November 23, 2017 in Banking

Deciding where to stick your savings is tricky.

Savings and money market accounts are highly liquid but usually offer a low rate of return.

Long-term CDs offer better rates. But unless you’re willing to pay a premium for withdrawing your funds early, they’ll be locked in for years. During a period when rates are rising, that could put you at a disadvantage.

An 18-month CD offers the best of both worlds: a higher yield than a standard savings account and a low level of commitment.

The best 18-month CD rates pay nearly eight-tenths of a percentage point more than the national average of 1.01 percent APY, according to Bankrate’s most recent national survey of banks and thrifts.

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Today’s top nationally available 18-month CDs pay 1.80 percent APY. This may be a good place to invest money for short-term financial obligations, like saving up for a down payment on a house.

Finding the best 18-month CD may take some time. Besides the interest rate, you’ll need to compare early withdrawal penalties and minimum deposit requirements. Find out whether you’ll be responsible for any fees.

Here are the top nationally available 18-month CD rates. Compare these offers, then calculate how much interest you would earn when your CD matures.

Best 18-month CD rates
Institution APY Minimum deposit
CDBank.com 1.80% $10,000
First Internet Bank of Indiana 1.79% $1,000
ConnectOne Bank 1.77% $500
Pentagon Federal Credit Union 1.77% $1,000
Banesco USA 1.77% $1,500

Top account details

  • CDBank.com is an online division of TBK Bank. It launched in May 2017 and is based in Dallas. TBK Bank earned four out of five stars on Bankrate’s latest Safe & Sound Ratings, which measures the financial health of banks and credit unions throughout the United States.
  • First Internet Bank of Indiana opened in 1999. Although it’s based in Fishers, Indiana, it serves customers in all 50 states. It earned four out of five stars from Safe & Sound.
  • ConnectOne Bank is headquartered in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. Founded in 2005, it offers CDs to consumers nationwide. The bank earned four out of five stars from Safe & Sound.
  • Pentagon Federal Credit Union serves more than 1.6 million people across the country. Membership is open to anyone who joins either the National Military Family Association or Voices for America’s Troops. The credit union, which is based in Alexandria, Virginia, earned four out of five stars from Safe & Sound.
  • Banesco USA is headquartered in Coral Gables, Florida. The bank, which was founded in 2006, is a subsidiary of Banesco, an institution based in Venezuela. Banesco USA earned three out of five stars from Safe & Sound.

Understand the account terms

An 18-month CD is a low-risk investment. But before you purchase one, it’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into.

Ask if you’ll have to maintain a certain balance to earn the annual percentage yield. While you’re at it, find out how often you’ll receive the interest you’re earning from your bank or credit union. That way, it’ll be easier to hit your savings target or another financial goal.

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