CD rates slowly climb after years in the doldrums

Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press on

Published in Home and Consumer News

The best deal on a certificate of deposit still isn't thrilling. But savers are starting to see more promotions in the 1.25 percent to 2 percent range that might be worth a second look.

And better yet, rates could continue to improve into 2018, as competition heats up between banks.

The average yield for a one-year CD across the country is 0.41 percent -- up from 0.31 percent a year ago, according to Bankrate.com.

The average yield on a five-year CD is 0.99 percent -- up from 0.82 percent a year ago.

Today's CD rates aren't anywhere close to the 5 percent savers could snag in late 2007, just as the U.S. economy tanked and took down rates with it.

As a result, retirees who typically turn to CDs to offer some security for their nest eggs won't find too much relief ahead. Even so, it is worthwhile to note that savers who shop around for rates are being rewarded as more banks roll out limited offers.

 

Some deals require a sizable amount of savings, such as a deposit of $25,000 or more at Troy, Mich.-based Crestmark Bank for a 1.8 percent yield on a one-year CD.

But plenty of other offers only require minimum deposits that range from $500 to $5,000.

"You often can get the top rate or close to the top rate with a deposit as low as $500, and in some cases, the minimum deposit can even be lower," said Ken Tumin, founder and editor of DepositAccounts.com.

Typically, much lower CD rates will be offered at some large banks if there are no special deals. Tumin said the average CD rates at large bank are 30 to 40 percent lower than what's often offered at small and medium-size banks

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