Best of

Best 3-Year CD Rates September 2019

Spencer TierneySeptember 1, 2019

At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

Summary of Best 3-Year CD Rates September 2019

BankAPYMinimum DepositLearn More
Discover

Discover

2.45%

$2,500

Goldman Sachs Bank USA

Goldman Sachs Bank USA

2.35%

$500

First Tech Federal Credit Union

First Tech Federal Credit Union

2.30%

$500

Connexus Credit Union

Connexus Credit Union

2.50%

$5,000

Popular Direct

Popular Direct

2.25%

$10,000

Bank5 Connect

Bank5 Connect

at Bank5 Connect,

Member, FDIC

2.35%

$500

at Bank5 Connect,

Member, FDIC

Alliant Credit Union

Alliant Credit Union

2.35%

$1,000

Sallie Mae Bank

Sallie Mae Bank

2.50%

$2,500

Synchrony Bank

Synchrony Bank

2.45%

$2,000

Citizens Access

Citizens Access

2.35%

$5,000

TIAA Bank

TIAA Bank

2.40%

$5,000

Barclays

Barclays

2.45%

$0

PurePoint® Financial

PurePoint® Financial

2.40%

$10,000

Ally Bank

Ally Bank

2.30%

$0

BankAPYMinimum DepositLearn More
Discover

Discover

2.45%

$2,500

Goldman Sachs Bank USA

Goldman Sachs Bank USA

2.35%

$500

First Tech Federal Credit Union

First Tech Federal Credit Union

2.30%

$500

Connexus Credit Union

Connexus Credit Union

2.50%

$5,000

Popular Direct

Popular Direct

2.25%

$10,000

Bank5 Connect

Bank5 Connect

at Bank5 Connect,

Member, FDIC

2.35%

$500

at Bank5 Connect,

Member, FDIC

Alliant Credit Union

Alliant Credit Union

2.35%

$1,000

Sallie Mae Bank

Sallie Mae Bank

2.50%

$2,500

Synchrony Bank

Synchrony Bank

2.45%

$2,000

Citizens Access

Citizens Access

2.35%

$5,000

TIAA Bank

TIAA Bank

2.40%

$5,000

Barclays

Barclays

2.45%

$0

PurePoint® Financial

PurePoint® Financial

2.40%

$10,000

Ally Bank

Ally Bank

2.30%

$0

APY

2.45%

Minimum Deposit

$2,500

APY

2.35%

Minimum Deposit

$500

APY

2.30%

Minimum Deposit

$500

APY

2.50%

Minimum Deposit

$5,000

APY

2.25%

Minimum Deposit

$10,000

Bank5 Connect

at Bank5 Connect,

Member, FDIC

at Bank5 Connect,

Member, FDIC

APY

2.35%

Minimum Deposit

$500

APY

2.35%

Minimum Deposit

$1,000

APY

2.50%

Minimum Deposit

$2,500

APY

2.45%

Minimum Deposit

$2,000

APY

2.35%

Minimum Deposit

$5,000

APY

2.40%

Minimum Deposit

$5,000

APY

2.45%

Minimum Deposit

$0

APY

2.40%

Minimum Deposit

$10,000

APY

2.30%

Minimum Deposit

$0

What are CDs?

Certificates of deposit, or CDs, are savings accounts in which cash is locked away for a predetermined period of time, generally three months to five years.

CD rates are shown as an annual percentage yield, or APY. That number shows how much the CD earns in one year and includes compound interest. The higher the APY, the more your money will grow. Long-term CDs usually earn the highest rates (if that interests you, see the best five-year rates).

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

Can you withdraw cash early?

Although most CDs don't have monthly fees, banks typically charge early withdrawal penalties if you remove money before the CD's expiration date. The penalty is often several months' worth of interest. (If you're worried about losing access to your money for too long, consider shorter terms such as six-month CDs.)

» See what CDs can earn with our CD calculator

When does getting a CD make sense?

Ideally, you'll take out a CD only if you're certain that you won’t need that money before the term ends. Current CD rates tend to be higher than savings account rates. However, if you want to keep your funds more accessible, a high-yield online savings account is a better choice. (Check out our list of best online savings accounts.)

What's better: CDs or investment accounts?

That depends on how much risk you're willing to take. Investment accounts can have higher returns than CDs, but CDs offer guaranteed returns in the form of fixed interest rates. And they're typically federally insured for up to $250,000. Brokerage accounts can be riskier since you aren’t protected against losses. (For more information, see our list of the best online brokers.)

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:

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Last updated on September 1, 2019

Methodology

We featured easy-to-join financial institutions that we've reviewed with the highest CD rates currently listed in NerdWallet's CD rates tool for three-year CDs. For the ZIP code and minimum deposit requirement, we used 94103 and $5,000, respectively. We also included select, standout rates from other trusted online financial institutions that we have reviewed. Higher rates might be available elsewhere.

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Best 3-Year CD Rates September 2019