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Earning Interest

The Best High Yield Checking Accounts in 2019

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Checking accounts are like a pair of khakis slacks: You should have at least one, but shopping for them is a chore. You know you need a checking account—preferably one without fees—but most people think it’s not going to yield more than a token amount in interest.

These high yield checking accounts break this tired paradigm, featuring sky-high interest rates that can put even the best savings accounts to shame. In this article, we’ll help you make an informed decision about whether one of these high yield checking accounts are right for you and your financial goals.

How we picked the best high yield checking accounts

We followed a strict approach when selecting these accounts. We used the online rate finder for FDIC- or NCUA-insured rewards checking accounts on DepositAccounts.com, another LendingTree.com-owned site, to list the top 10 high yield checking accounts with the highest rates, assuming a deposit amount of $100.

Credit unions were only included if they allow membership to anyone (such as by making a donation to their chosen charity). Finally, we filtered out any high yield checking accounts that are not available nationwide, or that carry a health rating of below a B.

The Best High Yield Checking Accounts in 2019

Consumers Credit Union (IL) — Free Rewards Checking

  • Minimum amount to open: $0
  • Requirements to earn the high APY: You must complete the following four things each month:
    1. complete at least 12 signature-based debit purchases,
    2. receive at least one direct deposit, ACH debit, or pay one bill through their free bill payment system,
    3. log into your online banking account, and
    4. be signed up for eStatements.
    5. spend $1,000 or more with a Consumers Credit Union Visa credit card each month.
  • Monthly service fee: No monthly service fee.
  • ATM fees: If you meet the requirements to earn the high APY, you won’t pay any ATM fees.
  • ATM refunds: You are eligible for refunds on all ATM fees as long as you meet the requirements to earn the highest APY.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Consumers Credit Union (IL)’s secure website

NCUA Insured

La Capitol Federal Credit Union — Choice Checking

  • Minimum amount to open: $50
  • Requirements to earn the high APY: Make at least 20 debit purchases per month.
  • Monthly service fee: $8; waived if you either have a balance of at least $1,000 or make 20 non-ATM debit card transactions each month.
  • ATM fees: None
  • ATM refunds: Up to $25 in out-of-network surcharges (the money the ATM’s owner charges you) per month if you are signed up for eStatements

LEARN MORE Secured

on La Capitol Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

TAB Bank — Kasasa Cash Checking

  • Minimum amount to open: $0
  • Requirements to earn the high APY: You must have at least 1 direct deposit, ACH payment, or bill pay transaction posted to the account during each billing cycle and at least 15 debit card purchases of $5 or more.
  • Monthly service fee: None
  • ATM fees: None
  • ATM refunds: Up to $15 every month (if you meet the qualifications to earn the highest APY)

LEARN MORE Secured

on TAB Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Orion Federal Credit Union — Premium Checking

  • Minimum amount to open: $0
  • Requirements to earn the high APY: You must make electronic deposits (which can be either a direct deposit, mobile deposit, or an electronic transfer from another financial institution) of at least $500 each month, in addition to making at least eight signature-based debit card transactions each month.
  • Monthly service fee: $5, which is waived if you meet the requirements to earn the highest APY.
  • ATM fees: None for ATM withdrawals in Orion’s network, $1 for non-Orion ATMs
  • ATM refunds: Up to $10 a month for fees charged by non-Orion financial institutions.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Orion Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

T-Mobile — T-Mobile Money Checking Account

  • Minimum amount to open: $0
  • Requirements to earn the high APY: You must be enrolled in a qualifying T-Mobile wireless plan, be registered for perks with your T-Mobile ID, and have a minimum of $200 in qualifying deposits.
  • Monthly service fee: None
  • ATM fees: None
  • ATM refunds: None

LEARN MORE Secured

on T-Mobile Money’s secure website

Member FDIC

One American Bank — Kasasa Cash

  • Minimum amount to open: $50
  • Requirements to earn the high APY: You’ll need to do the following three things for each qualification cycle (be aware: their qualification cycles are not the same thing as a calendar month):
    1. complete at least 12 debit purchases of $5.00 or more,
    2. be enrolled in eStatements, and
    3. log into your Online Banking account.
  • Monthly service fee: No monthly service charges.
  • ATM fees: None
  • ATM refunds: Up to $25 per qualification cycle if you meet the requirements to earn the high APY.

LEARN MORE Secured

on One American Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Heritage Bank — eCentive Account

  • Minimum amount to open: $100
  • Requirements to earn the high APY: Each month you’ll need to make 10 or more debit card payments and/or purchases (excluding ATM transactions), have at least one direct deposit or ACH deposit, and receive monthly electronic bank statements.
  • Monthly service fee: None
  • ATM fees: None listed
  • ATM refunds: Up to $25 per qualification cycle if you meet the requirements above.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Heritage Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Evansville Teachers Federal Credit Union — Vertical Checking

  • Minimum amount to open: $0
  • Requirements to earn the high APY: You must complete the following things each month:
    1. have at least one direct deposit into your account,
    2. be enrolled in e-statements,
    3. use your debit card to make at least 15 purchases per month, and
    4. log on mobile or online banking once.
  • Monthly service fee: None.
  • ATM fees: None.
  • ATM refunds: Up to $15 of out-of-network ATM fees per month.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Evansville Teachers Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Dover Federal Credit Union — Kasasa Cash Account

  • Minimum amount to open: $100
  • Requirements to earn the high APY:  You must make at least 12 debit card purchases in each monthly qualification cycle. In addition, you must be enrolled and agree to receive eStatements and enrolled in online banking, which you must log into at least one time per month.
  • Monthly service fee: None
  • ATM fees: None listed
  • ATM refunds: Up to $25 in refunds of third-party ATM fees per monthly qualification cycle.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Dover Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Market USA Federal Credit Union VIP Checking Platinum Tier

  • Minimum amount to open: $0
  • Requirements to earn the high APY: 1) Enrollment in e-Statements
    2) monthly direct deposit of at least $250 3) 12 Visa Debit Card Purchases per month, minimum purchase $5 4) 3 bill payments per month using Market USA’s Bill Pay service, at least $20 each
  • Monthly service fee: None
  • ATM fees: $1
  • ATM refunds: Eight free monthly transactions at STAR and PLUS ATMS, minimum direct deposit of $500 required and ATM surcharges may still apply

LEARN MORE Secured

on Market USA Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

How are these banks able to offer such a high APY?

Did you notice that most of the institutions offering high yield checking accounts tend to be smaller names that you’ve probably never heard of? It turns out there’s a good reason for that, and it all has to do with the Dodd-Frank Act, a set of sweeping financial regulations passed by Congress in the wake of the Great Recession.

Back when the Dodd-Frank Act was passed in 2010, a tiny legislative nugget called the Durbin Amendment was included in the text. This amendment limited the swipe fees that big banks can charge merchants for each purchase that one of their customers makes using a debit card.

Suddenly, big banks (defined as institutions with at least $10 billion in assets) could only charge half as much per swipe as they had been doing, and swipe fees became a lot more lucrative for smaller banks and credit unions instead.

That’s why so many smaller institutions have strict rules requiring you to use your debit card each month. According to the Federal Reserve, in 2016 smaller banks earned anywhere from 18 to 65 cents for each debit card swipe, compared to a maximum of just 22 cents plus 0.05% of the purchase price for larger banks.

Say, for example, a smaller bank requires you to make 10 debit transactions per month, and earns 65 cents from each transaction. Your bank would then earn $6.50 from your spending that month.

That is where the high interest rates come from. It’s also why the high interest rates are generally capped to smaller balances, so that you don’t earn too much money and negate all the swipe fees that the bank earns.

Is it worth meeting requirements to go after the high APY?

Some of these high yield checking accounts have a lot of requirements.

If you prefer to use debit cards, chances are you’ll be able to easily meet the minimum debit swiping requirements for most of these accounts. On the other hand, if you’re a cash or credit card junkie, you may find yourself frequently worrying at the end of the month about whether or not you’ve met the minimum debit swiping requirements. In this case, a high yield checking account might not be right for you.

Another thing to consider is that many of these banks require you to make a signature-based debit transaction, rather than a PIN-based debit transaction for it to count. Unfortunately, this is slightly less secure than using the PIN-based payment method.

You’ll also need to avoid making a rush of charges at the end of the month to meet the spending requirements. That’s because banks and credit unions will usually only count a charge that has finished posting to your account towards meeting the monthly swiping requirement. It can take a few days for debit swipes to post to your account, so it’s better to get these charges in early to make sure they post to your account in time to count.

The good news is that checking accounts aren’t designed to hold significant amounts of cash. That’s what a savings account is for, and you can still earn pretty good interest rates with a high yield savings account (although still nowhere close to these high yield checking accounts).

If you’re going to keep a smaller deposit in your checking account anyways, why not earn as much as you can from it—especially if you know you’ll have an easy time meeting the requirements?

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.

James Ellis
James Ellis |

James Ellis is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email James here

Advertiser Disclosure

Best of, Earning Interest

The Best Credit Union CD Rates – November 2019

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Certificates of deposit (CDs) are a great way to safely store your savings at a financial institution, as they offer a guaranteed rate of return, and CD rates tend to be higher than those on traditional savings accounts. Maybe you’ve even heard that credit union CD rates offer higher returns—but is that really the case?

On average, yes. As of June 2019, the average one-year credit union CD had a 1.42% annual percentage yield (APY), compared to the 1.11% APY average among one-year bank CDs.

Using data from DepositAccounts.com, another LendingTree company, we identified the top one-year credit union CD rates, as of November 4, 2019. We then eliminated any credit union with a health rating lower than a B and identified the top offerings in three categories: restricted, no cost, and best banking app. If there was a tie by APY, we went with the product with the lower minimum deposit. Here are the best one-year credit union CD rates.

Best credit union CD rates with restricted memberships or membership fees

Each of these credit unions have restricted membership criteria, but don’t let that scare you away. If you don’t meet their membership criteria, it’s often possible to make a small donation to their charity of choice in order to become eligible for membership. Furthermore, these credit union CD rates offer some of the highest-returning share certificates out of any category.

Wheelhouse Credit Union — 11-Month CD, 2.50% APY, min. deposit $1,000

11 Month Certificate Special - New Money from Wheelhouse Credit Union
For a limited time, Wheelhouse Credit Union is offering an outstanding yield on this 11-month certificate of deposit. At 2.50% APY, this among the best returns you can find on a credit union CD with a term under one year. In addition, Wheelhouse is offering a 22-month certificate yielding an impressive 2.75% APY, and a 33-month certificate earning 2.86% APY. The minimum deposit for all three certificates is $1,000.

Membership in Wheelhouse Credit Union is open to everyone who lives or works in California’s San Diego County, employees of Wheelhouse’s partner employers, or anyone who is a member of the Zoological Society of San Diego.

 

LEARN MORE Secured

on Wheelhouse Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Communitywide Federal Credit Union — 12-Month CD, 2.25% APY, min. deposit $1,000

12 Month Share Certificate from Communitywide Federal Credit Union For over 50 years, Communitywide Federal Credit Union has provided banking services to the citizens of northern Indiana, and now a completely revamped online and mobile portal brings its great rates to you, wherever you are. Membership in Communitywide FCU is open to members of the Michiana Goodwill Boosters or the Marine Corps League of St. Joseph Valley, as well as employees of over 40 companies in the central Midwest region.

In exchange for a $1,000 minimum deposit, Communitywide’s 12-month share certificate earns a 2.25% APY. One great feature is flexibility regarding your dividends, which may be compounded in the certificate, deposited to another share certificate, or transferred to another account. Another feature to understand is that there is no automatic renewal of Communitywide’s share certificates, which could be a good thing for savers who like to be reminded to survey the best rates available before rolling over their investments.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Communitywide Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Dow Chemical Employees’ Credit Union — 12-Month CD, 2.25% APY, min. deposit $1,000

12 Month Simple CD from Dow Chemical Employees' Credit UnionYou do not need to work for Dow Chemical to get this competitive rate on a share certificate — membership is open to anyone who joins the Midland Center for the Arts. In addition, current and retired employees of Dow Chemical, Dow Corning, and their affiliates are also eligible.

With a minimum deposit of $1,000, the 12-month CD offered by Dow Chemical Employees’ Credit Union earns a 2.25% APY. Note that this certificate is not eligible for DCECU’s annual payout of the credit union’s earnings to members. Certificates that are eligible for the member giveback yield a lower APY.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Dow Chemical Employees' Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

State Department Federal Credit Union– 12 Month Share Certificate, 2.22% APY, min. deposit $500

12 Month Certificate from State Department Federal Credit UnionDon’t worry, you don’t need a security clearance from the federal government to join this credit union—you simply need to sign up with the American Consumer Council and you can begin enjoying the benefits of your new membership.

One of those benefits, should you so choose, includes this 12-Month Share Certificate, which allows you to park your money in an account earning 2.22% APY with a minimum deposit of at least $500. You’ll have to pay 180 days worth of interest if you withdraw your money from the certificate before it matures, but it’s worth noting you can make a partial early withdrawal — and pay the penalty — without closing out the account completely.

LEARN MORE Secured

on State Department Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

USALLIANCE Financial — 12-Month certificate account, 2.20% APY, min. deposit $500

12 Month CD from USALLIANCE Financial
USALLIANCE Financial is offering a 12-month certificate account with a competitive APY of 2.20%.

Membership in USALLIANCE Financial is open to residents of certain localities in Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York, as well as members of the American Consumer Council and a raft of other professional associations.

LEARN MORE Secured

on USALLIANCE Financial’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Connexus Credit Union – 12 Month Share Certificate, 2.20% APY, min. $5,000

12 Month Certificate from Connexus Credit UnionThis Wisconsin-based credit union cracks our ranking of the best credit union CD rates for its 12 -month share chertificate’s 2.20% APY. It requires a bit of a hefty minimum deposit of $5,000 to open an account, but its APY is fairly generous compared to its competitors. Anyone can join Connexus by joining the Connexus Association and making a $5 donation.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Connexus Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Technology Credit Union – 12 – 17 Month Certificate, 2.15% APY, min. $1,000

12 - 17 Month Flextime CD from Technology Credit Union
The Technology Credit Union offers a slew of CDs with competitive rates, but its 12 to 17 month term CD stands out with a 2.15% APY and a low minimum deposit of just $1,000. It’s worth noting that if your certificate is not funded within 30 days of opening, it will be closed automatically. Technology Credit Union is open to anyone who joins the Financial Fitness Association, which has an $8 fee.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Technology Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Self-Help Credit Union – 12-Month Certificate, 2.12% APY, min. $500

12 Month CD from Self-Help Credit UnionThe Self-Help Credit Union’s 12-month certificate will certainly help out your finances, with a 2.12% APY and a minimum deposit of just $500. Membership to the Self-Help Credit Union is open to anyone who joins the Center of Community Self-Help, which has a membership fee of $5.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Self-Help Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Best CD rates for credit unions with no cost to join

The thing about credit unions is that they’re not usually just open to anyone. You usually need to meet some membership criteria in order to get in and get access to all of their really nice products. These credit unions, however, will let you in for free regardless of your personal details. (Note: Only two credit unions met our criteria for this list.)

Unify Financial Credit Union – 1-Year Share Certificate, 1.75% APY, min. deposit $1,000

UNIFY Financial Credit Union
Unify FCU offers the highest interest rates on CDs (which it calls share certificates) of any credit union with no cost to join. The interest rate on their 12-month CD, for example, is 1.75%. You’ll need to deposit a minimum of $1,000 to open this CD. If you withdraw your money early, however, you’ll face a substantial penalty.

LEARN MORE Secured

on UNIFY Financial Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

NASA Federal Credit Union – 1-Year Share Certificate, 1.50% APY, min. deposit $1,000

NASA Federal Credit Union
If the rigid inflexibility of CDs makes you leery, NASA FCU might be your best bet. They have a lot of flexible certificates, such as add-on certificates that let you start with as little as $250, and bump-rate certificates that let you opt for a one-time interest rate increase if rates go up. You can even take out a loan from your certificate should you need the cash before it’s matured. You can join NASA FCU with a complimentary membership to the National Space Society.

If you do need to make an early withdrawal, you will face a penalty of 180 days’ worth of interest.

LEARN MORE Secured

on NASA Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Best CD rates for credit unions with the best mobile apps

By their very nature, CDs aren’t something that require constant attention, poking, and prodding. It’s a set-it-and-forget-it kind of a deal, so you won’t need any spiffy banking apps to use CDs.

But, if you’d like to switch all of your banking to the same institution that holds your CDs, it might be a wise idea to consider one of these credit unions if you’re a digital junkie. Most credit unions lag behind their bank compatriots in terms of mobile banking apps, but these credit unions offer top-notch mobile apps, according to MagnifyMoney’s 2018 mobile banking app analysis.

Eastman Credit Union – 18-Month Investment Certificate, 2.40% APY, min. deposit $1,000

18 Month Investment Certificate Special from Eastman Credit Union Eastman Credit Union has pretty restrictive membership requirements. You’ll have to be an employee (or a family member of an employee) of one of their select employers, or live in certain parts of Tennessee, Texas, or Virginia.This special offer yields 2.40% APY for an 18-month investment certificate deposit, with a minimum deposit of $1,000. If you withdraw your money before the CD matures, you’ll owe a penalty fee of 90 days’ worth of dividend earnings.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Eastman Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Delta Community Credit Union – 1-Year Certificate, 1.99% APY, min. deposit $1,000

Delta Community Credit Union
There are many ways to join Delta Community CU, such as living in certain parts of Georgia, being a member of one of their select employers, or being a member of one of their partner organizations. Interestingly, citizens of many countries like Argentina, France, and Peru are also eligible to join.

Delta Community CU used to be the lowest-earning credit union on our list, but recently increased the APY on this product from 1.10% to 1.99%. The early withdrawal penalty is 90 days’ worth of interest on a 12-month CD.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Delta Community Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

SECU – 1-Year CD, 1.85% APY, min. deposit $500

SECU
The State Employees Credit Union of Maryland (SECU) is the largest credit union in the state of Maryland and is among the largest credit unions in the United States. Membership is open to employees, retirees and contractors of the state of Maryland, employees of Anne Arundel County, alumni, students, faculty and staff of University System of Maryland Schools, employees of organizations located in Maryland that receive federal, state or local funding, and over 500 local Select Employer Groups. SECU offers a decent rate of 1.85% on its 1-year CD.

LEARN MORE Secured

on SECU’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Wright-Patt Credit Union – 12 to 17-Month Certificate, 1.71% APY, min. deposit $500

Wright-Patt Credit Union
Unlike many credit unions, you can’t just make a simple donation to join Wright-Patt CU if you fail to meet their membership criteria. You need to live in certain areas of Ohio, be associated with Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, or be an employee of their select employer group, among other options.

Wright-Patt offers an 12 to 17-month certificate yielding a decent return of 1.71% APY.withdrawal penalties vary depending on the original term of your CD, however they’ll be anywhere between 5-12 months’ worth of dividends.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Wright-Patt Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Redstone Federal Credit Union – 12 Month MemberPlus Share Certificate, 1.56% APY, min. deposit $1,000

Redstone Federal Credit Union
You can’t just make a simple donation to join to Redstone Federal Credit Union if you fail to meet their membership criteria. You need to be a government employee or contractor, a member of the military, reserve, or National Guard, or affiliated with a number of organizations listed on their website among other options.

However, if you do qualify for membership, you could earn an APY of 1.56% with a minimum deposit of $1,000. Redstone FCU has compounding and non-compounding certificates, which allow you to have the option to withdraw interest earned or not throughout the term of the certificate.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Redstone Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

3 questions to consider before opening a credit union CD

Banks are more likely to call their products certificates of deposit, while credit unions often refer to them as share certificates. Aside from the name, the biggest difference between the two is that credit unions have higher average annual percentage yields (APYs) than traditional banks, as of September 2018. That’s good news: It means more money back in your pocket when the CD matures (i.e., reaches the end of its term and is available for withdrawal).

There really is no difference in safety between depositing money in a CD with a credit union versus a bank, as long as they participate in either the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) for credit unions, or the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for banks.

According to Neal Frankle, a Los Angeles-based Certified Financial Planner with Wealth Pilgrim, deposits of up to $250,000 per financial institution are “backed by the full faith and credit of United States Government, so it’s pretty solid.”

For the most part, choosing a CD at a bank or a credit union boils down to your preference as a consumer: Do you want to be a bank customer or a member of a credit union? Here’s a primer on the differences.

The biggest advantage of credit union CDs over bank CDs is that you can likely earn more interest. But with both products, the longer the CD term, the more interest you will earn. And with a CD laddering strategy, you can have the best of both worlds: frequent access to your money, yet you can still keep it locked away in high-interest, long-term CDs.

Beyond that, the disadvantages of opening a credit union CD are the same as if you’re opening a CD with a bank. You can’t access that money without paying an early withdrawal penalty until the CD matures. While CDs do offer some of the highest rates for any financial product you’re likely to come across at a bank or credit union, they still don’t really earn great interest. If you’re investing for the long-term (like retirement savings), your money is better invested in the riskier (but higher-earning) stock or bond market.

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.

Lindsay VanSomeren
Lindsay VanSomeren |

Lindsay VanSomeren is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Lindsay here

Advertiser Disclosure

Best of, Earning Interest

The Best IRA CD Rates – November 2019

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Perhaps you’ve decided to build a CD ladder within your IRA, or maybe you’re looking for a safe way to store your retirement cash for a specific period of time. Whatever the reason, you’re interested in getting an IRA CD and, understandably, want to know what products will give you the best rate of return.

You can get an IRA CD with terms ranging from three months to more than six years, with interest rates generally increasing with the term length. There are lots of options, so we’ve rounded up the top IRA CD rates that are available right now for a variety of terms. You’ll select your IRA CD terms based on your CD-ladder master plan or whenever you’ll need access to your money.

Every month, we choose the best IRA CD rates using data from another LendingTree company DepositAccounts.com, a database of offerings at more than 17,100 banks and credit unions. We sorted the products by APY, then eliminated institutions with a health rating below a B. We then eliminated products that are not available nationwide. From there, we chose the IRA CD with the highest APY among products with a minimum deposit no greater than $5,000. Here are the best options.

The best IRA rates in November 2019

Term

Institution

APY

Minimum Deposit Amount

3 months

BethPage FCU

1.60%

$50

6 months

CommunityWide Federal Credit Union

2.20%

$2,000

12 months

State Department Federal Credit Union

2.42%

$500

18 months

Market USA Federal Credit Union

2.36%

$500

2 years

Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union

2.00%

$500

3 years

Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union

2.25%

$500

4 years

American 1 Credit Union

2.78%

$50

5 years

State Department Federal Credit Union

3.09%

$500

6+ years

Evansville Teachers FCU

2.40%

$1,000

 

Best 3-month IRA CD – BethPage Federal Credit Union (Traditional, Roth)

3 Month IRA from Bethpage Federal Credit Union
The BethPage Federal Credit Union features the most competitive 3-month IRA CD that’s currently available, with an APY of 1.60% and a minimum deposit of just $50.

LEARN MORE 

NCUA Insured

Best 6-month IRA CD — CommunityWide Federal Credit Union (Traditional, Roth)

6 Month IRA from Communitywide Federal Credit Union
CommunityWide Federal Credit Union is offering the highest rate available on 6-month IRA CDs at 2.20% APY for deposits of $1,000 and over. That translates into earnings of $11.19 if you were only to deposit the minimum amount. Compare that to the average of all regular 6-month CDs, at 0.91%.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Communitywide Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Best 1-year IRA CD — State Department Federal Credit Union (Traditional, Roth)

12 Month IRA Certificate from State Department Federal Credit UnionThis one-year term share certificate earns an APY of 2.42% and only requires a minimum deposit of $500. This is a significantly higher rate than the credit union’s traditional one-year share certificate, which earns an APY of 2.22%.

LEARN MORE Secured

on State Department Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Best 18-month IRA CD — Market USA Federal Credit Union IRA CD (Traditional, Roth, CESA)

18 Month Preferred CD from Market USA Federal Credit UnionMarket USA FCU’s 18-month IRA CD earns a competitive rate of 2.36% APY, with a $500 minimum deposit to open. Dividends are compounded daily and credited monthly. With a $1,000 deposit, you stand to earn $35.61 in dividends over the term of the certificate.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Market USA Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Best 2-year IRA CD – Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union (Traditional, Roth, CESA)

24 Month IRA from Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union Despite its name, the Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union is open to anyone who joins the Pennsylvania Parks and Recreation Society, which has a $20 membership fee. This credit union offers a highly competitive, 24-month IRA CD with an APY of 2.00%, well above its competitors. There is a $500 minimum required to open an IRA share certificate.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Best 3-year IRA CD – Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union (Traditional, Roth, CESA)

36 Month IRA from Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union

Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union claims another spot on our ranking of the best IRA CDs, with its 36 month IRA CD. This product boasts an impressive APY of 2.25% and a minimum deposit of just $500.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Best 4-year IRA CD – American 1 Credit Union (Traditional, Roth, CESA)

4 Year IRA from American 1 Credit UnionThe American 1 Credit Union takes the cake for the best 4-year IRA CD. This CD has a minimum of just $50 and an APY of 2.78%, several percentage points above its competitors. Membership to this credit union is open to anyone through membership of the Community 1 Cooperative, which has just a $3 fee.

LEARN MORE Secured

on American 1 Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Best 5-year IRA CD — State Department Federal Credit Union (Traditional, Roth)

60 Month IRA Certificate from State Department Federal Credit UnionThe State Department FCU, a regular fixture of these lists, doesn’t disappoint with its 5-year IRA CD rates offering a high APY with a low minimum balance requirement of $500.

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on State Department Federal Credit Union’s secure website

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Best 6-year IRA CD — Evansville Teachers FCU (Traditional, Roth, CESSA)

6 Year IRA from Evansville Teachers Federal Credit UnionTo join this credit union, you may make a $5 donation to the Mater Dei Friends & Alumni Association. You may want to strongly consider doing so, as the 6-year IRA CD rate offered by Evansville FCU is the best on the market in terms of APY. Plus, it only requires a minimum balance of $1,000.

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on Evansville Teachers Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

3 questions to consider before opening an IRA CD

Opening an IRA CD generally requires filling out a form or talking to a banker. You’ll have to have a way to fund your IRA CD, whether that’s rolling over an existing retirement account into an IRA CD or depositing cash into the product. The same limits that apply to IRA contributions apply to IRA CDs: $5,500 per year ($6,500 if you’re over age 50) of your own money across all your IRA accounts each year, and you can do a rollover once per year.

Unless you’ve invested in a bump-up IRA CD, you won’t be able to take advantage of a higher rate until your CD matures. Withdrawing funds from an IRA CD before they mature will result in a stiff penalty. Bump-up IRA CDs give you a chance to increase your interest rate to a higher level if it’s available, but you’re generally only allowed to do this once or twice during the life of the CD.

You can either use the direct-transfer method or the indirect-transfer method. The direct transfer method requires setting up your new IRA account filling out a form authorizing the bank or credit union to transfer money from the old account into the new account. The indirect transfer method involves you asking for a check from your old IRA account. You have up to 60 days to deposit that check into your IRA CD to avoid incurring a penalty.

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Lindsay VanSomeren
Lindsay VanSomeren |

Lindsay VanSomeren is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Lindsay here