Savers have tons of places to park their cash. But choosing between a savings account and a certificate of deposit can be difficult.

The top saving accounts pay 1.8 percent APY. But the average yield is much lower (0.25 percent APY). If you’re hoping to earn a higher rate of return and you want the money you invest to be accessible, consider buying a 3-month CD.

The best 3-month CD rates available from banks and credit unions pay nearly 10 times the national average of 0.15 percent APY, according to Bankrate’s most recent national survey of banks and thrifts.

Top nationally available 3-month CD rates
Institution APY Minimum deposit
Crestmark Bank 1.70% $25,000
Beal Bank
1.60% $1,000
Ally Bank 1.50% $25,000
Luana Savings Bank 1.46% $25,000
Luana Savings Bank 1.41% $1,000

Today’s top nationally available 3-month CDs pay 1.7 percent APY. They could be a great place to invest for short-term financial obligations, like establishing a rainy day fund you can eventually transfer to a savings account.

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Finding the best 3-month CD rates

Comparison shopping is a must when you’re looking for the best 3-month CD rates. There are multiple types of CDs, including bump-up CDs and liquid CDs. But the top 3-month CD rates are usually found in the form of a traditional CD.

Check out the best 3-month CDs offered by banks and credit unions and weigh the pros and cons of going with a short-term certificate of deposit over an account that’s more liquid. Don’t forget to crunch the numbers and calculate how much interest you could earn by the end of your term.

Top account details

  • Crestmark Bank, which is headquartered in Troy, Michigan, was founded in 1996. The bank earned five out of five stars in Bankrate’s latest review of its financial health.
  • Beal Bank USA was established in 2004. The institution is based in Las Vegas and was formerly known as Beal Bank Nevada. The institution earned five out of five stars in Bankrate’s review of its financial health.
  • Ally Bank is an internet-only bank. Its holding company, Ally Financial, is based in Detroit. In addition to CDs, checking and savings accounts, Ally offers loans, credit cards and investment products. The bank earned five out of five stars in Bankrate’s latest review of its financial health.
  • Luana Savings Bank was founded in 1908. It’s based in Iowa, but offers CDs nationwide. Customers buying 3-month CDs can earn 1.41 percent APY for deposits of at least $1,000 and 1.46 percent APY for deposits of at least $25,000. The bank earned five out of five stars in Bankrate’s latest review of its financial health.

Consider a CD with a longer term

CDs give savers a little bit of a yield boost over savings accounts in exchange for a long-term deposit. The longer savers agree to leave their money in the bank, the higher the yield.

Investing in a 1-year CD, for example, would require you to tie up your funds for a full 12 months. But it’s possible to earn a yield as high as 2.10 percent APY.

“Money market and high-yield savings accounts typically offer higher interest rates than standard savings accounts, but normally require higher balances and may have restrictions or conditions to accessing one’s money,” says Robert Drury, executive director of the Association of Christian Financial Advisors.

“CDs normally offer higher interest than these but unconditionally obligate one’s money for a specified term,” he says.