CD Early Withdrawal Penalty by Bank

Spencer TierneyJanuary 16, 2020
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Editor’s note, March 23, 2020: Many banks and credit unions are temporarily waiving early withdrawal penalties for CDs in response to widespread financial distress caused by the coronavirus situation. To find out if your bank or credit union is one of them, call its customer service line.

Certificates of deposit, unlike regular savings accounts, keep your funds under lock and key for a specified term. And banks give a good incentive not to tinker with the lock: Withdrawing before the CD term's end generally costs you.

What is an early withdrawal penalty?

A CD's early withdrawal penalty is trickier to figure out than other bank fees because you're not typically looking at a fixed dollar amount or percentage. Instead, the penalty is interest the CD earned (or would have earned) over a number of days or months.

This penalty varies by bank and even by the term of a CD at the same bank. A five-year CD might have a higher penalty than a one-year CD. And, if you withdraw early enough, a penalty might include part of the money you put in, meaning you can lose money on a CD.

See what an early withdrawal can cost using our calculator, with help from a list of penalties at some banks and credit unions below.

» Withdrawing early to find a better CD rate? See the best CD rates for this month

No-penalty CDs: the big exception

Early withdrawal penalties are standard, but some CDs let you withdraw virtually at any time for free. These no-penalty CDs don't have the highest rates, but you can find yields comparable to high-yield savings accounts. (Check out NerdWallet's best savings accounts.)

No-penalty CDs have a big plus over savings accounts: Your rate is locked in. (See more details about the best no-penalty CDs.)

Compare no-penalty CDs at online banks

Here's a look at some 11-month no-penalty CDs:

NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Read reviewRead reviewRead review
APY

0.45%

With $500 minimum balance

APY

0.35%

With $1,000 minimum balance

APY

0.50%

With $5,000 minimum balance

Minimum Balance

$500

Member FDIC

Minimum Balance

$1,000

Member FDIC

Minimum Balance

$5,000

Member FDIC

CD early withdrawal penalties

Financial institution

Penalty

Alliant Credit Union*

  • For 12-month to 17-month CDs: Up to 90 days of interest

  • For 18-month to 23-month CDs: Up to 120 days* of interest

  • For 2-year to 5-year CDs: Up to 180* days of interest

  • For 3-month to 2-year CDs: 60 days of interest

  • For 3-year CDs: 90 days of interest

  • For 4-year CDs: 120 days of interest

  • For 5-year CDs: 150 days of interest

  • American Express Bank

  • For 6-month CDs: 90 days of interest

  • For 1-year to 3-year CDs: 270 days of interest

  • For 4-year CDs: 365 days of interest

  • For 5-year CDs: 540 days of interest

  • Bank5 Connect

  • For 6-month CDs: 3 months of interest

  • For 1-year to 3-year CDs: 6 months of interest

  • For 1-month to 2-month CDs: All interest or 7 days of interest, whichever is greater

  • For 3-month to 11-month CDs: 90 days of interest

  • For 1-year to 59-month CDs: 180 days of interest

  • For 5-year to 10-year CDs: 365 days of interest

  • Barclays

  • For 3-month to 2-year CDs: 90 days of interest

  • For 3-year to 5-year CDs: 180 days of interest

  • For 6-month to 1-year CDs: 3 months of interest

  • For 18-month to 5-year CDs: 6 months of interest

  • For 1-month to 5-month CDs: 90 days of interest

  • For 6-month to 23-month CDs: 180 days of interest

  • For 2-year to 10-year CDs: 365 days of interest

  • CIT

  • For 6-month to 1-year CDs: 3 months of interest

  • For 13-month to 3-year CDs: 6 months of interest

  • For 3-year to 5-year CDs: 12 months of interest

  • Citibank

  • For 3-month to 1-year CDs: 90 days of interest

  • For 1-year to 3-year CDs: 6 months of interest

  • For 3-year to 5-year CDs: 180 days of interest

  • Citizens Access

  • For 6-month to 1-year CDs: 90 days of interest

  • For 18-month to 5-year CDs: 180 days of interest

  • Connexus Credit Union

  • For 1-year CDs: 90 days of interest (also called dividends)

  • For 2-year to 3-year CDs: 180 days of interest

  • For 5-year CDs: 365 days of interest

  • For 3-month to 9-month CDs: 3 months of interest

  • For 1-year to 3-year CDs: 6 months of interest

  • For 4-year CDs: 9 months of interest

  • For 5-year CDs: 18 months of interest

  • For 7-year to 10-year CDs: 24 months of interest

  • For 6-month to 9-month CDs: 90 days of interest

  • For 1-year to 5-year CDs: 270 days of interest

  • For 6-year CDs: 1 year of interest

  • Navy Federal Credit Union*

  • For 3-month to 1-year CDs: Up to 90 days of interest (also called dividends)

  • For 1-year to 5-year CDs: Up to 180 days of interest

  • For 6-year to 7-year CDs: Up to 1 year of interest

  • Pentagon Federal Credit Union**

  • For 6-month CDs: Most recent 90 days of interest (also called dividends)

  • For 1-year to 7-year CDs: If withdrawn before the first year ends, the penalty is one year of expected interest. If withdrawn after the first year, the penalty is 30% of total expected interest for the full term of the CD

  • Popular Direct

  • For 3-month CDs: 89 days of interest

  • For 6-month CDs: 120 days of interest

  • For 1-year to 2-year CDs: 270 days of interest

  • For 3-year to 4-year CDs: 1 year of interest

  • For 5-year CDs: 730 days of interest

  • PurePoint

  • For all CDs: 181 days of interest

  • Synchrony

  • For 3-month to 1-year CDs: 90 days of interest

  • For 13-month to 3-year CDs: 180 days of interest

  • For 4-year to 5-year CDs: 1 year of interest

  • TIAA Bank

  • For 3-month CDs: 22 days of interest

  • For 6-month CDs: 45 days of interest

  • For 9-month CDs: 68 days of interest

  • For 1-year CDs: 91 days of interest

  • For 18-month CDs: 136 days of interest

  • For 2-year CDs: 182 days of interest

  • For 30-month CDs: 228 days of interest

  • For 3-year CDs: 273 days of interest

  • For 4-year CDs: 1 year of interest

  • For 5-year CDs: 456 days of interest

  • For 3-month to 1-year CDs: 3 months of interest

  • For 2-year CDs: 6 months of interest

  • For CDs longer than 2 years: 1 year of interest

  • You only pay interest, regardless of how early you withdraw. Many banks have a fixed penalty that allows them to take from your original CD deposit if you withdraw your CD early enough. But Alliant's and Navy Fed's type of penalty is different: if you withdraw your CD before it reaches the maximum days of the penalty, such as 90 days of interest for a 1-year CD, the penalty is only the interest you've earned for the days your CD was opened.

    Many CD penalties are in days' worth of interest already earned, but PenFed uses expected interest. PenFed's penalty has a greater chance of dipping into your original deposit, meaning you can actually lose money from a CD.


    Calculator assumptions

    The CD early withdrawal penalty calculator assumes three things:

    1. The penalty is in terms of simple interest. This means that the penalty doesn’t factor in compounding, which aligns with how many banks compute a penalty.

    2. CD interest, outside the penalty, is compounded daily, which is typical for online high-yield CDs. If your CD is compounded monthly, results may differ slightly. For example, the result may be off by several dollars for six-figure deposits.

    3. There are no partial withdrawals for CDs. Although some banks allow this, many don’t, so our calculator follows suit. If your bank lets you withdraw part of your CD early, the penalty tends to be for the withdrawn amount instead of the full CD balance at the time of withdrawal.

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