Here are the banks with the best CD rates

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Here are the best CD rates right now:

Best rates for a 1-year term

CD accountRate
Marcus by Goldman Sachs High-Yield CD1.10%
Ally High Yield CD1.00%
Sallie Mae CD0.95%

Best rates for a 3-year term

CD accountRate
Synchrony CD1.15%
Ally High Yield CD1.05%
CIT Bank Term CD1.00%

Best rates for a 5-year term

CD accountRate
Synchrony CD1.20%
Marcus High-Yield CD1.15%
Learn more on Personal Finance Insider1.15%

Best rates for a no-penalty CD

CD accountRate
Ally No Penalty CD0.95%
Marcus by Goldman Sachs No-Penalty CD0.80% to 1.00%
CIT Bank No-Penalty CD0.75%

Best CDs for a low balance

CD accountRateMinimum opening deposit
Ally High Yield CD0.50% to 1.15%$0
Capital One 360 CDs®0.25% to 1%$0
American Express Certificates of Deposit (CDs)0.25% to 0.85%$0

If you want to grow your money but keep it safe from the turbulence of the stock market, a certificate of deposit (CD) may be a good option.

Generally, a CD should be fee-free and as easy to open as any checking or savings account. Since you're locking in an interest rate, it's smart to look for the highest one. But it's also important to consider minimum deposit requirements and penalties for early withdrawals in case you need the money in a pinch.

Below you'll find our picks for the best CD rates right now. There's no CD that will work for everyone, but we combed through offerings at around a dozen national banks as well as popular comparison sites, like Bankrate and NerdWallet, to find the strongest options available right now.

Keep reading to learn more about our top picks:

Marcus by Goldman Sachs High-Yield CD (Member FDIC) 

Why it stands out: Marcus by Goldman Sachs offers a variety of CDs, including High-Yield CDs and No-Penalty CDs. The bank pays some of the highest rates in the industry, and its mandatory $500 minimum deposit is lower than most competitors' required deposits.

Term options: High-Yield CD terms range from 6 months to 6 years, and No-Penalty CDs come with 7-month, 11-month, and 13-month options.

Penalties: Marcus offers standard penalties for early withdrawals of your principal balance, as follows:

  • 90 days interest penalty for a CD term of under 12 months
  • 270 days interest penalty for a CD term of 12 months to 5 years
  • 365 days interest penalty for a CD term of more than 5 years

Keep an eye out for: Minimum opening deposit. You need at least $500 to open a CD with Marcus.

Ally High Yield CD (Member FDIC) 

Why it stands out: Ally has more options for CDs than any other online bank, including an 11-month, no-penalty CD with various interest rates for different balance tiers and a variable-rate CD.

Term options: Ally offers a total of 11 different CD term lengths ranging from 3 months to 5 years.

Penalties: Ally offers standard penalties for early withdrawals of your principal balance, as follows:

  • 60 days interest penalty for a CD term of 24 months or less
  • 90 days interest penalty for a CD term of 25 months to 36 months
  • 120 days interest penalty for a CD term of 37 months to 48 months
  • 150 days interest penalty for a CD term of 49 months or more

Keep an eye out for: Types of CDs. Ally offers three types of CDs: High Yield CDs, Raise Your Rate CDs, and No Penalty CDs.

Unlike regular High Yield CDs, Raise Your Rate accounts offer 2-year and 4-year terms. APRs on these accounts start lower than High Yield CDs rates, but you can increase your APR once over 2 years or twice over 4 years.

No Penalty CDs do not penalize you for early withdrawal, but the only term available is 11 months.

Be sure to choose the type of CD that makes sense for you.

Sallie Mae Certificate of Deposit (Member FDIC)

Why it stands out: Sallie Mae pays decent rates across the board, and its most competitive APY is for 12-month CDs.

Term options: Sallie Mae offers CD term lengths ranging from 6 months to 5 years.

Penalties: The penalties for early withdrawal are as follows:

  • 90 days interest penalty for a CD term of 12 months or less
  • 180 days interest penalty for a CD term greater than 12 months

Keep an eye out for: Minimum opening deposit. You'll need at least $2,500 to open a CD with Sallie Mae.

Synchrony CD (Member FDIC) 

Why it stands out: Synchrony offers a competitive rate for 1-year and 5-year CDs, with a minimum deposit of $2,000.

Term options: Synchrony offers high-yield CDs with rates ranging from 3 months to 5 years.

Penalties: Synchrony offers standard penalties for early withdrawals of your principal balance, as follows:

  • 90 days interest penalty for a CD term of under 12 months
  • 180 days interest penalty for a CD term of 12 months to 48 months
  • 365 days interest penalty for a CD term of more than 48 months

Keep an eye out for: Minimum opening deposit. You need at least $2,000 to open a CD with Synchrony.

CIT Bank CD (Member FDIC) 

Why it stands out: CIT Bank is known for offering a wide range of CD types with competitive rates, and its minimum deposit of $1,000 is relatively low.

Term options: CIT Bank offers CD term lengths ranging from 6 months to 5 years.

Penalties: The penalties for early withdrawal are as follows:

  • 3 months interest penalty for a CD term of under 1 year
  • 6 months interest penalty for a CD term of 1 year to 3 years
  • 12 months interest penalty for a CD term of more than 3 years

Keep an eye out for: Minimum opening deposit. You must have at least $1,000 to open a CD with CIT Bank.

Capital One 360 CDs® (Member FDIC) 

Why it stands out: Capital One offers competitive rates, and unlike most banks, you don't need any money for an initial deposit.

Term options: Capital One offers CD term lengths ranging from 6 months to 5 years.

Penalties: The penalties for early withdrawals are as follows: 

  • 3 months interest penalty for a CD term of 1 year or less
  • 6 months interest penalty for a CD term greater than 1 year

What to look out for: Rates. Capital One is a good choice for people who don't want to place an initial deposit, but you can find slightly higher rates elsewhere.

American Express Certificates of Deposit (CDs) (Member FDIC)

Why it stands out: American Express offers decent rates for 4-year and 5-year terms, and the bank doesn't have a minimum opening deposit requirement.

Term options: American Express has CD terms ranging from 6 months to 5 years.

Penalties: The early withdrawal penalties are as follows:

  • 90 days interest penalty for a term under 12 months
  • 270 days interest penalty for a term between 12 and 47 months
  • 365 days interest penalty for a term between 48 and 59 months
  • 540 days interest penalty for a term of 60 months or more

What to look out for: Early withdrawal penalties. American Express' fees for withdrawing funds before the CD maturity date are higher than most.

Other CDs we considered and why they didn't make the cut:

  • Discover CD (Member FDIC): You'll earn a respectable rate with Discover, but it requires a $2,500 opening deposit.
  • Citizens Access (Member FDIC) : Citizens Access offers high APYs on its CDs, but all terms require a minimum deposit of $5,000.
  • HSBC Direct (Member FDIC) : HSBC's CD rates were relatively high, but they've recently dropped.
  • PurePoint Financial (Member FDIC) : PurePoint's rates are on par with the best CDs on our list, but its $10,000 minimum deposit could be a major drawback for more modest savers.
  • Barclays (Member FDIC) : Barclays doesn't require a minimum opening deposit, and the rates are respectable — but you won't earn as high of a rate as you would with our top picks.
  • Chase Bank (Member FDIC) : While Chase has some truly excellent rewards credit cards, the rates on its CDs do not compete with any of the banks on our list.
  • USAA Bank CD (Member FDIC) : USAA Bank offers a wide range of CD options for military members and families, but rates are mediocre and you'll need at least $1,000 to open an account.

Frequently asked questions

Why trust our recommendations?

Personal Finance Insider's mission is to help smart people make the best decisions with their money. We understand that "best" is often subjective, so in addition to highlighting the clear benefits of a financial product or account — a high APY, for example — we outline the limitations, too. We spent hours comparing and contrasting the features and fine print of various products so you don't have to.

How did we choose the best CDs?

We reviewed CD offerings from around a dozen national banks. All banks included on our list are insured by the FDIC and do not impose monthly maintenance fees on CDs.

In the event two banks offered the same APY on a CD product, we considered minimum deposit requirements and penalties for early withdrawals.

For this list, we did not consider credit unions — though they tend to offer high interest rates on savings accounts and CDs, many limit membership to people who work in a specific industry or live in a designated area. 

What is a CD?

A CD is basically a time-sensitive savings account that holds your money at a fixed interest rate for a specified period of time. You can open one at almost any bank or credit union.

If you don't need immediate access to your savings, a CD can guarantee a return on your money since you lock in a fixed annual percentage yield (APY) for the term of the CD. During that period, you typically won't be able to add additional money or access your original balance without paying a penalty.

You will, however, earn interest on the amount and have the option to collect those payments monthly or reinvest them into your CD. Most banks offer varying rates for different terms and deposit amounts — typically, the longer the term, the higher the rate.

At the CD's maturity date, you'll typically have a 10 to 14-day grace period in which you can withdraw your money and close the account or renew the term.

Are CDs safe?

CDs are safer than investing your money in the stock market but may be less liquid than a savings account. CDs are a good place to store and grow money that you will need at a predetermined future date. While your money doesn't have the potential to earn as much as it would in the stock market, there is no risk.

Like savings accounts, CDs are insured by the FDIC for up to $250,000.

Are CDs a good investment?

Timing matters. CDs can be a good investment if interest rates are currently high and/or expected to fall. The biggest benefit of a CD is your ability to lock in a fixed interest rate. If interest rates fall during the term of your CD, the APY on your CD will not be affected. Conversely, if rates are expected to rise, then it may not be a good time to put money in a CD.

Can you lose money in CDs?

You cannot lose money in a CD if you leave it untouched for the full term length. It is like a locked savings account and the only way you can lose money is if you make an early withdrawal for which you are penalized.

Are CD rates going up?

Interest rates on CDs follow the federal funds rate, which is determined by the Federal Reserve. Since July 2019, the Fed has reduced interest rates three times, which means rates probably won't drop for another several months, if at all. 

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. We occasionally highlight financial products and services that can help you make smarter decisions with your money. We do not give investment advice or encourage you to adopt a certain investment strategy. What you decide to do with your money is up to you. If you take action based on one of our recommendations, we get a small share of the revenue from our commerce partners. This does not influence whether we feature a financial product or service. We operate independently from our advertising sales team.

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