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Banks are fighting for customer dollars right now, and people with cash to spare are well-positioned to benefit from a high rate environment. With rates rapidly changing, how can you feel confident that you’re getting the best savings account or best CD?
We monitor rates from banks and credit unions daily to help you feel confident before you open a new account. Here are the top rates for popular savings accounts and CDs on Wednesday, September 13.
Leading High-Yield Savings Account Rates
Remember that high-yield savings account rates are variable, so they will change over time. An account offering 5% today may offer 5.25% six months from now — or 4.5%. However, you are allowed to have multiple savings accounts at different banks, and to move your money in search of the highest APY. Here are the accounts offering the best savings rates today:
Best HYSAAnnual Percentage Yield (APY)Requirements to Earn the Best APYBetterment Cash Reserve5.50% APY for new customers; 4.75% APY standard rateBe a new customer; earn rate through 12/31/2023BluPeak Credit Union Preferred Savings Account5.33% APYOpen an account with $25; only available to new membersCloudBank 24/7 Savings Account, powered by Raisin5.26% APYOpen an account with $1UFB High Yield Savings5.25% APYNone
Featured High-Yield Savings Account Rates
Leading CD Rates
Many of the best CD rates right now are offered by credit unions rather than banks. Don’t let this scare you — all of the credit unions on our list have easy qualification standards that most people can meet. If you’re looking for more CD options, check out our guides to individual CD terms in the sections below.
Featured CD Rates
About High-Yield Accounts
High-yield savings accounts aren’t the only accounts paying favorable rates right now. You’ll typically see the highest rates at online or lower-profile institutions rather than national brands with a significant brick and mortar presence. This is normal; online banks have lower overhead cost and are willing to pay high rates to attract new customers.
High-Yield Savings Accounts
The best high-yield savings accounts provide the security of a savings account with the added bonus of a high APY. Savings accounts are held at a bank or credit union — not invested through a brokerage account — and are best for saving cash in pursuit of shorter-term goals, like a vacation or big purchase.
High-Yield Checking Accounts
The best high-yield checking accounts tend to pay slightly lower rates than high-yield savings, but even they are strong in today’s rate environment. A checking account is like a hub for your money: If your paycheck is direct deposited, it’s typically to a checking account. If you transfer money to pay a bill, you typically do it from a checking account. Checking accounts are used for everyday spending and usually come with checks and/or debit cards to make that easy.
Money Market Accounts
The best money market accounts could be considered a middle ground between checking and savings: They are used for saving money but typically provide easy access to your account through checks or a debit card. They usually offer a tiered interest rate depending on your balance.
Cash Management Accounts
A cash management account is also like a savings/checking hybrid. You’ll generally see them offered by online banks, and, unlike a checking account, they usually offer unlimited transfers. A savings account often limits the number of monthly transfers, while a checking account doesn’t. Cash management accounts typically come with a debit card for easy access, but you may have to pay a fee if you want to deposit cash.
Certificates of Deposit
The best CD rates may outpace any of the other accounts we’ve described above. That’s because a certificate of deposit requires you to “lock in” your money for a predetermined amount of time ranging from three months to five years. To retrieve it before then, you’ll pay a penalty (unless you opt for one of the best no-penalty CDs). The longer you’ll let the bank hold your money, the higher rate you’ll get. CD rates aren’t variable; the rate you get upon depositing your money is the rate you’ll get for the length of your term.
About CD Terms
Locking your money into an account in exchange for a higher interest rate can be a big decision. Here’s what you need to know about common CD terms.
Most CDs charge you a fee if you need to withdraw money from your account before the term ends. But with a no-penalty CD, you won’t have to pay an early withdrawal penalty. The best no-penalty CDs will offer rates slightly higher than the best high-yield savings accounts, and can offer a substantially improved interest rate over traditional brick-and-mortar savings accounts.
The best 6-month CDs are offering interest rates in the mid-5% range. Six-month CDs are best for those who are looking for elevated rates on their savings for short-term gains, but are uncomfortable having limited access to their cash in the long term. These can be a good option for those who may just be getting started with saving, or who don’t have a large emergency fund for unexpected expenses.
The best 1-year CDs tend to offer some of the top CD rates, and are a popular option for many investors. A 1-year term can be an attractive option for someone building a CD ladder, or for someone who has a reasonable cash safety net but is still concerned about long-term expenses.
The best 2-year CD rates will be slightly lower than 1-year and no-penalty CD rates. In exchange for a longer lock-in period, investors receive a long-term commitment for a specific rate. These are best used as part of a CD ladder strategy, or for those worried about a declining rate market in the foreseeable future.
The best 3-year CDs tend to have rates that are comparable to 2-year CDs. These are usually less popular for your average investor, but can be an important lever when diversifying investments and hedging against the risk of unfavorable rate markets in the long term.
The best 5-year CDs will offer lower rates than the other terms on our list, but are still popular options for investors. These CDs are best for those looking to lock in high rates for the long term. CDs are generally viewed as safe investment vehicles, and securing a favorable rate can yield considerable earnings in year three and beyond — even if rates fall elsewhere.
Products in this post: Technology Credit Union 5 Month No Penalty CD – Product Name Only, TotalDirectBank 6 Month CD – Product Name Only, TotalDirectBank 1 Year CD – Product Name Only, Pelican State Credit Union 2 Year Share Certificate – Product Name Only, US Senate Federal Credit Union 3 Year Smart Share Certificate – Product Name Only, Department of Commerce Federal Credit Union 5 Year Share CD – Product Name OnlyBetterment Cash Reserve Account – Product Name Only, Western Alliance Bank High Yield Savings Account – Product Name Only, UFB High Yield Savings – Product Name Only, Milli Savings Account – Product Name Only, Newtek Bank Personal High Yield Savings Account – Product Name Only, Newtek Bank 24 Month Variable Rate CD – Product Name Only