February 9, 2018 in CDs

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. Here are Bankrate’s picks for the top nationally available 18-month CD rates:

Top nationally available 18-month CD rates
Institution APY Minimum deposit
Live Oak Bank 2.30% $2,500
M.Y. Safra Bank 2.25% $1,500
USAlliance Financial 2.18% $1,000
Popular Direct 2.15% $10,000
Salem Five Cents Savings Bank 2.10% $5,000

The best 18-month CD rates pay more than nine-tenths of a percentage point more than the national average of 1.26 percent APY, according to Bankrate’s most recent national survey of banks and thrifts.

Today’s top nationally available 18-month CDs pay 2.30 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 rates

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.

Top account details

  • Live Oak Bank was established in 2008. Supporting small business owners is part of its mission statement. The bank, which is based in Wilmington, North Carolina, earned five out of five stars in Bankrate’s latest review of its financial health.
  • Banesco USA is a subsidiary of Banesco Banco Universal, the largest bank in Venezuela. In Bankrate’s latest review of its financial health, Banesco USA earned four out of five stars.
  • Veridian Credit Union is headquartered in Waterloo, Iowa. Membership is open to anyone who registers for Dwolla, a digital payment system. In Bankrate’s latest review of the credit union’s financial health, Veridian earned five out of five stars.
  • Popular Direct is a subsidiary of Popular Inc., a financial services firm serving the United States, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean that was founded in 1893. Popular Direct accounts are opened through Banco Popular North America, which earned four out of five stars in Bankrate’s latest review of its financial health.
  • My eBanc is an online division of BAC Florida Bank, an institution based Coral Gables. BAC Florida Bank and its subsidiaries serve more than 13,000 customers in the United States and abroad in places like Latin America. In Bankrate’s latest review of its financial health, BAC Florida Bank earned four out of five stars.

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.