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The Best Credit Union CD Rates in October 2020

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

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Certificates of deposit (CDs) are a great way to safely store your savings at a financial institution, as they offer a guaranteed rate of return, and CD rates tend to be higher than those on traditional savings accounts. Maybe you’ve even heard that credit union CD rates offer higher returns—but is that really the case?

On average, yes. As of June 2019, the average one-year credit union CD had a 1.42% annual percentage yield (APY), compared to the 1.11% APY average among one-year bank CDs.

Using data from DepositAccounts.com, another LendingTree company, we identified the top one-year credit union CD rates, as of October 7, 2020. We then eliminated any credit union with a health rating lower than a B and a minimum deposit no larger than $5,000 identified the top offerings in three categories: restricted, no cost, and best banking app. If there was a tie by APY, we went with the product with the lower minimum deposit. Here are the best one-year credit union CD rates.

Best credit union CD rates with restricted memberships or membership fees

Each of these credit unions have restricted membership criteria, but don’t let that scare you away. If you don’t meet their membership criteria, it’s often possible to make a small donation to their charity of choice in order to become eligible for membership. Furthermore, these credit union CD rates offer some of the highest-returning share certificates out of any category.

Communitywide Federal Credit Union — 12-Month CD, 0.95% APY, min. deposit $1,000

12 Month Share Certificate from Communitywide Federal Credit Union For over 50 years, Communitywide Federal Credit Union has provided banking services to the citizens of northern Indiana, and now a completely revamped online and mobile portal brings its great rates to you, wherever you are. Membership in Communitywide FCU is open to members of the Michiana Goodwill Boosters or the Marine Corps League of St. Joseph Valley, as well as employees of over 40 companies in the central Midwest region.

In exchange for a $1,000 minimum deposit, Communitywide’s 12-month share certificate earns a 0.95% APY. One great feature is flexibility regarding your dividends, which may be compounded in the certificate, deposited to another share certificate or transferred to another account. There is no automatic renewal of Communitywide’s share certificates, which could be a good thing for savers who like to be reminded to survey the best rates available before rolling over their investments.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Communitywide Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Pen Air Federal Credit Union – 12-Month Share Certificate, 0.80% APY, min. deposit $500

12 Month CD from Pen Air Federal Credit Union
Pen Air Federal Credit Union offers an array of certificates of deposit, with term lengths ranging from 3-months to 60-months. Its 12-month CD offering is particularly noteworthy, with a minimum required deposit of $500 and an APY of 0.80%.

Pen Air Federal Credit Union is open to active duty or retired military, civil service employees, employees at select employer groups, as well as anyone who simply joins the Friends of the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Pen Air Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

State Department Federal Credit Union — 12-Month Share Certificate, 0.85% APY, min. deposit $500

12 Month Certificate from State Department Federal Credit Union Don’t worry, you don’t need a security clearance from the federal government to join this credit union — you simply need to sign up with the American Consumer Council to begin enjoying the benefits of your new membership.

One of those benefits, should you so choose, includes this 12-Month Share Certificate, which allows you to park your money in an account earning 0.85% APY with a minimum deposit of $500. You’ll have to pay 180 days’ worth of interest if you withdraw your money from the certificate before it matures, but it’s worth noting that you can make a partial early withdrawal — and pay the penalty — without closing out the account completely.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on State Department Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Veridian Credit Union – 12-Month CD, 0.85% APY, min. deposit $1,000

12 Month CD Special from Veridian Credit UnionThe Veridian Credit Union is currently offering a special, 12-month CD with an attractive APY of 0.85% and a minimum balance of $1,000. If you have more cash you’re looking to stash, Veridian is also offering a special 12-month jumbo CD with a minimum balance of $100,000 and an APY of 0.95%.

Veridian Credit Union is open to anyone who lives or works within its field of membership, which consists of all 99 Iowa counties and a select number of counties in Nebraska. Additionally, membership is open to registered users of the business payment app Dwolla.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Veridian Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Lafayette Federal Credit Union – 1-Year Term Fixed Rate Share Certificate, 0.80% APY, min. deposit $500

1 Year Fixed CD from Lafayette Federal Credit Union Lafayette Federal Credit Union offers a slew of fixed-rate share certificates, ranging in term length from seven months to five years. Its 1-year fixed rate share certificate has an impressive APY of 0.80% with a minimum deposit of just $500. Like most CDs, there are penalties for early withdrawal.

Membership to the Lafayette Credit Union is open to anyone who becomes a member of the Home Ownership Financial Literacy Council, or if you become a member of the American Consumer Council.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Lafayette Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Technology Credit Union – 12-17 Month Certificate, 0.80% APY, min. $1,000

12 - 17 Month Flextime CD from Technology Credit Union Technology Credit Union offers a slew of CDs with competitive rates, but its 12 to 17 month term CD stands out with a 0.80% APY and a low minimum deposit of just $1,000. It’s worth noting that if your certificate is not funded within 30 days of opening, it will be closed automatically.

Technology Credit Union is open to anyone who joins the Financial Fitness Association, which has an $8 fee.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Technology Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union – 12-month CD, 0.75% APY, min. deposit $500

12 Month CD from Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union offers a wide array of CDs ranging in term length from three months to 60 months. Currently, it’s offering a competitive rate of 0.75% APY on its 1-year CD. This CD requires a minimum deposit of just $500.

Membership to Affinity Plus is open to anyone who makes a one-time dues payment of $25 to the Affinity Plus Foundation.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Financial Partners Credit Union – 12 to 23 Month Share Certificate, 0.60% APY, min. deposit $1,000

12 to 23 Month CD from Financial Partners Credit UnionThe Financial Partners Credit Union has a collection of share certificates, ranging in term length from three months to 60 months. Its 12-year to 23-month share certificate touts an APY of 0.60%, with a minimum deposit of $1,000 required. There is also a jumbo share certificate iteration that offers a higher APY but requires a $100,000 minimum deposit.

The Financial Partners Credit Union offers membership to anyone who lives or works in a number of counties throughout California, as well as anyone who is an employee of a lengthy list of select employer groups.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Financial Partners Credit Union’s secure website

Best CD rates for credit unions with no cost to join

The thing about credit unions is that they’re not usually just open to anyone. You usually need to meet some membership criteria in order to get in and get access to all of their really nice products. These credit unions, however, will let you in for free regardless of your personal details. (Note: Only two credit unions met our criteria for this list.)

Unify Financial Credit Union – 1-Year Share Certificate, 0.50% APY, min. deposit $1,000

12 Month Share Certificate from UNIFY Financial Credit Union
Unify FCU offers decent interest rates on CDs (which it calls share certificates) for a credit union with no cost to join. The interest rate on their 12-month CD, for example, is 0.50%. You’ll need to deposit a minimum of $1,000 to open this CD. If you withdraw your money early, however, you’ll face a substantial penalty.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on UNIFY Financial Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

NASA Federal Credit Union – 1-Year Share Certificate, 0.45% APY, min. deposit $1,000

12 Month Share Certificate from NASA Federal Credit Union
If the rigid inflexibility of CDs makes you leery, NASA FCU might be your best bet. They have a lot of flexible certificates, such as add-on certificates that let you start with as little as $250, and bump-rate certificates that let you opt for a one-time interest rate increase if rates go up. You can even take out a loan from your certificate should you need the cash before it’s matured. You can join NASA FCU with a complimentary membership to the National Space Society.

If you do need to make an early withdrawal, you will face a penalty of 180 days’ worth of interest.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on NASA Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Best CD rates for credit unions with the best mobile apps

By their very nature, CDs aren’t something that require constant attention, poking, and prodding. It’s a set-it-and-forget-it kind of a deal, so you won’t need any spiffy banking apps to use CDs.

But, if you’d like to switch all of your banking to the same institution that holds your CDs, it might be a wise idea to consider one of these credit unions if you’re a digital junkie. Most credit unions lag behind their bank compatriots in terms of mobile banking apps, but these credit unions offer top-notch mobile apps, according to MagnifyMoney’s 2020 mobile banking app analysis.

Delta Community Credit Union – 1-Year Certificate, 0.80% APY, min. deposit $1,000

12 Month CD from Delta Community Credit Union
There are many ways to join Delta Community CU, such as living in certain parts of Georgia, being a member of one of their select employers, or being a member of one of their partner organizations. Interestingly, citizens of many countries like Argentina, France, and Peru are also eligible to join.

Delta Community CU used to be the lowest-earning credit union on our list, but recently increased the APY on this product to 0.80% APY. The early withdrawal penalty is 90 days’ worth of interest on a 12-month CD.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Delta Community Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Eastman Credit Union – 1 Year Investment Certificate , 0.75% APY, min. deposit $1,000

1 to 2 Year Investment Certificate from Eastman Credit Union Eastman Credit Union has pretty restrictive membership requirements. You’ll have to be an employee (or a family member of an employee) of one of their select employers, or live in certain parts of Tennessee, Texas, or Virginia.

This product yields 0.75% APY for its 1 year certificate of deposit, with a minimum deposit of $1,000. If you withdraw your money before the CD matures, you’ll owe a penalty fee of 90 days’ worth of dividend earnings.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Eastman Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Redstone Federal Credit Union – 12 Month Share Certificate, 0.15% APY, min. deposit $1,000

12 Month Regular Share Certificate (Compounding) from Redstone Federal Credit UnionYou can’t just make a simple donation to join to Redstone Federal Credit Union if you fail to meet their membership criteria. You need to be a government employee or contractor, a member of the military, reserve, or National Guard, or affiliated with a number of organizations listed on their website among other options.However, if you do qualify for membership, you could earn an APY of 1.51% with a minimum deposit of $1,000. Redstone FCU has compounding and non-compounding certificates, which allow you to have the option to withdraw interest earned or not throughout the term of the certificate.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Redstone Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

BECU – 12-17 Month CD, 0.05% APY, min. deposit $500

12 - 17 Month CD from BECU (Boeing Employees Credit Union)
BECU offers an array of certificates of deposit, with term lengths ranging from 12 months to 47 months. Currently, BECU’s 12-17 month CD offers depositors an APY of 0.05% on balances between $500 and $49,999.99. BECU also offers a Member Advantage rate of 0.30% APY for the same certificate.

Membership to BECU is restricted to those who live, work, worship or go to school in Washington state and certain Idaho counties, as well as people who live or work in certain Oregon counties or those who belong to select associations.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on BECU (Boeing Employees Credit Union)’s secure website

NCUA Insured

America First – 12-23 Month CD, 0.35% APY, min. deposit $500

12 - 23 Month Regular Certificate from America First Credit Union
America First Credit Union’s collection of CDs range in term length from three months to 60 months. Currently, it is featuring an APY of 0.35% on its 12-23 month CD, which requires a minimum deposit of just $500. America First also offers ladder, bump, dedicated savings and flexible CD options.

Membership to America First Credit Union is limited to people who live, work, regularly conduct business, worship, attend school or volunteer in certain counties of Utah and Nevada, as well as people in select employer groups.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on America First Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

3 questions to consider before opening a credit union CD

Banks are more likely to call their products certificates of deposit, while credit unions often refer to them as share certificates. Aside from the name, the biggest difference between the two is that credit unions have higher average annual percentage yields (APYs) than traditional banks, as of September 2018. That’s good news: It means more money back in your pocket when the CD matures (i.e., reaches the end of its term and is available for withdrawal).

There really is no difference in safety between depositing money in a CD with a credit union versus a bank, as long as they participate in either the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) for credit unions, or the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for banks.

According to Neal Frankle, a Los Angeles-based Certified Financial Planner with Wealth Pilgrim, deposits of up to $250,000 per financial institution are “backed by the full faith and credit of United States Government, so it’s pretty solid.”

For the most part, choosing a CD at a bank or a credit union boils down to your preference as a consumer: Do you want to be a bank customer or a member of a credit union? Here’s a primer on the differences.

The biggest advantage of credit union CDs over bank CDs is that you can likely earn more interest. But with both products, the longer the CD term, the more interest you will earn. And with a CD laddering strategy, you can have the best of both worlds: frequent access to your money, yet you can still keep it locked away in high-interest, long-term CDs.

Beyond that, the disadvantages of opening a credit union CD are the same as if you’re opening a CD with a bank. You can’t access that money without paying an early withdrawal penalty until the CD matures. While CDs do offer some of the highest rates for any financial product you’re likely to come across at a bank or credit union, they still don’t really earn great interest. If you’re investing for the long-term (like retirement savings), your money is better invested in the riskier (but higher-earning) stock or bond market.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

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Best of

The Best Checking Account Bonus Offers of October 2020

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Written By

Reviewed By

Check out the best checking account bonus offers — and what to look out for — below, ranked by bonus amount. Be sure to pay attention to expiration dates, as these offers don’t last forever.

It’s easy to stick with the same bank your whole life. If you’re not rate-chasing for the best deals out there, all you really need from an account is convenient access to your money to get by each day. Banks realize that it’s easy to stay put, too. So in an attempt to gain some new customers, banks can offer hundred- or thousand-dollar bonus offers on checking accounts.

The best checking account bonus offers of October 2020

BankMinimum Deposit to Earn BonusWhen the deal expires
Citibank - $700 bonus$50,0001/5/2021
HSBC - Up to $450 bonus$5,0001/7/2021
Citibank - $400 bonus$15,0001/5/2021
PNC Bank - Up to $300 bonus$5,00010/29/2020
TD Bank - $300 bonus$2,500No expiration date
HSBC - $200 bonus

$5001/7/2021
Huntington Bank - $200 bonus$1,0001/7/2021
Chase - $200 bonus$251/20/2021
Citibank - $200 bonus$5,0001/5/2021
Huntington Bank - $150 bonus$1,0001/7/2021
TD Bank - $150 bonus$500No expiration date

Looking for a new checking account? Take a look at the offers below

Terms apply

Citibank — $700 bonus with $50,000 minimum deposit

Offer ends 1/5/2021

The offer: To earn this $700 bonus, open a new Citi Priority Account Package with an initial deposit of at least $50,000 within 30 days of opening. This deposit can be shared between the new checking and savings accounts in the Package.

You must also maintain at least that balance for 60 consecutive calendar days following account opening.

Who’s eligible: Only new-to-Citibank customers who have not been a signer on a Citibank checking account within the past 180 days are eligible for this offer. You must be a U.S. citizen or resident who is at least 18 years old. You can redeem the offer by opening online here.

Account details: The Citi Priority Package earns 0.03% APY on its Interest Checking account and 0.04%0.15% APY on the Citi Savings account.

The package includes access to Citi Personal Wealth Management Financial Advisors by phone, investment resources and financial planning tools. It also adds extra perks like waived fees for overdraft protection, checkbooks and incoming wire transfers.

The Citi Priority Package charges a $30 monthly service fee. You can waive it by maintaining a combined average monthly balance of $50,000 or more in eligible linked deposit, retirement and investment accounts.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Citi’s secure website

Member FDIC

HSBC — $450 bonus with $5,000 minimum deposit

Offer ends 1/7/2021

Offer rules: To earn this $450 bonus, open an HSBC Premier Checking account and make recurring direct deposits totaling at least $5,000 for three consecutive consecutive calendar months from the second full calendar month after account opening.

Who’s eligible: You must be a new HSBC customer to take advantage of this offer and fund the new account with new money. This means money not already held with HSBC.

Who’s eligible: The Premier Checking account earns 0.01% APY on balances of $5 or more. An HSBC Premier relationship costs $50 per month. You can waive the fee by keeping a combined balance of at least $75,000 in qualifying deposit and investment accounts; monthly recurring direct deposits totaling at least $5,000 to an HSBC Premier checking account; or with an HSBC U.S. residential mortgage loan of at least $500,000.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on HSBC’s secure website

Citibank — $400 bonus with $15,000 minimum deposit

Offer ends 1/5/2021

Offer rules: You can earn $400 in bonus cash if you open a new eligible checking and savings account in a Citibank Account Package. You’ll need to deposit at least $15,000 in new-to-Citibank money within 30 days of opening. Since the package includes a checking and savings account, you can split that deposit between the accounts. You’ll need to maintain at least that much money in your accounts for 60 consecutive days to receive the bonus.

Who’s eligible: You qualify for this offer if you are a new Citibank customer opening a new Checking and a new Savings account. To redeem the offer, you can easily apply online. You must be at least 18 years old and a U.S. citizen or resident to apply for these accounts online.

Account details: The Citibank Account Package earns 0.01% APY on its Interest Checking account and 0.04% APY depending on your balance on the Citi Savings account. The account includes certain perks like a free order of checkbooks, fee-free ATM access (when you meet balance requirements) and the opportunity to earn Citi ThankYou Rewards.

The Citibank Account Package charges a $25 monthly service fee. You can waive the fee if you keep at least $10,000 in eligible linked deposit, retirement and investment accounts with the bank.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Citibank’s secure website

PNC Bank — Up to $300 bonus, with direct deposits of $5,000

Offer ends 10/29/2020

Offer rules: PNC offers three different chances to earn a cash bonus. You can earn a $300 bonus when you open a new Virtual Wallet with Performance Select and receive direct deposits totaling at least $5,000. You can earn $200 if you open a new Virtual Wallet with Performance Spend account and make at least $2,000 in total direct deposits. Finally, you can earn a $50 bonus if you open a new Virtual Wallet and make $500 in direct deposits.

You can only earn one bonus, depending on the account you open. Your qualifying direct deposit(s) must be made within the first 60 days.

Direct deposits can be from a paycheck, pension, Social Security or other regular monthly income from an employer or an outside agency. A qualifying debit card purchase is any debit card purchase made at point of sale with your signature or PIN or an online purchase made with your debit card number.

Who’s eligible: You must be a new PNC customer to qualify for this offer. This means you must not own an existing PNC Bank consumer checking account, have closed an account within the past 90 days or have been paid a promotional premium in the past 12 months.

To redeem this bonus, open the new checking account via the bonus page or at a PNC branch.

The account: The Performance Select offers various banking perks like free non-PNC ATM use and ATM surcharge reimbursement. The account’s checking aspects earn 0.01% interest. Its long-term savings account earns APY as well, unless you qualify for higher relationship rates. There is a $25 waivable fee.

The Performance Spend also pays 0.01% interest on its checking account for balances of $2,000 or more, in addition to its savings account, which earns 0.01% APY. There is the opportunity to earn at higher relationship rates. Performance Spend charges a $15 waivable fee.

Virtual Wallet includes a primary checking account, which does not earn interest, a short-term, interest-earning checking account at 0.01% APY and a long-term savings account, again with the opportunity for relationship rates. There is a $7 waivable monthly fee.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on PNC Bank’s secure website

TD Bank — $300 bonus with $2,500 minimum direct deposits

No expiration date

Offer rules: You can earn a $300 bonus when you open a new TD Beyond Checking account. The account needs to receive direct deposits of at least $2,500 within 60 days of opening to qualify. The direct deposit must be from your paycheck, pension or government benefits from your employer or the government.

Who’s eligible: To qualify for this checking account bonus offer, you must be a new TD Bank customer, without any previous or current TD Bank personal checking accounts. You must also open the account through this web page. You cannot redeem the offer if you’re a Canadian cross-border banking customer.

Account details: The TD Beyond Checking account earns interest on all balances. Higher balances have the chance to get a slight rate boost, but all rates are still pretty minimal. Account holders can access non-TD ATMs without a TD fee and receive reimbursement for other ATM surcharges with a minimum daily balance of $2,500. The account also includes a free standard checks, money orders, stop payments, paper statements and incoming wire transfers.

The account charges a $25 monthly maintenance fee. However, you can waive the fee when you receive monthly direct deposits of $5,000 or more, maintain a minimum daily balance of $2,500 or maintain a combined balance of $25,000 across eligible TD accounts.

HSBC — $200 bonus with $500 minimum deposit

Offer ends 1/7/2021

Offer rules: If the $450 HSBC bonus above isn’t right for you, consider opening an Advance Checking account and earn a $200 bonus instead. The offer requires you to set up monthly direct deposits of at least $500 for three consecutive months following the account opening month.

Who’s eligible: Only new HSBC customers can take advantage of this offers. You must fund the new account with new money.

Who’s eligible: The Advance Checking account earns 0.01% APY on balances of $5 and over. The HSBC Advance relationship charges a $25 fee that you can waive with a minimum combined balance of $5,000 between deposit and investment accounts; monthly direct deposits to an HSBC Advance checking account; or an HSBC U.S. residential mortgage loan..

SEE DETAILS Secured

on HSBC’s secure website

Huntington — $200 bonus with $1,000 cumulative deposits

Offer ends 1/7/2021

Offer rules: You can benefit from a $200 bonus by opening a Huntington 5 checking account. To earn the reward, you must make cumulative deposits of at least $1,000 within 60 days of account opening and keep your account open for at least 90 days.

Who’s eligible: You must be a resident of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania or West Virginia to qualify for this bonus offer. You must also be a new Huntington checking customer who hasn’t closed a checking account within the last six months.

You’ll need to fund this new account with money not currently on deposit with Huntington. You cannot combine this offer with another checking offer.

You can redeem the offer by applying either online at the link below or through a code found online to bring to your local branch.

Account details: The Huntington 5 Checking account earns at a modest 0.05% APY. There is a small $5 monthly fee that you can waive with at least $5,000 in total relationship balances, which includes other Huntington deposit and investment accounts.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Huntington National Bank’s secure website

Chase — $200 bonus with $25 minimum deposit

Offer ends 1/20/2021

Offer rules: When you open a new Chase Total Checking account with at least $25 and set up direct deposit, you can get a bonus of $200. The direct deposit needs to be made to the account within 60 days of account opening. This can be your paycheck, pension or government benefits.

Who’s eligible: You cannot open a new account with the checking account bonus offer if you already have a Chase checking account. The offer also doesn’t apply to those with fiduciary accounts, who have had accounts closed within the last 90 days or closed with a negative balance.

Account details: Chase Total Checking is the bank’s most popular checking account out of its three checking options. It’s also the most basic and straightforward without any added perks or features. It charges a $12 monthly service fee that you can waive with either direct deposits of at least $500, a minimum daily balance of at least $1,500 or an average daily balance of at least $5,000 in combined linked qualifying Chase checking, savings and other balances.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Chase Bank’s secure website

Citibank — $200 bonus with $5,000 minimum deposit

Offer ends 1/5/2021

Offer rules: Opening a new Citibank checking account in a Basic Banking Package can earn a $200 bonus if you deposit at least $5,000 in new money within 30 days of opening. You need to maintain at least that minimum in the account for 60 consecutive calendar days to fully qualify for the reward.

Who’s eligible: You can redeem this offer through the offer webpage. You’re eligible if you’re a new Citibank customer who is at least 18 years old and a U.S. citizen or resident.

The account: The Basic Banking Package is made for simple checking. It includes unlimited check writing and free non-Citi ATM usage for customers 62 and older. There is a $12 monthly fee that you can waive by making one qualifying direct deposit and one qualifying bill payment each cycle, or by keeping a combined average monthly balance of at least $1,500 in this account and other eligible linked accounts. Customers 62 and older can also waive the fee.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Citibank’s secure website

Huntington — $150 bonus with $1,000 cumulative deposits

Offer ends 1/7/2021

Offer rules: If the Huntington 5 Checking account above isn’t for you, consider snagging a $150 bonus with a new Asterisk-Free Checking account. Again, you have to make deposits totaling at least $1,000 within 60 days after account opening and keep the account open for at least 90 days.

Who’s eligible: Only residents of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania or West Virginia are eligible for this bonus offer. Additionally, only new checking account customers may qualify, which excludes anyone affiliated with a Huntington checking account within the last six months.

Once you open the new Asterisk-Free Checking account, it must be funded with new money not already held with Huntington. Redeem the offer by applying either online or through a code found online to bring to your local branch.

Account details: The Asterisk-Free Checking account is the more basic of Huntington’s checking offerings. It does not charge a monthly fee, earn interest or have a minimum balance requirement.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Huntington National Bank’s secure website

TD Bank — $150 bonus with $500 in direct deposits

No expiration date

Offer rules: If the TD Bank Beyond Checking account above isn’t quite your style, you can still earn $150 when you open a new TD Convenience Checking (SM) account. You’ll also have to make at least $500 in cumulative direct deposits within 60 days after opening to qualify for the offer. The direct deposits can be a paycheck, pension or government benefits from your employer or the government.

Who’s eligible: This offer is open only to new TD Bank customers without any previous or current TD Bank personal checking accounts.

The account: The TD Convenience Checking account doesn’t earn interest. It charges a $15 monthly fee that you can waive by maintaining a $100 daily balance or if you’re aged 17 to 23.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on TD Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Bonus offers selection methodology

The best checking account bonus offers are the ones with the biggest cash amounts we could find at the time of publishing. Below, we’ll detail each of the best checking account bonus offers. You’ll find out whether it’s available in your area and what the requirements you have to meet to earn the bonus.

You might also want to read more about what each account is like on its own. For example, you might want to snag the highest bonus, but what if the account normally charges a monthly fee that you can’t afford? Check it all out below.

5 things to watch out for with checking account bonus offers

#1 Checking account bonus offers aren’t entirely “no-strings-attached.” You can see above the various requirements you typically have to meet to earn a bonus, whether that’s meeting a minimum deposit amount or completing a certain number of direct deposits. But there’s often more to checking account bonus offers than what meets the eye.

#2 Banks report bonus payouts as interest to the IRS. In the year you receive your bonus, you’ll also receive a 1099-INT form, indicating you need to file the “income” in your taxes for that year. This lessens the total reward you gain from the checking account bonus offer. The exact amount deducted will depend on your tax bracket, but the higher the bracket, the smaller your final bonus.

#3 Banks may pull a credit check and a ChexSystem verification report when you apply for an account. This allows them to check for a history of good account standing, or, to the opposite, any dings in your financial history, like a trail of unpaid fees or bounced checks. Even if you have nothing to hide, a hard inquiry into your credit can temporarily dip your score just a little, so if you’re just opening one account, the effect won’t be catastrophic. However, if you’re opening multiple new accounts within quick succession, your credit score can take a hit.

Opening several accounts can also appear in a ChexSystem report. Whenever a bank pulls a ChexSystems report, it shows up as an inquiry. While this doesn’t ding your credit score or financial history, it may hurt your chances at a new account if a bank sees all those recent inquiries.

#4 You need to keep the account open for at least a few months. If you thought you could quickly open an account, collect your checking account bonus and close the account before moving onto the next one, we’re here to tell you that’s not how it works. Remember all those requirements you need to meet to redeem the offer? Not only is there a minimum deposit requirement, but you also need to keep your balance above that minimum for a certain number of days, typically 60.

Even after waiting two months to fully qualify, you may not see the bonus deposit into your account until months later. For example, Citi will deposit your bonus into the qualified account 90 days after you complete all the required activities. You may need to wait even longer if there are delays in depositing your reward. If that does happen, though, contact customer service to see what the delay might be.

You could also lose your bonus rewards if you close the new account within a certain time period. For example, Chase will deduct the checking account bonus amount from your account at closing if you close the account six months after opening with the bonus offer. This protects banks from paying out too many bonuses without getting any new account deposits in return.

#5 Finally, make sure you’re opening your new account the right way. To snag a checking account bonus offer, you often need to start your application through the right webpage. Other banks may require you to visit a branch to redeem the offer. Pay attention to the specific bank and account requirements; otherwise, you could find yourself with a new checking account, just without a bonus.

Think beyond the bonus offer when committing to a checking account

Although it’s tempting, you shouldn’t open new accounts left and right just for a checking account bonus offer. Once you snag that bonus, you’re stuck with an entirely new checking account. You should make sure that you’re comfortable enough with the account to make chasing the bonus worthwhile.

Pay attention to the account’s fees. Banks are quick to advertise the checking account bonus offer and the account’s many benefits. But make sure you also look for the account’s monthly maintenance fee. Once you open that account, you’ll be responsible for paying that fee each month. Plus, don’t forget that it takes months to meet the offer requirements in the first place, and another few months for the bonus to be deposited into your account. Paying that fee over those months can really add up, cutting into the total bonus you’ll actually receive. No one wants to be trapped paying an unnecessary and high fee that could have been avoided.

If you do choose to close your new account, whether before or after snagging the bonus, you’ll likely face a fee for closing it early. Paying this fee certainly isn’t worth it if you didn’t earn the bonus. But even if you do earn those extra dollars, paying any fee lessens the total reward you could have received. Some banks may also deduct the checking account bonus amount from your account if you close it too early, leaving you with zero net gain.

Make sure you can meet an account’s minimum balance. You can often waive an account’s monthly fee by meeting further requirements, typically a minimum balance. These can reach pretty high, though, especially when accounts have several features and perks. These accounts also tend to offer higher bonuses, so be careful if you’re looking solely for the highest bonus.

Instead, look for the checking account bonus offers that require lower balances to qualify. These accounts tend to charge smaller monthly fees. Even better, look for an account that doesn’t charge a monthly service fee, no matter your balance.

The accounts with high bonuses may not be the most favorable ones. Banks create these checking account bonus offers to invite consumers to become a customer. But perhaps there’s a reason why not too many new customers are opening these accounts. If you take a look at the accounts above, you’ll see they’re all from brick-and-mortar banks. They all charge monthly fees and can require sky-high balances to waive those fees. Those that earn interest only earn at the most minimal rates. These accounts, while appealing in the short-term for their bonuses, may not be the most beneficial in the long run for your finances. You should invest in accounts that grow and save you money.

Analysis: Checking account bonus offers holding steady

Key findings

  • According to a biyearly analysis of DepositAccounts blog posts dating back to 2014, bonus offers for opening checking accounts have held steady in recent years. In both 2018 and 2020, we estimate the average bonus offer provided an annualized rate of return of 10.9%.
  • The average minimum deposit to earn a bonus saw a dip from 2018 to 2020. In 2018, the average offer required $23,333 in deposits to unlock a bonus after opening an account. In 2020, that figure dropped by almost $10,000 to $13,540. Over the same period, average bonus offer amounts have also trended downward.
  • Looking back biennially, 2016 had the best average checking account bonus offers available. That year, the annualized rate of return on bonus offers was an estimated 42.2%, which was tied to a few generous offers. For example, one bank offered a $150 checking account bonus for opening an account and making a direct deposit of $500 within 60 days. That equates to an annualized return rate of 393%.
  • The average time frame to earn a bonus offer has remained relatively steady since 2014, but it saw an increase from 2018 to 2020. Here are the time frames going back biennially to 2014:
    • 2020: 75 days
    • 2018: 60 days
    • 2016: 68 days
    • 2014: 70 days

Methodology

MagnifyMoney researchers compiled data from an assortment of DepositAccounts blog posts reporting on checking account bonus offers to track how these have changed. We focused on biyearly data, looking at 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2020. We gathered data on the average:

  • Bonus offer amount
  • Minimum deposit to earn bonus
  • Time frame (in days) to earn bonus

We combined these figures to estimate an annualized rate of return. These offers were only available on a one-time basis, so check above for details on the latest bonuses.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

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10 Best 18-Month CD Rates 2020

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

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Sometimes you need a shorter-term CD, but the rate of return on a 12-month CD just isn’t quite enough. Thankfully, many institutions offer 18-month CD or 19-month CD options. They typically have higher rates than a 12-month account, while remaining a viable choice for near-term savings goals when a 24-month CD would be too long a commitment.

The key is to find the right 18-month CD to maximize your savings. If you look around, you can find rates just around 1.00% APY, compared to the average 18-month CD rate of 0.51%. To make the search process easier for you, we’ve uncovered the best 18-month CDs using data from DepositAccounts.com to find the highest APY. We also took each account’s minimum deposit requirement into consideration.

The 10 best 18-month CD rates in October 2020

1. The Federal Savings Bank — 1.10% APY, $10,000 minimum deposit

The Federal Savings Bank promotional 18-month CD rate must be funded with money not already in an account at the bank. The account will renew at maturity for the same length, but at a slightly lower rate. A penalty may be charged for early withdrawal.

The Federal Savings Bank is veteran-owned and focused heavily on mortgages and homeownership, in addition to its wide range of deposit accounts.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on The Federal Savings Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

2. Consumers Credit Union (IL) — 1.00% APY, $250 minimum deposit

This 20-month certificate from Consumers Credit Union offers a special chance at this more competitive rate. The certificate will automatically renew at maturity at a term of two years. Dividends are compounded daily and credited monthly. If you withdraw money from the CD before the 20 months is up, you’ll face a penalty of 120 days’ dividends.
Illinois-based Consumers Credit Union is available to join by doing two things: Paying a one-time $5 fee to its sponsor, the Consumers Cooperative Association, and depositing and keeping $5 in a Membership Share/Savings Account.

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on Consumers Credit Union (IL)’s secure website

NCUA Insured

3. Western Vista Credit Union — 1.00% APY, $0.01 minimum deposit

For a minimum deposit of only $0.01, you can start earning at this competitive rate with Western Vista Credit Union’s 19-month special CD. By bumping up your term length by just one month, you earn a rate that is more than double their 18-month rate. Dividends are paid quarterly and at maturity.

Founded in 1940, Western Vista is a community credit union based in Wyoming, but it offers service nationwide through shared branches. Membership is open to those in its serviced areas and anyone who makes a charitable contribution to their foundation. If you live outside of the service area, you’ll need to sign up over the phone.

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on Western Vista Federal Credit Union’s secure website

4. Pen Air Federal Credit Union — 0.90% APY, $500 minimum deposit

You’ll need at least $500 to open an 18-month Pen Air Certificate. Then you can start earning at its 0.90% APY. The early withdrawal penalty for this term will equal 180 days’ dividends.

Founded in 1936, Pen Air Federal Credit Union is based in Pensacola, Fla., and maintains locations in Northwest Florida and Southeast Alabama. Pen Air membership is open to you if you’re active duty or retired military, a civil service employee, an employee at a partnering Select Employer Group or an immediate family member of eligible members. You may also join by becoming a member of the Friends of the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, Inc., whose one-time $3 donation Pen Air will make for you.

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on Pen Air Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

5. CommunityWide Federal Credit Union — 0.95% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit

Open a CommunityWide Federal Credit Union term share certificate with at least $1,000 to start saving at its competitive rate. Note that CW does not automatically renew your certificate at maturity, leaving that choice up to you. CW calculates its early withdrawal penalty a little differently than other institutions. It will equal the amount of the withdrawal times the remaining term (in days) of the certificate at the rate of two times the certificate’s current APR (divided by 365). The penalty will be deducted from the amount withdrawn.

CommunityWide FCU was founded in 1967 as the West Washington Association Federal Credit Union, gaining its current name in 1985. You can join CW if you’re a member, employee or retiree of select organizations, a spouse of someone who died while a member or an immediate family member of qualified members.

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on Communitywide Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

6. Hiway Federal Credit Union — 0.95% APY, $25,000 minimum deposit

This rate applies to Hiway Federal Credit Union certificate accounts from 12 to 23 months. Dividends are calculated using the daily balance method. Withdrawing funds from this Hiway Federal Credit Union certificate will cost you 90 days’ dividends, which is somewhat generous when compared to other banks and credit unions.

Hiway FCU was founded in 1931 for employees of Minnesota’s Department of Transportation. Individuals can also qualify by being a part of select Minnesota communities, working at partner companies or agencies or through family members. Everyone else can become a member of Hiway FCU by contributing to one of two organizations: the Minnesota Recreation and Park Foundation or the Association of the United States Army.

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on Hiway Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

7. Evansville Teachers Federal Credit Union — 0.90% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit

You’ll earn this rate on Evansville’s 18-month certificate until the certificate first matures. Like all of Evansville’s certificates, this 18-month account requires a modest minimum investment of $1,000.

Membership to ETFCU is open to employees of select employers and organizations and their family members. You can also join with a $5 donation to the Mater Dei High School Friends & Alumni Association.

8. Hyperion Bank — 0.85% APY, $500 minimum deposit

Hyperion Bank’s CDs can be opened with $500. These CDs automatically renew at maturity, or you can deposit the funds into your Hyperion checking account within the 10-day grace period at maturity. Withdrawing before your 18 months are up will cost you 270 days’ dividends.

Founded in 2006, Hyperion Bank is headquartered in Philadelphia. It has a branch there and in Atlanta. Customers can access Hyperion Bank online and on its mobile app. There’s also a phone number and email available for help opening an account.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Hyperion Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

9. Marcus by Goldman Sachs Bank USA — 0.65% APY, $500 minimum deposit

Under the brand Marcus by Goldman Sachs, Goldman Sachs Bank USA is a consistent rate leader for its online deposit accounts. Its 18-month CD here earns a solid 0.65% APY on deposits of $500 and above. If you fund your account within 10 days of opening, Marcus will guarantee you the highest rate it can offer on that account. The early withdrawal penalty equals 270 days’ simple interest on the principal at the rate in effect for the CD.

Goldman Sachs Bank USA was founded in 1869 and is headquartered in New York City. Marcus is accessible online and on its mobile app.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Marcus By Goldman Sachs’s secure website

Member FDIC

10. BankDirect — 0.60% APY, $10,000 minimum deposit

This CD from Bank Direct gets you a rate that makes the list, but it will cost you a minimum deposit of $10,000. Any interest you earn can be added back to the principal or transferred to your checking, savings or money market account with the bank. Avoid any early withdrawals, as you’ll lose 180 days’ interest as a penalty.

A division of Texas Capital Bank, BankDirect is an internet-only bank with no physical branches.

Is it worth getting an 18-month CD over a 1-year CD?

When we discuss CD rates, we tend to center the conversation on 1-year CDs. They’re helpful to look at when assessing changes in rates over time, typically compared to long-term CDs. They also the general starting point when creating a CD ladder. So where do the slightly longer 18-month CDs fit in?

18-month CDs are only six months longer than 1-year CDs. It might seem like too little of a difference, especially when you’re squirreling away cash. However, because of this extra time a bank gets to hold your money, banks are willing to pay higher rates on your 18-month deposits, thus boosting your savings a little bit more.

Let’s say you deposit $1,000 into a bank’s 3% APY 18-month CD. At maturity, you’ll have earned around $46. Making that same deposit into the same bank’s 1-year CD at 2% APY, would earn just a little over $20. Of course, rates vary from bank to bank. That’s why it’s important to look for the best CD rates for each term to make locking your money away more worthwhile.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.