Our evaluations and opinions are not influenced by our advertising relationships, but we may earn a commission from our partners’ links. This content is created independently from TIME’s editorial staff. Learn more.
A savings account offers a secure way to grow your money, but you usually get higher interest rates with a certificate of deposit (CD).The reason is that with a savings account you can take out your money pretty much at will, while with a CD you must commit to saving for a specified time period during which your funds are unavailable to you..
You can open one CD or multiple accounts with different maturity dates to create a CD ladder, allowing for flexibility when it comes to withdrawals. If you're hoping to get the most interest for your money, it's important to know which banks and credit unions offer the best CD rates.
Best CD Rates today comparison chart 2023
|Institution||Best for||Term||APY||Min. deposit|
Competitive rates and flexibility
Six months to five years
Up to 5.00%
Three months to 10 years
Up to 5.00%
Lower minimum deposit requirements
Six months to five years
Up to 5.30%
Three months to five years
Up to 4.75%
Our Recommendations for best CD rates for October 2023
Best for competitive rates and flexibility: CIT Bank
CIT Bank takes the top spot for offering the best CD rates overall. The highest annual percentage yield (APY) applies to the six-month CD option, though you can also get competitive rates with 13- and 18-month CDs and the 11-month no-penalty CD. Rates for longer-term CDs are not as stellar, though they're still above the typical CD rates you might get from traditional banks.
The minimum deposit to open a CD account is $1,000. In addition to CDs, there are other ways to save with CIT. You could open a high-yield savings account, checking account, or money market account. CIT also offers home loans.
More CIT Bank CD Accounts:CIT Bank 6-month CD
CIT Bank 13-month CD
CIT Bank 18-month CD
Best for longer-term CDs: Discover
Discover bank offers CD terms ranging from three months to 10 years, which may be ideal for savers who are funding longer-term goals. The highest CD rates are reserved for Discover's 12-month and 18-month CDs, but it's still possible to earn competitive rates with other terms.
You'll need at least $2,500 to open a CD with Discover, which is the highest minimum deposit requirement of the banks listed here. In addition to CD accounts, Discover also offers high-interest checking accounts, money market accounts (MMAs), and one of the best high-yield savings account options of any online bank. Member FDIC.
Best for lower minimum deposit requirements: Quontic
Quontic is a digital bank that offers CD accounts, along with some of the best checking accounts for people who are looking for an alternative to traditional banking. You can open Bitcoin checking, rewards checking, or high-interest checking accounts here.
In terms of what makes Quontic a standout for CDs, a $500 minimum deposit and the competitive rates you can earn are both attractive features. You could open more than one CD with Quontic if you're interested in laddering, and there are no monthly fees. There is, however, a penalty for withdrawing money from a CD before maturity.
More Quontic Bank CD Accounts:Quontic 6-months CD
Quontic 2-year CD
Quontic 3-year CD
Quontic 5-year CD
Best for one-year CDs: Nationwide
Nationwide partners with Axos Bank to offer CDs at competitive rates. Terms are available ranging from three months to five years, with 12-month CDs earning the best rate. You can open a Nationwide CD with just $500, which may appeal to you if you're just getting started with saving or want to spread your CD savings across accounts at different banks.
CDs renew automatically, but you'll have a 10-day grace period in case you'd like to withdraw your savings or move them elsewhere. Nationwide CDs are backed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) up to $250,000, and you can manage your accounts through online or mobile banking.
We chose the best CD rates based on which banks offered the highest APYs as of May 2023. In creating our rankings, we also considered the minimum deposit requirements to open a CD and the range of terms offered. Our final rankings reflect the best CD accounts that are available online, from both online-only and traditional banking institutions.
How to select the best CD account for you
There are many options for opening CD accounts, including online banks, brick-and-mortar banks, and credit unions. Finding the best CD account for you starts with understanding what you need and researching what different banks have to offer.
Here are some tips for choosing the best CD account for you.
- Shop around. CD rates, maturity terms, and minimum deposit requirements can vary widely from one bank to another. It pays to shop around to see what banks are offering for different CD terms.
- Know your goals. Knowing what you want a CD account to do for you can make it easier to choose the right one. For example, if you're saving for a car, you might want a longer-term CD with a higher APY. On the other hand, if you're saving for a vacation you plan to take in the next year, a shorter-term CD might be best.
- Compare minimum deposits. Some CDs require more money to open than others. It's important to choose a CD that allows you to deposit an amount that’s comfortable for you.
- CD rates. Interest rates are always important, and the rate you earn with a CD can vary by term. While longer-term CDs usually pay higher rates, that's not always the case. Some banks offer special CDs with shorter terms that pay more interest for your money.
- Early withdrawal penalties. CDs allow you to save for a set period. Withdrawing money early could result in a penalty, so it's important to know what you might pay if you need to tap into your savings ahead of schedule.
- Other banking options. If you're looking for all-in-one banking, you might be interested in what else a bank has to offer besides CDs. This can include other types of accounts, such as checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, and loans.
How are CD rates changing?
CD rates are on an upward trend and have been for some time. For instance, the national average rate for a 12-month CD was 2.51% as of August 22 2023, according to FDIC data. In May 2022 the national average rate for the same CD term was 0.96%.
Why are CD rates on the rise? It has to do with adjustments to the federal funds rate, which is the rate at which deposit institutions lend money to one another overnight. The Federal Reserve controls movements in the federal funds rate to manage monetary policy in the U.S.
When there's an increase in the federal funds rate, banks can raise rates for CDs and other interest-bearing accounts. Likewise, loan and credit card rates can also rise. Conversely, when the Fed cuts rates, banks can pay less to savers and charge lower rates for loans.
Beginning in the first quarter of 2022, the Fed started raising rates in an attempt to curb rising inflation. There have been 10 rate increases since March 2022, with the possibility of more on the horizon, which could lead to even higher CD rates.
Alternatives to CDs
A CD account is one way to save, but it's not the only option. You might also consider any of the following if you're looking for CD alternatives:
You might also consider opening an investment account to purchase stocks, bonds, or other securities. Investing money could help you to earn even higher interest rates. However, it's important to keep in mind that investing can be risky, and there's always the possibility that you might lose money.
TIME Stamp: Opening a CD gets you closer to your savings goals
Your choice of bank matters. You might choose one of the options included here or start your search at your current bank before branching out. When comparing CD rates, remember to also factor in maturity terms, early withdrawal penalties, and which way interest rates are moving in general.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
What is considered a good CD rate?
What constitutes a good CD rate can depend on the overall interest-rate environment. If rates are low in general, anything approaching 1.00% might be good. When rates are high, it's not unusual to see banks offering APYs in the neighborhood of 5.00%. Comparing different banks can help you find the best CD rates.
What is the highest-paying 12-month CD?
There are a number of online banks that offer 12-month CDs with competitive rates. Some of the highest-paying 12-month CDs have rates ranging from 4.75% to 5.00%. Traditional banks can also offer 12-month CDs, though it's not uncommon to see much lower rates.
Are 10-year CD rates worth it?
Whether it makes sense to choose a 10-year CD can depend on your goals and what you expect to happen with CD rates. A 10-year CD with a 5.00% APY may be attractive if you expect CD rates to drop substantially and remain low during that time period. On the other hand, a 10-year CD may not be worth it if you expect CD rates to rise or know you'll need your money before maturity.
The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.