Best CD Rates

If you’re looking to save money, there are many types of bank accounts you can use, from high-yield savings accounts to money market accounts (MMAs), and others.

But today, we’re going to take a closer look at CDs – or Certificates of Deposit. CDs provide another great saving option, as they offer the safety of a savings account but can earn you much higher interest rates for locking you your money for a set time period.

In most cases, CDs also come with a fixed term and a fixed interest rate, which can help you better plan how much money you will make.

Most financial institutions offer CDs, which can make choosing one difficult. There are many things to consider, including the term that you’re comfortable with, the rate that’s on offer, what kind of penalties you will have to pay to make an easy withdrawal, and whether there are any deposit requirements.

In this article, we look at the best CD rates available today, including what kind of interest rate, the terms, as well as any restrictions on the rates.

In This Article

Best CD Rates Today By Term

CD rates are typically tiered, where you’ll earn the highest rates by choosing the longest term.

Click on each term length below to discover what bank or credit union is offering the best rates.

5 Year CD Rates

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3 Year CD Rates

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12 Month CD Rates

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6 Month CD Rates

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3 Month CD Rates

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Note: Rates last updated October 21, 2021. May vary by region.

Best CD Rates From Top Banks For October 2021

Sometimes the rate alone doesn’t tell the entire story. Instead, you may want a competitive rate but from a top bank or credit union – one that you trust, already work with or that has locations conveniently near you.

Here are October‘s best CD rates from top banks and credit unions:

  1. Ally Bank: {{ rate }} for {{ term }}s
  2. Alliant Credit Union: {{ rate }} for {{ term }}s
  3. Synchrony: {{ rate }} for {{ term }}s
  4. Discover: {{ rate }} for {{ term }}s
  5. Comenity Direct: {{ rate }} for {{ term }}s
  6. Navy Federal Credit Union: {{ rate }} for {{ term }}s
  7. Connexus Credit Union: {{ rate }} for {{ term }}s
  8. American Express National Bank: {{ rate }} for {{ term }}s
  9. Marcus by Goldman Sachs: {{ rate }} for {{ term }}s
  10. Sallie Mae Bank: {{ rate }} for {{ term }}s
  11. Capital One: {{ rate }} for {{ term }}s
  12. Barclays: {{ rate }} for {{ term }}s
  13. LendingClub Bank: {{ rate }} for {{ term }}s

1. Ally Bank

Ally Bank is an online bank with no branches. They’ve been operating since 1919 and have over 8.5 million customers and some 9,500 employees. They offer a range of products and services with 3 different CDs to choose from.

Ally Bank compounds the interest daily so that you make the highest return possible on what you deposit. If you renew your CD, you also get a bonus APY, which is a ‘bonus’ percentage on top of their advertised rates.

The basic CD is called the Ally High Yield Certificate of Deposit. Terms range from 3 months to 5 years, with no minimum deposit required to open the account.

Alternatively, you can check out the Raise Your Rate Certificate of Deposit. This comes in two different terms – 2 years or 4 years. If the bank’s rate goes up, you’ll have the opportunity to raise your rate. The 2-year term allows you to do this once, while the 4-year term allows you to do this twice.

The last type of CD Ally offers is called the No Penalty Certificate of Deposit. This is available on a fixed term of 11 months. Unlike most CDs, you can withdraw the money from this option at any time once 6 days has passed since you initially funded it.

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2. Alliant Credit Union

Alliant Credit Union is one of the nation’s largest credit unions, and has won a ton of awards from ‘Best Overall’ to ‘Best Online Experience’.

While membership is technically restricted, it’s actually very easy to qualify. For example, a $5 donation to Foster Care to Success (that Alliant will actually pay on your behalf) will grant you and any immediate family members of your lifetime membership.

Similar to Connexus Credit Union, Alliant doesn’t offer the common short-term CDs like 3 and 6 months. Instead, their certificates start at 12-month terms, and cap at 5 years.

Withdrawal penalties are tiered based on your CD term, from 90 days of interest lost on CDs up to 17 months, up to 180 days of interest lost for CDs that were supposed to be longer than 24 months.

One neat feature that Alliant offers, however, is their option of dividend withdrawals. This allows you to collect an interest payment each month instead of letting the interest compound. While this obviously decreases your overall return, it’s a flexible choice if your situation needs it, and is penalty-free.

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3. Synchrony

Synchrony Bank is an online bank offering many different CDs and other depository products (like MMAs, and savings accounts).

There are only 4 bank locations as it is an online bank. If this worries you, rest assured that Synchrony’s customer service department receives a lot of praise as help is available by phone or online chat 7 days a week.

Synchrony offers some excellent rates for CDs, with their terms ranging from 3 months to much longer-term (like 60 months). There are also perks like travel and leisure discounts (as well as identity theft resolution, which is always handy!).

However, early withdrawal penalties are strict with Synchrony, so think carefully if you can commit to the term you’re choosing.

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4. Discover

While Discover is best-known for credit cards and debit cards, there’s also a fully-fledged online bank with a wide range of different financial products and services.

Discover Bank CDs start at 3 months. The longest term available is for 10 years or 120 months, but it typically won’t net you more than their 5 year option.

There is a minimum opening deposit requirement which starts at $2,500. The account has no fees meaning you get to keep all of the interest you earn. Should you need to withdraw your money before the term expires, you will have to pay a penalty. Penalties start at 3 months’ worth of simple interest for terms less than one year and all the way to 2 years’ worth of interest for CDs with a term of 7 years or more.

The bank also gives you the option to set up a CD ladder where you open multiple CDs with different term lengths. This can help you better manage liquidity and interest rate risks.

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5. Comenity Direct

Comenity Direct is a branch of Comenity Capital Bank – a Utah-based bank that’s been around since 1986. Comenity Direct is only available online.

Comenity Direct offers Certificates of Deposit accounts that can be opened easily online. There is a $1,500 minimum opening balance with terms ranging from 1 year to 5 years.

Interest is compounded daily but paid out once a month. There are no monthly fees, but early withdrawals incur a penalty.

One thing to note: once the CD reaches maturity, it will auto-renew. There is a 10-day grace period in which you can withdraw without incurring and fees once the term is up, so you’ll need to move quickly.

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Navy Federal Credit Union exclusively serves those in the armed forces, the DoD, veterans and their families. They have more than 10 million members, and if you’re fortunate enough to be one of them, you can enjoy competitive rates on both your savings and loans.

Navy Federal offers 3 different types of certificates: Standard, EasyStart, and SaveFirst.

Standard certificates are comparable to CDs at other institutions, with terms that start at 3 months up to 7 years. These have a $1,000 minimum deposit.

EasyStart certificates have just a $50 minimum deposit, and allow you to add money at any time. These have terms ranging from 6 months to 2 years.

If you also have a checking account with Navy Federal and receive direct deposits, you can opt for a special EasyStart Certificate, which is 12 months at their highest rate (3% at the time of writing!). This bonus rate is only offered on balances up to $3,000, however, so we don’t include it for consideration in their best CD rate listed below.

Lastly, Navy Federal offers their SaveFirst Account, which offers their lowest rates, but lets you get started with as little as $5. Like their EasyStart certificates, however, you can add money at any time. Terms offered are 3 months to 5 years.

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7. Connexus Credit Union

Connexus Credit Union has branches in several different states, including Minnesota, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Wisconsin. They also share branches and ATMs with CO-OP and Money Pass, which means you’ll have access to more than 6,000 branches and over 54,000 fee-free ATMs. Even so, you can sign up online through their website, with the entire process taking just minutes to complete.

There is a minimum deposit of $5,000 to open a CD with this credit union, and you do not need to have a checking account with them. The shortest term available is one full year (compared to other banks which offer CDs as short as 3 months), and the longest CD term available is 60 months.

Early withdrawal will incur a penalty, depending on the original term of your CD. If the original term was one year, the penalty is of 90 days worth of dividends. CD with a term that ranges between 1 year and 5 years have an early withdrawal penalty of 180 days worth of dividends while longer terms see the penalty go up to 365 days.

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8. American Express National Bank

American Express has been in operation since 1850. While today they’re an online-only bank, they started as a freight forwarding company.

Their first financial product was the Travelers Check, which was launched in 1891. Since then, they have expanded their financial offerings to include several different products and services, including CDs.

American Express CD terms range from a minimum of six months to a maximum of 5 years (60 months). The rate you’ll get depends on the term you choose, with no minimums required and no fees to pay.

Once you open your CD, the rate is locked in, making it easier to know how much money you’ll earn at the end of the term.

Interest is compounded daily and paid out every month.

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9. Marcus by Goldman Sachs

Marcus by Goldman Sachs is a brand of Goldman Sachs Bank. With over 150 years of financial products and services experience, they offer many loans and savings accounts.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs has many CD options with CD terms starting at 6 months, up to 6 years. Regardless of which term you choose, the minimum balance amount is set at $500.

If you deposit the money within the first 10 days of opening the account, you will get the highest advertised rate. If it takes you longer than 10 days to reach the $500 balance, you risk getting a lower rate if the APY has since dropped.

CDs are automatically renewed, but there is a grace period of 10 days during which you can withdraw the money or opt for different CD terms.

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10. Sallie Mae Bank

Sallie Mae is best known for student loans, but they also offer several savings products, including their “SmartyPig” savings account, a Money Market Account, High Yield Savings Account, and, you guessed it: certificates.

CD terms range from 6 months to 5 years. Interest compounds daily and is credited monthly.

Be mindful that, like some of the others on this list, your CD will automatically renew at the end of its term. You’re given a 10-day grace period to withdraw your funds, otherwise, they’ll be locked into a new CD with the same term as before, but with whatever rate is currently being offered.

Even if you do ultimately decide to renew, be sure to be hands-on enough to make that decision purposefully!

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11. Capital One

Capital One is one of the largest 100 companies in the US and one of its 10 largest banks. This is no small feat considering they only went public in 1994. The bank also runs an initiative that aims to improve socioeconomic mobility.

Capital One’s Online CD Savings Accounts have no minimum balance requirements, making them accessible to many different people.

Terms start at 6 months, and will typically net you the same as choosing any term up to 1 year. To get a higher rate, you’ll need to choose a term between 18 months and 5 years.

The CDs do not allow partial withdrawals. Choosing to withdraw completely is an option, however, you’ll lose 3 months worth of interest on terms shorter than 1 year or 6 months of interest for any CD longer than that.

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12. Barclays

Barclays is a very well-established financial services company and investment bank headquartered in London, United Kingdom.

In the US, they have 3 locations with New York housing Barclays’ US headquarters, a campus in Whippany, and Wilmington, where you’ll find Barclays’ US Consumer Bank.

Barclays Online CDs offer interest that compounds daily. There are no minimum balance or minimum opening deposit requirements, which means you can save as much as you like.

Terms range from 3 months to 60 months. Typically, choosing a term that’s shorter than 9 months will earn you the least, and anything above that will earn you their higher rates.

Barclays’ website also offers a CD calculator that can help you work out just how much money you’ll save.

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13. LendingClub Bank

LendingClub Bank recently acquired Radius Bank, an online-only bank. Radius was named Nerdwallet’s “Best Bank for Online Experience” for 2021 and “Best Online Bank” by Bankrate in 2020.

Terms range from 3 months to 5 years.

Opening a LendingClub Bank CD is easy and can be done directly through their website. You’ll need to have your SSN (Social Security Number) as well as a valid ID and details of the bank account from which you will be transferring the deposit to open the account.

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What is a CD?

Most seasoned savers will know what a Certificates of Deposit is, as it’s a popular savings option most banks offer.

Most CDs come with a fixed term, meaning that the money you deposit cannot be withdrawn for a set period of time. Withdrawals may incur a penalty, but increasingly, financial institutions are offering special CDs with no-penalty withdrawals. As you might imagine, these types of CDs have lower rates than the ones that lock you in.

Since CDs have a fixed term, they tend to offer a higher yield than many other options. In most cases, it’s even higher than what you might find in a High-Yield Savings account. However, to enjoy the full rate, you can expect to choose a longer-term CD, generally three years or more.

Many banks and credit unions also offer IRA CDs. These types of CDs are held inside an IRA, with the money invested in a CD.

What are the main types of CDs?

  • Traditional CDs. The most common type – a depositor will deposit money for a specific term (like 3 months, 12 months, or 60 months) – and be given a fixed interest rate on their principal investment. No additional funds can be deposited – and you may face strict early withdrawal penalties.
  • No penalty CDs. The name gives it away, with no penalty CDs, there are no penalties for withdrawing your money before the CD matures. But, of course, these will offer lower interest rates than regular CDs.  
  • Add-on CDs. With add-on CDs, you can make multiple deposits during your CD term.  
  • Brokered CDs. These are sold by brokerage firms, and you’ll need a brokerage account to be able to buy one. Sometimes they may have higher rates – but they could also be riskier.  
  • Jumbo CDs. Jumbo CDs require a higher investment (usually $100,000 or more), and for that, you get a little extra yield.
  • Callable CDs. They offer higher interest rates but come with a higher risk.
  • Bump-up CDs. You can request the bank to increase your rate during the CD term (if you meet certain conditions). 
  • Step-up CDs. With types of CDs, the bank will automatically increase your rate at certain intervals.
  • IRA CDs. These are held inside your IRA and typically offer guaranteed returns.
  • Zero-coupon CDs. CDs that you can buy at a discounted rate. When it matures, you’ll receive the full value.  

What CD terms are available?

Terms vary from one bank or credit union to another. Generally speaking, the shortest-term CDs are for 1 or 3 months. At the other end of the spectrum, you’ll find CDs with terms as long as 5 or 6 years.

Different banks and credit unions offer different term lengths. The important thing here is to choose a term that you are comfortable with. Later in the article, we will also talk about ladder CDs, which can help you better manage the risk of needing money before your CD reaches the maturity date.

What interest rates are available?

Interest rates vary by bank or credit union, by term length, and by type of CD. The longer the term length, the higher the interest you will earn. While some banks offer a flat rate that’s the same across all terms, most have a tiered system. This means that a long-term CD will enjoy a higher interest rate than a short-term CD.

A longer-term CD will also earn you more money due to the compounding effect of APY. Do keep in mind that many CDs also have a minimum deposit requirement to get high rates.

CDs come with an interest rate which is quoted as an APY (Annual Percentage Yield). APYs compound interest means that the interest paid on the principal amount (your initial deposit) will earn interest.

In most cases, banks will compound the interest daily and pay it out to the account monthly. This will help you earn more money since the next time the interest is worked out; it will be worked out on the sum you deposited + the interest earned.

Once the CD reaches the maturity date, most banks and credit unions will give you the option to cash out to renew. Keep in mind that typically, CDs will renew automatically with a short grace period afforded right after the maturity date to withdraw without incurring a penalty. Banks should advise you of this well in advance, but it doesn’t hurt to pencil the date in your diary anyway.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who has the best CD rates now?

Generally speaking, credit unions and online banks tend to have higher CD rates than banks. This is because they do not have the overheads that high street banks do, which allows them to offer better rates to their customers.

Are CDs worth it in 2021?

Yes, CDs, especially high-yield CDs, are a very safe investment that can earn you a reasonable amount of money. They are much safer than investing in the stock or forex market, and in most cases, the money is insured. Of course, they earn less but investing in the market can also see you lose your money – which will not happen with a CD.

What is the best 1 year CD rate?

For a 1-year CD, you should be able to get around 0.60%, which is the rate that the financial institutions with the highest rates offered for this kind of term.

What are CD interest rates today?

CD interest rates today vary depending on the financial institution and term length. Typically you should see interest rates start at around 0.10% for the shorter-term CDs and interest rates that hover around the 1.0% mark for the longer-term CDs.

Can I withdraw money from a CD?

Generally speaking, you cannot withdraw money from a CD before it reaches maturity. CDs are taken out for a specific term, which you choose. Terms will typically start from one month and go up to 6 years. Should you decide to withdraw money before the CD reaches a maturity date, you may be liable to pay an early withdrawal penalty.

This means that if you have a 1-year CD (or a 12-month CD), you will not be able to withdraw money for a year, while if you have a 5-year CD, you will not be able to withdraw the money for 5 years.

Some banks also offer what are called no-penalty CDs. These CDs will typically pay less but allow you to withdraw your money before the maturity date.

Are CDs insured?

Many banks and credit unions insure their CD account. Banks will do this through the FDIC insurance, while credit unions will do this through NCUA (National Credit Union Administration). In most cases, accounts are insured up to $250,000.

Some financial institutions will also take out additional insurance, helping you get cover for even higher amounts. If you’re planning on taking out Cd with a high principal, make sure you speak to a financial planner to get advice on how to make sure that you are covered.,

The final word on finding the best CD rates

CDs can make for an excellent investment option. Competition, especially from credit unions and online banks, drives the interest rate in offer up, making it very lucrative to get a CD right now. Most CDs will offer higher rates than your usual online savings account or even a high-yield savings account, so it’s definitely worth checking out what’s on offer.

Of course, there are some downsides too. CDs are not very liquid – a depositor can’t simply cash out whenever they need the money without taking a hit. This means that you need to plan well in advance and consider that money as out of the equation for the CD term’s duration. If you’re a little worried about accessing your funds, go for options like a six-month or a one-year CD.

Another interesting fact about Certificates of Deposit is that the Federal Reserve’s interest rates decisions tend to impact the CD rates banks offer. This means that the Fed raising or lowering the federal funds rate makes banks respond accordingly.

While shopping for CDs, make sure you keep everything in mind, including any deposit requirements that might be in place. While finding the highest CD rates is important, you also need to make sure you can get them.

If this is your first time getting a CD, you might want to consider getting a shorter-term CD. Once you’re comfortable, you might want to consider getting ladder CDs, which banks actually recommend.

Ladder CDs are normal CDs with different terms taken out at different times. This means that you spread out the money you want to invest over several CDs. Doing it this way can help you ensure that there’s always a CD that’s nearing its maturity date. This means that you won’t have to take an early exit and the financial hit that comes with it.