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11 Best 1-Year CD Rates September 2020

Spencer TierneySeptember 1, 2020

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

One-year CD rates can help boost some of your short-term savings. Although rates have been decreasing since the Federal Reserve's March 2020 rate cuts, the rates featured on this page are still strong compared to the national average of 0.19% 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.

Summary of the best rates available from a large pool of banks Here are the best 1-year CD interest rates.

  • Ally Bank: 0.75% APY, no minimum to open.

  • Marcus by Goldman Sachs: 0.85% APY, $500 minimum to open.

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

  • Bank5 Connect: 0.70% APY, $500 minimum to open.

  • Comenity Direct: 0.60% APY, $1,500 minimum to open.

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

  • Discover: 0.60% APY, $2,500 minimum to open.

  • Synchrony: 0.60% APY, $2,000 minimum to open.

  • Alliant Credit Union: 0.65% APY, $1,000 minimum to open.

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

  • Citizens Access: 0.60% APY, $5,000 minimum to open.

Summary of Best 1-Year CD Rates September 2020

Citizens Access Online CD

Citizens Access CD

APY

0.60%

With $5,000 minimum balance

Minimum Balance

$5,000

Member FDIC


Why we like it

Citizens Access, Citizens Bank's new online division, offers savings accounts and CDs. The minimum amount to open is hefty for both, though.

Read Full Review

Bank5 Connect High-Yield CD

Bank5 Connect CD

APY

0.70%

With $500 minimum balance

Minimum Balance

$500

Member FDIC


Why we like it

Bank5 Connect has a low opening minimum for its CDs.

Read Full Review

Discover Bank CD

Discover Bank CD

APY

0.60%

With $2,500 minimum balance

Minimum Balance

$2,500

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.

Read Full Review
Comenity Direct CD

Comenity Direct CD

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Comenity Direct CD

APY

0.60%

With $1,500 minimum balance

Minimum Balance

$1,500

Member FDIC


Why we like it

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

Marcus by Goldman Sachs High-Yield CD

Marcus by Goldman Sachs CD

APY

0.85%

With $500 minimum balance

Minimum Balance

$500

Member FDIC


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

Ally Bank High Yield CD

Ally Bank CD

APY

0.75%

With $0 minimum balance

Minimum Balance

$0

Member FDIC


Why we like it

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

Read Full Review

Sallie Mae Bank CD

Sallie Mae Bank CD

APY

0.60%

With $2,500 minimum balance

Minimum Balance

$2,500

Member FDIC


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

Connexus Credit Union CD

Connexus Credit Union CD

APY

0.61%

With $5,000 minimum balance

Minimum Balance

$5,000

Federally insured by the NCUA


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.

Read Full Review
Live Oak Bank CD

Live Oak Bank CD

3.0

NerdWallet rating 
Live Oak Bank CD

APY

0.60%

With $2,500 minimum balance

Minimum Balance

$2,500

Member FDIC


Why we like it

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

Alliant Credit Union CD

Alliant Credit Union CD

APY

0.65%

With $1,000 minimum balance

Minimum Balance

$1,000

Federally insured by the NCUA


Why we like it

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

Read Full Review

Synchrony Bank CD

Synchrony Bank CD

APY

0.60%

With $2,000 minimum balance

Minimum Balance

$2,000

Member FDIC


Why we like it

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

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 September 2020:

  • Ally Bank: 0.75% APY.

  • Marcus by Goldman Sachs: 0.85% APY.

  • Connexus Credit Union: 0.61% APY.

  • Bank5 Connect: 0.70% APY.

  • Comenity Direct: 0.60% APY.

  • Sallie Mae Bank: 0.60% APY.

  • Discover: 0.60% APY.

  • Synchrony: 0.60% APY.

  • Alliant Credit Union: 0.65% APY.

  • Live Oak Bank: 0.60% APY.

  • Citizens Access: 0.60% APY.

Last updated on September 1, 2020

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, Aspiration, Associated Bank, Axos Bank, Bank5 Connect, Bank7, Bank of America, Bank of the West, Barclays, BB&T, BBVA, Boeing Employees Credit Union, BMO Harris, Capital One 360, Charles Schwab Bank, Chase, Chime, CIBC U.S., CIT, Citibank, Citizens Access, Citizens Bank, Comenity Direct, Comerica Bank, Commerce Bank, Connexus Credit Union, Consumers Credit Union, Discover Bank, E-Trade, Fidelity, Fifth Third Bank, First National Bank, First Tech Federal Credit Union, GoBank, Golden 1 Credit Union, GS Bank, HSBC Bank USA, Huntington Bank, KeyBank, Live Oak Bank, M&T Bank, Moven, Navy Federal Credit Union, Pentagon Federal Credit Union, PNC, Popular Direct, PurePoint Financial, Radius Bank, Redneck Bank, Regions Bank, Sallie Mae Bank, Santander Bank, SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union, Security Service Federal Credit Union, Service Credit Union, Simple, State Employees’ Credit Union of North Carolina, State Farm Bank, Suncoast Credit Union, SunTrust Bank, Synchrony Bank, TCF Bank, TD Bank, TIAA Bank, Union Bank, UFB Direct, USAA, U.S. Bank, Varo, Vio Bank, Wells Fargo and Zions Bank.

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Best 1-Year CD Rates September 2020

Frequently asked questions