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This Personal Finance Expert Just Locked in a 6.15% CD Rate. Why You Shouldn’t Wait to Start Earning Interest on Your Savings

Savings rates are still rising, but experts recommend locking in a high rate now.

Robert Rodriguez/CNET

Certificate of deposit rates have been on the rise all year. Recently, Bernadette Joy, a personal finance coach and CNET expert review board member, locked in a CD with an annual percentage yield of over 6%. And she’s encouraging savers to take advantage of high rates too.

While many of the banks with the best CD rates are offering over 5% APY, Joy was able to find a rate even higher. She found an 11-month CD at Truliant Federal Credit Union with a 6.15% APY. That’s much higher than CNET’s one-year CD average this week -- 5.30% APY. 

This isn’t the first CD Joy’s opened this year, either. If you’re still deciding where to stash your savings, here’s where CD rates currently stand and why Joy suggests acting quickly, even if savings rates rise again.

Read more: I’m 37 and Already Have Enough Saved for Retirement. Here’s Why You Should Start Saving Now

Savings and CD rates are changing rapidly across banks and accounts. Experts recommend comparing rates before opening an account to get the best APY possible. Enter your information below to get CNET’s partners’ best rate for your area.

CD rates this week: APYs climb higher

Despite expert’s predictions that CD rates have reached their peak, some banks are pushing rates even higher. 

This week, several banks are still pushing CD rates even higher, based on the banks we track at CNET. Synchrony increased rates for its six-, nine-, 12- and 18-month terms this week. And Bread Savings pushed rates higher for its two-, three- and five-year CDs.

And some banks are offering more than 6% on select CD terms. Truliant Federal Credit Union, the bank where Joy recently found a 6.15% CD, isn’t on CNET’s best CD rates list, since it requires a minimum deposit of $5,000 to open an account. But if you plan on depositing $5,000 or more and want a CD that matures in less than one year, Truliant’s worth a look, especially since it’s easy to become a member.

If you want to open a CD, don’t wait

When opening any CD term in a rising rate environment, there’s a chance that rates could continue to go up and you could miss out on a better return. Joy opened two short-term CDs (18-month and one-year terms) earlier this year when rates were around 4% APY. And while rates have risen by 1% or more since then, Joy doesn’t regret locking in the 4% rates when she did.

“I have zero regrets on not waiting -- that money in my CDs was not money I was planning to spend any time soon,” Joy said.

She also notes that not trying to time the banking market to lock in the highest rate can be freeing, while still helping you earn solid interest on your savings.

“It helped me take the mental gymnastics out of thinking of what to do with the money,” she added. That freed up time for Joy to focus on growing her business and planning other long-term financial goals while her CDs earned fixed-interest in the background. 

I have zero regrets on not waiting -- that money in my CDs was not money I was planning to spend any time soon

Waiting on better rates could mean missing out on interest that you could be earning now. You may consider a short-term CD to earn interest on the funds while you decide what you want to do with it. But if there’s a chance that you’ll need the money at any point, a high-yield savings account may be a better fit, since you can withdraw the money penalty-free and still make contributions over time. You can also split your money between a CD and a high-yield savings account, depending on your financial goals. In fact, most experts do. 

Read more: Here’s Where Financial Experts Are Stashing Their Savings (and So Can You)

What to do with your savings when rates fall 

Joy has her money spread across many accounts, including stocks, CDs and real estate. But with the changing rate environment, there’s a chance CD rates will fall and won’t yield as much of a return. And if she wants to keep earning high rates on her savings, she may have to shift her strategy. 

“As long as interest rates are above 4%, I’ll continue to keep some portion of my money in interest-bearing accounts,” Joy said. “I enjoy the risk-free returns.” There’s a chance that rates may not fall for years, so her next move will depend on where she is in life.

Until the Fed indicates it’s likely to start lowering the federal funds rate, most experts expect CD rates to remain high. Some banks may continue to boost rates on select CD terms to remain competitive. So it’s best to compare rates and minimum deposits across several banks before opening an account. 

In the meantime, Joy is looking forward to when her CDs mature in a few months. “It seems that high interest rates will continue and there will be even higher interest opportunities for me to continue to grow those savings,” she said.

Dashia is a staff writer for CNET Money who covers all angles of personal finance, including credit cards and banking. From reviews to news coverage, she aims to help readers make more informed decisions about their money. Dashia was previously a staff writer at NextAdvisor, where she covered credit cards, taxes, banking B2B payments. She has also written about safety, home automation, technology and fintech.