Use this free CD calculator to find out how much interest is earned on a CD.
The longer the CD term, the higher the yield.
Generally, that’s how CDs work. But sometimes a five-year CD is too long of a term. In those cases, a three-year CD might be a happy medium between the two terms.
And these days, a three-year CD and a longer-term CD might have similar annual percentage yields (APYs).
Three-year CDs usually offer a higher yield than what savers can get from money market accounts, under the condition that you leave the funds in the CD for three years. Withdrawing the money before then will usually result in a penalty.
|Financial Institution||APY||Minimum Deposit|
|Delta Community Credit Union||1.50%||$1,000|
|Navy Federal Credit Union||1.40%||$1,000|
|SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union||1.40%||$20,000 minimum for this APY|
|First Internet Bank||1.36%||$1,000|
|Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union||1.31%||$1,000|
|Marcus by Goldman Sachs||1.30%||$500|
|Live Oak Bank||1.30%||$2,500|
Note: The APYs (Annual Percentage Yield) shown are as of May 31, 2020. Bankrate’s editorial team updates this information regularly, typically biweekly. APYs may have changed since they were last updated. The APYs for some products may vary by region.
Today’s top widely available 3-year CD pays 1.50 percent APY. That’s just as high as some of the best 4-year CD rates. A mid-term CD that matures in three years could be a great place to invest for mid-term financial obligations, like a down payment on a future auto loan.
Include online banks, credit unions and other banks in your search to find the best three-year CD APYs.
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.
Bankrate has more than four decades of experience in financial publishing, so you know you’re getting information you can trust. Bankrate was born in 1976 as “Bank Rate Monitor,” a print publisher for the banking industry and has been online since 1996. Hundreds of top publications rely on Bankrate. Outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The New York Times, CNBC and Bloomberg depend on Bankrate as the trusted source of financial rates and information.
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: annual percentage yield (APY), the minimum needed to earn that APY (or to open the CD) and whether or not it is broadly available. All of the accounts on this page are insured by Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) banks or by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUA) at National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) credit unions.
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.
Delta Community Credit Union began as the Delta Employees Credit Union in 1940. It was started by eight Delta Air Lines employees. Delta Community Credit Union has more than 400,000 members and has 26 branches in metro Atlanta and three branches outside of Georgia.
Anyone living or working in metro Atlanta and employees of more than 150 businesses are welcome at Delta Community Credit Union. Delta Air Lines, Chick-fil-A and UPS are some of the eligible businesses.
Navy Federal Credit Union has more than 8.8 million members and is the world’s largest credit union. It has a global network of 340 branches. Navy Federal Credit Union has its headquarters in Vienna, Virginia.
Membership at Navy Federal Credit Union is open to all Department of Defense and Coast Guard Active Duty, civilian, contract personnel, veterans and their families.
In addition to CDs, Navy Federal Credit Union also offers checking and savings accounts, loans and credit cards.
SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union was formed during the Great Depression in 1934. The credit union, created by school employees, has 50 branches.
SchoolsFirst serves the education community in California. Certain school employees, certain retired school employees and immediate family members of existing SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union are eligible to join.
The credit union has low minimum balances and CD terms from as short as 30 days to as long as five years. The more money you put in your CD, the higher the APY. CDs at SchoolsFirst have four balance tiers: $500, $20,000, $50,000 or $100,000. Each tier gives you an extra five basis points added to your APY.
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 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: Bank5 Connect – 1.35% APY, $500 minimum deposit
Bank5 Connect is the online-only division of BankFive. Bank5 Connect has been around since 2013.
Bank5 Connect has CDs, a savings account and a checking account. Bank5 Connect offers six terms of CDs. One of those is a 24-month investment CD, which is an add-on CD. The other five CDs range from as short as a 6-month CD to its longest CD, a 3-year CD.
Citizens Access launched in July 2018. It made its debut with a savings account and CDs. And then in November 2019 it added an 11-month liquid CD and stopped offering the six and 18-month CDs.
The bank offers a competitive yield on its CDs and savings account. All of its products require a $5,000 minimum deposit.
TIAA Bank is a division of TIAA, FSB. TIAA Bank has 10 financial centers, all located in Florida.
TIAA Bank offers a Yield Pledge Checking account, a Yield Pledge Money Market, Yield Pledge CDs and other products. TIAA Bank’s CDs require a $5,000 minimum deposit to open one. TIAA Bank also offers IRA-eligible CDs.
Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union has more than 55 branches. It has at least one location in Austin, Corpus Christi and San Antonio.
Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union was established in 1952 and has its headquarters in Live Oak, Texas.
Besides its CDs, it offers a Really Free Checking account that doesn’t require a minimum balance and it doesn’t have a monthly fee.
Marcus by Goldman Sachs is a brand of Goldman Sachs Bank USA. Marcus offers a variety of CDs, three no-penalty CD terms and a savings account. Marcus also offers lending options with its debt consolidation loans, home improvement loans and personal loans.
Marcus by Goldman Sachs offers competitive yields on its savings accounts and CDs. Savings products from Marcus are provided through Goldman Sachs Bank USA. Marcus made its debut in October 2016 with just unsecured personal loans before it began offering a savings account and CDs under the Marcus by Goldman Sachs brand in November 2017.
Ally Bank is an online-only bank that has been around for a little more than 10 years. Its CDs have competitive APYs and few require a minimum deposit to get the highest APY.
The bank offers a variety of different types of CDs. In addition to its standard CDs, it has a Raise Your Rate CD and a no-penalty CD. The Raise Your Rate CD allows the interest rate to increase once with the two-year CD or twice with the four-year CD if the balance tier increases on your CD.
Ally Bank's early withdrawal penalties are less harsh than those that apply at most other banks. For example, the penalty applying to CDs maturing in five years is 150 days of interest (usually it's equal to at least 180 days of interest).
CIT Bank is CIT’s national direct bank. CIT Bank, N.A. is a subsidiary of CIT Group Inc.
CIT Bank offers eight terms of CDs, four terms of Jumbo CDs and an 11-month no-penalty CD.
In addition to its CDs, CIT Bank offers two savings accounts and a money market account. CIT Bank also launched its eChecking account in November 2019.
Comenity Direct launched in April 2019. It's an online-only bank that is a brand of Comenity Capital Bank.
Comenity Direct offers five terms of CDs. The terms range from one year to five years. Comenity Direct also has a high-yield savings account. Unlike the Comenity Direct CDs, which have a $1,500 minimum requirement, the high-yield savings account only requires $100 to open an account.
Live Oak Bank is an online bank continuing to offer competitive yields. Though the minimum deposit may be slightly steep for new savers without much money to lock up, it’s still accessible to others looking for a safe place to park their short-term funds.
In addition to CDs, the bank offers a high-yield savings account with no monthly maintenance fees and interest that compounds daily. Established in 2008, Live Oak Bank is a federally-insured financial institution. Supporting small business owners is part of its mission statement.
The COVID-19 pandemic is deepening financial hardships for millions of Americans.
While CD rates are not likely to rise in this environment, their stability can offer some comfort to those who still have extra cash on hand. The rate on a CD stays the same during the deposit term and the account holder knows exactly when that term will end. With their locked-in interest rates, CDs are also a great choice to avoid the stock market’s ups and downs.
A 3-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.
Opening a 3-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 mid-term goals, like setting aside money for a car down payment. Getting a 3-year CD could also be a good idea if you’re planning to build a CD ladder.
Search for the best 3-year CD rates online and compare your options. Don’t just stick with your current bank or credit union. If you’re looking for a higher yield, consider some of the lesser-known institutions willing to offer good interest rates to attract depositors.
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 3-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 6-month or 1-year CD, instead of getting a 3-year CD. You’ll be able to access your money earlier, but you’ll earn a lower yield.
When choosing a CD term, it’s important to understand the implications of your decision. In general, the longer you’re willing to tie up your money, the higher your yield. So, a 3-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. Both of these accounts allow you easier access to your money than a CD — and might not have the same yield.
On the other hand, while a 3-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 your money up for a longer term.
For example, you might get a higher yield on a 5-year CD than what’s available for a 3-year CD. The same is true of a 6-year, 7-year or 10-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. When you have an idea of your true needs, you’re more likely to make a better decision about the type of account that’s best for your money.
Use this free CD calculator to find out how much interest is earned on a CD.
Find out how to maximize returns on your CD with CD laddering.
Find out if you are you on track to reachings your investment goal?
Use this simple savings calculator to estimate your investment growth over time.