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Updated on Wednesday, January 13, 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
Minimum deposit amount
Evansville Teachers Federal Credit Union
SRP Federal Credit Union
First National Bank of America
Third Federal Savings and Loan (OH)
INOVA Federal Credit Union
Chartway Federal Credit Union
Marcus by Goldman Sachs
1st Source Bank
As of January 2021
All rates expressed in annual percentage yield (APY) unless otherwise stated.
1. Evansville Teachers FCU— 1.20% 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. SRP Federal Credit Union — 1.26% APY, $5,000 minimum deposit
A longer-term account worth consideration is the 7 Year Flex Certificate from SRP Federal Credit Union. It requires an opening deposit of at least $5,000. The account allows you to adjust your rate at the end of your 5th and 6th years, allowing you to snag the current rate at the time if it’s higher. The penalty for an early withdrawal equals one year’s dividends.
SRP Federal Credit Union was founded in 1960. SRP membership is open to members of select Georgia and South Carolina communities, their family and household members and spouses of deceased members. You’re also eligible if you sign up for a membership with the Greater Augusta-Fort Gordon Chapter of the Association of the United States Army.
3. AFFCU — 1.15% APY, $2,500 minimum deposit
Though this 7-year certificate is already a top earner, you can earn even higher dividends if you are part of AFFCU’s member rewards program. Interest is compounded and credited monthly. The penalty for early withdrawal is half of the dividends you would have earned from the date of withdrawal until maturity on the amount withdrawn.
AFFCU was formed in 1952 by servicemen at Lackland Air Force Base as Lackland Federal Credit Union. It grew over the years, eventually becoming AFFCU, with now over 52,000 members. There are a number of ways to qualify for membership as a member of the military or a civilian in certain areas, but if you live outside of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana or Mississippi, your best bet is joining through a $25 donation to the Airman Heritage Foundation.
4. First National Bank of America — 1.05% 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 their doors in 1955.
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. 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.
7. EmigrantDirect — 0.70% 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.
8. Chartway Federal Credit Union— 0.65% 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 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.
9. Marcus by Goldman Sachs — 0.60% 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 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 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.
10. 1st Source Bank— 0.50% 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 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.
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 1.30% APY at the top all the way to 0.50%. Meanwhile, all the best 5-year CD rates offer a much better savings opportunity, ranging between 1.50% and 1.15% 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.