The 8 Best Three-Year CD Rates of 2020

Earn money over the course of 36 months

More than a fourth of Americans have less than $1,000 in their savings account. If that sounds like you, then perhaps it’s time to jumpstart your savings strategy. And what better way than with a high-interest savings account or a savings tool like a CD?

Let’s start with the basics. Certificate of Deposits (CDs) are savings accounts that offer a fixed rate, also called an annual percentage yield (APY). This APY is often higher than that of a traditional savings account. But there’s a catch – with a CD, you’ll need to commit to a certain period of time to keep your money in the account. It’s because CDs have a fixed maturity rate. If you make a withdrawal before your CD matures, you’ll have to a pay a penalty.

A CD is a good choice for someone who wants a higher interest rate but isn’t entirely ready to jump into the world of investing in the stock market. CDs, after all, are one of the safest investments on the market, due to their fixed rate of return and FDIC insurance. But not all CDs are FDIC-insured, so be sure to do your homework before signing on the dotted line.

Ready to save? Read on for our picks for the best three-year CD rates.

Best Overall: Barclays

Barclays' three-year CD with a 2.55 percent APY and no minimum deposit is the best rate-minimum deposit combo on our list, which makes it our pick for best overall. Barclays’ three-year CD also boasts perks like no hidden fees, FDIC insurance, and no minimum balance. There’s also a wide range of term lengths available if the three-year option isn’t right for you.

We also dig the site’s built-in CD interest calculator. Though it’s not the only bank that has one, it’s thoughtful design and easy-to-digest figures make it memorable. Founded in London more than 300 years ago, Barclays has assets of nearly $1.5 trillion and nearly 80,000 employees. 

Want more information? Check out our full review of Barclays.

Best Online Bank: Capital One 360

We’ve tapped Capital One 360’s CDs for our other best of roundups, but their three-year CD offering with a 1.65 percent APY and no minimum deposit is one of its best offerings.

You’ll also get limited risk (as with all CDs), guaranteed APY and FDIC-insured. You have the option to choose how you’d like your interest paid out: end of term, monthly, or annually.

Capital One 360 is the online branch of Capital One and offers financial products ranging from online banking to checking accounts for teens to 401(k) accounts to money market accounts. It’s primarily an online-only bank, with the exception of its Capital One cafes –trendy co-working/coffee shop hybrids that have Capital One ATMs, financial professionals on hand, and a 50 percent discount for Capital One cardholders.

For more information, check out our Capital One 360 Review.

Best Name-Brand CD: American Express

Sometimes, name brand matters. A company known for its stellar credit card customer service, American Express also has other financial offerings – namely, CDs and high-yield savings accounts. Their CD rate and terms are particularly impressive: 2.05 percent APY on a three-year CD with no minimum deposit.

The interest on your CD also compounds daily and shows on your account each month, and you can set it up to have your interest automatically transferred to your high yield savings account or other linked account monthly, or have a check mailed to you. Your funds are also FDIC-insured. However, keep in mind that there are no physical branches.

You can also read through our full review of American Express.

Best No-Minimum: Ally Bank, 2.6%, $0 minimum deposit

Another online-only offering, Ally Bank’s 2.40 percent APY, three-year CD is another solid choice. Here’s why we like it: interest is compounded daily, they offer a 10-day best rate guarantee, no hidden fees, FDIC-insured funds, and no minimum balance required.

Ally Bank also offers credit cards, home and auto loans, even investment products. Worth noting: Ally Bank is the reincarnation of GMAC Bank, which was rebranded to Ally in 2009.

For more information, check out our review of Ally Bank.

Best Rate: Citizens Access

While the rate for this CD is high, so is the minimum balance – $5,000 for a 2.60 percent APY, three-year CD. But, the rate just might be worth it, if you have the funds to put down. For example, if you invest just the $5,000 minimum, you’ll make $153 in annual interest, which translates into $459 over the term of the CD.

Other pros include: the website features a built-in CD interest calculator, making it easy to maximize your CD funds, your money is FDIC-insured, and interest payout options either to credit it to your CD principal or transfer to another account. It also takes only five minutes to open your CD. So really, there’s no excuse to not get started. Cons: No physical branches. But that seems to be a theme these days.

Citizens Access is the online division of Citizens Bank, which has been around for nearly 200 years and has more than $150 billion in assets.

For more information, check out our Citizens Bank Review.

Best for Perks: Synchrony Bank

Synchrony Bank has pretty solid CD rates across the board, and their three-year, 2.55 percent APY is no exception. Though it requires a minimum deposit ($2,000), it offers perks, too. Think FDIC-insurance, 24/7 online banking, and the option to withdraw interest at any time during the CD’s term.

We also like the interactive toggle feature on the bank’s CD homepage. It shows how Synchrony’s rates stack up to competitors, including Chase, Citibank, and Bank Of America. You can also adjust based on your CD length or minimum deposit. Synchrony Bank also has a great perks program, which offers identity theft resolution services, travel discounts, added value content, and – get this – your own dedicated customer service line.

Founded in 1932, Synchrony Bank has $56.5 billion in deposits and 74.5 million customers.

Interested in learning more? Check out our full review of Synchrony Bank.

Best Credit Union CD: Connexus Credit Union

Though technically not a CD, Connexus Credit Unions Share Certificate makes our list of a few reasons. First, for those who prefer banking with credit unions as opposed to big banks, the 2.50 percent APY, ​three-year term is an excellent option, with a very competitive rate. You also don’t need a Connexus checking account to qualify for a CD, but you do need to be a credit union member and put down a $5,000 minimum deposit. Your funds aren’t FDIC-insured, but federally insured by the National Credit Union Association up to $250,000. Worth noting: A share certificate is the credit union equivalent of a CD.

Connexus Credit Union has 310,000 members across 50 states, $1.85 billion in assets, and branches in four states. Not sure what it means to be a credit union? Basically, credit unions are nonprofits owned by their customers

Best Website: TIAA Bank

TIAA Bank’s 2.50 percent, three-year CD rounds out our list of best three-year CDs. The deposit is middle of the road ($1,000), plus, the pros of this CD are plentiful: terms ranging from three months to three years, IRA eligible, 20-day maturity notifications (and automatic rollover, which may or may not be a perk), and no monthly account fee. Your CD funds are also FDIC-insured.

TIAA Bank’s online banking presence is also what makes it shine. Its website is well-designed, modern, and easy-to-use, making it simple to track your CD earnings online. We especially love the striking charts and graphs that show you just how much your money has – or can –grow.

TIAA Bank’s parent company, TIAA, is a Fortune 100 company with more than $1 trillion in assets. Headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., TIAA Bank was founded in 2018.

You can also read through our full review of TIAA Bank