When you’re trying to scrape out an extra percentage point of yield here and there, a savings account may not be enough. Thankfully, there are options.

Take 3-year CDs, for instance. They offer a substantially higher risk-free yield than what savers can get from money market accounts, under the condition the depositor leaves the funds with the bank for three years.

The best 3-year CD rates available from banks and credit unions pay more than 2.5 times the national average of 1.20 percent APY, according to Bankrate’s most recent national survey of banks and thrifts.

Top nationally available 3-year CD rates
Institution APY Minimum deposit
Mountain America Credit Union 3.35% $500
Connexus Credit Union 3.35% $5,000
ableBanking 3.30% $1,000
Popular Direct 3.30% $10,000
M.Y. Safra Bank 3.26% $1,000

Today’s top nationally available 3-year CDs pay 3.35 percent APY. They could be a great place to invest for midterm financial obligations, like a down payment on a future auto loan.

Finding the best 3-year CD rates comes down to considering a wide range of options, including online banks and credit unions. While many savers tend to stick with the same bank that provides their checking account, that can be a mistake, especially at a large national bank, where deposit rates tend to fall well short of what smaller institutions offer.

Here are the top nationally available 3-year CD rates. Compare these offers, then calculate how much interest you would earn when your CD matures.

Top account details

  • Membership in Mountain America Credit Union is open to anyone who joins an association such as the American Consumer Council. The credit union, based in West Jordan, Utah was founded in the 1930s as the Salt Lake Telephone Employees Credit Union. It earned five out of five stars in Bankrate’s latest review of its financial health.
  • Connexus Credit Union was founded in 1935 to serve current and former employees of a local insurance company and their family members. Membership is open to anyone who joins the Connexus Association and makes a $5 donation. The credit union earned five out of five stars in the latest review of its financial health.
  • ableBanking is a division of Northeast Bank. Founded in 2012, the online bank is headquartered in Lewiston, Maine. Its parent company was founded in 1872 and earned five out of five stars in Bankrate’s latest review of its financial health. Whenever a customer opens an account for the first time, ableBanking makes a $25 donation to their favorite 501(c)(3) charity.
  • Popular Direct is an online division of Popular Bank, which was formerly known as Banco Popular North America or Popular Community Bank, a subsidiary of Popular Inc.
  • M.Y. Safra Bank is based in New York City. Initially established as T. Rowe Price Savings Bank, it changed its name and moved from Baltimore, Maryland in 2013. It earned three out of five stars in the latest review of its financial health.

Fine print is key

Of course, there’s more to a good CD than the rate. You’ll also want to make sure you can live with the early withdrawal penalty the bank will charge in the event you need to crack open the CD prior to maturity.

Withdrawal penalties vary widely — they may be expressed as a certain number of months’ worth of interest or as a percentage of the principal, and may be assessed on the entire principal or just the amount you’re cashing out.

Make sure to read the terms of your contract. Banks may try to slip adverse terms into the CD’s fine print that allows them to, among other things, change fees and penalties after the fact.