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Top CD rates today: May 16, 2024 | High APYs won't last forever

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Key takeaways

  • Today's leading CD rate across terms is 5.36% APY, offered for a one-year CD.
  • In addition to choosing a CD based on APY, consider the minimum deposit requirement.
  • The best rates on most terms are more than triple the national average yields, so it pays to shop around.

Like a savings account, a certificate of deposit (CD) is an account where you can stash some of your savings, usually risk free, and earn a nominal amount of interest. A CD differs in that it offers a fixed interest rate for the duration of its term; if you enroll in a CD before interest rates fall, your CD’s rate remains the same for its term. What’s more, a CD rate can be higher than the rate on a standard savings account, although a CD usually requires that you commit your cash for the entire term, with early withdrawals resulting in a penalty.

For today, the leading APY across CD terms is 5.36 percent, which is offered on a one-year CD from CIBC Bank USA. A $1,000 minimum deposit is required. You’ll find that many shorter terms are earning higher yields than longer ones in the current rate environment.

Bankrate monitors CD rates every weekday, and today’s top rates are listed in the table below, along with national average rates and the amount you’ll earn with $5,000 in a high-yield CD.

Today's top CD rates by term

CD term Institution offering top APY Highest APY National average APY Estimated earnings on $5,000 with top APY
3-month Popular Direct 5.30% 1.21% $65
6-month Popular Direct 5.30% 1.69% $131
9-month Forbright Bank 5.30% N/A $197
1-year CIBC Bank USA 5.36% 1.77% $268
18-month TAB Bank 5.00% 1.85% $380
2-year TAB Bank 4.80% 1.50% $492
3-year First Internet Bank of Indiana 4.61% 1.39% $724
4-year First Internet Bank of Indiana 4.45% 1.50% $951
5-year First Internet Bank of Indiana 4.50% 1.40% $1,231

Note: Annual percentage yields (APYs) shown are as of May 16, 2024. APYs for some products may vary by region.

N/A: Not available; Bankrate doesn’t track national averages for the 9-month CD term due to limited available data. Estimated earnings are based on the highest APYs and assume interest is compounded annually.

 

Why should I put money in a CD?

A CD may be right for you if you already have an adequate emergency fund in a liquid savings account, because a CD requires that you lock in your funds for the entire term, be it as short as three months or as long as five years, even more. Putting money that’s not needed for emergencies into a CD can benefit you because you’ll often find higher rates on competitive CDs than those offered on high-yield savings accounts.

In reporting which CDs offer the highest APYs, Bankrate focuses mainly on CDs that are widely available. As such, banks or credit unions are usually ruled out that only offer their products to residents of a small geographic area. Also typically excluded are CDs that require customers to have additional accounts with a bank in order to qualify for the high rate.

What the current rate environment means for CDs

In 2022 and 2023, the Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rate a total of 11 times, bringing its current target range to a 23-year high of 5.25-5.50 percent. However, the Fed has left rates unchanged for six straight meetings, due to inflation not slowing as quickly as it has in the past.

Yields on competitive savings accounts and CDs tend to move in lockstep with the Fed’s interest rate moves. As such, many banks increase their yields when the Fed raises rates, and they lower yields when the federal funds rate drops. While the Fed has held rates steady since July 2023, top CD APYs ended up peaking in late 2023 and have since been decreasing gradually.

Is it still a good time to open a CD? “Even though CD yields have pulled back a bit, you’re still able to lock in yields that are well in excess of inflation and do so for multiple years,” says Greg McBride, CFA, Bankrate’s chief financial analyst. “The declines will likely accelerate as we get closer to the Fed beginning to cut interest rates, so there is no sense in waiting.”

CD FAQs

Research methodology

Bankrate calculates and reports the national average APYs for various CD terms. Factored into national average rates are the competitive APYs commonly offered by online banks, along with the very low rates often found at large brick-and-mortar banks.

In June 2023, Bankrate updated its methodology that determines the national average CD rates. For the process, more than 500 banks and credit unions are now surveyed each week to generate the national averages. Among these institutions are those that are broadly available and offer high yields, as well as some of the nation’s largest banks.