Top CD rates today: Dec. 8, 2023 – Leaders earning 5% to 5.75%

When you put money into a certificate of deposit (CD), especially one with a high fixed interest rate, you’ll continue to enjoy that same yield even if the going rates for CDs and savings accounts start to drop. Yields may have already hit their peak this year since there’s a good chance the Federal Reserve is done with rate hikes.

What’s new for today:Bask Bank has lowered its six-month CD rate, so it no longer offers the highest annual percentage yield (APY) of 5.55 percent for that term. Popular Direct offers the same high rate, although its required minimum deposit of $10,000 is considerably higher than Bask’s requirement of just $1,000.

APYs also fell slightly last week and this week for CDs with terms of 18 months as well as terms of one, four and five years. However, overall yields remain high, so it’s still a good time for savers to consider investing in a CD.

The guide below lists average rates and competitive ones for various terms, as well as how to find a CD with the best rate. A CD calculator also comes in handy in determining how much interest the account will earn by the time its term ends.

Key takeaways

  • Today’s top-earner is a nine-month CD with an APY of 5.75 percent.
  • Highest yields are currently found on shorter-term CDs with terms up to 18 months.
  • National averages are significantly lower than competitive rates, with the highest national average at just 1.77 percent.

Today’s CD rates by term

CD term Institution offering top APY Highest APY National average APY Estimated earnings on $5,000 with top APY
* Note: Annual percentage yields (APYs) shown are as of Dec. 8, 2023. APYs for some products may vary by region.

N/A: Not available; Bankrate doesn’t track national averages for the 6-month and 9-month CD terms due to limited available data. Estimated earnings are based on the highest APYs and assume interest is compounded annually.

6-month Popular Direct 5.55% N/A $137
9-month Forbright Bank 5.75% N/A $214
1-year Popular Direct 5.67% 1.75% $284
18-month Popular Direct 5.50% 1.77% $418
2-year Popular Direct 5.30% 1.52% $544
3-year Popular Direct 5.00% 1.42% $788
4-year Popular Direct 4.65% 1.43% $997
5-year Popular Direct 4.70% 1.44% $1,291

What’s happened with average CD rates in 2023?

National average CD yields have risen steadily in 2023, as the Federal Reserve has hiked interest rates four times this year. (In all, national averages began increasing after the Fed started hiking rates in March 2022. It raised rates seven times last year.)

How to find the best CD rates

You’ll often find the best CD rates from online-only banks, such as Synchrony Bank, which don’t have the overhead costs of running branches – and which also may offer competitive rates to draw customers away from traditional brick-and-mortar banks. Credit unions, such as Alliant Credit Union, also commonly offer high rates because their profits go back to members. Yields can vary significantly among banks, so it pays to shop around for the best CD rates.

CDs vs. savings accounts

Because a CD typically locks in your funds until its term is up, money you might need sooner is better off in a liquid account such as a high-yield savings account or money market account. On the other hand, your funds may be better off in a high-earning CD if you can afford to part with them until the CD matures.

CD FAQs

  • How do CDs work?
    A CD is a deposit account that earns a fixed rate of return in exchange for locking in your funds for the entire term. CD terms often range from three months to five years, although it’s possible to find ones with terms shorter or longer than that. A CD can be a good place to stash money for savings goals, such as a down payment on a house or a new car. When choosing the best CD term, consider when you’ll need access to the money.
  • Who should get a CD?
    Because a CD typically comes with an early withdrawal penalty, it’s best to only put money into a CD that you won’t need in the meantime for living expenses or emergencies. Money you may need sooner is best kept in a liquid account, such as a high-yield savings account, which provides access to your funds anytime.
  • Why are CDs from credit unions called “share certificates”?
    Both CDs and share certificates are deposit accounts where your money typically grows at a fixed rate for a set amount of time. The main difference between the two is in the name: CDs are offered from banks, whereas share certificates are offered from credit unions. What’s more, CD earnings are referred to as interest, while share certificate earnings are called dividends.

    CDs and share certificates are insured through banks and credit unions, respectively, that are federally insured. For example, banks are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC), whereas credit unions are insured through the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). Under such federally insured banks and credit unions, CDs and share certificates are each insured for up to $250,000 per depositor, per insured bank, for each account ownership category.

Methodology

Bankrate calculates and reports the national average APYs for various CD terms. Factored into national average rates are the competitive APYs commonly offered by online banks, along with the very low rates often found at large brick-and-mortar banks.

In June 2023, Bankrate updated its methodology that determines the national average CD rates. For the process, more than 500 banks and credit unions are now surveyed each week to generate the national averages. Among these institutions are those that are broadly available and offer high yields, as well as some of the nation’s largest banks.

Copyright 2023 Bankrate, Inc. ALL Rights Reserved.

This story was originally published December 8, 2023, 9:00 AM.

source: star-telegram

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