Certificates of deposit are a safe way to earn interest that is typically higher than interest on a checking or savings account. Insured by the FDIC, CDs can be a good opportunity for savers to conservatively generate income. As banking is a competitive field, some banks offer higher rates than others, with the highest CD rates often found at online banks. To help you compare CD rates, GOBankingRates ranked the best bank CD accounts based on the following factors:
- Minimum deposit to open
- 12-month CD APY
- Five-year CD APY
All of the banks ranking in the top 10 pay higher rates than the national average, which stood at 0.28% APY for a 12-month CD and 0.88% APY for a five-year CD, as of Nov. 30, 2017. Here are the best CD account providers of 2018 according to the GOBankingRates’ Best Banks ranking:
- Marcus by Goldman Sachs
- First Internet Bank
- Sallie Mae Bank
- TIAA Direct
- Synchrony Bank
- Barclays Bank Delaware
- Ally Bank
- Discover Bank
- Nationwide Bank
Keep reading to find out why these are the best CD accounts of the year.
|10 Best CD Accounts of 2018|
|Bank||Account||Min. Deposit |
|12-Month CD Interest (APY)||60-Month CD Interest (APY)|
|Marcus by Goldman Sachs||CD||$500||2.55%||3.10%|
|First Internet Bank||CD||$1,000||1.71%||2.38%|
|Sallie Mae Bank||CD||$2,500||1.70%||2.35%|
|Barclays Bank Delaware||CD||$0||2.55%||3.10%|
|Ally Bank||High-Yield CD||$0||2.65%||3.10%|
|Rates accurate as of Sept. 21, 2017, except for Marcus by Goldman Sachs, Barclays Bank Delaware, Everbank, Nationwide, Synchrony and Ally Bank which are accurate as of today.|
Why: A newcomer to the list, Marcus by Goldman Sachs leads the way with the highest APY for five-year CDs and the second-highest rate for 12-month CDs.
Review: The Marcus by Goldman Sachs five-year CD has no fees and paid a 2.40% APY at the time the ranking was conducted, but has since increased and was 3.10% APY as of today. Marcus by Goldman Sachs requires $500 to open a CD account. The bank contends in the 12-month CD category as well, with a high rate of 2.55% APY. Marcus by Goldman Sachs offers a 10-day CD rate guarantee, which promises you the best APY they offer within 10 days of opening your account, and you can either reinvest your interest payments or have them paid out directly to you.
How to Open: Open your Marcus by Goldman Sachs CD online with your Social Security number, date of birth, U.S. address, email and phone number.
More About the Best CD Account of 2018: Marcus by Goldman Sachs
Why: High rates make First Internet Bank a top contender.
Review: First Internet Bank has no-fee CD accounts that pay high yields — the best CD with a 12-month term, with a 1.57% APY at the time the ranking was conducted, but has since increased to 1.76% APY as of Jan. 4, 2018. The bank trails Goldman Sachs when it comes to five-year CDs: First Internet Bank’s paid a 2.30% APY when the study was initially conducted, but has since increased to 2.43% APY as of Jan. 4, 2018. Online banking and mobile banking options are also provided, along with automatic renewal of maturing CDs.
How to Open: You can open a First Internet Bank account on the bank’s website, where you’ll need a form of ID to get started.
Why: Sallie Mae Bank has among the very best CD rates, but carries a high minimum of $2,500.
Review: There are no fees for any of the Sallie Mae CD offerings, which range from six months to five years. The five-year CD pays a very competitive 2.35% APY, whereas the 12-month CD pays 1.50% APY, at the time the ranking was complete, yet has since increased to 1.72% APY as of Jan. 4, 2018.
How to Open: You can open an account online by providing basic personal financial information.
Related: 10 Best Online Banks of 2018
Why: A modest minimum investment of $1,000 and a broad range of high-paying CDs secure TIAA Direct’s place in the top 10 Best CD Accounts of 2018.
Review: Although it didn’t snag the top spot in the ranking, TIAA Direct pays very high CD rates. At the time the GOBankingRates’ ranking was completed, the 12-month CD stood at a 1.62% APY, whereas the five-year reached 2.20% APY. As of Jan. 4, 2018, however, both rates increased to 1.80% APY and 2.45% APY, respectively. Interest is compounded daily and the CDs automatically renew. Online and mobile banking, along with account alerts, are also available.
How to open: A U.S. citizen age 18 or older can open an account online by providing his name, Social Security number and address.
Why: Synchrony Bank has high CD rates but also a high minimum investment of $2,000.
Review: Synchrony Bank offers 12-month and five-year CD rates with high yields: 2.50% APY and 3.10% APY, respectively, as of today.
How to open: Your name, physical address, Social Security number and date of birth are enough to get you started opening an account online at Synchrony. You’ll also need a state ID, such as a driver’s license.
Related: 9 Tips for Choosing a CD Account
Why: Everbank’s YieldPledge CD has the highest minimum on the list at $5,000, but you get a great perk.
Review: EverBank’s YieldPledge CD pays 2.20% APY on the 12-month CD and 2.80% APY on the five-year CD. The big benefit is that EverBank pledges your yield will always be in the top 5 percent of yields offered by competitive banks whenever you purchase or renew the CD. EverBank also offers its basic CD with a $1,000 minimum, but at lower rates: 1.95% APY for a 12-month CD and 2.55% APY for a five-year CD as of today.
How to Open: You can open your EverBank CD account online by providing personal, financial and employment information.
Why: Barclays offers competitive CD rates and has a $0 minimum to open an account, one of only two such banks on the list.
Review: Daily compounding of interest, no monthly maintenance fees and a top-notch five-year CD APY of 2.30% APY at the time the ranking was conducted — which has since changed to 3.10% APY as of today — make Barclays Bank Delaware a top CD account. The 12-month CD rate pays 2.55% APY.
How to Open: Barclays Bank Delaware CD accounts are opened online.
Review: Ally’s High-Yield CD starts at a 2.65% APY for 12 months, but that climbs as high as 3.10% APY for five-year CDs. The Raise Your Rate CD allows you to increase your rate to current levels once over a two-year term or twice over a four-year term. The No-Penalty CD pays a lower rate but allows you penalty-free access to your CD funds just six days after the date of deposit.
How to Open: Ally has an online application process and 24/7 live phone support along with live chat.
Why: Respectable CD yields place Discover Bank on the list, but it does require one of the highest minimum investments at $2,500.
Review: Discover Bank offers one of the widest ranges of CD products, with maturities from three months to 10 years. At the time the GOBankingRates’ ranking was conducted, the five-year CD was competitive at a 2.25% APY, but the 12-month rate fell a bit short of other banks on the list at a 1.35% APY. As of Jan. 4, 2018, rates have since increased to 1.60% APY on the 12-month CD and 2.30% APY on the five-year CD.
How to Open: As with other banks, your Social Security number, address, phone number, and email address are enough to get you started with an online application at Discover.
Why: Nationwide offers the lowest 12-month and five-year CD rates in the top CD accounts, but the rates are still far above the national average and the accounts only require a $500 minimum investment.
Review: Nationwide Bank only offers 1.86% APY on its 12-month CD and 2.51% APY on its five-year product. Those rates can increase, however, with a deposit of $10,000 or greater. The bank offers online and mobile banking and provides customers access to a free financial management tool.
How to open: You can apply online at Nationwide by providing your address, date of birth, Social Security number and occupation.
Check Out Last Year’s Ranking: 10 Best CD Accounts of 2017
Methodology: To compile its list of the top 110 banks, GOBankingRates surveyed the FDIC’s list of banks sorted by asset size, excluding non-active institutions, investment banks and any institutions that require customers to use investment services to access commercial bank accounts. This list of 110 banks includes 82 brick-and-mortar banks and 28 online-only banks according to the GOBankingRates database. For brick-and-mortar financial institutions, the asset threshold was a minimum of $10 billion. No asset threshold was consulted for online-only banks.
Criteria for ranking: To determine its Best CD Accounts category ranking, GOBankingRates evaluated each institution’s 12-month certificate of deposit product and five-year CD product. If the bank did not offer a 12-month or five-year CD, then the next-closest CD term length was selected for evaluation. GOBankingRates scored the CD accounts from most to least favorable on the following factors: (1) minimum deposit to open a CD, (2) annual percentage yield for a 12-month CD and (3) APY for a five-year CD. APY for a 12-month CD and APY for a five-year CD were weighted more heavily than other ranking factors, and accounts were then ranked by overall score.
Data for the Best Banks of 2018 was compiled from and verified against the individual institutions’ websites between Sept. 12 and Sept. 21, 2017, except for Marcus by Goldman Sachs, Barclays Bank Delaware, Everbank, Nationwide, Synchrony and Ally Bank, which are accurate as of today. Rates, terms and conditions are subject to change at the discretion of the individual financial institutions. APY was based on the minimum deposit required to open the account. Some interest rates might be short-term or promotional offers only, and it is possible additional terms and conditions must be met in order to obtain the interest rates listed. Rates and availability might vary by region. Please verify terms and conditions before opening an account.
GOBankingRates is a personal finance and consumer interest rate website owned by ConsumerTrack, Inc., an online marketing company serving top-tier banks, credit unions, and other financial services organizations. Some banks mentioned in the Best Banks of 2018 are clients of ConsumerTrack, Inc., which serves more than 100 national, local and online financial institutions. Rankings are completely objective, and no institution, client or otherwise, paid for inclusion or specific placement.
Nationwide, Nationwide Bank, the Nationwide N and Eagle and Nationwide is on your side are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. Member FDIC.