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1-Year CD Rates from Online Banks 2018

Certificates of deposit (CD) rates from online banks are often above average if you are willing to open and manage your account using the Internet. Most online banks offer an online application and money can be transferred to fund the CD via an electronic transfer, check, wire, or credit card. You can view a financial snapshot of any online bank by clicking on its name and then the Financial Details tab.

Highest One-Year Online CD Rates - November 13, 2018

1 Year CD National Average: 0.92% ?

BANK APY? Vs.
Nat'l
Av.
MIN?
Sponsored Advertiser Disclosure
Live Oak Banking Company
2.75% 3.00x $2,500
Virtualbank, a division of Iberiabank
2.75% 3.00x $10,000
Pentagon
Restrictions
2.71% 2.95x $1,000
M.y. Safra Bank, FSB
2.70% 2.94x $500
ableBanking, a division of Northeast Bank
2.70% 2.94x $1,000
BAC Florida
2.70% 2.94x $100,000
Sallie Mae Bank
2.65% 2.89x $2,500
Popular Direct
2.65% 2.89x $10,000
Ally Bank
2.65% 2.89x $25,000
Discover Bank
2.60% 2.83x $2,500
Capital One 360
2.60% 2.83x $10,000
Purepoint MUFG Union
2.60% 2.83x $10,000
Peoples Bank
2.60% 2.83x $10,000
Barclays Bank Delaware
2.55% 2.78x $0
Bank5 Connect
2.55% 2.78x $500
Colorado Federal Savings Bank
2.51% 2.73x $5,000
Vio Bank, A Division of MidFirst Bank
2.50% 2.72x $500
Synchrony Bank
2.50% 2.72x $2,000
My Banking Direct, a division of New York Community Bank
2.45% 2.67x $0
TIAA Bank / Everbank
2.43% 2.65x $1,000
Navy Federal Credit Union
Restrictions
2.35% 2.56x $100,000
Incredible Bank, a division of River Valley Bank
2.27% 2.47x $1,000
CIT Bank
2.20% 2.40x $1,000
Amboy Direct
2.05% 2.23x $10,000
AirBanking
1.90% 2.07x $500
BBVA Compass Bank
1.85% 2.02x $500
Dollar Savings Direct, a division of Emigrant Bank
1.80% 1.96x $1,000
Radius Bank
1.55% 1.69x $500
Northern Bank Direct
1.50% 1.63x $10,000
New Dominion Direct
1.35% 1.47x $1,000
Axos Bank, a division of Bofi Federal Bank
1.00% 1.09x $1,000
USAA Federal Savings Bank
0.76% 0.83x $175,000
CNB Bank Direct
0.66% 0.72x $1,000
American Express Bank, FSB
0.55% 0.60x $0
OneWest Bank, a division of CIT Bank
0.55% 0.60x $1,000
Veridian
Restrictions
0.35% 0.38x $1,000
iGobanking.com, a division of Flushing Bank
0.15% 0.16x $1,000
All rates listed are Annual Percentage Yield (APY). The Min listed is the minimum deposit account balance required to obtain the rate listed.

PRODUCT INFORMATION

One-Year CD - Online Banks 2018

Certificates of Deposit (CDs) are offered by most banks in a variety of maturity dates. The 1-year rates in the table above are listed in descending order based on Annual Percentage Yield (“APY”) which is the rate of return that you will earn, when adjusted for compounding, over a 12 month period, and the way in which banks are required by US banking regulations to advertise their CD rates.

A certificate of deposit represents a time commitment between a depositor (someone who has money to put in the bank) and a bank. The depositor agrees to leave a specified amount of money in the bank for a set period of time. The bank agrees to keep the money safe and to provide a fixed rate of return.

A 1-year CD has a very brief time commitment and can also generate a rate of return above the prevailing savings rate. Therefore, many people use 1-year CDs to slightly augment their rates of return over savings with only slightly more risk than they would have if they were entirely in savings accounts and money market accounts.

FDIC Insurance

Provided the bank is FDIC-insured and the deposit amount is within FDIC limits, the principal is also secured by an agency of the United Stated federal government against loss. Further information about FDIC insurance is found in this article and if you have specific questions about your own circumstances you should use the FDIC’s Electronic Deposit Insurance Estimator.

CD Risk

The principal of a CD is safe and insured as long as the deposit amount is FDIC limits. Interest that accrues and is paid or deposited to the principal also is safe as long as the total balance remains within FDIC limits.

A CD however bears two significant risks:

  • Liquidity risk

    If you think you may need access to your principal during the period of the time commitment for a major purchase or an unforeseen expense, CDs are generally not a good place to store money. The terms of most CDs outline the penalty that will be assessed in order to access your capital. This penalty is usually assessed in terms of time periods. For example, a common penalty on a 1-year CD is 3 months, although you should always check this carefully in the terms and conditions before opening a CD as it could be longer. Banks and credit unions are not obliged to offer an early withdrawal penalty, and may change or remove or even refuse to honor the early withdrawal penalty in their paperwork. For further details, please read this article. BestCashCow never recommends a strategy involving the purchase of a CD when you have a high likelihood that you will need your capital.
  • Inflation risk

    Since CDs are considered a very safe investment when you stay within FDIC and NCUA-limits , they often do not pay much over the anticipated rate of inflation, and can often pay under this rate. Were interest rates to rise (or the inflation rates to rise), the real or inflation -adjusted value of your CD can drop over time, especially when you factor in the tax consequences of ownership of a CD. In the event of rates rising, you may be able to use the early withdrawal penalty to get your principal but for the reasons mentioned above, BestCashCow does not recommend relying on such a strategy.

Be sure to think about how CDs fit into your overall portfolio objectives.

CD Laddering

An effective strategy used by many to bolster their savings strategy is to own CDs with various maturities. In other words, a depositor with $400,000 and put $100,000 in a 3 month CD, $100,000 in a 6 month CD, $100,000 in a 9 month CD and $100,000 in a one-year CD, then your liquidity risk in highly diminished because you are always near maturity on one of your CDs. (Note that no more than 2 of these CDs should be at the same bank in order to avoid exceeding FDIC limits).

The reality is that we are in a very low interest rate environment, and any CD with a maturity of less than 1 year is going to pay below, perhaps well below, the prevailing rates in the leading online savings accounts or at brick-and-mortar banks. Therefore, the strategy outlined above would be largely absurd in the current environment.

A laddering strategy that would make more sense for the same depositor who might otherwise hold $400,000 in cash would be to put $100,000 in a one year CD every three months. Liquidity risk in the same way is diminished as the depositor is never more than 3 months from maturity, yet the depositor is picking up some small improvement over the best savings rates than where all of his money to be in cash.

Laddering strategies can also involve longer term CDs, but one that involves terms as little as 1 year can improve on the savings rates with minimal impairment to your liquidity.

More information on CD laddering is available in this article.

How Interest is Paid

The method of distributing the interest earned on a CD varies by bank. Some banks pay interest monthly, other semi-annually, and others at the maturity of the CD. In general, online banks pay the interest electronically either by adding it to the principal balance or with an ACH transfer back to the depositor's primary linked checking account. Other online banks may pay via a check in the mail.

Interest Rate

Currently, the most competitive banks offer 1-year rates that are slightly above the top online savings and money market rates. Depositors need to decide if they want the fixed rate of the CD or the flexibility of the savings account (savings accounts do not come with any term time requirements).

In a rising rate environment, it is generally better to keep money flexible and liquid and put it into either short term CDs or savings or money market accounts.  In a falling rate environment, it is generally better to lock the rate using a CD or some other fixed rate investment. In a stable rate environment, you may be able to collect a small premium in exchange for your loss of liquidity.

Online banks generally offer CDs available to residents of any of the 50 states. The CD must be opened online and funded either by online transfer or by mail.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ON CERTIFICATES OF DEPOSIT

What are CD rates?

CD rates are the fix rate that the bank pays a depositor for entering a CD for the entire term of a CD. They are expressed in annual percentage yield (“APY”) terms, so that they are standardized. $100,000 invested in a one year CD at 1% will be worth $101,000 at maturity in exactly 1 year. $100,000 invested in a two-year CD at 1.50% will be worth $101,500 in exactly 1 year and worth $103,022.50 at maturity (assuming the interest is not paid out before maturity, but is added to the principal). Please see BestCashCow’s Savings & CD Calculator to better understand the magic of compounded interest over time.

Do CDs Pay Interest Monthly or Yearly?

When opening a CD, it is important to consider how interest is credited or paid. Interest can be credited to the CD monthly, quarterly or annually. For those CDs of one year or less, interest may be credited only at maturity.

When interest is paid, the CD holder may have arranged for the interest to be mailed to them as a check. The other option is for the interest to be added to the principal of the CD.

Regardless of how and when interest is paid, it is required to be expressed (standardized) by all banks in the form of an annual percentage yield (“APY”) rate.

How Is Interest on CDs Taxed?

Interest on CDs is taxed as ordinary income. Your bank will provide you with a 1099-INT detailing the interest that you must report on your tax return at the end of each year. Regardless of whether interest is paid in the form of a check or added to principal, CD holders need to report the interest in the year in which it is paid. Purchasing a Certificate of Deposit of one-year or less that pays a single lump sum interest payment at maturity may defer tax on interest until the following year, but otherwise holders of CDs should generally expect to pay ordinary taxes on interest earned in every year in which they hold a CD. Further detail is found in IRS Publication 550 (page 5).

Why Are CD Rates So Low?

CD rates on terms of 1 and 2 years were very constantly low for many years from 2009 to 2015 as the Fed Funds rate was held at zero following the great recession. Rates on longer term CDs were occasionally more interesting during this period (depending more heavily on the level and direction of the US Treasury Bond).

The US Federal Reserve’s action towards normalizing interest rates has been painfully slow (resulting from Brexit, European financial instability, etc.), and CD rates have remained at levels that are very low by historical norms. However, we have seen CD rates rise in 2016 and 2017 as the Federal Reserve has begun to slowly raise the Fed Funds rate.

Are CD rates going up or down? When are they expected to rise?

If the Federal Reserve accelerates its plan to raise the Fed Funds rate or if global economic developments were to cause US treasury rates to rise, we would quickly see higher CD rates. However, the global economic environment is uncertain with European long-term interest rates being negative. Should the US also enter a recession and the US 10-year Treasury rate fall still further, it is possible that CD rates could fall further.

What is a good rate for a CD?

BestCashCow lists the best CD rates available from online banks above, and the best rates from local banks and credit unions. A good rate is the best rate that you can find at an FDIC or NCUA-insured institution, provided that it compensates you adequately over the best savings rates for the liquidity that you are giving up. Only you can determine based on your own personal circumstances whether that is a good CD rate for you. BestCashCow’s Savings & CD Calculator can help you to understand how much more interest a CD can generate over a savings account.

Is there an advantage to a 12-Month Certificate of Deposit over Online Savings Accounts?

At any moment in time, there is ordinarily a premium to an online 12-month CD rate over an online savings rate. The table below demonstrates the spread between the two over the last several years. Whether it makes sense for you to take advantage of these higher rates in the 12-month rate depends on your own need for liquidity and your view on whether and how fast savings rates will rise.


ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES

The advantages of online one-year CDs are:

  • Funds deposited in FDIC banks and within insurance limits are protected by the full faith and credit of the United States government.
  • CDs provide a predictable, set rate of return.
  • The CD can be opened from the comfort of your house.
  • The CDs are generally available to any resident of the United States.

The disadvantages of one year CDs are:

  • One year CDs pay interest rates that are just above the leading rates offered on online and branch-based savings and money market accounts. There is a very slight premium for having the money locked up for one year. Your own circumstances and tax rate will help you to determine if that premium provides adequate compensation to you for your loss of liquidity.
  • The deposited money is committed for one year.
  • The account must be opened online and all inquiries must be conducted online or via the phone.
  • Depending on the bank, the opening and funding process can take several days to weeks although the bank generally locks the rate once the application has been received and approved.

All banks listed on BestCashCow are FDIC insured; BestCashCow.com strongly recommends that you stay within FDIC insurance limits and that if you are unsure of how the limits affect you, please visit the FDIC website.

To understand all of the income generating options available to a saver, please view the Income Generating Investments Comparison Chart.

SAVINGS & CD CALCULATOR

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Sexy and Dangerous: Avoid the 3.50% Toronto Dominion Callable Step-Up CD

Sexy and Dangerous: Avoid the 3.50% Toronto Dominion Callable Step-Up CD

Rate information contained on this page may have changed. Please find latest cd rates.

TD Ameritrade is sending out notices to some of its clients offering a new callable step-up CD offered by Toronto Dominion, its parent.

This new product - which offers an initial 3.50% APY interest rate - is dramatically more sexy than their offerings just a few months ago which we discussed and recommended against here.  

After two years, the newly-offered Toronto Dominion CD will pay 4.50% APY for years 3 and 4 and 5%, if it isn’t called away sooner by the issuer.   The issuer has the right to call the CD any time after year 1.   

BestCashCow has never liked brokered CDs.   We recommended that they be avoided when rates where much lower and we basically recommend against them now for the same reason.  Since they cannot be broken with the payment of an early withdrawal penalty, they represent a significant risk to anyone who may require earlier liquidity.   Since this CD has a maximum maturity of 5 years, should you need to get out of it in the early years, you could take a real bath trying to find liquidity in a market that doesn’t exist (where TD Ameritrade is the only buyer).    Should you die before the CD’s maturity, your heirs will likely inherit a fraction of what they would inherit were you to buy a straight 5-year CD.

Moreover, interest rates are presumably still rising and the Fed is likely poised to bring the Fed Funds rate above 3% by the end of 2019.   If you must reach for yield, you can get 2.70% on a one-year CD and then have the liquidity in 12 months to find a new product with a higher rate.  

But, we’ve just had an election that has left the US in an even worse place than we were immediately after the Russians handed Trump the Presidency 2 years ago.   And, that opens up the prospect of falling rates.   Should that happen, this product will be called away on the first possible call date in November 2019.   While you may have brought in 80 basis points more than you would have made in the 1-year CD that pays 2.70%, you will not have been compensated for the risk that you took. 

Sexy?  Yes.

But, dangerous as hell.  

Your better bet is to look at online one-year CDs.

Editor’s Note: The Toronto Dominion product is listed under CUSIP 89114QER5.

Image: Courtesy: Pexels

How to Avoid Early Withdrawal Fees on A CD

How to Avoid Early Withdrawal Fees on A CD

As interest rates have begun to rise, I’ve received numerous questions from readers asking about ways that they can get out of paying early withdrawal fees on long-term Certificates of Deposit that they may have bought a couple of years ago, but that are no longer attractive.

As I stated in an earlier article, I strongly recommend against breaking any CD until the rate that you are earning falls below the current rates on comparable savings rates.   In a rising rate environment, you do not want to break a CD in order to get another CD that you may then need to break.   I have 2 years left on a 5-year CD at 2.25% and I will not break it until online savings rates are firmly above 2.25%.  

If you do need to withdraw your money early, the withdrawal is entirely at the discretion of the bank or credit union.   Most banks and credit unions will waive it because of death or adjudged incompetence of the holder, or because a bank merger causes the holder to be over FDIC limits.  Early termination fees may be waived due to other hardships at the bank’s or credit union’s discretion.

Reg D forbids banks from allowing any withdrawal within 7 days of issuance (this restriction also applies to No Penalty CDs), but there are no other limits on a bank’s ability to waive early withdrawal fees.   Any bank officer (or other website) that will tell you that they are lawfully required to charge the early withdrawal fee is misinformed.

However, a contract is a contract and you enter into a time deposit contract when you purchase a CD.   When you break a contract, any contract, the counterparty has a right to extract penalties.  In this case, the bank has made commitments based on its expectation that they are borrowing the money for the course of the CD at the indicated rate.

As with any contract, the party entitled to a penalty can exercise its discretion not to extract the penalty (to waive it).  But, if I were an officer of a bank or credit, I would not be inclined to waive it simply because the customer can now get a higher rate.  Would I waive it if the customer committed to do further business with my bank or credit union?   Would I waive it on a one-time basis if the customer agreed to roll into a higher yielding but longer term CD?   Maybe.

Image: Courtesy: Pexels

Could Trump Fire Fed Chairman Jay Powell?

Could Trump Fire Fed Chairman Jay Powell?

It is very standard practice that the Chairman of the Federal Reserve is appointed to a 4-year term by the President of the United States.   It is also custom that in between appointments, the President refrains from commenting on Federal Reserve policy.

It has already been several months since the President defied custom by trying to jawbone Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell into not raising rates.

Jerome Powell acted independently, raising the Fed Funds rate to 2.00% to 2.25% in September, while indicating that further rate moves are on the way.

Now that the stock market has begun to fall, the President is escalating his rhetoric, including telling the Fox News microphone that the Fed has “gone loco”.

This brings into question the issue of whether Trump would try to fire Powell should the stock market continue to fall precipitously.   Actually, with this President, the question is not “would he” but “could he”.

And, my analysis after reading the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 is he could.   Section 10.2 gives the President broad latitude to remove any member of the Federal Reserve “for cause”.   It states.

The members of the Board shall be ineligible during the time they are in office and for two years thereafter to hold any office, position, or employment in any member bank, except that this restriction shall not apply to a member who has served the full term for which he was appointed. Upon the expiration of the term of any appointive member of the Federal Reserve Board in office on the date of enactment of the Banking Act of 1935, the President shall fix the term of the successor to such member at not to exceed fourteen years, as designated by the President at the time of nomination, but in such manner as to provide for the expiration of the term of not more than one member in any two-year period, and thereafter each member shall hold office for a term of fourteen years from the expiration of the term of his predecessor, unless sooner removed for cause by the President. Of the persons thus appointed, 1 shall be designated by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to serve as Chairman of the Board for a term of 4 years, and 2 shall be designated by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to serve as Vice Chairmen of the Board, each for a term of 4 years, 1 of whom shall serve in the absence of the Chairman, as provided in the fourth undesignated paragraph of this section, and 1 of whom shall be designated Vice Chairman for Supervision.

There is a host of legislation and precedent laying out what constitutes "cause" for removal of an appointed official.   I believe that the President inherently has broad authority to do this (especially when he is unchecked on this matter, as he is now, by the legislative branch).   Precedent in the form of the 1935 case of Humphrey’s Executor v. United States would indicate that the President’s power may be limited, but it has been widely suggested that Justice Kavanaugh would provide the deciding vote in overturning that case.   Under any circumstance, there is an open issue here, and with this President that means it could happen.

I’ve stated on BestCashCow frequently and repetitively that I see little reason to buy CDs in the current environment.   That view would change quickly if Trump continues to jawbone Jay Powell and takes further action towards firing him.

Image: Courtesy: CrowdfundInsider.com