First National Bank of Pawnee Ups its APY Rates

Sometimes, small-town banks have it better. Take for example the First National Bank of Pawnee. Catering specifically to the needs of residents in its state of Oklahoma, the bank is able to offer much higher APR and APY rates. On the National Average, banks are only able to offer an APY of 0.65% – 0.99%. Any other bank that’s able to provide much higher rates is a sure winner, and in this case, it’s the FNB of Pawnee. Just take a look at their offerings:

Certificate of Deposit – APY

91 day single maturity CD – 0.50%
182 day single maturity CD – 1.000%
182 day auto-renewable CD – 1.000%
1 year single maturity CD – 1.21%
1 year auto-renewable CD – 1.21%
18 month single maturity CD – 1.31%
2 year single maturity CD – 1.51%
2 year auto-renewable CD – 1.51%
3 year single maturity CD – 2.02%
3 year auto-renewable CD – 2.02%
4 year single maturity CD – 2.17%
4 year auto-renewable CD – 2.17%

They offer flexibility in terms of managing how long you want to keep an account for. You can have it for as short as 91 days or for as long as 4 years. And because you can choose an account that’s auto-renewable, you can just leave your money to keep growing and growing for the many years to come.

One of the most important requirements for you to be able to open an account is that you have to be a resident of the state. Since they do not accept any form of out-of-state money, this can either be an advantage to you if you’re from the small county, or a disadvantage if you’re not.

They also require $1,000 minimum initial deposit if you’re applying for the 1-4 year CDs. However, if you’re only going for the 91 or 182 day CDs, you must meet the minimum requirement of $2,500.

How do you get the interest? The FNB can either issue you a check, or directly deposit it in your checking or savings account. Of course, you can just add it up to the CD so you can get more of it when it reaches maturity.

However, as with other CD accounts, there are penalty fees for early withdrawal. It might be prudent to carefully think over the type of CD plan you intend to go for so as to prevent unnecessary payments that will prove to be a big loss on an otherwise fruitful gain.

About FNB of Pawnee

Serving the small county of Pawnee in Oklahoma since 1893, the First National Bank of Pawnee has since evolved from a small bank into a full financial institution it is today. Even with its small staff of 25, and catering to a small number of people, it boasts of at least $50 million in assets. Since its foundation, the bank has experienced depressions, wars, and drought. But despite all these, its financial integrity remained strong, and that is why it has become one of the most trusted names in banking in the state of Oklahoma.


Earning more from Less with Sallie Mae CD

Issuing a Certificate of Deposit, or CD as it is commonly known, is a great way to let your money grow. Just like harvesting crops, this service relies on the principle of you can reap only that which you have sown. Simply put, the more money you invest, the greater your rewards will be. But what happens if you want to open a CD account, yet you don’t have the minimum deposit of $1,000 or even $25,000 that some banks ask for?

In this case, Sallie Mae Bank is perfect for you. Being one of the very few banks that absolutely does not require any minimum deposit, you can start putting aside your hard-earned money, whatever amount it may be, and allow it to mature.

The Good Side

Although the highest reported APY today is fixed at 1.15%, with Doral Bank leading the pack, you can still get the most value of your money with Sallie Mae Bank. Being one of the only two CD competitive banks that offer no minimum deposit, it still provides a higher APY than the other. At 1.00% APY, it outshines Ally Banks’s 0.99%, despite its same offer of no minimum deposit. Your money is compounded daily at the same rate, which still allows you to enjoy more benefits than those which are compounded monthly or annually.

The Down Side

After a 12-month period, you get the expected 1.00% APY, and at 36 months, this grows to 1.30% APY. However, by the end of 60 months or 5 years, an APY of 1.50% is all you get. This is a far comparison with most banks’ 2.00% APY for the same time period. If you are looking for a long-term arrangement, you might do well with offers from banks such as Alma Bank or First American Bank, which are currently offering a 2.00% or more APY.

In it for the Short Run

If you are thinking of holding it out for only a year or two, Sallie Mae Bank is your best choice. They do not require a hefty sum, but you’re sure that your money will grow at a rate that’s comparable to others. There are no monthly fees as well. Once you reach maturity, you can withdraw the whole lot with full and guaranteed returns. Or you can always renew your account.

The Sallie Mae CD offer is best for first time investors who want to test the waters before diving in. If you want a short-term, no minimum deposit CD with competitive rates, then this bank’s for you.


Great CD Rates from First American Credit Union

Now that the sales and discounts from Black Friday and Cyber Monday are over, we can finally start getting out of hyper mode. However, despite the fact that sale holidays are over, we can still continue to rejoice over great deals that happen to be available for extended periods of time. Take for example these great CD rates from First American Credit Union. Great rates include 1.26% for a 1 year CD, 1.76% for a 3 year CD, and 2.52% for a 5 year CD.

How These Rates Compare

Right now the highest 1 year CD nationally available from banks is 1.15% from CIT Bank. This puts First American Credit Union’s rate higher. CIT Bank also holds the higher rate for 3 year CDs with a 1.54% APY, however, First American CU’s rate is still higher. This also holds true for the 5 year CD rate where the highest nationally available from banks is only at 1.99% from Intervest National Bank.

What’s the Catch?

When we see such great rates, we always end up wondering if there’s a catch somewhere. First of all, we have to remember that the institution offering these rates is a credit union, and not a bank. One issue with credit unions is that they are sometimes restrictive with their membership. According to their website, First American Credit Union’s membership is open to anyone who lives or works in Rock County, WI, Green County, WI, Walworth County, WI or Winnebago County, IL. However, according to one consumer, if you ask their customer representative, the credit union has no requirements for membership. Just open an account with a minimum deposit of $5.

Another thing to notice is that these CD rates are available only for minimum deposits of $50,000 which is relatively a large amount which not everyone may be able to have.

About First American Credit Union

First American Credit Union has its roots in 1933 and was acquired by First Community Federal Credit Union in Michigan by 2010. It currently serves 78,500 members and it has 16 operating branches.


Consumers Face Weakened Banking Power

For seven months prior to the release of the August Credit Power Index, a system that tracks the banking power of consumers by measuring the difference between loan rates and deposit rates compiled by the money management information source MainStreet and the financial industry data expert RateWatch, interest rates on CD were showing slight but consistent improvement.

However, the latest Credit Power Index data reveals a reverse in the trend. Meaning when the index goes up, it means that the interest consumers are paying on loans is significantly higher than the interest rate they are receiving on deposits.

“The national Credit Power Index may have hit bottom last month,” says the general manager of RateWatch, Rachelle Zorn. Her statement suggests that an end to the great consumer environment at banks may be close at hand.

However, the notion of what makes a “great environment” is entirely relative, as interest rates on savings products such as CD’s have been dismal for quite some time.

The current sorry interest situation can be blamed upon the government. “The low Fed funds rate is the real driver here,” says Maria Cappellano, a portfolio manager at investment management firm Eaton Vance who focuses on short term instruments, according to Main Street.

“It’s really an anchor for short-term CDs and deposits.”

Despite the fact that any return investor can expect to receive upon such CD’s and deposits are drowning, many Americans are choosing to take the safer route of wealth preservation over the riskier and much more precarious path of growth investing. What this means is that much of people’s money will continue to be shuttled into these rather unappealing but secure instruments.

“Do I want to have my money in prime money market funds with exposure to the European debt crisis? Or should I put my money in an FDIC-insured CD at the local bank?” Cappellano proposes that investors are asking themselves, as per Main Street’s reporting. “The mindset of consumers is that they’re looking for this cash to be safe, and they’re mostly concerned with capital preservation than an income base.”

The only bright side is for people looking to borrow money because, should they qualify, they could get a great rate on a loan at the moment.

Despite the grim return money put into savings accounts and Certificates of Deposit these days, it is important that consumers don’t abandon setting some money aside in order to establish an emergency fund.


No Hope For Savers – Long Term Interest Rates Going Down

Earlier in the week the Fed announced a plan to move short-term securities into long-term holdings, such as 50-year bonds. This move would ultimately affect mortgage rates and other consumer and business loans. As investors buy up U.S. treasuries, yields will drop in response, forcing interest rates on mortgages to also drop. Over the past week the 30-year mortgage has dropped from 4.18% to 4.00%, pushing further into record-breaking ground. Just how far will mortgage rates drop? As long as the US economy stays weak and the Fed keeps short-term rates near 0%, mortgage rates could stay close to where they are right now.

How does this affect savers?

Anyone not buying a house, car or taking out long-term loans will be affected negatively by the current moves of the Fed. As long as banks and other financial institutions can get money at near 0% interest, they have no need to get it from investors. When the Fed increases rates, the cost to banks for borrowing money increases, this will in turn give the banks an incentive to pay its customers more to borrow their money.

Whenever you place your money into a bank account, savings account or certificate of deposit, the bank uses that money to lend to its customers of credit cards, mortgages, car loans and any other type of loans. In turn the bank charges an interest rate for these loans and pays its customers its borrowing money from a part of that percentage. This is how the banking system makes its money. When rates are down, the banks have no reason to pay a higher rate to investors. Therefore, as long as interest rates are at or near 0%, investors will lose, while those buying long-term loans will win by the decreased cost of borrowing money.

Will interest rates increase in 2011?

The U.S economy is projected to grow at an annual rate of 2%, not even keeping up with the rate of inflation. The current inflation rate for 2011 is 3.8% (US Inflation). When the Fed announced that it would keep interest rates near zero percent for ‘an extended period’, they said so because there was little prospect that the economy would recover within the next two years. This means that interest rates would stay low for this period of time, giving borrowers more time to make purchases or to borrow money at record low rates.

One of the dangerous causes of low interest rates is inflation. If inflation increases, interest rates would need to be increased to control the increase of inflation. The only hope for savers to see an increase on their savings accounts or CD rates in the near future would be to see an increase in inflation. Then it becomes a game of when, or if the Fed will renege on their original statement that interest rates would stay low until at least mid-2013. If the interest rate the Fed sets is not increased until 2013, then I do not see CD rates or Savings rates increasing until 2013 also.

Where are the best interest rates for savers?

If you are looking for the best interest rates on CDs or savings accounts, then stay away from major banks. Check your local credit union, as these financial institutions tend to have the best CD rates anyone can find. Melrose Credit Union is a great example of a Credit Union offering some of the highest rates on their certificate of deposits. Melrose is also a credit union open to anyone, while most credit unions are only open to specific groups of people.


Citizens Community Bank CD Rates Review

Citizens Community Bank is an FDIC insured financial institution that services Kansas, and is a division of Citizens State Bank.

Today we are going to take a look at their certificate of deposit rates and features.

Currently Citizens Community Bank shows rates their CD Rates as:

  • 6-month CD – .70% with an APY of .70%
  • 12-month CD – .85% with an APY of .85%
  • 24-month CD – 1.19% with an APY of 1.20%
  • 30-month CD – 1.34% with an APY of 1.35%
  • 36-month CD – 1.59% with an APY of 1.60%
  • 48-month CD – 2.13% with an APY of 2.15%
  • 60-month CD – 2.48% with an APY of 2.50%

*For the above rates… Interest compounded quarterly. Minimum to obtain above APYs: $1000. Substantial penalty for early withdrawal.

Lets take a minute to compare the rates to the Best CD Rates of 2011 that BankAim as found.

The best 6 month CD rate is 1.05% APY with $1000 minimum deposit from AloStar. This is definitely better than Citizens.

The best 12 Month CD Rates is from Connexus Credit Union at 1.50% APY with a minimum deposit of $10,000. Citizens is much lower but compared minimum deposit Citizens Community isn’t looking so bad.

For the 24 month CD rate MainStreet Bank has a rate of 1.50% APY and a minimum deposit of $500. Not to far off, but MainStreet offers a better minimum deposit.

Melrose Credit Union has a 60 Month CD rate of 2.68% APY with a minimum deposit of $5,000. – This is where Citizens is strong. They are showing a 2.5% APY with only $1000 minimum. Thats a great rate.


Best CD Rates For 2011 – Top 5 CD Rates So Far

CD rates in 2011 have all been but annoying for those looking for a safe haven to invest their money. Since CDs are FDIC insured, they are a safe place invest your money, but with such low interest rates, many have wondered if its really worth placing their money in a locked up investment. More frustration comes with little glimmers of hope as interest rates bounce around their all time lows. Some financial institutions offer an increase in interest, but soon after cut their rates back down to record low levels. Even credit unions, who only open their doors to specific crowds, tend to have the best interest rates, but they make it nearly impossible for the average saver to cash in on their rates.

As of September 9th 2011 the national average for the 6 month CDs and 12 month CDs have dropped to 0.52% APY and 0.84% APY, that’s down from 0.56% APY and 0.90% APY in April 2011. These are rates from the top nationally available FDIC insured financial institutions. Some online banks, local banks and credit unions offer much better rates, but their averages have continued to fall throughout 2011. These CD rates are having a hard time keeping up with inflation rates. Inflation is averaging 2.90% for the first seven months of 2011, already higher than the 1.64% average inflation rate for all of 2010. (Inflation rate data)

The Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke stated that interest rates would stay at their record low levels until at least mid-2013, giving almost no hope for an increase in what savers might earn off their money. Even though this is good news for people who can buy houses and cars, this is bad news for investors and savers alike.

Where are the best CD rates found in 2011?

If you are looking for the best CD rates of 2011, your best bet would be to look at smaller financial institutions, online banks or credit unions. Don’t bother with going to your local Bank of America branch, Wells Fargo or Chase Bank as these banks offer some of the lowest interest rates on the market. There are exceptions to big financial institutions offering higher CD rates, such as Discover Bank which has a 1.15% APY on their 12 Month CD.

Smaller financial institutions have a lower overhead cost than the traditional large bank. Online banks also have very low overhead costs and therefore can pay a higher interest rate or be more competitive than a large bank such as Bank of America. Credit Unions have offered some of the highest CD rates we have seen in 2011. These financial institutions are usually not-for-profit and owned by its members. Most also only allow a specific group of people to join, while other credit unions such as Melrose will accept anyone. Credit Unions also have strict requirements to become a member and to stay a member. This all allows them to have more control over who they do business with and also allows them to pay a higher interest rate to its members and savers

Top 5 CD Rates Available So Far In 2011 (As of September 2011)

Interest rates can change at a moments notice and while some banks and credit unions offer the best CD rates one day, those rates might have been a promotional rate that has recently expired. Since rates have been bouncing around throughout 2011, be sure to refer to our CD rates page for the most up to date rates.

    1. AloStar Bank of Commerce has a 6 month CD rate of 1.05% APY with a minimum deposit of $1,000.
    2. AloStar Bank of Commerce has a 12 month CD rate of 1.21% APY with a minimum deposit of $1,000. — Connexus Credit Union has a 12 month CD rate of 1.50% APY with a minimum deposit of $10,000, otherwise with a minimum deposit of $500 you get their 0.75% APY.
    3. MainStreet Bank has a 24 Month CD rate of 1.50% APY (the same as Connexus Credit Union’s 12 Month CD), with a minimum deposit of $500.
    4. MainStreet Bank and Melrose Credit Union have a 24 Month CD rate of 1.90% APY with a minimum deposit of $500 and $5,000.
    5. Melrose Credit Union has a 60 Month CD rate of 2.68% APY with a minimum deposit of $5,000.

Back in April 2011 the best 60 month CD rate was from PEF Federal Credit Union in Ohio at a rate of 3.29% APY. As you can see rates are still dropping from earlier in the year.

The financial institutions listed here are available to anyone nationally either by opening an account over the phone or through their website.

Be sure to visit our CD rates page for the most up to date rate information.


AloStar Tops The 12 Month CD Chart

AloStar Bank of Commerce is back on the top of the 12 Month CD rates. Is AloStar becoming the next Melrose Credit Union? This online bank who is based in Birmingham, Alabama raised its 12 month CD rate from 1.18% up to 1.21% APY.

This rate move causes AloStar to take the lead over Sallie Mae Bank who offers a rate of 1.20% APY with no minimum balance.

To get the 1.21% rate from AloStar Bank of Commerce, you will need to deposit a minimum of $1,000.

Since the middle of August there have been multiple rate changes, most of them have been cuts. Even AloStar had cut its interest rate on their 12 month CD by a tenth of a percentage point but now has increased their rate back to the top of the list.

Here are the next best 12 month CDs being offered:

  • Sallie Mae Bank is the online bank of the student loan company pays 1.20% APY with no minimum deposit.
  • MainStreet Bank, based out of Virginia but sells its CDs nationally through their (www.airbanking.com) website pays 1.16% APY with a minimum deposit of $500.
  • Virtual Bank, the online bank of Sabadell United Bank out of Miami Florida offers 1.16% APY with a minimum deposit of $10,000.

So far interest rates have continued their overall downward fall, but for how long? No one really knows when interest rates will increase. If you keep watching, some banks offer promotions which come and go as quickly as interest rates have been decreasing. Last year we watched iGoBanking offer some of the best interest rates on CDs and their promotions would only last 2-3 days at a time.

Our CD rate table offers a look at some of the better CD rates on the market today. Be sure to check back often as rates can change at a moments notice.


Overall CD Rates Hold Steady For Week Ending August 19th, 2011

This past week we have seen the Dow move up and down, but ending the week down 450 points. Many banks have cut their CD rates but overall the top CD rate leaders have held steady. The biggest drops come from a major Credit Union – Melrose. Melrose has consistently kept their rates higher than any other major nationwide bank, but since August 8th they have cut their rates down by about a quarter percent.

Here are the current rates offered at Melrose Credit Union:

  • 12 month CD rates down to 1.05% from 1.31%
  • 24 month CD rates down to 1.31% from 1.56%
  • 36 month CD rates down to 1.81% from 2.07%
  • 48 month CD rates down to 2.07% from 2.32%
  • 60 month CD rates down to 2.57% from 2.83%

For the week ending August 19th 2011, the top CD rate holders have held steady:

  • 3 month CD’s – AloStar Bank of Commerce at 0.76%
  • 6 month CD’s – AloStar Bank of Commerce at 1.05%
  • 12 month CD’s – AloStar Bank of Commerce at 1.27%
  • 24 month CD’s – MainStreet Bank at 1.50%
  • 36 month CD’s – MainStreet Bank at 1.90%, DOWN from 2.00% from August 8th
  • 60 month CD’s – MainStreet Bank at 2.50%

Overall the best CD rates have held steady, but we suspect another drop is coming. Connexus Credit Union was also offering some of the highest CD rates, even higher than Melrose Credit Union but have since dropped their rates also.

Connexus Credit Union requires a minimum deposit of $10,000 to receive the higher rates:

  • 6 month CD rate of 1.25%
  • 12 month CD rate of 1.50%, which is down from 1.75% on August 10th.
  • 60 month CD rate of 2.50%, which is down from 3.00% on August 10th.

With these lowered rates, this puts Melrose back in the lead with the best CD rates you will find on the market. Even thought they are a Credit Union, anyone can join as long as you meet a few requirements such as opening an account and funding a savings account. They also have a minimum deposit of $5,000, which might be a little high for the average saver.

Be sure to check out our CD rates page for the most up to date rate information. CD rates can change at a moments notice so be sure to check with the financial institution about their current rates before investing.


Federal Reserve Dooms Higher Interest Rates For Savers

For those of us who are waiting for the Federal Reserve to increase interest rates that banks have to pay to borrow money, our waiting has gotten much longer, at least two years longer. Since the Fed’s rate-setting committee decided to hold interest rates at the current record lows until ‘at least through mid-2013’, we cannot see interest rates increasing on any investment vehicle such as Certificates of Deposits, Savings Accounts or any other investment that relies on the interest banks pay.

What does this mean for savers?

Banks will continue to borrow money at near zero percent interest and basically will have an endless supply of cash from the Fed. Why would a bank pay a higher interest to its savers/investors if it can get the same amount of money from the Fed at 0%-0.25% interest? Since these interest rates will be held at or near zero percent until at least mid-2013, savers get the short end of the stick!

What does this mean for mortgage rates?

The only good news about interest rates staying at record lows goes to those of us buying houses, cars or other items that require a loan of some type. The whole idea of keeping interest rates low is to encourage people to buy bigger houses and cars, and to encourage businesses to hire and expand their businesses. Neither of these scenarios has been working. The real estate market continues to struggle, more and more people are losing their homes to foreclosure and less people are able to qualify for a refinance on their current home mortgage, thus missing out on these record low mortgage rates.

The thought of keeping interest rates at record lows was to help the struggling economy, to help business create more jobs, to help the failing housing market, to increase consumer spending and to boost manufacturing outputs, but none have seen a boost or an increase in productivity. So why does the Fed keep doing the same thing by keeping record low interest rates until mid-2013? Not only does this do anything for the struggling economy but also hurts savers and investors alike. CD rates will continue to stay at or near record lows and mortgage rates will look to stay around record lows until inflation hits. We can see that both CD rates and Mortgage rates sticking around these low rates for a long time to come, unless if the US economy picks up, inflation hits or the Fed decides to change course.

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