My very first investment was in certificates of deposit when I was a teenager. CDs back then paid more than 10%. While we can’t get that kind of return today, a certificate of deposit is a safe place to hold cash. And if you pick a high yield CD, you will earn a decent return.
So here’s a list of featured CD offers with competitive rates:
Featured Certificate of Deposit Offers
Ally Bank continues to win awards for outstanding customer service and is always at the top of the list for interest rates.
Personally, I have a few different Ally deposit accounts. Even though their rates change frequently, I appreciate the service and quality of website they offer. Formerly GMAC, Ally continues to re-brand itself in a positive direction.
Ally Bank offers CDs in a variety of terms, including two that are fairly unique to the space. They have a no-penalty CD that allows you to withdraw your funds at anytime without receiving an interest penalty. They also have a raise your rate CD that allows you to increase the interest rate twice on a four-year CD term (so, you’re not locked into a lower rate).
- Best Ally Bank CD–11-month No-Penalty CD that currently pays a 1.50% APY.
Discover Bank first opened its doors in 1911 in Greenwood, DE. Originally known as the Greenwood Trust Company, the bank joined Discover Financial Services in 2000. Discover is best known for its credit card line of products. But they also offer a wide range of CDs.
I personally own a 10-year IRA CD, which I locked in many years ago at a rate of 2.7% APY. Unfortunately, that specific CD is no longer available. But today, Discover has term lengths of three months all the way to 10 years.
- Best Discover Bank CD–10-year high-yield CD that current pays a 2.35% APY.
Synchrony Bank is a fairly new name in the online banking world, but it has an old history. Formerly GE Capital, Synchrony is the world leader in private label credit cards (think Walmart, Amazon, Lowe’s etc.).
Synchrony Bank offers CD term rates from three months to five years. They also offer IRA CD terms in the same length.
Both IRA and standard high-yield CD rates are the same. And Synchrony bank also offers other deposit products. Included in their product line are Money Markets, High Yield Savings, and IRA Money Markets.
- Best Synchrony Bank CD–15-month high-yield CD that currently pays 1.55% APY ($2,000 minimum opening deposit).
EverBank is located in the great state of Florida, with over 1,500 employees and more than $7 billion under management. Its core product offering is its high-yield checking account.
EverBank also offers a unique World Currency CD. Ranging in length from three to 12 months, you can buy currency in over 20 different world wide currencies (Danish krone, Swiss franc, Russian ruble to name a few).
Standard high-yield CD rates range from three-month to five-year terms. EverBank also offers a bump rate CD and a three-year LIBOR Index CD. Rather than lock yourself into a rate, you can flow up and down based on the three-month LIBOR.
- Best EverBank Bank CD–18-month high-yield CD that currently pays 1.67% APY.
Pentagon Federal Credit Union is a newcomer to our list but has been around serving the United States since 1935.
With more than 1.6 million customers and over $25B in assets, PenFed Credit Union offers credit cards, savings accounts, CDs, and money market accounts. Application can be a little tricky if you’re not associated with the military, but anyone can join following a few easy steps.
High-yield CD rates from Pentagon Federal Credit Union start at six months and extend all the way out to seven years. The minimum amount to open a CD is $1,000. All deposit products are FDIC & NCUA insured.
- Best Pentagon Federal Credit Union CD–3-year high-yield CD that currently pays 1.75% APY
Goldman Sachs Bank USA–Headquartered in New York, Goldman Sachs Bank USA recently started opening up its deposit offerings online.
They offer a relatively slim product line compared to other banks on this list. Customers have a choice between an online savings account or certificates of deposit.
CD rates start at the six-month length and work all the way up to six years. The minimum deposit to open up a Goldman Sachs Bank USA CD is $500. Also included on all CD accounts is a 10-day rate guarantee. This means that if you open an account and the rate goes up immediately, you get the new, higher rate.
- Best Goldman Sachs Bank USA CD–12-month high-yield CD that currently pays 1.40% APY
Barclays Bank–The oldest bank on our list, Barclays Bank was founded back in 1700s in England has come across the pond to offer extremely competitive credit card and deposit products. One of the coolest online deposit products available is the Barclays Dream Account. There, customers will earn a very high interest rate on their savings account, while taking advantage of a 2.5% bonus every time they make for six straight months.
Barclays Bank has a fairly standard set of CD terms, ranging from three months to five years. Unlike others on this list, there is no minimum balance required to open a certificate of deposit with Barclays.
- Best Barclays Bank CD–2-month high-yield CD that currently pays 1.45% APY
3 Things to Consider When Comparing CD Rates
Penalties–You will lose interest if you don’t hold the CD for the whole term. Many of the above banks charge 60 days of interest as a penalty for requesting your money early and some can go as high as nine months! If you’re someone who needs liquidity, then creating a CD ladder is your best option. For example, instead of investing $25,000 into a single 5-year CD, you can invest $5,000 into a five year CD every year. So after five years, you’ll have $5,000 of liquidity + interest to either take out, or re-invest.
Check Local Banks and Credit Unions–Even though the banks you see above make up the majority of online deposits in the United States, a local bank or credit union can sometimes, do better. Earlier this month, my local Citizens Bank offered me 1.75% on an 17-month CD.
Local banks and credit unions may not have the manpower or the marketing dollars to attract millions of clients, but that’s the very reason they might be able to attract you. Low overhead costs and local advertising budgets mean more value in the products they’re offering. This of course doesn’t mean they’re all winners (my parents refuse to listen to me about their 5-year 0.35% CD for example) but it does mean you should explore the banks in your community.
CD Alternatives – Investing your money into something with less than a 2% return takes some stomaching. The rates you see above are guaranteed for the length of the term and are FDIC insured up to $250,00 per depositor so there is no risk. That said there are a bevy of other places to park your money for a better return … if you’re willing to take on a little risk.
- Peer to Peer lending platforms like Prosper and Lending Club average annual returns of 5% – 7%. Greater than 95% of their notes return profits.
- Robo investing is a great way to park your money and let qualified investors to the heavy lifting. The fees are typically under 1% of your investment annually and the returns average greater than 5%. Two highly regarding companies are Betterment and M1Finance.
- Real Estate Crowdfunding is fairly new, and allows you the chance to invest in real-estate with a relatively small amount of money. Places like RealtyMogul, Fundrise and RealtyShares are free to sign-up and again charge a small percentage of investment fee for annual returns in the 8% – 10% range.