A certificate of deposit can be a safe, easy way to earn more interest on your money. Unlike savings accounts, which have a variable rate, your CD rate is locked in when you open the account. So, even if the overall rates go down, your income will stay the same.
“If you’re saving for a short-term goal like a down payment on a car, a house or a vacation next year, I think a CD is a great place to store the money and earn interest without risk,” says Bernadette Joy, a personal finance coach and member of the CNET Financial Review Board.
The best CDs today offer annual percentage yields, or APYs, as high as 5.5%. But these rates won’t stay forever. By opening a CD account now, you can protect your income from the expected rate drop.
Read on to find out what today’s top CDs have to offer.
Experts recommend comparing rates before opening a CD account to get the best possible APY. Enter your information below to get the best CNET partner rates for your area.
The best CD rates today
Here are some of the top CD rates available today and how much you can make by depositing $5,000 today:
Short-term CDs offer the highest rates
CD rates are affected by the federal funds rate, which determines how much it costs banks to borrow and lend to each other. When the Federal Reserve raises this rate, banks tend to do the same, raising interest rates on consumer products such as credit cards, savings accounts and CDs to attract new customers, retain competition and improve their cash flow.
Beginning in March 2022, the Fed regularly raised the federal funds rate to combat inflation, and CD rates rose in response. But as inflation began to cool, the Fed chose to hold off on rate hikes at its last four meetings. As a result, CD rates have leveled off at the end of 2023, and many banks have cut rates on CD terms in recent months.
Here’s where APYs stand compared to last week:
|CNET average APY
|Average FDIC rate
*Weekly percentage increase/decrease from Jan. 29, 2024, to Feb. 5, 2024.
Generally, long-term CD rates are higher than short-term ones because banks want to encourage customers to keep their money with them longer. But with the Fed expected to cut rates later this year, banks may be hesitant to lock customers into a high APY for an extended period of time. Currently, short-term CDs – those with a term of one year or less –- offer higher rates than long-term ones.
“I personally put money in CDs between nine and 12 months because those have the highest rates and allow me the flexibility to re-evaluate my cash holdings within a year or more,” Joy said.
Why you should consider a CD now
A fixed APY isn’t the only perk of opening a CD today. CDs offer attractive benefits in any rate environment.
CDs held by banks that are members of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or credit unions insured by the National Credit Union Administration are protected by federal deposit insurance. That means your money is safe up to $250,000 per person, per institution if the bank fails. This makes them a low-risk way to grow your savings.
Additionally, most banks charge an early withdrawal penalty if you withdraw money before the CD matures. This can eat into your income and discourage you from tapping your funds before you need them.
How CD accounts compare
In addition to a competitive APY, here’s what you should look for when comparing CD accounts:
- How quickly you need the funds: Early withdrawal penalties can wipe out your interest earnings. So be sure to choose a term that fits your savings timeline.
- Minimum deposit requirement: Some CDs require a certain amount to open an account – typically, $500 to $1,000. Some have no minimum deposit requirement. How much money you should deposit will help you narrow down your account options.
- Fee: Charges can destroy your balance. Many online banks do not charge maintenance fees. They have lower overhead costs than banks with physical branches, and they pass these savings on to consumers through higher fees and lower fees. However, be sure to read the fine print for any account you are considering.
- Federal deposit insurance: Confirm that any institution you are considering is a member of the FDIC or NCUA to ensure your money is protected in the event of a bank failure.
- Customer ratings and reviews: Read what customers are saying about the bank you’re considering on sites like Trustpilot to make sure the bank is responsive, professional and easy to work with.
CNET checked CD rates based on the latest APY information from issuer websites. We’ve reviewed CD rates from more than 50 banks, credit unions and financial companies. We evaluate CDs based on APYs, product offerings, accessibility and customer service.
Current banks included in CNET’s weekly CD average are: Alliant Credit Union, Ally Bank, American Express National Bank, Barclays, Bask Bank, Bread Savings, Capital One, CFG Bank, CIT, Fulbright, Marcus by Goldman Sachs , MYSB Direct, Quontic , Rising Bank, Synchrony, EverBank, Popular Bank, First Internet Bank of Indiana, America First Federal Credit Union, CommunityWide Federal Credit Union, Discover, Bethpage, BMO Alto, Limelight Bank, First National Bank of America, Connexus Credit Union.