We review more than 150 banks and credit unions to find the best rates available nationwide for 1-year CDs. We track annual percentage yields and re-evaluate the list every weekday. All accounts are available to the public and are insured by either the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. or the National Credit Union Administration. 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 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 Oct. 15, 2021.
Best 1-Year CD Rates
|Bank or Credit Union||APY||Minimum Deposit||Early Withdrawal Penalty|
|Lafayette Federal Credit Union||0.80%||$500||6 months of interest|
|MAC Federal Credit Union||0.75%||$500||1 month of interest|
|USAlliance Federal Credit Union||0.75%||$500||6 months of interest|
|CommunityWide Federal Credit Union||0.75%||$1,000||Complex formula; exercise caution|
|Live Oak Bank||0.75%||$2,500||3 months of interest|
|Interior Federal Credit Union||0.71%||$500||3 months of interest|
|Credit Union of Denver (13 months)||0.70%||$5,000||3 months of interest ($20 minimum)|
|CFG Bank||0.67%||$500||6 months of interest|
|First National Bank of America||0.65%||$1,000||6 months of interest|
|Hughes Federal Credit Union||0.65%||$1,000||3 months of interest ($35 minimum)|
Here are details about some of the institutions on our list.
Lafayette Federal Credit Union is based out of Rockville, Maryland, and it operates just eight branches scattered around the Washington D.C. area. It’s a full-service credit union, and you can choose from variable-rate and fixed-rate certificates depending on what tickles your fancy.
If you don’t qualify for membership through other means (such as living in the area or working for certain employers), you also can become a member by first joining the Homeownership Financial Literacy Council for $10. You also must keep a $50 balance in a savings account.
MAC Federal Credit Union offers members financial products like checking, savings, and money market accounts, credit cards, insurance, and more. Originally founded in 1952 to serve the active duty and civil service personnel in Fort Wainwright, Alaska, the credit union is now open to anyone who obtains membership to the Polar Bear chapter of the Association of the United States Army, which you can get for $40 for two years. You’ll also need to open a savings account and deposit $25.
USAlliance Federal Credit Union began in 1966 by serving employees of IBM, but it has since expanded eligibility to employees of American Express and PepsiCo as well as to members of many organizations such as the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, the New York Historical Society, and Tread Lightly. Additionally, the credit union serves multiple neighborhoods and communities throughout New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Jersey, along with members and employees of many houses of worship, colleges, and universities.
Join the American Consumer Council at no cost for the first year to gain membership to the credit union; you’ll pay $8 annually thereafter. You’ll also need to open either a checking or savings account and deposit at least $1.
CommunityWide Federal Credit Union was founded in 1967 and is based in northern Indiana. If you don’t meet its employment-based membership criteria or have a family member who’s already a member, you easily can join by becoming a member of a partner organization such as the Marine Corps League of St. Joseph Valley, which starts at $15 per year. You must deposit $5 in savings. It’s also part of the CO-OP shared branching network.
Live Oak Bank is a relative newcomer on the banking scene, opening in 2008. Since then, it has focused heavily on small business loans for niche industries, such as craft breweries, veterinary clinics, and solar energy companies. However, it’s been expanding into the personal banking scene, and it’s got plenty of savings offerings to like.
You can choose CDs with term lengths of six months to five years, as well as an online savings account.
Based out of the U.S. Department of the Interior Building in Washington, D.C., Interior Federal Credit Union was established in 1935. Members can do their banking online, at over 5,500 shared branches nationwide, or more than 55,000 shared ATM locations nationwide.
Membership is available to individuals or the family of individuals employed by the DOI, one of its bureaus, or one of its contractors. Bureaus of the DOI include the National Park Service, Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Geological Survey, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE), Bureau of Land Management, Office of Surface Mining, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Employees, volunteers, or partners of numerous other groups also are eligible for membership. A full list is available on Interior FCU’s website.
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.
CFG Bank is a privately owned and operated bank that dates back more than 90 years and is headquartered in Baltimore. As the 12th largest bank in Maryland, it serves mainly the mid-Atlantic region, but any U.S. citizen or legal resident who is 18 years or older can apply for a CD account. You’ll also need a valid Social Security number and a physical address in the U.S. CFG Bank offers CDs with multiple terms ranging from 12 months to 60 months. In addition, the bank has checking accounts, money market accounts, and more.
The grand-sounding First National Bank of America is actually based in small-town America. Specifically, it calls East Lansing, Michigan, home, and it operates only two branches in the smaller towns of Grand Rapids and Traverse City. It’s relatively small as far as banks go, with only $1.6 billion in deposits. Still, you easily can open an account there online.
Hughes Federal Credit Union was founded in 1952 to serve employees of the Hughes Aircraft Company (yes, the very same company started by Howard Hughes of aviation legend). It is based in Tucson, Arizona, and has more than 136,000 members.
Although it operates branches only in Arizona, you can open an account from anywhere online, provided you meet the membership criteria. These include living, working, or attending school in Tucson, being employed by a certain partner company, or being related to an existing member of the credit union. If you don’t qualify in one of those ways, you also can join by donating at least $10 to one of four organizations, such as the Friends of the Oro Valley Library. You’ll also need to keep a relatively high amount—at least $50—in a savings account.
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. Because the rate is fixed, the account holder knows exactly how much the CD will earn when it matures. For a 1-year CD, the account holder agrees not to touch the deposit for one year. 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 there are savings accounts with even better rates than 1-year CDs. However, 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 a CD.
Remember, you need to be comfortable with tying up the money for one year. That’s because there usually are 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 probably will have a lower APY. Longer terms likely will 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 lack self control when it comes to spending, the easier access that a savings account affords you might not work in your favor.
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.