Popular Direct’s High-Rise savings account also offers a competitive yield and requires a $5,000 minimum deposit. All Popular Direct deposit accounts are opened through Popular Bank.
Best available rates across different account types for Wednesday, October 04, 2023
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For many savers, a six-month certificate of deposit (CD) is the sweet-spot term, enabling 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 one year or more. Six months isn't a long time, but it's long enough to help put you on track toward your savings goals.
Note: Annual percentage yields (APYs) shown are as of Sept. 29, 2023. Bankrate's editorial team updates this information regularly, typically biweekly. APYs may have changed since the last update and may vary by region for some products.
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The Federal Reserve didn’t raise rates for a 12th time in the latest cycle at its September 2023 meeting. It’s unclear whether the Fed will be raising rates again in 2023. After 11 rate increases, a long-term CD might be worth considering, in this current rate environment. That can help you build a CD ladder for the long term.
But in the short term, a six-month CD can earn more than a top-yielding savings account.
Traditionally, CDs with longer maturities offer higher yields. But in this current rate environment, shorter-term CDs are proving to have the highest yields.
The national average on any deposit product is usually much lower than the highest yields available. That’s why shopping around for a competitive yield is so important.
Bankrate’s editorial team looks at around 70 banks and credit unions when it determines the top APYs. And you see top APYs from these financial institutions, which are all banks insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) and credit unions insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).
Top six-month CDs generally have higher APYs than top savings accounts. It’s possible for some CDs – especially one-year CDs and 18-month CDs – to have higher APYs than six-month CDs. But generally, two-year CDs and CDs with longer terms have lower APYs in the current rate environment.
In addition to a competitive APY, you’ll also want to consider minimum deposit requirements and early withdrawal penalties.
The advantage of a six-month CD is that you know you’ll be able to access the money in a shorter time frame. Since a CD typically has 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.
A six-month CD is great for someone who needs to keep money safe – and untouched – for a term of six months as CDs have early withdrawal penalties. This should be money that you can’t afford to lose. You might consider investing some of your money in riskier, higher-yielding investments such as stocks, provided you can afford the risk because such investments can earn much more than an FDIC- or NCUA-insured CD with a guaranteed APY. But you could also lose all of your money in an investment.
For those times when you’re unsure about when you’ll need access to your money, a high-yield savings account at an FDIC-insured bank is always a smart place for your money. Just make sure you’re within the FDIC’s guidelines and following the FDIC’s rules.
A six-month CD can be the perfect option for someone who doesn’t need the money for a period of half a year, and is tempted to spend the money. The realization that there’s an early withdrawal penalty attached to your CD might be the proper reminder to leave your money untouched, and let it earn interest.
When considering a six-month CD, compare it to other available accounts to determine when other options might be a better decision. Some alternatives to consider:
With a CD ladder, you’ll open several short- and long-term CDs with staggered maturity dates. The long-term CDs should allow you to take advantage of higher CD interest rates, while the shorter-term CDs let you either access the money sooner or reinvest into a new CD if you can find higher interest rates.
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. A six-month CD may fit into your ladder as the shortest rung. Once it matures, you can either use the funds or reinvest into a longer-term CD with a higher interest rate.
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. or the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund.
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.
These financial institutions are featured in our CD rate research: Alliant Credit Union, Ally Bank, Amerant Bank, America First Credit Union, American Express National Bank, Axos Bank, Bank5 Connect, Bank of America, Barclays, Bask Bank, BECU (Boeing Employees Credit Union), Bethpage Federal Credit Union, BMO, Bread Financial (formerly Comenity Direct), BrioDirect, Capital One Bank, Chase Bank, CIBC USA, CIT Bank, Citibank, Citizens, Citizens Bank (Rhode Island), Comerica Bank, Customers Bank, Delta Community Credit Union, Discover Bank, Emigrant Direct, Fifth Third Bank, First Citizens Bank, First Internet Bank, First Technology Federal Credit Union, FNBO Direct, Golden 1 Credit Union, Marcus by Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley Private Bank, Huntington National Bank, KeyBank, Limelight Bank, Live Oak Bank, M&T Bank, MySavingsDirect, Navy Federal Credit Union, NBKC Bank, PenFed Credit Union, PNC Bank, Popular Direct, Quontic Bank, Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union, Regions Bank, Salem Five Direct, Sallie Mae Bank, Santander Bank, SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union, Security Service Federal Credit Union, State Employees’ Credit Union, Suncoast Credit Union, Synchrony Bank, TD Bank, TIAA Bank, Truist Bank, UFB Direct, U.S. Bank, USAA Bank, Vio Bank, VyStar Credit Union, Wells Fargo and Zions Bank.