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Best 1-year CD rates of May 2021

Earn more interest with the highest 12-month CD rates.

This article was reviewed by Marguerita Cheng, a member of the Finder Editorial Review Board and award-winning advocate for ethical financial planning for over 20 years.

The best 1-year CD rates lets you lock your money away for 12 months and earn interest. But most require a minimum opening deposit of $1,000. To help you sort through your options, we researched over 80 CDs and considered factors like interest rates, availability, fees and minimum deposit requirement to bring you the best 12-month CD rates.

What’s changed in 2021?
We added Quontic Bank CDs to our list for its high interest rate.

The 17 best 1-year CD rates

Use the table to compare 1-year CDs by rate, minimum opening deposit and features. Want to compare features side-by-side? Click the “Compare” box next to your top choices to view multiple accounts at once.

Name Product 1-year APY Minimum deposit to open
CIT Bank Term CDs
Choose from a range of terms with no maintenance fees and $1,000 minimum to open.
Discover CDs
Start saving with $2,500 and enjoy flexible terms from 3 months to 10 years with no account fees.
Limelight Bank CD
First National Bank of America Online CD
Marcus by Goldman Sachs High-yield CDs
Ally High Yield CDs

Compare up to 4 providers

Quick summary of the best 1-year CD rates
  • CIT Bank Term CDs: 0.3%
  • Discover CDs: 0.5%
  • Limelight Bank CD: 0.6%
  • First National Bank of America Online CD: 0.6%
  • Marcus by Goldman Sachs High-yield CDs: 0.55%
  • Ally High Yield CDs: 0.6%
  • First Internet Bank CDs: 0.6%
  • Hiway Federal Credit Union CD: 0.75%
  • Rising Bank CDs: 0.5%
  • Synchrony Bank CDs: 0.6%
  • Alliant Credit Union CD: 0.5%
  • Sallie Mae CD: 0.45%
  • Barclays Online CDs: 0.3%
  • Citizens Access CDs: 0.6%
  • Capital One 360 CD: 0.2%
  • American Express CDs: 0.2%
  • Quontic Bank CD: 0.65%

How do I find the best 1-year CD for me?

Here’s a few important factors to consider when you compare certificates of deposit:

  • The interest rate. The amount of interest applied to your CD will differ between various banks, and the difference can be substantial — shop around at a few different banks to find the best rate.
  • Interest payment frequency. With a one-year CD you could choose to have interest earned paid to you monthly, semi-annually or when it matures.
  • Few or no fees. With the exception of the penalty charge for an early withdrawal, there should be no other fees applied.
  • Minimum deposit requirement. CDs have balance requirements that differ depending on the financial institution. Some only cater to higher deposits of $5,000 or more, while other banks allow for an account with a minimum balance of just $500.

How much will I earn in a 1-year CD?

See how much interest you could earn over 12 months.

Which bank has the highest 1-year CD rate?

As of February 2021, Quontic Bank has one of the highest 12-month CD rates at 0.65% APY. You’ll need a minimum deposit of $500 to open the CD. But if you withdraw your money before it matures, you’ll pay a penalty equal to one years interest.

Pros and cons of a 1-year CD

There are several attractive reasons to open a 1-year CD, but there are also a few drawbacks to keep in mind.


  • No monthly fees. CDs are free to open and maintain, so you don’t have to worry about monthly fees eating into your savings.
  • Earns more interest than a savings account. A 12-month CD provides you with a competitive interest rate that’s often higher than a traditional savings account.
  • Flexibility. A 1-year CD term is long enough to lock in a high interest rate, but short enough to give you easy access to your money should you need it within the next year.


  • Can’t access funds until maturity. If you need to withdraw your savings in order to cover an emergency, you’ll generally pay an early withdrawal fee. This is true for any CD aside from no-penalty CDs.
  • Minimum deposit requirement. Many banks, particularly those with competitive interest rates, require you to have at least $500 to open an account, though some banks require up to $2,500.
  • Rates aren’t as high as long-term CDs. Generally, the longer your CD term, the higher the APY. Even though a 12-month CD is competitive, you could earn more with a 5-year CD.

1-year CD alternatives

If you like the idea of earning a high APY over a relatively short amount of time, but you don’t want to risk facing an early withdrawal penalty, here are three alternatives to consider.

  • Shorter-term CDs. Some banks and credit unions offer CDs with terms as short as one month. And while these CDs give you earlier access to your funds, the APYs are often significantly lower than certificates with longer terms.
  • High-yield savings accounts. CDs generally offer better interest rates than high-yield savings accounts, but CD rates have recently plummeted due to the pandemic. Now many savings accounts offer higher APYs without the requirement to keep your money locked away for a certain time.
  • No-penalty CDs. Although most banks will penalize you if you withdraw funds from your CD before its maturity date, this isn’t always the case. Several banks offer no-penalty CDs that give you access to your money at any time without assessing an early withdrawal fee.

Bottom line

If you’re looking for a secure way to store your money and earn interest over the course of a year, a CD is a useful savings option. However, if you want to add money to your account throughout the year or have access to it in case of an emergency, one of the best savings accounts on the market might be a better fit.

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