Finding the best interest rates is a lot easier today than it was even a few years ago. Here at Dough Roller we track rates on everything from checking and savings accounts to mortgages to CDs. It occurred to me, however, that there was no one single page on the site where you could find the top rate for each type of account. So we created this page, updated monthly, to track the highest (or lowest) rates available.
We focus on those financial institutions that have low fees, great rates, and are typically available anywhere in the U.S. You can find local banks and credit unions that offer comparable rates, but their availability is limited geographically.
December should be an interesting month. Many expect the Fed to raise rates when it meets on December 15 and 16. Whether this in turn will raise savings rates is still unknown, but we’ll track the developments here as they unfold.
With that said, here are the best interest rates we’ve found for December 2015:
Best Bank Account Rates
Checking Accounts: Most checking accounts do not pay interest. For online banks, however, you’ll find plenty of options where you can earn some interest on your funds. There are two things to keep in mind. First, many banks offer higher interest rates only if you keep a lot of money in your checking account. Second, the rates are lower than a savings account or CD.
With that, this month the top rate still goes to Everbank, which currently pays 0.95% APY (an increase from 0.85% two months ago) on balances up to $9,999. The rate goes even higher with larger balances. It also includes a 1.60% APY 6-month bonus rate. This offer is competitive and even beats most savings accounts, but does require a minimum balance of $1,500 to open an account.
Other top paying checking accounts that we like include FNBO Direct, which currently pays 0.65% APY. For those with at least $15,000 in checking, you can earn 0.60% APY from Ally Bank. I list Ally second because most people don’t keep that much cash in checking, but it’s an option for those who do. These rates are unchanged from previous months. And for those looking for bonus offers, Chase is offering bonuses of up to $300 for new checking accounts.
Bonus: I also keep a running list of popular checking account promotions you can check out.
Savings Accounts: The top savings account rate goes to Synchrony Bank with an APY at 1.05%. Two other banks of note are Barclays and Ally, which both pay 1.00% APY. These rates are also unchanged from last month. Ally is where I currently keep our emergency fund.
Here’s a comparison table that is updated daily with current competitive rates:
Best CD Rates: The rates on certificates of deposit vary based on the term. The longer the term, the higher the rate. Keep in mind that penalties may apply if you close the CD before the end of the term. For a 12-month CD, the best rate we could find is at Synchrony Bank, which offers 1.25% APY with a minimum balance of $2,000 and GE Capital, which offers 1.00% APY (down from 1.10% a month ago) with a $500 minimum balance. The rates of course go up for longer term certificates of deposit.
Best Mortgage Rates
Mortgages: Listing the “best” mortgage rate is really impossible. Rates change throughout the day, vary by state, and are highly dependent on a number of factors including your credit score, debt-to-income ratio, and down payment. That being said, the average rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage jumped to 3.95% according to Freddie Mac (up from 3.76% last month). The average rate on a 15-year fixed mortgage rose to 3.18% (up from 2.98% a month ago).
You can find competitive mortgage and refinance rates at LendingTree.
Here’s a chart of mortgage rate trends:
Best Credit Card Interest Rates
Credit Cards: The longest 0% introductory period stands at 21 months on both purchases and balance transfers. The 21 offer comes exclusively from the Citi Simplicity card. Chase offers a card with 0% for 15 months with no balance transfer fee. You can compare these and other 0% credit cards at Card Ratings.
If you find better rates on any of the above financial products, please let us know in the comments below.
Note that the above rates were as of October 31, 2015. Rates are subject to change, so please confirm the rates directly with the financial institution.