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Best 6-Month CD Rates

Half a year: How much can you earn with a 6-month CD?

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Six-month certificates of deposit (CDs) are a good option if you don’t want to set your money aside for a year or more, but you’d like to earn a bit more than you would from a savings account. Because 6-month CDs often don’t come with the higher rates that longer term-length CDs offer, it’s especially important to shop around for the best rates.

We review more than 150 banks and credit unions every weekday to find the best 6-month CD rates. For this list, we also include CDs ranging from 5-months to 9-months (noted in the insights below, where applicable). All accounts are available nationwide and are insured by either the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) or National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). Here are the best rates as of Dec. 8, 2022.

Best 6-Month CD Rates

Bank or Credit Union APY Minimum Deposit Early Withdrawal Penalty
Andrews Federal Credit Union (7-Month) 5.00% $1,000 3 months of interest
Brilliant Bank (9-Month) 4.50% $1,000 50% of all earnings
Spectra Credit Union (7-Month) 4.44% $5,000 30 days of dividends
Merrick Bank 4.40% $25,000 6 months of interest
NASA Federal Credit Union (9-Month) 4.40% $10,000 All interest earned up to 182 days
My eBanc 4.39% $5,000 3 months of interest
Live Oak Bank 4.25% $2,500 3 months of interest
Popular Direct 4.25% $10,000 4 months of interest
Department of Commerce Federal Credit Union (6-Month to 11-Month) 4.19% $25,000 90 days of dividends
Technology Credit Union (9-Month to 11-Month) 4.15% $1,000 3 months of interest

Andrews Federal Credit Union (7-Month)

Andrews Federal Credit Union started in 1948 with just eight members, and now you can join with a complimentary membership to the American Consumer Council (just use promo code “Andrews”) and $5 in a credit union savings account. Members have access to a wide variety of accounts, credit cards, and loans, and Andrews FCU also provides free FICO credit scores to customers.

Brilliant Bank (9-Month)

Brilliant is an online-only bank headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, and backed by Equity Bank, also based out of Kansas. In addition to CDs, customers can open and manage checking and money market accounts on Brilliant’s website or through an app compatible with Android or Apple devices.

Spectra Credit Union (7-Month)

Merrick Bank

Merrick Bank has been around since 1997 and specializes primarily as a major issuer of Visa credit cards. The bank also provides personal loans and loans for boats and other recreational vehicles.

As far as CDs go, terms range from three months to five years. 

NASA Federal Credit Union (9-Month)

Started in 1949 by members of the scientific community, NASA Federal Credit Union serves over 177,000 members nationwide. Anyone can join the credit union by becoming a member of the National Space Society. You can join via the NASA Federal Credit Union application page, and your first year of membership is complimentary. Members are also required to sign up for a primary savings account with a minimum deposit of $5.

My eBanc

My eBanc is an online-only division of BAC Florida Bank. Based in Coral Gables, Florida, BAC Florida Bank was established in the U.S. in 1973 as Popular Bank of Hialeah. It changed its name in 1979 to Popular Bank of Florida, then changed it again in 1998 to BAC Florida Bank. My eBanc was established as a digital division in 2013.

My eBanc refers to its CDs as time deposits and also offers checking, savings, and money market accounts, all of which can be opened and managed online and through its mobile app. Accounts are available to any U.S. citizen 18 years of age or older.

Live Oak Bank

Live Oak Bank is a relative newcomer on the banking scene, opening in 2008. Since then it’s focused heavily on small business loans for niche industries, such as craft breweries, veterinary clinics, and solar energy companies. Recently, however, it’s been expanding into the personal banking scene, and it’s got plenty of savings offerings to like. 

You can choose CDs with term lengths of six months to five years, as well as an online savings account.

Popular Direct

As a subsidiary of Popular, Inc., a full-service bank in the U.S., Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean, Popular Direct has 122 years of history. Popular Direct is focused on savings and CD accounts. CD terms range from three months to five years, and you can rest easy knowing that your deposits are FDIC-insured.

Department of Commerce Federal Credit Union (6-Month to 11-Month)

The Department of Commerce Federal Credit Union was chartered in 1964 and has two branches in Washington, D.C.—one at the U.S. Department of Commerce and another at the White House. It also has a branch in Silver Springs, Maryland. Those who do not live in the D.C. area can manage their accounts online or via a mobile app available for Android and Apple devices.

DOCFCU membership is available to anyone who lives, works, worships, or attends school in Washington, D.C., is a family member of a current member, or is a current or former employee of the U.S. Department of Commerce or its contractors, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the White House Management and Administration Office, or the Executive Office of the President. Those who do not meet these eligibility requirements can gain eligibility by joining the American Consumer Council.

Technology Credit Union (9-Month to 11-Month)

Technology Credit Union (TCU) was founded in 1960 by employees of Fairchild Camera and Instrument Corporation, known today as Fairchild Camera and Instrument Semiconductor Division, in Silicon Valley in California. TCU is headquartered in San Jose, California, has more than $3 billion in assets, and serves more than 125,000 members as of June 2020.

TCU partners with more than 500 employers in the San Jose area, including technology giants such as Facebook, Tesla, and eBay. Employees of any partner employer are eligible for membership.

What Is a 6-Month CD?

A 6-month CD is a special type of term savings account where you make an agreement with the bank or credit union not to deposit or withdraw any money during the 6-month period. You can usually still withdraw the money if you absolutely need it, but you’ll pay a stiff penalty—known as an early withdrawal penalty—for doing so.

After the six months is over, your CD will generally renew, that is, the funds will roll over into a new 6-month CD. However, you’ll get a short window—known as a grace period—during which you can withdraw the money in the CD if you wish. The grace period is established by the bank, and at the end, the CD will be locked in again for another six months.

Who Is a 6-Month CD Best For?

In general, CDs are good for people who are sure that they won’t need the money while it’s locked away. The national average APY for 6-mo CDs is typically higher than that for savings accounts.

But six months is a relatively short term length, so this type of CD is best for people who can’t lock away money for a long time. You may want to use it to save up for a goal that is coming up soon. For example, you could use a 6-month CD to save for a summer vacation. On the other hand, if you’re saving for a down payment on a house five years from now, look for a longer-term CD, which typically provides a higher rate. 

CDs can also be a good way to save money if you’ve had past problems with tapping into your savings account too early while you’re saving up for other things. A 6-month CD is a good choice for this because you’ll still get access to your money once every six months, but the early withdrawal penalties might be just the buffer you need to let your money sit without being tempted to tap into the CD too early. 

What Are the Alternatives to a 6-Month CD?

Six-month CDs are only one of several options for term length. If you’d feel more comfortable with more frequent access to your money, choose a shorter-term CD. Three-month CDs are also available at many banks, and some offer CDs in even shorter term lengths. 

Keep in mind, though, that typically the shorter the term length, the lower the interest rate on the CD. That’s why many people choose longer-term CDs. But do your research. Once you get into CDs with terms of three years and longer, a longer term doesn’t always get you a higher rate. 

If you’re not sure about this whole locking-your-money-away thing, you can also always choose a high-yield savings account. Many banks and credit unions offer high-yield savings accounts with higher rates than short-term CD lengths.

If you prefer instant account access, we have partnered with the following banks to bring you the high-yield savings and money market account offers displayed in the table.

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 Eva-Katalin/Getty Images

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