Updated on Friday, December 24, 2021

Certificates of deposit (CDs) are safe, conservative savings vehicles that lock up your money for a guaranteed return after a set term duration. We’ve compiled the highest CD rates today for many terms. Poppy Bank was selected as the best overall financial institution for CDs, based on the average rate offered between its 1-year, 3-year and 5-year terms.

Best banks and credit unions for CD rates in December 2021

Poppy Bank Personal Certificates of Deposit

  • CD terms: 3 months to 60 months
  • CD APYs: 0.25% APY to 1.25% APY
  • Minimum deposit required to earn APY: $1,000

Poppy Bank is a relative newcomer in the banking world — it was founded in 2005 and has branch locations across California. Poppy Bank has online and mobile banking services for customers from outside their geographic footprint.

The bank’s Personal Certificate of Deposit Accounts have terms ranging from just three months to 60 months. There’s a $1,000 minimum required deposit to open a CD with Poppy Bank.

Term APY
3 months 0.25%
6 months 0.40%
9 months 0.75%
12 months 1.00%
18 months 1.00%
24 months 1.00%
36 months 1.00%
48 months 1.00%
60 months 1.25%

PenFed Credit Union Money Market Certificates

  • CD terms: 6 months to 84 months
  • CD APYs: 0.45% APY to 1.50% APY
  • Minimum deposit required to earn APY: $1,000

PenFed Credit Union makes it very easy to join: if you fund a Regular Share account or a Premium Online Savings account with an opening deposit of $5, you can become a member. As far as credit union membership requirements go, it doesn’t get much simpler than PenFed.

PenFed’s Money Market Certificate works much like a traditional CD. They also offer an IRA Certificate and a Coverdell Education Savings Certificate. The minimums for the money market and IRA CDs are $1,000, while the minimum for the Coverdell CD is $500.

Term APY
6 months 0.45%
12 months 0.85%
15 months 1.00%
18 months 0.70%
24 months 0.85%
36 months 1.00%
48 months 0.95%
60 months 1.30%
84 months 1.50%

Lafayette Federal Credit Union Fixed-Rate Certificates

  • CD terms: 7 months to 60 months
  • CD APYs: 0.70% APY to 1.26% APY
  • Minimum deposit required to earn APY: $500

Lafayette Federal Credit Union is located in the Washington, D.C. area and has membership criteria related to living and working in that region — but the credit union offers membership eligibility if you join the Home Ownership Financial Literacy Council.

In addition to the traditional CDs offered by Lafayette, there are variable rate certificates: they have lower dividend rates than traditional CDs and also have early withdrawal penalties, but there’s a lower minimum balance to open an account (just $50) and the APY offered on the balance is subject to change.

Term APY
7 months 0.70%
12 months 0.80%
24 months 0.90%
36 months 1.01%
48 months 1.16%
60 months 1.26%

EFCU Financial Share Certificates

  • CD terms: 6 months to 60 months
  • CD APYs: 0.75% APY to 1.25% APY
  • Minimum deposit required to earn APY: $500

EFCU Financial is located in South Louisiana, but has an avenue for membership for those from outside the region: you can obtain a volunteer membership through the EFCU Financial Foundation or the Louisiana Wildlife Foundation in order to become eligible for membership at EFCU.

EFCU offers a few types of CDs: there’s the normal Share Certificate account, a Jumbo Certificate with a minimum balance of $100,000 (and with higher APY rates), an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) Certificates and a Bump-A-Rate Certificate that allows you a one-time bump in the interest rate during the CD term.

Term APY
6 months 0.75%
12 months 0.80%
18 months 0.85%
24 months 0.90%
36 months 1.00%
48 months 1.10%
60 months 1.25%

Quontic Bank Certificate of Deposit

  • CD terms: 6 months to 60 months
  • CD APYs: 0.55% APY to 1.20% APY
  • Minimum deposit required to earn APY: $500

The online-only Quontic Bank has over 90,000 surcharge-free ATMs. Quontic is a designated Community Development Financial Institution that helps provide access to underbanked communities.

Quontic offers a simple CD with fewer term durations than most other financial institutions, but their rates are competitive. Interest is compounded daily.

Term APY
6 months 0.55%
12 months 0.60%
24 months 0.95%
36 months 1.10%
60 months 1.20%

American Heritage Credit Union Certificates

  • CD terms: 3 months to 60 months
  • CD APYs: 0.31% APY to 4.00% APY
  • Minimum deposit required to earn APY: $500

American Heritage Credit Union is located in the Philadelphia area. It offers membership through various family-, employer- and location-based criteria — or by making a donation to the Kids-N-Hope Foundation.

In addition to traditional certificates of deposit, American Heritage offers IRA certificates and bump-up certificates. They currently offer a 4-month CD special with a strong 4.00% APY on balances up to $2,000 — a much better rate than 0.31% offered on their 3-month and 5-month CDs.

American Heritage Credit Union offers more than 20 CD term durations. Visit their website to learn more.

Interior Federal Credit Union Certificates

  • CD terms: 6 months to 60 months
  • CD APYs: 0.56% APY to 1.22% APY
  • Minimum deposit required to earn APY: $500

Interior Federal Credit Union is organized around the U.S. Department of the Interior. Its employees and contractors, as well as their family members, can join. If you’re not affiliated with the Department of the Interior, you can join by volunteering for a partner organization.

Interior FCU offers traditional CDs, Jumbo CDs, Bump-Up CDs and an Accumulator Certificate designed for younger members who can add to their account at any time. The rates for the jumbo CDs are currently the same as the standard certificates for shorter terms, but longer terms offer marginally better APY.

Term APY
6 months 0.56%
12 months 0.71%
24 months 0.81%
36 months 0.96%
48 months 1.17%
60 months 1.22%

Credit Human Share Certificates

  • CD terms: 6 months to 120 months
  • CD APYs: 0.45% APY to 1.40% APY
  • Minimum deposit required to earn APY: $500

Credit Human allows you to join from outside the credit union’s service area if you become a member of the American Consumer Council. Credit Human is headquartered in the San Antonio, Texas area.

The longest CD term, by far, of any that made this list is the 120-month (10-year) term offered by Credit Human. There are flexible term durations that have different duration tiers for the APY provided on the deposit.

Term APY
6-11 months 0.45%
12-17 months 0.55%
18-23 months 0.80%
24-35 months 0.85%
36-59 months 1.00%
60-83 months 1.25%
84-119 months 1.30%
120 months 1.40%

Best CD rates in December 2021 for specific terms

Top CD interest rates less than a year

  • NASA Federal Credit Union — 0.80% APY, $10,000 minimum, 9-month term
  • EFCU Financial — 0.80% APY, $500 minimum, 6-month term
  • Veridian Credit Union — 0.75% APY, $1,000 minimum, 9-month term

Top 1-year CD interest rates

  • Signature Federal Credit Union — 1.00% APY, $50 minimum*
  • PenFed Credit Union — 0.85%, $1,000 minimum
  • Lafayette Federal Credit Union — 0.80% APY, $500 minimum

*Balances over $10,000 earn 0.10% APY

Top 2-year CD interest rates

  • Western Vista Federal Credit Union — 1.85% APY, $500 minimum, 29-month term
  • Hughes Federal Credit Union — 1.01% APY, $1,000 minimum
  • Langley Federal Credit Union — 1.00% APY, $1,000 minimum, 21-month term

Top 3-year CD interest rates

  • Hughes Federal Credit Union — 1.11% APY, $1,000 minimum
  • Quontic Bank — 1.17% APY, $500 minimum
  • Lafayette Federal Credit Union — 1.01% APY, $500 minimum

Top 4-year CD interest rates

  • NASA Federal Credit Union — 1.15% APY, $10,000 minimum, 49-month term
  • Interior Federal Credit Union — 1.17% APY, $500 minimum
  • Lafayette Federal Credit Union — 1.16% APY, $500 minimum

Top 5-year CD interest rates

  • PenFed Credit Union — 1.50% APY, $1,000 minimum
  • Lafayette Federal Credit Union — 1.26% APY, $500 minimum
  • Wings Financial Credit Union — 1.26% APY, $10,000 minimum

Summary of best CD rates in December 2021 for specific terms

Term Financial institution APY Minimum deposit to earn APY
9 months NASA Federal Credit Union 0.80% $10,000
12 months Signature Federal Credit Union 1.00% $50
29 months Western Vista Credit Union 1.19% $500
36 months Hughes Federal Credit Union 1.11% $1,000
49 months NASA Federal Credit Union 1.70% $10,000
60 months PenFed Credit Union 1.30% $1,000

Types of CDs

Some financial institutions offer CDs with different conditions than the standard single deposit with a fixed term and early withdrawal penalties.

  • Traditional CDs: This is the standard CD and tends to offer the best interest rates on the deposits outside of jumbo CDs. In short, you’ll agree to the deposit amount, interest rate and term duration when opening the CD and won’t be able to access those funds without penalty until the maturation date.
  • Jumbo CDs: Some banks and credit unions offer marginally better interest rates on “jumbo” CDs, which generally have a minimum deposit requirement of $100,000 (or another amount significantly over the minimum for a traditional CD).
  • No-penalty CDs: Financial institutions may choose to offer lower rates on CDs in exchange for giving the account holder the ability to withdraw some or all of their funds before the CD reaches maturity without incurring the typical penalty — often calculated as a percentage of the interest borne on the account.
  • Bump-up CDs: One of the key advantages of a CD is that you can lock in your interest rate for the duration of the term, but some banks and credit unions may allow you to “bump up” your interest rate once in the term if the rates offered on the account improve.
  • IRA CDs: Individual Retirement Accounts are a form of tax-advantaged account designed to incentivize retirement savings, and there are a few options for how to structure those types of accounts, including as a CD. There are some yearly contribution limits for IRAs.

Should I open a CD account?

A certificate of deposit has some drawbacks, namely that you can’t access your funds without penalty before the maturation date. Unlike a savings account, which allows for at least a few withdrawals per month, a CD is a deposit account that sacrifices some liquidity (in other words, access to your money) for marginally better interest rates.

However, those rates are low right now. According to the FDIC, the average APY offered on a 12-month CD right now is just 0.13% APY — which would translate to a yield of $14 on a deposit of $10,000. While the accounts featured on our MagnifyMoney list have much better rates than average, the highest one-year CD currently offered is Signature Financial Credit Union’s 1.00% APY CD. A $10,000 deposit would yield $100.

In an environment of low interest rates and high inflation, a CD may actually depreciate in value, especially over the long run. It’s difficult to predict future interest rate trends, but in the event that the Federal Reserve raises the federal funds rate, the interest rates on deposit accounts figure to rise as well. In that case, a key advantage of CDs — that your interest rate is guaranteed for the duration of your term — may actually become a disadvantage if you’re stuck with a lower rate.

One long-term alternative to a CD is an I savings bond, which is issued by the U.S. Treasury. The current rate on I bonds is 7.12% APY, and you have to wait at least a year to redeem the bond — if you redeem it within five years, you lose the last three months of interest. Otherwise, market investments (which carry some risk), other bonds or even precious metals like gold may be a better way to store your funds when inflation exceeds the rate paid on CDs.

CDs: Frequently asked questions

A certificate of deposit (CD) is a type of bank account that allows you to make a one-time deposit with a guaranteed interest rate over a predetermined time duration. You usually cannot withdraw funds before the maturation date without incurring a penalty.

The best traditional CD rate offered among financial institutions reviewed by MagnifyMoney is NASA Federal Credit Union’s 1.70% APY for a 49-month term. There is a minimum of $10,000 to open a CD with NASA FCU.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Federal Reserve’s subsequent decision to slash the federal funds rate, the rates offered on CDs have fallen to a low point. Banks are also holding significant deposits, which creates less incentive to provide competitive rates on deposit accounts.

Among financial institutions surveyed by MagnifyMoney, Signature Federal Credit Union had the best 1-year CD rate, Hughes Federal Credit Union had the best 3-year CD rate and PenFed Credit Union had the best 5-year CD rate.

Methodology for determining the best banks and credit unions for CDs and the best CD rates

MagnifyMoney reviewed data from DepositAccounts, covering hundreds of banks and credit unions in order to source a list of the best nationally available financial institutions for CDs and CD rates. Every institution we feature is covered with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) or National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) insurance.

We chose the best financial institutions for CDs by averaging the rates they offered on 1-year, 3-year and 5-year CDs. Other factors like the availability of alternative CD structures were not considered during account selection.

We highlighted the best CD rates for specific terms only if they have a minimum deposit of $10,000 or lower.

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