A certificate of deposit typically pays a higher yield the longer its term, which can vary from weeks to months to years.

A three-year CD, for example, frequently pays a higher rate than a three-month CD. The trade-off, of course, is that you must leave your money untouched five times longer to earn the higher annual percentage yield (APY) or face a penalty.

What is a 3-year CD?

A three-year CD is a deposit account in which you agree to keep the money in the account for three years. Yields on three-year CDs are often higher than money market account and savings account yields.

Bankrate’s calculator can help you determine how much interest you could earn when your CD matures. Your principal is protected, so you won’t have to worry about fluctuations in value, like you might when investing in the stock market. Plus, with a CD, your interest rate is locked in, so you also don’t have to worry about your yield decreasing.

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

Note: Annual percentage yields (APYs) shown are as of Nov. 15, 2022. Bankrate’s editorial team updates this information regularly, typically biweekly. APYs may have changed since they were last updated and may vary by region for some products.

*Rate not available in Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin.

Today’s top, widely available three-year CD pays 4.5 percent APY — higher than some of the best four-year CD rates. A CD that matures in three years could be a good investment for midterm financial obligations, like a down payment on a car.

A closer look at the top 3-year CD rates

Alliant Credit Union: 4.50% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit

Alliant Credit Union was founded in 1935 as the United Airlines Employees’ Credit Union. It is one of the largest credit unions in Illinois and has 600,000 members nationwide.

Alliant offers six terms of CDs with competitive APYs and a reasonable minimum deposit requirement.  It also offers IRA CDs, a high-yield savings account and a high-yield checking account.

Bread Savings: 4.50% APY, $1,500 minimum deposit

Bread Savings, formerly Comenity Direct, is an online bank that offers a high-yield savings account and five terms of CDs ranging from one year to five years.

Bread Savings is part of Comenity Capital Bank, which is a unit of Bread Financial.

Sallie Mae Bank: 4.50% APY, $2,500 minimum deposit

Sallie Mae Bank offers 11 terms of CDs, as well as a savings account and a money market account with no minimum balance requirements or monthly fees. All of these products offer competitive yields.

Sallie Mae Bank was established in 2005 and has its headquarters in Salt Lake City. In 2014, Sallie Mae became a stand-alone consumer banking business.

BMO Harris: 4.30% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit

BMO Harris offers online accounts and operates more than 500 branches in Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin. The bank is based in Chicago.

BMO Harris offers 10 CD terms ranging from three months to five years, each requiring a minimum $1,000 deposit to open. It also offers several CD specials with very competitive rates. The competitive rates offered on CDs with terms six months and longer are unavailable to residents of states where BMO has branches.

Popular Direct CDs require a minimum $10,000 deposit, making them best suited to established savers. The CDs come in terms ranging from 30 days to six years.

Popular Direct’s High-Rise savings account offers a competitive yield and requires a $5,000 minimum deposit.

First Internet Bank of Indiana: 4.28% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit

First Internet Bank of Indiana is an FDIC-insured financial institution that operates online and has no branches. It opened in 1999 and offers products 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.

Synchrony Bank: 4.26% APY, $0 minimum deposit

Synchrony Bank offers competitive CD yields across 14 terms, including 10 terms that are less than two years. An 11-month no-penalty CD and a two-year bump-up CD are also available.

The bank also offers a savings account and a money market account. The savings account features a competitive APY and has no minimum balance requirement.

Barclays: 4.15% APY; $0 minimum deposit

Barclays was founded in London more than 300 years ago. Barclays has no minimum balance requirements to open an online CD. It offers nine CD terms ranging from three months to five years. A savings account is also available.

Capital One: 4.15% APY, $0 minimum opening deposit

Capital One is an online bank that also has a brick-and-mortar presence, with around 300 branches and about 50 Capital One cafes.

It offers nine competitive terms of regular CDs. Capital One CDs and its 360 Performance Savings account don’t have minimum balance requirements. Capital One is based in McLean, Virginia.

Discover Bank: 4.15% APY; $2,500 minimum deposit to open

Few well-known banks offer 10-year CDs. One exception is Discover Bank, which offers CDs across all standard terms. The bank’s yields for its five-, seven- and 10-year CDs are the same, and they’re higher than the rates tied to the rest of its accounts.

Discover is an online bank headquartered in Greenwood, Delaware. Until August 2000, it was known as the Greenwood Trust Co., which was incorporated in 1911.

Limelight Bank – 4.10% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit

Limelight Bank is a division of Capital Community Bank, with headquarters in Provo, Utah. It offers four terms of online CDs: six months, one year, 18 months and three years. It offers no other bank accounts.

Limelight uses deposits to focus on funding eco-friendly initiatives, such as providing loans for solar projects, according to its website.

LendingClub Bank: 4.10% APY, $2,500 minimum deposit

LendingClub Bank is a digital financial company that offers personal and business banking products. It acquired Radius Bank in early 2021.

LendingClub Bank offers five terms of CDs, a high-yield savings account with a competitive yield and a checking account that earns cash back.

How to find the best 3-year CD rates

Include online banks, credit unions and other banks in your search to find the best three-year CD rates. Many savers tend to stick with the same bank that provides their checking account. But that can be a mistake, especially at large national banks, where deposit rates tend to fall well short of what some smaller institutions offer.

Opening a three-year CD might make sense for people who don’t need access to their money for at least three years. As a result, these accounts are ideal for midterm goals, like setting aside money for a car down payment. Getting a three-year CD could also be a good idea if you’re planning to build a CD ladder.

Search for the best three-year CD rates online and compare your options. If you’re looking for a higher yield, consider some of the lesser-known institutions willing to offer good interest rates to attract depositors.

3-year CD FAQs

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 deposit needed to earn that APY (or to open the CD) and whether it is broadly available. All of the accounts on this page are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) or the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).

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, Bank5 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, Citizens Bank (Rhode Island), Comerica Bank, Customers Bank, Delta Community Credit Union, Discover 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, Morgan Stanley Private Bank, Huntington National Bank, Investors Bank, Investors eAccess, KeyBank, 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.