Best CD Rates in December 2021

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Updated on Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Certificates of deposit (CDs) are safe, conservative savings vehicles that lock up your money for a guaranteed return after a set term duration. You typically can’t make further deposits or withdrawals before a CD’s maturity date without a penalty (though there can be exceptions). We’ve compiled the highest CD rates today for many terms.

Why trust us: MagnifyMoney is a free, independent outlet covering the financial services industry. We reviewed dozens of banks and credit unions using information from DepositAccounts to produce a list of the best banks and credit unions for CDs and the best CD rates available nationwide.

Best banks and credit unions for CD rates in December 2021

Lafayette Federal Credit Union Fixed-Rate Certificates

1 Year Fixed CD from Lafayette Federal Credit Union

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on Lafayette Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

  • CD terms: 7 months to 60 months
  • CD APYs: 0.70% APY to 1.26% APY
  • Minimum deposit required to earn APY: $500

Lafayette Federal Credit Union is located in the Washington, D.C. area and has membership criteria related to living and working in that region — but the credit union offers membership eligibility if you join the Home Ownership Financial Literacy Council.

In addition to the traditional CDs offered by Lafayette, there are variable rate certificates: they have lower dividend rates than traditional CDs and also have early withdrawal penalties, but there’s a lower minimum balance to open an account (just $50) and the APY offered on the balance is subject to change.

TermAPY
7 months0.70%
12 months0.80%
24 months0.90%
36 months1.01%
48 months1.16%
60 months1.26%

EFCU Financial Share Certificates

6 Month IRA from EFCU Financial

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on EFCU Financial’s secure website

NCUA Insured

  • CD terms: 6 months to 60 months
  • CD APYs: 0.75% APY to 1.25% APY
  • Minimum deposit required to earn APY: $500

EFCU Financial is located in South Louisiana, but has an avenue for membership for those from outside the region: you can obtain a volunteer membership through the EFCU Financial Foundation or the Louisiana Wildlife Foundation in order to become eligible for membership at EFCU.

EFCU offers a few types of CDs: there’s the normal Share Certificate account, a Jumbo Certificate with a minimum balance of $100,000 (and with higher APY rates), an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) Certificates and a Bump-A-Rate Certificate that allows you a one-time bump in the interest rate during the CD term.

TermAPY
6 months0.75%
12 months0.80%
18 months0.85%
24 months0.90%
36 months1.00%
48 months1.10%
60 months1.25%

Interior Federal Credit Union Certificates

6 Month Jumbo Share Certificate from Interior Federal Credit Union

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on Interior Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

  • CD terms: 6 months to 60 months
  • CD APYs: 0.56% APY to 1.22% APY
  • Minimum deposit required to earn APY: $500

Interior Federal Credit Union is organized around the U.S. Department of the Interior and extends membership eligibility to employees and contractors of the department, as well as their family members. If you’re not affiliated with the Department of the Interior, you can join by becoming a volunteer for one of several partner organizations.

Interior FCU offers traditional CDs, Jumbo CDs, Bump-Up CDs and an Accumulator Certificate designed for younger members who can add to their account at any time. The rates for the jumbo CDs are currently the same as the standard certificates for shorter terms, but longer terms offer marginally better APY.

TermAPY
6 months0.56%
12 months0.71%
24 months0.81%
36 months0.96%
48 months1.17%
60 months1.22%

PenFed Credit Union Money Market Certificates

12 Month Money Market Certificate from PenFed Credit Union

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on PenFed Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

  • CD terms: 6 months to 84 months
  • CD APYs: 0.45% APY to 1.50% APY
  • Minimum deposit required to earn APY: $1,000

PenFed Credit Union makes it very easy to join: if you fund a Regular Share account or a Premium Online Savings account with an opening deposit of $5, you can become a member. As far as credit union membership requirements go, it doesn’t get much simpler than PenFed.

PenFed’s Money Market Certificate works much like a traditional CD. They also offer an IRA Certificate and a Coverdell Education Savings Certificate. The minimums for the money market and IRA CDs are $1,000, while the minimum for the Coverdell CD is $500.

TermAPY
6 months0.45%
12 months0.65%
15 months0.65%
18 months0.70%
24 months0.85%
36 months1.00%
48 months0.95%
60 months1.30%
84 months1.50%

Abound Credit Union Certificates

59 Month CD from Abound Credit Union

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on Abound Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

  • CD terms: 3 months to 59 months
  • CD APYs: 0.25% APY to 1.25% APY
  • Minimum deposit required to earn APY: $500

Relative to the other selections on this list, Abound Credit Union has some restrictions for membership eligibility. To join, you can’t simply make a donation to an affiliated charity. If you live in Kentucky or are an active duty or retired military member, you’ll be able to join, but otherwise you may be out of luck.

Abound has more term durations for their CDs than most financial institutions. Their best rates relative to the lengths of the CDs are for odd month numbers: their 23-month and 47-month specials offer solid rates, as does their standard 59-month term.

TermAPY
3 months0.25%
6 months0.50%
12 months0.60%
18 months0.65%
23 months0.85%
24 months1.15%
36 months0.90%
47 months1.15%
48 months1.00%
59 months1.25%

Genisys Credit Union Savings Certificate Accounts

6 Month Share Certificate from Genisys Credit Union

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on Genisys Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

  • CD terms: 6 months to 60 months
  • CD APYs: 0.40% APY to 1.25% APY
  • Minimum deposit required to earn APY: $500

Anyone can join Genisys Credit Union with a donation to the Arthritis Foundation or the Paint Creek Center for the Arts. Otherwise, the credit union offers membership eligibility to those who live, work, worship or attend school in Michigan or parts of Minnesota or Pennsylvania.

Genisys has a few options for CDs. The standard option is called the Share Certificate. The Flex Share allows you to make additional deposits, a one-time, penalty-free withdrawal or a one-time bump-up. The Jumbo Share has a minimum required deposit of $100,000.

TermAPY
6 months0.40%
12 months0.50%
13 months0.65%
18 months0.55%
24 months0.65%
30 months0.85%
36 months0.80%
48 months0.95%
60 months1.25%

Affinity Plus Credit Union Certificates

60 Month CD from Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union

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on Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

  • CD terms: 3 months to 60 months
  • CD APYs: 0.30% APY to 1.25% APY
  • Minimum deposit required to earn APY: $500

Affinity Plus Credit Union serves communities in Minnesota, and chances are you’re eligible to join if you live in the state. You can join from outside the Land of 10,000 Lakes if you make a one-time $25 donation to the Affinity Plus Foundation.

There are four types of CDs at Affinity Plus: the Basic Certificate, the IRA Certificate, the Certificate Builder and the Wahoo Certificate. The latter two are unusual types of CDs. The Certificate Builder has just a $100 minimum deposit and allows unlimited deposits. The Wahoo Certificate has no minimum balance requirement, allows unlimited deposits up to the maximum of $25,000, and has one penalty-free withdrawal.

TermAPY
3 months0.30%
6 months0.35%
12 months0.55%
18 months0.65%
24 months0.75%
30 months0.75%
36 months0.90%
48 months1.05%
60 months1.25%

Credit Human Share Certificates

120 Month CD from Credit Human

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on Credit Human’s secure website

NCUA Insured

  • CD terms: 6 months to 120 months
  • CD APYs: 0.40% APY to 1.40% APY
  • Minimum deposit required to earn APY: $500

Credit Human allows you to join from outside the credit union’s service area if you become a member of the American Consumer Council. Credit Human is headquartered in the San Antonio, Texas area.

The longest CD term, by far, of any that made this list is the 120-month (10-year) term offered by Credit Human. There are flexible term durations that have different duration tiers for the APY provided on the deposit.

TermAPY
6-11 months0.40%
12-17 months0.45%
18-23 months0.70%
24-35 months0.75%
36-59 months1.00%
60-83 months1.25%
84-119 months1.30%
120 months1.40%

Best CD rates in December 2021 for specific terms

Top CD interest rates less than a year

  • EFCU Financial — 0.80% APY, $500 minimum, 6-month term
  • Veridian Credit Union — 0.75% APY, $1,000 minimum, 9-month term
  • NASA Federal Credit Union — 0.80% APY, $10,000 minimum, 9-month term

Top 1-year CD interest rates

  • USALLIANCE Financial — 0.55% APY, $500 minimum
  • Lafayette Federal Credit Union — 0.80% APY, $500 minimum
  • EFCU Financial — 0.80% APY, $500 minimum

Top 2-year CD interest rates

  • Langley Federal Credit Union — 1.00% APY, $1,000 minimum, 21-month term
  • Lafayette Federal Credit Union — 0.90% APY, $500 minimum
  • EFCU Financial — 0.90% APY, $500 minimum

Top 3-year CD interest rates

  • Hughes Federal Credit Union — 1.11% APY, $1,000 minimum
  • Lafayette Federal Credit Union — 1.01% APY, $500 minimum
  • Quontic Bank — 1.17% APY, $500 minimum

Top 4-year CD interest rates

  • NASA Federal Credit Union — 1.15% APY, $10,000 minimum, 49-month term
  • Interior Federal Credit Union — 1.17% APY, $500 minimum
  • Lafayette Federal Credit Union — 1.16% APY, $500 minimum

Top 5-year CD interest rates

  • Lafayette Federal Credit Union — 1.26% APY, $500 minimum
  • PenFed Credit Union — 1.50% APY, $1,000 minimum
  • Genisys Credit Union — 1.25% APY, $500 minimum

Summary of best CD rates in December 2021 for specific terms

TermFinancial institutionAPYMinimum deposit to earn APY
6 monthsEFCU Financial0.80%$500
12 monthsUSALLIANCE Financial0.75%$500
21 monthsLangley Federal Credit Union1.00%$1,000
36 monthsHughes Federal Credit Union1.11%$1,000
49 monthsNASA Federal Credit Union1.70%$10,000
60 monthsLafayette Federal Credit Union1.26%$500

Methodology for determining the best banks and credit unions for CDs and the best CD rates

MagnifyMoney reviewed data from DepositAccounts, covering hundreds of banks and credit unions in order to source a list of the best nationally available financial institutions for CDs and CD rates. Every institution we feature is covered with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) or National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) insurance.

We chose the best financial institutions for CDs by averaging the rates they offered on 1-year, 3-year and 5-year CDs. Other factors like the availability of alternative CD structures were not considered during account selection.

We highlighted the best CD rates for specific terms only if they have a minimum deposit of $10,000 or lower.

Types of CDs

Some financial institutions offer CDs with different conditions than the standard single deposit with a fixed term and early withdrawal penalties.

  • Traditional CDs: This is the standard CD and tends to offer the best interest rates on the deposits outside of jumbo CDs. In short, you’ll agree to the deposit amount, interest rate and term duration when opening the CD and won’t be able to access those funds without penalty until the maturation date.
  • Jumbo CDs: Some banks and credit unions offer marginally better interest rates on “jumbo” CDs, which generally have a minimum deposit requirement of $100,000 (or another amount significantly over the minimum for a traditional CD).
  • No-penalty CDs: Financial institutions may choose to offer lower rates on CDs in exchange for giving the account holder the ability to withdraw some or all of their funds before the CD reaches maturity without incurring the typical penalty — often calculated as a percentage of the interest borne on the account.
  • Bump-up CDs: One of the key advantages of a CD is that you can lock in your interest rate for the duration of the term, but some banks and credit unions may allow you to “bump up” your interest rate once in the term if the rates offered on the account improve.
  • IRA CDs: Individual Retirement Accounts are a form of tax-advantaged account designed to incentivize retirement savings, and there are a few options for how to structure those types of accounts, including as a CD. There are some yearly contribution limits for IRAs.

Should I open a CD account?

A certificate of deposit has some drawbacks, namely that you can’t access your funds without penalty before the maturation date. Unlike a savings account, which allows for at least a few withdrawals per month, a CD is a deposit account that sacrifices some liquidity (in other words, access to your money) for marginally better interest rates.

However, those rates are low right now. According to the FDIC, the average APY offered on a 12-month CD right now is just 0.14% APY — which would translate to a yield of $14 on a deposit of $10,000. While the accounts featured on our MagnifyMoney list have much better rates than average, the highest one-year CD currently offered is USALLIANCE Financial’s 0.85% APY CD. A $10,000 deposit would yield $85.

In an environment of low interest rates and high inflation, a CD may actually depreciate in value, especially over the long run. It’s difficult to predict future interest rate trends, but in the event that the Federal Reserve raises the federal funds rate, the interest rates on deposit accounts figure to rise as well. In that case, a key advantage of CDs — that your interest rate is guaranteed for the duration of your term — may actually become a disadvantage if you’re stuck with a lower rate.

One long-term alternative to a CD is an I savings bond, which is issued by the U.S. Treasury. The current rate on I bonds is 7.12% APY, and you have to wait at least a year to redeem the bond — if you redeem it within five years, you lose the last three months of interest. Otherwise, market investments (which carry some risk), other bonds or even precious metals like gold may be a better way to store your funds when inflation exceeds the rate paid on CDs.

CDs: Frequently asked questions

A certificate of deposit (CD) is a type of bank account that allows you to make a one-time deposit with a guaranteed interest rate over a predetermined time duration. You usually cannot withdraw funds before the maturation date without incurring a penalty.

The best traditional CD rate offered among financial institutions reviewed by MagnifyMoney is NASA Federal Credit Union’s 1.60% APY for a 49-month term. There is a minimum of $10,000 to open a CD with NASA FCU.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Federal Reserve’s subsequent decision to slash the federal funds rate, the rates offered on CDs have fallen to a low point. Banks are also holding significant deposits, which creates less incentive to provide competitive rates on deposit accounts.

Lafayette Federal Credit Union currently offers the best average CD rate on one-, three- and five-year terms.