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 1.08 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
M.Y. Safra Bank 3.25% $1,000
KS StateBank 3.22% $500
Georgia Banking Company 3.15% $500
USALLIANCE Financial 3.10% $500

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.
  • 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. M.Y. Safra Bank earned three out of five stars in the latest review of its financial health.
  • 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.
  • Georgia Banking Company was founded in 2001 and is based in Atlanta. The bank earned three out of five stars in Bankrate’s latest review of its financial health.
  • USALLIANCE Financial is based in Rye, New York. It has branches in several states, including Connecticut and Massachusetts, and more than 110,000 members around the world. It earned four 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.