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With top-yielding certificates of deposit (CDs) maintaining their annual percentage yields (APYs) comfortably above 5 percent, now is still a good time to consider these fixed-rate deposit accounts, considering many banks and credit unions have been paying higher yields as a result of 11 Federal Reserve rate hikes since March 2022.
When searching for the best interest rate on a widely available CD, you’ll find Forbright Bank at the top of the list. It offers a nine-month CD that earns a 5.75 percent APY and requires a $1,000 minimum deposit.
Earning a similar rate, and not far behind, is a one-year CD from Popular Direct, which pays 5.67 percent and requires a $10,000 minimum deposit.
The guide below lists average rates and competitive ones for various terms, as well as how to find a CD with the best rate.
- The top CD currently earns a 5.75 percent APY and has a nine-month term.
- You'll find high yields at competitive banks that are around three times greater than national averages.
- Top CDs of some terms are earning APYs of more than 5 percent, while national average rates are more than double what they were a year ago.
Today’s CD rates by term
|Highest APY||Institution offering top APY||National average APY|
|6-month CD||5.55%||Bask Bank||NA|
|9-month CD||5.75%||Forbright Bank||NA|
|1-year CD||5.67%||Popular Direct||1.74%|
|18-month CD||5.50%||Popular Direct||1.81%|
|2-year CD||5.30%||Popular Direct||1.50%|
|3-year CD||5.00%||Popular Direct||1.41%|
|4-year CD||4.75%||Bread Savings||1.46%|
|5-year CD||4.75%||Bread Savings||1.45%|
* Note: Annual percentage yields (APYs) shown are as of Nov. 14, 2023. APYs for some products may vary by region.
NA: Not available; Bankrate doesn’t track national averages for the 6-month and 9-month CD terms due to limited available data.
How to find the best CD rates
You’ll often find the best CD rates from online-only banks, such as Synchrony Bank, which don’t have the overhead costs of running branches — and which also may offer competitive rates to draw customers away from traditional brick-and-mortar banks. Credit unions, such as Alliant Credit Union, also commonly offer high rates because their profits go back to members. Yields can vary significantly among banks, so it pays to shop around for the best CD rates.
It is important to shop around as terms can vary widely. Look beyond your local bank or credit union and use an online search tool like Bankrate.com to find the most competitive, federally insured CDs that you get directly from the bank with no broker as a middleman.— Greg McBride | Chief financial analyst at Bankrate
Are CDs safe?
A CD can be one of the safest places to stash your cash, as long as the account is covered by deposit insurance through the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) at a bank or the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) at a credit union.
CDs vs. savings accounts
Because a CD typically locks in your funds until its term is up, money you might need sooner is better off in a liquid account such as a high-yield savings account or money market account. On the other hand, your funds may be better off in a high-earning CD if you can afford to part with them until the CD matures.
A CD is a deposit account that earns a fixed rate of return in exchange for locking in your funds for its entire term. CD terms often range from three months to five years, although it’s possible to find ones with terms shorter or longer than that. A CD can be a good place to stash money for savings goals, such as a down payment on a house or a new car. When choosing the best CD term, consider when you’ll need access to the money.
Because a CD typically comes with an early withdrawal penalty, it’s best to only put money into a CD that you won’t need in the meantime for living expenses or emergencies. Money you may need sooner is best kept in a liquid account, such as a high-yield savings account, which provides access to your funds anytime.
Both CDs and share certificates are deposit accounts where your money typically grows at a fixed rate for a set amount of time. The main difference between the two is in the name: CDs are offered from banks, whereas share certificates are offered from credit unions. What’s more, CD earnings are referred to as interest, while share certificate earnings are called dividends.
CDs and share certificates are insured through banks and credit unions, respectively, that are federally insured. For example, banks are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC), whereas credit unions are insured through the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). Under such federally insured banks and credit unions, CDs and share certificates are each insured for up to $250,000 per depositor, per insured bank, for each account ownership category.
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.