When you’re trying to scrape out an extra percentage point of yield here and there, a savings account may not be enough. Thankfully, there are options.

Take 3-year CDs, for instance. They offer substantially higher risk-free yield than what savers can get from money market accounts, under the condition the depositor leaves the funds with the bank for three years.

The best 3-year CD rates available from banks and credit unions pay more than three times the national average of 0.68 percent APY, according to Bankrate’s most recent national survey of banks and thrifts.

Today’s top nationally available 3-year CDs pay 2.40 percent APY. They could be a great place to invest for mid-term financial obligations, like a down payment on a future auto loan.

Finding the best 3-year CD rates comes down to considering a wide range of options, including online banks and credit unions. While many savers tend to stick with the same bank that provides their checking account, that can be a mistake, especially at a large national bank, where deposit rates tend to fall well short of what smaller institutions offer.

Here are the top nationally available 3-year CD rates. Compare these offers, then calculate how much interest you would earn when your CD matures.

Best 3-year CD rates
Institution APY Minimum deposit
Fort Knox Federal Credit Union 2.40% $500
USAlliance Financial 2.38% $500
EBSB Direct 2.21% $1,000
KS StateBank 2.10% $500
EverBank 2.10% $5,000

Top account details

  • Fort Knox Federal Credit Union is headquartered in Radcliff, Kentucky. Membership is open to anyone who joins the American Consumer Council. The credit union earned five out of five stars from Bankrate’s Safe & Sound ranking, which measures the financial health of banks and credit unions throughout the United States.
  • USALLIANCE Financial is a credit union based in Rye, New York. One of the easiest ways to join is to become a member of the American Consumer Council. The credit union earned three out of five stars from Safe & Sound.
  • EBSB Direct is an online division of the East Boston Savings Bank, which was founded in 1848. EBSB Direct offers high-yield savings accounts, money market accounts and CDs with various term lengths. Its parent company earned four out of five stars from Safe & Sound.
  • KS State Bank was founded in 1969. The bank is headquartered in Manhattan, Kansas and serves customers across the country. The bank earned five out of five stars from Safe & Sound.
  • Founded in 1961, Everbank is an online division of TIAA, FSB. Though it has a number of physical branches, it mainly operates online. EverBank earned three out of five stars from Safe & Sound.

Fine print is key

Of course, there’s more to a good CD than the rate. You’ll also want to make sure you can live with the early withdrawal penalty the bank will charge in the event you need to crack open the CD prior to maturity.

Withdrawal penalties vary widely — they may be expressed as a certain number of months’ worth of interest or as a percentage of the principal, and may be assessed on the entire principal or just the amount you’re cashing out.

Make sure to read the terms of your contract. Banks may try to slip adverse terms into the CD’s fine print that allows them to, among other things, change fees and penalties after the fact.


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