Finding the best interest rate 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. With that said, here are the best interest rates we’ve found for December 2014:
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 0.85% APY on balances up to $9,999. The rate goes even higher with larger balances. This offer is competitive and even beats most savings accounts. 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.
Bonus: I also keep a running list of popular checking account promotions you can check out.
Savings Accounts: The top savings account rate with no minimum requirement goes to Synchrony Bank (formerly GE Capital Retail Bank), which pays 1.00% APY (up from 0.95% last month). GE Capital Bank comes in second at 95% APY. GE Capital Bank’s rate is up from 0.90% APY a few months ago. Another bank of note is Barclays, which pays 0.90% APY. Two other options that aren’t far behind are American Express Bank (0.80% APY) and Ally (0.99% APY–as of December 19, 2014). These rates are also unchanged from last month. Ally is where I currently keep our emergency fund.
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 GE Capital and Synchrony Bank, both at 1.10% APY.
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 credit score, debt-to-income ratio, and down payment. That being said, the average rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage is 3.97% according to Freddie Mac (down from 3.98% last month). The average rate on a 15-year fixed mortgage is 3.17%, up 4 basis points from last month. You can check out our mortgage rate page, which is updated throughout the day.
Here’s a chart of mortgage rate trends:
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 December 1, 2014. Rates are subject to change, so please confirm the rates directly with the financial institution.