Top Earning 3-Year CDs September 2023

Here are the top-yielding 3-year CDs paying up to 5.13%.

Tiles spell out CDS over a background of dollar bills and coins.
(Image credit: Getty)

By taking advantage of the generous APYs offered on top-yielding CD accounts, you could grow your savings with almost zero risk. Savings rates on CDs have been on the rise since last year, following the Federal Reserve’s effort to lower inflation through several interest rate hikes. And as interest rates have risen, many banks have begun offering even more competitive yields on savings accounts.  

As many experts expected, the Federal Reserve held interest rates steady at the most-recent policy-setting meeting in September. This pause in rate hikes means the Federal funds rate remains at a target range of 5.25% to 5.5%, the highest it’s been in 22 years. Since March 2022, the Fed has raised interest rates 11 times in an attempt to combat high inflation, and another rate hike could be coming later this year

If there is another rate increase, savings rates could go up slightly. However, keep in mind that as inflation starts to cool, it’s a good idea to take advantage of savings rates while they remain high.

Currently, many of the top-yielding accounts for 1-year CDs, 3-year and 5-year CDs have rates well over 4%. So, if you’re saving for an upcoming purchase, or just looking for a fixed and safe return on your cash, opening a 3-year CD account could be a smart option. Just make sure you won’t need access to your money before its maturity date.  

Top earning 3-year CD accounts 

Try our tool, in partnership with Bankrate, that allows you to shop around for CD rates available today.

Here are some of the top-yielding 3-year CD accounts available now. 

U.S. Senate Federal Credit Union

APY: 5.23%

Minimum Balance: $1,000

Quorum Federal Credit Union

APY: 4.85%

Minimum Balance: $1,000

Lafayette Federal Credit Union

APY: 4.84%

Minimum Balance: $500

MYSB Direct

APY: 4.86%

Minimum Balance: $500

Summit Credit Union

APY: 4.50%

Minimum Balance: $500

Credit Human 

APY: 4.35%

Minimum Balance: $500

CFG Bank

APY: 4.70%

Minimum Balance: $500

Hughes Federal Credit Union

APY: 4.86%

Minimum Balance: $1,000

Seattle Bank

APY: 4.60%

Minimum Balance:  $1,000

Crescent Bank

APY: 4.75%

Minimum Balance: $1,000

Bread Financial

APY: 4.75%

Minimum Balance: $1,500

First Internet Bank

APY: 4.75%

Minimum Balance: $1,000

What is a CD account?

With a CD account, your cash is locked away for a fixed period of time of typically 1-5 years, unless you’re prepared to pay a fee to take it out early. 

Because of those fees, they aren’t good options for cash you plan on spending in the coming months, so they don’t make good emergency funds. They are good options, however, if you’re trying to save for a future purchase or event and want to grow your cash without accessing it. 

You’re guaranteed a fixed return on your cash, so the rate won’t go up or down based on market conditions which is both a good thing as you get certainty, but also a possible problem in case rates elsewhere shoot up and you don’t benefit. 

Like other savings accounts, they are a good option for those who value risk-free returns as you aren’t riding the waves of the stock market. In addition, most CD accounts are FDIC or NCUA insured, depending on whether they’re opened through a bank or credit union, so your cash is safe even if your bank or credit union closes. FDIC insurance protects up to $250,000 per account ($250,000 per person in a joint account), while NCUA insurance protects up to $250,000 per credit union member. 

1-year vs 3-year vs 5-year CD accounts 

Given your money is essentially locked away (unless you pay fees to get it out early), you need to carefully consider how long to tie your cash up for between the various types of CD options. 

For example, if you plan on purchasing a vehicle in around 3 years, opting for a 3-year CD can help you bolster your savings for when the time comes. It’s a “set it and forget it” type of investment. Your cash will grow thanks to compound interest with little effort on your part. 

In that scenario, a 5-year CD account is risky as you may need to pay a fee to get your money out after, say three years. 

You can use our savings calculator to see how much you’ll earn on your cash over time if you opt for a 3-year CD account. 

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Erin Bendig
Personal Finance Writer

Erin pairs personal experience with research and is passionate about sharing personal finance advice with others. Previously, she was a freelancer focusing on the credit card side of finance, but has branched out since then to cover other aspects of personal finance. Erin is well-versed in traditional media with reporting, interviewing and research, as well as using graphic design and video and audio storytelling to share with her readers.