Best 6-Month CD Rates

Magnifi Financial has the highest 6-month CD rate

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Certificates of deposit (CDs) can be a good way to safely earn interest if you don't need immediate access to your cash. And a 6-month CD might provide the perfect deposit vehicle if your saving horizon is short. These are the top certificate of deposit rates available from our partners, followed by a ranking of some of the best CD rates nationwide.

We've ranked the highest-paying CDs with approximately 6-month terms (includes terms from 5 to 9 months) by drawing on the most current rate data from about 200 banks and credit unions that offer certificate products nationwide. Those requiring a minimum deposit of up to $25,000 are eligible for our list.

In cases where more than one institution pays the same top rate, we've prioritized CDs by the shortest term, then the CD requiring a smaller minimum deposit. Then, if there's still a tie, we've prioritized them by which CD has a milder penalty for early withdrawal.

Best 6-Month CD Rates:

  • Abound Credit Union - 5.00% APY
  • NASA Federal Credit Union – 4.66% APY
  • Popular Direct - 4.50% APY
  • North American Savings Bank - 4.50% APY
  • Brilliant Bank - 4.50% APY
  • Heritage Bank - 4.44% APY
  • Merrick Bank - 4.40% APY
  • Financial Partners Credit Union - 4.40% APY
  • First Internet Bank - 4.39% APY
  • My eBanc - 4.39% APY
  • Live Oak Bank - 4.35% APY
  • MutualOne Bank - 4.33% APY
  • Bask Bank - 4.30% APY
  • Vio Bank - 4.25% APY
  • CommunityWide Federal Credit Union - 4.25% APY
  • TAB Bank - 4.25% APY

Detailed information on these top-paying, nationally-available 6-month CDs is provided, including specifics about minimum deposits and early withdrawal penalties. Information is also provided on how to easily join the credit union for credit union CDs.

Abound Credit Union - 5.00% APY

  • Term (months): 6
  • Minimum deposit: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Three months of interest
  • Membership: Anyone can join Abound with a $10 one-time fee and $5 or more kept in a savings account.

NASA Federal Credit Union - 4.66% APY

  • Term (months): 9
  • 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.

Popular Direct - 4.50% APY

  • Term (months): 6
  • Minimum deposit: $10,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Four 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.

North American Savings Bank - 4.50% APY*

  • Term (months): 7
  • Minimum deposit: $5,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Complex formula, with a minimum penalty of three months' interest
  • About: Established in 1927, North American Savings Bank operates more than a dozen branches in the Kansas City area, while offering a menu of online banking products to customers nationwide.

*Some of NASB's deposit rates are zip-code dependent, so you may or may not have access to the same APY indicated here.

Brilliant Bank - 4.50% APY*

  • Term (months): 9
  • Minimum deposit: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Three months of interest
  • About: Brilliant Bank is an online-only division of FDIC-insured Equity Bank, which operates branches in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma.

*Online accounts are not available to residents of Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma.

Heritage Bank - 4.44% APY

  • Term (months): 6
  • Minimum deposit: $25,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Three months of interest with minimum $40 penalty
  • About: Heritage Bank was established in 1964. It operates seven branches in Minnesota, Iowa, and South Dakota, and it serves online customers nationwide.

Merrick Bank - 4.40% APY

  • Term (months): 6
  • Minimum deposit: $25,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Three months of interest
  • About: Primarily a credit card issuer and consumer finance provider, Merrick Bank offers online-only certificates of deposit.

Financial Partners Credit Union - 4.40% APY

  • Term (months): 7
  • Minimum deposit: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Three months of interest
  • Membership: Anyone can join Financial Partners if they're a member of any other credit union or of AARP, and if they keep $25 or more in a FPCU savings account.

First Internet Bank - 4.39% APY

  • Term (months): 6
  • Minimum deposit: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Six months of interest
  • About: First Internet Bank is named for being the first FDIC-insured bank to operate exclusively online. Founded in 1999, it's based in the Indianapolis suburb of Fishers, Indiana.

My eBanc - 4.39% APY

  • Term (months): 6
  • Minimum deposit: $5,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Three months of interest
  • About: My eBanc is an online banking arm of the brick-and-mortar institution BAC Florida Bank, established 1973.

Live Oak Bank - 4.35% APY

  • Term (months): 6
  • Minimum deposit: $2,500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Three months of interest
  • About: Live Oak Bank is an Internet-only bank established in Wilmington, North Carolina in 2008.

MutualOne Bank - 4.33% APY

  • Term (months): 7
  • Minimum deposit: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: One month of interest
  • About: Dating back to 1889, MutualOne is a brick-and-mortar Massachusetts bank that offers some of its banking products online.

Bask Bank - 4.30% APY

  • Term (months): 6
  • Minimum deposit: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Three months of interest
  • About: Bask Bank is a division of FDIC-insured Texas Capital Bank, headquartered in Dallas. As an online-only bank, Bask has no physical branches.

Vio Bank - 4.25% APY

  • Term (months): 6
  • Minimum deposit: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 1% of the amount withdrawn plus a $25 fee
  • About: Vio Bank is the online banking division of MidFirst Bank, an Oklahoma institution established in 1911 that's among the Top 100 largest U.S. banks.

CommunityWide Federal Credit Union - 4.25% APY

  • Term (months): 6
  • Minimum deposit: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Complex formula; refer to disclosures and exercise caution.
  • Membership: Anyone can join CommunityWide by donating $5 to the credit union's local chapter of Goodwill, the Marine Corps League, or Habitat for Humanity, as well as keeping $5 or more in a savings account.

TAB Bank - 4.25% APY

  • Term (months): 6
  • Minimum deposit: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Three months of interest
  • About: Established in 1998 with a sole location in Ogden, Utah, TAB Bank offers its line of banking products exclusively online.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is a 6-Month CD?

Certificates of deposit (CDs) are financial products that provide a fixed rate of interest on your deposit as long as you leave your money with the bank or credit union for a specified period of time.

CDs come in maturities as short as three months and as long as ten years. In general, the longer the duration of the CD, the higher the rate of interest the financial institution is willing to offer. Although 6-month CDs (and even 9-month certificates) don't tie up your money for very long, they also don't offer the kind of yields you would find with a longer maturity.

Virtually all CDs are offered by federally insured banks or credit unions. Almost all bank certificates are protected by FDIC insurance, while those offered by credit unions are typically guaranteed by the NCUA. This means that deposits up to $250,000 are secure, even if the institution itself falls into financial trouble. It's always a good idea to check that the bank or credit union offers this protection. Just look for the FDIC or NCUA logo.

Depository institutions set their own interest rates for CDs, and those rates can differ dramatically from one bank or credit union to another. According to the data we compiled on dozens of institutions across the country, the top-paying CD providers offer yields that are up to five times higher than the industry average for products of the same duration. So it's a good idea to shop around and find one that pays on the higher end of the spectrum.

How Does a 6-Month CD work?

Every CD has a specific maturity, the date when you're allowed to withdraw your funds without paying a penalty. Banks and credit unions typically offer a range of certificates that appeal to customers with either a short-term savings horizon (as is the case with a 6-month CD) or a long-term horizon.

For each CD duration, the institution will publish the annual percentage yield, or APY, which reflects the percentage of interest paid on the account, given the nominal interest rate and the frequency with which that interest is compounded.

Most CDs use compound interest, which slightly increases the yield. In the case of a certificate that compounds daily, the annual interest rate is divided by 365 and multiplied by the balance to determine the interest payout. That daily interest accrual is then added to the balance when calculating the next day's interest. Interest is usually credited to the account monthly or quarterly.

What Happens If You Take Your Money Out Early?

Most financial institutions will deduct some of the interest that's accrued in your account if you withdraw funds from a CD before the maturity date. Losing three, or even six, months' worth of interest is fairly typical in the case of a 6-month CD, so there's a strong incentive to leave your money untouched until the certificate reaches maturity.

Some places offer "penalty-free" CDs, but there's a rub: they tend to offer lower yields than standard CDs. What's more, they often require that you pull out the entire balance and close the account if you make an early withdrawal.

All banks and credit unions charge a penalty for early CD withdrawals. Investigating whether an institution's penalty policy is mild, reasonable, or onerous is important before you commit to a CD, and it can help you choose between two otherwise comparable certificates.

Who Are 6-Month CDs Good For?

CDs tend to offer significantly higher yields than traditional savings and money market accounts, even in a low-interest rate environment. A 6-month CDs may be a good option if you know that you won't need access to your funds for at least six to nine months. That includes people saving for a down payment on a home or setting aside funds for a big trip.

Like savings accounts, almost all CDs are FDIC- or NCUA-insured. So you can't lose your principal at one of these institutions as long as your deposit doesn't exceed $250,000. By contrast, investing in stocks and even corporate bonds can be risky in that short of a time window. Should they lose value over a six-month stretch, you'll have to incur a loss.


What Is a Disadvantage in Putting Your Money into a CD?

Perhaps the greatest disadvantage is that you cannot access your money in an emergency, at least without penalty, if you've saved it in a CD. You might also be stuck with a lower interest rate than the prevailing rate if you lock in to a rate when you establish the CD, then the economy changes and rates rise nationally.

One alternative to CDs that you might consider for short-term needs are high-yield savings accounts like those offered by Ally, Marcus and other online banks. Generally, their yields are only slightly lower than those of CDs, but there's no limitation on when you can pull your money out. Just make sure you check their minimum balance requirements and fee schedules to make sure you don't take a hit when and if you make a large withdrawal.