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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 March 3, 2023.
Best CD Rates of March 2023
Best CD Rates
|Best 3-Month CDs (2–4 months included)||APY||Minimum Deposit||Early Withdrawal Penalty|
|Alliant Credit Union||4.85%||$1,000||Interest from number of days CD is open (90 days maximum)|
|Umbrella Bank||4.60%||$1,000||Minimum 1% of withdrawal (complex formula; exercise caution)|
|TotalDirectBank||4.32%||$25,000||1 month of interest|
|For more, see our best 3-month CD rankings|
|Best 6-Month CDs (5–9 months included)||APY||Minimum Deposit||Early Withdrawal Penalty|
|Alliant Credit Union||5.00%||$1,000||Interest from number of days CD is open (90 days maximum)|
|Umbrella Bank (9 months)||4.85%||$1,000||Minimum 1% of withdrawal (complex formula; exercise caution)|
|Umbrella Bank||4.80%||$1,000||Minimum 1% of withdrawal (complex formula; exercise caution)|
|For more, see our best 6-month CD rankings|
|Best 18-Month CDs (15–20 months included)||APY||Minimum Deposit||Early Withdrawal Penalty|
|Credit Human||5.25%||$500||270 days of interest ($50 minimum)|
|Great River Federal Credit Union (15 months)||5.12%||$15,500||6 months of interest|
|Great River Federal Credit Union (15 months)||5.06%||$500||6 months of interest|
|Best 2-Year CDs (21–29 months included)||APY||Minimum Deposit||Early Withdrawal Penalty|
|Credit Human||5.50%||$500||270 days of interest ($50 minimum)|
|Lafayette Federal Credit Union||5.09%||$500||9 months of interest|
|USAlliance Financial||4.85%||$500||12 months of interest|
|For more, see our best 2-year CD rankings|
|Best 3-Year CDs (30–41 months included)||APY||Minimum Deposit||Early Withdrawal Penalty|
|Summit Credit Union||4.85%||$500||6 months of interest|
|Genisys Credit Union (30 months)||4.84%||$500||180 days of dividends|
|Three Rivers Federal Credit Union (33 months)||4.75%||$10,000||6 months of interest|
|For more, see our best 3-year CD rankings|
|Best 4-Year CDs (42–53 months included)||APY||Minimum Deposit||Early Withdrawal Penalty|
|University Federal Credit Union||5.00%||$1,000||All interest earned up to 25% of total at maturity|
|NASA Federal Credit Union (49 months)||4.90%||$10,000||All interest earned (12 months maximum)|
|Credit Human (36–59 months)||4.65%||$500||365 days of interest ($50 minimum)|
|Best 5-Year CDs (54–66 months included)||APY||Minimum Deposit||Early Withdrawal Penalty|
|Seattle Bank||4.70%||$1,000||6 months of interest|
|Credit Human (36–59 months)||4.65%||$500||365 days of interest ($50 minimum)|
|Lafayette Federal Credit Union||4.63%||$500||20 months of interest|
|For more, see our best 5-year CD rankings|
|Best 10-Year CDs (114–120 months included)||APY||Minimum Deposit||Early Withdrawal Penalty|
|Credit Human||4.30%||$500||1,095 days of interest ($50 minimum)|
|Discover Bank||4.10%||$2,500||24 months of interest|
|Apple Federal Credit Union||4.00%||$500||All dividends earned (1,095 days maximum)|
|For more, see our best 10-year CD rankings|
Best 3-Month and 6-Month CDs : Alliant Credit Union
Alliant Credit Union has been around since 1935, when it was formed to serve employees of United Airlines. Headquartered in Chicago, Alliant has no branches, but it offers up to $20 per month in rebates for fees from out-of-network ATMs, and accounts can be managed online or through an app for Android and Apple devices.
Membership is available to anyone nationwide who becomes a member of Foster Care to Success, which serves teens in the foster care system. Alliant will cover the one-time $5 membership fee.
Best 1-Year CD : State Bank of Texas
The State Bank of Texas was established in 1987 with the goal of serving the lending needs of immigrants. A family-owned bank, it has four branches in Dallas and the surrounding area in addition to branches in four Chicago locations.
Online and mobile banking options allow customers to open accounts from anywhere. In addition to CDs, the State Bank of Texas offers checking and money market accounts .
For more information on the banks and credit unions offering the best 1-year rates, see our list of the best 1-year CD rates .
Best 18-Month , 2-Year , and 10-Year CDs : Credit Human
Credit Human was formed in San Antonio, Texas, in 1935 to serve members of the National Federation of Federal Employees Local #28 union. It took the name Credit Human in 2016.
Membership is available nationwide to anyone who joins the American Consumer Council, and Credit Human agrees to pay the fee to join the ACC.
The credit union has several branches throughout Texas, but members nationwide can access their accounts through online banking, a mobile app, or through CO-OP's shared branching network. Credit Human is not part of a fee-free ATM network.
Best 3-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.
For more information on the banks and credit unions offering the best 3-year rates, see our list of the best 3-year CD rates .
Best 4-Year CD : University Federal Credit Union
Headquartered in Austin, Texas, University Federal Credit Union was founded in 1936. It has 23 branches throughout Texas and also is part of the CO-OP network of shared branches and ATMs.
Membership is available to anyone nationwide who joins the American Consumer Council, and accounts can be managed online or via an app for Android and Apple devices.
Best 5-Year CD : Seattle Bank
Seattle Bank dates back to the 1940s when it began as Seattle Mortgage Company. It expanded into personal and business banking in the early 2000s. The bank has one branch in Seattle, but anyone nationwide can open an account and manage it online or through the mobile app, available on Android and Apple devices.
For more information on the banks and credit unions offering the best 5-year rates, see our lists of the best 5-year CD rates .
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.
Discover Bank. " Certificate of Deposit ."