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Best 3-Month CD Rates in 2022

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If you have some extra cash and are looking for a quick return, a 3-month certificate of deposit (CD) could be the handy savings tool you’ve been looking for. CDs with a 3-month term are typically the shortest CD offerings available. Because they’re such brief investments, 3-month CDs also tend to earn at pretty low interest rates. In fact, the average return on a 3-month CD as of this writing is only 0.14% APY.

However, low 3-month CD rates are far from being an inescapable destiny. In order to compete for customers, some banks end up offering really great rates on short-term CDs. This competition can be a big advantage if you know where to look. And we know where to look: Read on to see the best CD rates for 3-month terms.

We ranked the following products by highest APY available nationwide, using data from DepositAccounts.com, another LendingTree-owned company. We also took minimum deposit requirements into consideration to ensure wider availability for customers. Finally, we checked each account’s early withdrawal penalty, as 3-month CD penalties can take a larger chunk of your earnings out than other terms.

The best 3-month CD rates

InstitutionAPYMinimum deposit amount to earn APY
Chevron Federal Credit Union0.55%$500
NexBank0.50%$10,000
M.Y. Safra Bank0.41%$1,000
Service Credit Union0.40%$500
Greenwood Credit Union0.40%$1,000
Colorado Federal Savings Bank0.40%$5,000
Consumers Credit Union (IL)0.35%$250
Evansville Teachers Federal Credit Union0.35%$1,000
First Internet Bank0.35%$1,000
TIAA Bank0.35%$1,000

1. Chevron Federal Credit Union — 0.55% APY, $500 minimum deposit

You need only $500 to start saving with Chevron Federal Credit Union’s 3-month share certificate. Then your money will grow undisturbed at 0.55% APY. An early withdrawal from the certificate will trigger a penalty that depends on the amount in the CD and when you take the money out.

Chevron Federal Credit Union was founded in 1935 and is headquartered in Oakland, Calif. Eligibility for Chevron Federal Credit Union membership depends on your employer or location. Membership is also available to family members of current CFCU members or by joining the Financial Fitness Association.

SEE DETAILS

on Chevron Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

2. NexBank — 0.50% APY, $10,000 minimum deposit to earn APY

NexBank certificates of deposit earn at some great rates, including its 3-month CD. NexBank requires a pretty high opening deposit of $10,000 for its standard CDs, and balances max out at $49,999.99. If you’re hoping to invest $50,000 or more, you can get a small bump (for an APY of 0.55%) with their current CD promotional rate. The penalty for an early withdrawal will be given to you once you open a CD with them.

In addition to its CDs and other personal deposit accounts, NexBank focuses largely on commercial banking, mortgage banking and institutional services. It was established in 1934 and is based in Dallas.

SEE DETAILS

on NexBank’s secure website

Member FDIC

3. M.Y. Safra Bank — 0.41% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit

M.Y. Safra Bank’s 3-month CD is an online-only product, but, interestingly, you’ll need to contact them by phone to open the CD. The account requires a minimum deposit of $1,000. You’ll earn the APY with monthly compounding interest if you keep the full amount in until the CD matures.

Headquartered in New York, M.Y. Safra Bank has a history dating back to the 1920s.

SEE DETAILS

on M.Y. Safra Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

4. Service Credit Union — 0.40% APY, $500 minimum deposit to earn APY

Dividends are compounded and credited monthly on this 3-month CD from Service Credit Union. At the end of the term, you can take out your funds or roll them over. The minimum to open an account is $500. If you withdraw funds before the certificate matures, you’ll be penalized 90 days’ dividends.

Service Credit Union was originally formed in 1957 to provide financial services to military members and their families. Active military and veterans are still welcome to join, as are employees of partner companies and their immediate relatives. If you don’t fall under these categories, you can also join Service Credit Union through the American Consumer Council. Use the code “Service” to score a membership at no cost. You’ll also need to hold a primary savings account with Service with at least $5 in it.

SEE DETAILS

on Service Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

5. Greenwood Credit Union — 0.40% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit

Greenwood Credit Union offers a range of CD terms. Interest is compounded daily and credited monthly, and the CD will automatically renew at the end of the term. Should you need to take out your money before the three months is up, you’ll lose six months’ interest on the amount withdrawn—one of the priciest penalties we’ve seen.

Membership to this Rhode Island–based credit union, which itself is a member of the CO-OP Shared Branch Network, is open to everyone. To join, you’ll just need to open a regular share savings account with a minimum of $5.

SEE DETAILS

on Greenwood Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

6. Colorado Federal Savings Bank — 0.40% APY, $5,000 minimum deposit

The 3-month CD at Colorado Federal Savings Bank earns at a competitive rate, giving you the best shot at growing your savings in the short-term with the bank. (Their 6-month CD gives you a nice bump, but withdrawal penalties triple; 1- and 2-month CDs cut your rate significantly.) You’ll need at least $5,000 to get started, though. You’ll lose one month’s worth of interest if you make an early withdrawal from the CD.

Colorado Federal Savings Bank was chartered in 1990 and is headquartered in Greenwood Village, Colo. It operates as a branchless bank, accessible only online.

SEE DETAILS

on Colorado Federal Savings Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

7. Consumers Credit Union (IL) — 0.35% APY, $250 minimum deposit to earn APY

It takes only $250 to earn this competitive rate on Consumers Credit Union’s 91-day CD. Dividends are compounded daily and post monthly for this account. Early withdrawal will cost you 60 days’ dividends. It’s also important to note that if you fund your CD with ACH, you will not be able to withdraw any money, even with the penalty, for 90 days from the date of the ACH settlement deposit.

A one-time $5 membership fee to the Consumers Cooperative Association qualifies you for membership to Consumers Credit Union, which was originally established in 1910 as Cooperative Trading Company of Waukegan in Illinois.

SEE DETAILS

on Consumers Credit Union (IL)’s secure website

NCUA Insured

8. Evansville Teachers Federal Credit Union — 0.35%APY, $1,000 minimum deposit to earn APY

This 3-month certificate from Evansville Teachers Federal Credit Union earns a solid rate for such a short term. You’ll only need $1,000 to deposit to secure this rate. Dividends are compounded and credited monthly. The penalty on money withdrawn from the account before maturity will be the greatest of 7 days’ dividends; dividends that were earned since the opening or renewal of the certificate, not to exceed 91 days; or $50.

Evansville Teachers Federal Credit Union was established in 1936 by a group of Indiana teachers in response to the Great Depression to help serve the financial needs of teachers at the time. Today, ETFCU membership is still open to teachers, but it also serves through other employers, organizations and family members. You can also join by donating as little as $5 to the Mater Dei Friends & Alumni Association.

SEE DETAILS

on Evansville Teachers Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

9. First Internet Bank — 0.35% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit

You can get started with a First Internet Bank 3-month CD with $1,000. Interest is compounded and credited monthly on this certificate, which will automatically renew at maturity. The early withdrawal penalty associated with this account equals 90 days’ interest.

Like its name suggests, First Internet Bank was the first FDIC-insured institution to operate entirely online from its founding in 1999.

SEE DETAILS

on First Internet Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

10. TIAA Bank — 0.35% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit to earn APY

You’ll need to set aside only $1,000 to benefit from TIAA Bank’s 3-month CD. Interest on the certificate is compounded daily and credited monthly, and it will automatically renew at maturity for the same term. The penalty for an early withdrawal from this account is equal to 22 days of simple interest.

Established in 1998, TIAA Bank is a division of TIAA, FSB, which was founded in 1918. TIAA Bank is headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., but operates entirely online.

SEE DETAILS

on TIAA Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Short-term CDs vs. long-term CDs: Which are better investments?

Both short-term and long-term CDs are great investment tools, although they serve different purposes depending on your savings goals. Long-term CDs are better for saving for goals years in the future. They also help you lock in high rates to protect against a rate-dropping climate.

Short-term CDs, on the other hand, are better when you have some extra cash you need to stash away for a bit. You can take advantage of high rates, but there is the inherent risk that in three or six months, that rate may have gone down. On the flip side, a short-lived term allows you to take advantage of rising rates more quickly.

A CD alternative that would still allow you some flexibility in catching rising rates would be to open no-penalty CDs instead. Like their name suggests, no-penalty CDs allow you to avoid the typical early withdrawal penalty associated with CDs. That way, when you start to see higher available CD rates, you can close up one CD and deposit those funds in a new, higher rate account without losing money.

Because short-term CDs expire so quickly, it might make sense to open a more liquid savings product instead. “A reasonable alternative is to just keep that money in a savings or money market account for three or six months,” suggests Ken Tumin, founder of DepositAccounts.com, a LendingTree-owned company. “In fact, the savings account rates at many internet banks are actually quite a bit higher than their 3- and 6-month CD rates.”

However, there is always the chance of your variable savings account rate decreasing without notice. So if you can open one of the best 3-month CDs above, the returns could be worth locking away your money for a few months.

Starting off a mini CD ladder with a 3-month CD

Many CD ladder guides suggest building a ladder starting with a 1-year CD. That technique results in CDs that mature every year. But you can also just as easily kick off a CD ladder with 3-month CDs. That would allow for more frequent maturity dates. For example, you could start a ladder with 3-month, 6-month, 9-month and 12-month CDs. When the 3-month, 6-month and 9-month CDs mature, you would renew each one into a 12-month CD. The steady state of the ladder would then be just 12-month CDs that mature every three months.

You can also create a ladder with longer-term CDs that still mature every three months. In this case, it’s a little more complicated when starting the CD ladder. In sticking with the example above, you could also open a 24-month and 36-month CD at the outset. After several rollovers into various terms over the next few years, the ladder’s steady state would have a 36-month CD maturing every 3 months. This could be an ideal way to take advantage of high rates now while also leaving some room for higher rates in the future. It also offers opportunities for you to receive a payout every three months.