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12 Best CD Rates for November 2019

Spencer TierneyNovember 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 CD Rates for November 2019

Bank1-year APY3-year APY5-year APYMinimum DepositLearn More
Goldman Sachs Bank USA

Goldman Sachs Bank USA

at Goldman Sachs Bank USA,

Member, FDIC

2.00%

2.05%

2.15%

$500

at Goldman Sachs Bank USA,

Member, FDIC

Discover

Discover

at Discover,

Member, FDIC

2.10%

2.15%

2.20%

$2,500

at Discover,

Member, FDIC

PurePoint® Financial

PurePoint® Financial

2.05%

2.20%

2.25%

$10,000

First Tech Federal Credit Union

First Tech Federal Credit Union

2.10%

2.15%

2.20%

$500

Connexus Credit Union

Connexus Credit Union

2.20%

2.50%

2.60%

$5,000

Citizens Access

Citizens Access

2.10%

2.15%

2.25%

$5,000

Synchrony Bank

Synchrony Bank

2.00%

2.10%

2.25%

$2,000

Ally Bank

Ally Bank

2.00%

1.95%

2.25%

$0

TIAA Bank

TIAA Bank

2.10%

2.15%

2.20%

$5,000

Alliant Credit Union

Alliant Credit Union

2.05%

2.15%

2.20%

$1,000

Sallie Mae Bank

Sallie Mae Bank

2.10%

2.15%

2.20%

$2,500

Barclays

Barclays

2.10%

2.10%

2.20%

$0

Bank1-year APY3-year APY5-year APYMinimum DepositLearn More
Goldman Sachs Bank USA

Goldman Sachs Bank USA

at Goldman Sachs Bank USA,

Member, FDIC

2.00%

2.05%

2.15%

$500

at Goldman Sachs Bank USA,

Member, FDIC

Discover

Discover

at Discover,

Member, FDIC

2.10%

2.15%

2.20%

$2,500

at Discover,

Member, FDIC

PurePoint® Financial

PurePoint® Financial

2.05%

2.20%

2.25%

$10,000

First Tech Federal Credit Union

First Tech Federal Credit Union

2.10%

2.15%

2.20%

$500

Connexus Credit Union

Connexus Credit Union

2.20%

2.50%

2.60%

$5,000

Citizens Access

Citizens Access

2.10%

2.15%

2.25%

$5,000

Synchrony Bank

Synchrony Bank

2.00%

2.10%

2.25%

$2,000

Ally Bank

Ally Bank

2.00%

1.95%

2.25%

$0

TIAA Bank

TIAA Bank

2.10%

2.15%

2.20%

$5,000

Alliant Credit Union

Alliant Credit Union

2.05%

2.15%

2.20%

$1,000

Sallie Mae Bank

Sallie Mae Bank

2.10%

2.15%

2.20%

$2,500

Barclays

Barclays

2.10%

2.10%

2.20%

$0

Goldman Sachs Bank USA

at Goldman Sachs Bank USA,

Member, FDIC

at Goldman Sachs Bank USA,

Member, FDIC

1-year APY

2.00%

3-year APY

2.05%

5-year APY

2.15%

Minimum Deposit

$500

Overview: Marcus is the Goldman Sachs branch launched in 2016 that handles online banking products, including an extensive line-up of CDs with terms from six months to six years. The minimum is lower than many banks, though some have no minimum. Marcus CD rates from the one-year term onward tend to be competitive. Live customer service by phone is available every day.

 

Fees: No monthly or opening fees. If you withdraw early from a standard Marcus CD, the penalty is the following: three months’ worth of interest earned for CD terms less than a year, nine months of interest for CD terms of one to five years and one year’s worth of interest for the six-year CD. Marcus also has no-penalty CDs for three terms: seven months, 11 months and 13 months. (Learn more about no-penalty CDs.)

 

Other products: Its savings account’s rate is similarly impressive. The bank doesn't, however, offer mobile apps, ATMs, branches or checking accounts, so it’s best for letting the interest on your money grow.

 

Full list of Marcus CD rates:

  • 6-month CD: 0.60% APY
  • 9-month CD: 0.70% APY
  • 1-year CD: 2.00% APY
  • 18-month CD: 2.00% APY
  • 2-year CD: 2.00% APY
  • 3-year CD: 2.05% APY
  • 4-year CD: 2.10% APY
  • 5-year CD: 2.15% APY
  • 6-year CD: 2.20% APY

Read full review
Discover

at Discover,

Member, FDIC

at Discover,

Member, FDIC

1-year APY

2.10%

3-year APY

2.15%

5-year APY

2.20%

Minimum Deposit

$2,500

Overview: The credit card issuer and online bank Discover offers a wide range of CDs with rates in line with other banks. CD terms start at three months and extend to 10 years, though the more competitive offerings include terms from one to five years. The minimum to open is $2,500, which is somewhat high. To dive deeper, see our review of Discover CD rates.

 

Fees: The penalty for withdrawing early from a Discover CD depends on the CD’s term, starting with three months of interest for terms of less than one year. The biggest penalty is two years of interest for terms of seven to 10 years. Like most CDs, there are no monthly or opening fees.

 

Other products: Discover also boasts CDs for individual retirement accounts (or IRA CDs), an online savings account with a strong APY and a cashback checking account. There are also highly rated mobile apps and 24/7 live customer service.

 

Full list of Discover CD rates:

  • 3-month CD: 0.35% APY
  • 6-month CD: 0.65% APY
  • 9-month CD: 0.70% APY
  • 1-year CD: 2.10% APY
  • 18-month CD: 2.10% APY
  • 2-year CD: 2.15% APY
  • 30-month CD: 2.15% APY
  • 3-year CD: 2.15% APY
  • 4-year CD: 2.15% APY
  • 5-year CD: 2.20% APY
  • 7-year CD: 2.25% APY
  • 10-year CD: 2.30% APY

Read full review
1-year APY

2.05%

3-year APY

2.20%

5-year APY

2.25%

Minimum Deposit

$10,000

Overview: PurePoint, the online bank division of the 150-year-old Union Bank, offers solid CD rates that go hand-in-hand with a high opening deposit minimum of $10,000. Outside of PurePoint’s CD rates for regular CD terms of six months to five years, PurePoint offers three terms for no-penalty CDs: 11 months, 13 months and 14 months. Customer service by phone is available only on weekdays, and the bank has a handful of branches in four states.

 

Fees: PurePoint charges a flat penalty for withdrawing early from a regular CD of any term: six months of interest. This can be a steeper penalty than other banks, depending on your CD term. Like many CDs, there are no upfront costs.

 

Other products: PurePoint’s savings account has a high rate. The bank doesn’t offer checking accounts.

 

Full list of PurePoint CD rates:

  • 6-month CD: 1.70% APY
  • 1-year CD: 2.05% APY
  • 15-month CD: 2.05% APY
  • 18-month CD: 2.10% APY
  • 2-year CD: 2.15% APY
  • 30-month CD: 2.15% APY
  • 3-year CD: 2.20% APY
  • 4-year CD: 2.20% APY
  • 5-year CD: 2.25% APY

Read full review
1-year APY

2.10%

3-year APY

2.15%

5-year APY

2.20%

Minimum Deposit

$500

Overview: Founded in 1952, First Tech Federal Credit Union has a focus on serving technology companies and their employees, but nationwide membership is available to anyone who joins the Financial Fitness Association or Computer History Museum for a fee of $8 or $15. First Tech’s share certificates, the credit union equivalent of CDs, have high rates and a low minimum opening requirement of $500.

 

Fees: Early withdrawal penalties are six months of interest for one-year and two-year CDs and nine months of interest for three-year to five-year CDs. No monthly or opening fees, except the fee to join the credit union.

 

Other products: First Tech also has bump-up share certificates, which let you switch once from your starting rate to whatever the rate becomes during the CD term (ideally higher). Checking and savings accounts are also available.

 

Full list of First Tech Credit Union CD rates:

  • 6-month share certificate: 1.25% APY
  • 1-year share certificate: 2.10% APY
  • 2-year share certificate: 2.15% APY
  • 3-year share certificate: 2.15% APY
  • 5-year share certificate: 2.20% APY

Read full review
1-year APY

2.20%

3-year APY

2.50%

5-year APY

2.60%

Minimum Deposit

$5,000

Overview: Membership at Connexus Credit Union, founded in 1935 in Wisconsin, is open to anyone who makes a one-time $5 donation to the nonprofit Connexus Association. Connexus share certificates, the equivalent of bank CDs, are limited to four terms — one-year, two-year, three-year and five-year CDs — but all have competitive yields. The $5,000 minimum opening deposit is high. As with bank CDs, money in these certificates is federally insured. Phone support is available every day, about 15 hours on weekdays, as well as live chat, and branches are in four states.

 

Fees: If you withdraw early from a Connexus share certificate, there’s a penalty: three months of dividends (credit unions’ word for “interest”) for a one-year term, six months of dividends for two-year and three-year terms and one year of dividends for a five-year term. There are no monthly or opening fees, except the $5 donation to join the credit union.

 

Other products: Connexus also provides retirement share certificates, as well as checking and savings accounts.

 

Full list of Connexus CD rates:

  • 1-year share certificate: 2.20% APY
  • 2-year share certificate: 2.40% APY
  • 3-year share certificate: 2.50% APY
  • 5-year share certificate: 2.60% APY

Read full review
1-year APY

2.10%

3-year APY

2.15%

5-year APY

2.25%

Minimum Deposit

$5,000

Overview: Citizens Access, the online-only offshoot of Citizens Bank, has a variety of high-yield CDs with terms ranging from six months to five years. The $5,000 minimum to open is high. Phone support is available every day of the week.

 

Fees: No monthly or opening fees. Withdrawing early from a six-month CD results in a penalty of three months of interest, and withdrawing early from a CD with a longer term has a charge of six months of interest.

 

Other products: Like other online banks with stellar CD options, Citizens Access doesn't have checking or branches, but its savings account has a top APY. Citizens Access doesn’t have mobile apps, but its website is mobile-friendly.

 

Full list of Citizens Access CD rates:

  • 6-month CD: 1.60% APY
  • 1-year CD: 2.10% APY
  • 18-month CD: 2.10% APY
  • 2-year CD: 2.10% APY
  • 3-year CD: 2.15% APY
  • 4-year CD: 2.20% APY
  • 5-year CD: 2.25% APY

Read full review
1-year APY

2.00%

3-year APY

2.10%

5-year APY

2.25%

Minimum Deposit

$2,000

Overview: An online bank owned by a Fortune 500 company, Synchrony Bank has more CD terms than many banks, with eight terms under two years. This can be helpful for creating a short-term CD ladder, which is a more flexible approach to saving in CDs than holding funds only in long-term CDs (read more about CD ladders). Synchrony CD rates above nine months tend to be solid, though the minimum of $2,000 is a somewhat hefty opening requirement. Customer service is available by phone every day.

 

Fees: Early withdrawal penalties include: three months of interest for CDs of one-year terms or shorter, six months of interest for CDs between one-year and four-year terms, and one year of interest for five-year CDs. No monthly or opening costs.

 

Other products: Synchrony Bank offers IRA CDs for the retirement-minded as well as a money market account and high-yield savings account that has a program for extra banking perks, including unlimited ATM fee reimbursements. It doesn’t have checking accounts.

 

Full list of Synchrony Bank CD rates:

  • 3-month CD: 0.75% APY
  • 6-month CD: 1.00% APY
  • 9-month CD: 1.25% APY
  • 1-year CD: 2.00% APY
  • 18-month CD: 2.00% APY
  • 2-year CD: 2.10% APY
  • 3-year CD: 2.10% APY
  • 4-year CD: 2.15% APY
  • 5-year CD: 2.25% APY

Read full review
1-year APY

2.00%

3-year APY

1.95%

5-year APY

2.25%

Minimum Deposit

$0

Overview: Ally Bank, an online-only institution originally founded by General Motors, offers stellar CD rates and a high-quality banking experience. It has an unusually diverse set of CDs, including a no-penalty CD and bump-rate CDs. The minimum deposit is $0 for most CDs, but the 18-month and three-year terms offer better rates if you deposit at least $5,000. To see more information, check out our review of Ally CD rates.

 

Fees: No monthly or opening costs. If you withdraw early from a regular Ally CD, the penalty varies by term: two months of interest for two-year terms and shorter, three months of interest for 18-month and three-year CDs, four months of interest for four-year CDs and five months of interest for five-year CDs.

 

Other products: Ally is a full-service bank with checking, savings, IRA CDs, investing accounts and more. Its website and mobile app are top-notch, and customer service is available 24/7, with wait times listed online.

 

Full list of Ally Bank CD rates:

  • 3-month CD: 0.75% APY
  • 6-month CD: 1.00% APY
  • 9-month CD: 1.25% APY
  • 1-year CD: 2.00% APY
  • 18-month CD: 2.05% - 2.05% APY, depending on deposit
  • 2-year CD: 2.05% APY
  • 3-year CD: 1.95% - 2.10% APY, depending on deposit
  • 4-year CD: 2.05% APY
  • 5-year CD: 2.25% APY

Read full review
1-year APY

2.10%

3-year APY

2.15%

5-year APY

2.20%

Minimum Deposit

$5,000

Overview: TIAA Bank, part of the Fortune 100 company Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America, offers a wide range of high-yield CDs from three months to five years. The $5,000 minimum to open is steep compared with some banks, but the rates can be worthwhile. The bank promises that its Yield Pledge CDs have rates within the top 5% of its competitor banks. Although there are some branches, TIAA Bank mainly functions as an online bank with mobile apps and 24/7 customer service by phone.

 

Fees: Early withdrawal penalties vary for every CD term, starting at 22 days of interest for three-month CD and about 15 months of interest for five-year CDs. The penalties are higher than at some banks. No monthly or opening fees.

 

Other products: Apart from its Yield Pledge CDs, TIAA Bank also offers basic and bump rate CDs. Online checking, savings and money market accounts are also available.

 

Full list of TIAA Bank CD rates:

  • 3-month CD: 1.50% APY
  • 6-month CD: 1.80% APY
  • 9-month CD: 1.90% APY
  • 1-year CD: 2.10% APY
  • 18-month CD: 2.10% APY
  • 2-year CD: 2.10% APY
  • 30-month CD: 2.10% APY
  • 3-year CD: 2.15% APY
  • 4-year CD: 2.20% APY
  • 5-year CD: 2.20% APY

Read full review
1-year APY

2.05%

3-year APY

2.15%

5-year APY

2.20%

Minimum Deposit

$1,000

Overview: Founded in 1935 in Illinois, the online-focused Alliant Credit Union is one of the largest credit unions nationwide and offers solid certificate rates. To become a member, one option is to agree to support Alliant's partner charity Foster Care to Success; Alliant will make a $5 donation on your behalf. Alliant’s certificates have a low minimum deposit of $1,000, and terms stretch from one to five years. Unlike at many banks, you can select a term of any month within that range. Phone support is available 24/7.

 

Fees: No monthly or opening costs. Early withdrawal penalties are more friendly than some banks’ — the penalty for certificates of two-year terms or longer is up to six months of dividends. Some banks require more than a year of dividends, or interest, for similar terms.

 

Other products: Alliant also offers IRA certificates for those saving for retirement as well as high-yield checking and savings accounts and an extensive ATM network.

 

Full list of Alliant Credit Union CD rates:

  • 1-year CD: 2.05% APY
  • 18-month CD: 2.05% APY
  • 2-year CD: 2.10% APY
  • 30-month CD: 2.10% APY
  • 3-year CD: 2.15% APY
  • 4-year CD: 2.15% APY
  • 5-year CD: 2.20% APY

Read full review
1-year APY

2.10%

3-year APY

2.15%

5-year APY

2.20%

Minimum Deposit

$2,500

Overview: Online student loan provider Sallie Mae focuses on short-term CDs, with 10 options from six months to three years. There is a five-year but no four-year term. Rates tend to be high, though the $2,500 minimum is somewhat hefty. Phone support is available only on weekdays.

 

Fees: Withdrawing early results in a penalty, either three months of interest for CDs of one year or shorter or six months of interest for CDs of longer terms. No monthly or opening fees.

 

Other products: Sallie Mae also has a money market account, high-yield savings account and a goal-oriented savings account. Its mobile app ratings are mixed.

 

Full list of Sallie Mae CD rates:

  • 6-month CD: 1.75% APY
  • 9-month CD: 1.80% APY
  • 11-month CD: 1.90% APY
  • 1-year CD: 2.10% APY
  • 13-month CD: 2.10% APY
  • 15-month CD: 2.10% APY
  • 18-month CD: 2.10% APY
  • 2-year CD: 2.15% APY
  • 30-month CD: 2.15% APY
  • 3-year CD: 2.15% APY
  • 5-year CD: 2.20% APY

Read full review
1-year APY

2.10%

3-year APY

2.10%

5-year APY

2.20%

Minimum Deposit

$0

Overview: Barclays, an online-only U.S. branch of a London-based company by the same name, has competitive CD rates with the rare perk of no opening minimum. Terms include three-month to five-year CDs, with the better rates generally for one-year CDs onward. Customer service is available every day for 12 hours.

 

Fees: No monthly or opening fees. The early withdrawal penalties are three months of interest for two-year CDs and shorter, and six months of interest for CDs with terms longer than two years.

 

Other products: Barclays also has a high-yield savings account with no minimum deposit and a bare-bones mobile app. The bank lacks checking, an ATM network and advanced budgeting tools.

 

Full list of Barclays CD rates:

  • 3-month CD: 0.35% APY
  • 6-month CD: 0.65% APY
  • 9-month CD: 0.70% APY
  • 1-year CD: 2.10% APY
  • 18-month CD: 2.10% APY
  • 2-year CD: 2.10% APY
  • 3-year CD: 2.10% APY
  • 4-year CD: 2.10% APY
  • 5-year CD: 2.20% APY

Read full review

No-penalty CD rates this month

If you withdraw money from a CD before the term ends, you generally pay a penalty of at least several months' worth of interest earned. But some providers have CDs without this early withdrawal penalty, though rates are slightly lower than other CD rates. Here are some:

  • Marcus by Goldman Sachs, 11-month no-penalty CD, 1.65% APY.
  • Ally, 11-month no penalty-CD, up to 1.90% APY.
  • CIT, 11-month no-penalty CD, 1.80% APY.

» See more details on our list of the best no-penalty CD rates.

[Back to top]

Best CD rates from top banks and credit unions

  • Goldman Sachs Bank: 0.60% - 2.20% APY, 6 months - 6 years, $500 minimum to open
  • Discover Bank: 0.35% - 2.30% APY, 3 months - 10 years, $2,500 minimum to open
  • PurePoint Financial: 1.70% - 2.25% APY, 6 months - 5 years, $10,000 minimum to open
  • First Tech Federal Credit Union: 1.25% - 2.20% APY, 6 months - 5 years, $500 minimum to open
  • Connexus Credit Union: 2.20% - 2.60% APY, 1 - 5 years, $5,000 minimum to open
  • Citizens Access: 1.60% - 2.25% APY, 6 months - 5 years, $5,000 minimum to open
  • Synchrony Bank: 0.75% - 2.25% APY, 3 months - 5 years, $2,000 minimum to open
  • Ally Bank: 0.75% - 2.25% APY, 3 months - 5 years, no minimum to open
  • TIAA Bank: 1.50% - 2.20% APY, 3 months - 5 years, $5,000 minimum to open
  • Alliant Credit Union: 2.05% - 2.20% APY, 1 - 5 years, $1,000 minimum to open
  • Sallie Mae Bank: 1.75% - 2.20% APY, 6 months - 5 years, $2,500 minimum to open
  • Barclays: 0.35% - 2.20% APY, 3 months - 5 years, no minimum to open

Last updated on November 1, 2019

Methodology

We featured easy-to-join financial institutions that we've reviewed with the highest rates currently listed on NerdWallet's CD rates tool. For the ZIP code and minimum deposit requirement, we used 94103 and $10,000, respectively. We also included select, standout rates from other trusted online financial institutions that we have reviewed. Higher rates might be available elsewhere

Frequently asked questions

A CD, or certificate of deposit, is a type of savings account that keeps money locked up for a set period or term, generally three months to five years. The longer the CD term, the higher the rate.

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.

CD rates are quoted as an annual percentage yield, or APY, which is how much the account earns in one year including compound interest. Banks generally compound interest monthly or daily. A CD’s term plays a role too: the longer the term, the higher the rate generally.

» See what CDs can earn you with our CD calculator

Both show the rate of interest you can earn on a CD or savings account, but APY factors in compounding interest and the interest rate doesn’t. If you’re comparing CD rates at a glance, APY is more useful. To get the exact return on a calculator, use the interest rate and the CD’s compounding period. (For more details, read our post on APY vs. interest rate.)

This depends on the CD’s interest rate and compounding period. Let’s say you placed $10,000 into a one-year CD with 2.50% APY, which is a 2.47% interest rate, that compounds interest daily. You’d earn about $250 in interest.

Due to the recent Fed rate cut, CD rates are dropping more than they’re rising. See more details on how this might affect your decision to get CDs.

The biggest point of comparison for any CD is the rate: the higher it is, the more you save. Compare CD rates by term, for example, five-year CDs with other five-year CDs. Other details to consider would be an unusually high minimum deposit or a harsh early withdrawal penalty (such as cutting into the initial deposit you put into the CD — most early-withdrawal penalties only affect the interest earned, not the initial deposit).

Credit unions and online banks are solid places to find competitive CD rates. Credit unions are the nonprofit equivalent of banks, and can generally offer higher savings rates than traditional brick-and-mortar banks. Credit unions’ certificates of deposit are called “shared certificates” and interest “dividends,” and these function as they do at banks.

A jumbo CD is a type of CD with a traditionally high minimum deposit such as $10,000, though it can be lower. Although jumbo CD rates can be higher than regular CDs, online banks and credit unions offer some of the best rates on CDs with low or no minimums.

A brokered CD is a CD originated by a bank or credit union and offered by a brokerage firm. They function like regular CDs except that they can be traded before their terms end. Check out the pros and cons on our explainer about brokered CDs.

An IRA, or individual retirement account, is a tax-advantaged account that contains investments such as stocks, bonds and CDs. A CD is a type of savings account that locks up money for a set term, generally from three months to five years.

An IRA CD is a type of CD used to save a portion of retirement savings. You get the tax-advantaged status of an IRA and the fixed term and rate of a CD.

No. CDs are meant for savings you can set aside and leave untouched. Consider a high-yield savings account for money you need in a pinch.

CDs can make sense as a way to lock up some savings dedicated to a short-term goal such as buying a car or house in the next few years. Outside of goals, CDs can be a safe place for money you want to get guaranteed returns on without the risk of fluctuation such as in the stock market.

CDs don’t have monthly fees like checking or savings accounts might have, but they generally have a penalty if you withdraw before the CD term expires. This early withdrawal penalty tends to be several months’ worth of interest, so it’s usually best to wait to access funds from a CD once it expires. The exception is no-penalty CDs.

A no-penalty CD is a type of CD that doesn’t have a penalty for withdrawing money before the term ends. It can be appealing if you want the traditionally higher yield of a CD, compared to regular savings accounts, but you might need the money sooner than you expect. Here’s a closer look at no-penalty CDs: pros, cons, and some of their rates.

Yes. Interest earned in CDs is taxable as interest income. Your bank or credit union will usually give you a Form 1099-INT that states the interest each year, unless the amount is under $10. The IRS notes that you generally include interest from CDs when you receive it, so a CD with a term longer than a year wouldn’t have its interest taxed until the term ends.

A CD ladder can be a helpful strategy if you don’t want to go all in on one CD, especially if you think rates will keep rising. It works like this: you open multiple CDs at different terms, such as one year, two years and three years, which frees up part of your funds more regularly than having, say, just a three-year CD. Each time a CD matures, you can either reinvest in a new CD or withdraw your money.

It depends on what’s more important to you: rates or access to your money. The current CD rates tend to be higher than the best savings account rates, but you sacrifice access to money in CDs. If that doesn’t work for you, check out our list of best online savings accounts.

It depends on what rates and type of access to funds you need. Like high-yield savings accounts, money market accounts have ongoing access to funds, while CDs don’t. Among savings accounts, CD rates are traditionally the highest, then money market accounts, then regular savings accounts. However, online high-yield savings account rates now compete with money market rates, which you can see on our list of top rates.

It depends on the level of risk you want to take. Investment, or brokerage, accounts can have higher returns than CDs, but CDs guarantee returns. They’re typically federally insured for up to $250,000 and offer fixed interest rates. Brokerage accounts can be riskier, since you aren’t protected against losses.

Let's say you have an emergency fund that consists of enough cash to cover about three to six months’ worth of living expenses. To grow your long-term savings, consider opening an online brokerage account. Although these financial products come with more risk than CDs, they could lead to higher returns.

Picking the right broker comes down to your priorities. Some investors are willing to pay more for a top-notch platform; others count costs above all else. With brokerage accounts, you don't have to worry about early withdrawal penalties, but your funds may be more difficult to access in a pinch, given that you’ll likely need to sell some investment shares before you can devote that money to anything else.

» For in-depth guidance, check out NerdWallet’s best online stock brokers for beginners