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Best CD Rates for December 2018

Dec. 3, 2018
Banking, CDs
nerdwallets-best-cd-rates
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Top CD interest rates
Capital One 360

Capital One

at Capital One,

Member, FDIC

Overall bank rating:

• 1-year: 2.60% APY
• 3-year: 2.80% APY
• 5-year: 3.10% APY
No minimum deposit
Terms: Six months to five years; other details

Citizens Access

Citizens Access

at Citizens Access,

Member, FDIC

Overall bank rating:

• 1-year: 2.70% APY
• 3-year: 3.05% APY
• 5-year: 3.15% APY
• $5,000 minimum deposit
• Terms: Six months to five years; other details

Vio Bank

Vio Bank

at Vio Bank,

Member, FDIC

Overall bank rating:

• 1-year: 2.71% APY
• 3-year: 3.05% APY
• 5-year: 3.15% APY
• $500 minimum deposit
• Terms: Six months to ten years; other details

PurePoint

PurePoint® Financial

at PurePoint® Financial,

Member, FDIC

Overall bank rating:

• 1-year: 2.80% APY
• 3-year: 3.30% APY
• 5-year: 3.10% APY
• $10,000 minimum deposit
• Terms: Six months to five years; other details

TIAA Bank

Overall bank rating:

• 1-year: 2.73% APY
• 3-year: 3.05% APY
• 5-year: 3.15% APY
• $5,000 minimum deposit
• Terms: Three months to five years; other details

Connexus Credit Union

Overall bank rating:

• 1-year: 2.80% APY
• 3-year: 3.20% APY
• 5-year: 3.50% APY
• $5,000 minimum deposit
• Terms: One year to five years; other details

The best CD rates are higher than they’ve been in years. If you don’t need immediate access to some of your money, high-yield CDs can be a great way to build your savings.

The following banks offer some of the highest CD rates available in December. With rates on the rise, a one-year CD might be a better option than a long-term CD; you’ll be able to access your cash in 12 months and potentially reinvest at higher rates. (See the best one-year rates.) Although CDs with five-year terms offer greater yields, you’ll need to keep your money locked away longer. (If that’s appealing, check out more five-year CDs. And if you’re in the middle, consider three-year CD rates.)

Here’s a closer look at some of the best one-year CD rates on the market. Keep in mind that the average annual percentage yield (APY) on one-year CDs is just over 0.50%.

» Want to grow your long-term savings a different way? Skip ahead to CD alternatives

Compare CD rates for December 2018

Capital One 360, 0.60%–2.60% APY

Terms: 6 months to 5 years
Minimum deposit: None

Capital One

at Capital One,

Member, FDIC

Along with stellar long-term CD options, Capital One 360 has a one-year CD with an APY of 2.60%. Its five-year CD earns a competitive APY of 3.10%. The bank also offers excellent checking and savings accounts, making Capital One 360 a good choice for customers looking to keep all of their accounts with the same institution.

Citizens Access, 2.20%–3.15% APY

• Terms: 6 months to 5 years
• Minimum deposit: $5,000

Citizens Access

at Citizens Access,

Member, FDIC

Citizens Access, the online-only offshoot of Citizens Bank, has a variety of high-yield CDs, including its one-year CD with an APY of 2.70%, and a five-year CD at 3.15% APY. The bank has CD term lengths starting at six months. Like other online banks with stellar CD options, it doesn’t have checking, but Citizens’ savings account is a top contender when it comes to APY.

Terms: 3 months to 5 years
Minimum deposit: $10,000

Popular Direct

at Popular Direct,

Member, FDIC

Popular Direct has one of the higher opening minimum requirements, $10,000, but it may be worthwhile. The online bank’s rates stand out with a five-year term at 3.50% APY and a three-year term at 3.30% APY. Popular Direct has 24/7 phone support, but a minimal app and no branches.

Vio Bank, 2.00%–3.15% APY

Terms: 6 months to 10 years
Minimum deposit: $500

Vio Bank

at Vio Bank,

Member, FDIC

Unlike most online banks, Vio provides a long range of CD terms, from six months to 10 years. And you only need $500 to open an account. Rates are yet another strength: its one-year CD has an APY of 2.71% and its three-year CD features an APY of 3.05%.

PurePoint, 0.35%–3.10% APY

Terms: 6 months to 5 years
Minimum deposit: $10,000

PurePoint® Financial

at PurePoint® Financial,

Member, FDIC

PurePoint, online bank division of Union Bank, offers high rates hand-in-hand with a high opening deposit minimum of $10,000. Rates are competitive across the board, especially its 3.00% APY for a three-year term. Customer service by phone is available on weekdays, and the bank has a handful of branches in four states.

TIAA Bank, 1.90%–3.15% APY

Terms: 3 months to 5 years
Minimum deposit: $5,000

TIAA Bank has high rates across its wide range of CD terms, including three-month CDs with 1.90% APY and five-year CDs with 3.15% APY. The minimum to open is steep compared to some banks, but the rates can be worthwhile. Although there are some branches, TIAA Bank mainly functions as an online bank with mobile apps and 24/7 customer service by phone.

Connexus Credit Union, 2.80%–3.50% APY

Terms: 1 year to 5 years
Minimum deposit: $5,000

All of Connexus’ share certificate rates are impressive — its rate on a one-year option (2.80% APY) is higher than many banks’ rates for five-year CDs. (“Share certificates” are what credit unions call CDs.) For a five-year term, the return is at 3.50% APY. You’ll have to put down a hefty amount to take advantage, but you won’t have a hard time applying. Just make a one-time $5 donation to the Connexus Association, a charitable organization, and you are eligible to apply for membership.

Alternatives to CDs

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

CD rates | December 2018

BankAPYTermMinimum deposit
Connexus Credit Union


2.80% - 3.50%


1 - 5 years


$5,000


Popular Direct 2.15%-3.50%3 months - 5 years$10,000
TIAA Bank1.90% - 3.15%3 months - 5 years$5,000
Vio Bank2.00%-3.15%6 months - 10 years$500
Citizens Access2.20% - 3.15%6 months - 5 years$5,000
PurePoint2.20%-3.10%6 months - 5 years$10,000
Capital One 3600.60% - 3.10%6 months - 5 yearsNo minimum

METHODOLOGY

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