Best CD Rates for May 2019

We looked up the best CD rates available online for a range of different term lengths and balance levels. This table highlights a few that combine high APY with reasonable minimum deposit requirements.

We've also analyzed 25 banks and credit unions with the strongest CD rates to determine which ones offer the best combination of features and options. We considered not only interest rates but also minimum requirements, accessibility and the variety of CD products at each institution.

Best for CDs Overall: Citizens Access

As the new online division of Citizens Bank, Citizens Access offers the best combination of CD rates across the board along with a comparatively low minimum balance requirement of $5,000. This makes Citizens Access ideal for investors looking for opportunities to ladder their CDs.

Citizens Access CD Rates

TermAPYMinimum Deposit
6 months0.60%none
1 year2.70%none
18 months2.70%none
2 years2.80%none
3 years2.85%none
4 years2.90%none

The high CD rates at Citizens Access make it the best choice for those who want to divide a larger investment into multiple term lengths—a technique known as laddering. If you want to have more chances to withdraw your CD deposits, laddering with Citizens Access is a good way to do so while keeping your overall earnings high. If your deposit is less than the none required here, several other banks offer similar rates with much lower minimums.

Best Jumbo CD Rates: CD Bank

The aptly named CD Bank carries the highest interest rates for jumbo deposits of $100,000 or more. In fact, CD Bank's rates on terms of two years or less are actually higher than competitor rates for certificates with much longer terms.

CD Bank Certificate of Deposit Rates

TermAPYMinimum Deposit
3 months1.90%$10,000
6 months2.35%$10,000
9 months2.45%$10,000
1 year2.80%$10,000
18 months3.00%$10,000
2 years3.07%$10,000
3 years3.07%$10,000
5 years3.07%$10,000

While CD Bank imposes a high minimum of $10,000 per CD, this shouldn't be an issue if you're looking for jumbo deposit options. Rates at CD Bank drop off on terms longer than two years, so you'll want to focus on its short-term products. If you're looking for more long-term CD options, consider alternatives like Live Oak Bank or TIAA. CD Bank is the online division of Texas-based TBK Bank, which means you can open an account from any state.

Best 1-Year CD Rates: BankPurely

We chose BankPurely as the best option for people who want a competitive and convenient one-year CD option. BankPurely's one-year CD rate of 2.65% isn't quite the highest possible rate, but it is the best CD interest rate available for a minimum requirement that isn't $10,000.

BankPurely CD Rates

TermAPYMinimum Deposit
1 year2.65%$1,000
2 years2.75%$1,000
3 years2.00%$1,000
5 years2.87%$1,000

While BankPurely doesn't offer as many different term lengths as most competing banks, it delivers the current market high for a one-year CD while keeping its minimum deposit at the lowest level we've found so far. Most other institutions require you to deposit several times as much money for the same one-year rate. BankPurely's two-year CD is another excellent deal, but the bank's CD rates tend to fall off at longer terms.

Best 5-Year CD Rates: Marcus by Goldman Sachs

For those thinking about the longer term, Marcus represents an ideal mixture of digital account management with strong five-year CD rates. The digital loan and deposit division of Goldman Sachs, Marcus sets a low $1,000 minimum deposit for all of its CD accounts.

Marcus CD Rates

TermAPYMinimum Deposit
6 months0.60%$500
9 months0.70%$500
1 year2.75%$500
18 months2.65%$500
2 years2.70%$500
3 years2.75%$500
4 years2.80%$500
5 years3.10%$500
6 years3.15%$500

Marcus is a relatively new option in the online CD market, but its rates are competitive in most of the term lengths that the bank offers. You can find the best value in the five-year and six-year CDs, which earn the highest rates currently available for those term lengths. Marcus is also a good choice if you want to pair your CDs with a more flexible online savings account at the same institution.

Best Credit Union CD Rates: Connexus Credit Union

Among credit unions that are open to consumers nationwide, Connexus currently has the highest CD rate offerings for most term lengths. Although CDs at credit unions are often called "share certificates”, these work the same way as certificates of deposit offered by banks.

Connexus CD Rates

TermAPYMinimum Deposit
1 year2.80%$5,000
2 years3.00%$5,000
3 years3.35%$5,000
5 years3.63%$5,000

The five-year CD at Connexus is actually the highest CD rate we found at any institution included in our research to date. Though the credit union requires a fairly stiff $5,000 minimum on its CD accounts, we expect that many people will find it a strong option—especially since Connexus opens its membership to practically any U.S. resident. Shorter CDs at Connexus also compare well against certificates at other credit unions and banks alike.

When Should You Get a CD?

If you have extra funds that you want to keep as a cash reserve, certificates of deposit can be a good way to obtain higher rates than a standard savings account. However, most CD accounts don't allow you to withdraw any money until the term is complete. Making an early withdrawal usually costs you a penalty that is equal to several months' worth of interest earned on the CD.

This tradeoff between rate and flexibility means that you should only put money into a CD if you can afford to leave that money alone for the entire term. Because CDs are risk-free assets, they don't earn as much as other investment vehicles. You should think of CDs as less-liquid savings accounts, not as a way to grow your wealth.

What is CD Laddering?

Laddering is a strategy you can use to introduce more flexibility to your CD investments. In a laddered CD investment, your money is split into multiple CDs of different term lengths that are then renewed on a rolling basis. For instance, a $3,000 deposit can be laddered into one-year, two-year and three-year CDs of $1,000 each. Every year, one-third of your CD investments reaches the end of its term. At that point, you can either renew that CD into a new three-year term or cash it out to use the savings.

Compared to a single three-year CD of $3,000, laddering in this way would earn slightly less interest overall. However, this plan gives you the benefit of annual access to part of your savings, just in case you need to use the money. Moreover, interest rates have been rising recently. In an environment of rising rates, it's better to have several opportunities to renew your CDs at a higher APY than to be stuck at an old, lower rate for three full years.

Chris Moon

Chris is a Senior Research Analyst at ValuePenguin who has covered deposit accounts and home loans since 2016. He has contributed insights and opinions to the New York Times and many other publications.

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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.