Many of you will have bank CD's maturing this year. Now the best CD interest rates you will get in 2009 are much lower than what you got last year and there is nothing you can do about that.

You may want to take some of that CD money and dabble a little in the stock market if you want to get higher returns but that of course carries risk with it. Most people just let their CD's roll over into another CD automatically. Your bank or brokerage will do this for you and you never have to lift a finger. This is very nice of them but you know what, if you let your CD automatically roll over into another CD, your bank won't give you the highest rate they offer.

I discovered this several years ago when I happened to go into my bank just after one of my CD's had rolled over. I had more money to add to the CD and wanted to see if they could combine the old money with the new. My CD money was already in a new CD so I asked what rate I was getting on that money. I was shocked, and angered , when they quoted me a rate I knew was way too low.

I don't know why most banks won't give you the highest rate when your CD rolls over automatically. All I know is that when you get that notice in the mail that your bank CD is about to mature, you need to physically go into your bank and instruct them to open a new CD when it matures. That way you will be able to take advantage of any promotions they might be having and to figure out what time period will give you the best rate.

The Best CD rates are so low now that it hardly seems worth it but you still can get close to 2% for a 1year CD. If you don't go in to the bank and talk to them though, you might find next year that you have gotten much less than that.


Most people want a CD for about 6 months to a year and they have money in the thousands to invest. Right now the best CD rates for that length of time top out at about 2.9% for a 1 year certificate of deposit. You have to look hard to find rates like that though, because if you just go down to your local bank, they will probably give you a rate more like 1.5%.

Historically, if you had more money to invest, a lot more money, you could get a higher rate. A jumbo CD is any certificate of deposit that is $100,000 or larger. If you were willing to give that much to a bank, they could get you a better rate than if you had say, just $5000 or so to invest.

Typically, the more you have to invest, and the longer you are willing to invest it, the higher rate you can get. Right now though, a jumbo certificate of deposit doesn't pay more than a regular sized CD. That's how bad things are right now. It doesn't matter how much you have, you can only get so much for your money. And that rate is extremely low.

The best CD rates are so low now that it is very discouraging for all the people with money to invest. Can you imagine giving up $100,000 for a year and only getting a couple thousand back in interest? It hardly seems worth it and leaves you with very few alternatives if you want to invest that money safely. This is why the recession is hitting retirees very hard who count on investment income to pay for part of their expenses.

There always was that saying that "time is money" but right now time is very little money. If you have enough money to qualify for a jumbo CD you are very fortunate that you have the money but unfortunate that you can't really make the money work for you.