Updated December 11, 2018
If you are looking for a better yield on your savings, a high rate CD (certificate of deposit) offered by an online bank could be a good option. Internet-only banks offer much better interest rates than traditional banks. For example, a 12-month CD at Bank of America would require a $10,000 minimum deposit and would pay only 0.07%. At an online bank, you could earn 2.65% with no minimum deposit. (If you would rather get a savings account or money market with no time restriction, look at the best savings accounts or best money market accounts).
The Best CD Rates in December 2018
This list is updated monthly, and competition continues to intensify. Here are the accounts with some of the best CD rates:
Minimum Deposit Amount
PenFed Credit Union
Mountain America Credit Union
See a full list of the best CD rates below.
- 6 months – 7 years: PenFed Credit Union – 2.40% APY – 3.50% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit
PenFed is a credit union that offers very competitive interest rates. You need to join the credit union in order to benefit from their products. If you have a military or government affiliation, it is free to join. Otherwise, you would need to join an organization like Voices for America’s Troops, which costs $17.00. Once you are a member, you can open PenFed products (including this certificate) online. Your deposit would be insured by the NCUA, which is the National Credit Union Administration. There is a $1,000 minimum deposit for the one-year certificate.
- 6-months: 2.40%
- 12-months: 2.80%
- 15-months: 2.85%
- 18-months: 2.90%
- 2-years: 2.95%
- 3-years: 3.05%
- 4-years: 3.15%
- 5-years: 3.50%
- 7-years: 3.50%
- 6 months – 120 months: 2.00% APY – 3.15% APY; $500 minimum deposit
Vio Bank, a division of MidFirst Bank, is an online bank you don’t want to ignore. It launched in August 2018 with highly competitive offerings and it has continued to offer top rates on both its CDs and online savings account. While Vio Bank hasn’t been around very long, they are supported by a financial institution that is established with over $16 billion in assets. We’re extremely impressed with its early start. Here’s a full list its current CD rates:
- 6-months: 2.00%
- 9-months: 2.40%
- 12-months: 2.71%
- 15-months: 2.75%
- 18-months: 2.80%
- 24-months: 3.00%
- 36-months: 3.05%
- 48-months: 3.10%
- 60-months: 3.15%
- 84-months: 3.15%
- 120-months: 3.15%
- 3 months – 5 years: Synchrony Bank – 0.75% APY – 3.10% APY; $2,000 minimum deposit
- 3-months: 0.75% APY
- 6-months: 1.00% APY
- 9-months: 1.25% APY
- 12-months: 2.65% APY
- 15-months: 2.75% APY
- 18-months: 2.75% APY
- 24-months: 2.80% APY
- 36-months: 2.85% APY
- 48-months: 2.95% APY
- 60-months: 3.10% APY
on Synchrony Bank’s secure website
- 6 months – 6 years: Goldman Sachs Bank USA – 0.60% APY – 3.15% APY; $500 minimum deposit
- 6-month: 0.60% APY
- 9-month: 0.70% APY
- 12-month: 2.65% APY
- 18-month: 2.65% APY
- 2-year: 2.70% APY
- 3-year: 2.75% APY
- 5-year: 3.10% APY
- 6-year: 3.15% APY
on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website
- 1 year – 5 years: Barclays Bank – 2.65% – 3.10% APY, no minimum deposit
Barclays is one of the oldest banks in the world. Although they’re based in London, they do have a U.S. presence and offer competitive rates on their CDs and savings account. Currently, they’re offering some of the highest CD rates in the market, and they have an edge over the rest of the institutions on this list: they don’t require a minimum balance to earn the APY or open an account. Deposit as little or as much as you’d like into a term of your choice and you can start earning interest as long as the account is funded within 14 days of opening the CD. Additionally, your funds are insured through the FDIC.
- 1-year: 2.65% APY
- 2-year: 2.70% APY
- 3-year: 2.75% APY
- 4-year: 2.85% APY
- 5-year: 3.10% APY
on Barclays’s secure website
- 3 months – 5 years: Ally Bank – 0.75% APY – 3.10% APY; $0 minimum deposit (higher APY with higher deposit)
- 3-months: 0.75% APY (less than $5k); 0.75% APY ($5k minimum deposit) and 0.75% APY ($25k minimum deposit)
- 6-months: 1.00% APY (less than $5k); 1.00% APY ($5k minimum deposit) and 1.00% APY ($25k minimum deposit)
- 9-months: 1.25% APY (less than $5k); 1.25% APY ($5k minimum deposit) and 1.25% APY ($25k minimum deposit)
- 12-months: 2.65% APY (less than $5k); 2.65% APY ($5k minimum deposit) and 2.65% APY ($25k minimum deposit)
- 18-months: 2.50% APY (less than $5k); 2.65% APY ($5k minimum deposit) and 2.70% APY ($25k minimum deposit)
- 3-year: 2.60% APY (less than $5k); 2.70% APY ($5k minimum deposit) and 2.75% APY ($25k minimum deposit)
- 5-year: 3.10% APY (less than $5k); 3.10% APY ($5k minimum deposit) and 3.10% APY ($25k minimum deposit)
- 6 months – 5 years: Capital One – 0.60% APY – 3.10% APY; no minimum deposit
Capital One is famous for its credit card business. However, it has recently started getting aggressive with its CD rates. There is no minimum deposit for their 360 CDs, which make them comparable to Barclays’ CDs. Capital One CDs are FDIC insured, up to the federal maximum. And you get the comfort of depositing your money with a well-known bank.
- 6-months: 0.60% APY
- 9-months: 0.75% APY
- 12-months: 2.60% APY
- 18-months: 2.60% APY
- 24-months: 2.70% APY
- 30-months: 2.70% APY
- 36-months: 2.80% APY
- 48-months: 2.85% APY
- 60-months: 3.10% APY
- 1-Year CD: Live Oak Bank – 2.85% APY, $2,500 minimum deposit
Live Oak is a bank you’ll want to notice. With a minimum deposit amount of $2,500, you can earn an outstanding APY of 2.85%. While they’re still a small bank when compared to Synchrony, Goldman Sachs, and Ally, they have quickly grown to have over $2 billion in assets. They do have a mobile banking app as well as the option to bank online. Although they have the capability to manage your account digitally, you will have to call one of their Customer Success Managers in order to withdraw your funds once the account matures.
- 2-Year CD: KS StateBank – 3.10% APY, $500 minimum deposit
KS StateBank is mainly a brick-and-mortar institution located in Kansas and Phoenix, Arizona. However, they also offer online services to reach those not in their area. Sometimes, they even offer special rates to their online customers. With a minimum deposit of $500, you can open KS StateBank’s 2 year CD online. This APY is not an online special and you can use the funds in the CD as collateral for a loan from this bank in the future. The bank offers online banking and a mobile app to conveniently manage your account.
- 2-Year CD from a Credit Union: Connexus Credit Union – 3.00% APY, $5,000 minimum deposit
If you’re able to deposit $5,000 into a CD, you’ll want to consider this 2-year CD with an incredible 3.00% APY. Anyone is able to join the credit union by making a donation of $5 to their organization called Connexus Association. This organization provides scholarships and assists educational institutions. They have a mobile banking app as well as an online banking platform.
- 3-Year CD from a Credit Union: Mountain America Credit Union, 3.35% APY, $500 minimum deposit
Mountain America Credit Union was established in the 1930s to help its members achieve their financial goals. Today, they have grown to serve hundreds of thousands of members and have acquired over $7 billion in assets. This credit union is open to Utah residents in certain areas, family members of existing members of the credit union, and employees and volunteers of a Select Employer Group. If you are a member or become a member of the American Consumer Council, you’ll qualify for membership at Mountain America Credit Union. Once you become a member, you’ll be able to open a CD. You’ll need to deposit a minimum of $500 in order to earn their outstanding 3.35% APY. Accounts can be managed online or through their mobile app. Deposits made to Mountain America Credit Union are insured by the NCUA.
- 3-Year CD: ableBanking – 3.30% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit
ableBanking is an online bank with competitive rates. It is a division of Northeast Bank, which is based in Maine. Together, the banks have acquired over $1 billion in assets. ableBanking typically has competitive rates and this is evident with its 3-year CD. With a minimum deposit of $1,000, you can open this CD and begin earning a 3.30% APY. ableBanking has a mobile app for your convenience.
- 5-Year CD: Northpointe Bank – 3.60% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit
Northpointe Bank was founded on the principal of “real people working with real people.” In 1999, the founder of the bank didn’t want his customers’ experience to be inpersonal, so he built a bank with a set of values that focus on the customers first and foremost. As a result of this, this bank typically offers competitive rates on its banking products. If you have a minimum deposit of $1,000 to put into Northpointe Bank’s 5-year CD, you can benefit from its high rate of 3.60%. A huge downside to this account is that CDs cannot be opened online. You’ll have to call the bank to open the account if you’re not in an area that has a branch. Once you have your account opened, you can download Northpointe Bank’s mobile app to manage your account.
- 5-Year CD from a Credit Union: United States Senate Federal Credit Union – 3.51% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit
Despite what the name may suggest, you do not have to be a Senate employee to join the United States Senate Federal Credit Union. If you don’t meet the work or family qualifications, you can easily become a member by joining the American Consumer Council, Virginia Chapter (VACC) or by joining the U.S. Capitol Historical Society (USCHS). This credit union was established by nine employees of the United States Senate during the Great Depression. Since then, the credit union has grown to have over $717 million in assets.
Currently, the United States Senate Federal Credit Union is offering amazing rates on its 5-year CD. With a minimum deposit of $1,000, you can earn an APY of 3.51%. If you deposit more, the APY increases. The other tiers are as follows:
- $20,000-$59,999.99: 3.57% APY
- $60,000-$99,999.99: 3.63% APY
3 Questions To Ask Before You Open A CD
1. Should I just open an online savings account instead?
With a CD, the saver and the bank make stronger commitments. The saver promises to keep the funds in the account for a specified period of time. In exchange, the bank guarantees the interest rate during the term of the CD. The longer the term, the higher the interest rate – and the higher the penalty for closing the CD early. With a savings account, there are few promises. You can empty the account without paying a penalty and the bank can change the interest rate at any time.
If you have a high level of confidence that you do not need to touch the money for a specified period of time, a CD is a much better deal. However, if you think you might need to use the money in the next couple of months, a savings account is a much better idea.
You can earn a lot more interest with a CD. Imagine you have $10,000 and know that you do not need to touch the money for two years. In a high-yield savings account earning 1.60%, you would earn $322.56 over two years. If you put that money into a 2.50% CD, you would earn $508.30. Given the ease of switching to an online CD, the extra interest income is easy money.
2. What term should I select?
The early withdrawal penalties on CDs can be significant. On a 1-year CD, 90 days is a typical penalty. And on 2 and 3 year CDs, a 6-month penalty is common. The impact of the penalty on your return can be significant. If you opened a one-year CD with a 2.20% APY and closed it after six months, you would forfeit half of the interest and earned only 1.11%. You would have been better off with a savings account paying 2.05%.
The worst case scenario is with the longest CDs. 5-year CDs usually have a one-year penalty for taking out funds early. If you open a 5-year CD and close it quickly, you could actually end up losing money.
Given the early penalties, you need complete confidence that you will not need to withdrawal the money early. Ask yourself this question: “do I have 90% confidence that I will not need access to the cash during the CD term?” If you don’t have confidence, go for a shorter term or a savings account.
3. Should I consider my local bank or credit union?
The interest rates shown in this article are all from online banks that offer products nationally. Our product database includes traditional banks, community banks and credit unions. If traditional banks offered better rates, they would have been featured in this article. The internet-only banks have dramatically better interest rates. That should not be surprising. Because internet-only banks do not have branches, they are able to pass along their cost savings to you in the form of higher interest rates.
However, you can always visit your local bank or credit union and ask them to beat the rates listed in this article. The chance of getting a better deal is extremely low (remember that Bank of America is only paying 0.07%), but you can try.
How To Find The Best Account
If you don’t find an account that meets your needs in this article, you can use the MagnifyMoney CD tool to find the best rate for your individual needs. Input your zip code, deposit amount and term. The tool will then provide you with CD options, from the highest APY to the lowest.
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