A two-year CD can be a useful financial tool for those looking to secure a higher interest rate on their savings without committing to locking up their money long term.
It may also pay a higher rate of return than a high-yield savings account.
Think of a CD 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 (APY), the yield on a CD is fixed and won’t change during the term.
At the end of the term, you can renew the CD or shop around for another one, potentially with an even higher yield, if the interest rate environment has improved. After a CD’s maturity date, it typically renews automatically after a grace period, usually within seven to 10 days.
Though 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 two-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 October 2021
- Quontic Bank: 0.75% APY; $500 minimum deposit.
- Live Oak Bank: 0.75% APY; $2,500 minimum deposit.
- First Internet Bank of Indiana: 0.70% APY; $1,000 minimum deposit.
- Comenity Direct: 0.70% APY; $1,500 minimum deposit.
- Synchrony Bank: 0.65% APY; $0 minimum deposit.
- Delta Community Credit Union: 0.65% APY; $1,000 minimum deposit.
- Pentagon Federal Credit Union: 0.65% APY; $1,000 minimum deposit.
- SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union: 0.65% APY; $20,000 minimum deposit to earn APY.
- Golden 1 Credit Union: 0.60% APY; $500 minimum deposit.
- VyStar Credit Union: 0.60% APY; $500 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 annual percentage yields (APYs) shown are as of Oct. 13, 2021. Bankrate’s editorial team regularly updates this information. APYs may have changed since the last update. 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 two-year CD rates pay far more than the national average of 0.2 percent APY, according to Bankrate’s national index survey of banks and thrifts from Oct. 6, 2021.
Today’s top widely available two-year CD pays 0.75 percent APY, which may be a good place to invest for midterm financial obligations, like paying off credit card debt.
Bankrate’s guide to choosing the right CD rate
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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 October 2021
Quontic Bank: 0.75% APY; $500 minimum deposit
Quontic Bank was established in 2005 and has its headquarters in New York. It offers five terms of CDs, ranging from six months to three years, which can be opened with as little as $500.
In addition to its CDs, Quontic Bank also offers money market, high-yield savings and checking accounts.
Live Oak Bank: 0.75% APY; $2,500 minimum deposit
Live Oak Bank was founded in 2008 and is based in Wilmington, North Carolina. 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.
First Internet Bank of Indiana: 0.70% APY; $1,000 minimum deposit
First Internet Bank of Indiana opened in February 1999 and was the first FDIC-insured financial institution to operate entirely online, according to the bank’s website. Its products are available in all 50 U.S. 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.
Comenity Direct: 0.70% APY; $1,500 minimum deposit
Comenity Direct launched in April 2019. It’s an online-only bank that offers high-yield savings products and five terms of CDs.
Comenity Direct is a brand of Comenity Capital Bank, the company behind many popular branded credit cards.
Synchrony Bank: 0.65% APY; $0 minimum deposit
Synchrony Bank offers competitive yields across 12 CD terms. If Synchrony Bank receives your CD deposit within the 15-day period and its rate increases, you’ll receive the higher rate.
The bank also offers savings and money market accounts. The savings account offers a competitive APY and has no minimum balance requirement.
Delta Community Credit Union: 0.65% APY; $1,000 minimum deposit
Delta Community Credit Union was started by eight Delta Air Lines employees in 1940 as the Delta Employees Credit Union. Delta Community Credit Union has more than 454,000 members and 30 branches, including 27 in metro Atlanta and three branches outside of Georgia.
Anyone living or working in metro Atlanta and employees of more than 140 businesses can become members. Chick-fil-A, RaceTrac and UPS are some of the eligible businesses.
Pentagon Federal Credit Union: 0.65% APY; $1,000 minimum deposit
Pentagon Federal Credit Union was established in 1935. It has more than 2 million members and is based in McLean, Virginia.
PenFed has nine terms of CDs, ranging from six months to seven years.
SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union: 0.65% APY; $20,000 minimum deposit for APY
SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union was formed by school employees in 1934, during the Great Depression, and today has 50 branches.
Active and retired school employees and immediate family members of existing SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union are eligible to join.
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.
Golden 1 Credit Union: 0.60% APY; $500 minimum deposit
Golden 1 Credit Union has over 1 million members and operates 72 branches. Its main office is located in Sacramento, California, and membership is open to all Californians.
Customers outside California 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 offers money market, checking and savings accounts, as well as credit cards and loans.
VyStar Credit Union: 0.60% APY; $500 minimum deposit
Originally known as Jax Navy Federal Credit Union, VyStar Credit Union was chartered at Naval Air Station Jacksonville in Florida in 1952.
Membership at VyStar Credit Union is open to anyone who works or lives in the 49 Florida or 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.
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 branches, all in Florida. TIAA Bank offers CD terms ranging from three months to five years. Several types of CDs are available, including a basic CD and a bump-up CD.
Besides CDs, TIAA Bank offers checking and money market accounts and other products.
Sallie Mae Bank: 0.60% APY; $2,500 minimum deposit
Sallie Mae Bank offers 11 terms of CDs, savings account and money market accounts, credit cards, all with competitive yields. It also offers student loans.
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 Salem, Massachusetts in 1855. 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 – October 2021
- Marcus by Goldman Sachs: 0.55% APY; $500 minimum deposit
- Discover Bank: 0.55% 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 is Goldman Sachs’ consumer bank and debuted in 2016. It offers a variety of CDs, three terms of no-penalty CDs and a savings account. Marcus features competitive yields on its savings accounts and CDs, and also offers personal loans, as well as those for debt consolidation and home improvement.
Discover Bank: 0.55% 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 offered deposit products online since 2007.
Discover Bank offers CDs ranging in terms from three months to 10 years.
It also offers checking, money market and savings accounts.
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.
CIBC Bank USA calls its digital banking CIBC Agility. It offers four terms of Agility Online CDs: nine months, one year, 18 months and two years. It also offers the CIBC Agility Online Savings Account, which earns a competitive yield.
Finding the best 2-year CD rates
When looking for a two-year CD, it might be tempting to just sign up with the bank that handles your checking account. But if you want to get the best rate, it pays to shop around and not 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 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. you can feel secure parking your money there. Consumer deposits at all FDIC-insured banks are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government up to $250,000.
Credit unions chartered by the National Credit Union Administration (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. With a five-year CD, for example, you usually end up with a higher yield than what’s available for a two-year CD. Also, as with most certificates of deposit, if you withdraw money from a five-year CD, before the term matures, you’ll likely incur a penalty.
Building a CD ladder
In addition to helping you meet your midterm 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-, two- and three-year CD. The one- 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 October 2021
|Institution||APY||Minimum to earn APY|
|Live Oak Bank||0.75%||$2,500|
|First Internet Bank of Indiana||0.70%||$1,000|
|Delta Community Credit Union||0.65%||$1,000|
|Pentagon Federal Credit Union||0.65%||$1,000|
|SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union||0.65%||$20,000|
|Golden 1 Credit Union||0.60%||$500|
|VyStar Credit Union||0.60%||$500|
|Sallie Mae Bank||0.60%||$2,500|
|Salem Five Direct||0.60%||$10,000|