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If you’ve got some money saved up, it’s usually not that hard to part with it for three months, especially if you’ll get a better return than you would with a savings account. Three-month CDs often have a higher annual percentage yield (APY) than traditional savings products, and the rates don’t change like they can with savings accounts. Sure, you’ll find better rates on CDs with longer terms, but if you don’t want to lock up your money for too long, a 3-month CD is a relatively stress-free option.
We review more than 150 banks and credit unions every weekday to find the best rates on 3-month CDs (we also consider 2- and 4-month CDs). Our rankings are based on the highest APY, but in the case of a tie, we favor the CD with the shortest term, then with the lowest minimum deposit required to earn the APY, and then with the smallest penalties for early withdrawal. All accounts are available nationwide and are insured by either the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) or National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).
Here are the top 3-month CDs as of May 17, 2022.
Best 3-Month CD Rates
|Bank or Credit Union||APY||Minimum Deposit||Early Withdrawal Penalty|
|Luana Savings Bank||0.70%||$1,000||3 months of interest|
|NexBank||0.65%||$25,000||1 month of interest|
|Chevron Federal Credit Union||0.60%||$500||3 months of interest|
|Spectrum Federal Credit Union||0.60%||$500||3 months of interest|
|NexBank||0.60%||$10,000||1 month of interest|
|Credit Union of the Rockies||0.55%||$500||3 months of interest|
|TotalDirectBank||0.55%||$25,000||1 month of interest|
|Teachers Federal Credit Union||0.50%||$1,000||All earnings up to 6 months|
|Popular Direct||0.50%||$10,000||3 months of interest|
|Credit Union of Denver||0.45%||$10,000||1 month of interest with a $20 minimum|
|M.Y. Safra Bank||0.41%||$500||All interest earned|
Below are the top certificate of deposit rates available from our partners, followed by a ranking of some of the best CD rates nationwide.
Here are details about some of the institutions on our list.
Luana Savings Bank was founded in 1908 and has a total of six branch offices—three in central Iowa and three in northeast Iowa. One of its primary focuses is agricultural lending, but it also offers a full suite of personal banking options, including CDs, checking and savings accounts, auto loans, home loans, personal loans, and more.
Those who do not live in central or northeast Iowa can manage accounts through Luana's online banking options, which include a mobile app available on Android and iOS devices.
Founded in 1922, NexBank has nearly $8.9 billion in assets. It serves customers in and around Dallas, Irving, and Plano, Texas, mostly financial institutions, large corporations, real estate companies, and middle-market firms. However, it also offers personal banking products, including checking, savings, and money market accounts, mortgages, and CDs with terms ranging from three months to five years.
If the logo for Chevron Federal Credit Union looks a little familiar, there’s a good reason why. The credit union was founded in 1935 and has more than 100,000 members. It primarily serves members employed by the Chevron Corporation (i.e., the gas stations you’re probably familiar with). If that’s not you, and you don’t qualify through other means, a $15 donation to join the Contra Costa County Historical Society also makes you eligible for membership. Additionally, you’ll need to keep $25 in a savings account, which is a tad bit higher than most credit unions.
In addition to Chevron FCU branches in California, members have access to more than 5,000 CO-OP branches and 85,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide. Chevron FCU also offers checking and savings accounts, loans, and other services.
Spectrum Credit Union merged with Chevron Federal in 2012. Spectrum does, however, operate independently in areas not served by Chevron so is listed here separately.
Spectrum was originally founded as Bechtel Employees Federal Credit Union. If you do not qualify for membership through your employer or other means, you can join the Contra Costa County Historical Society (or another nonprofit linked to the credit union) for as little as $15. Additionally, you’ll have to maintain a savings account with a minimum deposit of $25.
Spectrum’s CDs range from 3-month to 5-year terms. Members also can get a full slate of bank accounts, as well as loans, credit cards, and insurance.
Credit Union of the Rockies was established in 1937 and has several ways to qualify for membership. Anybody can become eligible after joining the Consumers United Association, which offers a $25 lifetime membership and supports consumer protection in the financial world.
TotalDirectBank is a division of City National Bank of Florida, which was founded more than 70 years ago. TotalDirectBank keeps the product lineup simple, with money market accounts and CDs with terms of up to five years. Anyone in the U.S. (except those in Florida, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, and U.S. Virgin Islands) can open a money market or CD account.
Based out of Smithtown, New York, Teachers Federal Credit Union has 32 branches throughout Long Island, Queens, and Manhattan. Membership is available to anyone in the U.S., and account access is available via online and mobile banking in addition to Credit Union Service Centers, available nationwide, or ATMs in the Allpoint network.
In addition to CDs, personal banking accounts offered include checking, savings, and money market. Credit cards, personal lending, and business banking also are available.
As a subsidiary of Popular, Inc., a full-service bank in the U.S., Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean, Popular Direct has 122 years of history. Popular Direct is focused on savings and CD accounts. CD terms range from three months to five years, and you can rest easy knowing that your deposits are FDIC-insured.
The Credit Union of Denver began in 1931 with eight members and $40 and has since grown into an institution with nearly 64,000 members and more than $880 million in assets.
Membership is available to anyone who lives or works in Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Denver, Douglas, or Jefferson Counties in Colorado, or anyone who works for the Regional Transportation District, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, or any businesses that work with the RTD or NREL. Memberships also are available to family of members and to students at select schools and colleges. The cost of membership is $5.
The history of the Safra family in banking dates back to Jacob E. Safra, who established his own bank in Beirut in 1920. Two generations later, Moise Y. Safra established M.Y. Safra Bank, a full-service bank in New York City. It offers private, personal, and business banking, as well as online-only banking and fintech services.
Online CD terms are available from three months to six years.
What Is a 3-Month CD?
A certificate of deposit is a type of savings product with a fixed APY and a fixed maturity date. That is, in exchange for leaving your money with a bank or credit union for a set period of time, you’ll lock in a fixed APY for that entire period. So, in the case of a 3-month CD, the APY is fixed for three months. At the end of the term, you’ll get the interest that’s accrued plus your original deposit. Then, you can either withdraw your money, renew the CD, or switch to a different CD. If you withdraw early, you'll often be charged an early withdrawal penalty.
Who Is a 3-Month CD Best For?
If you’re looking for a fixed interest rate product to grow your savings in the short term, a 3-month certificate of deposit (CD) account can provide more favorable and predictable earnings than you’d get in a regular savings account. The national average APY for 3-mo CDs is typically higher than that for savings accounts. And as the rate is fixed, you’ll know exactly how much the CD will earn.
The real benefit might be that it ties up the money for a few months so that you’re not tempted to spend it. You may want a 3-month CD if you have a big expense coming up in a few months. Because the term is so short, 3-month CDs typically have lower APYs than longer-term CDs, so consider how long you can part with your money before choosing a term.
A 3-month CD can also be used as part of a CD ladder strategy, in which you divide up your money to purchase CDs of varying lengths so you’re not losing access to all of it for a long time. When the 3-month CD matures, you'll be able to withdraw your money and can then decide if and how to reinvest it.
What Are the Alternatives to a 3-Month CD?
For a very short-term savings strategy, a 3-month CD can be a good product. It really depends on your personal financial goals and how willing and able you are to lock down some of your savings. Some other alternatives you can consider include:
CDs With Longer Term Lengths
If you’re leaning toward a CD, consider the pros and cons of a longer term. Going with a CD that matures in one year or even five years will provide a higher APY, but you won’t be able to access the money for a longer time frame.
High-Yield Savings Account
Opting for a higher-yield savings account such as an online savings account is another safe option if you aren’t comfortable with parting ways with your money for a set time. APYs on these accounts are often higher than what you’ll find among current 3-month CDs. On the downside, savings account rates move with benchmark interest rates. Plus, if you don’t have self-discipline, you might spend any money that’s not locked down.
If you prefer instant account access, we have partnered with the following banks to bring you the high-yield savings and money market account offers displayed in the table.