Best 4-Year CD Rates

These banks and credit unions offer the highest payout on 4-year CDs

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If you have cash savings you want to hold for several years with no risk or market volatility, you might look to certificates of deposit, or CDs. That's because committing your funds to a CD can earn you a higher interest rate than a standard savings account can while eliminating the risks that investing in the market would incur.

Though not as common as their three-year and five-year siblings, four-year CDs are offered by banks and credit unions across the country. Not only might a four-year certificate offer the perfect time horizon for your financial plans, but it is also important to anyone establishing a CD ladder.

Different institutions pay widely varying rates on CDs, so it's crucial you do your homework. To make that easy, we continuously rank the top four-year CD rates based on our daily rate tracking of about 200 banks and credit unions that offer nationwide CDs. To qualify for our rankings, the certificate must have a minimum required deposit of $25,000 or less and be offered by a federally insured institution (the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation for banks and the National Credit Union Administration for credit unions).

When we find that more than one institution pays the same rate, we prioritize our ranking by the shortest term, then the smallest minimum deposit. If there is still a tie after that, we rank by which CD has the milder penalty for early withdrawal.

Best 4-year CD Rates:

  • Department of Commerce Federal Credit Union - 4.69% APY
  • Bread Savings - 4.65% APY
  • Merrick Bank - 4.60% APY
  • NASA Federal Credit Union - 4.60% APY
  • Crescent Bank - 4.55% APY
  • Interior Federal Credit Union - 4.49% APY
  • MYSB Direct - 4.48% APY
  • KS State Bank - 4.47% APY
  • Popular Direct - 4.47% APY
  • First Internet Bank - 4.44% APY
  • First National Bank of America - 4.35% APY
  • Lafayette Federal Credit Union - 4.32% APY
  • Synchrony Bank - 4.30% APY
  • Garden Savings Federal Credit Union - 4.25% APY
  • Alliant Credit Union - 4.25% APY
  • Home Loan Investment Bank - 4.25% APY

Detailed information on the top-paying four-year CDs available nationwide is provided below, including specifics about minimum deposits and early-withdrawal penalties. For credit union CDs, information is also provided on how anyone can become a member.

Department of Commerce Federal Credit Union - 4.69% APY*

  • Term (months): 48-59
  • Minimum deposit: $25,000
  • Early-withdrawal penalty: Six 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.

Bread Savings - 4.65% APY

  • Term (months): 48
  • Minimum deposit: $1,500
  • Early-withdrawal penalty: 12 months of interest
  • About: Formerly branded as Comenity Direct, Bread Savings is the online consumer deposits bank operated by credit card issuer Comenity Capital Bank.

Merrick Bank - 4.60% APY

  • Term (months): 48
  • Minimum deposit: $25,000
  • Early-withdrawal penalty: Nine months of interest
  • About: Primarily a credit card issuer and consumer finance provider, Merrick Bank offers online-only certificates of deposit.

NASA Federal Credit Union - 4.60% APY

  • Term (months): 49
  • Minimum deposit: $10,000
  • Early-withdrawal penalty: 12 months of interest
  • 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.

Crescent Bank - 4.55% APY

  • Term (months): 48
  • 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.

Interior Federal Credit Union - 4.49% APY

  • Term (months): 48
  • Minimum deposit: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 12 months of interest
  • Membership: Anyone can join Interior Federal by signing up for a free membership to the New Mexico Wildlife Federation and keeping $25 or more in a savings account.

MYSB Direct - 4.48% APY

  • Term (months): 48
  • Minimum deposit: $500
  • Early-withdrawal penalty: All 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.

KS State Bank - 4.47% APY

  • Term (months): 48
  • Minimum deposit: $500
  • Early-withdrawal penalty: 15 months of interest
  • About: Established in 1969, KS State Bank operates six branches in Kansas and one in Phoenix in addition to serving online customers nationwide.

Popular Direct - 4.47% APY

  • Term (months): 48
  • Minimum deposit: $10,000
  • Early-withdrawal penalty: 12 months of interest
  • About: Popular Direct is the online-only arm of Popular Bank, the U.S. banking subsidiary of Popular, Inc., which serves banking customers in the U.S., Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean.

First Internet Bank - 4.44% APY

  • Term (months): 48
  • Minimum deposit: $1,000
  • Early-withdrawal penalty: 12 months of interest
  • About: First Internet Bank takes its name from its status as the first FDIC-insured bank to operate exclusively online. Founded in 1999, it is based in the Indianapolis suburb of Fishers, Ind.

First National Bank of America - 4.35% APY

  • Term (months): 48
  • Minimum deposit: $1,000
  • Early-withdrawal penalty: 18 months of interest
  • About: First National Bank of America is a Michigan-based community bank established in 1955. In addition to three branches in the state, FNBA offers online banking products to customers nationwide.

Lafayette Federal Credit Union - 4.32% APY

  • Term (months): 48
  • Minimum deposit: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 20 months of interest
  • Membership: Anyone can join Lafayette Federal with a $10 membership in the Home Ownership Financial Literacy Council and $50 or more held in a savings account.

Synchrony Bank - 4.30% APY

  • Term (months): 48
  • Minimum deposit: Any amount
  • Early-withdrawal penalty: 12 months of interest
  • About: In addition to being the largest provider of private label credit cards in the U.S., Synchrony Bank is an online-only bank offering consumer deposit accounts.

Garden Savings Federal Credit Union - 4.25% APY

  • Term (months): 48
  • Minimum deposit: $500
  • Early-withdrawal penalty: Six months of interest
  • Membership: Anyone can join Garden Savings by agreeing to a free membership in the nonprofit American Consumer Council and keeping $5 in a member savings account.

Alliant Credit Union - 4.25% APY

  • Term (months): 48
  • Minimum deposit: $1,000
  • Early-withdrawal penalty: Six months of interest
  • Membership: Anyone can join Alliant by agreeing to a free membership in the nonprofit Foster Care to Success.

Home Loan Investment Bank - 4.25% APY

  • Term (months): 48
  • Minimum deposit: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Six months of interest
  • About: Established in 1979, Home Loan Investment Bank operates three Rhode Island branches and offers consumer deposit accounts online to customers across the country.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is a 4-Year CD?

Certificates of deposit are a special type of bank account that involve advance commitments from both the individual and the bank or credit union. The individual's commitment is to hold a lump-sum deposit in the account for a predetermined period of time, usually measured in months or years. In turn, the financial institution commits to paying the individual a fixed and known interest rate for the full duration of the CD.


Because the bank can count on having access to the funds for an extended period, they will generally pay the individual a higher interest rate on their balance than if the funds were put into a savings or money market account, where unpredictable withdrawals and deposits are allowed.


A four-year CD is simply a certificate of deposit that has a maturity term of about four years or 48 months, though you'll sometimes encounter CDs with odd terms, such as 45 months or 49 months. Those that qualify for our four-year rankings have terms ranging from 42 to 53 months.

Key Takeaways

  • Generally, the longer a CD's maturity term, the higher its interest rate, so four-year certificates tend to pay at the upper end of CD yields.
  • CD rates vary widely, so it's critical to shop around for the highest rates, which can be six to 10 times the national average.
  • It's also important to review the early-withdrawal penalty of any CD you're considering because some penalties are much more onerous than others if you need to unexpectedly withdraw your funds early.
  • For those building a five-year CD ladder, you'll need at least one four-year CD in your mix of rungs.

When Is a 4-Year CD a Good Idea?

There are two main reasons to consider a CD that is four years in length. The first is based on your personal timeline. If you know you can lock up the funds for a number of years, but five years is a bit too long because you'll need the funds sooner than that, a four-year term can get you close to those five-year yields while shortening the time until you can access the funds.


The second reason to buy a four-year CD is if you are building a five-year CD ladder. This is explained in more depth below, but in short, it involves buying an array of different CD terms, in yearly durations of up to five years. Hence, you'll need one four-year CD to complete the group.

What Is a CD Ladder?

The term CD ladder refers to a strategy designed to maximize the amount of interest you can earn on funds committed to CDs over a long period of time, while still retaining access to a portion of the funds every year. The way it works is by investing one-fifth of the total funds into five different CD durations (e.g., the rungs of the ladder) and eventually rolling each maturing CD into a five-year CD because those certificates earn the highest rates.


Let's say you want to keep $50,000 invested in safe, reliable CDs for capital preservation. Instead of investing it all in a single five-year CD and having no access to the full amount for that time, you can build a five-year CD ladder by putting $10,000 into a one-year CD, $10,000 into a two-year CD, and so forth, until you have five $10,000 CDs all maturing a year apart.


Each year, when one of the CDs matures, those funds get rolled into a new five-year CD to earn a higher yield and continue the ladder. After the fourth maturity, you'll still have five certificates, but they will now comprise a portfolio of only top-paying five-year CDs with one available for withdrawal every year.

When CD shopping, stay open-minded about the maturity term you're seeking. Not only do some institutions offer odd-term CDs with better rates (think 35 months or 49 months), but it's also true that some banks will offer a promotional CD that, despite having a much shorter term, actually offers a higher rate than the term you're looking to open.

What if I Need My Money Before Maturity?

At almost every bank or credit union, you can withdraw your money from a CD at just about any time. A process will be involved that might mean it takes a few days or a week before you have a check in hand or a completed transfer to another bank account. But you can always get access to the funds if you really need them. It just won't be for free.


Because the entire premise of a CD is that the bank is paying you a better interest rate in exchange for your agreement that you'll keep the funds on deposit until maturity, breaking the CD early means you will receive a penalty for violating your end of the bargain. This is called an early-withdrawal penalty, and like rates, the penalties vary tremendously across institutions.


Each bank or credit union will have a specific policy in place on how the early-withdrawal penalty is calculated. The most typical form is that when cashing out early, you forfeit some months of earned interest. This can be as few as one month or as long as 12 months or more, if not all of the interest you earned total. Even worse are early-withdrawal policies that calculate the penalty as a percentage of the balance because these can go beyond withholding interest and instead dip into your principal.


For that reason, it's worth finding out what an institution's early-withdrawal policy is for any CD you're considering. And if you're trying to decide between two fairly similar CDs, it's wise to go with the one assessing a milder penalty just in case an emergency arises and you find yourself needing to withdraw.

How Do Banks and Credit Unions Differ?

You can open a certificate of deposit at almost any bank or credit union. And for the most part, there is little difference between CDs from these different institution types. Indeed, both banks and credit unions offer the same level of deposit insurance ($250,000 per individual) should the institution fail.


The biggest difference is that opening any account at a credit union requires you to first become a member of that credit union because credit unions are member-owned nonprofit organizations. Further, you'll find that the rules of eligibility for membership are unique to each credit union, with some based on where you live, while others are based on where you work.


All of the credit union CDs in our rankings are from credit unions that allow anyone nationwide to join regardless of where you live or work. However, doing so sometimes requires a little more legwork than becoming a bank customer, and it sometimes requires a small donation or fee.


Still, it can be worth the extra step because many credit unions make up the top ranks for various CD maturities. In particular, the longer the term you're shopping for, the better served you'll be by staying open-minded to a credit union CD.