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Interest rates stay level on savings, CDs

By Claes Bell · Bankrate.com
Friday, February 24, 2017
Posted: 8 am ET
The latest rates on savings accounts and CD rates

Olena Yakobchuk/Shutterstock.com

Savers will mostly be earning the exact same rates on their savings after this week. Average rates on 1-year certificates of deposit and money-market accounts, two frequently used savings products, stayed put. The average rate on longer-term 5-year CDs trended higher.

MMA rates stay flat

This week's survey showed money-market accounts , which are savings accounts that often pay higher rates than conventional savings accounts and come with limited check writing privileges, are currently paying an average of 0.11 percent interest. That's exactly the same as it was last week.

There have been substantial headwinds for savers since the Great Recession pushed deposit rates near zero at many institutions. That being said, there are opportunities for savers to earn multiple times the national average and still enjoy FDIC protection simply by shopping around.

RATE SEARCH: Find savings rates in your area.

1-year CD rates unchanged

The average interest rate on 1-year CDs stood unchanged at 0.33 percent this week. That's above the 52-week average of 0.30 percent.

A month ago, the average rate was the same as it is now. A year ago, the average rate was 0.27 percent.

Longer maturities fared better. The average rate for a 5-year CD rose 1 basis point to 0.88 percent. A month ago, the average 5-year rate was 0.86 percent. A year ago, it was 0.82 percent. Rates on three-year CDs, which split the difference between 1-year CDs and 5-year CDs, were up, rising 1 basis point to 0.61 percent.

As you can see, going for longer-maturity CDs can increase the interest you earn from your deposits. There are trade-offs, however; if you need to access the money before the term is up, you'll likely pay an early-withdrawal penalty, and if rates rise, you'll be locked into that lower rate for a while. One way to address those risks while still earning a decent return is through CD laddering.

It may go without saying, but FDIC insurance is a must-have for CDs, money market accounts and other deposit products. And if you find a rate you like at a bank that you've never heard of, Bankrate's free Safe & Sound ratings can help you do some digging into its financial situation.

RATE SEARCH: Compare CD and savings rates now.

Weekly savings and CD rate survey

Results from Bankrate's survey of banks and thrifts conducted 2/22/2017.
Money market account 1-year CD 3-year CD 5-year CD
This week's rate: 0.11% 0.33% 0.61% 0.88%
Change from last week: N/C N/C +0.01 +0.01

Methodology: The "Bankrate.com National Average," or "national survey of large lenders," is conducted weekly. To conduct the National Average survey, Bankrate obtains rate information from the 10 largest banks and thrifts in 10 large U.S. markets. In the Bankrate.com national survey, our Market Analysis team gathers rates and/or yields on banking deposits, loans and mortgages. We've conducted this survey in the same manner for more than 30 years, and because it's consistently done the way it is, it gives an accurate national apples-to-apples comparison.

To learn more about the different rate averages Bankrate publishes, see "Understanding Bankrate's Rate Averages."

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