The Bankrate promise
At Bankrate we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here's an explanation for .
Yields offered on certificates of deposit (CDs) at various banks and credit unions remain significantly higher than they were just a year ago, thanks to 11 Federal Reserve rate increases since March 2022. This makes CDs worth checking out.
The highest-yielding CD that’s widely available is a nine-month CD from Forbright Bank. It earns a 5.75 percent annual percentage yield (APY) and requires a $1,000 minimum deposit.
A similar rate is offered on a one-year CD from Popular Direct, which pays 5.67 percent, yet it requires a more substantial minimum deposit of $10,000.
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 highest available APY on a CD is 5.75 percent on a nine-month term.
- Competitive rates are much greater than national average rates, so it pays to shop around.
- You can find APYs of more than 5 percent on various CDs with terms of one to three years.
Today’s CD rates by term
|CD term||Highest APY||Institution offering top APY||National average APY|
* Note: Annual percentage yields (APYs) shown are as of Nov. 16, 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.
Are CDs safe?
A CD is a safe place for your funds as long as it’s protected by deposit insurance. For instance, for accounts at banks that are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC), and at credit unions that are insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), your money is covered by up to $250,000 per depositor, per FDIC bank or NCUA credit union, per ownership category.
CDs vs. savings accounts
A CD can be a good place for money you’re saving for future purchases or expenses. For instance, you might put money into a 1-year CD for a vacation you’re planning for next year. Or, you might deposit funds into a five-year CD to make a down payment on a house soon after the CD matures. A benefit of locking in your money is you’ll be less tempted to use it for impulse purchases in the meantime.
A CD is not a good idea if you have insufficient emergency savings, if you need the cash soon, or if you have a very long time horizon where you’d be better off investing in riskier assets to generate higher returns.— Greg McBride | Bankrate Chief Financial Analyst
A CD is a deposit account that earns a fixed rate of return in exchange for locking in your funds for the 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.