Best 1-month CD rates

Friday, April 10, 2020

A one-month certificate of deposit matures in the span of just four quick weeks. Interest rates on these typically are low. That's mostly because banks want account holders to lock up their money for longer periods of time. But you may prefer a one-month CD if you need to protect some cash for the short term and think you'd be tempted to spend it.

However, many savings accounts and money market accounts offer higher annual percentage yields (APYs) than 1-month CDs. But savings deposit accounts usually have variable APYs, while term CDs generally have fixed APYs for the term.

While one-month CD rates are typically low, you may be able to find accounts offering a competitive yield. Here are the best one-month CD rates to give you the highest fixed return possible for this term.

The best 1-month CD rates April 2020

Here are the best 1-month CD rates for April 2020:

Note: The APYs (Annual Percentage Yield) shown are as of April 6, 2020. The APYs for some products may vary by region. (* Review links for some online banks may point to the parent bank's most recent review by Bankrate.)

CD holders can earn 0.40 percent annual percentage yield (APY) on a one-month CD these days. You might want to try opening one of these if you want to earn a high yield on your cash – but you also want the flexibility to reinvest.

Best overall: SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union - 0.40% APY; minimum deposit $20,000

SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union was formed during the Great Depression in 1934. The credit union, created by school employees, has 50 branches.

SchoolsFirst serves the education community in California. Certain school employees, certain retired school employees and immediate family members of existing SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union are eligible to join.

High rate: Union Bank - 0.20% APY; minimum deposit $2,500

Union Bank serves retail customers with branches in California, Oregon and Washington. Union Bank has more than 350 branches along the West Coast in California, Oregon and Washington. Union Bank’s history dates back more than 150 years.

Union Bank offers CDs ranging from seven days to five years. The seven to 31-day CDs require a $2,500 minimum deposit. All other terms only require $350 to open a CD.

High rate: BrioDirect - 0.05% APY; minimum deposit $500

BrioDirect is Sterling National Bank’s online brand. All BrioDirect savings deposit products are provided by Sterling National Bank, which was founded in 1888.

BrioDirect only offers CDs and a high-yield savings account. Both of these savings products offer a competitive yield.

BrioDirect gives customers a variety of CDs to choose from since it offers 13 different terms -- starting with 30 days and going out to five years. Even with this range of terms, the one-year CD is the best deal and has the highest APY for a CD at BrioDirect.

High rate: PNC Bank - 0.05% APY; minimum deposit $500

PNC Bank has approximately 2,300 branches and 9,100 ATMs. PNC Bank has its corporate headquarters in Pittsburgh.

PNC Bank has CDs ranging from one month to 10 years. It also has a few promotional terms of CDs too.

High rate: U.S. Bank - 0.05% APY; minimum deposit $500

U.S. Bank is the fifth largest commercial bank in the U.S. The bank’s history can be traced back to First National Bank of Cincinnati back in 1863. U.S. Bank is currently based in Minneapolis.

It offers 11 different terms of CDs ranging from one month to five years. U.S. Bank also offers a Step Up CD and a Trade Up CD.

High rate: First Citizens Bank - 0.05% APY; minimum deposit $2,500

First Citizens Bank was founded in 1898 and has its headquarters in Raleigh, North Carolina. First Citizens Bank has 570 branches located in 19 states.

First Citizens Bank offers six terms of CDs, ranging from one month to four years.

High rate: KeyBank - 0.05% APY; minimum deposit $2,500

KeyBank’s been around since 1849 and is headquartered in Cleveland. KeyBank has a network of around 1,100 branches and more than 1,400 ATMs. KeyBank has CDs with terms ranging from seven days to 10 years.

1-month CD FAQS

How does a 1-month CD work?

A 1-month CD allows you to get a fixed APY for a month. Withdrawing your money from the CD before the month term ends may result in an early withdrawal penalty.

Pros and cons of a 1-month CD

Here are the pros of a one-month CD:

  • Your money isn’t locked away for long.
  • It gives you the flexibility to either keep your money in the CD for another term when it matures or withdraw it when the term ends.
  • Generally, a term CD will give you a fixed APY during the CD’s term.

Here are the cons of a one-month CD:

  • Unlike if you withdraw money from a savings account during a month, a 1-month CD may incur an early withdrawal penalty if you take money out before the term ends.
  • A savings account or a no-penalty CD may earn a higher APY than a 1-month CD.
  • The APYs might not be competitive compared with others longer terms of CDs.

Can you lose money with a 1-month CD?

You could lose money in a 1-month CD if you made an early withdrawal and the penalty cost you the amount of your interest and some of your principal. You could also lose money if you exceeded Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) limits or guidelines and your bank failed.

Alternatives to 1-month CDs

If you don't want to tuck away your money for a month, here are some alternatives to try instead:

Consider a savings account or money market account

A money market account or a high-yield online savings account may offer higher interest rates than a one-month CD. Additionally, you'll be able to access your money quickly with no penalty. However, you'll need to consider the trade-offs. Money market and high-yield savings accounts typically require higher balances and may restrict how you can access your money.

Choose a CD with a longer term

Generally, savers who tuck away their money in longer-term CDs can snag higher interest rates. For example, the average five-year CD rate is hovering around 0.72 percent APY. Still, you may find rates as high as around 2 percent if you compare CD rates.

How to use a 1-month CD in a CD ladder

A CD ladder lets you take advantage of different CD maturities and interest rates. To start one, figure out how much money you can invest and how long you can put money away. Then open a few short- and long-term CDs with staggered maturity dates, and decide how much money you'll put in each.

The short-term CDs allow you to take advantage of rising interest rates, while the long-term CDs will typically come with high rates. As an example, you may decide to use a one-month CD as your shortest rung, plus a six-month CD, one-year CD and three-year CD. Keep your money invested in the long-term CDs, and as the short-term CDs mature, you can decide whether to use the money or reinvest it into a higher-rate CD.

Learn more about other CD terms:

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