Best CD Rates in California for April 2024

If you want to bump up your interest earnings higher than savings accounts pay, consider CDs. We’ve located the best CD rates in California to help you narrow your options and earn the most on your investment.

Be sure you understand the withdrawal limits, penalties, fees, and renewal terms before choosing the right CD for your investment.

Best CD Rates in California

Here are the best CD rates in California, with the terms and requirements for each option:

1. Valley Direct

  • Minimum Deposit: $500
  • APY: 4.60% – 5.60%
  • Terms: 12 to 36 months

Valley Direct offers the unique option of investing in a variable CD for 36 months. The interest on this CD remains 0.1% above the Federal Funds Target Rate Upper Limit. This ensures your investment doesn’t lose money due to inflation.

They also offer California residents a 12 and 24-month CD option with fixed rates. Each CD requires only a $500 minimum deposit and has early withdrawal penalties if you withdraw funds before maturity.

Pros:

  • High APYs on short-terms
  • Option for a variable rate to avoid losing money to inflation
  • Low minimum deposit requirement

Cons:

  • A $500 minimum daily balance is necessary to earn the advertised APYs
  • A small selection of terms

 


2. Sallie Mae

  • Minimum Deposit: $1
  • APY: 4.70% – 5.40%
  • Terms: 10 to 14 months

Sallie Mae offers exclusive savings programs through Raisin for California residents to meet their financial goals. With low minimum deposit requirements and high APYs, it’s easy to make your money grow while achieving short and long-term goals.

Sallie Mae offers high-yield and no-penalty CDs, allowing savers to choose to lock up their funds, earn more interest, or take a slightly lower APY to have the peace of mind of being able to withdraw funds early.

Pros:

  • Option for early withdrawals with no penalties
  • Low minimum deposit requirements
  • Daily compounded interest

Cons:

  • Limited term selection
  • Lower APY if you want a no-penalty CD

 


3. Blue Federal Credit Union

  • Minimum Deposit: $1
  • APY: 5.00% – 5.25%
  • Terms: 9 to 15 months

Blue Federal Credit Union offers membership to many California residents through donations to the Blue Foundation, allowing anyone to become a member and take advantage of their high CD rates.

Blue Federal Credit Union offers high-yield and no-penalty CDs. Consumers looking for a CD where they can park their funds but withdraw should they need them can open a 9-month CD, with the option to withdraw funds as soon as 30 days after opening the account.

Pros:

  • High APY
  • Low minimum balance
  • Option for no-penalty CD

Cons:

  • Only three CD terms are available
  • You must be a member to invest in the CDs

 


4. Quontic

  • Minimum Deposit: $500
  • APY: 4.3% – 5.05%
  • Terms: 6 months to 5 years

Quontic believes in choices, allowing savers to renew their CDs at maturity or withdraw the funds. They provide a 10-day window to give you time to decide how to proceed, comparing your options to other investments based on current market performance.

Quontic offers a good selection of terms for California residents and high interest rates even if you choose the smallest six-month term. Despite being a digital bank, they provide plenty of access to human support should you need it.

Pros:

  • Accounts are FDIC-insured
  • Daily compounded interest
  • Low minimum investment requirement

Cons:

  • Can only open a CD online
  • Early withdrawals are subject to penalties

 


5. Discover® Bank

  • Minimum Deposit: $2,500
  • APY: 2.00% – 5.00%
  • Terms: 3 months to 10 years

Discover® Bank offers more than credit cards for California residents. Consumers can invest funds in CDs starting at three months or as long as ten years for no fees and daily compounded interest.

There is a fee to withdraw funds early, but your rates are guaranteed for the entire term, no matter how the market performs.

Discover makes it easy to start investing your money, even allowing you to open an account and deposit funds later if you aren’t ready. Remember that early funds withdrawal will penalize you for not committing to the entire term.

Pros:

  • Large selection of terms
  • High APYs
  • Transparent pricing

Cons:

  • High minimum balance requirements
  • APYs decrease for longer terms

 


6. CIT Bank

  • Minimum Deposit: $1,000 unless you want a jumbo CD, then $100,000
  • APY: 0.3% – 5.00%
  • Terms: 6 months to 5 years

CIT Bank offers a large selection of CDs for California residents, including term, no-penalty, and RampUp CDs. Their most attractive CD rates are on the 6, 13, and 18-month CDs, but you have other options too, including an 11-month no-penalty CD.

CIT Bank doesn’t charge monthly maintenance fees, and you can manage your accounts in the app, including changing beneficiaries as needed. With a low minimum balance requirement, it’s easy for anyone to start saving to reach their financial goals.

Pros:

  • Daily compounding interest
  • Has a no-penalty option
  • FDIC-insured

Cons:

  • Lower than average APY on certain terms
  • No option for early withdrawal without a penalty except for the 11-month CD

 


7. First Tech

  • Minimum Deposit: $500
  • APY: 2.25% – 4.91%
  • Terms: 6 to 60 months

First Tech offers bump-up CDs that allow you to bump up your rate or investment during the CD’s term. They pay slightly lower APYs to start but allow the option to increase your rate or investment, unlike their traditional CDs that lock you into a term.

First Tech offers various term options, including bump-up or traditional CDs. They don’t have a maximum balance you can invest, and they offer terms as long as five years.

Pros:

  • Bump Up CD options
  • Low minimum deposit requirement
  • FDIC insured

Cons:

  • Some terms have low APYs
  • You must be a First Tech Credit Union member

 

Summary of the Best CD Rates in California

Company APY Min. Dep. Requirement Compounding Frequency
Valley Direct 4.60% – 5.60% $500 Daily
Sallie Mae 4.70% – 5.40% $1 Daily
Blue Federal Credit Union 5.00% – 5.25% $1 Daily
Quontic 4.30% – 5.05% $500 Daily
Discover 2.00% – 5.00% $2,500 Daily
CIT Bank 0.30% – 5.00% $1,000 Daily
First Tech 2.25% – 4.91% $500 Daily

Types of CDs Available in California

Savers in California have many options to invest their funds in CDs. With many terms and options available, you can reach your financial goals.

Short-Term CDs in California

Short-term CDs usually have up to a one-year maturity date but can start at just a few days. Many of these CDs pay lower APYs than longer-term CDs, but many banks in our list offer promotional/higher rates on short-term CDs.

Compare your options for short and long-term CDs in California to determine how you can make the most interest on your investment. While it might take more legwork, investing in several short-term CDs may result in more earnings if you time it right.

Long-Term CDs in California

Long-term CDs typically have two to five years terms, but some banks offer terms as long as ten years. Before choosing a long-term CD, ensure you can keep the funds invested for the entire duration. Most banks charge a penalty if you withdraw the funds early.

Don’t assume long-term CDs will pay higher interest rates; some banks run promotions to push shorter-term CDs with higher APYs, and you lock up your funds for a shorter period.

Liquid CDs in California

Some banks offer a no-penalty option that allows you to withdraw funds early without paying the typical fee. This option usually requires you to sacrifice your APY, earning less interest with the option to liquidate your CD before maturity.

If you need this option, read the fine print. Each bank has different terms regarding how soon you can withdraw the funds. Some allow withdrawals as soon as seven days after investing, and others require you to wait as long as 30 days.

Step Up/Bump Up CDs in California

Bump-up CDs in California allow savers to take advantage of higher rates if the market changes while your money is invested in a CD. Most banks allow a one-time bump-up, so choose your rate wisely, as it’s the rate you’ll earn for the remaining term.

Most bump-up CDs require higher deposits and have longer terms, so make sure it makes the most sense for your money, knowing that if you withdraw early, you’ll pay a penalty.

Add-on CDs in California

Most CDs are a one-time deposit, but add-on CDs allow you to contribute to your CD regularly, increasing the principal and interest earned. Not all banks offer this rare option, so if you’re interested in it, read the fine print of each CD you consider.

Suppose you can’t find add-on CDs in California. In that case, you can start a CD ladder, which means you open CDs with different maturity dates, spreading out your principal and interest earnings across many products.

Our Methodology

The BankBonus team has reviewed dozens of brick-and-mortar banks, online banks, credit unions, and fintech companies offering CD accounts in California.

To provide you with accurate recommendations for the best CD rates in California, we used the metrics below to assess each account:

  • APY: First and foremost, we evaluate CD offers based on how competitive their APY is
  • Compounding schedule: Another major factor we consider is the account’s compounding schedule, prioritizing banks that compound interest daily rather than monthly or quarterly
  • CD terms: We also consider the variety of CD term lengths each financial institution offers
  • Account minimum: Additionally, we look at each CD’s minimum opening deposit requirements and any ongoing account minimums
  • User experience: We carefully consider the ease of applying and managing CD accounts on each bank’s website and factor in reviews of the mobile app from the App Store and Google Play Store
  • Customer service: In our review process, we also explore each institution’s customer service channels, hours of availability, and third-party reviews

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