Compare Bank Rates From all Institutions

By Features Bankrate.com

Today's interest rates are dismal, and savers are struggling to stay ahead of inflation.

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Rates on bank accounts and products vary by institution type. Here is a rundown of the bank rates you can expect from credit unions, small banks and large banks.

Credit Unions

You're likely to get better bank rates from a credit union on products ranging from CDs and credit cards to savings accounts and money market accounts.

Members of credit unions are also owners of the union, so lower loan rates and higher savings rates are part of the benefits of ownership. Any surplus in profits is fed back into the membership in the form of favorable rates, dividends and reduced fees.

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Regulation also requires credit unions to cap loan interest rates, including credit cards, at 18 percent.

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Community Banks

Small banks also tend to offer better interest rates than their national bank counterparts. Community banks often use rate specials on deposit accounts to attract new customers and accounts.

National Banks

Big banks don't have a cap on loan interest rates they can charge, so it's not uncommon to see these banks charge more than 30 percent on some loans and credit cards as penalties. In general, their rates on savings accounts are not as generous as those found at credit unions and small banks.

Though national banks tend to have more fees and costs associated with them, they offer the convenience of an abundance of ATMs, a 24-hour, seven-days-a-week customer call center and extended branch hours.

In addition to convenience, if you're a consumer who wants the most up-to-date mobile and online banking features, then big banks are ahead of the curve and may be worth the extra fees and less favorable rates.

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