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NerdWallet's CD calculator shows what you can earn with a certificate of deposit, a type of savings account that you leave untouched for months or years. Like regular savings accounts, CDs are safe because they are federally insured. Use the CD calculator below to see total interest.
What should I know when choosing CDs?
Prioritize finding a high interest rate. Not every bank has competitive rates on its CDs. See our list of the best CD rates.
Not sure what certain concepts mean? Skip down to our glossary.
Avoid early withdrawal fees. Although short-term CDs mean less time to wait to access your money and less need to incur the penalty to get money early, long-term certificates typically have higher rates.
» Learn about more accessible options: See the best high-yield savings accounts
Compare top CD rates
» Learn more: Highest CD rates available this month
Initial deposit amount: The sum you’re putting into a single CD. You can usually only add money to a CD once.
CD interest: Money your bank pays you on the balance of a CD, usually expressed as an annual percentage yield. Learn more about how interest works.
CD term length: The total time frame that a CD is open for. Some of the most common terms are three months, six months, one year, 18 months, three years and five years. Learn about choosing between short-term and long-term CDs.
APY: Annual percentage yield is a percentage that reflects the amount of money, or interest, you earn on a bank account in one year. It includes compound interest, which is the interest earned on both an account balance and previous interest. Learn about how APY works.
Compounding frequency: The number of times your bank pays interest, such as daily, monthly or annually. Learn more about compound interest.
What happens if I withdraw a CD early?
Generally a CD has an early withdrawal penalty, which tends to range from a few months' to a year's worth of earned interest, depending on the bank and the CD term length. Longer term lengths usually have bigger penalties. These penalties occur only if you take out money before a CD term expires. Try our calculator to see what an early withdrawal penalty costs. If you want the flexibility of withdrawing early without a penalty, consider a no-penalty CD.
» Learn more: See our list of the best no-penalty CDs
What term length should you get?
The longer the term, the higher the rate tends to be. Terms typically range from three months to five years. Most have early withdrawal penalties, so be sure you won’t need the money before the term expires.
» Not sure how to open a CD? Here's a step-by-step guide to opening a CD account
How much interest will you earn on a CD?
This varies based on your deposit, CD rate and term length. For example, a $10,000 deposit in a five-year CD with 1.50% APY would earn around $770 in interest, while the same deposit in a five-year CD with 0.01% APY would earn only $5 in interest.
» Want to see other calculators? Check out our list of NerdWallet’s financial calculators
How to calculate CD interest
If you’d prefer to try your hand at calculating interest without a calculator, use the compound interest formula:
A = P(1 + r/n)^nt, where:
A = ending amount (this means original balance plus all interest earned after n years).
P = original balance (or your initial deposit, since there are typically no other contributions to CDs).
r = interest rate (as a decimal)*.
n = number of times interest is compounded per year (typically 365 for daily, 12 for monthly, 4 for quarterly).
t = time (in years).
Once you get a result for A, subtract P from A (A - P) to get the interest amount.
» Learn more: See our explainer on compound interest
*Note: Interest rate and APY are slightly different. To be more exact, use the interest rate in the formula.
How do CD rates work?
CD rates are usually quoted as an annual percentage yield, or APY, which is how much the account earns in one year including compound interest. Banks and credit unions generally compound interest monthly or daily. An interest rate is similar to APY, but it doesn't factor in compound interest. For more details, see our explainer on APY.
When will CD rates go up?
CD rates have begun to rise and likely will continue to do so, since the Federal Reserve raised its rate in March 2022. Federal Reserve actions are one factor in banks’ decisions to change rates. See historical CD rates.
» Learn more: How Fed rate increases affect CDs
See CD rates by term and type
Check out the best CD interest rates on certificates of deposit:
See CD rates by bank
If you want to see what specific banks offer, here’s a quick list of traditional and online banks’ CDs (and one brokerage’s offering):