Best CD Accounts | GOBankingRates
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CDs, also known as certificates of deposit, are a great way to capitalize on your savings potential. Like a traditional savings account, they are a safe investment established through a bank or credit union, but generally CDs have higher interest rates (currently more than 4%), allowing you to make more on your return. There are some things to consider, however, before opening up a CD as the terms of the agreement are specific.
To determine the best CD accounts available in the market, GOBankingRates ranked nearly 65 banks based on a number of factors, including:
- Total assets
- Number of branch locations
- Minimum deposit amount needed to open a CD
- 12-month CD APY
- 60-month CD APY
- Mobile app ratings
GOBankingRates’ Best CD Accounts of 2023
Best for online access
Why we like First Internet Bank
A pioneer in online banking, First Internet Bank is a trusted name in the space. The bank offers solid CD account options and sophisticated text message customer support. As an early adopter of online banking, it has years of experience providing full-featured, low-cost banking services.
There are eight term lengths, from three months to five years, and a $1,000 minimum is required to open an account.
- Great CD account options
- Text message customer support available
- No physical branches
- No ATM networks
First Internet Bank is a great choice for individuals who want solid CD account options and are tech-savvy enough to appreciate the snazzy text-messaging-based customer support — but it’s not for everybody. The lack of physical branches and ATM networks are major downsides for some.
Best for rate guarantee
Why we like Ally Bank
Ally touts above-average interest rates on its CD accounts, along with plenty of flexibility on terms. Being an online-only bank helps keep overhead low, meaning it can afford higher interest on CDs. For an online-only bank, it also has plenty of ATM access in the U.S.
With Ally Bank’s Ten Day Best Rate Guarantee, you can get the best rate for your balance and term if you fund your non-IRA CD within 10 days of your opening date. You’ll get the best rate Ally can offer for your term and balance tier if the rate goes up during this time.
- 10-day best-rate guarantee
- No Penalty CD at 3.50% APY for 11 months
- Access to over 43,000 Allpoint ATMs in the U.S.
- No direct cash deposits
- No branches available
- Withdrawals can take several days
Ally Bank offers a variety of CD options including High Yield CD, Raise Your Rate CD, No Penalty CD and Select CD to meet your needs along with the Ally Ten Day Best Rate Guarantee. Plus, this Guarantee applies upon renewal.
Best for above-average rates
Why we like American Express National Bank
Opening an American Express CD account puts your money to work. Choose your terms up to five years for a locked-in rate with a guaranteed return and up to 4.25% APY.
The interest on the bank’s CDs ranges from 4.15% APY for a 12-month term to 4.25% APY for a five-year term.
- APY well above the national average
- Interest compounds daily
- No monthly service fees
This online-only bank boasts very competitive interest rates on its certificates of deposit — and with no monthly service fees. Choose the terms and receive assurance of a fixed interest rate which will help your money grow.
Best for no minimum deposit
Why we like Barclays Bank
A Barclays CD is a solid choice because there is no minimum deposit to open the account and the interest rate is extremely competitive for most banks, including online-only institutions. You make deposits by transferring funds from the external bank account linked to your Barclays CD account.
The interest rate varies from 4.25% for 12-month CDs to 4.30% for 60-month CDs.
- Competitive CD rates
- No monthly maintenance fees
- No minimum deposit to open the account
- No mobile app for U.S. account holders
There’s nothing particularly unique about this CD account, but for a non-online-only account, it’s got a really high interest rate. Barclays Bank CDs are available in terms ranging from 12 to 60 months. The interest rate varies from 4.25% for 12-month CDs to 4.30% for 60-month CDs. The only downers are that this institution offers only savings accounts and CDs and touts no mobile app for U.S. account holders.
Best for high rates
Why we like Capital One
Rates vary between 3.30% and 4.40% APY. Capital One’s CD is the most lucrative if you can commit for at least 24 months to earn 4.30% or more. It also sports a network of over 70,000 surcharge-free ATMs and access to Capital One Cafés and branches.
There are several term commitments to choose from, between six and 60 months.
- No monthly service fees
- 70,000 surcharge-free ATMs
- Higher-than-average interest rates
- There are early-withdrawal penalties
If you can afford to lock up your money for at least two years to earn the impressive 4.30% APY or more, then this is a great CD for you. Otherwise, you may be better off going for the bank’s 360 Performance savings account without having to worry about early-withdrawal penalties and getting a 3.30% APY.
Best for 24/7 customer service
Why we like Discover Bank
The rates here are above average for a CD account, which makes this one appealing. Plus there are no monthly maintenance fees. CD accounts are available in terms from three months to 10 years.
Rates range from 1.50% APY for a three-month term, to 4.40% APY for 5-year, 7-year and 10-year terms.
- Above-average rates
- 24/7 customer service
- No maintenance fees
- High minimum deposit to open a CD
- No branch availability
The bank’s CD offerings have no monthly maintenance fees and are available in terms from three months to 10 years. The more you have, the more APY you generate, which is pretty standard for CDs. The main caveat here is that a pretty hefty sum is required to open a CD account: a $2,500 minimum opening deposit. Additionally, there is no branch availability.
Best for great rates
Why we like Marcus by Goldman Sachs
Marcus offers CD rates that beat the national average. The bank offers a variety of term lengths and rates on its CDs, which makes it competitive with the best CD rates. If you’re unable to commit to a long-term CD, consider the No-Penalty CD option. You can earn 3.50% when you commit to 13 months. If you need to withdraw the funds early, you won’t be subject to penalties as long as you wait at least seven days from funding the CD.
Marcus by Goldman Sachs provides a 10-day rate guarantee. If the rate goes up during those 10 days after opening your account, you’ll get the higher rate automatically.
- 10-day rate guarantee
- Strong rates
- No-penalty CD option
Marcus also offers a Rate Bump CD when you commit to a 20-month term, and if the bank increases its CD rate during that term, you can increase your rate to match one time during those 20 months. There is no fee and no penalty.
Best for dedicated advisor
Why we like Raymond James Bank
This account comes with a dedicated advisor, which gives it a nice white-glove feel. CD terms range from 90 days to five years, with APYs from 4.05% to 4.30%. If you have a Raymond James brokerage account, you can get one consolidated statement for a more complete financial picture.
Receive flexibility in length of investment and choice of cash flow with short-term and longer-term CD options.
- Consolidated statements
- Dedicated advisor with an investment account
- Liquidity prior to termination
- No branches for in-person banking
- Customer service available only during normal business hours
With a dedicated advisor and consolidated statements, this CD may be a good investment in a balanced portfolio. However, it’s important to understand the benefits and risks associated with a CD as well.
Best for mobile app
Why we like TAB Bank
TAB Bank has eight different CD options, with terms ranging from six to 60 months. Rates start at 3.35% APY for a six-month CD and max out at 4.00% APY for a 60-month CD.
You must maintain a $1,000 minimum daily balance to earn the published rates, and you’ll incur an interest penalty if you withdraw your money before the CD matures.
- Many term options
- Well-rated mobile app
- Highly competitive APY interest rates
- No physical branches
- Must maintain balance to avoid penalty
TIAA Bank offers a streamlined opening process. Choose the terms which match your needs and receive additional peace of mind in knowing there’s no monthly account fee and automatic renewal on maturity.
Best for great APY
Why we like TIAA
This account touts a truly impressive APY. It also boasts convenient and intuitive online banking. While TIAA Bank primarily provides banking and financial services for teachers, anyone can open a bank or brokerage account as long as they’re a U.S. resident.
TIAA Bank Basic CD rates start at 2.00% APY for three months, with the potential of up to 3.45% APY.
- Easy online banking via the TIAA Bank website and mobile app
- More than 80,000 fee-free ATMs available
- Very high APY
- Non-TIAA ATM fees are only reimbursed up to $15 per month — though unlimited reimbursements are available if you maintain a minimum average daily balance of $5,000
- Limited branches
A 4.30% APY is a pretty serious one. For that reason alone, this account should not be passed over. But one might not want to overlook the fact that TIAA has such a scarce physical presence for a non-online bank.
What To Know About CDs
A certificate of deposit is one kind of savings account offered by banks and credit unions that offers a safe and easy way to invest and make a return on your money. Unlike traditional savings, however, it’s not a liquid account that you can easily withdraw money from when you might need it. When opening a CD, you’ll determine the length of the fixed “term” that will be established (from three months to a number of years), and the money will be locked for that period of time. In return, CDs offer a fixed, higher interest rate than a typical savings account, allowing a higher yield on your money.
How Is a CD Different From a Savings Account?
Unlike a typical savings account, CDs are typically fixed, locked investments. When you open a CD, you’ll determine the length of time you want to keep it active, the set amount to put in and the interest rate will be fixed for that time as well (the longer you choose, the more interest you’ll earn). This means you won’t be able to make early withdrawals without incurring a penalty. Usually the penalty is a portion of the interest accrued, dependent on the financial institution’s terms. Savings accounts allow more flexibility, where you can keep contributing various dollar amounts, link accounts and take out withdrawals at any time.
The Different Types of CDs
Under the umbrella of certificates of deposit, there are a number to choose from, all offering their own terms and advantages:
Traditional – This is the standard CD method, where you contribute a particular dollar amount that stays locked in the account for a predetermined amount of time. It’s ideal if you know what you want to contribute ahead of time and won’t need to take early withdrawals. It also offers the highest interest rate of the various forms of CDs.
No Penalty – Also known as a liquid CD, this option does have more flexibility, allowing for withdrawals before the maturation date of the savings plan without a penalty. However, the financial institution may still impose a waiting period before you take out money and they might not let you take out a percentage but rather mandate you have to take out the full amount, which means you won’t be able to earn on the original deposit. The interest rate for a no-penalty CD will be a bit lower than a traditional CD.
Bump-Up – The advantage of this type of CD is that you are allowed to ask the bank to raise your interest rate during the term. This can be useful if you think interest rates will rise during the months or years you have specified for the CD, such as during a period of high inflation. Choosing this option may provide the chance to get more interest over time, but it also means a lower interest rate at the start of the term.
The Terms of a CD
When you open a CD, you’ll choose the “term,” or length of time you are locking in the money before it’s vested. Typical CDs offer 3-month and 6-month terms as well as terms of one, three and five years.
Are CDs a Safe Investment?
Generally, yes. Like regular savings accounts that you open at a bank or credit union, CDs are protected under the provisions of the government-led Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) or National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), as long as you don’t exceed the insured amount, which is $250,000 per person, per bank. And because the CD is a straightforward investment, rather than investing in stock market shares, there is less risk involved.
Are CDs Taxed at the End of a Term?
Yes, the interest you earn with a CD is considered taxable interest as defined by the IRS. If you earn any amount over $10 during the term of your CD, you’ll receive a Copy B of Form 1099-INT or Form 1099-OID that you’ll need to report when you file your tax return.
What Is CD Laddering?
This is one strategy advised by financial experts, to open multiple CDs at once and stagger the terms and deposits so that you can have access to some of the money sooner and avoid getting stuck in one long-term CD if interest rates begin to rise. So, rather than investing $3,000 in one long-term CD, you might choose to put $1,000 in a 6-month CD, $1,000 in a 1-year CD and $1,000 in a 3-year CD to capitalize on investments while also having access to vested money sooner.
Pros and Cons of CDs
Higher interest rates – One of the big benefits is that a CD allows a higher interest rate than a traditional savings account, as a payoff for locking your money in for the specific term. Depending on the length of CD you choose, this APY could be 4% or higher.
Better saving capability – Because the money initially deposited into a CD cannot be touched during the remainder of its term, it prevents you from being able to make withdrawals, which would otherwise cut into your ability to save the money. When you don’t have access to the funds, they can continue to grow. This is also a great option when you have a specific financial goal or a future expense you want to prepare for where you can accrue interest over that time period.
Guaranteed rates – Timing is everything with CDs. If you choose to open this type of account during times of inflation, when interest rates are high, you’ll be able to lock that same rate in over the course of the term, even if inflation subsides and interest rates come down.
No access to the funds – Though CDs have their perks, one of the big drawbacks is that you cannot touch the money until the term is complete, or you’ll incur a penalty for an early withdrawal. When you open a CD, you lock the money in the account, and this could be for a substantial amount of time, up to several years. There are some options like liquid CDs that do have flexibility where you can access the money originally deposited, but these accounts don’t have the high interest rates of the traditional options.
Rates are locked in – As mentioned, timing is everything with CDs. If you are savvy and open an account during times of inflation when interest rates are high, you’ll be able to secure an ideal APY. But, if you open a CD when rates have leveled out, you won’t be able to take advantage of higher interest if those rates jump up over the course of the term.
Earning potential – While CDs earn interest at a higher rate than a regular savings account, there are other investment options that have even greater yields such as securities and stocks. Though, CDs are generally a safer, less volatile investment.
Best Banks 2023
To determine the Best CD Accounts of 2023, GOBankingRates looked at the following factors from all banks: (1) total assets; (2) number of branch locations; (3) minimum deposit to open an account; (4) 12-month CD APY; (5) 60-month CD APY; (6) Mobile app ratings. All data is up to date as of Nov. 9, 2022. Rates and fees are subject to change.
Nicole Spector contributed to the reporting for this article.
Although the basic idea behind a CD account can be simple to understand, there are still many common questions surrounding them. Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding CD accounts.
- What are 2 drawbacks of putting your money in a CD?
- Though CDs do have many benefits, there are some drawbacks to opening this type of savings account. One of the main drawbacks is the fact that you normally do not have access to the funds in your original deposit until the term is over (whether that’s three months or three years), unless you open a liquid CD that is more flexible. Another drawback is that the interest rate is locked in for your CD as well, so if interest rates rise during the course of your term, you won’t be able to take advantage.
- What is the biggest negative of putting your money in a CD?
- One of the biggest disadvantages of a CD is that your money is locked until the term of the CD is over. So if you invested $1,000 and chose a 3-year CD, you will not be able to withdraw any of the original $1,000 until that 3-year term is over without incurring a financial penalty.
- How high will CD rates go up in 2023?
- It’s difficult to predict how high interest rates will go up this year as it’s dependent on external factors. The interest rates for CDs are closely tied to the Federal Reserve’s actions when raising or lowering rates. Generally, when the Fed moves interest rates, banks tend to follow in the same direction. In 2022, the Fed raised interest rates several times as a measure to curb inflation so CD APYs have been high; if inflation continues to be an issue in 2023, APYs may remain elevated.
- Is it worth putting money in a CD right now?
- Interest rates for CDs are at an all-time high currently, due to the fact that the Federal Reserve has increased rates several times in the past year in order to curb inflation. As such, now is a great time to take advantage of the increased interest potential with a CD.
- Are CDs worth it in 2023?
- Right now is a great time to open up a CD since interest rates remain high (the Federal Reserve has still not brought them down yet after increasing rates several times in 2022). Opening up a CD now will allow you to lock in that high rate for the full term of your account, even if rates do come down before your money is vested.
- Can you get 6% on a CD?
- Generally, no. Interest rates for CDs tend to fluctuate between 0%-5% based on the health of the economy. The last time the CD APY jumped above 5% was during the 1980s during a time of double-digit inflation.