Best High-Rate CD

Are high interest rates your top concern? Then you’ll want to see who’s delivering on that promise. After reviewing countless CDs from traditional banks, online banks, credit unions, and more, we’re sharing the highest rate CDs you can get.

Our Pick: Goldman Sachs Bank USA 12-Month CD

  • Best Feature: Very high CD rate for short-term savings
  • Build savings faster for short-term goals

Goldman Sachs Bank USA offers an amazing 12-month CD rate. It’s better than most other CDs with a similar maturity term. The minimum deposit requirement is just $500, which is also much less than what is required by other CDs.


Most Flexible CD

If you’re not sure about CDs because they lock your investment at a specific interest rate, don’t lose hope. There are CDs that offer flexible options like raising your rate mid-term. Want to know how? Read on below to find out which CDs are the most flexible this quarter.

Our Pick: Ally Bank 2-Year Raise Your Rate CD

  • Best Feature: One-time opportunity to increase your CD rate
  • Protect yourself against rising interest rates

With the Ally Bank 2-Year Raise Your Rate CD, you’ll earn a strong APY with a one-time option to increase your rate if interest rates start to rise. It doesn’t have a minimum deposit amount and the early withdrawal penalty is only 60 days worth of interest.


Best Jumbo CD

If you have a large nest egg to set aside, a Jumbo CD could be a great way for you to store and grow that savings. But not all Jumbo CDs are alike. We analyze them all to see which offer the best rates and the best terms.

Our Pick: Synchrony Bank 5-Year CD

  • Best Feature: Low early withdrawal penalty
  • Competitive interest rate to grow long-term savings

Synchrony Bank offers one of the top 5-year CD rates that is available nationwide. It also requires a relatively low minimum deposit requirement at $2,000. However, you get to earn a higher rate when you deposit a balance of $100,000 or more.


How We Picked

How did we decide what makes a great Certificate of Deposit (CD) account? We researched around 155 CDs from the top banks for this guide.

The Best CD Account picks are based on the consistency of high-interest rates, fees, minimum balance requirements, and account features. The overall rank for each institution within a specific category is dependant on how many days in the quarter that institution’s score was among the top 10.

On the surface, CDs seem simple, but there are a number of things you need to pay attention to when picking a right CD account:


Interest Rates

The interest rate is one of the most important aspects of a CD. It can be the difference between losing to inflation and keeping pace with it. It can also accelerate your progress towards long-term savings goals.

CD Average

 


Early Withdrawal Fees

It really pays to do the research on penalties and fees, not just the interest rates, so that if you do take a loss with an early withdrawal, it doesn’t have to equal a bad financial decision.

In the case of some banks with long-term CD accounts that have a fixed penalty, the high interest rate could outweigh the withdrawal penalty, even if you do end up taking your money out early.

Comparing CD Early Withdrawal Penalty Fees Across Major Banks

Compare 1-year deposit 5-year deposit
Ally Bank 60 days of interest 150 days of interest
Capital One 360 3 months of interest 6 months of interest
Discover Bank 6 months of interest 18 months of interest
EverBank 91 days of interest 456 days of interest
American Express Bank, FSB. 90 days of interest 180 days of interest
Bank of America 180 days of interest 365 days of interest
Chase 1% of the withdrawal amount 2% of the withdrawal amount
Wells Fargo 6 months of interest 12 months of interest
Citibank 90 days of interest 180 days of interest
U.S. Bank $25 + either 1/2 of the interest you would have earned if the funds were withdrawn after maturity OR 1% of the withdrawal amount, whichever is greater $25 + either 1/2 of the interest you would have earned if the funds were withdrawn after maturity OR 3% of the withdrawal amount, whichever is greater


FDIC Insurance

A Certificate of Deposit (CD) is a type of fixed-income investment product that is offered in banks and credit unions.  It is a short to medium-term investment which is fully insured by the FDIC up to $250,000.

When investing in a CD, clients decide to put their money in the bank for a specific period of time, and in return, the bank pays them an agreed interest rate which is typically higher than the regular savings account. Banks usually impose a certain penalty for CD withdrawals made before the maturity or the end of the term.


Types of CD Accounts We Track

Most of us are familiar with the traditional Certificate of Deposit. It is a deposit product that earns a fixed interest rate higher than the savings account for a fixed period of time. CD's are usually availed of by clients who have no immediate plans for their cash and want to enjoy a higher yield for their money in a safe and FDIC-backed investment vehicle.

Other than the traditional CD, however, do you know that there are also other types of CDs? These non-traditional CDs offer flexible options for depositors who may be looking to explore other CD alternatives. Here are some of the most commonly offered and used non-traditional CDs:

Callable

A Callable CD is a CD that a bank can "call" away after a designated call-protection period.  What happens is that the bank gives you a premium rate while the call-protection period is still in effect, but in exchange, as soon as this period ends, the bank can then take back the premium rate and replace it with a much lower one based on the prevailing market rates at that time.

Bump Up

As opposed to the Callable CD, a Bump Up CD gives the depositor the chance to "bump up" or opt for a higher interest rate should there be an increase in CD rates within the lifetime of the CD. This can be done only once for the duration of the CD term.

Liquid

Liquid CDs are CDs that allow the depositor to withdraw from his CD without being charged a penalty. Pay close attention as there are several caveats to this type of CD: 1. the minimum amount that you need to open and maintain this CD is much higher than the usual balance required; 2. the interest rate for liquid CDs are lower than traditional CD rates; and, 3. there is usually a limit to the number of times you can withdraw within the term of the CD.

Step Up or Step Down

This type of CD is also known as a Flex CD. Not to be confused with the Bump Up, the Step Up or Step Down CD usually enjoys a fixed rate for a period of time, say one year, after which the rate is automatically increased or lowered to a predetermined rate.

Brokerage CDs

Brokerage CDs are those bought by the investor through a brokerage rather than from banks. The advantage of buying brokered CDs is that these usually carry higher interest rates than those directly sold at banks because brokerages can pool investments before buying a certain bank's CD. On the downside, brokered CDs are traded on the secondary market, and while you can have access to your cash without penalty, you could also stand to lose part of the principal for the same reason. Also, some brokerages are not FDIC insured so do your homework before buying CDs through one.

Zero-Coupon CD

Zero-coupon CDs work in much the same way as Zero-coupon bonds. The CDs are purchased at a deep discount to par value, or the amount of the CD by the time it matures. The term zero-coupon means zero interest payments. So while this type of CD typically has higher yields, there will be no payments made for the duration of the CD term which is usually for longer periods, as the interest will be reinvested together with the principal. Even if you can afford to tie your investment for longer terms, you also need to cover the taxes that will be billed to you every year before even receiving the actual interest.

Jumbo CD

A jumbo CD is a CD in a very large denomination, usually at a minimum of $100,000 thousand. Jumbo CDs are commonly bought by large institutional investors, such as banks and pension funds, who are interested in low-risk and stable investment options. Jumbo CDs are also known as negotiable certificates of deposits and come in bearer form. It works like a conventional certificate of deposit that locks in the principal amount for a set time frame and is payable upon maturity.

To get more detailed information on the each of these CDs and to find out which are available at this time, visit your local bank or your online bank's website. To get the latest interest rates in the market today, check out our CD rates page.


How CDs Work

When a CD earns interest, it can be paid via check, transferred to a savings account, or capitalized. With interest payments via check or transfer, it is up to you how you reinvest or spend the interest. On the other hand, when you choose to capitalize your interest payments, this simply means that the CD yields will be reinvested into the account, making it part of the principal amount. The investment will grow more quickly in this manner.

The end of the term is what is known as the CD maturity. Upon maturity, you can take either of two courses of action: renew the CD or take out the money. Keeping track of your maturity date is especially important because when banks do not receive any instructions from the customer regarding the matured CD, they will automatically renew this for the same term after a prescribed period of time, usually 10-15 days.

View Our Best Picks by Category

Best Certificates of Deposit (CDs)

Bank Account Category
Goldman Sachs Bank USA 12-Month CD Highest Rate
Synchrony Bank 5-Year CD Highest Rate
Goldman Sachs Bank USA 36-Month CD Highest Rate
Ally Bank 2-Year Raise Your Rate CD Most Flexible
CIT Bank 2-Year RampUp Plus CD Most Flexible
Ally Bank 11-Month No Penalty CD Most Flexible
Synchrony Bank 5-Year CD Jumbo CDs
Goldman Sachs Bank USA 36-Month CD Jumbo CDs
Goldman Sachs Bank USA 12-Month CD Jumbo CDs