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 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 three times the national average of 0.94 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
Communitywide Federal Credit Union 3.00% $2,000
Citizens Access 3.00% $5,000
PurePoint Financial 3.00% $10,000
Salem Five 3.00% $10,000
State Bank of Texas 3.00% $25,000

Today’s top nationally available 3-year CDs pay 3.00 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

  • Communitywide Federal Credit Union is based in South Bend, Indiana. It was established in 1967 and earned five out of five stars in the latest review of its financial health.
  • Citizens Access is a new online division of Citizens Bank. It’s headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island and offers competitive CD rates and a savings account. Citizens Bank earned four out of five stars in the latest review of its financial health.
  • PurePoint Financial is an online division of MUFG Union Bank, a subsidiary of one of the biggest banks in the world. MUFG Union Bank earned four out of five stars in the latest review of its financial health.
  • Salem Five is a direct bank. Its parent company is Salem Five Cents Savings Bank. Both the brick-and-mortar and online banks are currently offering CD specials. Salem Five Cents Savings Bank is based in Massachusetts and earned four out of five stars in Bankrate’s latest review of its financial health.
  • State Bank of Texas was founded in 1987 and is based in Dallas, Texas. It earned five out of five stars in Bankrate’s 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.