A certificate of deposit typically pays a higher yield the longer its term, which can vary from weeks to months to years.
A five-year CD, for example, frequently pays a higher rate than a one-year 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.
Three-year CDs strike a balance between a higher yield and a shorter term, compared to a five-year CD. Three-year CDs also typically offer higher yields than the rates paid on money market accounts. But as with most CDs, a penalty applies for withdrawals from a three-year CD before the term ends.
Summary of best 3-year CD rates for May 2022
- Highest Rate: Live Oak Bank – 2.30% APY, $2,500 minimum deposit
- High Rate: Marcus by Goldman Sachs – 2.20% APY, $500 minimum deposit
- High Rate: Security Service Federal Credit Union – 2.20% APY, $25,000 minimum deposit
- High Rate: Pentagon Federal Credit Union – 2.10% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit
- High Rate: Popular Direct – 2.10% APY, $10,000 minimum deposit
- High Rate: Bethpage Federal Credit Union – 2.00% APY, $50 minimum deposit
- High Rate: Quontic Bank – 1.95% APY, $500 minimum deposit
- High Rate: Barclays – 1.90% APY, $0.01 minimum deposit
- High Rate: Capital One – 1.90% APY, $0.01 minimum deposit
- High Rate: Synchrony Bank – 1.90% APY, $0.01 minimum deposit
- High Rate: TAB Bank – 1.85% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit
- High Rate: Bread Savings (formerly Comenity Direct) – 1.85% APY, $1,500 minimum deposit
- High Rate: Ally Bank – 1.80% APY, $0.01 minimum deposit
- High Rate: Discover Bank – 1.70% APY, $2,500 minimum deposit
- High Rate: First Internet Bank of Indiana – 1.61% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit
- High Rate: Limelight Bank – 1.60% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit
- High Rate: TIAA Bank – 1.60% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit
- High Rate: Vio Bank – 1.40% APY, $500 minimum deposit
- High Rate: Alliant Credit Union – 1.40% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit
- High Rate: American Express National Bank – 1.15% APY, $0.01 minimum deposit
- High Rate: Randolph Brooks Federal Credit Union – 1.11% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit
- High Rate: Sallie Mae Bank – 1.00% APY, $2,500 minimum deposit
Note: Annual percentage yields (APYs) shown are as of May 2, 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.
Today’s top widely available three-year CD pays 2.2 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.
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.
Bankrate’s guide to choosing the right CD rate
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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.
Compare: Best 3-year CD rates
Highest Rate: Live Oak Bank – 2.30% APY, $2,500 minimum deposit
Live Oak Bank was founded in 2008. It offers seven terms of CDs. The online bank also offers a competitive yield on its savings account. Like most online banks, Live Oak Bank’s savings account doesn’t charge a monthly service fee and has no minimum balance requirement.
Live Oak Bank is based in Wilmington, North Carolina.
High Rate: Marcus by Goldman Sachs – 2.20% APY, $500 minimum deposit
Marcus by Goldman Sachs is a brand of Goldman Sachs Bank USA. Marcus offers nine terms of regular CDs and three no-penalty CD terms. A minimum deposit of $500 is required to open any CD and earn the posted APY.
High Rate: Security Service Federal Credit Union – 2.20% APY, $25,000 minimum deposit
Security Service Federal Credit Union was founded in 1956 to serve the needs of members of the U.S. Air Force Security Service Command and their families.
Based in San Antonio, it offers CD terms ranging from three months to seven years. It also offers checking and savings accounts, mortgages, auto loans and credit cards.
High Rate: Pentagon Federal Credit Union – 2.10% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit
Pentagon Federal Credit Union was established in 1935 and is headquartered in McLean, Virginia. It has more than 2 million members.
PenFed has nine terms of CDs, ranging from six months to seven years.
High Rate: Popular Direct – 2.10% APY, $10,000 minimum deposit
Popular Direct CDs require a minimum $10,000 deposit, making them best suited to established savers. The CDs come in eight fixed terms, from three months to five years.
Popular Direct’s High-Rise savings account offers a competitive yield and requires a $5,000 minimum deposit.
High Rate: Bethpage Federal Credit Union: 2.00% APY; $50 minimum deposit to open
Bethpage Federal Credit Union is located in Bethpage, New York. It has over 400,000 members and offers nine terms of CDs. The three-month CD is the shortest term and the five-year CD is the longest term. Bethpage also offers a 39-month bump up CD.
Besides CDs, Bethpage offers checking accounts, savings accounts, loans and other financial products.
High Rate: Quontic Bank – 1.95% APY, $500 minimum deposit
Quontic Bank was established in 2005 and has its headquarters in New York. It offers five terms of CDs, ranging from six months to three years, which can be opened with as little as $500.
In addition to its CDs, Quontic Bank also offers money market, high-yield savings and checking accounts.
High Rate: Barclays – 1.90% APY, $0.01 minimum deposit
Barclays is a global bank that was founded in London more than 300 years ago. It introduced the world to the first ATM machine.
Barclays has no minimum balance requirements to open a CD online and offers nine terms, ranging from three months to 60 months.
High Rate: Capital One – 1.90% APY, $0.01 minimum deposit
Capital One is an online bank that also has a brick-and-mortar presence. It offers nine terms of regular CDs ranging from six months to 60 months. There is no minimum deposit to open a CD account.
Capital One is based in McLean, Virginia.
High Rate: Synchrony Bank – 1.90% APY, $0.01 minimum deposit
Synchrony Bank offers competitive CD yields across 12 terms. All standard CD terms typically offered by banks and credit unions are available.
If Synchrony Bank receives your CD deposit within 15 days of opening the account and the CD rate increases, you’ll receive the higher rate.
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.
High Rate: TAB Bank – 1.85% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit
TAB Bank was established in 1998 in Ogden, Utah, as a banking service inside truck stops. TAB serves businesses and individual customers.
It offers several checking accounts, a couple of savings account options, a money market account and CDs in eight terms, from six months to five years.
Highest Rate: Bread Savings (formerly Comenity Direct) – 1.85% 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.
High Rate: Ally Bank – 1.80% APY, $0.01 minimum deposit
Ally Bank is an online-only bank and has no branches. It’s headquartered in Sandy, Utah. Ally offers standard CDs in seven terms ranging from three months to five years, with no minimum deposit required to open.
Ally also has a no-penalty CD and a Raise Your Rate CD. In addition, it offers a checking account, a savings account and a money market account.
High Rate: Discover Bank – 1.70% APY, $2,500 minimum deposit
Discover Bank may be known for its credit cards, but it also offers a wide selection of other banking products, such as checking, savings and money market accounts. Discover also offers CDs ranging in terms from three months to 10 years.
High Rate: First Internet Bank of Indiana – 1.61% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit
First Internet Bank of Indiana was the first FDIC-insured financial institution to operate entirely online, according to the bank’s website. First Internet Bank of Indiana opened in 1999. It doesn’t have any branches and is available 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.
High Rate: Limelight Bank – 1.60% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit
Limelight Bank is a division of Capital Community Bank, with headquarters in Provo, Utah. It is focused on funding eco-friendly initiatives, such as providing loans for solar projects, according to its website.
Limelight Bank only offers CDs on its website.
High Rate: TIAA Bank – 1.60% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit
TIAA Bank is a division of TIAA FSB and has 10 branches, all in Florida.
TIAA offers CD terms ranging from three months to five years. It also offers a bump rate CD, which allows a one-time rate bump if rates go higher. For customers with large deposits who need FDIC coverage that exceeds the $250,000 limit, TIAA Bank offers a service that spreads money around to a network of banks to expand insurance coverage.
High Rate: Vio Bank – 1.40% APY, $500 minimum deposit
Vio Bank, established in 2018, is the national online division of MidFirst Bank, which has been an FDIC-insured bank since 1934.
Vio Bank offers 10 terms of CDs ranging from six months to 10 years. It also offers a High Yield Online Savings account and a money market account.
High Rate: Alliant Credit Union – 1.40% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit
Alliant Credit Union was founded in 1935 as United Airlines Employees’ Credit Union. Alliant offers competitive APYs with reasonable minimum balance requirements for CDs.
Alliant also offers traditional individual retirement account (IRA) CDs, Roth IRA CDs and SEP IRA CDs.
High Rate: American Express National Bank – 1.15% APY, $0.01 minimum deposit
American Express is well known for its credit cards and is a leader in the online banking sector. It also offers a competitive yield on its longer-term CDs and its savings account.
American Express offers seven terms of CDs with low minimum balance requirements, so it may be a good fit for both new and experienced savers.
High Rate: Randolph Brooks Federal Credit Union – 1.11% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit
Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union was established in 1952 and is headquartered in Live Oak, Texas. It operates in four major markets: Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Corpus Christi and San Antonio.
It offers CDs in terms ranging from six months to seven years, with a $1,000 minimum deposit.
Members are required to open a primary savings account, with a minimum deposit of $1. Accounts can be opened online or at a branch.
High Rate: Sallie Mae Bank – 1.00% APY, $2,500 minimum deposit
Sallie Mae Bank offers 11 terms of CDs, along with savings and money market accounts, credit cards and student loans.
Sallie Mae Bank offers a competitive yield on all of these deposit products.
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.
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 can be higher than the national average earned from money market accounts and savings accounts.
Bankrate’s calculator can help you determine how much interest you could earn when your CD matures. Your principal is protected, so you don’t have to worry about stock market ups and downs. Plus, with a CD, your interest rate is locked in, so you also don’t have to worry about your yield decreasing.
Who should open a 3-year CD?
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.
Can you withdraw cash early?
When putting money into CDs, it’s important to read the fine print. After all, CDs come with restrictions dictating when you can withdraw your money.
In most cases, you’re not allowed to get your cash before the CD matures. With a three-year CD, that means keeping your money in the account for three years. If you do withdraw the money, there’s a good chance you’ll have to pay a penalty.
The penalty depends on the financial institution, and can vary widely. A penalty might be expressed as a certain number of months’ worth of interest or as a percentage of the principal. In some cases, that percentage of principal might be based on the entire amount in the CD, or it might only apply to the amount you withdraw early.
If you’re unsure that you can keep your money in the account for three years, consider other options. There are no-penalty CDs that won’t charge you for taking the money out early. However, no-penalty CDs often come with lower interest rates than those on conventional CDs.
Additionally, you can choose a six-month or one-year CD, instead of getting a three-year CD. You’ll be able to access your money earlier, but you’ll earn a lower yield.
3-year CD rate vs. other CD terms
A three-year CD rate often comes with a higher interest rate than CDs with shorter terms. Also, because there are liquidity restrictions on a CD, you’ll often see a higher yield on a CD than what you’d get with a traditional savings account or money market account, though savings and money market accounts provide easier access to your money.
Also, while a three-year CD can feature a higher interest rate than shorter-term CDs and liquid savings accounts, it often has a lower yield than what you’d see if you were willing to tie up your money for a longer term. For example, you might get a higher yield on a five-year CD than what’s available for a three-year CD.
Carefully consider your needs before putting your money in a CD. Be realistic about when you might need the money, based on your short- and medium-term financial goals. Knowing your needs will help you to make a better decision about the type of account that’s best for your money.
The best 3-year CD rates for May 2022
|Financial Institution||APY||Minimum Deposit|
|Live Oak Bank||2.30%||$2,500|
|Marcus by Goldman Sachs||2.20%||$500|
|Security Service Federal Credit Union||2.20%||$25,000|
|Pentagon Federal Credit Union||2.10%||$1,000|
|Bethpage Federal Credit Union||2.00%||$50|
|Bread Savings (formerly Comenity Direct)||1.85%||$1,500|
|First Internet Bank of Indiana||1.61%||$1,000|
|Alliant Credit Union||1.40%||$1,000|
|American Express National Bank||1.15%||$0.01|
|Randolph Brooks Federal Credit Union||1.11%||$1,000|