Short-term certificate of deposit (CD) accounts offer investors a safe opportunity to squirrel away money for a future expense. If you’re looking for a brief solution for storing your cash and want to earn more interest than a typical savings account will offer, a 6 month CD can make a lot of sense. (It’s also a good place to start if you’re building a CD ladder.)
Using information from DepositAccounts.com, a database of offerings at more than 17,100 banks and credit unions, we found the five banks and five credit unions with the top 6-month CD rates. If there was a tie, we chose the institution with the smaller minimum deposit requirement. The national average APY on 6-month CDs (among banks and credit unions) is 0.23% as of October 2022, according to the DepositAccounts.com database. These options outperform that average by a long shot. (You may also want to view our picks for the overall best CD rates for more options.)
|Bank||APY||Minimum deposit amount to earn APY|
|Colorado Federal Savings Bank||0.62%||$5,000|
|Live Oak Bank||0.75%||$2,500|
Coming in at number one is Colorado Federal Savings Bank’s 6-month CD, which requires a moderate opening deposit of $5,000, which you’ll also need to maintain if you want to earn this APY. In addition, the early withdrawal penalty for taking money out before maturity will cost you 3 months’ interest. Interest is compounded daily and posted to your account monthly.
Greenwood Village, Colo., is home to CFSB, but there are no branches. They offer direct banking only.
Online-only Limelight Bank offers consumers just four CD terms. The 6-month option earns at an excellent rate, and you need just $1,000 to open an account. Interest is compounded daily and credited monthly. Early withdrawal of any of the principal will cost you 90 days’ interest on the amount withdrawn.
Limelight Bank is the online division of Utah-based Capital Community Bank. Founded in 1993, Capital Community Bank provides the FDIC insurance for your Limelight deposits.
Live Oak Bank offers a range of certificates. Their shortest term, the 6-month CD, earns this high APY on amounts up to $250,000 but requires only $2,500 to open an account and earn interest, which is credited to your account monthly. The early withdrawal penalty will equal 90 days’ simple interest on the principal amount withdrawn.
Live Oak Bank is located in Wilmington, NC, but serves customers nationwide through online banking. While their initial focus was to help small businesses acquire funding, they now help all individuals through personal banking.
NexBank’s 6-month CD requires a healthy amount at the outset, with a minimum of $10,000, and carries a maximum of $240,000. You’ll pay a penalty of 3 months’ interest on the amount withdrawn if you take funds out early. If you have a hefty stash, for a $50,000 deposit, you’ll get an APY higher than any of these top spots—but that’s a huge chunk to part with for 6 months. Certificates can be opened online and will automatically roll over at maturity.
Dallas-based NexBank offers both personal and business banking.
With at least $500, you can fund your high-rate 6-month CD by transferring money from another Quontic Bank account or an account at another bank via ACH or using Plaid’s technology. Interest is compounded daily and credited to your account each month.
Quontic Bank must approve any request to withdraw funds before maturity. If approved, Quontic will close your CD and assess a penalty equal to the interest for the full length of the 6-month term.
Quontic is a digital bank with headquarters in New York and one physical branch, located in Astoria, N.Y.
Lafayette Federal Credit Union offers about a handful of certificates, including its 7-month fixed rate certificate, which requires $500 to open and easily earns the top spot on our list. Interest is compounded and paid quarterly. An early withdrawal from this account will trigger a penalty equal to 90 days’ worth of dividends.
Lafayette Federal Credit Union was chartered in 1935 and is headquartered in Rockville, Md. Members can access its branches in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., and CO-OP Shared Branches nationwide. LFCU membership is open to those who live or work in its serviced areas; work at partner agencies or companies; or are an immediate family member of a current member. You can also join if you are an existing member or become a member of the Home Ownership Financial Literacy Council.
With at least $1,000, you can open a high-yield 6-month CW certificate account online. The early withdrawal penalty from this account is equal to the amount withdrawn multiplied by the remaining days left in the term at two times the current APR (divided by 365). The penalty will come out of the withdrawn funds.
Founded as a credit union to provide quality financial services to individuals in South Bend, Ind., CommunityWide Federal Credit Union has grown to offer its services to various communities within Indiana as well as online.
Anyone can become a CommunityWide member by donating to a list of organizations, including the YMCA. If you’re a member of the Michiana Goodwill Boosters, Marine Corps League of St. Joseph Valley or Habitat for Humanity Helpers, you’re also eligible to become a member.
The 6-month certificate account from Hughes Federal Credit Union is available for a minimum deposit of $1,000. Dividends are compounded daily and credited monthly but are subject to a penalty of $35.00 or 90 days’ dividends (whichever is greater) for early withdrawal of funds.
Hughes has been around since 1952, originally established for employees of Hughes Aircraft Company. Several years and mergers later, membership is now open not only to the Tucson, Ariz., community but also to anyone who donates as little as $10 to Friends of the Oro Valley Library, Friends of the Pima County Library, Friends of the Green Valley Library, Friends of the Kirk-Bear Canyon Library, or the Tucson Audubon Society.
With a $500 minimum deposit, you can earn this APY from Interior. There are no maintenance charges, but early withdrawal penalties are 30 days’ worth of interest. You’ll also need to have a primary savings account with them to open a CD.
Interior Federal Credit Union was established in 1935 to promote financial wellness during the Great Depression for employees of the Department of the Interior. Today, the credit union serves U.S. residents nationwide. Anyone can join the credit union by joining the New Mexico Wildlife Federation, which you can do when you’re filling out your application. You may also be eligible through employment, organization affiliation, or an immediate family member.
You’ll need to invest only $500 in Credit Human’s share certificate, with a flexible term of anywhere from 6 months to 11 months. (If you’re thinking of going for a longer term, you might want to reconsider and add a couple of months to get the 12-month rate, which is fairly higher.) Dividends are compounded and credited monthly. Withdrawing cash early will cost you the greater of $50 or 180 days’ interest.
Credit Human’s history dates back to the 1930s and took on its current name in 2016. Membership is available within their small service area around San Antonio; through employer, organization and school partners; and to members, active or retired, of the U.S. Armed Forces or National Guard. Don’t fit into any of these? You can sign up by enrolling in the American Consumer Council, which Credit Human will handle for you.
A CD ladder comprises small-amount CDs with varying terms and respective interest rates that contribute to a long-term investment strategy. After the 6-month CD matures, investors can withdraw the funds for a predetermined expense. Or, they can reinvest the money into a longer-term CD with a better rate. By staggering the maturity dates on short-term CDs, consumers have access to their cash on a regular, predictable basis.
Consumers can open 6-month CD accounts (or longer) from banks and credit unions. Bank and credit union CD rates are based on Federal Reserve rates, and there may be strategic times to pursue these short-term instruments following a rate increase.