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Best 3-Month CD Rates for November

These CDs offer competitive rates despite their short three-month term.

A certificate of deposit, or CD, is a savings account that secures a lump sum of money for a specific period of time, or term, while earning interest. CD terms can range from as short as one month to as long as 10 years. Interest on a CD is paid at a fixed annual percentage yield, or APY, as opposed to a savings account whose interest rate varies. The longer the term, the higher the APY. CDs generally earn higher returns than a savings account, the national average of which is currently 0.16% APY, according to CNET's sister site, Bankrate. But there's a catch: The bank issuing the CD requires that you don't withdraw the money from your account during the specified term, or risk being penalized financially for the premature withdrawal. 

CDs offered by banks and credit unions are considered low-risk because their value is insured by either the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or National Credit Union Administration for up to $250,000 per person.

What is a 3-month CD?

A three-month CD is a savings account with a term of three months. During this term, a bank will pay interest that compounds, adding additional money to the beginning balance. After the maturity date, the money can be accessed without risk of incurring an early withdrawal penalty. That penalty is generally a portion of the interest that has been earned. Three-month CDs don't typically pay rates as high as those for a six-month, one- or five-year CD (however, one of the three-month CDs profiled in the following table has a rate that tops 4%.)

Combining a higher-yielding three-month CD with an auto-renew feature is one way to maximize the earned interest while minimizing the time restriction. If you're looking for a shorter term, CNET has profiled one-month CD rates as well. 

CNET's picks for the best 3-month CD rates

Best 3-month CD rates

Bank APY Minimum Deposit
Hanscom Federal Credit Union 4.25% $1,000
Merrick Bank 3.15% $25,000
Chevron Federal Credit Union 2.85% $500
Synchrony Bank 2.25% $0
Popular Direct 2.00% $10,000
TIAA Bank 2.00% $100
Bethpage Federal Credit Union 2.00% $50
First Internet Bank 1.51% $1,000
Discover Bank 1.50% $2,500
Ally Bank 1.50% $0

Note: APYs shown are as of Nov. 15, 2022. CNET's editorial team updates this information regularly, typically biweekly. APYs may have changed since they were last updated and may vary by region for some products.

More details on the best 3-month CD rates

Hanscom Federal Credit Union
  • APY: 4.25%
  • Minimum deposit: $1,000
  • Early-withdrawal penalty: 90 days of interest 

Details: Membership at Hanscom Federal Credit Union is open to anyone who's a member, or works for a partner organization, employed by the federal government or affiliated with the military. For a complete list of eligibility, visit its website. Share certificate terms range from three to 48 months with current specials available for 19- and 48-month share certificates.

Merrick Bank
  • APY: 3.15%
  • Minimum deposit: $25,000
  • Early-withdrawal penalty: 90 days of interest

Details: Merrick Bank is the Utah-based online arm of Cardworks -- a New York-based financial services firm. Merrick only offers CDs, loans and credit cards. Its CDs offer highly competitive APYs, especially for shorter length terms. CDs are offered in terms from three months to five years. The CD accounts do, however, require a significant initial deposit -- the highest on our list. Merrick Bank's CDs could be out of reach for a large number of new savers.

Chevron Federal Credit Union
  • APY: 2.85%
  • Minimum deposit: $500
  • Early-withdrawal penalty: Three months of dividends

Details: Chevron Federal Credit Union offers share certificates to individuals, trusts, traditional and Roth IRAs. Share certificates come in terms that range from three months to five years and require an initial deposit of $500. However, certificate accounts of more than $50,000 qualify for higher APYs, starting with one-year terms. Members are eligible through association with more than 2,000 partner organizations. See Chevron Federal Credit Union for a detailed list of partners.

Synchrony Bank
  • APY: 2.25%
  • Minimum deposit: $0
  • Early-withdrawal penalty: 90 days of interest

Details: Synchrony Bank is an online-only bank that takes advantage of limited overhead to offer attractive rates for deposit accounts. Transactions can be handled via its website or mobile app. Synchrony Bank has 11 types of CDs, including accounts types like bump-up or no-penalty that provide more flexibility. Customers can also set up CD ladders, which allows you to connect a series of CD accounts of varying terms to provide greater access to the deposits.

Popular Direct
  • APY: 2.00%
  • Minimum deposit: $10,000
  • Early-withdrawal penalty: 89 days of simple interest

Details: Popular Direct is best for established savers with a high $10,000 minimum deposit requirement to open all CD accounts. This online bank, launched in 2016, offers competitive APYs across eight CD terms of up to five years. Customer service is available 24/7.

TIAA
  • APY: 2.00% 
  • Minimum initial deposit: $100
  • Early-withdrawal penalty: 22 days of simple interest

TIAA Bank is the online banking arm of the Teachers Insurance and Annity Association of America-College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF). It offers CDs with terms from three months to five years. In addition to a standard CD, TIAA also offers a bump-up CD and one with expanded FDIC insurance for accounts that are "into the millions."

Bethpage Federal Credit Union
  • APY: 2.00% 
  • Minimum initial deposit: $50
  • Early-withdrawal penalty: 90 days of dividends on the principal amount withdrawn

Bethpage Federal Credit Union serves 300,000 members nationwide. Online banking is available nationwide, but the credit union only offers 30 physical branches in New York state. It offers two types of certificate accounts -- standard and bump-up -- ranging from three-month to five-year terms. Membership is available to the public when you open an account with a $5 initial deposit. Opening a certificate account only requires a $50 minimum initial deposit, making it accessible to a wide variety of savers. 

First Internet Bank of Indiana
  • APY: 1.51%
  • Minimum deposit: $1,000
  • Early-withdrawal penalty: 90 days of interest

Details: First Internet Bank of Indiana, the first online-only bank in the US, launched in 1999. Today, this bank offers eight CD terms with competitive yields ranging from three months to five years. The minimum deposit of $1,000 is accessible to many savers, however, the early withdrawal penalty is much higher than competing banks. Savers should be certain that the money used to fund a CD from this bank can remain in place for the duration of the term to avoid high penalties.

Discover
  • APY: 1.50%
  • Minimum deposit: $2,500
  • Early-withdrawal penalty: Three months of simple interest

Details: Discover Bank is an online financial services company that offers products such as deposit accounts, credit cards, personal loans and student loans. It eliminated fees on deposit accounts in June 2019. It offers a wide range of CD terms, from three months to 10 years. CD laddering, connecting multiple CDs with varying maturing dates, is available through Discover, providing more flexible access to deposited funds.  

Ally
  • APY: 1.50%
  • Minimum deposit: $0
  • Early-withdrawal penalty: 60 days of simple interest

Details: Ally is another online-only bank that offers a robust set of deposit products, loans and services. The bank offers high-yield CDs that range from three months to five years, bump-up CDs that adjust to a higher APY, if available, and no-penalty CDs. You can handle all of your banking needs through its mobile app for free through the Allpoint ATM network. There are no fees with any of its accounts and it offers customers 24/7 support via phone, chat or email.

FAQs

Why should I get a 3-month CD?

A three-month CD is a savings product that offers higher rates of interest than traditional savings or money market accounts in exchange for agreeing not to access the funds for at least three months. You should purchase a three-month CD if you want to earn interest and don't need to withdraw your money during that period of time.

How should I choose a 3-month CD?

There are several factors involved in choosing the best CD to suit your financial needs. First, understand the types of CDs available and which term will work best for your personal finance needs. Traditional CDs offer fixed terms from three months to five years, generally have strict maturity dates and don't allow you to modify the initial deposit after opening. 

Compare the interest rates and APYs to find the highest paying options. Then determine if there's a minimum deposit required. Finally, you'll need to understand if the CD offers an automatic renewal process only or lets you opt out to manage that process manually. In some cases, a CD will also allow you to determine when interest is dispersed.

How are the fees and penalties associated with 3-month CDs?

Fees vary depending on the institution. Most CDs charge a penalty for withdrawing money before the maturity date has passed. The fee is generally based on a percentage of the interest earned.

Can I lose money purchasing a 3-month CD?

Unless you are purchasing a CD offered by a brokerage account, CDs purchased through a bank or credit union are insured by the FDIC or NCUA for up to $250,000 per person. Any interest compounded is also covered by the insurance, making it a low-risk investment. 

What are alternatives to a 3-month CD?

CD terms can vary from three months to five years. Generally, CDs with longer terms of maturity pay higher interest rates. Additionally, there are other safe savings accounts to consider such as high yield savings accounts or I bonds.

Methodology

CNET reviews CD rates based on the latest APY information from issuer websites. We evaluated CD rates from more than 50 banks, credit unions and financial companies. We selected the CDs with the highest APY for six-month terms from among the organizations we surveyed.

Banks surveyed include: Alliant Credit Union, Ally Bank, America First Credit Union, American Express National Bank, Axos Bank, Bank of America, Bank of the West, Bank5 Connect, Barclays, BMO Harris, Bread Savings, BrioDirect, Capital One, CFG Community Bank, Citizens Access, Colorado Federal Savings Bank, Connexus Credit Union, Consumers Credit Union, Discover Bank, First Internet Bank of Indiana, First Tech Federal Credit Union, FNBO Direct, GO2bank, Golden 1 Credit Union, HSBC Bank, Huntington Bank, Lake Michigan Credit Union, LendingClub Bank, Live Oak Bank, M&T Bank, Marcus by Goldman Sachs, Merrick Bank, Nationwide (by Axos), Navy Federal Credit Union, NBKC, OneUnited Bank, Pentagon Federal Credit Union, PNC, Popular Direct, PurePoint Financial, Quontic Bank, Rising Bank, Salem Five Direct, Sallie Mae Bank, Santander Bank, Synchrony Bank, TAB Bank, TD Bank, TIAA Bank, Truist Bank, U.S. Bank, UFB Direct, Union Bank, USAA Bank, Vio Bank and Wells Fargo.

The editorial content on this page is based solely on objective, independent assessments by our writers and is not influenced by advertising or partnerships. It has not been provided or commissioned by any third party. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products or services offered by our partners.