Investing in a CD is a great way to keep money safe and secure while earning a solid return. One year CD rates won’t bring in thousands of dollars in interest each year unless you invest a lot of money. But they are FDIC-insured for up to $250,000 per depositor and they let you receive a guaranteed rate that’s generally higher than what you’ll get with a savings or money market account.
CIT Bank — CIT’s best CD offering actually happens to be the 11-month no penalty CD and it’s 1.80% APY. That interest rate is slightly lower than some of the other 12 month CD’s you’ll find on the list but it comes without any penalty should you need to liquidate your funds. CIT Bank also has a terrific 1.85% APY on their Savings Builder product that they just launched, which is another great way to make interest without the fear of early withdrawal penalties.
The minimum deposit amount for a CIT CD is $1,000, and they offer terms from six months all the way up to 60 months. They also offer RampUp CDs where you can increase your interest rate once per term (1-3 years in length). The minimum deposit for these, however, is a robust $25,000.
Ally Bank — Ally Bank also offers an 11 month no penalty CD, and they offer a tiered interest rate. If you have $25,000 to deposit, the interest rate is a good 1.90%. For $5,000, the interest rate is a good 1.70%, and for anything less, it’s an OK 1.65%. For those depositing less than $5,000, the 2.00% APY on their standard 12 month high-yield CD would be best. It, too, has no minimum balance requirement.
Ally Bank offers more than just CDs too. They offer a high-yield savings account, a cash rewards credit card, an online checking account, and one of the best cash back rewards credit cards available on the market today. With IRAs, Money Markets and even an online discount broker, Ally Bank has transformed from a now-defunct mortgage lender (GMAC) into a one-stop shop for just about any quality deposit account.
Synchrony Bank — Formerly known as GE Capital, Synchrony Bank tops our interest rate list with a 2.50% APY for a 12 month CD. Synchrony Bank offers a range of CDs from three-month terms to five-year terms, and the minimum deposit required is $2,000.
The Synchrony online savings account offers an APY of 2.00% with no minimum deposit required. If you’re looking to invest for retirement, you can also open up a traditional or Roth IRA CD. The interest rates are identical to that of high yield CDs but with tax benefits.
Marcus — Offering the best current rate on a one year CD, Marcus sports a terrific 2.40% APY. In fact, Marcus is also the only Bank on our list to offer a six year CD term with an APY of 2.65%. That APY is the highest of any CD term offered by the five banks you see featured here. There is a $500 minimum deposit required to open a CD account, and early withdrawal penalties do apply.
Marcus savings account has a 2.00% APY and was rated by MONEY magazine as the best standalone account for savings in 2016. Unlike some of the other banks however, Marcus is a little light on their other product offerings. CDs and online savings are currently their only online deposit accounts.
Discover Bank — Discover Bank currently offers one year CD term at 2.00% APY. As you work your way up the Discover CD scale, the interest rates can get as high as 2.20% (on a 10 year term). The minimum deposit to open a CD with Discover is $2,500.
Discover Bank also very recently launched an online checking account with cash back. All account holders can earn 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month. This means the potential for $360 a year in cashback! If you’re gun-shy about owning a credit card and taking advantage of rewards programs, this kind of account is a perfect match. Lastly, the Discover Savings Account currently offers a 1.70% APY and has no minimum deposit requirement.
12 Month CD vs High Yield Savings Account
When you look at the interest rates on this page, you may be asking “Why not just keep my money in an online savings account?” High yield savings accounts have almost identical interest rates as 12-month CD rates. Is there a benefit to locking your money away for one year vs. earning the same interest in a liquid account?
The primary benefit of the one year CD is in fact, locking your money away. Interest rates are not guaranteed with an online savings account. The money you have saved can be earning 1.30% APY today, and 1.15% APY tomorrow. Locking in a rate means for one full year, you know exactly what you’re getting. For the same reason I pre-pay for my heating oil every year, I also tuck away money in CDs.
Editor’s Note: Make sure to check your local banks for the best 12-month CD rates as well. Sometimes the national brands can’t match what your bank down the street can provide.