The 8 Best Six-Month CD Rates of 2020

Check out some of our favorite places to earn interest in half a year

Certificates of deposit accounts or CDs are a safe place to keep your money, with the potential to earn a higher annual percentage yield compared to money market or savings accounts. A CD is a type of time deposit, meaning that you agree to keep your money in the account for a set period of time. In exchange, the bank gives you a guaranteed rate of return on your savings. Once your CD matures, you can withdraw your initial deposit and the interest you’ve earned or roll your savings into a new CD.

CDs can be used to plan for both short- and long-term savings goals and you can choose the term length that best fits your needs. A six-month CD can be a good option for earning interest on money that you expect to need fairly soon. Alternately, you could incorporate a six-month CD into a CD ladder, which features multiple CDs with varying term lengths.

Compared to CDs with one-year, two-year, five-year or 10-year terms, six-month CDs typically have a lower APY. That’s because banks typically reward savers who choose longer terms with higher rates. But you can still find six-month CDs with outstanding rates.

If you need some help in choosing a six-month CD, consider these ​options as you compare rates. Remember also to pay attention to the minimum deposit requirements and fees.

Best Overall: First Internet Bank of Indiana

As the name suggests, First Internet Bank of Indiana is an online-only bank. While it’s based in Indiana, it serves banking customers across the country, including CD savers.

First Internet Bank offers competitive APYs on all of its CD products, including six-month CDs. The current APY is 2.19 percent, which you can begin earning when you open an account with as little as $1,000. The bank doesn’t charge any maintenance fees and if you want to renew your CD when it matures that’s taken care of for you automatically.

First Internet Bank does assess a penalty for early CD withdrawals of 180 days of accrued interest. That’s on the steep side so before opening a CD here, make sure that you won’t need the money for at least six months. If you think you’ll need it sooner than that, you may want to consider a First Internet Bank savings or money market account instead, which allow up to six penalty-free withdrawals per month.

Best Credit Union Certificate Rate: CommunityWide Federal Credit Union

There’s a lot to like about credit unions, even if you’re used to managing your money at a bank. You can potentially earn higher rates on deposit accounts while paying fewer fees for banking services. And you may qualify for lower interest rates on loans or credit cards, compared to traditional banks.

CommunityWide Federal Credit Union offers the best APY for six-month CDs out of any of the eight choices listed here, at 2.35 percent. To qualify for that rate, you’ll need to open your account with at least $1,000 and of course, you need to be a CommunityWide member.

If you’re an Indiana resident, where CommunityWide is headquartered, you can join the credit union if you’re a member of the Michiana Goodwill Boosters or Marine Corps. League of St. Joseph Valley. Otherwise, you can secure membership if you’re an employee, retiree or donor member of an eligible company. One thing to note about these CDs: CommunityWide doesn’t renew terms automatically. 

Best $1,000 Minimum Deposit: Dollar Savings Direct

Dollar Savings Direct is a division of Emigrant Bank and it’s known for offering great rates on its many savings products. Currently, savers can get a 2.15 percent APY on six-month CDs and all it takes to open an account is a $1,000 minimum deposit.

Your interest compounds daily and is credited monthly and you can manage your account completely online. Dollar Savings Direct will notify you 14 days out from your CD’s maturity date so you can decide whether you want to roll it over to a new term or withdraw your savings and interest.

Dollar Savings Direct also offers a handful of other CD terms: 12, 16, 24 and 60 months. Of those, however, only the 60-month CD beats the six-month CD for the best rate, with an APY of 2.80 percent.

For more information, check out our review of Dollar Savings Direct.

Best for Personal and Business CD Accounts: Live Oak Bank

Live Oak Bank is headquartered in Wilmington, N.C. but it serves banking customers far and wide, offering loans as well as personal and business banking services. If you want to earmark money in a six-month CD for personal savings, while also opening a CD account for your business, you can do both here.

The minimum deposit for either type of CD is $2,500. Both earn the same great APY of 2.35 percent. You get interest compounded daily, with no monthly or maintenance fees. And like the other banks included here, your CD deposits are FDIC-insured, up to the $250,000 maximum.

Live Oak Bank doesn’t offer checking accounts, only savings and CD accounts. But if you’re hoping to grow your personal and business savings simultaneously and manage your accounts all in one place, it could be a great choice. 

Best $1,500 Minimum Deposit: Banesco USA

As an international, Banesco USA serves customers all the world and online account access makes it easy to start saving in a six-month CD. These CDs currently earn a 2.25 percent APY, based on a minimum opening deposit of $1,500, making them attractive for savers who are just getting started with CDs.

Your account is FDIC-insured and returns are guaranteed, so there are no worries there. If you’re interested in saving a little longer and earning an even more stellar rate, Banesco also offers 12-month CDs with a 2.40 percent APY. The same initial deposit of $1,500 applies.

And if you need more than just a CD, you can also open a checking account or savings account with Banesco. While you can manage your account online, the bank also has branches and ATMs for added convenience. 

Best $5,000 Minimum Deposit: Citizens Access

You may be familiar with Citizens Bank if you’ve ever used them to refinance student loan debt. Citizens Access represents the online division of Citizens Bank, offering both savings accounts and CDs.

With the bank’s six-month CDs, you can earn an APY of 2.20 percent. The minimum deposit for these accounts is $5,000. You have the flexibility of having the interested on your account credited to your CD deposit or transferred to a link bank account.

Citizens Access promotes CD laddering and you can open multiple CDs with terms ranging from six months to four years. Building a CD ladder is a way to minimize interest rate risk in case rates drop, while ensuring that you have access to your money through rolling maturity dates.

Our review of Citizen's Bank can be accessed here.

Best $10,000 Minimum Deposit: VirtualBank eCD

As a division of IBERIABANK, VirtualBank offers three online savings options: eMoney Market accounts, Jumbo eMoney Market accounts and eCDs. You can open an eCD account, including an eCD trust account, online if you have $10,000 or more to save. That initial deposit earns you an APY of 2.15 percent with a six-month CD term.

VirtualBank offers laddering as an option, with the best rates reserved for 60-month CDs. You’ll have to meet the minimum deposit requirement for each new CD you add.

If you have a larger amount of money you want to save in a CD, it might be wiser to opt for a jumbo CD if you’re only planning on a six-month term. For that, you’ll want to consider the final CD option included here. 

Best Jumbo CD ($100,000 Minimum Deposit): My eBanc

Jumbo CDs have much higher minimum deposit requirements. At some banks, a $10,000 or $25,000 minimum might be expected, while others raise the minimum to $100,000. The main advantage of saving in a jumbo CD is the potential to earn a significant amount of interest if you have a higher APY.

My eBanc, a division of BAC Florida Bank, offers high-yield jumbo CDs for savers who are comfortable depositing $100,000 or more. Right now, you can get a 2.35 percent APY on six-month CD deposits, which adds up to $1,111.36 in interest earnings. That’s substantially higher than the national average.

Interest compounds daily and renewals are automatic. There are no maintenance fees to worry about, although you will pay a penalty for early withdrawals from your account. Just keep that in mind as you decide whether a jumbo CD makes sense.