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.