CDs are a low-risk investment that you can leave untouched for months or years. Like regular savings accounts, CDs have federal deposit insurance for up to $250,000.
Figure out how much your certificate will earn on NerdWallet’s CD calculator below, or, if you’re looking for the best CD rates, skip ahead in the story to check out three strong options.
» If access to funds is important, see our best high-yield savings accounts
What term length should you get?
The longer the term, the higher the rate tends to be. Terms typically range from three months to five years, so see how CDs fit in with your savings goals. Most have early withdrawal penalties, so be sure you won’t need your money before the term expires.
- Prioritize finding a high interest rate.
- Avoid early withdrawal fees; although short-term CDs mean you are less likely to incur a fee for taking your money out early, long-term certificates mean a beefier rate.
- Keep in mind that CD rates are climbing, so locking up cash for as many as five years might mean you miss out on rising rates.
If you’ve built a robust emergency fund and want to boost 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.
Shop for the best CD rates
Some online-only banks have one-year CDs with annual percentage yields over 2% and five-year CDs earning even more. Here’s a closer look at some of the highest CD rates on the market:
COMPARE THE TOP CD RATES