Best 1-Year CD Rates of 2020

Top banks and credit unions with the best rates and terms

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Each week, we review over 150 banks and credit unions to find the best rates available nationwide for 1-year CDs. We track APYs daily but re-evaluate the list weekly. All accounts are available to the public and are insured by either the FDIC or NCUA. One-year CDs are an easy way to earn some extra interest on a chunk of your savings, while also safeguarding against you withdrawing it on a whim. 

For this list, we considered products that lock in deposits for 11 to 14 months. Our rankings are based primarily on the best annual percentage yields (APY). In the case of a tie, we then look at the CD with the shortest term, then with the lowest minimum deposit required to earn the APY. From there, we compare the penalties for early withdrawal. These factors allow us to ultimately decide which banks earn their spots in our rankings. Here are the top 1-year CD rates as of March 26, 2020.

APYs are changing rapidly amid widespread uncertainty about the economy and financial markets. The Balance is monitoring rates and updating them accordingly.

Best 1-Year CD Rates

Bank or Credit Union APY Minimum Deposit Early Withdrawal Penalty
Chevron Federal Credit Union (13-month) 2.10% $500 3 months of interest
Spectrum Federal Credit Union (13-month) 2.10% $500 3 months of interest
Merrick Bank 1.90% $25,000 Greater of 2% of balance or 7 days of interest
CIT Bank 1.86% $1,000 3 months of interest
Barclays 1.85% $0 3 months of interest
American Express 1.85% $0 9 months of interest
Marcus by Goldman Sachs 1.85% $500 9 months of interest

Here are details about some of the institutions on our list.

Chevron Federal Credit Union (13-Month)

Chevron Federal began back in 1935, and has over 100,000 members today. Branch locations are located in five states, but you can become a member no matter where you live by joining an affiliated organization with membership fees as low as $15. You’ll also have to get a savings account with Chevron Federal, keeping at least $25 in it. 

In addition to CDs with terms as long as five years, Chevron Federal offers many financial products, including savings and checking accounts, IRAs, loans, and credit cards.

Spectrum Federal Credit Union (13-Month)

This CD matches Chevron Federal with identical terms. That’s because Spectrum and Chevron Federal merged in 2012. Spectrum operates independently in regions not served by Chevron, however, which is why both are included on our list. 

Spectrum was founded as Bechtel Employees Federal Credit Union. If you don’t meet membership eligibility via your employer or other methods, you can join one of the nonprofit associations linked to the credit union for as little as $15, similar to Chevron. You’ll also have to maintain a savings account with a minimum deposit of $25.

Spectrum’s CDs range from three months to five years. Members can also get a full slate of bank accounts, as well as loans, credit cards, and insurance.

Merrick Bank

Merrick Bank has been around since 1997, and primarily specializes in credit programs as a major issuer of Visa credit cards. The bank also provides personal loans and loans for RVs, boats, and other recreational vehicles.

As far as CDs go, other terms offered include six months, 18 months, and two years.

CIT Bank

CIT Bank is a top 50 U.S. bank. It’s part of financial holding company CIT Group, Inc., which has been in business for over 100 years. Personal banking customers can choose from online savings, money markets, and CDs. CIT Bank also offers home loans, plus business banking and commercial services. Certificates are available in terms ranging from six months to five years.


Barclays Online Banking is headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, and is one of several divisions of Barclays, the British banking behemoth that traces its roots back to the 1690s. Customers can choose from online savings accounts as well as certificates that range in length from three months to five years.

American Express

Amex is primarily known for being in the credit card business, but it does also offer high-yield savings and certificate accounts. CD terms range from six to 60 months and have no minimum deposit requirements, which is unusual. You won’t want this as your primary bank because there is no checking account, but the CD and savings rates tend to be good, especially for a well-known bank.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs

Marcus by Goldman Sachs is the online lending and deposits platform started by Goldman Sachs in 2016. Marcus offers no-fee, fixed-rate personal loans, high-yield online savings accounts, and certificates of deposit. CDs range in length from six months to six years. One nice perk is that you get the highest published APY within 10 days from when you open your account. So if rates happen to go up right after you open a CD, you’ll get that higher rate. You can apply for and open an account online in minutes.

What Is a 1-Year CD?

A certificate of deposit (CD), offered by banks and credit unions, provides a fixed interest rate (typically higher than other account types) in return for the account holder agreeing to leave the deposit for a set amount of time. The rate is fixed so customers know exactly how much they’ll earn by the time the CD matures. For a 1-year CD, the account holder agrees not to touch their deposit for one year or 12 months. At the end of the term, the full interest will be added to the deposit amount. The customer then has the option to withdraw the full amount or renew/change the CD.

Who Is a 1-year CD Best For?

A 1-year CD is appropriate for someone who wants to earn more interest than a typical savings account would offer, although occasionally you can find a savings account with an even better rate than a 1-year CD. But savings rates are variable, so if you think rates are likely to fall and you want to lock in a good one today, go with the CD. 

Remember, you need to be comfortable with tying up the money for one year. That’s because there are usually early withdrawal penalties, and the last thing you want to do is lose out on those earnings.

A common reason to consider a 1-year CD might be if you’re saving for a trip or big event to take place next year. The idea is that it’s a short-term investment. Opening a CD helps you avoid the temptation of spending the money, and lets you earn a bit of interest while you wait for it to mature. 

Typically, the longer the term, the higher the rate you’ll receive. A 1-year CD can be especially helpful with longer-term savings goals if you’re building a CD ladder. With a CD ladder, you buy CDs of varying lengths to mitigate the risks of locking all your money into one long-term CD. 

What Are the Alternatives to a 1-Year CD?

If you’re looking for a savings option, a 1-year CD is just one of them. When choosing the best approach for you, the key is to think about your current financial situation, your goals, and your saving/spending habits. Beyond a 1-year CD, there are some other options to consider.

Explore Different CD Terms

If you know you want to go the CD route, you may decide to go with a shorter or longer term, depending on your needs. Shorter term CDs allow you access to your money sooner, but will probably have a lower APY. Longer terms will likely earn more, but will separate you from your money for a bigger stretch of time.

High-Yield Savings Accounts

If you’d rather not tie up your money, you might consider an online savings account. Some APYs are comparable to or even higher than 1-year CD APYs. The difference is that savings account rates can change at any time. Also, if you don’t have self control when it comes to spending, the easier access that a savings account affords you might not work in your favor.

If you do want a more liquid account, we teamed up with QuinStreet to bring you the following high-yield savings and money market account offers.