Today’s top widely available three-month CD pays 4.05 percent annual percentage yield (APY). A three-month CD could be a great place to invest for short-term financial obligations, like establishing a rainy day fund.

Savers have many places to park their cash, but choosing between a savings account and a certificate of deposit can be difficult. A CD allows you to tuck away your money at a bank and earn fixed interest on that money until the CD matures. But because three-month CDs are short-term investments, banks tend to offer lower interest rates compared with a high-yield savings account. If you withdraw your CD before the term ends, early withdrawal penalties could eat up your interest earnings.

The top savings accounts pay more than 4 percent APY, but the average yield nationwide is much lower — 0.2 percent APY, Bankrate’s Dec. 28, 2022 survey shows. If you’re hoping to earn a higher rate of return and don’t want to tie up your money for more than a few months, a three-month CD could be a good option.

The best three-month CD rates available from banks and credit unions pay more than six times the national average, according to Bankrate’s most recent national survey of banks and thrifts.

Bankrate’s picks for the top 3-month CD rates

Note: Annual percentage yields (APYs) shown are as of Jan. 3, 2023. Bankrate’s editorial team updates this information regularly, typically biweekly. APYs may have changed since the last update and may vary by region for some products.

A closer look at the top 3-month CD rates

Popular Direct CDs are for established savers, since the CDs have a $10,000 minimum deposit requirement. The CDs have eight fixed terms, from three months to five years. Popular Direct’s High-Rise savings account offers a competitive yield and requires a $5,000 minimum deposit.

All Popular Direct deposit accounts are opened through Popular Bank.

Citibank: 3.25% APY; $500 minimum deposit

Citibank is one of the largest banks in the U.S. It offers fixed-rate CDs, a step-up CD and a no-penalty CD.

Citi CD minimum deposits may vary based on your location. The minimum is $1,000 in California and Nevada, $2,500 in Florida, Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Virginia and $500 in all other markets.

Citi also has a savings account with a competitive yield. But that account, the Citi Accelerate Savings, is only available in certain markets.

America First Federal Credit Union: 2.30% APY; $500 minimum deposit

America First Credit Union was founded in 1939 in Salt Lake City. It has CDs with terms ranging from three months to five years. The minimum opening deposit for CDs is $500.

It also offers a variety of checking and savings accounts.

Synchrony Bank: 2.25% APY; $0 minimum deposit

Synchrony Bank is an online-only bank that’s a division of Synchrony Financial, a publicly traded provider of consumer financial services, including credit cards.

Synchrony Bank offers competitive yields on CDs across 14 terms. It also has a bump-up CD and a no-penalty CD. The bank also offers a savings account and a money market account.

Bethpage Federal Credit Union: 2.25% APY; $50 minimum deposit to open

Bethpage Federal Credit Union was founded in 1941 for employees of aircraft-maker Grumman. The Bethpage, New York-based credit union has more than 400,000 members.

Bethpage FCU offers nine terms of CDs, ranging from three months to five years, along with a 39-month bump-up CD. It also offers checking and savings accounts, loans and other financial products.

First Internet Bank of Indiana: 2.02% APY; $1,000 minimum deposit to earn APY

First Internet Bank of Indiana was the first FDIC-insured financial institution to operate entirely online, according to the bank’s website. It opened in February 1999 and serves 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.

TIAA Bank: 2.00% APY; $1,000 minimum deposit

TIAA Bank is a division of TIAA FSB and has 10 branches, all in Florida.

TIAA offers CD terms ranging from three months to five years. It also offers a bump-rate CD, which allows a one-time rate bump should rates go higher. TIAA Bank offers a service for customers with deposits that exceed the FDIC insurance limit of $250,000. Funds are spread around to different federally insured banks to expand insurance coverage.

Ally Bank: 2.00% APY; $0 minimum opening deposit

Ally Bank is an online-only bank formerly known as GMAC Bank. Ally offers seven terms of CDs, a no-penalty CD and two terms of a Raise Your Rate CD.

The Sandy, Utah-based bank also offers a savings account, an interest-bearing checking account and a money market account. Ally has 2.5 million customers with deposit accounts.

SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union: 1.75% APY; $20,000 minimum deposit to earn APY

SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union was formed by school employees in 1934, during the Great Depression. Today, it has 50 branches.

SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union has CD terms ranging from 30 days to five years. CDs at this credit union have four balance tiers: $500, $20,000, $50,000 and $100,000.

Boeing Employees’ Credit Union: 1.51% 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 offered include a bump-up CD and another that allows you to add funds during the term.

Discover Bank: 1.50% 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 three months to 10 years. It also offers checking, money market and savings accounts.

How to find the best 3-month CD rates

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

Check out the best three-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.

3-month CD FAQs

  • With a CD ladder, you’ll open several short- and long-term CDs with staggered maturity dates. The long-term CDs should allow you to take advantage of higher CD interest rates, while the shorter-term CDs let you either access the money sooner or reinvest into a new CD if you can find higher interest rates.

    A three-month CD may fit into your ladder as the shortest rung. Once it matures, you can either use the funds or reinvest into a longer-term CD with a higher interest rate.
  • A three-month CD isn’t right for everyone. Check out these alternatives:

    Savings account 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 CD with a longer 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.

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: 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, Bank 5 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 Access, Citizens Bank (Rhode Island), Comerica Bank, Customers Bank, Delta Community Credit Union, Discover Bank, E-Trade 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, Huntington National Bank, Investors Bank, Investors eAccess, KeyBank, LegacyTexas Bank, 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.