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Best CD Rates

CD Rates for Both Short- and Long-Term Savings Goals

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We review more than 150 banks and credit unions each weekday to find the best certificates of deposit (CD) rates available nationwide. The top picks have the highest rates for a particular term based on annual percentage yield (APY) and are available to the public.

We also look at certificates of deposit with slightly shorter and longer terms than each category we’ve named to determine the overall best CD rate within a range. For example, for the best 3-month CDs we considered products with terms of two to four months.

When multiple banks or credit unions offer the same rate, we favor those with the lowest minimum deposit and friendly early-withdrawal policies. We track APYs daily but re-evaluate the list weekly, and all accounts that make our list are insured by either the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or the National Credit Union Administration.

Scroll down for the top CD rates available as of June 30, 2023.

Best CD Rates

Best CD Rates of July 2023

  • Best 3-Month CD: TotalDirectBank
  • Best 6-Month and 18-Month CDs: NASA Federal Credit Union
  • Best 1-Year CD: CFG Bank
  • Best 2-Year CD: Summit Credit Union
  • Best 3-Year CD: United States Senate Federal Credit Union
  • Best 4-Year CD: GTE Financial
  • Best 5-Year CD: Department of Commerce Federal Credit Union
  • Best 10-Year CD: Apple Federal Credit Union
Best 3-Month CDs (2–4 months included) APY Minimum Deposit Early Withdrawal Penalty
TotalDirectBank 5.16% $25,000 1 month of interest
Brilliant Bank 5.10% $1,000 1/2 the interest earned if had been held to maturity
Santa Clara County Federal Credit Union 5.09% $500 3 months of interest
Best 6-Month CDs (5–9 months included) APY Minimum Deposit Early Withdrawal Penalty
NASA Federal Credit Union (9 months) 5.65% $10,000 All interest earned (182 days maximum)
Bellco Credit Union 5.50% $500 3 months of interest
Mountain America Credit Union 5.50% $500 3 months of interest
Best 1-Year CDs (10–14 months included) APY Minimum Deposit Early Withdrawal Penalty
CFG Bank 5.52% $500 6 months of interest
Garden Savings Federal Credit Union (13 months) 5.50% $1,000 6 months of interest
First Internet Bank 5.48% $1,000 180 days of interest
Best 18-Month CDs (15–20 months included) APY Minimum Deposit Early Withdrawal Penalty
NASA Federal Credit Union (15 months) 5.45% $10,000 All interest earned (182 days maximum)
Department of Commerce Federal Credit Union (12 to 23 months) 5.34% $25,000 180 days of dividends
Connexus Credit Union (15 months) 5.25% $5,000 6 months of interest
Best 2-Year CDs (21–29 months included) APY Minimum Deposit Early Withdrawal Penalty
Summit Credit Union (22 months) 5.25% $5,000 6 months of interest
United States Senate Federal Credit Union 5.18% $1,000 6 months of interest
Bread Savings 5.00% $1,500 6 months of interest
Best 3-Year CDs (30–41 months included) APY Minimum Deposit Early Withdrawal Penalty
United States Senate Federal Credit Union 5.13% $1,000 6 months of interest
Quorum Federal Credit Union 4.85% $1,000 12 months of interest
Lafayette Federal Credit Union 4.84% $500 12 months of interest
Best 4-Year CDs (42–53 months included) APY Minimum Deposit Early Withdrawal Penalty
GTE Financial 4.85% $500 6 months of interest
NASA Federal Credit Union (49 months) 4.85% $10,000 All interest earned (182 days maximum)
Lafayette Federal Credit Union 4.73% $500 16 months of interest
Best 5-Year CDs (54–66 months included) APY Minimum Deposit Early Withdrawal Penalty
Department of Commerce Federal Credit Union 4.77% $25,000 180 days of dividends
FedChoice Federal Credit Union 4.70% $500 15 months of interest
Lafayette Federal Credit Union 4.68% $500 20 months of interest
Best 10-Year CDs (114–120 months included) APY Minimum Deposit Early Withdrawal Penalty
Apple Federal Credit Union 4.00% $500 All dividends earned (1,095 days maximum)
Credit Human 4.00% $500 1,095 days of interest ($50 minimum)
Discover Bank 3.80% $2,500 24 months of interest

Best 3-Month CD : TotalDirectBank

TotalDirectBank is a division of City National Bank of Florida, which originally was established as North Shore Bank in 1946. TotalDirectBank keeps the product lineup simple, with money market accounts and CDs with terms of up to five years. Anyone in the U.S. (except those in Florida, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, and U.S. Virgin Islands) can open a money market or CD account.

Best 6-Month and 18-Month CDs : NASA Federal Credit Union

Started in 1949 by members of the scientific community, NASA Federal Credit Union serves over 177,000 members nationwide. Anyone can join the credit union by becoming a member of the National Space Society. You can join via the NASA Federal Credit Union application page, and your first year of membership is complimentary. Members are also required to sign up for a primary savings account with a minimum deposit of $5.

Best 1-Year CD : CFG Bank

CFG Bank is a privately owned and operated bank that dates back more than 90 years and is headquartered in Baltimore. As the 12th largest bank in Maryland, it serves mainly the mid-Atlantic region, but any U.S. citizen or legal resident who is 18 years or older can apply for a CD account. You’ll also need a valid Social Security number and a physical address in the U.S. CFG Bank offers CDs with multiple terms ranging from 12 months to 60 months. In addition, the bank has checking accounts, money market accounts, and more.

Best 2-Year CD : Summit Credit Union

Summit Credit Union was founded in Madison, Wisconsin in 1935 as CUNA Credit Union. It claims to be the first credit union with an open charter, meaning anyone could be a member. After merging with the former State Capitol Employees Credit Union in 2008, it took the name Summit Credit Union.

Summit has numerous locations throughout the southeastern portion of Wisconsin, mostly in the Madison and Milwaukee areas. For those who do not live near a branch, accounts can be opened and managed either online or through an app compatible with both Android and Apple devices.

Best 3-Year CD : United States Senate Federal Credit Union

The United States Senate Federal Credit Union was launched in 1935 by nine employees of the Senate. Headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, membership is available to anyone who joins the American Consumer Council, for which the credit union will cover the cost.

Branches are available in Alexandria and in Washington, D.C., but members also can access shared branches and ATMs that are part of the Allpoint, CO-OP, CULIANCE, and NYCE networks. Accounts also can be managed online or through an app for Android and Apple devices.

Best 4-Year CD : GTE Financial

GTE Financial is a credit union first chartered in Florida in 1935 as Peninsula Telephone Employees Credit Union. GTE purchased it in 1935 and changed its name to GTE Federal Credit Union before eventually taking its current name in 2012. It has more than 20 locations in Tampa, Florida, and the surrounding location, but accounts can be managed online or through an app for Android and Apple devices. The credit union also is part of the CO-OP Network of shared branches and ATMs.

Membership is available to anyone who pays a one-time $10 fee to join CU Savers, the credit union’s nonprofit educational financial club.

Best 5-Year CD : Department of Commerce Federal Credit Union

The Department of Commerce Federal Credit Union was chartered in 1964 and has two branches in Washington, D.C.—one at the U.S. Department of Commerce and another at the White House. It also has a branch in Silver Springs, Maryland. Those who do not live in the D.C. area can manage their accounts online or via a mobile app available for Android and Apple devices.

DOCFCU membership is available to anyone who lives, works, worships, or attends school in Washington, D.C., is a family member of a current member, or is a current or former employee of the U.S. Department of Commerce or its contractors, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the White House Management and Administration Office, or the Executive Office of the President. Those who do not meet these eligibility requirements can gain eligibility by joining the American Consumer Council.

Best 10-Year CD : Apple Federal Credit Union

Apple Federal Credit Union was founded in 1956 and has branches in northern Virginia. But customers nationwide can access accounts and use shared locations (including over 53,000 ATMs) through shared branching. If you’re not already eligible to join the credit union, you can qualify by joining the nonprofit Northern Virginia Athletic Directors, Administrators, and Coaches. NVADACA, which supports student athletes, offers membership at $20 per year. To get started with Apple Federal Credit Union, you’ll need to open a savings account with at least $5.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is a CD?

A CD is a “time deposit” that pays a fixed interest rate for a specific length of time. For most people, a CD is an account that you use at a bank or credit union, but you can also purchase CDs through brokerage accounts. Either way, you select a length of time to invest in the CD, and you earn interest during that time.

How Do CDs Work?

A CD holds your money for a specified length of time (such as six months or two years), and your bank or credit union pays you interest based on the amount of your deposit and the length of the term. 

When you use a CD, you typically commit to leaving your money in the account. In return for that commitment, banks usually pay higher interest rates than they do in more liquid savings accounts. But if you need your money before the term ends, you may have to pay an early withdrawal penalty.

How Do Early Withdrawal Penalties Work?

Banks and credit unions often penalize you for withdrawing funds from a CD before the term is up. In many cases, they calculate the penalty as a certain number of months’ worth of interest. For example, Discover Bank charges six months’ worth of interest if you pull out of a 1-year CD early. That penalty increases to 18 months’ worth of interest on 5-year CDs.

Paying a penalty is never fun, and it can be particularly problematic when you cash out early in the term. Depending on how long your money stays in a CD, you might even receive less back than you originally deposited.

What Are the Pros and Cons of CDs?

CDs often pay higher interest rates than you can earn in a savings account. Banks and credit unions tend to pay more when you agree to lock up your money for a specific length of time. Plus, if interest rates fall and the bank pays new customers lower rates, you keep earning the same higher APY throughout the term of your CD.

To earn a higher rate, however, you need to commit to leaving your money with the bank. Pulling out early may result in early-withdrawal penalties, which can wipe out your earnings. Also, if interest rates rise, you may be stuck with a comparatively low rate until your CD matures.

  • Higher interest rates than savings accounts

  • Earnings won’t change if interest rates drop

  • Must lock up your money

  • Potential early withdrawal penalties

  • Might get stuck with a low rate while other interest rates rise

How Can You Manage Risks?

To help reduce your risk, some banks offer liquid CDs that allow you to withdraw funds early or request a rate increase. But there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Those products might start with lower rates than standard CDs, which is only fair, considering you can get out easily. More on that in the No-Penalty CD section below. You can also use a laddering strategy to manage some of the challenges that come with investing in CDs.

What Is a CD Ladder?

A CD ladder is a set of multiple CDs you purchase with different maturity dates, which helps you avoid locking up all of your money at once. With that approach, you might purchase a series of CDs with maturities in six-month increments. As a result, you periodically have cash available for planned (and unplanned) needs, or you can buy a new CD at the going rate. For example, if you have $10,000 to put into CDs, you might invest the following:

  • 6-month CD: $2,500 
  • 12-month CD $2,500 
  • 18-month CD $2,500 
  • 24-month CD: $2,500 

Ideally, every time one of these CDs matures, you would buy a new 24-month CD with the proceeds to begin the cycle again.

Rates might be higher or lower when you reinvest into a new CD, but constantly cycling your money could still have benefits. You maintain flexibility and avoid putting all of your money into long-term CDs at a bad time.

Is Money Safe in a CD?

When your funds are federally insured, they’re safe from bank and credit union failures. There may be a brief delay in receiving your money (or no delay at all) immediately following a bank failure, but when you’re using CDs, you’re probably weren’t planning to use the funds immediately anyway. To verify that your cash is protected, look for the following types of coverage:

  • FDIC insurance at banks
  • NCUA coverage at federally-insured credit unions

Both of these programs insure your money up to $250,000 per depositor, per institution, so it’s critical to keep your balances below the insured limits. You might be able to have more than $250,000 insured at one place, depending on how your accounts are titled.

What Influences CD Rates?

Several factors affect how much you earn from a CD. For starters, banks decide how competitive they want to be. If they have an appetite for new customers, they may nudge rates higher. Economic factors also influence CD rates. As rates rise or fall in financial markets, savings and CD rates tend to move in synchrony, although they might not react immediately (especially when it’s time to pay you more).

The length of your CD is critical. In general, you might expect longer-term CDs to pay more because you’re taking more risk—you’re committing to more months or years of unknowns. But the relationship is not always as direct as you might think. For example, if banks think rates might fall in the next several years, long-term CDs might pay rates that are similar to (or lower than) 1-year and 2-year CDs.

As a rule of thumb, long-term CDs have higher rates than short-term CDs. Still, it’s worth comparing rates from several banks for any terms you’re interested in.

What Should You Look for in a CD?

As you shop among banks, find a CD that’s the best fit for your finances. Pay careful attention to the features below.

  • Interest rate: The higher the rate, the faster your money grows. The easiest way to compare rates is to use the annual percentage yield (APY), which banks typically provide for you. That quote takes compounding frequency into account and helps you make an apples-to-apples comparison.
  • Minimum deposit: How much do you need to invest to use a CD? Some banks do not set any minimum, while others might require more than $1,000 to get started.
  • Fees: Monthly fees in CD accounts are rare, but it's smart to verify that you won't pay additional charges to use a CD. Anything you pay will reduce your earnings.
  • Joining fees: All of the credit unions we include on our best CD lists are available nationwide, but sometimes you’re required to make a donation to an organization in order to join the credit union. This fee is usually small, but it’s one more hoop you have to jump through to get the CD.
  • Penalties: Examine the early-withdrawal penalties, and evaluate how likely it is that you’ll need to cash out early. Weigh the pros and cons of liquid CDs.

Calculate how much extra you can earn by getting the highest rate available, and decide if that’s what you really need. If you have a relatively small account balance, a difference of a few tenths of a percent may not make much difference and there may be other factors that are more important to you.

As you compare banks, you may notice language about compounding frequency (daily or monthly compounding, for example). All other things being equal, more frequent compounding is best. But you can ignore those details by simply comparing each bank’s APY, which includes compounding.

What Is a No-Penalty CD?

Some CDs allow you to withdraw money before maturity. These “no-penalty” or “liquid” CDs can provide flexibility for unexpected expenses and other situations. For example, you might be allowed to withdraw 100% of the money you deposit after six days, but the account pays a guaranteed rate of interest for 11 months. 

What’s the catch? In many cases, no-penalty CDs start at a lower rate than standard, inflexible CDs. You enjoy the benefit of flexibility, and the bank has less certainty about how long it can use your money. As a result, you earn slightly less.

Do You Have to Pay Taxes on Interest From CDs?

You typically have to pay tax on the interest you earn from CDs in taxable accounts, including joint accounts, individual accounts, and other types of accounts. If you use CDs in a retirement account, such as an IRA, you generally would not pay taxes on the earnings each year—but you might owe taxes when you take distributions from that account.

What Are Some Alternatives to CDs?

CDs are excellent tools for growing your money, but other products from banks and credit unions might also do the job.

Savings accounts provide more flexibility when you need money, but they don’t have fixed rates. That can work in your favor when rates rise. But if rates fall or remain stagnant, you might be better off in a CD.

Money market accounts are similar to savings accounts, but they may make it easier to spend money from your account. Some money market accounts provide a debit card or checkbook for spending, while others may require you to move your savings to a checking account before you spend.

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Article Sources
  1. Discover Bank. "Certificate of Deposit."

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