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Best CD rates for October 2020

A certificate of deposit is a safe and secure way to grow your savings balance.

Updated . What changed?

Fact checked

Our pick for 9-month CDs: Discover CDs

Discover CDs logo

0.55%

9-month APY

  • No maintenance fees
  • $2,500 minimum to open
  • Flexible terms from 3 months to 10 years
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Certificates of deposit are an effective way to lock away your money and they often pay higher interest rates than savings accounts. But not all CDs are the same and the interest rates can vary widely from institution to institution. To find the best CDs, we compared one, three and five-year CD rates at over 50 institutions. Then, we averaged those rates together and considered other factors such as nationwide availability.

Compare the 12 best CD rates

Compare the list of leading CD rates by their high APYs and minimum opening deposit. Click compare on several products to see an alternative comparison view.

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product 1-year APY 3-year APY 5-year APY Minimum deposit to open
Discover CDs
0.6%
0.7%
0.8%
$2,500
CIT Bank Term CDs
0.3%
0.4%
0.5%
$1,000
Radius Bank CDs
0.5%
0.5%
0.5%
$500
Pen Air FCU CDs
0.8%
1.15%
1.35%
$500
Marcus by Goldman Sachs High-yield CDs
0.65%
0.65%
0.7%
$500
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Closer look at the best CD rates

Discover CDs

Discover CDs logo
Apply now
at Discover's secure site
0.6%
1-year APY
0.7%
3-year APY
0.8%
5-year APY
$2,500
Min. opening deposit
You'll need at least $2,500 to open a Discover Bank High Yield CD, but APYs are competitive and terms go all the way up to 10 years.
  • No fees. Discover doesn't charge any fees for CD account holders.
  • Low withdrawal fees. Discover has relatively low withdrawal penalty fees if you need to access your money before it matures.
  • Numerous terms. Terms start at three months and go up to 10 years.
  • High minimum deposit. You need at least $2,500 to open this CD.
  • No branches. Discover operates entirely online, so you're limited to phone, email and live chat support.
  • No partial withdrawals. If you need to access your money before it matures, you'll have to withdraw your full balance.
3-month term 0.25%
6-month term 0.45%
9-month term 0.55%
12-month term 0.6%
18-month term 0.6%
24-month term 0.65%
30-month term 0.7%
48-month term 0.7%
60-month term 0.8%
84-month term 0.8%
120-month term 0.8%

CIT Bank Term CDs

CIT Bank Term CDs logo
Apply now
at CIT Bank's secure site
0.3%
1-year APY
0.4%
3-year APY
0.5%
5-year APY
$1,000
Min. opening deposit
CIT Bank Term CDs have high interest rates to steadily grow your savings. Terms range from six months to five years and interest compounds daily.
  • No maintenance fees. You won't pay anything to open or maintain a CIT Bank Term CD, though you'll pay a fee if you withdraw funds early.
  • Automatic renewal. If you don't take any action during your grace period, your CD will automatically renew for the same term at your current rate.
  • High APY. Earn 0.3% APY on a 12-month CD. Standard CDs with a six-month term earn 0.3% APY and generally increase for longer periods, such as 0.5% APY for five-year CDs. The national average for six-month CDs is just 0.14% APY.
  • Early withdrawal penalties. Like all CDs, expect to pay a penalty if you withdraw funds before your CD matures. CIT Bank charges a fee equal to three to 12 months' interest depending on your CD term.
  • No physical branches. CIT Bank is an online institution, so you can't visit a branch or open an account in-person.
  • $1,000 minimum deposit. This opening deposit is typical for national banks, but higher than what you'll find at some online banks and credit unions.
6-month term 0.3%
12-month term 0.3%
13-month term 0.35%
18-month term 0.3%
24-month term 0.4%
48-month term 0.5%
60-month term 0.5%

Radius Bank CDs

Radius Bank CDs logo
Apply now
at Radius Bank's secure site
0.5%
1-year APY
0.5%
3-year APY
0.5%
5-year APY
$500
Min. opening deposit
Radius Bank CD terms range from three months to five years, but some terms can't be opened online. Opening deposits also vary depending on the length of your CD.
  • Low opening deposits. Short-term CDs have opening deposits of $1,000. Long-term CDs of one year or more have opening deposits of REQUIREMENTS.MIN_DEPOSIT.
  • Competitive APYs. Although Radius Bank's rates aren't the highest on the market, they're much higher than what you'll find at traditional banks.
  • Can't open every term online. Radius Bank offers nine CD terms, but you can only open a one-year, 18-month and three-year CD online. The others must be opened over the phone or in-person at its one branch location.
12-month term 0.5%
18-month term 0.5%
24-month term 0.5%
48-month term 0.5%
60-month term 0.5%

Pen Air FCU CDs

0.8%
1-year APY
1.15%
3-year APY
1.35%
5-year APY
$500
Min. opening deposit
Pen Air Federal Credit Union has easy membership requirements and a low opening deposit, so you can open a CD today to lock in one of its high APYs.
  • Free interest withdrawals. You can't touch your initial deposit until maturity, but you can withdraw your interest at any time.
  • Low opening deposit. Most Pen Air FCU CDs have a $500 opening deposit, which is low compared to other institutions.
  • Easy membership requirements. Anyone can join Pen Air when they become a member of the Friends of the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society. There's a one-time fee, but Pen Air covers this fee for you.
  • Early withdrawal penalties. You'll pay a penalty equal to 90 days' interest if your CD is less than 12 months and 180 days' interest if it's 12 months or longer.
  • Mandatory savings account. All Pen Air members are required to maintain a Pen Air Savings account, so you'll be asked to open one if you don't already have it.
  • Limited customer service. Most credit unions have a live chat function on their websites, but Pen Air doesn't. You'll have to call or visit a local branch instead.
3-month term 0.45%
6-month term 0.6%
12-month term 0.8%
15-month term 0.8%
18-month term 0.9%
24-month term 1%
48-month term 1.25%
60-month term 1.35%

Marcus by Goldman Sachs High-yield CDs

0.65%
1-year APY
0.65%
3-year APY
0.7%
5-year APY
$500
Min. opening deposit
Marcus by Goldman Sachs CDs range from one year to six years and require an opening deposit of at least $500, much lower than other options on our list.
  • High rates. The longer your term, the higher your APY will be.
  • Relatively low minimum deposit. A $500 minimum deposit is much lower than other CDs. But some banks have deposits as low as $0.
  • 10-day CD rate guarantee. If your CD rate increases within 10 days of account opening, you'll automatically get bumped up to the new rate.
  • Low APYs on short-term CDs. Six and nine-month CDs have APYs up to 0.35%, which is lower than the competition.
  • No branches. Marcus by Goldman Sachs is online-only, so there's no in-person support.
  • No partial withdrawals. If you need access to your money before it matures, you must withdraw your full balance.
6-month term 0.25%
9-month term 0.35%
12-month term 0.65%
18-month term 0.65%
24-month term 0.65%
48-month term 0.65%
60-month term 0.7%
72-month term 0.7%

First National Bank of America Online CD

0.8%
1-year APY
0.9%
3-year APY
1%
5-year APY
$1,000
Min. opening deposit
First National Bank of America is a Michigan-based community bank with competitive CD rates. But it doesn't offer any CDs with terms under 12 months.
  • Variety of term options. Choose between a 12-, 24-, 36-, 48-, 60-, 72- and 84-month CD.
  • Competitive rates. You'll earn 0.8% APY for a one-year term, which is higher than what you'll find at most competing banks.
  • Limited branch locations. FNBA only has three branch locations in Michigan, which may limit your support options. Luckily, you can apply for its CDs online.
  • Relatively high minimum. You'll need at least $1,000 to open an FNBA CD, which is on par with other banks.
  • No short terms. Terms start at one-year, so it's not ideal for those looking for terms shorter than that.
12-month term 0.8%
24-month term 0.85%
48-month term 0.95%
60-month term 1%
72-month term 1.05%
84-month term 1.1%

First Internet Bank CDs

0.65%
1-year APY
0.81%
3-year APY
0.96%
5-year APY
$1,000
Min. opening deposit
First Internet Bank has quite a list of CD options with APYs ranging from 0.25% for a three-month CD and topping out at 0.96% for a five-year CD.
  • Short-term options. If you're looking for short-term CD options, you'll find them at First Internet Bank. It offers 3- and 6-month terms.
  • Competitive rates. APYs on long-term CDs of 12 months or more are generally higher than what you'll earn with a high-yield savings account.
  • Wide term selection. You'll find eight different term options at First Internet Bank with CDs ranging from three months to five years.
  • No branches. As its name implies, this bank is online-only. You won't be able to visit a local branch for assistance.
  • High early withdrawal fees. Expect to lose all your interest and potentially some of your principal if you need to withdraw your money early, especially for the shorter CD terms.
  • Account closure fee. You'll pay a $5 fee if you request your matured CD funds by check. To avoid the fee, transfer the funds to a First Internet Bank checking or savings account.
3-month term 0.25%
6-month term 0.55%
12-month term 0.65%
18-month term 0.7%
24-month term 0.75%
48-month term 0.86%
60-month term 0.96%

Synchrony Bank CDs

0.6%
1-year APY
0.75%
3-year APY
0.9%
5-year APY
$2,000
Min. opening deposit
You'll find some competitive APYs with Synchrony Bank's CDs, but you'll need at least $2,000 to get started.
  • High APY. Earn anywhere from 0.25% APY to 0.9% depending on your term length.
  • Wide term ranges. Lock your money up for anywhere from three months to five years.
  • Withdraw your interest. Although you can't access your principal balance before it matures, you can withdraw the interest from your account at any time.
  • High minimum deposit. You need at least $2,000 to open this CD.
  • Early withdrawal penalty. You'll pay a penalty equal to 90 days to 365 days of simple interest based on the total amount you withdraw.
3-month term 0.25%
6-month term 0.5%
9-month term 0.5%
12-month term 0.6%
13-month term 0.6%
15-month term 0.6%
18-month term 0.6%
24-month term 0.7%
48-month term 0.75%
60-month term 0.9%

Prime Alliance Bank CD

0.45%
1-year APY
0.65%
3-year APY
0.75%
5-year APY
$500
Min. opening deposit
Prime Alliance Bank CDs have low early withdrawal penalties and interest that compounds daily and pays quarterly.
  • Variety of terms. Prime Alliance Bank CDs start at six months and top out at five years, so you're bound to find a term that suits your needs.
  • Low early withdrawal penalties. For most CD terms, you'll pay a penalty equal to three months' interest for early withdrawals, which is less than what other banks charge.
  • Low minimum deposit. Most CDs require opening deposits of $1,000 or more, but you only need $500 to open this one.
  • Limited bank branches. Prime Alliance only has one branch in Utah, so you'll have to stick with online banking and support if you live outside the area.
  • Pays interest quarterly. Some banks post CD interest to your account once a month, but Prime Alliance only does it once every three months.
6-month term 0.35%
12-month term 0.45%
18-month term 0.55%
24-month term 0.6%
48-month term 0.7%
60-month term 0.75%

Ally High Yield CDs

0.65%
1-year APY
0.75%
3-year APY
1%
5-year APY
$0.01
Min. opening deposit
Unlike most CDs, Ally Bank High Yield CDs have no opening deposit requirements. You can lock in a competitive APY with as little or as much money as you'd like.
  • No minimum deposit requirements. Open this CD with as little as $0.01.
  • Variable terms. Lock your money away for as little as three months or as long as five years.
  • Ally's Ten Day Best Rate Guarantee. If Ally increases its CD rates within 10 days of you opening your account, you'll automatically get bumped up to the higher rate.
  • No branches. Ally is an online bank, so you can't get in-person support. But it does have 24/7 customer service by phone.
  • No partial withdrawals. If you need to access your money before it matures, you'll have to withdraw the full amount.
  • Interest postings. Some banks post interest to your account once a month. But Ally posts it at maturity for CDs less than 12 months and once a year for CDs over 12 months.
3-month term 0.2%
6-month term 0.4%
9-month term 0.5%
12-month term 0.65%
18-month term 0.7%
60-month term 1%

Alliant Credit Union CD

0.55%
1-year APY
0.6%
3-year APY
0.65%
5-year APY
$1,000
Min. opening deposit
Alliant Credit Union CDs come with impressive APYs and 24/7 customer service, but you'll need at least $1,000 to open an account.
  • Competitive APYs. Alliant Credit Union CDs earn anywhere from 0.55% to 0.65% APY depending on the term length.
  • 24/7 customer service. Reach customer service at any time by phone.
  • No fees. As with most CDs, this one is free to open and maintain.
  • $1,000 opening deposit. Similar to other CDs, you'll need at least $1,000 to open a CD with Alliant Credit Union.
  • No short-term CDs. The shortest CD term available is 12 months.
  • Must be a member. You must be an Alliant member to open a CD. You can join by making a $5 donation to Foster Care to Success (FC2S).
12-month term 0.55%
18-month term 0.55%
24-month term 0.55%
48-month term 0.65%
60-month term 0.65%

Consumers Credit Union CDs

Consumers Credit Union CDs logo
0.5%
1-year APY
0.65%
3-year APY
0.75%
5-year APY
$250
Min. opening deposit
Consumers Credit Union is an Illinois-based credit union offering competitive rates on its short and long-term CDs. The best part? You only need $250 to get started.
  • Wide selection of terms. Open a CD for as short as 91 days or as long as five years.
  • Multiple CD types. Choose between a regular CD, a jumbo CD or an IRA CD.
  • Low opening deposit. All you need is $250 to open a Consumers Credit Union CD, compared to other banks that require $1,000 or more.
  • Open to members only. You must be a Consumers Credit Union member to open this CD. You can apply for membership online when you're ready to get started.
  • Early withdrawal penalties. As with all CDs, expect to pay a penalty fee if you need to withdraw money before your CD matures.
3-month term 0.35%
6-month term 0.45%
9-month term 0.6%
12-month term 0.5%
18-month term 0.5%
24-month term 0.55%
30-month term 0.6%
48-month term 0.7%
60-month term 0.75%

Features of the best CDs

Compare the following factors when deciding on a certificate of deposit:

  • The interest rate. The interest rate payable on your CD balance is critical when deciding which account offers the best deal. A high interest rate means better returns for you. But watch out for special conditions like high minimums for opening an account or unusually large fees if you need access to your money early.
  • How often the interest is compounded. How often interest is calculated has an effect on the amount of interest you can earn. For example, an account that compounds interest monthly will end up paying more interest over time than one that compounds annually.
  • Where the interest is paid. Next, look at where the interest your account earns is paid when the deposit matures. For example, will you need to have a linked account with the same bank, or can you have the money sent to other financial institutions?
  • Minimum balance requirements. Check to see what the minimum and maximum balance limits are for the CD. Usually they’re at least $1,000. Are they suitable for the amount of money you’re looking to save? Compare accounts that match your requirements.
  • The terms available. Compare how long you’re able to save your money with each account. Terms typically range from six months to five years, so make sure the time period you choose suits your needs.

The importance of high CD rates

Certificates of deposit offer a higher rate of fixed interest than you’ll find on a savings account. The interest rate is locked in for the entire term, which means you don’t have to worry about any interest rate drops.

But while a fixed interest rate offers security, it also means you’ll miss out on rising interest rates. Even if the bank’s interest rate goes up, the fixed rate on your account stays the same until the deposit matures.

Let’s take a look at a case study to demonstrate just how much difference a slightly higher interest rate can make.

George’s certificate of deposit

George has $10,000 he would like to invest in a two-year CD, so he decides to compare rates between his bank and its main competitor.

George’s bank offers a 2.25% interest rate, which means at the end of 24 months, George’s $10,000 deposit will have earned $459.84 of interest.

Meanwhile, the competitor bank offers an interest rate of 3%, which allows George to earn $617.57 in interest. By choosing the second account with the better interest rate, George earns an extra $157.73 in interest.

FeatureCD from his bankCD from competitor
Term24 months24 months
Minimum deposit amount$5,000$10,000
Interest rate2.25%3.00%
Amount invested$10,000$10,000
Interest earned$459.84$617.57
Total balance at end of term$10,459.84$10,617.57

Historical CD rates

Average CD rates fluctuate over time. For example, in the early 2010s, CD rates were steadily declining, but in 2014 they began to rise again. The chart below shows the national average over the last several years:

DateNational average for 12-month CDNational average for 60-month CD
January 20200.48%1.71%
January 20190.61%2.00%
January 20180.29%0.89%
January 20170.22%0.78%
January 20160.21%0.80%
January 20150.20%0.78%
January 20140.20%0.75%
January 20130.23%0.84%
January 20120.33%1.22%

Bottom line

Certificates of deposit provide a secure, convenient way to build a sizable savings balance, but it’s important to find the best interest rates to ensure that the money in your account is working as hard as possible. Spending the time to shop around for the best rates and watching for the best time to open a CD can help you save for a more reliable future.

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