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Updated on Friday, October 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 as high as 1.00% APY, almost triple the average 18-month CD rate of 0.36%. 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 2021
1. USALLIANCE Financial — 0.85% APY, $500 minimum deposit
USALLIANCE Financial offers the chance to earn at a competitive special rate on its 18-month certificate when you open the account with money not currently held in a USALLIANCE deposit account. Plus, interest is compounded daily, which grows your money even faster. You need just $500 to open the account. Early withdrawal penalties will equal 360 days’ worth of dividends on the amount withdrawn.
A handful of IBM employees started USALLIANCE Financial in 1966. Today, its membership has expanded; you can join USALLIANCE Financial through your place of residence, employer, place of worship, school or organization. Membership is also available by making a donation to one of a number of charities.
2. 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.
3. Veridian Credit Union — 0.80% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit
Veridian has a limited time 18-month CD special for the high listed APY and the low minimum deposit of $1,000. Interest is compounded quarterly. You’ll also need a minimum $5 share deposit to qualify, and early withdrawal of money from the CD will cost you 6 months’ interest.
Founded in 1934, Veridian Credit Union offers membership to people who live or work in Iowa or Nebraska and members’ families. You can also qualify by joining Dwolla, a digital payment service.
4. 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.
5. 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 a rate that would fall just below our list. 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.
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. Evansville Teachers Federal Credit Union — 0.70% 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. 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. 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.
10. First Internet Bank — 0.65% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit
First Internet Bank’s 18-month CD continues to earn at a competitive rate. You’ll need $1,000 or more to get started with this account. Be wary of making an early withdrawal from the account, as it can cost a penalty equal to 180 days of interest.
Founded in 1999, First Internet Bank was the first FDIC-insured institution to operate entirely online. Today, you can still access your accounts not only online but also on mobile and over the phone.
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.