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 0.89 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
KS StateBank 2.85% $500
Veridian Credit Union 2.75% $1,000
MainStreet Bank 2.70% $500
Banesco USA 2.70% $1,500
First Internet Bank of Indiana 2.63% $1,000

Today’s top nationally available 3-year CDs pay 2.85 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

  • KS StateBank is headquartered in Manhattan, Kansas. The bank, which was founded in 1969, was known as the Kansas State Bank of Manhattan until 2015. In Bankrate’s latest review of its financial health, the bank earned five out of five stars.
  • Veridian Credit Union is headquartered in Waterloo, Iowa. Membership is open to anyone who registers for Dwolla, a digital payment system. In Bankrate’s latest review of the credit union’s financial health, Veridian earned five out of five stars.
  • MainStreet Bank is a community bank headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia. It was founded in 2004 and earned four out of five stars in Bankrate’s latest review of its financial health.
  • Banesco USA is a subsidiary of Banesco Banco Universal, the largest bank in Venezuela. In Bankrate’s latest review of its financial health, Banesco USA earned four out of five stars.
  • First Internet Bank of Indiana, based in Fishers, Indiana, was founded in 1999 and serves customers across the country. It earned four 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.