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 just under 3.00% APY, compared to the average 18-month CD rate of 1.48%. 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 2019
|Institution||APY||Minimum deposit amount to earn APY|
|Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union||2.50%||$500|
|Hanscom Federal Credit Union||2.50%||$1,000|
|Service Credit Union||2.50%||$1,000|
|First National Bank of America||2.50%||$1,000|
|TruStone Financial Credit Union||2.50%||$2,500|
|Live Oak Bank||2.45%||$2,500|
USALLIANCE Financial — 2.70% APY, $500 minimum deposit
USALLIANCE Financial offers the chance to earn at a competitive Special Rate on its 15 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 Early withdrawal penalties will equal 360 days of dividends on the amount withdrawn.
USALLIANCE Financial was started in 1966 by a handful of IBM employees. Today, its membership has expanded; you can join USALLIANCE Financial through your place of residence, employer, place of worship, school or organization.
Merrick Bank — 2.45% APY, $25,000 minimum deposit
Merrick Bank may offer only a few CDs, but they all earn at excellent rates, including its 18 Month CD. Just note that you’ll need at least $25,000 to open one of these accounts. The early withdrawal penalty is equal to 2% of the account balance or seven days’ interest, whichever is greater.
Merrick Bank was founded in 1997 and also provides loans and financing products along with its CDs.
Capital One — 1.90% APY, $0 minimum deposit
A big name in the banking space, Capital One offers some great rates on its Capital One 360 CDs including its 18 Month CD. Even better, Capital One doesn’t require a minimum deposit to open a CD or start earning interest. The penalty for making an early withdrawal is six months of interest regardless of when you redeem the account prior to maturity.
Capital One 360 is the online banking arm of Capital One, which offers higher rates than what you’ll traditionally see from the bank.
Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union — 2.50% 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. 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 and individuals who live, work, worship or volunteer in select communities. You may also join if you’re a relative or housemate of an eligible individual or if you make a $25 dues payment to the Affinity Plus Foundation.
Hanscom FCU — 2.50% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit
Hanscom FCU offers its Traditional Certificates in a range of terms from three to 60 months, each with pretty competitive interest rates — but its 19-Month Special stands out especially for its top rate. It earns at a higher rate than the 12-month and even the 24-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 over 5,000 nationwide CO-OP shared branches and over 100,000 surcharge-free ATMs. You can become a Hanscom FCU member through family relationships, your employer or partner organizations.
Service Credit Union — 2.50% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit
With just $1,000, you can earn at a top 18-month CD rate with Service Credit Union. The account’s dividends are compounded and credited monthly. To become a Service Credit Union member, you must open a Share Savings account with at least $5. You’re eligible for membership based on your residence and military status.
Founded in 1957, Service Credit Union maintains most of its branches in New Hampshire, with a branch in Massachusetts and at Grand Forks Air Force Base in North Dakota. There are also several branches abroad in Germany. You may also access 5,000 shared branches and around 30,000 fee-free ATMs worldwide through the SUM and CO-OP networks.
First National Bank of America — 2.50% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit
You can open a First National Bank 18-month Time Certificate of Deposit at this rate, which applies to other CDs between 12 and 23 months as well. Each CD requires a $1,000 minimum deposit. The early withdrawal penalty for this range of CDs will equal 180 days of interest.
First founded in 1955, First National Bank of America maintains three branches in Michigan.
Synchrony Bank — 2.50% APY, $2,000 minimum deposit
With a $2,000 opening deposit, you can snag this solid 18-month CD rate from Synchrony Bank. An early withdrawal will trigger a penalty of 180 days of simple interest at the current rate at the time of withdrawal.
Originally established in 1988, Synchrony Bank is the online banking arm of financial institution Synchrony.
TruStone Financial Credit Union — 2.50% APY, $2,500 minimum deposit
For a slightly longer term, turn to TruStone Financial Credit Union for its 20-month competitive Certificate. The rate applies to a deposit of $2,500 in new money, or money not already held with the credit union. You’ll lose 365 days’ interest for making a withdrawal from the account before maturity.
Founded in 1939 by eight Minneapolis teachers, TruStone Financial maintains locations in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Membership is open to individuals who live, work, worship, volunteer or attend school in select areas, members/employees/retirees of select organizations and communities and relatives of members.
Live Oak Bank — 2.45% APY, $2,500 minimum deposit
With CD rates well above 2%, it’s no wonder Live Oak Bank’s 18-month CD makes it on this list. You’ll need at least $2,500 to open an account. Interest earned can be paid out monthly. An early withdrawal will cost you a penalty equal to 90 days of interest on the amount withdrawn.
Largely focused on loans and business banking, Live Oak Bank doesn’t have any consumer bank branches other than its headquarters in Wilmington, N.C. It was founded in 2008.
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.