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13 Best 1-Year CD Rates for October 2021

Spencer TierneyOct 1, 2021

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The best one-year CD rates can help boost some of your short-term savings.

Why trust NerdWallet: Our writers and editors follow strict editorial guidelines to ensure fairness and accuracy in our coverage to help you choose the financial accounts that work best for you. See our criteria for evaluating banks and credit unions.

Rates fell steadily since the Federal Reserve's March 2020 rate cuts, but the rates featured on this page are still strong compared to the national average of 0.14% APY for one-year CDs. These rates apply to 12-month CDs starting when you open and fund them. Here's a list of our picks.

» Want to see a wider pool of high rates? See our list of the best high-interest accounts

Summary of Best 1-Year CD Rates for October 2021

Discover Bank CD
Learn more

at Discover Bank, Member FDIC

Discover Bank CD

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Discover Bank CD

Minimum Deposit

$2,500

Member FDIC

APY

0.50%
Learn more

at Discover Bank, Member FDIC


Why we like it

Also known for its credit cards, Discover Bank offers a solid one-year CD rate. The minimum to open is somewhat hefty.

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Quontic Bank CD
Learn more

at Quontic Bank, Member FDIC

Quontic Bank CD

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Quontic Bank CD

Minimum Deposit

$500

Member FDIC

APY

0.60%
Learn more

at Quontic Bank, Member FDIC


Why we like it

Quontic Bank is a digital bank with roots as a New York-based community development financial institution. Its one-year CD has a strong rate and a low minimum.

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Comenity Direct CD
Learn more

at Comenity Direct, Member FDIC

Comenity Direct CD

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Comenity Direct CD

Minimum Deposit

$1,500

Member FDIC

APY

0.65%
Learn more

at Comenity Direct, Member FDIC


Why we like it

Comenity Direct offers high-yield CDs with a somewhat high minimum of $1,500.

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TIAA Bank Basic CD

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
TIAA Bank Basic CD

Minimum Deposit

$1,000

Member FDIC

APY

0.55%

Why we like it

The online bank has wide range of CDs and a relatively low opening minimum.

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Alliant Credit Union CD

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Alliant Credit Union CD

Minimum Deposit

$1,000

Federally insured by the NCUA

APY

0.55%

Why we like it

The online-focused credit union has a lower opening minimum than some competitors.

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TAB Bank CD

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
TAB Bank CD

Minimum Deposit

$1,000

Member FDIC

APY

0.50%

Why we like it

TAB Bank offers a competitive yield on its one-year CD and a somewhat low minimum to open.

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Synchrony Bank CD

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Synchrony Bank CD

Minimum Deposit

$0

Member FDIC

APY

0.55%

Why we like it

Synchrony Bank offers a wide range of CD terms, including many around one year. Its rates can be competitive.

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Connexus Credit Union CD

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Connexus Credit Union CD

Minimum Deposit

$5,000

Federally insured by the NCUA

APY

0.61%

Why we like it

Connexus Credit Union offers a 12-month rate with a minimum that's higher than some other online banks. Anyone can join with a one-time $5 donation to its partner nonprofit, Connexus Association.

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Ally Bank High Yield CD

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Ally Bank High Yield CD

Minimum Deposit

$0

Member FDIC

APY

0.55%

Why we like it

Ally lets you open and receive its rate with any amount.

Read Full Review

Marcus by Goldman Sachs High-Yield CD

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Marcus by Goldman Sachs High-Yield CD

Minimum Deposit

$500

Member FDIC

APY

0.55%

Why we like it

The Wall Street firm's online bank offers a 12-month CD term with a low minimum requirement.

Read Full Review

Live Oak Bank CD

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Live Oak Bank CD

Minimum Deposit

$2,500

Member FDIC

APY

0.60%

Why we like it

Live Oak Bank offers online CDs with strong rates, though there's a hefty minimum requirement of $2,500.

Read Full Review

Sallie Mae Bank CD

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Sallie Mae Bank CD

Minimum Deposit

$2,500

Member FDIC

APY

0.60%

Why we like it

Student loan provider Sallie Mae Bank offers a solid rate on its one-year CDs. There's a higher minimum than at some online banks.

Read Full Review

PenFed Credit Union Money Market Certificate

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
PenFed Credit Union Money Market Certificate

Minimum Deposit

$1,000

Federally insured by the NCUA

APY

0.60%

Why we like it

Pentagon Federal Credit Union offers nationwide membership, and its money market certificates, its CD equivalent, have solid rates and a relatively low minimum.

Read Full Review

» Want to see more options? Check out our list of the best CD rates overall

What is a 1-year CD?

A 1-year CD, or certificate of deposit, is a type of savings account that keeps money locked up for 12 months at a fixed rate. (You can find even shorter terms, such as six-month CDs.)

» Thinking of a longer term for higher yields? Check out the best three-year CD rates

What's involved in opening a CD?

You'll need to decide on what term and type of CD to get and whether to open a single or joint account. To see all five steps, check out this guide to opening a CD account.

Are CDs safe?

Yes. Most banks and credit unions insure your money in a CD up to $250,000 per person per account type, such as single-owned and joint accounts. Plus, your returns are guaranteed as long as you don’t withdraw early, in which case you may have to pay a penalty. For more details, see our article on the safety of CDs.

No-penalty CDs offer more freedom

When you withdraw your money from a CD before the term expires, you generally pay a penalty of at least several months of interest earned.

Some providers, however, allow you to withdraw your money before the term expires, with no penalty. Keep in mind that rates may be a little lower for these no-penalty CDs.

The following three banks offer no-penalty CDs:

Here are the best 1-year CD rates for October 2021:

  • Comenity Direct: 0.65% APY, $1,500 minimum to open.

  • Connexus Credit Union: 0.61% APY, $5,000 minimum to open.

  • Quontic Bank: 0.60% APY, $500 minimum to open.

  • PenFed: 0.60% APY, $1,000 minimum to open.

  • Sallie Mae Bank: 0.60% APY, $2,500 minimum to open.

  • Live Oak Bank: 0.60% APY, $2,500 minimum to open.

  • Ally Bank: 0.55% APY, no minimum to open.

  • Marcus by Goldman Sachs: 0.55% APY, $500 minimum to open.

  • Alliant Credit Union: 0.55% APY, $1,000 minimum to open.

  • TIAA Bank: 0.55% APY, $1,000 minimum to open.

  • Synchrony: 0.55% APY, $2,000 minimum to open.

  • TAB Bank: 0.50% APY, $1,000 minimum to open.

  • Discover: 0.50% APY, $2,500 minimum to open.

Last updated on October 1, 2021

You may also like these

People often identify opening a savings account as their next money move.

Discover Bank Online Savings

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Discover Bank Online Savings

APY

0.40%
With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

Varo Savings Account

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Varo Savings Account

APY

0.50%
With $0.01 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

at Varo, Member FDIC

American Express® High Yield Savings Account

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
American Express® High Yield Savings Account

APY

0.40%
With $1 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

at American Express National Bank, Member FDIC

Methodology

On a monthly basis, we compare rates at over 20 financial institutions, pulled from our full list, that we’ve seen to be consistently competitive. On a quarterly basis, we take a close look at over 70 financial institutions, including the largest U.S. banks based on assets, debit card volume, internet search traffic and other factors; the nation’s largest credit unions, based on deposits as well as broad-based membership requirements; and other notable and/or emerging players in the industry. We rated them on criteria including annual percentage yields, minimum balances, fees, digital experience and more; we favored those with the highest CD rates. We excluded banks that offered brokered CDs, since those accounts work differently from standard bank CDs. Higher rates might be available elsewhere.

Financial institutions surveyed include: Alaska USA Federal Credit Union, Alliant Credit Union, Ally Bank, America First Credit Union, American Express National Bank, Associated Bank, Axos Bank, Bank5 Connect, Bank7, Bank of America, Bank of the West, Barclays, BB&T, BBVA, BMO Harris, Boeing Employees Credit Union, Capital One 360, Charles Schwab Bank, Chase, Chime, CIBC U.S., CIT Bank, Citibank, Citizens Access, Citizens Bank, Comenity Bank, Comerica Bank, Commerce Bank, Connexus Credit Union, Consumers Credit Union, Discover Bank, E*TRADE Bank, Fifth Third Bank, First Foundation Bank, First National Bank, First Tech Federal Credit Union, Flagstar Bank, FNBO Direct, GoBank, Golden 1 Credit Union, Goldman Sachs Bank USA, HSBC Bank, Huntington Bank, KeyBank, Lake Michigan Credit Union, LendingClub, Live Oak Bank, M&T Bank, Nationwide Bank, Navy Federal Credit Union, NBKC Bank, Pentagon Federal Credit Union, PNC, Popular Direct, PurePoint Financial, Quontic Bank, Redneck Bank, Regions Bank, Salem Five Direct, Sallie Mae Bank, Santander Bank, SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union, Security Service Federal Credit Union, Service Credit Union, State Employees' Credit Union of North Carolina, Suncoast Credit Union, SunTrust Bank, Synchrony Bank, TAB Bank, TCF Bank, TD Bank, TIAA Bank, U.S. Bank, UFB Direct, Union Bank, USAA, Varo, Vio Bank, Wells Fargo, Woodforest National Bank and Zions Bank.

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Best 1-Year CD Rates for October 2021

Frequently asked questions