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 December 2019
Minimum Deposit Amount
CommunityWide Federal Credit Union
State Department Federal Credit Union
Market USA Federal Credit Union
MAC Federal Credit Union
Wheelhouse Credit Union
American 1 Credit Union
American 1 Credit Union
Evansville Teachers FCU
Best 3-month IRA CD – BethPage Federal Credit Union (Traditional, Roth)
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.
Best 6-month IRA CD — CommunityWide Federal Credit Union (Traditional, Roth)
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 $10.94 if you were only to deposit the minimum amount.
Best 1-year IRA CD — State Department Federal Credit Union (Traditional, Roth)
This one-year term share certificate earns an APY of 2.32% 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 2.12%.
Best 18-month IRA CD — Market USA Federal Credit Union IRA CD (Traditional, Roth, CESA)
Market 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.
Best 2-year IRA CD – MAC Federal Credit Union (Traditional, Roth, CESA)
Although it’s headquartered in Alaska, MAC Federal Credit Union is open to anyone who joins the Polar Bear Chapter of the Association of the United States Army, which costs $40 for a two-year membership. MAC Federal Credit Union’s 24-month IRA / Roth IRA Share Certificate currently offers the best APY for a 2-year CD – 2.80%.
Best 3-year IRA CD – Wheelhouse Credit Union
Wheelhouse Credit Union is an expansive credit union open to anyone who joins the Zoological Society. Currently, Wheelhouse Credit Union is offering a promotional rate on its 33-month certificates and IRAs. With a minimum opening deposit of $1,000 in new money – which can be combined with funds already on deposit at Wheelhouse – the 33-month IRA features an APY of 2.86%. Meanwhile, a minimum deposit of just $500 on the 33-month IRA will garner an APY of 2.60%.
Best 4-year IRA CD – American 1 Credit Union (Traditional, Roth, CESA)
The 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.
Best 5-year IRA CD – American 1 Credit Union (Traditional, Roth, CESA)
The American 1 Credit Union also ranks on our list for the best 5-year IRA CD. This CD has a minimum of just $50 and an APY of 3.03%. Membership to this credit union is open to anyone through membership of the Community 1 Cooperative, which has just a $3 fee.
Best 6-year IRA CD — Evansville Teachers FCU (Traditional, Roth, CESSA)
To 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.
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.