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Best 1-Year CD Rates December 2018

Dec. 3, 2018
Banking, CDs
best-1-year-cd-rates
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We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity. Some of the products we feature are from our partners. Here’s how we make money.
Best 12-month CD rates | December 2018
Popular Direct

at Popular Direct,

Member, FDIC

Popular Direct

Overall bank rating:

2.85% APY
$10,000 minimum deposit
Citizens Access

at Citizens Access,

Member, FDIC

Citizens Access

Overall bank rating:

2.70% APY
$5,000 minimum deposit
Vio Bank

at Vio Bank,

Member, FDIC

Vio Bank

Overall bank rating:

2.71% APY
$500 minimum deposit

Ally Bank

Overall bank rating:

2.65% APY
No minimum deposit

TIAA Bank

Overall bank rating:

2.73% APY
$5,000 minimum deposit

Alliant Credit Union

Overall bank rating:

2.65% APY
$1,000 minimum deposit

Connexus Credit Union

Overall bank rating:

2.80% APY
$5,000 minimum deposit

 

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

What is a CD?

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.

How do CD rates work?

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.

» See what CDs can earn with our CD calculator

When should you get a CD?

You should only get a CD if you know you won’t need those funds during its term. Pulling money out of a CD before its expiration date will likely result in an early withdrawal fee, which is typically a percentage of the interest earned.

» Thinking of a longer term for higher yields? Check out the best three-year CD rates

What’s better: CDs or high-yield savings accounts?

It depends on what’s more important to you: rates or access to your money. The best 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.

What’s better: CDs or investment accounts?

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.

Best 1-year CD rates, December 2018

Financial institutionAPYMinimum deposit
Popular Direct2.85%$10,000
Connexus Credit Union2.80%$5,000
TIAA Bank2.73%$5,000
Vio Bank2.71%$500
Citizens Access2.70%$5,000
Ally2.65%No minimum
Alliant Credit Union2.65%$1,000

METHODOLOGY

We featured easy-to-join financial institutions that we’ve reviewed with the highest rates currently listed in NerdWallet’s CD rates tool for one-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.

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