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

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

In general, CD yields are based on interest rates set by the Federal Reserve. And those interest rates are on the rise, which means both short- and long-term CD rates have been slowly inching upward.

Here are the top nationally available 6-month CD rates. Compare these offers, then calculate how much interest you would earn when your CD matures.

Top nationally available 6-month CD rates
Institution APY Minimum to earn APY
VirtualBank 2.31% $10,000
PenFed Credit Union 2.30% $1,000
CommunityWide Federal Credit Union 2.30% $2,000
Live Oak Bank 2.30% $2,500
Colorado Federal Savings Bank 2.28% $5,000

Today’s top nationally available 6-month CDs pay 2.31 percent APY. They could be a great place to invest for short-term financial obligations, like a wedding or family vacation.

Finding the best 6-month CD rates

Rates may be creeping up, but they still remain depressed after they plummeted during the last recession. That’s why it’s important 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.

Top account details

  • Virtual Bank is an online division of Iberiabank, founded in 1887 and based in Lafayette, Louisiana. Iberiabank earned four out of five stars in Bankrate’s latest review of its financial health.
  • Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PenFed) was founded in 1935 and is based in Alexandria, Virginia. It serves members in the Armed Forces as well as employees in the Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security. Membership is open to anyone who donates to Voices for America’s Troops or the National Military Family Association. The credit union earned four out of five stars in the latest review of its financial health.
  • Communitywide Federal Credit Union is based in South Bend, Indiana. It was established in 1967 and earned five out of five stars in the latest review of its financial health. Membership requires making a $5 donation to Goodwill or the Marine Corps League and a minimum $5 deposit to open a savings account.
  • Established in 2008, Live Oak Bank is a federally insured financial institution. Supporting small business owners is part of its mission statement. It earned five out of five stars in the latest review of its financial health.
  • Colorado Federal Savings Bank was founded in 1990 as a savings institution and is based in Greenwood Village Colorado. The federally insured online-only bank earned four out of five stars in Bankrate’s latest review of its financial health.

Maximize the power of compound interest

Anyone struggling to save money could benefit from having a 6-month CD. Because you could face an early withdrawal penalty, you may be less tempted to tap into your savings prematurely.

In addition to comparing rates, pay attention to how frequently interest compounds. You’ll end up with a higher yield if you choose a bank that compounds interest daily versus one where interest compounds on a quarterly basis.