Rate Report: The Week’s Best Deals on Loans and Savings


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Most people spend more time shopping for milk than shopping for the best rates on savings, credit cards, or loans. Are you earning as much as you can while paying as little as possible? Here's how to find out in less than a minute.

You should always keep an eye on the rates you earn on your savings and those you pay when you borrow – because earning more when you save or paying less on loans will add up, especially over time.

In pre-Internet days, shopping for rates was hard. But these days it couldn’t be easier. Simply check your rates, then determine if you can do better by using our continuously updated search engine for rates both nationwide and local.

Here’s your report for this week. The data comes courtesy of Informa Research Services

Loan rates

Mortgage loans

The trend: Mortgage rates are down slightly from last week, with 30-year fixed rates averaging 5.01 percent vs. today’s 5.09. Expectations for this year are for rates to be volatile but rise gradually as the economy continues to recover. (See our story Mortgage Rates 2011.)

The annual percentage rates (APRs) below are based on borrowers with good credit for a $200,000 purchase loan for an owner-occupied, single-family residence, with a 20-percent down payment.

Home equity

Car loans

Credit cards

Before looking for a credit card, think about how you’ll use it. Do you carry a balance? Then you want a card with a low interest rate. Do you pay off your balance every month? Then look at credit cards with no annual fee and perks like cash back or airline miles. Do you spend more on gas than anything else? Then maybe your perfect credit card comes from an oil company with extra cash back on gas purchases.

Below are average and high interest rates on various types of cards. Click here to search credit cards nationwide for the card best suited to you.

  • Platinum card: The average rate last week was 10.01 percent, and the high rate was 24.90 percent.
  • Reward card: The average rate last week was 11.90 percent, and the high rate was 24.90 percent.
  • Introductory rate card: The average rate last week was 1.71 percent, and the high rate was 7.90 percent.

Savings rates

Certificates of deposit (CDs)

Rates on CDs are currently as low as .01 percent – basically nothing. Below are the averages for last week on various maturities. Check them out, see if you’re earning better than the average, then click here to search current CD rates.

  • 3 month: The average rate last week was .20 percent: That’s down .07 percent. The low as .01 percent.
  • 6 month: The average rate last week was .40 percent, and the low was .01 percent.
  • 12 month: The average rate last week was unchanged at .61 percent, and the low was .01 percent.
  • 24 month: The average rate last week was unchanged at .95 percent, and the low .01 percent.
  • 36 month: The average rate last week was unchanged at 1.26 percent, and the low was .01 percent.

Money market accounts

The average money market account last week was paying .29 percent, while the low was .01 percent. But you can easily earn at least 1 percent on insured bank money market accounts. Click here to search money market accounts.

Stacy Johnson

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