Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Steps to Get the Best CD Rate

Some simple Steps can help you get the highest CD rates at the Best Terms from banks and credit unions.

Due to "the float" or time you are not earing interest when the bank has your money, the "best rate" may not be at the bank or credit unoin that pays the highest annual percentage rate (APY). This article tells you how to get the Highest CD Rates at the Best Terms from Banks and Credit Unions.

Do your homework:

Step #1 Find the best (highest paying) CD rate from our Highest CD Rate Survey for the term of interest

Make a list of several banks and credit unions that are at or near the top before the next step. Make colums for bank name, telephone number, interest rate, term, float for new money, float for getting your money out and "effective interest rate" after you account for any loss to the float.

Step #2 Find out if your money goes to work the day you deposit it.

We've heard reports some banks take your money then ship the forms to another state and don't credit you with interest for up to 10 days. The best places deposit the funds into your account the day they take your money and credit you with interest from that day going forward.

A rate may look great for a 4 month period but if they take 10 days after they take your money before they credit you with interest, then your effective rate is reduced significantly.

Step #3 Find out how long it takes to get your money once you request a check after the CD matures.

Ideally, you should be able to get a cashier's check from the bank teller the day your CD matures so you can take it to a new bank with a better rate. Make sure they do not close the account then send you a check in the mail as they can delay the check for many days and collect the "float" on your money until you finally get the check and deposit it into a new interest bearing account.
Step #4 Can you move money in and out electronically?

Short of geting a cashier's check and depositing it in a new back or CU on the same day where the new bank credits your account the day you make the deposite, the next best way is to transfer funds electronically (electronic funds transfer or ETF). Ideally you open the CD online at the new organization and fund it with an EFT where the money is debted from the old account on Day 1 and credited to the new account on Day 2. You only lose one day of interest this way.

The bottom line is the highest interest rate may not be the best for you. Do your homework and calculate any loss to the float. For CDs with terms of many years, the effect is small, but for many banks competing for your new funds, they offer great short term rates that may not be as good as they look due to not getting interst during the float period.

Make sure you check the "Survey of CD Rates by Term"

No comments: