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, use Bankrate’s CD calculator, which is designed to help you estimate potential earnings. Six months isn’t a long time, but it’s enough to help put you on track toward your savings goals.

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 picks for top 6-month CD rates

Note: Annual percentage yields (APYs) shown are as of Jan. 17, 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.

A closer look at top 6-month CD rates

Popular Direct: 4.50% APY, $10,000 minimum deposit

Popular Direct CDs are for established savers, since the CDs have a $10,000 minimum deposit requirement. The CDs come in eight fixed terms ranging from three months to five years.

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.

First Internet Bank of Indiana: 4.39% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit

First Internet Bank of Indiana is an FDIC-insured financial institution that operates online and has no branches. It opened in 1999 and offers products 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.

Live Oak Bank: 4.35% APY, $2,500 minimum deposit to open

Live Oak Bank offers seven terms of CDs, ranging from six months to five years.

The Wilmington, North Carolina-based bank also has a savings account that pays a competitive yield.

Bask Bank: 4.30% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit

Bask Bank began offering CDs in 2022, and its four CD terms range from six months to two years. The bank also offers a savings account with a competitive APY and another savings account that earns American Airlines miles.

Bask Bank has been around since 2020 and is a division of Texas Capital Bank.

CIT Bank: 4.15% APY; $1,000 minimum deposit

CIT Bank, an online bank, became a subsidiary of First Citizens Bank following the completion of a merger in January 2022. CIT Bank offers eight terms of regular CDs and four terms of jumbo CDs, as well as an 11-month no-penalty CD.

CIT Bank also offers savings and money market accounts.

Bethpage Federal Credit Union: 4.00% APY, $50 minimum deposit

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

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

Vio Bank: 4.00% APY; $500 minimum deposit to open

Vio Bank is an online-only bank that is a division of MidFirst Bank, based in Oklahoma City. It offers CDs and a high-yield savings account with competitive rates. CD terms range from six months to 10 years.

Synchrony Bank: 3.90% APY, $0 minimum deposit

Synchrony Bank offers competitive yields across 14 terms ranging from three months to five years. It also offers an 11-month no-penalty CD and a 24-month bump-up CD.

Synchrony offers a savings account with a competitive APY and no minimum balance requirement and a money market account.

Bank5 Connect: 3.80% APY, $500 minimum deposit

Bank5 Connect is an online division of BankFive, a community bank in Massachusetts that dates back to 1855.

Bank5 Connect offers six terms of CDs, a savings account and a checking account. It is a member of the Depositors Insurance Fund (DIF), which protects savers whose deposits exceed the $250,000 insurance limit of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC).

Marcus by Goldman Sachs: 3.75% APY, $500 minimum deposit

Marcus by Goldman Sachs is the online consumer banking unit of Goldman Sachs Bank USA. Marcus offers nine terms of fixed-rate CDs, ranging from six months to six years, with competitive rates. It also has three no-penalty CD terms.

Marcus also offers a savings account that pays a competitive yield.

Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union: 3.55% APY; $1,000 minimum deposit

Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union is headquartered in Live Oak, Texas, and operates more than 60 branches serving four major markets in the state: Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas-Fort Worth and San Antonio. It has more than 1 million members.

Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union has CDs with terms ranging from six months to seven years. It also offers a Really Free Checking account that requires no minimum balance and charges no monthly fee.

How to find the best 6-month CD rates

To find the best six-month CD rates, savers should ask: How much yield can I reasonably expect to earn, and in which direction are interest rates headed?

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. The shorter the length of the CD term, the less interest you can expect to earn. To find the best six-month CD rates, evaluate offers from online banks and credit unions.

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. Avoid accounts with high fees and minimum deposit requirements. 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.

6-month CD FAQs

  • 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 to be used soon for a specific purpose, like a wedding, vacation or down payment on a home. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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:

    Savings accounts

    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.

    Money market accounts

    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.

Bankrate’s methodology for choosing the 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. 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.

Banks we monitor

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, Bank of the West, Barclays, Bask Bank, BB&T, BECU (Boeing Employees Credit Union), Bethpage Federal Credit Union, BMO Harris Bank, Bread Savings (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, Investors Bank, Investors eAccess, KeyBank, Limelight Bank, Live Oak Bank, M&T Bank, MySavingsDirect, Navy Federal Credit Union, NBKC Bank, PenFed Credit Union, PNC Bank, Popular Direct, PurePoint Financial, 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, Suntrust Bank, Synchrony Bank, TD Bank, TIAA Bank, UFB Direct, Union Bank (California), U.S. Bank, USAA Bank, Vio Bank, VyStar Credit Union, Wells Fargo and Zions Bank.