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Certificates of deposit (CDs) are deposit accounts worth checking out these days, considering many CD rates have increased following 11 rate hikes by the Federal Reserve since spring 2022.
Currently, the highest-yielding CD is a nine-month term from Forbright Bank. It earns a 5.75 percent annual percentage yield (APY) and requires a $1,000 minimum deposit. This is the highest rate you’ll currently find among CDs that are widely available to the public.
A similar rate can be found on a one-year CD from Popular Direct, which pays 5.67 percent APY, 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 top-paying CD earns an APY of 5.75 percent and has a nine-month term.
- Competitive banks pay yields 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
|CD term||Highest APY||Institution offering top APY||National average APY|
* Note: Annual percentage yields (APYs) shown are as of Nov. 17, 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.
Featured CD of the day
If you open a certificate account from America First Credit Union with a term between six and 11 months, you’ll earn a rate of 5.18 percent. For its certificate accounts, America First allows you to choose a term of any number of months between three and 60 months. The credit union’s certificates earn competitive rates and require a manageable minimum deposit of $500.
When is a CD a good idea?
You might decide to open a CD when rates are likely to start falling on deposit accounts. Thanks to its fixed rate, a competitive CD will continue to earn its high yield for the full term, even in a falling rate environment. Another benefit of the guaranteed rate is you’ll be able to calculate in advance how much interest the account will earn through the end of the term. A CD can be an ideal savings option when reserving money for future goals, such as the purchase of a car, a down payment on a house or a planned vacation – money that you’re willing to set aside, untouched, for the term of the CD as it accrues interest.
Money tip: A CD earns a fixed APY, so you can calculate up front how much it'll be worth when it matures.
FAQs about CDs
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.