The yields tied to 1-year CD rates have gradually moved up in the past several months. A 12-month CD pays on average about 0.91 percent APY, based on Bankrate’s weekly survey. In early October, the average yield was 0.78 percent APY.

While those yields are nothing to brag about, fortunately, you can find institutions offering rates that are much higher than average. One place to consider if you’re looking for high-yield CDs is a credit union.

Why consider a credit union?

Brick-and-mortar banks can be pretty stingy when it comes to paying out interest to their customers with savings accounts. In many cases, their CD rates aren’t impressive either.

Credit unions are member-owned institutions. That means they’re always looking out for their customers. It’s not hard to find a credit union offering competitive rates tied to CDs (or as credit unions often call them, share certificates).

“The great thing about credit unions is that we’re not-for-profit, meaning we have the ability to return the money we bring in back to our members in the form of higher rates on our products,” says Brett Wheeler, senior vice president and chief financial officer at USALLIANCE Financial.

Read the fine print

Before signing up for any bank account, it’s important to understand the terms and conditions. With share certificates — and CDs across the board — there’s typically a penalty for early withdrawal. By pulling money out of your share certificate (or CD) before it matures, you’ll likely forfeit some of the interest you’ve earned. Consequences for early withdrawals vary from one credit union to the next and sometimes vary within a single credit union for share certificates with different term lengths.

As long as the credit union you’ve chosen is federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration, the money you’ve deposited in your share certificate will be safe. In the event that the credit union shuts down, you’ll still walk away with your savings. Just keep in mind that there’s a $250,000 threshold for single ownership accounts. Larger amounts won’t be automatically insured.

Here are five credit unions that offer the best nationally available 1-year CD rates today. They each pay more than three times the national average.

Best 1-year credit union CD rates


Advancial Federal Credit Union

Advancial Federal Credit Union is based in Dallas. It was founded in 1937. It offers different type of savings products, including regular and jumbo share certificates. In the latest review of its financial health, it earned four out of five stars.

  • What it pays: 2.89 percent APY
  • Membership restrictions: Membership is also open to individuals who join Connex, a professional, online interactive network. It’s also open to employees and members of other partner organizations, family or household members of existing credit union members and residents of certain areas in Louisiana.
  • Minimum deposit: S25,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 180 days’ dividends

USALLIANCE Financial

USALLIANCE Financial is based in Rye, New York. It has branches in several states, including Connecticut and Massachusetts, and more than 110,000 members around the world. It earned four out of five stars in Bankrate’s latest review of its financial health.

  • What it pays: 2.8 percent APY
  • Membership restrictions: Membership is open to anyone willing to join an association or group such as the American Consumer Council, Arc of Westchester or Tread Lightly, a nonprofit that provides outdoor ethics training. You can also join if you’re associated with Manhattanville College or Columbia University, you’re a family or household member of a current member, you’re an employee of more than 150 companies or you live, work or worship within a certain area. Retirees or employees of the state or local government in certain New York counties are also eligible for membership.
  • Minimum deposit: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 180 days’ dividends on the amount withdrawn.

Connexus Credit Union

Connexus Credit Union was founded in 1935 to serve current and former employees of a local insurance company and their family members. It’s based in Wausau, Wisconsin, with branch locations in Minnesota, Ohio and New Hampshire. The credit union serves more than 326,000 members nationwide and earned five out of five stars in Bankrate’s latest review of its financial health.

  • What it pays: 2.8 percent APY
  • Membership restrictions: Membership is open to anyone who becomes a member of the Connexus Association with a $5 donation.
  • Minimum deposit: $5,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: You could lose up to 90 days’ dividends on the amount withdrawn.

Partner Colorado Credit Union

Partner Colorado Credit Union is based in Arvada, Colorado. Founded in 1931, it was originally the Denver Postal Credit Union. The credit union currently has more than 30,000 members. In the latest review of its financial health, it earned four out of five stars. Members have access to more than 500 surcharge-free ATMs locally and thousands across the country through the CO-OP ATM Network.

  • What it pays: 2.8 percent APY
  • Membership restrictions: Membership is open to residents in certain Colorado counties, immediate family members of companies who have partnered with the credit union, immediate family and household members of an existing credit union member and elderly individuals in the Denver metro area. Membership is also open to anyone who makes a $5 donation to the Partner Colorado Foundation.
  • Minimum deposit: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: The penalty is equal to 90 days of interest for certificates with terms of 12 months or less and 180 days of interest for certificates with longer terms.

Pentagon Federal Credit Union

Pentagon Federal Credit Union is based in Virginia. It serves more than 1.6 million members in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., Guam, Puerto Rico and Okinawa, Japan. It has dozens of branches scattered throughout the country in places like California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii and Nebraska. The credit union earned four out of five stars in Bankrate’s latest review of its financial health.

  • What it pays: 2.8 percent APY
  • Membership restrictions: Active and retired members of the U.S. military and employees of the U.S. government are eligible to join. Employees and members of affiliated organizations and associations and relatives and housemates of members also qualify for membership. If you can’t join through one of those avenues, you can become a member by joining a group like the Voices for America’s Troops.
  • Minimum deposit: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: If redeemed within the first year, all dividends will be forfeited. Dividends can be transferred or withdrawn penalty-free by selecting the “Periodic Dividend Payment Option.” Otherwise, the penalty applies.

Recap: Best 1-year credit union CD rates

Institution APY Minimum deposit
Advancial Federal Credit Union 2.89% $25,000
USALLIANCE Financial 2.80% $500
Connexus Credit Union 2.80% $5,000
Partner Colorado Credit Union 2.80% $500
Pentagon Federal Credit Union 2.80% $1,000