Best 4-year CD rates — October 2021

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The top four-year CDs have something in common: They offer savers a higher yield than savings accounts and money market accounts. Combine that with a guaranteed rate of return and safety (when you choose a federally insured account) and these investments may be worth considering.

Finding the best four-year CD rates requires some research. Start by comparing deals offered by online financial institutions. The best four-year CDs pay about three times the national average of 0.26 percent annual percentage yield (APY), according to Bankrate’s most recent national survey of banks and thrifts.

Today’s top widely available four-year CD pays 0.9 percent APY, which may be a good way to invest for a long-term financial obligation, like starting a business.

An account that doesn’t require you to fork over too much money upfront is ideal. Look for offers that don’t force you to jump through extra hoops — such as opening a new checking account — before you can open a CD.

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: annual percentage yield, 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 the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) or by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF).

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.

Best 4-year CD rates for October 2021

Note: The annual percentage yields (APYs) shown are as of Oct. 13, 2021. The APYs for some products may vary by region.

These are the top widely available four-year CD rates. Evaluate the offers, then calculate how much interest you would earn when your CD matures.

Best 4-year CD rates for October 2021

VyStar Credit Union: 0.90% APY; $500 minimum deposit

VyStar Credit Union was founded in 1952 as Jax Navy Federal Credit Union and was chartered at Naval Air Station Jacksonville in Florida.

Membership at VyStar Credit Union is open to anyone who works or lives in the 49 Florida or 10 Georgia counties listed on its website.

VyStar Credit Union offers 10 CDs terms ranging from three months to five years. It also offers a one-year CD to its Kid’s, VyTeen, Bravo and Achieve members only.

Suncoast Credit Union: 0.85% APY; $500 minimum deposit

Suncoast Credit Union was started in 1934 as Hillsborough County Teachers Credit Union. It has 76 branches and more than 974,000 members.

Suncoast Credit Union is the eighth-largest credit union in the U.S. based on membership and the 10th-largest based on assets. People who attend school, live, work or worship in a Florida county served by Suncoast Credit Union can join.

First Internet Bank of Indiana: 0.85% APY; $1,000 minimum deposit

First Internet Bank of Indiana opened in February 1999 and was the first FDIC-insured financial institution to operate entirely online, according to the bank’s website. Its products are available in all 50 U.S. 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.

SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union: 0.85% APY; $20,000 minimum deposit for this APY

SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union was formed by school employees in 1934, during the Great Depression, and today has 50 branches.

Active and retired school employees and immediate family members of existing SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union members 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. CDs at SchoolsFirst have four balance tiers: $500, $20,000, $50,000 or $100,000.

Comenity Direct: 0.80% APY; $1,500 minimum deposit

Comenity Direct, launched in April 2019, is an online-only bank that offers high-yield savings products and five terms of CDs.

Comenity Direct is a brand of Comenity Capital Bank, the company behind many popular branded credit cards.

Synchrony Bank: 0.75% APY; $0 minimum deposit

Synchrony Bank offers competitive yields across 12 CD terms. If Synchrony Bank receives your CD deposit within 15 days after the account is opened and the rate increases, you’ll receive the higher rate.

The bank also offers savings and money market accounts. The savings account offers a competitive APY and has no minimum balance requirement.

Golden 1 Credit Union: 0.75% APY; $500 minimum deposit

Golden 1 Credit Union has over 1 million members and operates 72 branches. Its main office is located in Sacramento, California, and membership is open to all Californians.

Customers outside California can join Golden 1 Credit Union if they are a registered domestic partner or family member of a member. They can also join if they’re a member of a select employee group.

In addition to CDs, Golden 1 Credit Union offers money market, checking and savings accounts, as well as credit cards and loans.

Pentagon Federal Credit Union: 0.75% APY; $1,000 minimum deposit

Pentagon Federal Credit Union was established in 1935. It has more than 2 million members and is based in McLean, Virginia.

PenFed has nine terms of CDs, ranging from six months to seven years.

TIAA Bank: 0.75% 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 expanded FDIC insurance coverage, TIAA Bank offers a service that allows it to insure more than FDIC limits by spreading money around to a network of banks.

Who is a 4-year CD good for?

A four-year CD offers a fixed rate of return and can be a solid option for consumers who value safety and don’t want surprises, unlike money invested in stocks, which is subject to market volatility and possible loss of principal. Your CD is protected if it’s with an FDIC-insured bank or an NCUA credit union, which are both backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. But there are limits to the amount of insurance. Each depositor at an FDIC bank is insured up to $250,000 per insured bank, per account category. The standard share insurance amount at an NCUA credit union is $250,000 per share owner, per insured credit union, for each ownership category.

Why get a 4-year CD?

Consider a four-year CD if you have money that you’re looking to grow for at least four years. Generally, if you withdraw your money from the CD before the CD matures, you’ll likely incur an early withdrawal penalty.

A four-year CD could be a good choice for those looking for a higher APY than they might otherwise earn in a savings account or money market account, particularly in an environment in which APYs are stagnant or decreasing.

4-year CD yields offered by popular banks for October 2021

Live Oak Bank: 0.70% APY; $2,500 minimum deposit

Live Oak Bank is an online bank founded in 2008 and based in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Live Oak offers seven terms of CDs and also offers a competitive yield on its savings account. Like most online banks, its online savings account doesn’t have a monthly service fee and no minimum balance is required.

Capital One: 0.65% APY; $0 minimum deposit

Capital One is an online bank based in McLean, Virginia, that also has branches.

Capital One offers nine competitive terms of regular CDs. Capital One’s CDs and 360 Performance Savings account don’t have minimum balance requirements.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs: 0.65% APY; $500 minimum deposit

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. If Marcus receives your CD deposit within a 10-day period and the CD rate increases during that time, you’ll receive the higher rate.

The online bank has a wide variety of CDs, including nine regular term CDs and three no-penalty CDs.

Discover Bank: 0.65% APY; $2,500 minimum deposit

Discover Bank offers a wide selection of banking products. It has been offering deposit products online since 2007. They include 12 CD terms, a money market account, savings account and checking account.

Discover Bank’s products tend to offer competitive APYs.

American Express National Bank: 0.50% APY; $0 minimum deposit

American Express National Bank is well-known for its credit cards and is one of the leaders in online banking.

American Express is an established brand that offers seven terms of CDs, from six months to five years. Some CD yields are competitive and there are no minimum balance requirements.

CIT Bank: 0.50% APY; $1,000 minimum deposit

CIT Bank is a subsidiary of CIT Group Inc. It offers eight terms of CDs, four terms for jumbo CDs and an 11-month no-penalty CD. Each requires $1,000 to open. CIT Bank also offers checking and savings accounts.

Pros and cons of a 4-year CD

Pros of a 4-year CD

  • Earn a fixed APY.
  • If your account is insured by the FDIC or the NCUSIF — and you’re within the previously mentioned insurance guidelines — your money will be backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government.
  • If APYs end up decreasing, you’d be locked in for the next few years.
  • A four-year CD could help you diversify some of your savings/investments.

Cons of a 4-year CD

  • If rates start increasing, the funds in a four-year CD may return less interest than you might otherwise be able to earn.
  • If you need to make an early withdrawal, you’re subject to a penalty.
  • A four-year CD might not keep up with inflation over time, causing your money to lose purchasing power.

Factor in flexibility

The Federal Reserve has lowered interest rates to historic lows, and though rates are not expected to rise in the near future, they are expected to increase longer term.

A typical CD has an early withdrawal penalty. If your investment strategy calls for putting your money into a four-year CD, consider looking for one with a manageable fee, especially if you think you may close your account before it matures. Another option is to look for institutions giving savers a one-time rate increase over the course of their terms.

The best 4-year CD rates for October 2021

Institution APY Minimum deposit for APY
VyStar Credit Union 0.90% $500
Suncoast Credit Union 0.85% $500
First Internet Bank of Indiana 0.85% $1,000
SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union 0.85% $20,000
Comenity Direct 0.80% $1,500
Synchrony Bank 0.75% $0
Golden 1 Credit Union 0.75% $500
Pentagon Federal Credit Union 0.75% $1,000
TIAA Bank 0.75% $1,000

Learn more about other CD terms:

Learn more about CDs:

 

Written by
Matthew Goldberg
Consumer banking reporter
Matthew Goldberg is a consumer banking reporter at Bankrate. Matthew has been in financial services for more than a decade, in banking and insurance.
Edited by
Wealth editor
Reviewed by
Professor of finance, Creighton University