Best CD Rates and Accounts 2021: Low Fees & High Yields

A certificate of deposit, or CD, is a savings investment insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., making it a safe way to earn interest at a typically higher rate than you can earn with a savings or checking account. CDs are a good option for savers looking to conservatively generate income.

Here’s a quick look at GOBankingRates’ list of the Best CD Rates of 2021:

Best CD Accounts of 2021

CD Account Next Steps

Marcus by Goldman Sachs

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Ally Bank

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Synchrony Bank

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Discover Bank

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Capital One

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CIT Bank

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TD Bank

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Comenity Bank

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TIAA Bank

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NBKC Bank

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Sallie Mae Bank

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Axiom Bank

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Columbia Bank

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EmigrantDirect

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Radius Bank

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People’s United Bank

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Incredible Bank

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First Internet Bank

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iGObanking.Com

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Webster Bank

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Learn More About Each CD Account


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Marcus by Goldman Sachs: Best CD Account

Why we like it:  This upstart, user-friendly division of a venerable Wall Street institution offers some of the best available CD rates along with seven-, 11-, and 13-month no-penalty CDs plus a 10-day guarantee you’ll receive the best available rate at the firm.

Benefits

  • No fees
  • High APY
  • Variety of products available
  • 10-day CD rate guarantee
  • US-based contact center available seven days a week
  • Maturities from three months to six years

Drawbacks

  • $500 minimum to open

Minimum Deposit

$500

12-Month CD APY

0.85%

60-Month CD APY

0.90%

 
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Ally Bank: Top CD Account

Why we like it:  Ally Bank is one of only two banks on the list that has no CD minimum deposit.

Benefits

  • Maturities from three months to five years
  • No fees
  • High yields with larger deposits for some maturities
  • Offers Raise-Your-Rate and No-Penalty CDs as well
  • 24/7 customer service with a live agent

Drawbacks

  • Early withdrawal penalties may apply on some products

Minimum Deposit

$0.01

12-Month CD APY

0.75%

60-Month CD APY

1.00%

 
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Synchrony Bank: Top CD Account

Why we like it:  Synchrony Bank offers great CD rates and numerous maturity options.

Benefits

  • Terms from three to 60 months
  • 24/7 digital banking
  • High APY
  • No fees

Drawbacks

  • High $2,000 minimum balance

Minimum Deposit

$2,000

12-Month CD APY

0.60%

60-Month CD APY

0.90%

 
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Discover Bank: Top CD Account

Why we like it: Relatively high yields and terms from 3 months to 10 years make Discover CDs flexible and well-suited for a variety of consumers.

Benefits

  • Maturities from three months to 10 years
  • No fees
  • High APY

Drawbacks

  • High minimum balance requirement
  • Early withdrawal fees

Minimum Deposit

$2,500

12-Month CD APY

0.60%

60-Month CD APY

0.80%

 
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Capital One: Top CD Account

Why we like it:  Open a CD account with a one cent balance required, online or at a Capital One branch nationwide.

Benefits

  • One cent minimum deposit required
  • Choose when you receive interest payments: end-of-term, monthly, or annually
  • Maturities from 6 to 60 months
  • No fees

Drawbacks

  • Early withdrawal penalties apply

Minimum Deposit

$0.01

12-Month CD APY

0.30%

60-Month CD APY

0.60%

 
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CIT Bank: Top CD Account

Why we like it: This award-winning online bank offers high-yield CDs with no fees and terms from 6 months to five years.

Benefits

  • Terms from 6 months to 5 years
  • $1,000 minimum opening balance
  • APY up to 0.50%

Drawbacks

  • Online-only bank

Minimum Deposit

$1,000

12-Month CD APY

0.35%

60-Month CD APY

0.50%

 
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TD Bank: Top CD Account

Why we like it: A variety of CD options, including choices that let you increase your balance to earn more interest, or enjoy one no-penalty withdrawal per term put TD Bank on our list of best CDs for 2021.

Benefits

  • Flexible terms from 3 months to five years
  • No fees
  • Low $250 minimum deposit
  • Options for no early withdrawal penalties

Drawbacks

  • Relatively low APY of up to 0.10%

Minimum Deposit

$250

12-Month CD APY

0.20%

60-Month CD APY

0.64%

 
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Comenity Bank: Top CD Account

Why we like it:  Comenity bank has excellent rates and no fees.

Benefits

  • High APY
  • 24/7 digital banking
  • No fees
  • Free online statements
  • Terms up to 5 years

Drawbacks

  • High $1,500 minimum balance
  • Terms start at 1 year

Minimum Deposit

$1,500

12-Month CD APY

0.60%

60-Month CD APY

0.90%

 
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TIAA Bank: Top CD Account

Why we like it:  TIAA Bank offers a variety of CD terms, ranging from 3 months to 5 year, with a minimum deposit of $1,000 dollars.

Benefits

  • Two CD options: basic ($1,000 minimum), bump-up ($1,500 minimum)
  • Online and mobile banking
  • IRA-eligible
  • 20-day maturity alert
  • Automatic rollover

Drawbacks

  • Early withdrawal penalties apply

Minimum Deposit

$1,000

12-Month CD APY

0.50%

60-Month CD APY

0.90%

 
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Nbkc Bank: Top CD Account

Why we like it:  Terms from three months to five years, and add-on CDs with higher yields make NBKC bank a winner, and a new addition to our list this year.

Benefits

  • Maturities from three months to 5 years
  • No fees
  • Low minimum deposit, even on five-year CDs
  • Relatively good APY for most terms

Drawbacks

  • Early withdrawal fees
  • Low APY on three- to six-month CDs

Minimum Deposit

$1,000

12-Month CD APY

0.65%

60-Month CD APY

0.75%

 
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Sallie Mae Bank: Top CD Account

Why we like it: Sallie Mae’s CD make the list once again thanks to a combination of high yields and no fees.

Benefits

  • High APY
  • No fees
  • Automatic renewal

Drawbacks

  • High minimum required deposit

Minimum Deposit

$2,500

12-Month CD APY

0.60%

60-Month CD APY

0.60%

 
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Axiom Bank: Top CD Account

Why we like it: Axiom Bank offers competitive APYs on terms from six months to five years, plus Jumbo CD options available for deposits of $100,000+.

Benefits

  • Maturities from six months to five years
  • Free online banking
  • $500 minimum deposit
  • Bilingual website (English and Spanish)

Drawbacks

  • Early withdrawal fees

Minimum Deposit

$500.00

12-Month CD APY

0.55%

60-Month CD APY

0.90%

 
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Columbia Bank: Top CD Account

Why we like it: Maturities from 91 days up to 72 months, all with a low $500 minimum deposit, offer Columbia State Bank customers plenty of flexibility.

Benefits

  • Maturities from 31 days up to 72 months
  • $500 minimum
  • Relatively high APYs, especially for shorter term investments
  • 24/7 online banking

Drawbacks

  • Early withdrawal fees
  • Must visit a branch to open some products

Minimum Deposit

$500.00

12-Month CD APY

0.40%

60-Month CD APY

0.80%

 
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EmigrantDirect: Top CD Account

Why we like it: EmigrantDirect debuts on our 2021 list of Best CDs thanks to its high yields and terms from 6 to 120 months.

Benefits

  • High APY
  • Maturity dates from 6 months to 120 months
  • Automatic notification prior to maturity
  • Low minimum deposit of $1,000

Drawbacks

  • Only available for EmigrantDirect checking or savings account holders

Minimum Deposit

$500.00

12-Month CD APY

0.40%

60-Month CD APY

0.80%

 
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Radius Bank: Top CD Account

Why we like it: With maturities starting at 3 months up to 5 years and minimum deposits between $500 and $1,000 Radius Bank debuts on our list this year.

Benefits

  • Moderately high APY
  • Maturity dates from 3 months to five years
  • Low minimum deposits of $500 or $1,000, depending on terms

Drawbacks

  • Some products are not available online

Minimum Deposit

$500.00

12-Month CD APY

0.50%

60-Month CD APY

0.50%

 
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People's United Bank: Top CD Account

Why we like it:  Why We Like It: Choose your terms from 91 days to one year, in one-month increments, with the Plus CD program.

Benefits

  • High APY on 5-year Plus CD
  • Maturity dates that fit your needs
  • No minimum deposit required

Drawbacks

  • Consumer checking account required

Minimum Deposit

$500.00

12-Month CD APY

0.15%

60-Month CD APY

0.95%

 
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Incredible Bank: Top CD Account

Why we like it: High-yield CDs ranging from 12 to 60 months and a low minimum deposit make this offer… incredible.

Benefits

  • High APY
  • Low minimum deposit of $1,000
  • Maturities from 12 to 60 months
  • No fees

Drawbacks

  • Early withdrawal penalties apply

Minimum Deposit

$1,000

12-Month CD APY

0.30%

60-Month CD APY

0.80%

 
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First Internet Bank: Top CD Account

Why we like it: High rates make First Internet Bank a top contender among the Best CD Accounts of 2020.

Benefits

  • Automatic renewal
  • No maintenance fees
  • Maturities from three months to five years

Drawbacks

  • $1,000 minimum investment

Minimum Deposit

$1,000.00

12-Month CD APY

0.65%

60-Month CD APY

1.01%

 
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iGObanking.Com: Top CD Account

Why we like it: Find extremely high yields, short terms, and a low minimum deposit at this online bank.

Benefits

  • APY up to 0.70%
  • No fees
  • Terms from 6 to 18 months
  • $1,000 minimum opening balance

Drawbacks

  • Online and mobile banking only

Minimum Deposit

$1,000

12-Month CD APY

0.85%

60-Month CD APY

Does not offer a 60-month CD

 
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Webster: Top CD Account

Why we like it: Find extremely high yields, short terms, and a low minimum deposit at this online bank.

Benefits

  • Terms as short as one month
  • Bump-up CD options allow you to raise your APY if a better offer comes along
  • $1,000 minimum opening balance
  • Opt to receive interest payments monthly

Drawbacks

  • Checking account required to earn the best rates

Minimum Deposit

$1,000.00

12-Month CD APY

Does not offer a 12-month CD

60-Month CD APY

1.00%

 
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Tips for Choosing the Best CD

There is no such thing as “the best” CD for every investor. You’ll have to take into account your timeline for needing the money you invest in a CD, the rate you receive and the fees you pay. In today’s competitive financial environment, you should be able to find CDs that charge no fees, like those listed above. However, you’ll also want to match up the maturity of your CD with the time when you need the money. If you pull your money out early and trigger an early redemption penalty, you’re likely to lose a significant amount of your earned interest.

CD Account vs. Savings Account

CDs and savings accounts are two common ways that investors set aside money for shorter-term needs. However, these accounts differ in many significant ways. Here’s a look at a few of those.

Advantages of a CD

  • Typically, higher rates than a savings account
  • Money can usually be automatically renewed upon maturity
  • Come in different maturities so investors can set up various strategies, such as laddering

Disadvantages of a CD 

  • Early redemption penalties for monies withdrawn before the maturity date
  • Generally have higher minimum deposit amounts than savings accounts

Summary

Some of the banks on this list have higher minimum balance requirements than others, but they all share two things in common: no fees and high yields. If you’re looking to juice up your CD returns, any of the banks on this list — many of whom also made the Best CD Rates 2020 list — can help your portfolio. Shop around and find which bank best matches your needs in terms of account minimums, maturity dates and yields — just be aware that once you commit to a CD, you’re generally locked in unless you’re willing to pay an early withdrawal penalty.

FAQ

CDs are commonly used but often not fully understood. Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding CDs.

  • What Is a CD?
    • A certificate of deposit, or CD, is an interest-bearing investment that is FDIC-insured and returns your original invested principal at maturity. CDs are considered among the safest of investments and usually pay a premium over regular savings accounts.
  • What CD Term Length Should I Select?
    • You should generally match your CD maturities with your financial needs. For example, if you’re putting a down payment on a house in 18 months, you’d want a CD maturity of 18 months or less. If you’re constructing a ladder, you might want to spread your money out over CDs that mature in consecutive years, say every year for one to 10 years. As each CD matures, you’ll buy a new 10-year CD to keep your ladder intact.

  • Can You Lose Money in CDs?
    • Generally speaking, you can’t lose money in CDs. Bank-issued CDs maintain their value until they mature. You can, however, lose money in broker-sold CDs, which fluctuate in value on a daily basis in response to moves in interest rates, just like bonds. If interest rates rise after you buy a broker-sold CD, the price of your investment will likely go down. If you hold your CD until maturity, you will be paid off at par value.Remember that the FDIC insurance nearly all CDs carry only insures holders against the default of the underlying financial institution; it doesn’t protect you from market losses.
  • Are CDs a Good Investment?
    • CDs are a good investment if they match your investment objectives and risk tolerance. For some investors, they may be too conservative, as they rarely pay rates that match the returns available from other investments. However, for short-term, conservative investors, CDs can often fit the bill perfectly, as they’re insured and often pay higher rates than savings accounts.

  • Do CDs Pay Monthly?
    • Many CDs do pay monthly, but longer-term CDs often pay at maturity or semiannually.

More From GOBankingRates

To discover the Best Certificate of Deposit (CD) accounts, GOBankingRates looked at the top institutions in terms of total assets size that had available published data. To determine rankings GOBankingRates looked at the following factors: (1) total assets as sourced from the FDIC; (2) number of branch locations as sourced from the FDIC; (3) minimum deposit to open an account; (4) 12-month CD APY rate; (5) 60-month CD APY rate, and (5) the average mobile app rating between the android and apple stores. All factors were then scored and combined, with the lowest score being best. Factor (1) was weighted 1.5 times, factor (2) was weighted 2 times, and factors (4) and (5) were weighted 4 times. All data is up to date as of 11/04/2020, rates and fees subject to change.

John Csiszar contributed to the reporting for this article.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the bank advertiser, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. This site may be compensated through the bank advertiser Affiliate Program.

About the Author

Dawn Allcot is a full-time freelance writer and content marketing specialist who geeks out about finance, e-commerce, technology, and real estate. Her lengthy list of publishing credits include Bankrate, Lending Tree, and Chase Bank. She is the founder and owner of GeekTravelGuide.net, a travel, technology, and entertainment website. She lives on Long Island, New York, with a veritable menagerie that includes 2 cats, a rambunctious kitten, and three lizards of varying sizes and personalities – plus her two kids and husband. Find her on Twitter, @DawnAllcot.

Best CD Rates and Accounts 2021: Low Fees & High Yields
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