A 2-year CD could be a better tool for earning a higher interest rate than some high-yield savings accounts.
With a fixed-rate CD, you receive a guaranteed interest rate for a set period of time. At the end of the term, you have the ability to renew the CD or shop around for another CD, potentially with an even higher yield if the interest rate environment has improved. After a CD’s maturity date, it often automatically renews after a grace period. This grace period is usually around seven to 10 days long.
You can think of CDs as a higher-paying savings account that’s stashed in a safe with a time lock. But unlike a savings account with a variable annual percentage yield, the yield on a CD with a fixed APY won’t change during the term.
While you may be able to withdraw the interest before the end of the term, you usually can’t touch the principal without incurring an early withdrawal penalty.
Here are some of the top widely available 2-year CD rates. Compare these offers, then calculate how much interest you could earn when your CD matures.
The best 2-year CD rates for July 2021
- Delta Community Credit Union: 0.80% APY; $1,000 minimum deposit
- Quontic Bank: 0.75% APY; $500 minimum deposit
- Comenity Direct: 0.75% APY; $1,500 minimum deposit
- First Internet Bank of Indiana: 0.70% APY; $1,000 minimum deposit
- Live Oak Bank: 0.70% APY; $2,500 minimum deposit
- SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union: 0.65% APY; $20,000 minimum deposit for APY
- Synchrony Bank: 0.60% APY; $0 minimum deposit
- Golden 1 Credit Union: 0.60% APY; $0 minimum deposit
- VyStar Credit Union: 0.60% APY; $500 minimum deposit
- Pentagon Federal Credit Union: 0.60% APY; $1,000 minimum deposit
- TAB Bank: 0.60% APY; $1,000 minimum deposit
- TIAA Bank: 0.60% APY; $1,000 minimum deposit
- Sallie Mae Bank: 0.60% APY; $2,500 minimum deposit
- Salem Five Direct: 0.60% APY; $10,000 minimum deposit
Note: The APYs (Annual Percentage Yields) shown are as of July 19, 2021. Bankrate’s editorial team updates this information regularly. APYs may have changed since they were last updated. The APYs for some products may vary by region.
Interest rates are often higher on CDs because, in addition to the normal deposit rate, banks pay CD account holders a liquidity premium, which is the additional return an investor expects for giving up the ability to liquidate their investment quickly.
The best 2-year CD rates pay far more than the national average of 0.22 percent APY, according to Bankrate’s national index survey of banks and thrifts from July 14, 2021.
Today’s top widely available 2-year CD pays 0.80 percent APY. This may be a good place to invest for mid-term financial obligations, like paying off credit card debt.
Bankrate’s guide to choosing the right CD rate
Why you can trust Bankrate
Bankrate has more than four decades of experience in financial publishing, so you know you’re getting information you can trust. Bankrate was born in 1976 as “Bank Rate Monitor,” a print publisher for the banking industry, and has been online since 1996. Hundreds of top publications rely on Bankrate. Outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The New York Times, CNBC and Bloomberg depend on Bankrate as the trusted source of financial rates and information.
Methodology for Bankrate’s 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: 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 Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) or by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF).
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.
Best 2-year CD rates of July 2021
Delta Community Credit Union: 0.80% APY; $1,000 minimum deposit
Delta Community Credit Union began as the Delta Employees Credit Union in 1940. It was started by eight Delta Air Lines employees. Delta Community Credit Union has more than 400,000 members and has 27 branches in metro Atlanta and three branches outside of Georgia.
Quontic Bank: 0.75% APY; $500 minimum deposit
Quontic Bank was established in 2005 and has its headquarters in New York. Quontic Bank calls itself the Adaptive Digital Bank.
You only need $500 to open a Quontic Bank CD. Quontic Bank offers four terms of CDs, ranging from six months to three years.
In addition to its CDs, Quontic Bank also has a money market account, a high-yield savings account and checking accounts.
Comenity Direct: 0.75% APY; $1,500 minimum deposit
Comenity Direct launched in April 2019. It’s an online-only bank that offers high-yield savings products and CDs.
Comenity Direct offers five terms of CDs. Comenity Direct is a brand of Comenity Capital Bank, which has existed for more than 30 years. Comenity is a bank behind many branded credit cards.
First Internet Bank of Indiana: 0.70% APY; $1,000 minimum deposit
First Internet Bank of Indiana was the first state-chartered, FDIC-insured financial institution to operate entirely online, according to the bank’s website. First Internet Bank of Indiana opened in 1999 and is available in all 50 states.
First Internet Bank offers eight terms of CDs, a money market savings account with a competitive yield, a savings account and two checking accounts.
Live Oak Bank: 0.70% APY; $2,500 minimum deposit
Live Oak Bank was founded in 2008. The online bank offers a competitive yield on its savings account. Like most online banks, Live Oak Bank’s Online Savings account doesn’t have a monthly service fee. It also doesn’t require you to keep a minimum balance.
In addition to its savings account, Live Oak Bank offers seven terms of CDs. Live Oak Bank has its headquarters in Wilmington, North Carolina.
SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union: 0.65% APY; $20,000 minimum deposit for APY
SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union was formed during the Great Depression in 1934. The credit union, created by school employees, has 50 branches.
SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union has low minimum balances and CD terms from as short as 30 days to as long as five years. CDs at this credit union have four balance tiers: $500, $20,000, $50,000 or $100,000.
Synchrony Bank: 0.60% APY; $0 minimum deposit
Synchrony Bank offers competitive yields across 12 terms. All standard CD terms typically offered by banks and credit unions are available. The bank also offers a savings account and a money market account. The savings account has a competitive APY and has no minimum balance requirement.
The bank is an online-only financial institution that’s part of a company that also issues credit cards. The bank’s mobile app makes it possible to transfer funds and check account balances at any time from anywhere.
Golden 1 Credit Union: 0.60% APY; $500 minimum deposit
Golden 1 Credit Union is headquartered in Sacramento, California. It has at least 1 million members and over $17 billion in assets. Golden 1 Credit Union has 72 branches in California and was founded in 1933. Membership to Golden 1 Credit Union is open to all Californians.
Non-Californians can join Golden 1 Credit Union if they are a registered domestic partner or family member of a member. They can also join if they’re a member of one of the select employee groups.
In addition to CDs, Golden 1 Credit Union also offers a money market account, checking and savings accounts. The credit union also has credit cards and loans.
VyStar Credit Union: 0.60% APY; $500 minimum deposit
VyStar Credit Union was founded in 1952. It was originally called Jax Navy Federal Credit Union and it was chartered at Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, Florida.
Membership at VyStar Credit Union is open to anyone who works or lives in the 49 Florida counties or the 10 Georgia counties listed on its website.
VyStar Credit Union offers 10 CDs terms ranging from three months to five years. It also offers a one-year CD for Kid’s, VyTeen, Bravo and Achieve members only.
Pentagon Federal Credit Union: 0.60% APY; $1,000 minimum deposit
Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PenFed) was established in 1935. It has more than 2 million members and has its main office in McLean, Virginia.
PenFed has nine terms of CDs. They range from a six-month CD to a seven-year CD.
TAB Bank: 0.60% APY; $1,000 minimum deposit
Transportation Alliance Bank was established in Ogden, Utah, in 1998. It started as a banking service operating inside truck stops before expanding its financial services with a range of personal and business products.
TAB Bank offers several checking and savings account options, a money market account and eight terms of CDs ranging from six months to five years.
TIAA Bank: 0.60% APY; $1,000 minimum deposit
TIAA Bank is a division of TIAA, FSB. TIAA Bank has 10 financial centers, all located in Florida. TIAA Bank offers CD terms ranging from 3 months to 5 years. Several types of CDs are available, including a basic CD and a bump-up CD.
Besides CDs, TIAA Bank offers a checking account, money market account and other products.
Sallie Mae Bank: 0.60% APY; $2,500 minimum deposit
Sallie Mae Bank offers 11 terms of CDs, a savings account, money market account, credit cards and private student loans.
Sallie Mae Bank offers a competitive yield on all of these deposit products.
Sallie Mae Bank was established in 2005 and has its headquarters in Salt Lake City. In 2014, Sallie Mae became a standalone consumer banking business.
Salem Five Direct: 0.60% APY; $10,000 minimum deposit
Salem Five Direct is an online division of Salem Five, which was founded in 1855 in Salem, Massachusetts. Salem Five Direct offers products not available through the Salem Five branch network.
Salem Five Direct has seven terms of CDs from one year to five years. The minimum deposit to open a CD at Salem Five Direct is $10,000.
2-year CD yields offered by popular banks – July 2021
- Marcus by Goldman Sachs: 0.55% APY; $500 minimum deposit
- Discover Bank: 0.50% APY; $2,500 minimum deposit
- CIBC Bank USA: 0.50% APY; $25,000 minimum balance to earn the APY
Marcus by Goldman Sachs: 0.55% APY; $500 minimum deposit
Marcus by Goldman Sachs is a brand of Goldman Sachs Bank USA. Marcus offers a variety of CDs, three no-penalty CD terms and a savings account. Marcus also offers lending options with its debt consolidation loans, home improvement loans and personal loans.
Marcus offers competitive yields on its savings accounts and CDs. Marcus debuted in 2016 with unsecured personal loans.
Discover Bank: 0.50% APY; $2,500 minimum deposit
Discover Bank may be known for its credit cards, but it also offers a wide selection of banking products. It has been offering deposit products online since 2007.
Discover Bank offers CDs ranging in terms from 3 months to 10 years.
It also offers a checking account, money market account and a savings account.
CIBC Bank USA: 0.50% APY; $25,000 minimum balance to earn the APY
CIBC Bank USA, formerly The PrivateBank and Trust Co., was founded in 1991 and is based in Chicago. It was rebranded as CIBC Bank USA.
CIBC Bank USA calls its digital banking CIBC Agility. CIBC offers four terms of Agility Online CDs: 9 months, 1 year, 18 months, 2 years. It also offers the CIBC Agility Online Savings Account, which offers a competitive yield.
Finding the best 2-year CD rates
When looking for a 2-year CD, it might be easier to just sign up with the bank that handles your checking account. But if you want to get the best rate, you’re more likely to do so if you cast a wide net than to just accept what your current bank offers.
“Brick and mortar banks have a lot of overhead to cover, plus they have a lot of competition from online banks,” says Sheryl Garrett, CFP professional and founder of the Garrett Planning Network. “Don’t just settle for the first CD rate that’s offered by ‘your bank.’ Focus on the fact that it’s ‘your money.’”
No matter the size of the bank that’s offering the best terms, as long as it’s a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., or FDIC, you can feel secure parking your money there. That’s because consumer deposits at all FDIC-insured banks are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government up to $250,000.
National Credit Union Administration, or NCUA, credit unions, have a standard share insurance amount of $250,0000 per share owner, for each account ownership category.
Best CD rates by term
In general, you’ll find the best CD rates on longer-term CDs. Banks reward consumers for committing their money for deposit. With a five-year CD, for example, you usually end up with a higher yield than what’s available for a two-year CD.
However, when you get a five-year CD, you’re locking that money up for five years. If you access the money before the maturity date, you’ll probably pay an early withdrawal penalty, making the CD less valuable. Only purchase a longer-term CD if you’re sure you won’t need the money before the term ends.
CD laddering can help you take advantage of higher rates while also ensuring earlier access to some of your money. You can also determine whether it makes sense to get a higher yield in return for reducing your liquidity.
Building a CD ladder
In addition to helping you meet your mid-term financial goals, two-year CDs can be used as a “rung” when you’re building a CD ladder.
Done correctly, laddering allows you to benefit from high rates on longer maturities while still getting regular infusions of cash to spend or reinvest.
With a CD ladder, you divide your deposit amount into CDs with different terms. For example, you could open a three-rung ladder made up of a one-year CD, a two-year CD and a three-year CD. The one-year and two-year CD rates are generally lower than the three-year CD rates, but you might not want all of your money tied up for three years.
A laddering strategy allows you to take advantage of the higher interest rates you earn on longer-term CDs, while still allowing you access to some of your money at regular intervals. As your one-year and two-year CDs mature, you can access that money for spending or investing in higher-yield assets. Or, you can put them in another three-year CD, and it would become the longest-term rung on your CD ladder.
Carefully consider how a two-year CD can fit into a ladder strategy that combines the benefits of a higher overall yield while still allowing you some access to a portion of your funds when the shorter-term CDs mature.
The best 2-year CD rates in July 2021
|Institution||APY||Minimum to earn APY|
|Delta Community Credit Union||0.80%||$1,000|
|First Internet Bank of Indiana||0.70%||$1,000|
|Live Oak Bank||0.70%||$2,500|
|SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union||0.65%||$20,000|
|Golden 1 Credit Union||0.60%||$500|
|VyStar Credit Union||0.60%||$500|
|Pentagon Federal Credit Union||0.60%||$1,000|
|Sallie Mae Bank||0.60%||$2,500|
|Salem Five Direct||0.60%||$10,000|