Short-term certificate of deposit (CD) accounts offer investors a safe opportunity to squirrel away money for a future expense. If you’re looking for a brief solution for storing your cash and want to earn more interest than a typical savings account will offer, a 6 month CD can make a lot of sense. (It’s also a good place to start if you’re building a CD ladder.)
Using information from DepositAccounts.com, another LendingTree company and a database of offerings at more than 17,100 banks and credit unions, we found the five banks and five credit unions with the top 6 month CD rates. If there was a tie, we chose the institution with the smaller minimum-deposit requirement. We pulled these rates on July 5, 2019, and we excluded promotional offerings. The national average APY on 6 month CDs (among banks and credit unions) is 0.91%, according to the DepositAccounts.com database. These options outperform that average by a long shot. (You may also want to view our picks for the overall best CD rates.)
Banks with the best 6-month CD rates
|Bank||APY||Minimum deposit amount|
Banesco USA — 2.60% APY, $1,500 minimum deposit amount
Open a BaneSmart Certificate of Deposit from Banesco USA to earn at some of the best CD rates. The 6 Month CD earns at a top rate on all balances below $250,000. You’ll need at least $1,500 to open the account.
Founded in 2006, Banesco USA is a part of Banesco International, a financial institution with a presence in 15 countries. Banesco USA has four business centers in South Florida and one in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
MutualOne Bank — 2.53% APY, $500 minimum deposit
For the best adjacent 6-month CD rate at MutualOne Bank, consider its 7-month CD instead. You’ll have to wait just one more month for maturity, which is worth it considering the much higher rate on this account. You can open the account online with just $500. The early withdrawal penalty equals 90 days’ interest.
MutualOne Bank is a Massachusetts state-chartered mutual bank. It was originally Framingham Co-operative Bank when founded in 1889 and became MutualOne Bank in 2012.
My eBanc — 2.40% APY, $5,000 minimum deposit
A high-yield 6-month Online Time Deposit at My eBanc requires an opening deposit of at least $5,000. You can easily open the account online. The account doesn’t charge any maintenance fees. However, making an early withdrawal from the 6-month CD will trigger a penalty equal to 90 days’ worth of interest.
My eBanc is a division of BAC Florida Bank of Coral Gables, Fla., which is part of The Pellas Group. The CD program, open to all foreign and domestic customers, is designated as a “BAC Internet Time Deposit.” Overseas CDs based on the euro are not insured by the FDIC.
DollarSavingsDirect — 2.15% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit
DollarSavingsDirect offers a select few CDs, including its high-yield 24-month CD. Interest is compounded daily and credited monthly. You’ll need at least $1,000 to open an account. It’s best to avoid an early withdrawal, as you’ll lose 90 days interest whether earned or not.
DollarSavingsDirect is an online banking division of Emigrant Bank, which was founded in 1850.
ableBanking — 2.35% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit
For another competitive 6-Month CD rate, check out ableBanking. You’ll need at least $1,000 to open an account, which you can do online. Early withdrawals will trigger a penalty of 90 days’ interest.
ableBanking was founded by former professionals from brick-and-mortar banks. A solely-online bank, ableBanking is a division of Maine-based Northeast Bank, founded in 1872. CD accounts are open to all U.S. residents over 18 years of age.
Credit unions with the best 6-month CD rates
|Credit Union||APY||Minimum deposit amount|
|Andrews Federal Credit Union||2.86%||$1,000|
|Communitywide Federal Credit Union||2.35%||$2,000|
|Pinnacle Federal Credit Union||2.20%||$500|
|State Department Federal Credit Union||2.06%||$500|
|Bellco Credit Union||2.00%||$500|
Andrews Federal Credit Union — 2.86% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit
To earn the top credit union rate, head to Andrews Federal Credit Union for its slightly longer 8-Month Share Certificate. It earns at a rate comparable to longer-term CDs and higher than the top 6-month CD rate from a bank/ You’ll need at least $1,000 to open the account either online or at an Andrews FCU branch. The early withdrawal penalty equals 90 days of dividends.
Andrews Federal Credit Union was founded in 1948 and is headquartered in Suitland, Md. It currently serves over 120,000 members worldwide. Andrews FCU membership includes residents of Washington, DC, Maryland, Virginia and New Jersey, including Joint Base Andrews and Joint Base McGuire/Dix/Lakehurst. It serves military installations abroad in central Germany, Belgium and The Netherlands. Andrews FCU also extends membership to Select Employee Groups throughout Maryland, Virginia and New Jersey.
Communitywide Federal Credit Union — 2.35% APY, $2,000 minimum deposit
With at least $2,000, you can open a high-yield 6-month CW Certificate Account online. The early withdrawal penalty from this account is equal to the amount withdrawn multiplied by the remaining days left in the term.
Founded as a credit union to provide quality financial services to individuals in South Bend, Ind., Communitywide Federal Credit Union has grown to offer their services to various communities within Indiana as well as the digital world.
Anyone can become a member by donating to a list of organizations including the Y.M.C.A. If you’re a member of the Michiana Goodwill Boosters or Marine Corps. League of St. Joseph Valley, you’re also eligible to become a member.
Pinnacle Federal Credit Union — 2.20% APY, $500 minimum deposit
If you’ve got a few hundred dollars to stash away, consider parking your funds in a Pinnacle Federal Credit Union Share Certificate. The 6-Month Certificate requires at least $500 to open (as do the other certificate accounts). Early withdrawals from this account trigger a penalty of 90 days’ dividends. You can open an account online or at one of the credit union’s two New Jersey branches.
Pinnacle Federal Credit Union has been a not-for-profit credit union since 1962. It serves Edison, N.J. and the surrounding county with its two physical branches.Pinnacle Credit Union offers membership to employees of select partner companies and their family members. The credit union currently serves over 300 companies and 20,000 members. You can also join by becoming a member of the American Consumer Council. PCU will pay the $5 membership fee.
State Department Federal Credit Union — 2.06% APY, $500 minimum deposit
With another low minimum deposit requirement, State Department Federal Credit Union requires just $500 to open an account. There are no service charges and interest is compounded daily. An early withdrawal from this account will lose you either 30 days of dividends on the amount withdrawn or the amount of dividends earned since the date of issuance, whichever is less.
Founded in 1935, SDFCU is headquartered in Alexandria, Va. Customers also have access to the CO-OP Shared Branch network.
State Department FCU membership is open to employees of The U.S. Department of State. Eligibility is also determined through select organization membership, an immediate family member or the American Consumer Council. You and your employees may also apply for SDFCU membership as a group.
Bellco Credit Union — 2.00% APY, $500 minimum deposit
With just $500, you can open a 6 Months Bellco CD. The amount of the early withdrawal penalty is 90 days interest on the amount withdrawn.
Bellco was founded in 1936 and maintains several branches throughout Colorado. You can join Bellco Credit Union if you live or work in select Colorado counties, are related to a member, work for a Bellco Select Employee Group or are a member of Consumers United Association. Non-Colorado residents may also be eligible through Bellco Foundation membership.
Pros and cons of using 6 month CDs
- The CD rates offered by banks and credit unions are generally higher than those on savings accounts.
- The rates are fixed and guaranteed for the length of their term.
- The discipline of keeping the funds in the CD means the money will be available upon maturity. (Note: Most banks offer a seven-day grace period to reinvest or withdraw the investment, after which the funds will roll over into a new CD. However, you are not guaranteed the same rate.)
- Six-month CD rates are lower than those offered on longer CD investment terms.
- To tap into the CD funds — even for emergencies — consumers must accept a loss through penalties, which can include a percentage of the funds, a percentage of the earned interest, or a combination of both. A typical penalty on a short-term CD is between 30 and 90 days’ worth of interest earnings.
- If you’re not confident you can do without access to the funds for six months, you may be better off putting your money in a traditional savings account, which is likely to earn less interest than a CD.
- Since CD rollovers may reset at a different percentage rate, consumers must speak with the bank before the grace period ends to ensure they are getting the best deal.
Using a 6 month CD for laddering
A CD ladder comprises small-amount CDs with varying terms and respective interest rates that contribute to a long-term investment strategy. After the 6 month CD matures, investors can withdraw the funds for a predetermined expense. Or, they can reinvest the money into a longer-term CD with a better rate. By staggering the maturity dates on short-term CDs, consumers have access to their cash on a regular, predictable basis.
Where can you open a CD account?
Consumers can open 6 month CD accounts (or longer) from banks and credit unions. Bank and credit union CD rates are based on Federal Reserve rates, and there may be strategic times to pursue these short-term instruments following a rate increase.