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Returns on savings are on the rise, so to find the best rate it pays to shop around and compare yields tied to share certificates offered by credit unions.
What is a 1-year credit union CD?
Credit union share certificates are similar to certificates of deposit (CDs) offered by banks. For that reason, “share certificate” and “credit union CD” are often used interchangeably. Also, whereas CDs earn interest, share certificates earn dividends, but the effect for the saver is the same. By looking at annual percentage yields (APYs), consumers can compare interest and dividends on an apples-to-apples basis.
The average one-year CD yield was 1.41 percent APY, according to Bankrate’s weekly survey of institutions on Jan. 4, 2023.
Bankrate’s picks for the top 1-year credit union CD rates
Here are some credit unions offering today’s best widely available one-year CD rates:
- Alliant Credit Union: 4.60% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit
- Bethpage Federal Credit Union: 4.40% APY, $50 minimum deposit
- America First Credit Union: 4.40% APY; $500 minimum deposit
- Navy Federal Credit Union: 4.40% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit
- Pentagon Federal Credit Union: 4.25% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit
- Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union: 4.00% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit
- SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union: 3.45% APY, $20,000 minimum deposit
- State Employees’ Credit Union: 3.10% APY, $250 minimum deposit
- Boeing Employees’ Credit Union: 3.04% APY; $500 minimum deposit
- VyStar Credit Union: 2.55% APY, $500 minimum deposit
Note: Annual percentage yields (APYs) shown are as of Jan. 5, 2023, and may have changed since they were last updated. Bankrate’s editorial team updates this information regularly, typically monthly.
A closer look at the top 1-year credit union CD rates
Alliant Credit Union: 4.60% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit
Alliant offers competitive APYs with low minimum balance requirements for CDs. It also has traditional individual retirement account CDs, Roth IRA CDs and SEP IRA CDs.
- Membership restrictions: Current or retired employees from a business that partners with Alliant Credit Union may be eligible to join. You may also be able to join by belonging to an organization that Alliant Credit Union partners with. You can also qualify to join Alliant Credit Union if you live or are employed in a community near its Chicago headquarters. If those circumstances don’t apply to you, you can make a one-time $5 payment and Alliant Credit Union will donate that money to Foster Care to Success so you can become an Alliant Credit Union member.
- Early withdrawal penalty: Dividends on the number of days the CD is open, up to 90 days. (For example, if funds are withdrawn after 180 days, the penalty is 90 days of dividends; if funds are withdrawn after 20 days, the penalty is 20 days of dividends.)
Bethpage Federal Credit Union: 4.40% APY, $50 minimum deposit
Bethpage offers nine terms of CDs, ranging from three months to five years, and a 39-month bump-up CD. Anyone who opens a $5 savings account can become a member.
- Membership restrictions: Bethpage FCU membership is open to anyone who opens a savings account with $5.
- Early withdrawal penalty: 180 days of dividends
America First Credit Union: 4.40% APY, $500 minimum deposit
America First Credit Union offers regular CDs, individual retirement account (IRA) CDs and bump-rate CDs.
- Membership restrictions: America First serves people who live, work, worship, volunteer or attend school in select counties in Utah, Washington, Nevada, Arizona, Idaho, Oregon and New Mexico.
- Early withdrawal penalty: 60 days of dividends, with a minimum fee of $5
Navy Federal Credit Union: 4.40% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit
Navy Federal Credit Union is the world’s largest credit union with over 11 million members. In addition to CDs, Navy Federal Credit Union also offers checking and savings accounts, loans and credit cards.
- Membership restrictions: Membership at Navy Federal Credit Union is open to all Department of Defense and Coast Guard Active Duty, civilian, contract personnel, veterans and their families.
- Early withdrawal penalty: The lesser of all dividends for 90 days on the amount that you withdraw or all of the dividends withdrawn since the certificate was issued or renewed.
Pentagon Federal Credit Union: 4.25% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit
PenFed has nine terms of CDs, ranging from six months to seven years.
- Membership restrictions: Anyone is eligible to apply for PenFed membership. All that is needed is to open and maintain a savings account with at least $5. Some products may require military affiliation to receive certain benefits of the product.
- Early withdrawal penalty: All dividends
Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union: 4.00% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit
In addition to CDs, Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union offers a Really Free Checking account that requires no minimum balance and charges no monthly fee.
- Membership restrictions: Where you live, attend school, work or worship are some of the more than 3,000 ways to become a member at Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union.
- Early withdrawal penalty: 60 days
SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union: 3.45% APY, $20,000 minimum deposit
SchoolsFirst offers low minimum balances and CD terms from as short as 30 days to as long as five years. The more money you put into your CD, the higher the APY. CDs at this credit union have four balance tiers: $500, $20,000, $50,000 or $100,000.
- Membership restrictions: SchoolsFirst FCU serves the California educational community. Certain school employees, certain retired school employees and immediate family members of existing SchoolsFirst FCU members may be able to join.
- Early withdrawal penalty: 90 days of dividends
State Employees’ Credit Union: 3.10% APY, $250 minimum deposit
State Employees’ Credit Union serves approximately 2.7 million members and has 273 branch offices. It has been around since 1937 and has its main office in Raleigh, North Carolina.
- Membership restrictions: You’ll need to meet one of the State Employees’ Credit Union eligibility requirements to become a member. Some ways to become a member are by being an employee of the state of North Carolina, being a federal employee assigned to North Carolina state agencies, being an employee of public boards of education or by being a county employee of social services, health, mental health or civil defenses. Immediate family, which includes a spouse, children, parents or siblings, of a current member also may be eligible for membership.
- Minimum deposit: $250
- Early withdrawal penalty: You’ll lose 90 days’ worth of interest or all interest accrued, whichever is less.
Boeing Employees’ Credit Union: 3.04% APY; $500 minimum deposit
Boeing Employees’ Credit Union (BECU) is one of the nation’s largest credit unions, with nearly 1.1 million members. Membership is open to Boeing employees as well as residents, employees and business owners in Washington and parts of Idaho and Oregon.
Among the credit union’s offerings are savings, checking and money market accounts, as well as CDs that range from three months to five years. Specialty CDs include a bump-up CD and another that allows you to add funds during the term.
VyStar Credit Union: 2.55% APY, $500 minimum deposit
VyStar Credit Union was founded in 1952. It was originally called Jax Navy Federal Credit Union and was chartered at Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, Florida.
VyStar Credit Union offers 10 CD terms ranging from three months to five years. It also offers a one-year CD for Kid’s, VyTeen, Bravo and Achieve members only
- Membership restrictions: Membership at VyStar Credit Union is open to anyone who works or lives in the 49 Florida counties or the four Georgia counties listed on its website.
- Early withdrawal penalty: 180 days
How to find the best 1-year credit union CD rates
Brick-and-mortar banks can be pretty stingy when it comes to paying interest on deposit accounts. But finding a credit union offering competitive rates on CDs is fairly easy. As member-owned institutions, credit unions operate for the benefit of their customers.
The drawback? You may not have access to a credit union share certificate if you cannot qualify for membership. Many credit unions are easy to join, but there are still institutions that have restrictions based on where you live or work or the groups you’re affiliated with.
Like certificates of deposit at banks, credit union share certificates may also automatically renew after the term expires. For that reason, it’s important to keep track of your investments. Should the need arise to use the funds before the certificate has matured, the result would likely be an early withdrawal penalty.
When choosing a one-year credit union CD, consider the interest rate you’re getting, how often the interest compounds, the minimum deposit, and your eligibility to join the credit union.
1-year credit union CD FAQs
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. Also, you may be required to ask for an early withdrawal in writing. Check with your credit union for its policy.
As long as the credit union you’ve chosen is federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration Share Insurance Fund, 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.
A one-year credit union CD isn’t right for everyone. Check out these alternatives:
Savings or money market account
You may be able to score a higher interest rate with a money market account or a high-yield online savings account while still maintaining access to your money. Money market and high-yield savings accounts typically offer higher interest rates than standard savings accounts, but they normally require higher balances and may have restrictions on accessing the money.
Consider a traditional bank CD with a different term
CDs give savers a bit of a yield boost over savings accounts in exchange for a longer-term deposit. The longer savers agree to leave their money in the bank, the higher the yield. Investing in a one-year CD, for example, would require you to tie up your funds for 12 months.
Bankrate’s methodology for choosing the best CD rates
At Bankrate, we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. We follow strict guidelines to ensure that our editorial content is unbiased and not influenced by advertisers. Our editorial team receives no direct compensation from advertisers and our content is thoroughly fact-checked to ensure accuracy.
Bankrate regularly surveys around 70 widely available financial institutions, made up of the biggest banks and credit unions, as well as a number of popular online banks.
To find the best CDs, our editorial team analyzes various factors, such as annual percentage yield (APY), the minimum needed to earn that APY (or to open the CD) and whether or not it is broadly available. All of the accounts on this page are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. or the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund.
When selecting the best CD for you, consider the purpose of the money and when you’ll need access to these funds to help you avoid early withdrawal penalties.
Banks we monitor
These financial institutions are featured in our CD rate research: Alliant Credit Union, Ally Bank, Amerant Bank, America First Credit Union, American Express National Bank, Axos Bank, Bank5 Connect, Bank of America, Bank of the West, Barclays, Bask Bank, BB&T, BECU (Boeing Employees Credit Union), Bethpage Federal Credit Union, BMO Harris Bank, Bread Savings (formerly Comenity Direct), BrioDirect, Capital One Bank, Chase Bank, CIBC USA, CIT Bank, Citibank, Citizens, Citizens Bank (Rhode Island), Comerica Bank, Customers Bank, Delta Community Credit Union, Discover Bank, Emigrant Direct, Fifth Third Bank, First Citizens Bank, First Internet Bank, First Technology Federal Credit Union, FNBO Direct, Golden 1 Credit Union, Marcus by Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley Private Bank, Huntington National Bank, Investors Bank, Investors eAccess, KeyBank, Limelight Bank, Live Oak Bank, M&T Bank, MySavingsDirect, Navy Federal Credit Union, NBKC Bank, PenFed Credit Union, PNC Bank, Popular Direct, PurePoint Financial, Quontic Bank, Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union, Regions Bank, Salem Five Direct, Sallie Mae Bank, Santander Bank, SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union, Security Service Federal Credit Union, State Employees’ Credit Union, Suncoast Credit Union, Suntrust Bank, Synchrony Bank, TD Bank, TIAA Bank, UFB Direct, Union Bank (California), U.S. Bank, USAA Bank, Vio Bank, VyStar Credit Union, Wells Fargo and Zions Bank.