Meeting savings goals can be challenging. And having easy access to funds in a money market or savings account probably doesn’t help.

If you struggle to keep your hands off your savings, a 9-month CD may offer the perfect solution.

As with other CDs, there’s an early withdrawal penalty. That may be enough to keep you from touching your deposits before your maturity date.

With a 9-month CD, you’ll avoid tying up your funds for an extended period of time. What’s more, you’ll earn a higher rate of return than you would through most savings accounts or a CD with a shorter term. Calculate how much interest you could potentially earn when your CD matures.

What is a 9-month CD?

When you put your money in a CD, you agree to keep it there until the end of the CD’s term. With a 9-month CD, you leave the money in the account for nine months.

In return for locking up your money with a bank or other financial institution, they may pay you a slightly higher interest rate than you’d earn with a traditional savings or money market account.

A 9-month CD offers a few key benefits. With your rate locked in, you don’t have to worry about the bank cutting your rate until after the CD matures. If you open an account with an insured bank or credit union, your deposits are insured typically up to $250,000. This can be one way to save for short-term goals without a lot of risk.

The best 9-month CD rates for November 2019

  • NASA Federal Credit Union: 2.35% APY; $10,000 deposit to open
  • Cadets Federal Credit Union: 2.03% APY; $1,000 minimum deposit
  • TAB Bank: 2.02% APY; $1,000 minimum deposit to open
  • USALLIANCE FINANCIAL: 2.00% APY; $500 minimum deposit
  • BrioDirect: 2.00% APY; $500 deposit to open
  • Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union: 2.00% APY; $500 minimum deposit

Today’s top nationally available 9-month CDs pay 2.35 percent APY. This may be a good place to invest for short-term financial obligations, like replacing a major home appliance.

The interest rates associated with short-term CDs aren’t as good as the ones for CDs that mature in a few years or more. To earn as much interest as possible, compare the best 9-month CD rates offered by institutions online.

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Best 9-month CD rates: bank details

NASA Federal Credit Union – 2.35% APY; $10,000 deposit to open

The credit union is based in Upper Marlboro, Maryland and currently has more than 165,000 members. Membership is open to anyone who joins the National Space Society.

Cadets Federal Credit Union – 2.03% APY; $1,000 minimum deposit

The credit union was founded in 1950 by a group of small businessmen. There are two locations in the state of New York and membership today is open to anyone who joins an association like the Polish Cadets Club of Buffalo. Once you become a member, you’ll always be a member.

TAB Bank – 2.02% APY; $1,000 minimum deposit to open

The bank offers financial services to businesses in the transportation industry, and was founded in 1998. TAB Bank, also known as Transportation Alliance Bank, is based in Ogden, Utah.

USALLIANCE Financial – 2.00% APY; $500 minimum deposit

This credit union is based in Rye, New York. Membership is open to anyone who joins an organization or association like the American Consumer Council or the Rye Arts Center.

BrioDirect – 2.00% APY; $500 deposit to open

BrioDirect is an online-only bank. It’s a new division of Sterling National Bank, a subsidiary of Sterling Bancorp. In addition to CDs, BrioDirect offers a high-yield savings account with no fees and a low minimum deposit.

Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union – 2.00% APY; $500 minimum deposit

Founded in 1934, Affinity Plus is based in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Membership is open to anyone who makes a one-time $25 donation to the Affinity Plus Foundation, which supports financial education across the state.

Is a 9-month CD rate worth it?

One thing to consider as you compare 9-month CDs is whether they are worth the yield. If you withdraw money early, you’ll pay a penalty that might, in some cases, equal the amount of interest you would have earned.

When used appropriately, though, a 9-month CD can be worth it, depending on your goals. If you want a safe place to store your money while enjoying a bump in yield, and you just need it kept out of your own hands for nine months, a 9-month CD can work well.

Additionally, a 9-month CD can be a useful rung in a short-term CD ladder for more immediate goals or for an emergency fund. Before getting a 9-month CD, carefully consider your goals and needs.

Other short-term investments

Don’t forget to compare 9-month CD rates to other short-term investments. Here are some things to keep in mind.

9-month CD rate vs. 6-month CD rate

In general, you’re likely to get a slightly higher rate with a 9-month CD than with a 6-month CD. When you get a 6-month CD, you’re agreeing to keep your money in the bank or credit union for a shorter amount of time, so you end up with a lower yield.

However, there are cases when you can find 6-month CDs with yields that are similar to 9-month CD yields. If you want to be able to access your money sooner without penalty, shopping around for a 6-month CD with a similar yield makes sense.

9-month CD rate vs. 1-year CD rate

Because a 9-month CD is a shorter-term investment, you’re likely to get a lower yield with it than you would see with a 1-year CD rate. However, in some cases, the yield isn’t that much different. You might be able to get a yield that is five or 10 basis points higher with a 1-year CD, but that might not make a huge difference in how much interest you earn.

Carefully consider your goals and whether it makes sense to lock up your money for a longer period of time for such a small difference. It might be a better choice to get the 9-month CD so you have earlier access to your money.

Protect your savings

Investing in CDs isn’t as risky as playing the stock market. As long as you choose a certificate of deposit that’s federally insured, you can be certain you’ll receive a specific amount of interest at the end of your term.

Look for accounts with savings protected by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. or the National Credit Union Association.

Best 9-month CD rates, November 2019

Institution APY Minimum deposit
NASA Federal Credit Union 2.35% $10,000
Cadets Federal Credit Union 2.03% $1,000
TAB Bank 2.02% $1,000
USALLIANCE Financial 2.00% $500
BrioDirect 2.00% $500
Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union 2.00% $500

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