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My very first investment was in a certificate 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. Here's our list of the best CD rates.

My very first investment was in a certificate 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. Here’s our list of the best CD rates.

We’ve evaluated more than a dozen traditional and online banks and more than 100 certificates of deposit. The best CD rates come from online banks. They beat their brick and mortar competitors by a country mile.  Below you will find banks that offer terrific CD rates.

Our Top Picks

Ally Bank High Yield CD – terms of three months to five years; no minimum deposit

Ally Bank earns our top pick because it consistently pays top rates on CDs. It offers accounts with no fees and no minimum balance. Opening an account is quick and easy. There is no balance required to get the top rate.

Ally Bank is a FDIC-insured financial institution, so your money is safe up to the FDIC insurance limits.

CIT Bank No Penalty CD – 11-month no penalty CD term; 1.80% APY; $1,000 minimum deposit

If you’ve been paying attention to CD rates lately, you know they’ve been going up.  CIT has taken it one step further by offering an 11-month no-penalty CD with a 1.80% APY.  This is a great rate for a short term, and the minimum deposit required is only $1,000.

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We Know Certificates of Deposit

I’ve invested in certificates of deposit since 1979. I can recall earning more than 16% on a 6-month CD. Today I still use CDs to hold our emergency fund and track CD rates daily both here and for Forbes.

The Dough Roller editorial team represents more than 50 years worth of experience when it comes to certificates of deposit. We’ve used that experience and countless hours of research to help you find a great CD.

Best CD Rates Updated Daily

Here’s a list of current CD rates. These rates are updated throughout the day:

Featured Certificates of Deposit by Term

Shopping for a CD takes more work than looking for a savings account. The reason is simple. Rates changed based on the term of the CD. One bank might have a great 1-year rate, while another bank may be the best at three or five year CDs.

Given this, we’ve listed here some of the CD rates based on the term.

Synchrony Bank–Term:  3 months to 5 years; Rates: 0.75% to 1.65% APY; $2,000 minimum deposit to open

Synchrony 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 of 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–12-month high-yield CD that currently pays 1.50% APY ($2,000 minimum opening deposit).

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CIT Bank–Term: Up to 5 years; Rates: Up to 1.75% APY; $1,000 minimum deposit to open

Founded in 1908, CIT Bank has more than $50 billion in assets. An FDIC-insured financial institution, it offers CD terms up to 5 years. It does require a minimum deposit, but at $1,000, it’s manageable for most savers.

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Discover Bank–Term: 3 months to 10 years; Rate: 0.25% to 1.05% APY; $2,500 minimum deposit to open

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 2.70% APY.  And now, the interest rate is unfortunately reduced at 1.05%.

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Ally Bank–Term: 3 months to 5 years; Rate: 0.75% to 1.55% APY; no minimum deposit to open
Ally continues to win awards for outstanding customer service and is always at the top of the list for interest rates.

Ally 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 its website. 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 any time after 6 days from funding the account without paying 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–12-month High Yield CD that currently pays a 1.50% APY

Barclays –Term: 3 months to 5 years; Rates: 0.35% to 1.75% APY; No minimum balance to open

The oldest bank on our list, Barclays Bank was founded back in the 1700’s in England. It has come across the pond to offer extremely competitive credit card and deposit products. 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–12-month high-yield CD that currently pays 1.70% APY

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Marcus Bank–Term: 6 months to 6 years; Rate: 0.60% to 1.90% APY; $500 minimum deposit to open account

Marcus–Headquartered in New York, Marcus is named after it’s founder; Marcus Goldman (Goldman Sachs USA).

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 Marcus 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 Marcus USA CD–12-month high-yield CD that currently pays 1.85% APY
  • Marcus Savings Account – $1 minimum deposit with a 1.70% 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.

Of course, you can always choose a no-penalty CD, as we’ve covered above.

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.

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.

Author Bio

Total Articles: 1083
Rob founded the Dough Roller in 2007. A litigation attorney in the securities industry, he lives in Northern Virginia with his wife, their two teenagers, and the family mascot, a shih tzu named Sophie.

Article comments

Matthew Ruff says:

Very informative, thank you for the charts and comparison of rates.

Dave Banas says:

Leave your 401k money in your company fixed income at 3.5

Rj says:

Dave, what is getting u/them 3.5%..mine is barely approaching 2

Florri Beckley says:

Hi Dave,

Are you better off stashing away , if you can afford it, a larger sum in a 5 year CD for the highest rate, or laddering smaller amounts for shorter times?

I am looking for a safe alternative to the market.

thank you!

Mojo says:

Become a member of the Ukrainian Selfreliance Federal Credit Union (UKRFCU) in Philadelphia PA (US). Becoming a member is easy. They are currently offering a 60 month (5 year) jumbo CD ($75,000.00 or more) for 2.65%. It is down from 2.75% as of 07/01/2018.

Mojo says:

That date is a typo. I meant to type, “It is down from 2.75% as of 07/01/2016.”

You do not have to be in or from Philly to become a member. You can become a member by phone from anywhere in the county and after completing the application process by either fax, email or regular mail.

I also forgot to mention the 60 month Jumbo CD also comes with one “bump up” opportunity during the duration of the 60 months.

Connie Robertson says:

Don’t you have to be from the Ukraine or be Ukrainian? I went to sign up with them and they told me I had to be a member of something else and I had to be Ukrainian to become a member.

Troy says:

Looking to buy a cd one to two year .who has the best rate ?

M Becker says:

What do you know about NASA Fed CU?
I see that they are offering 1.35% for 15 months and 2% for 49 month (12/5/16)

J. Guderian says:

I have accounts at Navy Federal CU. Why doesn’t it show up in cd recommendations?

John says:

Navy Federal does accept memberships from former service members. It is a small fee to join.

joanofark06 says:

Hi J. Guderian, I think it’s awful that not everyone can join up with that site. THEY have the best rate ANYWHERE, at 2.25%! I’m former military, so I’m in, thank heavens, because NO ONE has any rates over 2.00%, sadly. A LOT of banks did have their rate over 2.00%, awhile back, until the Fed’s dropped the interest rate, once, then twice, and then three times (trying to help the economy, of course), and pretty much EVERY bank, dropped THEIR rate, in “follow the leader”!! I had about 5 good banks, and by the time the Fed’s were done, I had to drop EVERY one of them! Boy, was I mad! And then they didn’t just drop them once, noooo, they had to wait a week or two, and drop their rates again. And then some banks would wait a month, and then BOOM, they’d drop them again. And again. It was very upsetting! I’m just waiting on Navy Federal to do it. And I’ve been holding my breath, but they’ve remained steady for about 6 months now, and I plan to stay with them a LONG time, I hope. All other banks can’t compare to them! So again, I feel for ya. Wish you could get them! But maybe one day, one of the many other banks will do, what Trump said at one (or two) times….and that is, “make America great again”. That is just not happening for Americans and their savings, THESE days….so sad. But Trump would just LOVE for you to go get a huge loan, and get in debt (since rates are low for those, and that’s a good thing). But how does THAT help Americans…? Grrr…

K. flacy says:

Navy FCU is for active duty military, retirees, DOD, families, and contractors. Even former service members are not eligible to join.

Kathy says:

I am a former service member and I have navy federal I don’t know who told you former service member were not eligible….

michelle says:

“former service member can not join” means they can keep the account if opened while active then allowed to keep acct open after becoming inactive?

Jamie says:

Ally is currently offering 12 months at 2% no minimum.

joanofark06 says:

I remember THOSE days!

Larry says:

Navy Federal has some of the best rates hands down if you’re able to join. 15-month current CD special at 2.25% is pretty good you ask me.

joanofark06 says:

And I am STILL happy that I found that in 2019! And being former military gave me my lucky bank! I’d love to tell the rest of the banks, where they can stick THEIR rates! I HAVE a home!

Mike Roberts says:

Key Brokerage is offering a 5 Year CD Min. $200K at 3.10% APY Best in country I think!

joanofark06 says:

Only in a few certain states, if you want the savings. For CD’s, you have to have at least 2,000+ minimum..

Ellen says:

If you are active or retired military and it is still March 2018 the rates are a 5% for a 1 year CD! 4% for non-military. Good deal!

David H Wadley says:

Where was this at and was it FDIC insured?

John Zoe says:

In a period of rising Fed Funds rates, it is a mistake to lock in a CD for more than 3 month or 6 months max. Until the end of 2019, there will not be a period of time of more than 6 months where the Federal Reserve does not increase interest rates by at least 25 basis points. As it now stands, the best rates for a 90 day CD is 2 to 2.10% APR. Do you see any of what is written here noted by Mr. Berger in his article? Makes you wonder why doesn’t it? Every word is 100% accurate.

Amelia Wolf says:

If a senior couple has money just sitting in a bank savings account earning pennies a month on 100,000, who do you suggest they use?

D. Couch says:

Your best yields will come from a Vanguard Prime or a Vanguard Federal Money Market Fund. Vanguard had the highest yields of any fund, and the lowest fees. Open a Vanguard Brokerage Account and your “sweep account” will be the Vanguard Federal Money Market Fund. From that account you can purchase government insured CDs, Treasury Notes, Treasury Bills, etc.

David Couch says:

Your best yields will come from a Vanguard Prime or a Vanguard Federal Money Market Fund. Vanguard had the highest yields of any fund, and the lowest fees. Open a Vanguard Brokerage Account and your “sweep account” will be the Vanguard Federal Money Market Fund. From that account you can purchase government insured CDs, Treasury Notes, Treasury Bills, etc.

Tina Little says:

Yes, but you know there is no FDIC insurance unless using a bank.

Carlos Benitez says:

Please keep me posted with these good investments opportunities.

James Clark says:

Do not invest in ANY CD that pays less than 2.35%. Purepoint has a savings account paying that much for any deposit over $10,000. No limit on moving, using your money. FDIC insured.

Addison says:

I agree, Citi also has a money market/saving account offering 2.36%

joanofark06 says:

Do they STILL have that rate today, Addison?