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Best 18-Month CD Rates of 2024

Best 18-Month CD Rates
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Updated April 7, 2024

Eighteen-month CDs offer competitive rates without tying up funds long-term. That’s important because most impose early withdrawal penalties. However, rates often differ significantly and it makes sense to do your research and choose the institution that offers the best CD rates.

If you think there’s a risk you might need your money sooner, note the differences between institutions on the penalties that might be imposed. Or look into no-penalty CDs, though you may not be able to find one with an 18-month term.

Best 18-month CD rates today

InstitutionAPY*Min. depositEarly withdrawal penalty
Alliant Credit Union
5.15%
$1,000
Up to 120 days interest
Live Oak
5.10%
$2,500
90 days interest
Popular Direct
5.06%
$10,000
Up to 730 days interest
Marcus
4.80%
$500
180 days interest
CIT Bank
3.00%
$1,000
Six months interest
Discover
4.60%
$2,500
Six months interest
Barclays
4.50%
$0
90 days interest
Penfed Credit Union
4.50%
$1,000
365 days interest or 30% of the gross interest amount at maturity
Synchrony
4.50%
$0
180 days interest
Ally
4.45%
$0
60 days interest

Our recommendations

Alliant Credit Union

Alliant

Alliant Credit Union 18-Month CD

Alliant Credit Union 18-Month CD

APY*
5.15%
Min. deposit
$1,000
Early withdrawal penalty fees
Up to 120 days interest

If you're looking for high-yield interest rates, Alliant Credit Union is worth checking out. The online credit union offers competitive rates on all of its CDs, including its 18-month CD. You can open a CD through Aliiant for as little as $1,000, but you need to be a member of the credit union to do so. To qualify for membership, you must either work for an eligible employer, live in certain parts of Illinois, join Foster Care to Success, or be closely related to a current member.


Live Oak Bank

Live Oak Bank

Live Oak 18-Month CD

Live Oak 18-Month CD

APY*
5.10%
Min. deposit
$2,500
Early withdrawal penalty fees
90 days interest

Live Oak Bank is known for its small business services, but its CDs are among the best. The bank’s 18-month CD pays an APY of 5.10%% and can be opened with a minimum deposit of $2,500. There is also a maximum amount that can be deposited, which is $250,000 per account.


Popular Direct

Popular Direct

Popular Direct 18 Month CD

Popular Direct 18 Month CD

APY*
5.06%
Min. deposit
$10,000
Early withdrawal penalty fees
Up to 730 days interest

Popular Direct offers one of the top rates for 18-month CDs. The online bank is known for its competitive CD rates as well as its high-yield savings account. You'll need to deposit at least $10,000 to open a CD with Popular Direct, which is a subsidiary of Popular Bank.


Marcus

Marcus

Marcus 18-Month CD

Marcus 18-Month CD

APY*
4.80%
Min. deposit
$500
Early withdrawal penalty fees
180 days interest

Marcus by Goldman Sachs has nine CD terms ranging from six months to six years. The 18-month CD offers an APY of 4.80%% and only requires a $500 minimum deposit. Marcus offers a 10-day rate guarantee. This means if the rate on your selected term goes up within the first 10 days of account opening, you'll get the new rate.


CIT Bank

CIT Bank

CIT Bank 18-Month CD

CIT Bank 18-Month CD

APY*
3.00%
Min. deposit
$1,000
Early withdrawal penalty fees
Six months interest

CIT Bank offers high-yield interest rates on some of its CD term offerings. You need a $1,000 minimum deposit to open a CD through CIT Bank, which is also home to several savings and money market accounts and an online checking account.


Discover

Discover

Discover 18-Month CD

Discover 18-Month CD

APY*
4.60%
Min. deposit
$2,500
Early withdrawal penalty fees
Six months interest

You're probably familiar with Discover credit cards, but the online bank is a great place to look for high-yield CDs. The Discover 18-Month CD Account, which requires a $2,500 minimum deposit to open an online CD, offers 12 CD terms ranging from three months to ten years and some of the highest rates on the market.


Barclays

Barclays

Barclays 18-Month CD

Barclays 18-Month CD

APY*
4.50%
Min. deposit
$0
Early withdrawal penalty fees
90 days interest

Barclays is an industry leader when it comes to high-yield CDs. The bank offers online CDs with terms ranging from 12 months to five years. There's no minimum deposit required to open a Barclays CD, and interest compounds daily and is credited monthly.


PenFed Credit Union

PenFed

Penfed Credit Union 18-Month CD

Penfed Credit Union 18-Month CD

APY*
4.50%
Min. deposit
$1,000
Early withdrawal penalty fees
365 days interest or 30% of the gross interest amount at maturity

PenFed’s 18-month CD offers a competitive annual percentage yield (APY) of 4.50%% and only requires a $1,000 minimum deposit. Like other credit unions, PenFed only makes its products available to members. However, accessibility shouldn’t be a problem for most people—membership is open to all citizens and permanent residents of the U.S. If you qualify, PenFed is among the best in the nation for full-service banking and financial services.


Synchrony Bank

Synchrony

Synchrony Bank 18-Month CD

Synchrony Bank 18-Month CD

APY*
4.50%
Min. deposit
$0
Early withdrawal penalty fees
180 days interest

Synchrony Bank is a top spot for CDs. The online bank offers CD terms ranging from three months to five years. Synchrony offers all of its CDs at competitive rates, especially compared to traditional banks. There's no minimum deposit requirement, either.


Ally Bank

Ally Bank

Ally Bank 18-Month CD

Ally Bank 18-Month CD

APY*
4.45%
Min. deposit
$0
Early withdrawal penalty fees
60 days interest

Ally Bank is a popular online bank known for its full-service banking and savings and checking accounts. It offers seven CD terms ranging from three months to five years. Like a few banks on our list, Ally doesn't require a minimum deposit to open a CD. In addition to high-yield CDs, Ally offers raise-your-rate and no-penalty CDs.


Methodology

To determine the best 18-month CDs, we employed a comprehensive approach. Firstly, we completed a thorough comparison of interest rates across various banks and credit unions, prioritizing those offering the highest APY for our chosen term.

In addition to rates, we considered factors such as:

  • Deposit requirements.
  • Early withdrawal penalties.
  • Account features.
  • Insurance coverage.
  • Renewal options.
  • Grace periods.
  • Compounding schedules.
  • Customer service.
  • Reputation of the financial institution.

Ease of use and processes for opening an account were also considered, giving preference to CD accounts that could be opened online.

How to select the best CD account for you

When determining the ideal CD for your needs, consider the following factors:

  • Rates: Interest rates vary among financial institutions. Look for high-yield CDs to maximize earnings on your CD balance.
  • CD Term: Determine how long you are willing to lock up your cash in the bank untouched. CD terms can range from one month to five or even 10 years.
  • Fees: Banks and credit unions charge early withdrawal penalties when you withdraw funds from a CD before its maturity date. These penalties vary among institutions.
  • Deposit requirements: Decide how much money you're able to keep in a CD account. Some banks have minimum deposit requirements for CDs.
  • CD type: A bank may offer more than one type of CD. There are standard CDs and sometimes others with additional benefits, including the ability to raise the rate during your CD term or withdraw funds without paying a penalty.

What happens if you take your money out of a CD early?

Most banks and credit unions don't charge a monthly maintenance fee for their CD accounts. However, if you withdraw money before your term ends, you'll have to pay a penalty. This is known as an early withdrawal penalty. Banks offer higher rates on CDs to compensate savers for not having free access to their deposited funds.

The penalty for taking your money out early is often based on how long the CD term is. In most cases, longer terms mean higher penalties.

Alternatives to 18-month CDs

CDs offer guaranteed returns, but they aren't the only option to consider when building savings.

High-yield savings accounts

High-yield savings accounts (HYSAs) are mainly offered by online banks and pay interest rates that are similar to CDs. One of the main advantages of HYSAs is their low or nonexistent monthly fees. In some cases, these accounts earn higher rates than CDs.

Money market accounts

Money market accounts often require larger deposits but also come with competitive rates and can include helpful checking features such as check-writing privileges or a debit card and ATM access.

Dividend stocks

While riskier than CDs, investing in dividend-paying stocks can lead to higher returns. These companies have a track record of distributing a portion of their profits to shareholders and regularly increasing their dividends. The income they pay, on top of potential capital appreciation, potentially means earning more money. Remember that any stock market investment carries risk. Your principal is not guaranteed, nor are your returns. Most investors should only invest in dividend stocks with a long-term mindset.

TIME Stamp: 18-month CDs can help you save toward mid-term financial milestones

Eighteen-month CDs sit in that middle ground between short- and long-term CDs. Opening an 18-month CD gives you an opportunity to access a competitive rate for more than one year without tying up your funds too long. Consider your financial needs and compare banks and credit unions to find the best CD for your needs.

*APY is subject to change. APYs are updated as of Mar. 1st, 2024.

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

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