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Best of

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 May was only 0.49% 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

Virtual Bank

2.16%

$10,000

Third Federal Savings and Loan

2.15%

$500

First Internet Bank

2.12%

$1,000

NexBank

2.10%

$10,000

Popular Direct

2.05%

$10,000

Bethpage FCU

2.00%

$50

Spectrum Credit Union

1.95%

$500

CD Bank

1.90%

$10,000

USALLIANCE Financial

1.75%

$500

Bellco Credit Union

1.60%

$500

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 The penalty for making an early withdrawal from a 3-Month eCDis 100% of the interest earned on the amount withdrawn, negating any earnings you may have received.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.

Learn more Secured

on Virtual Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Third Federal Savings and Loan — 2.15% 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.

Learn more Secured

on Third Federal Savings And Loan (OH)’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

Member FDIC

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.

Learn more Secured

on NexBank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Popular Direct — 2.05% APY, $10,000 minimum deposit

Popular Direct offers another high rate for a 3-Month CD if you have $10,000 to deposit. Interest compounds daily on this account. Just be careful about making an early withdrawal, as you’ll lose almost all of the interest you earned; the early withdrawal penalty equals 89 days’ simple interest.

Popular Direct is a division of Popular Bank, which is a New York state-chartered bank and provides FDIC insurance for your Popular Direct deposits. Popular Direct is headquartered in New York City.

Learn more Secured

on Popular Direct’s secure website

Member FDIC

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.

Learn more Secured

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.

Learn more Secured

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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on CD Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

USALLIANCE Financial — 1.75% APY, $500 minimum deposit

USALLIANCE Financial’s 3-Month Certificate Account requires at least $500 to open for you to start earning at its solid interest rate. For such a short term, the penalty for an early withdrawal is pretty high, charging 180 days’ dividends on the amount withdrawn.

USALLIANCE Financial was founded in 1966 by IBM employees. No longer limited to IBM, USALLIANCE Financial membership is open to select companies and their employees, neighborhoods and locations, places of worship, schools and organizations.

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on USALLIANCE Financial’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Bellco Credit Union — 1.60% APY, $500 minimum deposit

Bellco Credit Union offers a handful of high-yield CDs, including its shortest term 3-Month Regular CD. It requires at least $500 to open. The penalty for an early withdrawal from this account equals 30 days’ interest on the amount withdrawn.

Bellco Credit Union was founded in 1936 and is based in Colorado. You are eligible for Bellco membership if you live in a select Colorado county, work for a Bellco Select Employee Group, are affiliated with Consumers United Association or have a family member who is a Bellco member. For out-of-state folks, you can also join the Bellco Foundation for $10.

Learn more Secured

on Bellco Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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

The Best 6-Year 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 want to earn the highest CD rates, you generally need to invest in a longer-term CD. When the bank or credit union gets to keep your money for an extended period of time, it rewards you with higher interest rates.

Higher rates can make a 6-year term an appealing choice when considering CDs. However, there aren’t as many 6-year CDs available as with other CD terms. Most banks don’t offer this particular term, often maxing out at five years or skipping to 7-year CDs. In our analysis, we managed to find nine great choices when sorting through long-term CD data from DepositAccounts.com, a LendingTree-owned company.

To find the best 6-year CDs, we first looked at the highest 6-year CD rates available nationwide. Then we ranked each by APY, taking the accounts’ minimum deposit requirements into consideration for wider availability. We also made sure to include institutions with great health ratings so you know you’re working with a reputable bank with FDIC or NCUA insurance.

The Best 6-year CD rates

Institution

APY

Minimum deposit amount

INOVA FCU

3.25%

$200

Chartway FCU

3.10%

$500

Goldman Sachs Bank USA

3.05%

$500

Third Federal Savings and Loan

2.90%

$500

Evansville Teachers FCU

2.90%

$1,000

New Buffalo Savings Bank

1.76%

$1,000

MySavingsDirect

1.65%

$1,000

1st Source Bank

1.50%

$500

EmigrantDirect

1.50%

$1,000

INOVA FCU— 3.25% APY, $200 minimum deposit

Earn the best 6-year CD rate from Inova FCU. You need at least $200 to deposit and open up INOVA’s 6-year certificate. The penalty for an early withdrawal from this account is equal to 180 days’ of dividends.

Headquartered in Indiana, INOVA Federal was originally founded to serve the employees of Miles Laboratories in 1942. You can join INOVA through your employer or other organization, or through an immediate family member who is already an INOVA member.

Learn more Secured

on INOVA Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Chartway FCU— 3.10% APY, $500 minimum deposit

You can take advantage of Chartway FCU’s longest share certificate term of 71 months starting with $500. It earns at a competitive rate, which applies to certificates between 60 and 71 months. The penalty for making an early withdrawal from a 71-month certificate will equal 180 days’ worth of interest.

Chartway FCU started as NorVA N.A.S. Federal Credit Union by civilian workers at the Norfolk Naval Air Station in 1959. Today, you can join Chartway if you live, work, go to school or worship in select areas in Texas, Utah or Virgina, you work for a select partner employer or you have an immediate family member who is a member. You may also join by donating $10 to the We Promise Foundation, Chartway’s philanthropic arm.

Learn more Secured

on Chartway Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Goldman Sachs Bank USA— 3.05% APY, $500 minimum deposit

A big name in the online banking space, Goldman Sachs Bank USA, also known as Marcus by Goldman Sachs, offers consistently competitive rates. This includes its high-yield 6-year CD, the longest term among its offerings. It requires an initial deposit of at least $500 within 10 days after opening the account. Marcus by Goldman Sachs makes a 10-day CD rate guarantee, so if the rate increases during that period, you can snag that higher rate.

Just be careful of making an early withdrawal from the 6-year CD as it will trigger a penalty of 365 days’ worth of simple interest on the principal.

An entirely online bank, Marcus by Goldman Sachs is a brand of Goldman Sachs Bank USA, the banking branch of investment giant Goldman Sachs, which traces its history back to 1869.

Learn more Secured

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

Third Federal Savings and Loan— 2.90% APY, $500 minimum deposit

The 72-month standard CD is the longest term offered by Third Federal Savings and Loan. It earns at a competitive rate and requires only $500 to open and start saving. The penalty for an early withdrawal from a 72-month CD equals 18 months’ interest.

Third Federal is based in Cleveland, where it was founded back in 1938.

Learn more Secured

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

Member FDIC

Evansville Teachers FCU— 2.90% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit

The 6-year certificate is Evansville Teachers FCU’s longest term and earns at a competitive interest rate alongside the credit union’s other certificates. You’ll need at least $1,000 to open an account. The penalty for an early withdrawal will equal either $100 or 180 days’ worth of interest, whichever is greater.

ETFCU was founded in 1936 by several teachers in Evansville, Ind. who needed better financial services. Today, you can be eligible for Evansville Teachers FCU membership not just as a teacher, but also through select employers or organizations, or a family or household member. You may also join by donating $5 to the Mater Dei Friends & Alumni Association.

Learn more Secured

on Evansville Teachers Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

New Buffalo Savings Bank— 1.76% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit

With at least $1,000, you can start saving your money in a 6-year CD from New Buffalo Savings Bank at a pretty solid rate. Interestingly, no matter which term you have, the early withdrawal penalty will equal six months’ of interest.

New Buffalo Savings Bank was founded in 1921, and maintains its headquarters and a few branches in the New Buffalo, Mich. area.

Learn more Secured

on New Buffalo Savings Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

MySavingsDirect— 1.65% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit

MySavingsDirect offers a wide range of MyTerm Certificates of Deposit. Its 6-year term falls in between its range of 60 to 120 month terms available at the given APY. Plus, interest is compounded daily for faster savings growth. You’ll need at least $1,000 to open an account. Making an early withdrawal from this account will trigger a penalty of 180 days’ worth of interest.

MySavingsDirect is a digital-only division of Emigrant Bank which dates back to 1850.

Learn more Secured

on MySavingsDirect’s secure website

Member FDIC

EmigrantDirect—1.50% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit

EmigrantDirect offers a lower but still decent rate on its 60- to 120-month certificates of deposit, including its 6-year term. You need $1,000 to open an account here. The penalty for early withdrawals will be an amount equal to 180 days’ interest.

Like MySavingsDirect, EmigrantDirect is another digital-only division of Emigrant Bank.

Learn more Secured

on EmigrantDirect.com’s secure website

Member FDIC

1st Source Bank— 1.50% APY, $500 minimum deposit

You can get started with 1st Source Bank’s 6-year CD with just $500. The penalty for an early withdrawal is 12 months’ interest earned on the amount withdrawn.

1st Source Bank was established back in 1863 in South Bend, Ind. It has branches in Florida, Indiana and Michigan.

Learn more Secured

on 1st Source Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Is it worth getting a 6-year CD?

It can be worth getting a 6-year CD if you’re signing up for the highest rates on our list. Perhaps it would make a solid addition to a CD ladder you’re building. Let’s say you have $1,000 to deposit into a CD. Depositing that into the highest-earning 6-year CD above, at 3.25% APY, will result in $215 total interest earned. Making that same deposit into the best 5-year CD at 3.35% APY yields about $182.

But this is just looking at the top rates for both terms. In truth, 6-year CD rates aren’t always competitive enough to make them a reliable investment. In fact, 5- and 7-year CD terms consistently have much better rates, despite the small one-year difference.

When we compare 6-year CD rates with 5-year CD rates, the 6-year yields struggle to keep up. You can see above that the best 6-year CD rates jump from 3.25% APY at the top all the way to just above 1%. Meanwhile, all the best 5-year CD rates offer a much better savings opportunity ranging between 3.35% and 3.20% APY. No matter which 5-year CD you pick from the list, you’re bound to yield some solid earnings.

We tend to expect that the longer the CD term, the higher the rate will be, but we just don’t see that when comparing 6-year CDs with other long-term CDs. On the whole, 6-year CD terms are bookended by better-earning products. Opening 5- and 7-year CDs will give you a wider product selection to choose from and a better chance at growing your savings.

Alternative long-term investments

Other than 5- and 7-year CDs, Ken Tumin, founder of DepositAccounts.com (which similar to MagnifyMoney, is owned by LendingTree) suggests turning to individual bonds to beef up your savings. “Much like a CD ladder, the same technique can be used with individual bonds (Treasury, municipal, corporate, etc.) to build steady savings over time,” he offered. Note that non-Treasury bonds do have some default risk that CDs don’t carry when they have FDIC/NCUA insurance.

Another alternative to a bond ladder is a mutual fund or an ETF of bonds. Unlike a ladder, the value of a bond mutual fund or ETF fluctuates with interest rates. This can give you the chance to boost your savings when interest rates go down. However, the opposite is also true, where the value of your bonds decrease when interest rates rise.

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

TAGS: