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Best CD rates for July 2021

The best certificate of deposits are found at online banks and credit unions.

Our pick for the best CD rate: Quontic Bank CD

Quontic Bank CD logo

0.6%

12-month APY

  • Live chat
  • No maintenance fees
  • Minimum of $500 required to open
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Compare the 13 best CD rates

Compare leading CDs based on their APYs and minimum opening deposits. Check the Compare box on several products to see how they match up against each other.

Name Product 1-year APY 3-year APY 5-year APY Minimum deposit to open
Quontic Bank CD
0.6%
1%
1.11%
$500
Lock in a high rate. Minimum of $500 required to open. Open your account in 3 minutes or less
Discover CDs
0.5%
0.55%
0.6%
$2,500
Start saving with $2,500 and enjoy flexible terms from 3 months to 10 years with no account fees.
Radius Bank CDs
0.5%
0.5%
0.5%
$500
Enjoy a low minimum deposit of $500 and earn 0.5% APY on your balance. Apply online for 1 year, 18 month and 3 year terms.
CIT Bank Term CDs
0.3%
0.4%
0.5%
$1,000
Choose from a range of terms with no maintenance fees and $1,000 minimum to open.
Pen Air FCU CDs
0.6%
0.95%
1.15%
$500
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Compare up to 4 providers

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.

What’s changed in 2021?
We removed Barclays from our list because APYs dropped across all CD terms. We added Ally Bank, Consumers Credit Union, Alliant Credit Union, Radius Bank and Quontic Bank because their rates are now among the best in the nation.

Closer look at the best CD rates

We reviewed one, three and five-year CD rates from more than 80 institutions and factored in the APY, minimum deposit and nationwide accessibility. Then, we averaged those rates together to determine those with the highest rates to bring you the top 13 CD rates.

Quontic Bank CD

Quontic Bank CD logo
Apply now
at Quontic Bank's secure site
0.6%
1-year APY
1%
3-year APY
1.11%
5-year APY
$500
Min. opening deposit
  • High interest rate. Quontic Bank offers some of the most impressive interest rates we've seen. Standard CDs range from 0.55% APY on a 6-month CD to a high 1.11% on a 5-year CD.
  • Low minimum deposit. While many CDs require a $1,000 minimum deposit, you can open an account with as little as $500.
  • Interest compounds daily. Instead of compounding interest monthly, Quontic compounds interest daily, so your money grows faster.
  • Limited terms. Quontic CDs only have four term options: six months, one year, two years, three years, and five years.
  • Strict early withdrawal penalties. If you take out your money before the term is up, you'll pay hefty penalties. If the penalty is more than your accrued interest, you may end up losing part of your principal.
6-month term0.55%
12-month term0.6%
24-month term0.75%
60-month term1.11%

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
  • 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 0.25% 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 term0.25%
12-month term0.3%
13-month term0.3%
18-month term0.3%
24-month term0.4%
48-month term0.5%
60-month term0.5%

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
  • Low opening deposits. Short-term CDs have opening deposits of $1,000. Long-term CDs of one year or more have opening deposits of $500.
  • 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 term0.5%
18-month term0.5%
24-month term0.5%
48-month term0.5%
60-month term0.5%

Discover CDs

Discover CDs logo
Apply now
at Discover's secure site
0.5%
1-year APY
0.55%
3-year APY
0.6%
5-year APY
$2,500
Min. opening deposit
  • 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 term0.2%
6-month term0.25%
9-month term0.3%
12-month term0.5%
18-month term0.5%
24-month term0.5%
30-month term0.55%
48-month term0.55%
60-month term0.6%
84-month term0.6%
120-month term0.6%

Pen Air FCU CDs

0.6%
1-year APY
0.95%
3-year APY
1.15%
5-year APY
$500
Min. opening deposit
  • 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 term0.4%
6-month term0.45%
12-month term0.6%
15-month term0.6%
18-month term0.7%
24-month term0.8%
48-month term1.05%
60-month term1.15%

Marcus by Goldman Sachs High-yield CDs

0.55%
1-year APY
0.55%
3-year APY
0.6%
5-year APY
$500
Min. opening deposit
  • 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 0.25%, 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 term0.15%
9-month term0.25%
12-month term0.55%
18-month term0.55%
24-month term0.55%
48-month term0.55%
60-month term0.6%
72-month term0.6%

First National Bank of America Online CD

0.6%
1-year APY
0.8%
3-year APY
1.05%
5-year APY
$1,000
Min. opening deposit
  • Variety of term options. Choose between a 12-, 24-, 36-, 48-, 60-, 72- and 84-month CD.
  • Competitive rates. You'll earn 0.6% 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 term0.6%
24-month term0.7%
48-month term0.9%
60-month term1.05%
72-month term1.1%
84-month term1.15%

First Internet Bank CDs

0.6%
1-year APY
0.81%
3-year APY
0.96%
5-year APY
$1,000
Min. opening deposit
  • 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 term0.25%
6-month term0.45%
12-month term0.6%
18-month term0.65%
24-month term0.7%
48-month term0.86%
60-month term0.96%

Synchrony Bank CDs

0.5%
1-year APY
0.7%
3-year APY
0.8%
5-year APY
$2,000
Min. opening deposit
  • High APY. Earn anywhere from 0.15% APY to 0.8% 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 term0.15%
6-month term0.25%
9-month term0.35%
12-month term0.5%
13-month term0.6%
15-month term0.6%
18-month term0.6%
24-month term0.65%
48-month term0.7%
60-month term0.8%

Prime Alliance Bank CD

0.45%
1-year APY
0.65%
3-year APY
0.75%
5-year APY
$500
Min. opening deposit
  • 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 term0.35%
12-month term0.45%
18-month term0.55%
24-month term0.6%
48-month term0.7%
60-month term0.75%

Ally High Yield CDs

0.55%
1-year APY
0.65%
3-year APY
0.85%
5-year APY
$0.01
Min. opening deposit
  • 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 term0.2%
6-month term0.25%
9-month term0.3%
12-month term0.55%
18-month term0.6%
60-month term0.85%

Alliant Credit Union CD

0.3%
1-year APY
0.6%
3-year APY
0.65%
5-year APY
$1,000
Min. opening deposit
  • Competitive APYs. Alliant Credit Union CDs earn anywhere from 0.3% 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 term0.3%
18-month term0.5%
24-month term0.55%
48-month term0.6%
60-month term0.65%

Consumers Credit Union CDs

0.45%
1-year APY
0.6%
3-year APY
0.7%
5-year APY
$250
Min. opening deposit
  • 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 term0.35%
6-month term0.4%
9-month term0.55%
12-month term0.45%
18-month term0.45%
24-month term0.5%
30-month term0.55%
48-month term0.65%
60-month term0.7%

What are the best CD rates by term?

The best CD rates vary depending on the term you’re looking for. Here’s what you can expect to earn on average, according to the FDIC.

How to find the best CD for me

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

  • CD rates. 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.
  • Compound interest. How often CD 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.
  • Federal insurance. Most financial institutions exclusively offer CDs that are either backed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) or the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). This backing protects amounts up to $250,000 even if the bank fails. Some banks offer uninsured CDs, which have higher APYs but are riskier to own. Unless you’re comfortable with the possibility of losing your money, only open CDs that are federally insured.

How can I use the best CD rates for my CD ladder?

Instead of investing $10,000 in a single CD, you could deposit $2,000 in five CDs with terms ranging from one year to five years. This approach gives you penalty-free access to $2,000 each year, allowing you to take advantage of high APYs while maximizing your liquidity.

Who has the highest 12-month CD rate?

The banking institution that currently offers the highest 1-year CD rate in the U.S. is CapEd Credit Union with a 0.85% APY. But this is for their Smart Step CD, which is only available to members under 25 years old. CapEd member eligibility is exclusive to educators in the Idaho area, so most Americans won’t qualify for this CD.

5 certificate of deposit alternatives

Given that APYs on CDs have plummeted during the COVID-19 pandemic, many Americans are considering alternative ways to save. Here are a few of the most popular options:

  1. High-yield savings accounts. Many high-yield savings accounts offer better APYs than CDs offer, and they don’t have any required terms or early-withdrawal penalties.
  2. Dividend stocks. By buying stocks that pay dividends, you can receive a regular income stream from your investments on top of whatever value your stocks gain.
  3. Exchange-traded funds (ETFs). ETFs are bundles of investments you can buy and sell like stocks. The best ETFs are relatively cheap and typically have lower fees than mutual funds, and they provide better returns than CDs offer.
  4. Corporate, municipal and government bonds. Bonds are similar to CDs in that they involve little risk and modest returns. It’s generally better to buy bonds when CD rates are low, like they are now.
  5. Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending. If you’ve got money to lend, a peer-to-peer platform lets you earn annual returns that typically range from 4.5% to 8%. However, P2P loans are often uninsured, so there’s a higher level of risk than there is with CDs.

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

Did you know that 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

A certificate of deposit provides 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.

Frequently asked questions

Why are CD rates going down?

Banks typically raise and lower rates according to the Federal Reserve. When the Fed cut rates to near-zero in March 2020 to help alleviate the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, many banks followed suit by lowering rates on CDs and savings accounts.

What’s a CD ladder?

A CD ladder is an investment strategy that involves spreading your money across multiple CDs with varying term lengths. This allows you to consistently earn interest while also having access to your money on a rolling basis.

Can you negotiate CD rates?

In most cases, no. The rate you see is the rate you get. But it doesn’t hurt to ask a customer support representative if there’s anything you can do to secure a higher rate. There may be certain promotional or relationship APYs you don’t know about. Or, you may be able to secure a higher rate with a higher opening deposit.

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