- Jump ahead to see “no-penalty” CDs that allow you to withdraw your money whenever you want
|Best 6-month CD interest rates | May 2019|
• 2.25% APY
• 2.40% APY
• 2.00% APY
• 2.20% APY
• 2.35% APY
» 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 tends to be.
» Want slightly higher rates? Check out our list of best one-year CD rates
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 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.
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.
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.
Here are some examples of CDs that give you more freedom with your money.
(but $5,000 and $25,000 result in higher rates)
Best 6-month CD rates, May 2019
|Financial institution||APY||Minimum deposit|
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 six-month CDs. 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.