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.
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
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.