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Best Bank CD Rates for September 2023

Our Guide to the Best-Paying Bank CDs Available to Anyone in the U.S

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The annual percentage yields (APYs) listed below are up to date as of the date of publication on this article. Our methodology consists of reviewing CD rates every weekday morning and updating the information below accordingly.

While many of the very best rates for certificates of deposit (CDs) come from credit unions, if you're intent on sticking with a bank, you have plenty of options for that as well. Either way, CDs allow you to lock in earnings that are virtually risk-free, and that are greater than what you can earn with most savings accounts.

CD rates can vary substantially across banks, with the top certificates paying three to five times as much as the national average—or even much more. So shopping around is a critical first step to earning as much bang for your CD buck as possible.

Below are the top certificate of deposit rates available from our partners, followed by a ranking of some of the best CD rates nationwide.

In the News

Today’s CD rates are higher than we’ve seen in more than 20 years, pushed up by the Federal Reserve’s rate-hike campaign that began in March 2022 to tame decades-high inflation. Though the Fed held its benchmark rate steady on Sept. 20—after 11 hikes in the previous 12 meetings—it has indicated that an additional increase in 2023 is still on the table. CD rates closely follow the fed funds rate, so if the Fed implements a further increase this year, that could nudge CD rates higher still.

To make your CD shopping easier, we regularly research and compile the best rates from about 200 financial institutions that offer their CDs to customers nationwide. Below is our resulting list of the top CDs from brick-and-mortar banks, internet divisions of traditional banks, and online-only banks.

But be aware that credit unions are also an excellent source of high-paying certificates of deposit. In fact, the top nationwide credit union CDs often outpay those from nationwide banks. The trade-off is that joining a credit union often involves paying a small membership fee or making a small donation to a nonprofit affiliated with the credit union.

Bank CDs can be a little simpler to open since banks don't require membership. The following list highlights the best-paying bank CDs that anyone nationwide can easily open—no extra hoops required. To be eligible for our rankings, the banks must be FDIC-insured and must offer CDs with a minimum initial deposit of $25,000 or less.

Ranked by highest APY, then shortest term, then lowest minimum
Best 3-Month Bank CDs Rate Term Minimum
TotalDirectBank 5.66% APY 3 months $25,000
iGObanking 5.35% APY 3 months $1,000
Brilliant Bank 5.10% APY 3 months $1,000
Best 6-Month Bank CDs Rate Term Minimum
TotalDirectBank 5.76% APY 6 months $25,000
Merrick Bank 5.55% APY 9 months $25,000
Bank5 Connect 5.50% APY 6 months $500
Best 1-Year Bank CDs Rate Term Minimum
The Federal Savings Bank 5.80% APY 12 months $5,000
CFG Bank 5.67% APY 12 months $500
Merrick Bank 5.67% APY 12 months $25,000
Best 18-Month Bank CDs Rate Term Minimum
The Federal Savings Bank 5.70% APY 18 months $5,000
Limelight Bank 5.60% APY 18 months $1,000
Merrick Bank 5.60% APY 18 months $25,000
Best 2-Year Bank CDs Rate Term Minimum
MapleMark Bank 5.40% APY 24 months $25,000
Prime Alliance Bank 5.25% APY 24 months $500
The Federal Savings Bank 5.25% APY 24 months $5,000
Best 3-Year Bank CDs Rate Term Minimum
Luana Savings Bank 5.11% APY 30 months $2,000
Prime Alliance Bank 5.00% APY 36 months $500
DollarSavingsDirect 5.00% APY 36 months $1,000
Best 4-Year Bank CDs Rate Term Minimum
Merrick Bank 4.80% APY 48 months $25,000
BMO 4.75% APY 45 months $1,000
iGObanking 4.75% APY 48 months $1,000
Best 5-Year Bank CDs Rate Term Minimum
Merrick Bank 4.80% APY 60 months $25,000
BMO 4.75% APY 59 months $1,000
MYSB Direct 4.66% APY 60 months $500

Detailed information on the top nationally available bank CD in each term is provided below, including specifics about minimum deposits and early withdrawal penalties.

If you want to explore more options—including credit union CDs—we also publish a complete list of the best nationwide CD rates, as well as stand-alone pages for the best 3-month, 6-month, 1-year, 18-month, 2-year, 3-year, 4-year, 5-year, and 10-year CD rates. For anyone looking to put $100,000 or more into a CD, you may find even better rates in our roundup of the best jumbo CD rates.

Best 3-month bank CD: TotalDirectBank – 5.66% APY

  • Early-withdrawal penalty: 1 month of interest
  • About: TotalDirectBank is an online-only operation of City National Bank of Florida, established in Miami in 1946.

Best 6-month bank CD: TotalDirectBank – 5.76% APY

  • Early-withdrawal penalty: 1 month of interest
  • About: TotalDirectBank is an online-only operation of City National Bank of Florida, established in Miami in 1946.

Best 1-year bank CD: The Federal Savings Bank – 5.80% APY

  • Early withdrawal penalty: 6 months of interest
  • About: The Federal Savings Bank is a national bank with a network of over 55,000 ATMs across the U.S. It offers checking and savings accounts, as well as mortgages and loans.

Best 18-month bank CD: The Federal Savings Bank – 5.70% APY

  • Early withdrawal penalty: 6 months of interest
  • About: The Federal Savings Bank is a national bank with a network of over 55,000 ATMs across the U.S. It offers checking and savings accounts, as well as mortgages and loans.

Best 2-year bank CD: MapleMark Bank – 5.40% APY

  • Early withdrawal penalty: 6 months of interest
  • About: Established in 1909, MapleMark Bank operates two Dallas branches and one in Tulsa, while serving customers online nationwide.

Best 3-year bank CD: Luana Savings Bank – 5.11% APY

  • Early withdrawal penalty: 6 months of interest
  • About: Luana Savings Bank was founded in 1908 in northeastern Iowa, and in addition to operating six Iowa branches, it serves nationwide customers online.

Best 4-year bank CD: Merrick Bank – 4.80% APY

  • Early withdrawal penalty: 9 months of interest
  • About: Primarily a credit card issuer and consumer finance provider, Merrick Bank offers online-only certificates of deposit.

Best 5-year bank CD: Merrick Bank – 4.80% APY

  • Early withdrawal penalty: 9 months of interest
  • About: Primarily a credit card issuer and consumer finance provider, Merrick Bank offers online-only certificates of deposit.

Pros and Cons of Bank CDs

  • Often pay higher APYs than liquid accounts

  • Offer a fixed, guaranteed rate

  • Are virtually risk-free

  • Can help deter spending

  • Incur a penalty for early withdrawal

  • If rates rise, you may regret being locked into your APY

  • Typically return less than other investments

  • Only allow one deposit

Pros Explained

  • Often pay higher APYs than liquid accounts: In exchange for you keeping your money on deposit for a specified period of time, banks generally pay higher annual percentage yields (APYs) on CDs than on savings and money market accounts.
  • Offer a fixed, guaranteed rate: The annual percentage yield (APY) that you sign up for when opening the CD will be fixed for the full term. The bank cannot alter it.
  • Are virtually risk-free: By opening a CD at an FDIC-insured bank, you are federally protected on up to $250,000 of your deposits, in the unlikely case that the bank fails.
  • Can help deter spending: Funds committed to a CD cannot be withdrawn early without a penalty, making CDs a good vehicle for keeping, rather than spending, your savings.

Cons Explained

  • Incur a penalty for early withdrawal: If you need to withdraw your money before the CD's maturity date, the bank will impose an early withdrawal penalty that will reduce your earnings.
  • If rates rise, you may regret being locked into your APY: If the interest rate environment improves after you buy a CD, you may wish you had committed later, when you could have earned a higher rate.
  • Typically return less than other investments: The earnings on CDs are modest compared to what you can potentially earn by investing in the stock market, though stock investments are much riskier and not guaranteed to provide a return during your time horizon.
  • Only allow one deposit: Unlike a savings account where you can continue to make deposits whenever you like, CDs allow just a single investment at the time when you open the account.

Alternatives to Bank CDs

High-Yield Savings and Money Market Accounts

Stashing your cash in a savings or money market account offers much more flexibility than a CD, letting you add and withdraw funds as you like. The trade-off is that interest rates on liquid accounts can change at any time. So if rates are declining, the annual percentage yield on your high-yield savings or money market account will almost certainly go down, while any rate on a CD will hold.

Also, liquid accounts don't always offer as high of a return as CDs. So committing your funds to a CD can usually boost your earnings by a substantial margin.


Another possible investment for your cash is a bond offered by the U.S. Treasury. Treasury notes are very similar to CDs in that the rate is typically predictable if you hold the bond until maturity. They are also backed by the federal government, so like CDs, they are exceptionally safe.

U.S. Treasury I bonds are another option. But their fixed rate is only known for six months at a time, with the rate being adjusted twice a year based on the current inflation rate (hence the name I bonds). Like CDs, I bonds have an early withdrawal penalty, but it's a relatively mild three months' worth of interest. But unlike a CD, you cannot for any reason cash in an I bond during its first 12 months.

Bonds & Bond Funds

Diversified bond funds are another idea, as they can potentially return quite a bit more than a fixed-rate CD. Of course, there's always a risk that bond returns could be negative from one year to the next, so the longer your time horizon, the less risky an investment in bonds would be. If you're considering a relatively short CD term, like 1 to 2 years, or even less, then bonds represent a much riskier option than a CD, with no guarantee of delivering a return.


If your time horizon for investing is several years long, you could instead consider investing in equities, or stocks. The upside is that you could potentially earn quite a bit more in the stock market than with a fixed CD rate. But the significant downside is that you can always lose money on equities, including scenarios where you lose most of your investment. So while CDs won't return as much as stocks that are doing well, on the flip side, CDs are guaranteed to grow with no risk of you losing your initial principal.

How To Open a Bank CD

Opening a certificate of deposit generally follows the same steps as opening any new bank account, and the number of steps involved depends on whether you are a new customer of the bank or an established one.

You’ll first need to fill out an application. You can usually do this online, but you can do it in-branch if you’re opening the certificate at a bank that operates in your community. Some banks also allow you to send paper applications via U.S. mail. If you’re not already a customer of the bank, you’ll need to prove your identity with photo identification. And you’ll be presented with various written account terms and disclosures that you’ll need to sign off on.

Just like with a savings or checking account, you’ll be offered various options for making your initial deposit, whether that’s at the time of account opening or slightly later. Most banks offer transfers from another account at that bank, an external transfer from another bank, or a check that’s mailed in or submitted via mobile deposit. Just remember that you can only make one deposit to the CD, so choose your amount carefully.

As soon as you’ve completed the account opening process, it’s smart to put a reminder on your calendar a month or two before the CD will mature. That way you can think ahead about what you want to do with the money when it becomes available, and can also watch your mail for a notice from your bank about how to convey your CD maturity instructions.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What Is a Bank CD?

    A certificate of deposit account is simply another deposit product available at banks, alongside savings, money market, and checking accounts. But instead of depositing money that you can withdraw from or add to whenever you want, you can generally only make a single initial deposit to a CD. When you open one, you're making an agreement to keep your funds in the account without withdrawals for an established period of time, known as the CD term.

    The trade-off to committing your funds is that you are able to lock in your interest rate. While a savings account rate can change whenever the bank sees fit, opening a CD involves the bank making a written promise on the interest rate it’ll pay you for the duration of the term.

    CDs are typically offered in standard maturity terms from 1 month to 10 years, with the most common terms ranging from 6 months to 5 years. But note that a bank can offer a CD in any term it wants. In fact, sometimes the top national rate is for an odd-term certificate—say, 5 months or 19 months—that is being offered as a limited-time promotion.

  • How Much Do CDs Pay?

    CDs generally pay more than more-liquid savings and money market accounts. That is, in exchange for your commitment to keep the funds in place, the bank will pay you more than it pays savings account holders.

    Banks also typically pay a higher rate for longer commitments, because they mean the bank can count on that money being in place for a longer period of time. So typically, 5-year CDs pay a higher rate than 1-year CDs.

    A higher initial deposit can also sometimes earn a more lucrative return, such as with jumbo CDs requiring $50,000, $100,000, or even $250,000. But many banks don’t offer jumbo tiers, and even when they do, the incremental rate improvement is often fairly small.

    The FDIC calculates a weekly national average for various CD terms across all 4,000-plus FDIC banks. Though the average represents a fairly low yield, it’s fortunately easy to earn many times that by simply doing your homework to find the best current rates.

  • Are Online Bank CDs Safe?

    Traditional banks have been offering CDs for decades. But the banking environment has changed with the advent of the internet. Online banks now pepper the banking landscape, as do internet-only divisions of brick-and-mortar institutions.

    The good news for CD shoppers is that the type of bank offering the CD is of little importance, so long as you verify that it’s FDIC-insured. That’s because internet banks are approved, regulated, and insured in just the same way that physical banks are. So whether you deposit $25,000 in a CD at a local branch of a bank in your community, or in a bank that operates only online with no branches at all, your money is equally protected.

    This is especially fortunate when you learn that online banks are often among the top-paying CD banks. Given their lack of physical branches, internet banks operate with lower overhead and are therefore generally able to pay higher rates to their customers.

  • What If I Need My Money Early?

    You can withdraw your money early, but it will cost you. While it’s true that locking your funds into a CD is the reason you can earn a higher return than with other savings accounts, it’s not impossible to withdraw your money early should you need to. Of course, doing so carries financial consequences, but the option is available if the need arises.

    Every bank is required to have an established early withdrawal penalty policy, and as a potential CD depositor, you should review the policy before you commit to a CD. The most common way banks penalize you is by deducting a certain number of months of interest payments from your balance at the time of early withdrawal. Often, the longer the CD term the more months' worth of interest you'll lose.

    Each bank can set its own policy, and the penalties vary widely. Though some are mild, others are quite onerous, with some policies even potentially reducing your principal. For this reason, it’s critically important to investigate the early withdrawal penalty policy for any bank CD you’re considering, and when comparing two otherwise similar certificates, choose the one with the milder penalty.

  • Why Do Shorter CDs Sometimes Pay More Than Longer Ones?

    The longer you’ve agreed to hold your CD funds on deposit without touching them, the more cost-effective it is for the bank. That’s why, in theory, banks are willing to pay you more for longer commitments than short ones.

    However, many other factors come into play regarding a particular bank’s deposit strategy. The bank must take into account several things: what it expects to happen to national rates in coming months and years, how much in deposit assets it needs to fund the lending side of its business, and how much in certificate balances it already has on hand for different maturities.

    If rates are expected to decline in the future, banks may again offer a better APY on shorter terms, and lower yields on long CDs. That's because they don't want to be stuck paying a higher rate for a lengthy period if the current interest rates are much shorter.

  • Why Don't I See My Bank in Your List?

    You typically won't see big names like Chase, Bank of America, or Wells Fargo in our list of the best high-yield savings accounts. While we do monitor their rates, they usually aren't high enough to make our ranking. That's because large banks typically don't need to attract deposits in the way that smaller institutions do, so their rates tend to be lower. You will sometimes see one of the top 25 U.S. banks in our rankings, such as Citi, BMO, or Ally Bank, as these institutions do occasionally offer competitive high-yield rates.

    Some banks you may be looking for that we track, but that don't make our list, are Marcus by Goldman Sachs, SoFi, Synchrony Bank, CIBC Bank USA, LendingClub, Bread Savings, FNBO Direct, and Citizens Access.

    Still other institutions may not appear in our ranking because they don't meet our qualification criteria, such as by not being available to customers in at least 40 states, significantly limiting the balance on which you can earn the high-yield APY, or not offering what qualifies as a high yield rate. These include U.S. Bank, PNC, Varo, American Airlines Federal Credit Union, Delta Community Credit Union, Boeing Employees' Credit Union, Bethpage Federal Credit Union, and Western Alliance Bank.

Rate Collection Methodology Disclosure

Every business day, Investopedia tracks the rate data of more than 200 banks and credit unions that offer CDs to customers nationwide, and determines daily rankings of the top-paying certificates in every major term. To qualify for our lists, banks must be federally insured by the FDIC, and the CD's minimum initial deposit must not exceed $25,000. The banks must also be available in at least 40 states. For more about how we choose the best rates, read our full methodology.

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Article Sources
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  1. Federal Reserve System. "Open Market Operations."