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Best CD Rates Today – APYs as High as 5.4% Won’t Stick Around Forever, April 2, 2024

Don't wait to snag one of today's top CD rates -- they may be the best you'll get all year.

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Certificate of deposit rates remain elevated, despite the declines we’ve seen in recent months. With the Federal Reserve electing to pause rate hikes at its last five meetings, CD rates continue to hold as high as 5.4% annual percentage yield (APY). But with rate cuts expected later this year, this may not be the case for long.

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Today’s top CDs offer the opportunity to lock in a still-high rate and protect your earnings from future drops. Your APY is fixed when you open a CD, so by opening an account now, you can lock in today’s great rates for the duration of the CD’s term. But the sooner you act, the more interest you stand to earn.

Here’s where you can find today’s highest CD rates.

Key takeaways

  • Today’s top CDs offer APYs up to 5.4%.
  • Experts expect rates will continue falling in the coming months.
  • Short-term CDs currently outperform long-term ones, but the best term for you depends on your savings timeline.

Experts recommend comparing rates before opening a CD account to get the best APY possible. Enter your information below to get CNET’s partners’ best rate for your area.

Today’s best CD rates

Here are some of the top CD rates available right now and how much you could earn by depositing $5,000 right now:

TermHighest APYBankEstimated earnings
6 months5.30%Barclays; CommunityWide Federal Credit Union$130.79
1 year5.40%CFG Bank$270.00
3 years4.66%First Internet Bank of Indiana$732.08
5 years4.55%First Internet Bank of Indiana; First National Bank of America$1,245.83
APYs as of April 2, 2024, based on the banks we track at CNET. Earnings are based on APYs and assume interest is compounded annually.

Short-term vs. long-term CDs: Which pays more?

Typically, short-term CDs (those with terms one year or under) have lower APYs than long-term CDs (those with terms over a year). That’s because banks want to encourage customers to keep their cash with them longer. But in light of the Federal Reserve’s latest rate decisions, short-term CDs offer better APYs right now.

The Fed regularly adjusts the federal funds rate to stimulate the economy and keep inflation in check. This rate determines how much it costs banks to borrow money from -- and lend money to -- each other. So, when the federal funds rate goes up, banks tend to raise their rates on consumer products like savings accounts and CDs to pad their cash reserves.

After two years of steadily raising the federal funds rate to fight rampant inflation, the Fed has chosen to keep rates the same at its last five meetings, and experts expect it will begin cutting rates later this year. As a result, banks may be hesitant to lock customers into a high APY on long-term CDs.

Here’s where rates are compared to last week:

TermCNET average APYWeekly change*Average FDIC rate
6 months4.77%+0.41%1.52%
1 year4.98%-0.80%1.81%
3 years4.08%No change1.38%
5 years3.95%No change1.38%
APYs as of April 2, 2024. Based on the banks we track at CNET.
*Weekly percentage increase/decrease from March 25, 2024, to April 1, 2024.

However, while short-term CDs currently offer better APYs, that doesn’t mean you won’t benefit from opening a longer-term CD today. With rates on the way down across the board, today’s top APYs for any term may be the highest you’ll see all year. Ultimately, it comes down to your savings timeline.

“The term should be equal to or shorter than when you may need to use the funds that you plan to invest in a CD,” said Faron Daugs, CFP, founder and CEO at Harrison Wallace Financial Group. “If you know you will need the funds for a certain expense (i.e. property tax bill), then invest in a maturity equal to that timeframe. Given that rates may be coming down, if you can commit your funds longer term, then it can make sense to lock in the current yield for a longer period. For example, if you purchase a two-year CD at a stated rate today, even if rates start declining you will be receiving that higher rate for the next two years.”

Why you should open a CD today

With rates as high as they’re expected to go, now’s the time to open a CD and lock in a great APY. Your rate is fixed when you open a CD, so your earnings will stay the same over the entire term. But that’s not the only reason to open an account today. CDs offer attractive benefits in any rate environment.

CDs are protected by federal deposit insurance if they’re held at banks covered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or credit unions insured by the National Credit Union Administration. That means your money is safe up to $250,000 per person, per institution if the bank fails.

Plus, unlike investments such as stocks, CDs are low-risk. You won’t lose your principal deposit unless you run into early withdrawal penalties, which you can easily avoid by choosing the right term.

How to compare CD accounts

In addition to a competitive APY, here’s what you should consider when comparing CD accounts:

  • How soon you’ll need your money: Early withdrawal penalties can eat away at your interest earnings. So, be sure to choose a term that fits your savings timeline. You should be comfortable leaving your money untouched for the entire term.
  • Minimum deposit requirement: Some CDs require a certain amount to open an account -- typically, $500 to $1,000. Others do not. How much money you have to set aside can help you narrow down the right account for you.
  • Fees: Fees can eat into your earnings. Many online banks don’t charge maintenance fees because they have lower overhead costs than banks with physical branches. Still, read the fine print for any account you’re evaluating.
  • Federal deposit insurance: Make sure any institution you’re considering is an FDIC or NCUA member so your money is protected if the bank fails.
  • Customer ratings and reviews: Check out sites like Trustpilot to see what customers are saying about any bank you’re considering. You want to know that the bank is responsive, professional and easy to work with.

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 evaluate CDs based on APYs, product offerings, accessibility and customer service.

The current banks included in CNET’s weekly CD averages are: Alliant Credit Union, Ally Bank, American Express National Bank, Barclays, Bask Bank, Bread Savings, Capital One, CFG Bank, CIT, Fulbright, Marcus by Goldman Sachs, MYSB Direct, Quontic, Rising Bank, Synchrony, EverBank, Popular Bank, First Internet Bank of Indiana, America First Federal Credit Union, CommunityWide Federal Credit Union, Discover, Bethpage, BMO Alto, Limelight Bank, First National Bank of America, Connexus Credit Union.

Kelly is an editor for CNET Money focusing on banking. She has over 10 years of experience in personal finance and previously wrote for CBS MoneyWatch covering banking, investing, insurance and home equity products. She is passionate about arming consumers with the tools they need to take control of their financial lives. In her free time, she enjoys binging podcasts, scouring thrift stores for unique home décor and spoiling the heck out of her dogs.
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