Summary of Best CD Rates for March 2020
|Bank||1-year APY||3-year APY||5-year APY||Minimum Deposit||Learn More|
Marcus by Goldman Sachs CD
Discover Bank CD
PurePoint® Financial CD
First Tech Federal Credit Union CD
Connexus Credit Union CD
Synchrony Bank CD
Ally Bank CD
TIAA Bank CD
Citizens Access CD
Sallie Mae Bank CD
Popular Direct CD
Alliant Credit Union CD
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, 1.60% APY.
- Ally Bank, 11-month no penalty-CD, up to 1.55% APY.
- CIT Bank, 11-month no-penalty CD, 1.70% APY.
» See more details on our list of the best no-penalty CD rates.
What is a no-penalty CD?
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 our list of best CD rates from top banks and credit unions for March 2020
- Goldman Sachs Bank: 0.60% - 1.90% APY, 6 months - 6 years, $500 minimum to open
- Discover Bank: 0.35% - 1.80% APY, 3 months - 10 years, $2,500 minimum to open
- PurePoint Financial: 0.75% - 0.75% APY, 6 months - 5 years, $10,000 minimum to open
- First Tech Federal Credit Union: 0.75% - 0.90% APY, 6 months - 5 years, $500 minimum to open
- Connexus Credit Union: 1.01% - 1.56% APY, 1 - 5 years, $5,000 minimum to open
- Citizens Access: 1.50% - 1.65% APY, 1 - 5 years, $5,000 minimum to open
- Synchrony Bank: 0.25% - 1.65% APY, 3 months - 5 years, $2,000 minimum to open
- Ally Bank: 0.50% - 1.60% APY, 3 months - 5 years, no minimum to open
- TIAA Bank: 0.80% - 1.90% APY, 3 months - 5 years, $5,000 minimum to open
- Sallie Mae Bank: 1.30% - 1.45% APY, 6 months - 5 years, $2,500 minimum to open
- Barclays: 0.35% - 1.85% APY, 3 months - 5 years, no minimum to open
- Popular Direct: 0.80% - 1.15% APY, 3 months - 5 years, $10,000 minimum to open
- Alliant Credit Union: 1.40% - 1.50% APY, 1 - 5 years, $1,000 minimum to open
Last updated on March 2, 2020
To recap our selections...
NerdWallet's Best CD Rates for March 2020
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. Here are this month's best CD rates.
It depends on what’s more important to you: rates or access to your money. Some of 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.
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.
It depends on your savings goals and how sure you are that you won't need your funds before the CD term expires. Having to pay an early withdrawal penalty, generally up to one year's worth of interest, can be a blow to your savings. Common CD terms range from six months to five years; if you want to play it safe, go for a shorter CD term or a no-penalty CD.
No. The Federal Reserve cut rates in March 2020, which encouraged banks and credit unions to lower their CD rates. Rates are likely to continue falling before they go up again.
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. For example, APY brings a CD with interest compounded daily and another with interest compounded monthly onto the same playing field. For CDs of the same term length, a higher APY means a higher return.
This depends on the CD’s interest rate and compounding period. Let’s say you placed $10,000 into a one-year CD with 1.50% APY, which is a 1.49% interest rate, that compounds interest daily. You’d earn about $150 in interest.
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 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 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.
The general rule of thumb for CDs is the longer the term, the higher the rate. However, this isn't always true. The best 10-year CD rates aren't necessarily higher than the best five-year CD rates, and locking up your money for a decade might not be in your best interest. Consider your savings goals and options -- investing your money in mutual funds might be more worthwhile for a longer term.
» For more info, see the best short-term investments for 5 years or less
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