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By Kerri Anne Renzulli
October 23, 2019
Illustration by Jared Oriel

If you can afford to be patient with your savings, now’s the time to try a certificate of deposit.

Up until this summer, banks were regularly upping the payouts on these accounts, which allow you to lock in a higher fixed interest rate than a regular savings account in return for not touching the money for a set amount of time. But the Federal Reserve’s July decision to begin cutting the Fed funds rate, the benchmark by which most financial institutions set their own rates, has meant those rising rates are a thing of the past.

Illustration by Tim Boelaars

Still, given the strong possibility that the Fed may again slash rates in coming months, now may be a good time to capitalize on what remains of those interest rate gains over the last two years.

Of course, the key to using a CD is that you can’t pull the money out before it reaches maturity, otherwise you could end up paying a penalty that costs more than the interest you’ve earned. But if you’re looking for a space to store savings for a future project, say a home renovation, or a low-risk cash account for retirement, the best CD rates can make these products attractive.

To find the best 1-year CD rates, Money focused on high-yield accounts that offered not only stellar interest but minimal account requirements and fees.

Best 1-Year C.D. Rates: Barclays Bank-Delaware

Why it wins: Barclays pays out a 2.25% annual interest rate for a 1-year certificate of deposit — that’s one of the best CD rates you’ll find on the market currently. And if you don’t want to part with thousands for the privilege of opening a CD, it’s the best rate. While other banks offer similar or slightly higher APYs, they typically demand you invest $2,500 or more. Barclays has no minimum balance requirements, meaning you can stash as little or as much as you want. It also charges no monthly service fees and compounds interest daily. Crack the account before a year and you’ll pay an early withdrawal fee equal to 90 days’ worth of simple interest, which is less than many of its competitors charge.

Caveat: Because it operates entirely online, Barclays offers no physical branches.

Minimum deposit: $0

APY: 2.25%

Methodology:

Money reviewed account terms for more than 25 financial institutions offering the best CD rates, focusing on certificate of deposit account minimums and qualifications, interest rates, monthly service fees, and early withdrawal penalty fees. Money’s edit team fact-checked information in September and October.

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Advertiser Disclosure

The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

Earning your trust is essential to our success, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust. To that end, you should know that many or all of the companies featured here are partners who advertise with us.

Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.

EDIT POST