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Updated on Friday, October 1, 2021
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 ten 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
As of October 2021
All rates expressed in annual percentage yield (APY) unless otherwise stated.
1. Evansville Teachers FCU— 1.15% 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.
2. First National Bank of America — 1.25% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit
This 72-month CD from First National Bank of America easily earns one of the top spots. The CD will roll over automatically when it matures, or you can opt for a new CD term or withdraw your money altogether. First National allows for partial withdrawals but at a stiff penalty — you’ll lose 540 days’ interest on the amount you take out.
First National Bank of America is based in Michigan and is family-owned. The bank opened its doors in 1955.
3. Northrop Grumman Federal Credit Union — 0.98% APY, $2,500 minimum deposit
For a $2,500 deposit, you’ll lock in this high rate at Northrop Grumman FCU on its 7-year CD. Have even more you can afford to invest? With $40,000, you can get a bonus term savings certificate that will land you an APY better than the top spot on this list.
Membership to Northrop Grumman FCU is open to employees of Northrop Grumman Corporation, their subsidiaries and Metro, Los Angeles County, as well as their families and retirees. Joining the Southern California Historical Aviation Foundation also qualifies you.
4. INOVA Federal Credit Union— 0.70% 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. Membership is also open to those who join the Tru Direction Financial Literacy Program.
5. Third Federal Savings and Loan — 0.70% 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, whether earned or not.
Third Federal is based in Cleveland, where it was founded back in 1938.
6. Marcus by Goldman Sachs — 0.80% APY, $500 minimum deposit
A big name in the online banking space, Marcus by Goldman Sachs offers consistently competitive rates. This includes its high-yield 6-year CD, the longest term among its offerings. It features a competitive annual percentage yield and requires an initial deposit of at least $500 and must be fully funded within 30 days of opening the account. Marcus makes a 10-day CD rate guarantee, so if the rate increases during that period, you can switch to 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.
Marcus by Goldman Sachs is the banking branch of investment giant Goldman Sachs, which traces its history back to 1869.
7. Chartway Federal Credit Union— 0.85% APY, $0 minimum deposit
You can take advantage of Chartway FCU’s longest share certificate term of 71 months with a $100 minimum. It earns at a competitive rate, which applies to certificates between 60 and 71 months. This rate is not applicable to accounts opened in North Carolina, Nevada, Texas, Utah or Virgina. The penalty for making an early withdrawal from this certificate will equal 180 days’ worth of interest.
Chartway FCU was 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 Chartway’s We Promise Foundation, which benefits children with medical issues and illnesses.
8. EmigrantDirect — 0.45% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit
EmigrantDirect offers a lower but still good 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, whether earned or not.
EmigrantDirect is a digital-only division of Emigrant Bank.
9. 1st Source Bank— 0.40% 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 that would have been 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.
10. MySavingsDirect — 0.40% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit
MySavingsDirect offers a wide range of MyTerm Certificates of Deposit. Its 6-year term falls in 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.
Like EmigrantDirect on this list, MySavingsDirect is also a digital-only division of Emigrant Bank, which dates back to 1850.
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.
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 1.15% APY at the top all the way to 0.40%. Meanwhile, all the best 5-year CD rates offer a much better savings opportunity, ranging between 1.25% and 1.10% 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.