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The Best 3-Month CD Rates

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

If you have some extra cash looking for a quick return, a 3-month certificate of deposit (CD) could be the handy savings tool you’ve been looking for. CDs with a 3-month term are typically the shortest CD offerings available. Because they’re such brief investments, 3-month CDs also tend to earn at pretty low interest rates. In fact, the average return on a 3-month CD in July is only 0.51% APY.

However, low 3-month CD rates are far from being an inescapable destiny. In order to compete for customers, some banks end up offering really great rates on short-term CDs. This competition can be a big advantage if you know where to look. And we know where to look: Read on to see the best CD rates for 3-month terms.

We ranked the following products by highest APY available nationwide, using data from DepositAccounts.com, another LendingTree-owned company. We also took minimum deposit requirements into consideration to ensure wider availability for customers. Finally, we checked each account’s early withdrawal penalty, as 3-month CD penalties can take a larger chunk of your earnings out than other terms.

The best 3-month CD rates

Institution

APY

Minimum deposit amount

TotalDirectBank

2.20%

$25,000

Virtual Bank

2.16%

$10,000

First Internet Bank

2.12%

$1,000

NexBank

2.10%

$10,000

MapleMark Bank

2.10%

$25,000

Bethpage FCU

2.00%

$50

Third Federal Savings and Loan

2.00%

$500

Spectrum Credit Union

1.95%

$500

CD Bank

1.90%

$10,000

Popular Direct

1.90%

$10,000

TotalDirectBank — 2.20% APY, $25,000 minimum deposit

You can earn the top 3-month CD rate if you have $25,000 to spare. If you make an early withdrawal from this account, TotalDirectBank will charge a penalty of one month of the simple interest earned, based on a 360 day year.

TotalDirect Bank is the online division of City National Bank of Florida, which was founded in 1946.

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Virtual Bank — 2.16% APY, $10,000 minimum deposit

To snag the highest 3-month CD rate, you’ll need at least $10,000 as an opening deposit for a Virtual Bank 3-Month eCD. The penalty for making an early withdrawal from a 3-Month eCDis 100% of the interest earned on the amount withdrawn, negating any earnings you may have received.

Virtual Bank is a digital division of IBERIABANK, which was founded in New Iberia, La. way back in 1887.

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on Virtual Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

First Internet Bank — 2.12% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit

You can get started with a First Internet Bank 3-Month CD with $1,000. The early withdrawal penalty associated with this account will equal 90 days’ interest.

Like its name suggests, First Internet Bank was the first FDIC-insured institution to operate entirely online from its founding in 1999.

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on First Internet Bank’s secure website

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NexBank — 2.10% APY, $10,000 minimum deposit

NexBank Certificates of Deposit earn at some great rates, especially its 3-month CD. NexBank requires a pretty high opening deposit of $10,000. CD balances must max out at $240,000. The penalty for an early withdrawal will equal one month’s worth of interest.

In addition to its CDs and other personal deposit accounts, NexBank focuses largely on commercial banking, mortgage banking and institutional services. It was established in 1934 and is based in Dallas.

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on NexBank’s secure website

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MapleMark Bank — 2.10% APY, $25,000 minimum deposit

To earn the better rate on MapleMark Bank’s 90 Days CD, you’ll want to deposit at least $25,000. Otherwise, you’ll earn at a much lower rate. The early withdrawal penalty on this account will equal 

Founded in 1909, MapleMark Bank has two branches, one each in Texas and Oklahoma.

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Third Federal Savings and Loan — 2.00% APY, $500 minimum deposit

Third Federal Savings and Loan offers a great deal on its 3-Month Special CD. You can start growing your money at a competitive rate, comparable to many longer-term CDs, for a minimum deposit of only $500. Just be careful of making an early withdrawal from the account, as you’ll lose one month’s worth of interest.

Third Federal Savings and Loan Association first opened in Cleveland in 1938, where it is still based today.

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on Third Federal Savings And Loan (OH)’s secure website

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Bethpage FCU — 2.00% APY, $50 minimum deposit

With competitive rates on all its Certificates, the Bethpage FCU 3-Month Certificate is no exception. It’s the last rate on our list in the 2% range. Plus, you only need $50 to open an account, so it’s easier to get started. The penalty for an early withdrawal from this account is 90 days’ worth of dividends on the principal amount withdrawn.

Bethpage FCU first opened in 1941 to serve Grumman employees. Based in Bethpage, N.Y., the credit union also offers customers access to thousands more branches and ATMs throughout the country through the CO-OP Network. Bethpage FCU opens membership up to anyone; you just need to open a Bethpage savings account and fund it with $5 to become a member.

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on Bethpage Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Spectrum Credit Union — 1.95% APY, $500 minimum deposit

To open a Spectrum Credit Union 3-month Share Certificate, you’ll need at least $500 to deposit. After that, all balances can earn at the given rate. Making an early withdrawal from the 3-month Share Certificate will charge a penalty of three months’ worth of dividends.

Spectrum Credit Union was founded in 1973 originally as Bechtel Employees Federal Credit Union. It is a division of Chevron Federal Credit Union (CFCU), a California-based credit union that was established in 1935. Spectrum membership is available to a variety of customers including employees of select companies, residents of select San Francisco and Maryland neighborhoods. You can also become eligible for Spectrum Credit Union membership by joining one of its partner nonprofit associations.

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on Spectrum Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

CD Bank — 1.90% APY, $10,000 minimum deposit

As is the case with all its accounts, CD Bank also offers a pretty competitive rate on its 3-Month CD. You’ll need at least $10,000 to open and start earning interest, which is credited semi-annually. Making a withdrawal from this CD before maturity will cost you three months’ worth of interest on the amount withdrawn.

CD Bank offers only CD accounts. It is an online division of Dallas-based TBK Bank, which is a subsidiary of Triumph Bancorp, Inc.

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Popular Direct — 1.90% APY, $10,000 minimum deposit

Closing out the list is Popular Direct’s 3 Month CD, which requires a minimum $10,000 deposit. Making an early withdrawal from this account will take out a chunk of your savings, as it will cost you 89 days simple interest.

Popular Direct online products are offered by its parent bank, Popular Bank, the U.S. banking subsidiary of Popular, Inc.

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Short-term CDs vs. long-term CDs: Which are better investments?

Both short-term and long-term CDs are great investment tools, although they serve different purposes depending on your savings goals. Long-term CDs are better for saving for goals years in the future. They also help you lock in high rates for years to come to protect against a rate-dropping climate.

Short-term CDs, on the other hand, are better when you have some extra cash you need to stash away for a bit. You can take advantage of high rates, but there is the inherent risk that in three or six months, that rate may have gone down. On the flip side, a short-lived term allows you to take advantage of rising rates more quickly.

A CD alternative that would still allow you some flexibility in catching rising rates would be to open no-penalty CDs instead. Like their name suggests, no-penalty CDs allow you to avoid the typical early withdrawal penalty associated with CDs. That way, when you start to see higher available CD rates, you can close up one CD and deposit those funds in a new, higher rate account without losing money.

Because short-term CDs expire so quickly, it might make sense to open a more liquid savings product instead. “A reasonable alternative is to just keep that money in a savings or money market account for three or six months,” suggests Ken Tumin, founder of DepositAccounts.com, a LendingTree-owned company. “In fact, the savings account rates at many internet banks are actually quite a bit higher than their 3- and 6-month CD rates.”

However, there is always the chance of your variable savings account rate decreasing without notice. So if you can open one of the best 3-month CDs above, the returns could be worth locking away your money for a few months.

Starting off a mini CD ladder with a 3-month CD

Many CD ladder guides suggest building a ladder starting with a 1-year CD. That technique results in CDs that mature every year. But you can also just as easily kick off a CD ladder with 3-month CDs. That would allow for more frequent maturity dates. For example, you could start a ladder with 3-month, 6-month, 9-month and 12-month CDs. When the 3-month, 6-month and 9-month CDs mature, you would renew each one into a 12-month CD. The steady state of the ladder would then be just 12-month CDs that mature every three months.

You can also create a ladder with longer-term CDs that still mature every three months. In this case, it’s a little more complicated when starting the CD ladder. In sticking with the example above, you could also open a 24-month and 36-month CD at the outset. After several rollovers into various terms over the next few years, the ladder’s steady state would have a 36-month CD maturing every 3 months. This could be an ideal way to take advantage of high rates now while also leaving some room for higher rates in the future. It also offers opportunities for you to receive a payout every three months.

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.

Lauren Perez
Lauren Perez |

Lauren Perez is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Lauren here

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Best of

Best Savings Account Bonus Offers

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

There’s no shortage of checking account bonus offers, with everyone from small local banks to the big household names offering hundreds of dollars to new customers. Banks know it’s hard to get you to leave your old bank, especially when you’re comfortable with the accounts you have. But what better way to entice you than with a big cash bonus?

You’ll find these bonus offers attached to more checking accounts than savings accounts. After all, checking accounts are a crucial part to banking, as they allow you to easily access your money for purchases and transfers.

That’s not to say there aren’t any opportunities to earn money with a new savings account. We’ve found five of the best savings account bonus offers as of the date of publishing. It’s easy to go straight for the highest amount, but pay attention to the bank and the account you’re getting ready to open. Make sure it’s a bank you actually want to do business with.

Further, double check that you’ll be happy with the new account for months to come. It can take months to meet the offer requirements and even longer to actually receive the bonus. If there’s a monthly fee on the account, you could be stuck paying that unnecessary fee, especially if you can’t meet the balance requirements to waive it. You may not even be happy with the interest rate on the account, which might make the savings account bonus offer not entirely worth it.

The 5 best savings account bonus offers in 2019

Methodology

To find the best savings account bonus offers, we looked for the highest bonus amounts offered. Below, you’ll find the five biggest bonus offers on savings accounts being offered. Offers are current as of this publication date and we will update the article periodically to show the freshest ranking.

Citi — $500 bonus with $15,000 minimum deposit

Offer ends 6/30/2019

Offer rules: You must be a new Citibank customer and open a Citibank Account Package, which includes a checking and savings account. Within 30 days of opening these accounts, you must deposit at least $15,000 in either of these two accounts with money new to Citibank, and maintain a minimum balance across both accounts of $15,000 for 60 days.

After meeting the above requirements, you’ll get $400 in bonus money deposited into your checking account (or savings account if you’ve closed the checking account). If you make at least two ACH deposits into the checking account portion of the Account Package within 60 days of opening the account, you’ll receive an additional $100.

Who’s eligible: You must be a new customer to Citibank and enroll in the bank’s “$400/$500 Checking and Savings Offer” either in person, over the phone, or online.

Account details: There’s a $25 monthly maintenance fee, which you can avoid be keeping a minimum of $10,00 deposited across both accounts (which you’ll want to do anyone in order to qualify for the bonus, which requires a minimum of $15,000). You may not want a checking account and are free to close it, but keep in mind in order to get the $100 bonus (to bring the total amount to $500) you need to make the ACH deposits into a checking account, not a savings account.

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on Citi’s secure website

Discover — $200 bonus with $25,000 minimum deposit

Offer ends 8/5/2019

Offer rules:Discover customers can benefit from a $200 bonus by opening a Discover Online Savings account for the first time by August 5, 2019, which is the same date this offer ends. You’ll then need to deposit at least $25,000 into the account by August 19, 2019.

If you can’t meet that minimum amount, you can earn a $150 bonus instead by depositing at least $15,000 into the new account by August 19, 2019.

The bonus will be credited to your account by September 2, 2019.

Who’s eligible: You must be a new Discover savings customer to qualify for this savings account bonus offer. You must not have had a savings account that was co-branded or an affinity account provided by Discover either.

You can apply for the offer with the code “MM719” either online or by phone.

Account details: Discover’s Online Savings Account earns at a competitive interest rate of 2.10% on all balances. There are no fees associated with this account. Keep in mind that the bonus is considered interest and will be reported on a 1099-INT form.

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on Discover Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Chase — $150/$350 bonus with $10,000 minimum deposit

Offer ends 7/15/2019

Offer rules: In another bonus offer from Chase, you can get $150 when you open a new Chase Savings account. You’ll need to deposit at least $10,000 in new money (not previously held with Chase or its affiliates) within 20 business days and maintain at least that minimum balance for 90 days.

Want to do more banking with Chase and open a Chase Total Checking account, too? Opening both a new checking and savings account can get you a $350 bonus, as long as you follow the above savings account rules and set up direct deposit on your new checking account.

Who’s eligible: You’re eligible for the Chase Savings account bonus offer if you are not already a Chase savings customer. You also cannot have had an account that was closed within 90 days or with a negative balance.

If you close this new savings account within six months after opening, Chase will deduct the bonus amount from the account at closing.

Account details: The Chase Savings account earns interest at a nominal rate of 0.01% APY, which isn’t ideal for savings growth. There is a $5 monthly fee on the account. You can waive the fee with one of the following, each statement period:

  • A daily balance of at least $300
  • At least one repeating automatic transfer of $25 or more from your personal Chase checking account or Chase Liquid® Card
  • An account owner who is younger than 18
  • Linking this account to a Chase Premier Plus Checking, Chase Sapphire Checking or Chase Private Client Checking account

You could also face a $5 fee for each excessive transaction you make over the six-transfer limit per statement cycle.

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on Chase Bank’s secure website

BBVA — $100 bonus with $10,000 minimum deposit

Offer ends 8/31/2019

Offer rules: You can earn the $100 bonus by opening a new BBVA Money Market Account and bringing the balance to at least $10,000 by August 31 and maintaining that so you have at least that much in the account on November 30.

Who’s eligible: This bonus offer is available to residents of all states except Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii and Texas.

Further, you must be a new BBVA consumer money market account customer who has not had a BBVA money market account or received a money market account cash bonus in the past 12 months.

Account details: The BBVA Money Market Account earns interest at a competitive rate of 2.50% APY on balances $10,000 and over. Any balances below that will still earn at the solid rate of 2.00% APY.

There is a $15 monthly Service Charge that you can waive by maintaining an account balance of at least $10,000 or with an automatic recurring $25 monthly transfer from a BBVA checking account.

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on BBVA’s secure website

Member FDIC

Associated Bank — $100 bonus with $10,000 minimum deposit

Offer ends 12/31/2019

Offer rules: Opening a new Associated Bank Money Market account can get you a $100 bonus. You’ll need to deposit at least $10,000 in new money (held outside Associated Bank) at opening and maintain at least that much in the account for 90 days to receive the bonus.

The bonus will be paid within 120 days of account opening if you meet the requirements. The account must be open at that time. You must also keep the account open for at least 12 months.

Who’s eligible: You can redeem this offer online or by taking a coupon sent via email to an Associated Bank branch. This offer is limited to one per household. Households who have or have had an Associated Bank Money Market account within the last six months do not qualify. You must be 18 years or older to apply for the bonus. If you close the new account within 12 months of opening, Associated Bank can deduct the bonus amount from your funds at closing.

Account details: The Associated Bank Money Market account is a true money market account, with the ability to write convenience checks and access Associated Bank and MoneyPass ATMs. It earns interest, too, between 0.05% and 1.00% APY. You can earn at higher rates by having a higher balance and a qualifying Associated checking account.

The money market account does charge a $16 fee, which you can waive by maintaining a $1,000 minimum balance.

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on Associated Bank, NA’s secure website

Member FDIC

How do these accounts compare to the best online savings accounts?

When looking for the best online savings accounts, you won’t find much overlap here. Bonus offers tend to come from brick-and-mortar banks, as incentives for you to place your deposits with them.

Online banks still win by and large. But don’t let these financial carrots mislead you into thinking they are the best on the market — many of the best accounts are being offered by online banks these days. Online accounts tend to have the highest interest rates and the lowest fees — what more could you want? That’s why you’ll find most sign-up bonuses being offered by brick-and-mortar banks.

Know the pros and cons. You should figure out whether it’s worth it for you to open a new account with a traditional bank just for a bonus offer. Don’t forget, you can’t open a new account for a bonus offer and close it immediately. Qualifying for and receiving the bonus takes months. You could even lose your bonus offer if you close the account too soon. Plus, a savings account bonus offer is a short-term boost in savings, rather than the ongoing growth of a high-yield account. It won’t help your savings situation if your new account charges a monthly fee that you can’t waive, either.

Factor in fees. If you do desperately want to snag a couple hundred dollars by opening a new account, make sure you won’t be paying a monthly fee for the months you have the account. That way, you won’t lose any of that bonus right off the bat. Again, double check the account’s closing terms to ensure you won’t lose the bonus at closing, either. It’s also important to be able to meet the account’s minimum balance requirements. It may not make sense for you to keep $10,000 in a low-earning account just to earn a $200 bonus, for example.

Do the math. Let’s say you do deposit and maintain $10,000 in a new savings account that has an interest rate of 0.01%, which is typical of brick-and-mortar savings accounts. After a year, you’ll have earned $1 in interest. Add that to your $200 bonus and you can add a whopping $201 to your savings. Now, if you were to forgo the bonus offer and deposit your $10,000 into a high-yield savings account with a 2.25% APY, you’ll earn just over $227 after a year (with monthly compounding) — a better savings boost than the savings account bonus offer.

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.

Lauren Perez
Lauren Perez |

Lauren Perez is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Lauren here

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