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Updated on Thursday, July 1, 2021
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 at or a bit under 0.80% APY, double the average 18-month CD rate of 0.37%. 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 July 2021
1. Consumers Credit Union (IL) (20-month) — 0.80% 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 onetime $5 fee to its sponsor, the Consumers Cooperative Association, and depositing and keeping $5 in a Membership Share/Savings Account.
2. Lafayette Federal Credit Union — 0.75% APY, $50 minimum deposit
The $50 minimum deposit on Lafayette Federal Credit Union’s 18-month certificate is tempting, but keep in mind that it’s a variable rate, which means the certificate rate is subject to change without notice. You can also make additional deposits into the certificate at any time. Dividends are compounded and paid quarterly, and the certificate automatically renews upon maturity. Withdrawing money early will cost you 180 days’ dividends.
Membership to Lafayette Federal Credit Union is open to people who live, work or attend school in the Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. area, but if you live elsewhere in the country, you’re also eligible for membership by joining the Home Ownership Financial Literacy Council, which will only set you back $10.
3. Evansville Teachers Federal Credit Union — 0.75% 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.
4. NexBank — 0.75% APY, $10,000 minimum deposit
NexBank’s 18-month certificate of deposit earns you this high rate, but you’ll need to part with a minimum of $10,000. If a year and a half is too long for you to lock up that kind of money, their 12-month CD earns the same rate. This CD will automatically roll over at maturity. They may impose a substantial penalty for money withdrawn before then.
NexBank was established in 1934 in Dallas.
5. Marcus by Goldman Sachs Bank USA — 0.70% 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 0.70% 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.
6. CFG Bank — 0.70% APY, $500 minimum deposit
The minimum balance for this CFG Bank CD is $500, and no additional deposits are allowed after opening. These accounts are subject to an early withdrawal penalty, and any withdrawal within the first six days of opening an account will incur a penalty of 7 days’ interest.
CFG Bank is privately owned and operated by an entrepreneur. Its headquarters are in Baltimore, Md.
7. American Heritage Credit Union (20-month) — 0.70% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit
By bumping your term up by just two months, from 18 to 20 months, you’ll earn this high APY. If you want to stick to 18 months, their rate falls a bit short of our list. You can fund an American Heritage Credit Union CD with $500, but you’ll need to deposit at least $1,000 to earn this top rate. Dividends are compounded and credited monthly. The early withdrawal penalty is 180 days’ dividends.
American Heritage, founded in 1948, has locations in and around Philadelphia, and offers access to more than 5,000 shared branch locations nationwide. In addition to the usual ways to become a member, based on where you work and/or live, you can join American Heritage Credit Union if you are a member of the credit union’s Kids-N-Hope Foundation. If you’re not currently a member, American Heritage will donate to the foundation for you, securing your membership.
8. Hanscom Federal Credit Union (19-month) — 0.70% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit
Hanscom FCU offers its traditional certificates in a range of terms, but its 19-month special stands out. It earns at a higher rate than the 12-month and even the 18 to 29-month accounts, and dividends are paid monthly. You’ll need at least $1,000 to open. If you make a withdrawal before the account matures, you’ll face a penalty of 180 days’ worth of interest.
Hanscom Federal Credit Union has been around since 1953, with branches throughout Massachusetts. You can also access your accounts at CO-OP shared branches nationwide. You can become a Hanscom FCU member through family relationships, your employer or partner organizations, including membership in the Nashua River Watershed Association or Burlington Players.
9. NASA Federal Credit Union (15-month) — 0.65% APY, $10,000 minimum deposit
NASA Federal Credit Union offers an in-between CD term with its 15-month share certificate. It earns a top rate and requires a minimum $10,000 deposit in new money to open. Dividends are compounded monthly. Withdrawal of your principal amount before maturity will result in the loss of 182 days of dividends on the amount withdrawn.
NASA Federal Credit Union was founded in 1949 and is headquartered in Upper Marlboro, Md. You’re eligible for membership if you are an employee or retiree of NASA Headquarters, any NASA Center or Facility, or National Academy of Sciences (NAS); an employee of a partner company or association; or a relative or household member of a current NASA FCU member. You can also join through a National Space Society (NSS) membership, which NASA FCU will provide, complimentary.
10. Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union — 0.65% APY, $500 minimum deposit
Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union offers a variety of CD products, including its competitive 18-month Basic Certificate. You’ll need at least $500 to open one, and the early withdrawal penalty will equal 180 days’ interest.
Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union membership is open to employees, volunteers, students, alumni, members and volunteers of select organizations and groups as well as to individuals who live, work, worship or volunteer in select Minnesota communities. You may also join if you’re a relative or housemate of an eligible individual or if you make a one-time $25 dues payment to the Affinity Plus Foundation.
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.