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Vanguard CD rates and review

You'll need $1,000 minimum deposit, but the rates aren't worth it.’s rating: 2.3 / 5.0


With a Vanguard brokerage account, you have a range of CDs to invest in. But their interest rates aren’t competitive and you’ll pay a hefty minimum deposit of $1,000 to open a CD.

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1-year APY


3-year APY


5-year APY


Star rate4.9
3-month APY3.80%
5-month APY4.25%
6-month APY4.25%
7-month APY4.50%
9-month APY4.50%
11-month APY4.63%
1-year APY4.63%
13-month APY4.70%
14-month APY4.70%
15-month APY4.70%
18-month APY4.70%
2-year APY4.80%
3-year APY4.90%
4-year APY4.85%
5-year APY4.90%
Early withdrawal penaltyEarly withdrawal penalty not advertised
Minimum deposit to open$1,000
Interest compoundingVaries

Review by

Katia Iervasi is a lead writer and spokesperson at NerdWallet and a former editor at Finder, specializing in insurance. Her writing and analysis on life, disability and health insurance has been featured in The Washington Post, Forbes, Yahoo, Entrepreneur, Best Company and FT Advisor. She holds a BA in communication from Australia's Griffith University.

Expert review

Vanguard’s CD rates aren’t competitive and to earn the highest rate, you’re looking at locking your money away for seven years. Plus, you’ll need at least $1,000 to open a CD, and the interest only compounds once it hits your money market account upon maturity. You’ll find higher CD rates on shorter terms at other banks like Discover and Marcus by Goldman Sachs.

How do I open a Vanguard CD?

You’ll need to open a brokerage account with Vanguard to buy CDs. The firm claims it takes 10 minutes to fill out the online form. These are the steps:

  1. Go to the provider’s site and follow the steps to apply.
  2. On the homepage, click Open an Account.
  3. This will launch the form. Again, press Open an Account.
  4. Decide how you’ll fund your account.
  5. Select your avatar, then click Next.
  6. Link your bank account.
  7. You’ll be asked if you’re registered on If you’re a customer, log in with your username and password. Otherwise, click No and Continue.
  8. Choose an account type: Retirement, General Savings, Education or Small Business. Press Continue.
  9. Select your Investment Objectives — income, growth, capital preservation or speculation, and the Source of Your Funds — salary, retirement savings, investment gains, inheritance or corporate income. Click Continue.
  10. Enter your personal, contact and citizenship information.
  11. Follow the prompts to fund your account.
  12. You’ll receive an email confirmation within one to two days. Once your account is funded, you can search for CDs.
Already have an account? You can go straight to browsing.
  1. Log in on the Vanguard website.
  2. Navigate to Investing > CDs & Bonds.
  3. Scroll down and click Find CDs & Bonds


To open a CD, you must meet these general requirements:

  • 18 years old.
  • US Citizen or Resident Alien with a physical address, Social Security number or individual taxpayer ID and a driver’s license or state-issued ID.
  • $1,000 minimum deposit.

Required information

To whiz through the form, have this info handy:

  • Mailing address, email address and phone number
  • Your bank’s routing and account number
  • Social Security number or individual taxpayer ID
  • Employer’s name and address

Funding options

You can deposit funds into your new account in the following ways:

  • Electronic bank transfer from an outside bank
  • Move money from another Vanguard account
  • Rollover from an employee plan, like a 401(k)
  • Transfer from another financial firm

Benefits of a Vanguard CD

Buying Vanguard CDs offers a string of benefits, including:

  • Range of term lengths.There are 11 new-issue CDs on offer, starting at one month and stretching to 10 years.
  • Fee-free sales. The firm charges zero commission for selling CDs on the secondary market.
  • Sophisticated app. Monitor your investments on the mobile app, compatible with Apple, Android and Amazon devices.
  • Extensive education resources. Hop on the site to access guides, videos and expert advice articles.
  • Ownership structure. Set up as many individual or joint savings goals as you’d like.
  • Connect outside accounts. Vanguard is a mutual company, owned by its customers. This sets it apart from many investment management firms, which are owned by stockholders.

What to watch out for

No banking product is perfect. These are the drawbacks of Vanguard CDs:

  • Low interest rates.With Vanguard you’ll only earn 4.63% APY on it’s 1 year CD. To earn the highest rate at 0.75%, you’ll need to lock your money away for seven years. You’ll find higher rates on shorter terms at other banks.
  • Large minimum deposit.While most brokerage CDs require a minimum deposit, Vanguard’s is incredibly high at $1,000. Thereafter, you can buy CDs in $1,000 increments.
  • Simple interest. Interest doesn’t compound in CDs. Because of that, you’ll receive the same return on principal each year.
  • Short support window.You can reach the team by phone from Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. EST. Outside of those hours, you’re limited to emailing and browsing the FAQs.
  • No live chat function. Unlike many other banks and brokerage firms, Vanguard offers no real-time help online.
  • Fee for secondary market transactions. If you sell a CD on the secondary market, Vanguard won’t charge a commission. But it will for other transactions on the secondary market.
  • Account service fees. There’s a standard $20 annual fee on brokerage accounts with balances under $10,000. However, you can waive this by signing up for e-statements.

Vanguard not fitting your needs? Review more of your options with our guide to CDs.

Compare a Vanguard CD to other CDs

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Western Alliance Bank 12 months CDs through SaveBetter
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Western Alliance Bank 12 months CDs through SaveBetter
Get 5.01% APY on a 12 month CD, and earn an APY that’s 14.8x higher than the national average. Pay no fees and just a $1 minimum deposit. FDIC insured.
Barclays Online CDs
Finder Rating: 4.5 / 5: ★★★★★
Barclays Online CDs
Get competitive rates on CD term lengths from 3 to 60 months. A reliable and secure way to see your money grow. FDIC insured.
CIT Bank Term CDs
Finder Rating: 3.5 / 5: ★★★★★
CIT Bank Term CDs
Choose from a range of terms with no maintenance fees and $1,000 minimum to open. FDIC insured.
Crescent Bank
Finder Rating: 4.8 / 5: ★★★★★
Crescent Bank
Earn competitive rates up to 5.10% APY (annual percentage yield) on terms ranging from 1 to 5 years. Pay $0 maintenance fees. Member FDIC.
Ponce Bank CD through SaveBetter
Finder Rating: 4.9 / 5: ★★★★★
Ponce Bank CD through SaveBetter
Snag the highest APYs on the market for the shortest CD terms via SaveBetter. FDIC insured.

How do I cash in a CD?

Vanguard CDs have no automatic renewal or rollover into another CD at maturity. When your CD matures, the principal amount is transferred to your linked money market account. If you’d like to reinvest, you can purchase a new CD online or over the phone.

How can I get in touch with customer service?

You can reach a Vanguard representative by:

  • Phone. If you’re a new customer, call 800-252-9578 Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST. Existing clients can dial 800-888-3751 Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. EST.
    • Calling from outside the US? Ring +1-610-669-1000.
  • Email. Head to the Contact Us page to send a secure message.
  • In person. No walk-ins are accepted. Make an appointment to visit the offices in:
    • Charlotte, North Carolina
    • Scottsdale, Arizona
    • Valley Forge, Pennsylvania
  • Mail. Address snail mail to:
    • Vanguard
      455 Devon Park Drive
      Wayne, PA 19087

What other savings products does Vanguard offer?

Vanguard specializes in investment products, so it doesn’t offer any straight savings accounts.

Frequently asked questions

CDs ratings

★★★★★ — Excellent

★★★★★ — Good

★★★★★ — Average

★★★★★ — Subpar

★★★★★ — Poor

We rate CDs and share certificates on a scale ranging from one to five stars based on what matters most to you. We consider two factors equally when rating CDs: minimum deposits and annual percentage yields (APYs) relative to term length. If a bank requires a different minimum opening deposit depending on the chosen term, we rate the CD based on the average minimum deposit across all terms. And although some institutions offer CDs with terms ranging from one week to 20 years, we only consider term lengths the FDIC uses in its monthly updates on national rates.

Read the full methodology of how we rate CDs.

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