Best 4-year CD rates — September 2021

1
Ruben Earth/Getty Images
Bankrate Logo

Why you can trust Bankrate

While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here's an explanation for .

The top 4-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 your consideration.

Finding the best 4-year CD rates will require some research. Comparing deals offered by online financial institutions is a good place to start. The best 4-year CDs pay about three times the national average of 0.26 percent APY, according to Bankrate’s most recent national survey of banks and thrifts.

Today’s top widely available 4-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.

As you compare rates, pay attention to details. 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

Why you can trust Bankrate

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.

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 (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 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 September 2021

Note: The APYs (Annual Percentage Yields) shown are as of Aug. 27, 2021. The APYs for some products may vary by region.

These are the top widely available 4-year CD rates. Evaluate the offers, then calculate how much interest you would earn when your CD matures.

Best 4-year CD rates for September 2021

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

VyStar Credit Union was founded in 1952. It was originally called Jax Navy Federal Credit Union and was chartered at Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, Florida.

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

VyStar Credit Union offers 10 CD terms ranging from three months to five years. It also offers a one-year CD for 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. Suncoast Credit Union now has 69 branches and has more than 967,000 members.

Suncoast Credit Union is the eighth-largest credit union in the U.S. based on membership. It is also the 10th-largest based on assets. People who attend school, live, work or worship in a county in Florida that Suncoast Credit Union serves are welcome to join.

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

First Internet Bank of Indiana was the first state-chartered, 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.

Comenity Direct: 0.85% APY; $1,500 minimum deposit

Comenity Direct launched in April 2019 and is a brand of Comenity Capital Bank, which has been around for over 30 years. It’s an online-only bank that offers high-yield savings products and CDs.

Comenity Direct offers five terms of CDs. It is a bank that backs many branded credit cards.

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

SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union was formed during the Great Depression in 1934. Created by school employees, the credit union has 68 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 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. The more money you put in your CD, the higher the APY. CDs at SchoolsFirst have four balance tiers: $500, $20,000, $50,000 and $100,000.

Synchrony Bank: 0.75% APY; $0 minimum deposit

Synchrony Bank offers competitive 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 a 15-day period and the CD rate increases during that time, you’ll receive the higher rate.

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

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

Golden 1 Credit Union was established in 1933. Its headquarters is in Sacramento, California. Golden 1 has 1 million members. It has 72 branches in California. Membership is open to all Californians.

People who do not live in 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 one of the select employee groups.

In addition to CDs, Golden 1 Credit Union offers a money market account, checking and savings accounts. The credit union also issues credit cards and loans.

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

Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PenFed) was established in 1935. It has more than 2 million members and has its main office in McLean, Virginia.

PenFed has nine terms of CDs. They range from a six-month CD to a seven-year CD.

TIAA Bank: 0.75% APY; $1,000 minimum deposit

TIAA Bank is a division of TIAA, FSB. TIAA Bank has nine financial centers, all located 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. TIAA Bank has a service called CDARS (Certificate of Deposit Account Registry Service) for customers with high deposits who need expanded FDIC insurance coverage.

Who is a 4-year CD good for?

A 4-year CD is good for someone who wants to earn a certain amount of money. This is a product to consider if this is intermediate-term money that you don’t want exposed to volatility. Money invested in the stock market would be an example of funds that are subject to market volatility and uncertainty – and a possible risk of principal.

So, a 4-year CD can be a good option if you value safety and don’t want surprises – since you’ll earn a fixed APY. Your CD is protected if it’s with an FDIC-insured bank or an NCUA credit union. FDIC banks and NCUA credit unions are both backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. But there are limits to the 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 4-year CD if you have money that you’re looking to grow for more than four years. Generally, if you withdraw your money from the CD before the CD matures in four years, you’ll incur an early withdrawal penalty. If applicable, this will take away from your interest earnings.

A 4-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 September 2021

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

Live Oak Bank was founded in 2008 and has its headquarters in Wilmington, North Carolina. An online bank, Live Oak offers seven terms of CDs.
Live Oak also offers a competitive yield on its savings account. Like most online banks, its online savings account doesn’t have a monthly service fee. Live Oak also doesn’t require you to keep a minimum balance.

Capital One: 0.65% APY; $0 minimum deposit

Capital One is an online bank that also has a brick-and-mortar presence. It is based in McLean, Virginia.
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. This includes nine regular term CDs and three no-penalty CDs.

Discover Bank: 0.55% APY; $2,500 minimum deposit

Discover Bank offers a wide selection of banking products. It has been offering deposit products online since 2007.

This includes 12 CD terms, a money market account, a savings account and a checking account.

Its 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 the online banking space.

American Express is an old, 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 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. It also has a checking account and savings accounts. CIT Bank’s term CDs and its no-penalty CD all require $1,000 to open a CD.

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 4-year CD could help you diversify some of your savings/investments.

Cons of a 4-year CD

  • A 4-year CD may be long-term for a CD at this point, especially if you open one now and APYs start increasing.
  • If you need to make an early withdrawal, you will incur a penalty.
  • A 4-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 while 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 4-year CD, consider looking for a deal that isn’t too expensive to exit, especially if you may decide to 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 September 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
Comenity Direct 0.85% $1,500
SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union 0.85% $20,000
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