When investors are looking for big dividends, it is easy to head straight for shares like Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA). It’s not a huge surprise, after all Australia’s largest bank currently pays a fully franked 5.4% dividend.

This is undoubtedly a strong dividend, especially in a low interest environment. But in my opinion there are even better options on the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) that investors could look at adding to their portfolio.

I have picked out three shares which pay above-average dividends that I feel could be great investments today. They are as follows:

Fantastic Holdings Limited (ASX: FAN)

Fantastic Holdings is the owner and operator of furniture retail brands Fantastic Furniture, Le Cornu, and Dare Gallery. The housing market boom has created strong demand for its furniture, allowing the company to post record sales in the last fiscal year. So far in the current fiscal year things are looking just as good. In its half-year report the company posted sales of $273 million, up almost 12% on the same period last year. This level of performance should help support its growing dividend, which according to CommSec is forecast to be a fully franked 6.5% in FY 2016.

GUD Holdings Limited (ASX: GUD)

GUD comprises a number of consumer and industrial products companies such as Dexion, Davey, and Narva. Much to the joy of investors, the company recently exited the small consumer appliances market by selling its share of its struggling Sunbeam business to Jarden Consumer Solutions. This means GUD can now focus on its core business which has been performing very well. Its shares are expected to provide a fully franked 5.5% dividend in FY 2016. In addition to this, analysts have forecast GUD to grow its dividend by 14% per annum for the next couple of years.

Platinum Asset Management Limited (ASX: PTM)

Platinum Asset Management is a leading Australian asset manager. Yesterday it announced fund inflows of around $700 million in May, bringing its total funds under management to almost $25 billion. It really is not hard to see why the company is attracting these inflows. Its popular Platinum International Fund has been running for over 21 years and averaged a return of 12.6% per annum during this time. It is forecast to pay an estimated fully franked 5.5% dividend in FY 2016, making it a great alternative to the banks.

Finally, if you're still looking for even more dividend options, then I would recommend taking a look at these five fantastic dividend shares. In my opinion, each one of them pays a solid dividend and could well provide share price gains on top of it in the future.

Why these 5 dividend shares are better bets than the banks

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson. I contribute to The Motley Fool as a freelance writer and the thoughts and opinions in this post are my own, not that of The Motley Fool’s.