Best 18-Month CD Rates

These are the highest paying 18-month CDs that anyone in the country can open

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For savings you won't need to access in the near term, certificates of deposit, or CDs, are a safe and reliable way to earn more interest than you'd get from a standard savings account. Below are the top certificate of deposit rates available from our partners, followed by a ranking of the highest 18-month CD rates available to consumers nationwide.

Based on daily monitoring of the rate data from about 200 banks and credit unions that offer certificate products nationwide, we continuously rank the highest-paying CDs with approximately 18-month terms (this includes maturities ranging from 15 to 20 months). The minimum deposit can be no more than $25,000, and only institutions that are federally insured (by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation for banks or the National Credit Union Administration for credit unions) are eligible for our list.

Where more than one institution pays the same top rate, our rankings prioritize CDs by the shortest term, then the CD requiring the smallest minimum deposit. If there is still a tie, we then rank by which CD has the milder penalty for early withdrawal.

Best 18-month CD rates:

  • Connexus Credit Union - 4.85% APY
  • CFG Bank - 4.75% APY
  • Merrick Bank - 4.75% APY
  • Synchrony Bank - 4.75% APY
  • My eBanc - 4.71% APY
  • INSBANK Online - 4.70% APY
  • Brilliant Bank - 4.61% APY
  • Skyla Credit Union - 4.50% APY
  • Sky One Federal Credit Union - 4.50% APY
  • NASA Federal Credit Union - 4.50% APY
  • Michigan State University Federal Credit Union - 4.50% APY
  • CIT Bank - 4.50% APY
  • Crescent Bank - 4.50% APY
  • Department of Commerce Federal Credit Union - 4.50% APY
  • MYSB Direct - 4.48% APY

Detailed information on these top-paying nationally available 18-month CDs is provided below, including specifics about minimum deposits and early withdrawal penalties. For credit union CDs, information is also provided on how to easily join the credit unions offering them.

Connexus Credit Union - 4.85% APY

  • Term (months): 15
  • Minimum deposit: $5,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Six months of interest
  • Membership: Anyone can join the credit union by donating $5 to the Connexus Association and holding $5 or more in a savings account.

CFG Bank - 4.75% APY

  • Term (months): 18
  • Minimum deposit: $500
  • Early-withdrawal penalty: Six months of interest
  • About: Headquartered in Baltimore with two brick-and-mortar branches in that area, CFG offers select banking products online to customers throughout the country.

Merrick Bank - 4.75% APY

  • Term (months): 18
  • Minimum deposit: $25,000
  • Early-withdrawal penalty: Six months of interest
  • About: Primarily a credit card issuer and consumer finance provider, Merrick Bank offers online-only certificates of deposit.

Synchrony Bank - 4.75% APY

  • Term (months): 19
  • Minimum deposit: Any amount
  • Early-withdrawal penalty: No Penalty
  • About: In addition to being the largest U.S. provider of private label credit cards, Synchrony Bank is an online-only bank offering consumer deposit accounts.

My eBanc - 4.71% APY

  • Term (months): 18
  • Minimum deposit: $5,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Six months of interest
  • About: My eBanc is an online banking arm of the brick-and-mortar institution BAC Florida Bank, established 1973.

INSBank Online - 4.70% APY

  • Term (months): 18
  • Minimum deposit: $2,500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Six months of interest
  • About: INSBANK Online is the internet-only consumer banking arm of INSBANK, a Nashville-based business bank founded in 2000.

Brilliant Bank - 4.61% APY

  • Term (months): 15
  • Minimum deposit: $1,000
  • Early-withdrawal penalty: Six months of interest
  • About: Brilliant Bank is an online-only division of FDIC-insured Equity Bank, which operates branches in Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Arkansas.

Skyla Credit Union - 4.50% APY

  • Term (months): 15
  • Minimum deposit: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 1% of balance
  • Membership: Anyone can join Skyla by agreeing to a free membership in their partner association, the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation, and keeping at least $5 in a savings account.

Sky One Federal Credit Union - 4.50% APY

  • Term (months): 15
  • Minimum deposit: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: One withdrawal of up to 50% of the initial deposit can be made penalty free. After that, the penalty is six months of interest.
  • Membership: Anyone can join Sky One by agreeing to a free one-year membership in of six affiliated nonprofits and keeping $5 or more in a member savings account.

NASA Federal Credit Union - 4.50% APY

  • Term (months): 15
  • Minimum deposit: $10,000
  • Early-withdrawal penalty: All interest up to six months' worth
  • Membership: Anyone can join NASA FCU by signing up for a free membership in the National Space Society and holding $5 or more in a savings account.

Michigan State University Federal Credit Union - 4.50% APY

  • Term (months): 18
  • Minimum deposit: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Six months of interest
  • Membership: Anyone is eligible to join Michigan State's credit union with a $10 donation to the MSU Alumni Association and at least $5 held in a savings account.

CIT Bank - 4.50% APY

  • Term (months): 18
  • Minimum deposit: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Six months of interest
  • About: Established in 2009, CIT Bank operates branches in Calif., Texas, Fla., Ariz., Colo., Nev., Kan., Neb., and Hawaii, while additionally offering a menu of its products online.

Crescent Bank - 4.50% APY

  • Term (months): 18
  • Minimum deposit: $1,000
  • Early-withdrawal penalty: Six months of interest
  • About: Founded in 1991, Crescent Bank is primarily an auto loan provider that also offers banking services in the Greater New Orleans area as well as online to customers nationwide.

Department of Commerce Federal Credit Union - 4.50% APY*

  • Term (months): 12-23
  • Minimum deposit: $25,000
  • Early-withdrawal penalty: Three months of interest
  • Membership: Anyone can join the DCFCU by agreeing to a free membership in the nonprofit American Consumer Council.

*Rates listed in DCFCU's rate charts are 0.10% lower than what's listed here, for a minimum deposit amount of $500. But the fine print indicates that for deposits of $25,000, a 0.10% premium applies.

MYSB Direct - 4.48% APY

  • Term (months): 18
  • Minimum deposit: $500
  • Early-withdrawal penalty: All earned interest (three months minimum)
  • About: MYSB Direct is the online banking arm of M.Y. Safra Bank, which is headquartered in New York City and operates a single branch there.

What Is an 18-Month CD and How Does It Work?

Certificates of deposit are bank or credit union accounts in which you agree to hold your funds on deposit without withdrawals for a prearranged period. Thus, an 18-month CD requires you to keep the funds untouched for a year and a half. In exchange for giving up access to your funds, you will generally be rewarded with a higher interest rate than the bank pays on savings and money market accounts.


When opening a CD, you deposit a lump sum of funds into the account at or above the minimum required deposit for that CD. The funds will then sit in the account for 18 months, earning interest along the way. When the CD hits its maturity date, you can take the funds plus their earned interest out of the account with no penalty. Alternatively, you can keep the funds on deposit and roll them into a new CD.

Key Takeaways

  • Opening a CD account means you agree to keep your funds on deposit without withdrawals until the established maturity date of the certificate.
  • In exchange, the financial institution will pay you an established interest rate that provides an earnings boost over what its savings and money market accounts pay.
  • By shopping around for the best rates and choosing a top-paying CD, you can earn many times the national average interest rate.
  • If you need to withdraw your funds early, it's not impossible. It just means you'll be charged an early-withdrawal penalty, so consider an institution's penalty calculation before making your final CD choice.

When Is an 18-Month CD a Good Choice?

An 18-month CD is a suitable option for money you won't need in the coming year or longer. For those with a specific plan for the money, such as a down payment on a house or paying college tuition bills for a child, an 18-month CD might provide just the time frame you need to keep funds safe and reliably earning interest.

Another appeal of 18-month CDs is to provide one rung of a shortened CD ladder. A CD ladder is a strategy for investing your funds in five CDs of differing terms rather than all at once. For a yearly ladder, you would own a one-year, two-year, three-year, four-year, and five-year CD. But you can also create a shorter ladder, with six-month increments between the CDs (e.g., six-month, 12-month, 18-month, etc.).

Why Do Shorter CDs Sometimes Pay More Than Longer CDs?

Generally speaking, the shorter the CD term, the lower the interest rate paid by the bank, and vice versa. That's because the bank recognizes you need to be rewarded more substantially the longer you're being asked to leave the money on deposit.

However, not all institutions use a perfectly linear scale of interest rates that increase with the CD terms. A common strategy is offering one or more special or promotional CDs that pay a significantly higher interest rate to entice customers to the institution. And to limit how long the bank is paying the boosted rate, promotional CDs are often shorter in duration, such as less than two years.

Important

Though consumers tend to think about CD maturity terms in nice round numbers, be sure to consider odd-term CDs, such as 15-month, 18-month, or 21-month certificates. It's not uncommon for a promotional rate CD to have an odd length, so don't limit yourself to only the conventional terms.

Are Online Bank CDs Safe?

Many of the highest deposit rates, whether for CDs, savings accounts, or money market accounts, are offered by online banks. Some of these are online-only banks, meaning they operate solely on the Internet, while others are brick-and-mortar banks with a separate online banking arm.

Though it may seem scarier to deposit your funds into an Internet bank instead of at a physical branch, online accounts and institutions are just as safe as their more traditional counterparts. That's because FDIC insurance doesn't discriminate—the $250,000 in deposit insurance it provides to consumers in case of bank failure applies just the same to online banks as it does to physical banks.

What if I Need My Money Before the CD Matures?

When you open a CD, you know the precise date that the funds will be ready for penalty-free withdrawal. But sometimes, emergencies crop up, or your financial situation changes, and you need funds from your CD. The good news is that you can almost always withdraw the money at any time.

The catch is that doing so before maturity will trigger the institution's early-withdrawal penalty. Each bank and credit union has a policy for how that penalty is calculated, and the most common method is for the bank to keep a certain number of months' worth of interest. For instance, if you break an 18-month CD early, you will typically lose three to six months of the interest you earned.

Article Sources
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  1. FDIC. "Deposit Insurance."