Part of an effective financial strategy includes maximizing your earnings while balancing your need for liquidity -- and a certificate of deposit, or CD, is one way to accomplish that goal. You can easily monitor the best CD rates and terms currently available in the table below plus the rates of more than 500 financial institutions (banks, credit unions, savings banks, and savings and loan associations).
Identifying the best CD rates
It is important to think through how best to use a certificate of deposit in your overall financial plan, but it starts with understanding your goals and how a CD can help you reach them. Interest rates change constantly, so having up-to-date rate information is critical to identifying the best CD rates and terms to make the most of your investment. We have made the whole process easier in a convenient page that is updated weekly with the most current interest rates.
Different strategies can help you capitalize on fluctuating interest rates too.
A CD ladder can help you maintain a relatively constant income no matter how current CD rates change. A parallel CD strategy can help you maintain some accessibility to your funds during the term. Richard Barrington’s post can help you understand how to find the right CD – but do shop for the highest CD rates and terms regularly to maximize your return. Bookmark this page as well so you can easily come back to our table to check rates and terms as often as you want.
Current certificate of deposit rates
An online account is arguably one of the most convenient ways to manage CDs and, generally speaking, online banks offer higher rates than traditional brick-and-mortar institutions. The following listings of online banks are updated weekly too, and a little more information about each bank is given next to each listing as well.
GE Capital Bank requires a $500 minimum deposit and there are no monthly fees or transaction fees at all. You can link an external account and transfer funds – or send a domestic wire transfer or check – to open the account. GE offers a 10-day CD Rate Guarantee in case rates go up just after you open your account too. Interest is compounded daily and applied monthly, and deposits are FDIC-insured. Of note, GE Capital Bank tied for “Best Savings Account” by Money Magazine in 2013.
Synchrony Bank offers its Optimizer+Plus CDs with minimum opening deposits as low as $2,000 (jumbo CDs require a $100,000 minimum deposit). They also offer free identity theft protection services with their accounts and 24/7 access via their online banking portal, by phone or ATM card. Awarded “Best 12-month CD” by Money Magazine in 2013 when it operated as GE Capital Retail Bank, Synchrony’s CDs still offer competitive rates and are FDIC-insured.
Barclays is a large, international bank that has been in business for more than 300 years! There is no minimum balance to open a CD and there are no hidden monthly maintenance fees. They even offer a CD calculator to help you decide how best to manage your portfolio. Interest is compounded daily and deposits are FDIC-insured. Of note, Barclays also tied for “Best Savings Account” by Money Magazine in 2013.
Ally Bank’s CDs offer no minimum deposit to open and no monthly maintenance fees. Ally Bank also offers the Ally Ten Day Best Rate Guarantee. Interest is compounded daily and deposits are FDIC-insured. In MoneyRates’ “Best Savings Accounts for 2014,” Ally Bank was awarded first place for consistently offering high rates for an entire year. Money Magazine also gave Ally Bank the top slot for “Best Online Bank” in both 2012 and 2013. Accounts are accessible 24/7 over an award-winning-mobile-banking application as well.
Bank5 Connect offers a CD with a $500 minimum deposit and no monthly maintenance fees. Bank5Connect says its competitive rates are possible because it operates online, but certainly the degree to which your deposits are insured is also important. Bank5 Connect CDs are insured to their full amount (FDIC-insured to $250,000 and DIF-insured for over $250,000).
If you can commit to a larger minimum deposit, CIT Bank seems prepared to make it worth your while. The CIT Bank jumbo CDs with a $100,000 minimum deposit and no monthly maintenance fees also compound interest daily. CIT Bank lets you manage your accounts online (24/7 access via the Internet) and provides online statements. CIT Bank was founded in 1908 by Henry Ittleson to provide financing for businesses. Throughout the 20th century, CIT expanded its product lines (including CDs, IRAs, and custodial accounts) to consumers and many business sectors and small businesses. Deposits are FDIC-insured.
EverBank made a commitment to always be in the top 5 percent of competitive accounts, so their rates should be attractive no matter when you shop. There is a $1,500 minimum to open an account, but there are no account fees. Interest is compounded daily and deposits are FDIC-insured.
**For first-time account holders, Everbank’s Yield Pledge Money Market Account offers a new account bonus rate of 1.40 percent for the first six months, a first year APY currently at 1.01 percent for account balances up to $50,000 and an ongoing APY of 0.61 percent APY. (Rate as of February 28, 2014.)
Capital One 360 CDs offer standard term lengths with no minimum deposit required. You can decide when to receive the interest earned (monthly, annually, or at the end of the term) and receive automatic renewal reminders. Interest is compounded daily and deposits are FDIC-insured.
Term – A certificate of deposit (CD) is considered a time deposit because it is not a liquid asset that can be accessed on demand. Instead, the amounts deposited into a CD are expected to remain untouched for a specific period of time, which is the term of the CD.
Early withdrawal penalty – The full value of the CD (your principal plus the interest earned) is accessible when the term has been reached; however, there is usually a penalty if you withdraw your funds before the end of the term. This means that the bank will keep a portion of the interest earned, which could also cut into the original principal balance if the CD has not accrued enough interest to satisfy the entire penalty yet.
For example, if a depositor wishes to close a one-year CD account after two months but the bank’s policy states that an early withdrawal penalty equal to three months’ interest would be due in that event, then the bank will dip into the depositor’s principal balance to make up for the shortfall between the interest earned and the penalty. Early withdrawal penalties vary from bank to bank, and this is another important item to consider as you shop for the best CD rates and open your new account.
Fixed interest rates – Even though interest rates change regularly, banks usually offer a fixed interest rate that doesn’t fluctuate, allowing you to lock in that particular rate for the entire term of your CD. Banks are willing to fix the interest rate, which is generally higher for certificates of deposit than for most savings accounts, because the funds remain on deposit with the bank untouched for that specific period of time. (In general, the longer the term, the higher the interest rate for a CD.)
FDIC insurance – The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation insures most certificates of deposit so that the balance of your CD will be paid to you even if the banking institution becomes insolvent for some reason. The standard deposit insurance coverage limit is $250,000 per depositor, but it is important to verify the amount of FDIC insurance that applies to the particular CD accounts you open.
Have you been able to find CD rates that rival these? If so, please add a comment below. Don’t forget to include the details: name of the bank, state, rate, when you opened the account with this rate, and whether you can open the account online or must appear in person.
GRS is committed to helping our readers save and achieve their financial goals. Savings interest rates may be low, but that is all the more reason to shop for the best rate. Find the highest savings interest rates and CD rates from Synchrony Bank, Ally Bank, GE Capital Bank, and more.