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 December 2020
- Navy Federal Credit Union: 0.60% APY; $1,000 minimum deposit
- Ally Bank: 0.50% APY; no minimum deposit
- SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union: 0.50% APY; $20,000 minimum deposit for APY
- Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union: 0.45% APY; $1,000 minimum deposit
- Golden 1 Credit Union: 0.35% APY; $500 minimum deposit
- Marcus by Goldman Sachs: 0.35% APY; $500 minimum deposit
- VyStar Credit Union: 0.35% APY; $500 minimum deposit
- TIAA Bank: 0.35% APY; $1,000 minimum deposit
- Synchrony Bank: 0.35% APY; $2,000 minimum deposit
Note: The APYs (Annual Percentage Yield) shown are as of Nov. 30, 2020. The APYs for some products may vary by region.
Today’s top widely available 9-month CDs pay around 0.60 percent APY. This may be a good place to invest for short-term financial obligations, like replacing a major home appliance.
Longer-term CDs may have higher APYs than 9-month CDs.
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) banks or by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUA) at National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) credit unions.
Compare: Best 9-month CD rates for December 2020
Navy Federal Credit Union: 0.60% APY; $1,000 minimum deposit to open
Navy Federal Credit Union has more than 8.8 million members and is the world’s largest credit union. It has a global network of 340 branches. Navy Federal Credit Union has its headquarters in Vienna, Virginia.
Membership at Navy Federal Credit Union is open to all Department of Defense and Coast Guard Active Duty, civilian, contract personnel, veterans and their families.
In addition to CDs, Navy Federal Credit Union also offers checking and savings accounts, loans and credit cards.
Ally Bank: 0.50% APY; no minimum deposit to open
Ally Bank is an online-only bank that has been around for a little more than 10 years. Its CDs have competitive APYs and few require a minimum deposit.
The bank offers several different types of CDs. In addition to its standard CDs, it has a Raise Your Rate CD and a no-penalty CD. The Raise Your Rate CD allows the interest rate to increase once with the two-year CD or twice with the four-year CD if the balance tier increases on your CD.
Ally Bank’s early withdrawal penalties are less harsh than those that apply at most other banks. For example, the penalty applying to CDs maturing in five years is 150 days of interest (usually it’s equal to at least 180 days of interest).
SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union: 0.50% APY; $20,000 minimum deposit for APY
SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union was formed during the Great Depression in 1934. The credit union, created by school employees, 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. The more money you put in your CD, the higher the APY.
Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union: 0.45% APY; $1,000 minimum deposit
Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union has more than 55 branches. It has at least one location in Austin, Corpus Christi and San Antonio.
Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union was established in 1952 and has its headquarters in Live Oak, Texas.
Besides its CDs, it offers a Really Free Checking account that doesn’t require a minimum balance and it doesn’t have a monthly fee.
Golden 1 Credit Union: 0.35% APY; $500 minimum deposit
Golden 1 Credit Union has one million members with its main office being located in Sacramento, Calif. Golden 1 Credit Union has 72 branches in California, and has been around since 1933. Membership to Golden 1 Credit Union is open to all Californians.
Non-Californians can join Golden 1 Credit Union if they are a registered domestic partner or family member of a member. They can also join if they’re a member of one of the select employee groups.
In addition to CDs, Golden 1 Credit Union also offers a money market account, checking and savings accounts. The credit union also has credit cards and loans.
Marcus by Goldman Sachs: 0.35% APY; $500 minimum deposit to open
Marcus by Goldman Sachs is a brand of Goldman Sachs Bank USA. Marcus offers a variety of CDs, three no-penalty CD terms and a savings account.
Marcus by Goldman Sachs offers competitive yields on its savings accounts and CDs. Savings products from Marcus are provided through Goldman Sachs Bank USA. Marcus made its debut in October 2016 with just unsecured personal loans before it began offering a savings account and CDs under the Marcus by Goldman Sachs brand in November 2017.
The online bank has a wide variety of CDs. This includes nine regular term CDs and three no-penalty CDs. Marcus added a no-penalty CD to its lineup in November 2018.
VyStar Credit Union: 0.35% APY; $500 minimum deposit to open
VyStar Credit Union was founded in 1952. It was originally called Jax Navy Federal Credit Union and it was chartered at Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, Florida.
Membership at VyStar Credit Union is open to anyone who works or lives in the 49 Florida counties or the four Georgia counties listed on its website.
VyStar Credit Union offers 10 CDs terms ranging from three months to five years. It also offers a one-year CD for Kid’s, VyTeen, Bravo and Achieve members only.
TIAA Bank: 0.35% APY; $1,000 minimum deposit to open
TIAA Bank is a division of TIAA, FSB. TIAA Bank has 10 financial centers, all located in Florida.
Besides its TIAA Bank CD, TIAA Bank also offers a Yield Pledge Checking account, a Yield Pledge Money Market and other products. TIAA Bank’s CDs require $5,000 to open one. TIAA Bank also offers IRA-eligible CDs.
Synchrony Bank: 0.35% APY; $2,000 minimum deposit
Synchrony Bank offers competitive yields across 12 terms. All standard CD terms typically offered by banks and credit unions are available. The bank also offers a savings account and a money market account. The savings account has a competitive APY and has no minimum balance requirement.
The bank is an online-only financial institution that’s part of a company that also issues credit cards. The bank’s relatively new mobile app makes it possible to transfer funds and check account balances at any time from anywhere.
9-month CD yields offered by popular banks –December 2020
- Discover Bank: 0.30% APY; $2,500 minimum deposit
- Capital One Bank: 0.20% APY; no minimum deposit
- Vio Bank: 0.20% APY; $500 minimum deposit
Discover Bank: 0.30% APY; $2,500 minimum deposit
Discover Bank may be known for its credit cards. But it also offers a wide selection of banking products. It has been offering deposit products online since 2007.
Discover Bank offers CDs ranging in terms as short as three months and up to 10 years.
It also offers a checking account, money market account and a savings account.
Capital One Bank: 0.20% APY; no minimum deposit
Capital One has both a brick-and-mortar presence and is an online bank. It offers competitive yields across nine CD terms. Capital One CDs and its 360 Performance Savings account don’t have minimum balance requirements. Its savings account earns the competitive APY on all balances.
The bank is best for consumers interested in opening an account with a full-service online bank, some physical branches and a wide network of fee-free ATMs. Capital One is based in McLean, Virginia.
Vio Bank: 0.20% APY; $500 minimum deposit
Vio Bank, established in 2018, is the national online division of MidFirst Bank.
Vio Bank offers both a High Yield Online Savings account and 10 terms of CDs. Those CDs range from the six-month CD all the way out to the 10-year CD.
Coronavirus and Your Money
The COVID-19 pandemic is deepening financial hardships for millions of Americans.
While CD rates are not likely to rise in this environment, their stability can offer some comfort to those who still have extra cash on hand. The rate on a CD stays the same during the deposit term and the account holder knows exactly when that term will end. With their locked-in interest rates, CDs are also a great choice to avoid the stock market’s ups and downs.
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, December 2020
|Institution||APY||Minimum deposit for APY|
|Navy Federal Credit Union||0.60%||$1,000|
|SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union||0.50%||$20,000|
|Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union||0.45%||$1,000|
|Golden 1 Credit Union||0.35%||$500|
|Marcus by Goldman Sachs||0.35%||$500|
|VyStar Credit Union||0.35%||$500|
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