BEST OF

8 Best Credit Union CD Rates 2021

Spencer TierneyJanuary 25, 2021
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Credit unions tend to have higher savings rates than banks, and some even compete with online banks' rates. Share certificates — as credit unions call their certificates of deposit — have terms that range from several months to years, with minimum deposits varying by institution.

» Want to compare rates with banks? See our best CD rates overall

Unlike banks, credit unions can restrict membership based on geography, employer and other criteria, so be sure to check eligibility requirements. Here's a look at some of the best credit union CD rates.

Summary of CD rates:

Best Credit Union CD rates for 1- to 5-year terms:

Easy to join:

  • Connexus Credit Union: 0.71%-1.01% APY, $5,000 minimum deposit.

  • Consumers Credit Union: 0.45%-0.70% APY, $250 minimum deposit.

  • Pentagon Federal Credit Union: 0.45%-0.70% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit.

  • Service Credit Union: 0.50%-0.95% APY, $500 minimum deposit.

Competitive rates but restrictive membership:

  • Golden 1 Credit Union: 0.55%-1.10% APY, $500 minimum deposit.

  • Navy Federal Credit Union: 0.55%-0.90% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit.

  • SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union: 0.55%-0.95% APY, $500 minimum deposit.

  • Suncoast Credit Union: 0.40%-0.95% APY, $500 minimum deposit.

Summary of Best Credit Union CD Rates 2021

Connexus Credit Union CD

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Connexus Credit Union CD

1-year APY

0.71%

With $5,000 minimum balance

3-year APY

0.90%

With $5,000 minimum balance

5-year APY

1.01%

With $5,000 minimum balance

Minimum Balance

$5,000

Federally insured by the NCUA


3-year APY

0.90%

With $5,000 minimum balance

5-year APY

1.01%

With $5,000 minimum balance

Why we like it

Connexus Credit Union offers few share certificates, but each one has a solid rate. The minimum is somewhat high compared to other credit unions. To become a member, you can make a $5 donation to the nonprofit Connexus Association.

Read Full Review

Consumers Credit Union CD

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Consumers Credit Union CD

1-year APY

0.45%

With $250 minimum balance

3-year APY

0.60%

With $250 minimum balance

5-year APY

0.70%

With $250 minimum balance

Minimum Balance

$250

Federally insured by the NCUA


3-year APY

0.60%

With $250 minimum balance

5-year APY

0.70%

With $250 minimum balance

Why we like it

Consumers Credit Union is a financial institution based in Illinois that has certificates with competitive yields, a low opening minimum and a range of terms from three months to five years. You can become a member by paying a one-time $5 fee to the credit union’s sponsor, the Consumers Cooperative Association, as well as opening a savings account with at least $5.

Read Full Review

PenFed Credit Union Money Market Certificate

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
PenFed Credit Union Money Market Certificate

1-year APY

0.45%

With $1,000 minimum balance

3-year APY

0.55%

With $1,000 minimum balance

5-year APY

0.70%

With $1,000 minimum balance

Minimum Balance

$1,000

Federally insured by the NCUA


3-year APY

0.55%

With $1,000 minimum balance

5-year APY

0.70%

With $1,000 minimum balance

Why we like it

Pentagon Federal, or PenFed, historically focused on serving military personnel and their families, but it expanded membership in 2019 so you no longer need a link to the military to join. You do need to open a savings account with at least $5 in order to take advantage of solid rates on its money market certificates — what the credit union calls CDs — with terms from six months to seven years. And the minimum to open is low.

Read Full Review

Service Credit Union CD

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Service Credit Union CD

1-year APY

0.50%

With $500 minimum balance

3-year APY

0.70%

With $500 minimum balance

5-year APY

0.95%

With $500 minimum balance

Minimum Balance

$500

Federally insured by the NCUA


3-year APY

0.70%

With $500 minimum balance

5-year APY

0.95%

With $500 minimum balance

Why we like it

Service Credit Union’s range of competitive certificate rates and a low minimum deposit make for a solid combination. The credit union historically served those with military backgrounds, but anyone can join by becoming a member of the nonprofit American Consumer Council. The cost of joining the nonprofit is either an $8 fee or free if you use Service Credit Union’s promo code.

Read Full Review

Golden 1 Credit Union CD

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Golden 1 Credit Union CD

1-year APY

0.55%

With $500 minimum balance

3-year APY

0.95%

With $500 minimum balance

5-year APY

1.10%

With $500 minimum balance

Minimum Balance

$500

Federally insured by the NCUA


3-year APY

0.95%

With $500 minimum balance

5-year APY

1.10%

With $500 minimum balance

Why we like it

Golden 1 Credit Union offers competitive rates on share certificates and a low minimum of $500, but if you have more cash, it offers higher rates for higher balances. Membership is limited to people who live or work in California as well as those who work for certain employers.

Read Full Review

Navy Federal Credit Union Standard Certificate

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Navy Federal Credit Union Standard Certificate

1-year APY

0.55%

With $1,000 minimum balance

3-year APY

0.70%

With $10,000 minimum balance

5-year APY

0.90%

With $10,000 minimum balance

Minimum Balance

$1,000

Federally insured by the NCUA


3-year APY

0.70%

With $10,000 minimum balance

5-year APY

0.90%

With $10,000 minimum balance

Why we like it

As the largest credit union worldwide with nearly 10 million members, Navy Federal also boasts an impressive range of share certificate rates and a low minimum deposit. To join, you generally need to be affiliated with the military or have family that is.

Read Full Review

SchoolsFirst FCU CD

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
SchoolsFirst FCU CD

1-year APY

0.55%

With $500 minimum balance

3-year APY

0.75%

With $500 minimum balance

5-year APY

0.95%

With $500 minimum balance

Minimum Balance

$500

Federally insured by the NCUA


3-year APY

0.75%

With $500 minimum balance

5-year APY

0.95%

With $500 minimum balance

Why we like it

SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union is a California-based institution that focuses on serving teachers and other employees at schools in the state. Its share certificates have a range in terms from one month to five years and yields are competitive. The minimum balance is $500, but if you have $20,000 or more, higher rates are available.

Read Full Review

Suncoast Credit Union CD

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Suncoast Credit Union CD

1-year APY

0.40%

With $500 minimum balance

3-year APY

0.70%

With $500 minimum balance

5-year APY

0.95%

With $500 minimum balance

Minimum Balance

$500

Federally insured by the NCUA


3-year APY

0.70%

With $500 minimum balance

5-year APY

0.95%

With $500 minimum balance

Why we like it

Suncoast Credit Union mainly extends membership to those who live in one of over two dozen counties in Florida. If that means you, you can take advantage of Suncoast’s share certificates with solid rates and a low minimum of $500.

Read Full Review

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

How do CDs at banks and credit unions differ?

Banks are for-profit institutions while credit unions are not-for-profits. Your banking needs for CDs can generally be met at either, but if you prefer a banking institution known for being part of the community it resides in, credit unions tend to fill those shoes better.

Do banks or credit unions offer better rates?

On average, you can find credit unions with higher rates than traditional banks. However, online banks tend to be better than both, offering some of the best rates available.

» Curious about other savings options? Check out NerdWallet’s best high-yield online savings accounts

Best 1-year credit union CD rates

  • Connexus Credit Union: 0.71% APY, $5,000 minimum deposit.

  • SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union: 0.55% APY, $500 minimum deposit.

  • Service Credit Union: 0.50% APY, $500 minimum deposit.

  • Golden 1 Credit Union: 0.55% APY, $500 minimum deposit.

  • Navy Federal Credit Union: 0.55% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit.

  • Pentagon Federal Credit Union: 0.45% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit.

  • Consumers Credit Union: 0.45% APY, $250 minimum deposit.

  • Suncoast Credit Union: 0.40% APY, $500 minimum deposit.

Last updated on January 25, 2021

Methodology

We took a close look at some of the nation's largest credit unions, based on deposits as well as broad-based membership requirements, in addition to other notable credit unions in the industry. Higher rates might be available elsewhere.

Frequently asked questions