Best 6-month CD rates — October 2021

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For many savers, a six-month certificate of deposit is the sweet spot, allowing them to tuck away money long enough to earn a higher rate while still providing a shorter withdrawal horizon than CDs that require a commitment of a year or more.

If you want to know how much interest you could earn on a six-month CD, try Bankrate’s calculator, which is designed to help you estimate potential earnings. Six months may not be a long time, but it can be useful when it comes to staying on track with your savings goals or setting up an emergency savings ladder.

Summary of Best 6-Month CD Rates October 2021

Bank APY Minimum deposit for APY
Quontic Bank 0.55% $500
First Internet Bank of Indiana 0.45% $1,000
Limelight Bank 0.45% $1,000
Navy Federal Credit Union 0.45% $1,000
Bethpage Federal Credit Union 0.40% $50
Pentagon Federal Credit Union 0.40% $1,000
TAB Bank 0.40% $1,000
TIAA Bank 0.40% $1,000
Bank5 Connect 0.35% $500
Delta Community Credit Union 0.35% $1,000
EmigrantDirect 0.35% $1,000
SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union 0.35% $20,000

Note: The annual percentage yields (APYs) shown are as of Oct. 12, 2021. The rates for some products may vary by region.

Above are the top widely available six-month CD rates. Compare these offers, then calculate how much interest you would earn when your CD matures.

Savers looking to get a little extra boost and lock in a yield for a set period of time often consider certificates of deposit. A CD can help you work toward your savings goals, whether they’re long-term or short-term.

CD yields tend to follow the path of Treasurys and may be impacted by Federal Reserve actions. However, once you lock in a yield, you can expect it to be consistent for the entire term of the CD — even if rates fall.

Here’s what you need to know about using a six-month CD to your advantage.

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 (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) or by 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.

Top banks offering 6-month CD rates for October 2021

Quontic Bank: 0.55% APY, $500 minimum deposit to open

Quontic Bank is an online bank that offers four terms of CDs: six months and one, two and three years. All CDs require a minimum of $500 to open.

Quontic Bank also offers a high-yield savings account and money market account. Both pay competitive yields and have low minimum opening deposits.

First Internet Bank of Indiana: 0.45% 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. It opened in February 1999, and its products are 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.

Limelight Bank: 0.45% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit

Limelight Bank is a division of Capital Community Bank. It has its headquarters in Provo, Utah.

Limelight Bank offers CDs only on its website and requires a minimum deposit of $1,000 on all four of its CD terms. You’ll have to look elsewhere if you’re seeking a CD with a term of longer than three years.

Navy Federal Credit Union: 0.45% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit

Navy Federal Credit Union has nearly 11 million members and is the world’s largest credit union. It has a global network of more than 340 branches and is headquartered in Vienna, Virginia.

Membership at Navy Federal Credit Union is open to active duty members of all branches of the armed forces, veterans and their families, as well as Department of Defense civilian and contract employees.

In addition to CDs, Navy Federal Credit Union also offers checking and savings accounts, loans and credit cards.

Bethpage Federal Credit Union: 0.40% APY, $50 minimum deposit

Bethpage Federal Credit Union was founded in 1941 for people working at Grumman.

Bethpage Federal Credit Union is located in Bethpage, New York, and has more than 400,000 members. It offers nine standard CDs, with terms from three months to five years. Bethpage also offers a 39-month bump-up CD.

Besides CDs, Bethpage offers checking accounts, savings accounts, loans, credit cards and other financial products.

Pentagon Federal Credit Union: 0.40% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit

Pentagon Federal Credit Union 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, ranging from six months to seven years.

TAB Bank: 0.40% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit

TAB Bank was established in 1998 in Ogden, Utah, as a banking service inside truck stops. TAB (Transportation Alliance Bank) serves businesses and individual customers.

It offers CDs in eight terms, from six months to five years, as well as several checking accounts, a couple of savings account options and a money market account.

TIAA Bank: 0.40% 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. 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.

Bank5 Connect: 0.35% APY, $500 minimum deposit

Bank5 Connect is an online division of BankFive, which has a history dating to 1855. Bank5 Connect was established in 2013.

Bank5 Connect offers CDs, a savings account and a checking account. In addition, it is a member of the Depositors Insurance Fund (DIF), which allows savers with deposits in excess of $250,000 to insure all of their money.

Delta Community Credit Union: 0.35% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit

Delta Community Credit Union was started by eight Delta Air Lines employees in 1940 and began as Delta Employees Credit Union. Delta Community Credit Union has more than 450,000 members and 30 branches, including 27 in metro Atlanta and three branches outside of Georgia.

Anyone living or working in metro Atlanta and employees of more than 140 businesses are welcome at Delta Community Credit Union. Delta Air Lines, Chick-fil-A and UPS are some of the eligible businesses.

EmigrantDirect: 0.35% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit

EmigrantDirect is a division of Emigrant Bank and offers CDs with terms ranging from six months to 10 years. All require a $1,000 minimum deposit.

On the savings side, EmigrantDirect offers its American Dream Savings Account, which has no fees or service charges.

SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union: 0.35% APY, $20,000 minimum deposit for APY

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

SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union has low minimum balances and CD terms from as short as 30 days to as long as five years. CDs at this credit union have four balance tiers: $500, $20,000, $50,000 or $100,000.

Finding the best 6-month CD rates

To find the best 6-month CD rates, savers need to answer two questions:

  • How much yield can I reasonably expect to earn?
  • In which direction are interest rates headed?

Rates are low now. If you’re looking for a short-term CD, it’s best to shop around for the best CD rates.

The lower the CD term length, the less interest you can expect to earn. To find the best 6-month CD rates, evaluate offers from online banks and credit unions. Try to avoid accounts with high fees and minimum deposit requirements.

6-month CD FAQs

Who should open a 6-month CD?

Six months is one of the shortest terms available for savers interested in CDs. It’s a product that’s best for consumers with specific short-term goals who are looking for a temporary place to keep money that will be used soon for a specific purpose, like funds for an upcoming wedding, vacation or home down payment. A six-month CD could also be a place to keep cash that you’re hoping to put into a riskier investment vehicle.

The longer the term of your CD, the higher the yield you’ll likely earn. That means six-month CD yields are typically relatively low. Consider whether it makes more sense to keep your money in a more liquid account, like a savings or money market account. That way, you won’t run the risk of losing interest if you need the money you stashed away before the six-month time clock runs out.

Comparing 6-month CDs vs. other savings vehicles

When considering a six-month CD, compare it to other available accounts to determine when other options might be a better decision.

6-month CD vs. savings account

Because you’re willing to keep your money in a CD for a set period of time, you usually end up with a higher rate with a CD than a savings account.

However, savings accounts are more accessible. With a savings account, you won’t face the early withdrawal penalties like you do if you tap your six-month CD before it matures.

6-month CD vs. money market account

There’s a good chance you’ll get a better yield on a six-month CD than with a money market account. So, if you’re looking for a better yield in a safe account, it can make sense to use a CD instead of a money market account.

On the other hand, a money market account is much more accessible than a six-month CD. You might even be able to use a debit card to access the funds in the money market account — something you can’t do with a CD.

6-month CD vs. 1-year CD vs. 5-year CD

Better yields are generally available on CDs with longer maturities. So, if you’re willing to lock up your money for a year — or even up to five years — you could receive a better rate.

However, the advantage of a six-month CD is that you know you’ll be able to access the money in a shorter time frame. Because a CD typically comes with an early withdrawal penalty, you have to be willing to keep your money in the CD until the end of the term or lose out on some of the interest earnings.

How to make the most of a 6-month CD

A six-month CD works well with short-term savings goals. If you want to set money aside for a specific purpose, but you’re worried that you’ll be tempted to tap into the funds, a six-month CD can help make the money harder to get to. You can keep the money safe in an FDIC-insured (or NCUA-insured) account until it’s needed.

You can also make use of a six-month CD in an emergency fund ladder. By setting up a CD ladder that includes shorter-term CDs, it’s possible to take advantage of slightly higher yields while knowing that a portion of your money will be available for unexpected expenses in the near future.

Maximize the power of compound interest

Anyone struggling to save money could benefit from having a six-month CD. Because you could face an early withdrawal penalty, you may be less tempted to tap into your savings prematurely.

Annual percentage yield, or APY, includes the effect of compounding. It’s the interest earned on your initial deposit in addition to the interest earned on top of other interest earnings.

Things to keep in mind with a 6-month CD

Before you get a six-month CD, it’s important to understand the potential drawbacks. The early withdrawal penalty is probably the biggest issue. If you access your funds before the six months are up, you’ll pay a penalty.

Plus, the yield often isn’t much higher on a six-month CD than you’d see with a traditional savings account. Shop around for the highest rates, but you might need to meet high deposit minimums in order to take advantage of the best yields.

Recap: Best 6-month CD rates

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Written by
Libby Wells
Contributing writer
Libby Wells is a contributor covering banking and deposit products. She has more than 30 years’ experience as a writer and editor for newspapers, magazines and online publications.
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