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Best 3-year CD rates for October 2022

by Fortune
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Best 3-year CD rates for October 2022

If you find yourself dipping into your savings account regularly, it may be time to switch up your strategy and consider a different type of account, like a certificate of deposit (CD). CDs lock you into a specific term length, which can range from a few days to 10 years. These accounts typically boast a higher APY than other savings vehicles, but what you gain in interest you lose in liquidity. 

How does it work? New account holders make a one-time deposit (although some CDs let you make additional deposits later on), and then leave your savings alone. The magic of compound interest will do the rest and your initial deposit will grow over time. If you want to withdraw some or all of the cash before the term ends, you could get hit with a penalty, usually a month or two of interest payments, sometimes more depending on the account.

The Fortune Recommends editorial team ranked more than 40 CDs with three-year terms and came up with a list of our top 10 picks. We considered minimum deposit required to open an account, annual percentage yields (APYs), compounding frequency, and customer service options. (Read our full methodology here.)

The top 10 three-year CD rates 

Here is our list of the best three-year CDs according to Fortune RecommendsTM editors. Note: Minimum deposit requirements, APYs, and other numbers in our list are up to date as of Oct. 25, 2022, and they are subject to change.

1. Synchrony Bank: For new savers who don’t want to be tied to a minimum deposit amount   

Key numbers 
Minimum opening deposit: $0
3-year APY: 4.01%
Penalty: There is an early withdrawal penalty equal to 180 days’ simple interest. 

Why we picked it: Synchrony Bank is an online-only bank that ditches the traditional brick-and-mortar model for online services as a way to reduce costs and pass on those savings to its customers. The 3-year CD account is proof of this, taking the top spot on our list thanks to its high APY and $0 minimum deposit. Interest on these CDs compounds daily, and customers can choose to withdraw interest from their account at any point throughout their CD’s term. For assistance, Synchrony customers can contact the bank via chat or automated phone service 24/7. To speak with a real person, representatives are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. EST, or weekends from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST. 

2. CFG Bank: For savers who prefer instant gratification and want access to their interest now

Key numbers 
Minimum opening deposit: $500
3-year APY: 3.97%
Penalty: There is an early withdrawal penalty equal to 180 days’ simple interest. 

Why we picked it: CFG Bank, based in Maryland but open to customers nationwide, gives account holders the opportunity to earn a high APY for a relatively low deposit. The 3-year CD currently stands at a rate of almost 4% and interest on these accounts compounds daily. Customers can choose to have interest added to the account to compound for a higher yield and then withdrawn when needed. An interest check can be mailed monthly, or interest can be transferred to a separate account. CFG’s customer service team is available to field any questions about your account via email or by calling them Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. EST. 

3. Ally Bank: For savers who hates maintenance fees

Key numbers 
Minimum opening deposit: $0
3-year APY: 3.50%
Penalty: There is an early withdrawal penalty equal to 90 days of interest. 

Why we picked it: Ally Bank is an online-only bank that offers all of the benefits of a traditional big bank. Its three-year CDs offer a high APY for no minimum deposit and zero monthly maintenance fees. Interest on these CDs compounds daily, and customer service reps are available 24/7 via phone, chat, or email. But beware: Ally customers sometimes face lengthy wait times depending on when they call—but you check the the site for current wait times. 

4. Bread Savings: For savers who already has some bread stashed away   

Key numbers 
Minimum opening deposit: $1,500
3-year APY: 4.00%
Penalty: For three-year terms, the penalty is 180 days’ simple interest. 

Why we picked it: Bread Savings, a product of Comenity Capital Bank, is an online-only bank that offers CDs and high-yield savings accounts. Its three-year CD made our list thanks to its high APY, but this account is a better fit for the saver who already has a bit of a cushion saved up being that the minimum opening deposit is $1,500. Interest on these accounts is compounded daily and there’s zero monthly maintenance charges. Because there are no brick-and-mortar locations, customers will have to do all of their banking via Bread’s mobile app or online, although they can get some human assistance by calling the customer service line on weekdays between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. CST, and weekends and most holidays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST. 

5. PenFed Credit Union: For savers who like to have all of the customer service options

Key numbers 
Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
3-year APY: 3.65%
Penalty: For three-year CDs, the penalty is equal to 30% of what would’ve been earned if the certificate had been held to maturity, not to exceed total dividends earned. 

Why we picked it: Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PenFed) took the top spot out of the two credit unions on our list. While this account does offer a high APY, it ranked higher due to its daily compounding and stellar customer service. Customers can reach PenFed by email, chat, or phone Monday to Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. EST, 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. on Saturday, and 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. EST on Sunday. PenFed also offers a mobile app. 

6. Vio Bank: For savers who don’t care about using more than one bank 

Key numbers 
Minimum opening deposit: $500
3-year APY: 3.50%
Penalty: Three percent of the amount withdrawn, plus a $25 fee. 

Why we picked it: Vio Bank is the online bank division of MidFirst Bank, the largest privately held bank in the United States. Vio does not offer any checking services, so for savers who want to keep all of their accounts under one roof, this may not be the best option. However, Vio does offer a higher APY, daily interest compounding, and a lower minimum deposit than other CDs on our list. Customers can do all of their banking online or via the mobile app, and representatives are available via chat, email, or phone Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. CST, Saturday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. CST, and Sundays from 12:00 p.m. to 4 p.m. CST. 

7. Citadel Credit Union: For savers who don’t anticipate needing to make an early withdrawal

Key numbers 
Minimum opening deposit: $500
3-year APY: 4.00%
Penalty: The penalty is equal to 365 days of dividends for account terms of three years or greater.

Why we picked it: For savers who prefer a credit union over a bank in addition to a lower minimum deposit, Citadel Credit Union may be your happy medium. It has over 20 physical branches for East Coast customers, and online customers can bank through Citadel’s online and mobile banking platforms. It should be noted that interest on the CDs compounds monthly, which is less frequent than other accounts and this account does have one of the highest withdrawal penalties on our list. For assistance, customer service representatives can be reached via telephone Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. EST, and Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. EST. There’s also chat, email, and video call options. 

8. hotlink]Barclays Bank: For savers who aren’t sold on CDs just yet

Key numbers 
Minimum opening deposit: $0
3-year APY: 3.50%
Penalty: For three-year CDs, a penalty equaling 180 days simple interest on the dollar amount withdrawn subject to penalty will be imposed.

Why we picked it: Barclays is a U.K.-based bank, so U.S. customers have to be okay with strictly online and mobile banking. The three-year CD is one of the three accounts on our list that doesn’t require a minimum opening deposit, which can be a great option for savers who want to test-drive a CD. Interest on these accounts compounds daily, which could help those savings grow even faster. And for any questions or account assistance, customers can call between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. ET, seven days a week. 

9. MYSB Direct: For savers who only clicked to see our highest APY  

Key numbers 
Minimum opening deposit: $500
3-year APY: 4.10%
Penalty: For three-year CDs, the penalty is equal to 90 days’ simple interest. 

Why we picked it: MYSB Direct, aka M.Y. Safra Bank is headquartered in New York City and operates a single branch there. Its three-year CD had the highest APY on our list at a whopping 4.10%. It ranked lower thank other options for two reasons: interest only compounds monthly, compared to most CDs on our list which compound daily. (Reminder: The higher your compounding frequency, the more opportunities your savings have to grow.) MYSB also had a lower customer service score. Account holders can reach a MYSB rep via telephone 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. EST, Monday to Friday and via email 24/7.

10. Sallie Mae Bank: For savers who are looking to supercharge an already hefty savings fund

Key numbers 
Minimum opening deposit: $2,500
3-year APY: 4.00%
Penalty: The penalty is equal to 180 days’ simple interest on the amount withdrawn subject to penalty. 

Why we picked it: You may know Sallie Mae for its student loan products, but in addition to those, this financial institution offers a number of other products as well, including credit and savings vehicles. Fannie Mae’s CD does have the highest minimum opening deposit on our list, but the tradeoff is that it also offers one of the highest APYs at 4.00%, plus interest on these accounts compounds daily. Customers can also choose to withdraw interest from their accounts without penalty. For questions or assistance, you can speak to a Sallie Mae customer service rep via telephone Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST, or via online chat. 

What is a 3-year CD?

CDs are typically offered by most financial institutions and come in all shapes and sizes. Some CD terms are as short as a few days or as long as 10 years. A three-year CD is exactly what it sounds like: a CD that offers a term of three years at a set APY.

As a customer, you’ll agree to the same basic premise: You will deposit your funds and not touch them until your CD matures, which happens at the end of your term. Once your CD matures, you can choose to withdraw your principal amount, plus interest, or you can roll over those funds into a new CD. 

For savers who are looking to cash in on a high APY without committing to the longest CD term possible, a three-year CD can be a good way to boost your savings. Say you want to save up for a specific goal like purchasing a home or covering the cost of a wedding, setting up a savings account with a strict timeline in mind can help ensure that you’re not dipping into the account anytime you want. Bonus: CDs with longer terms tend to offer higher APYs, so the longer you can go without touching your funds, the more money you should have in your account come your maturity date. 

Why some savers stand to benefit more from a CD

The key difference between a CD and other savings vehicles like a high-yield savings account is that you’re trading liquidity for higher interest. This can be especially helpful if you find that you’re the kind of saver who has trouble keeping their hands off their savings. The rate on your CD is also a guaranteed rate, meaning that once you open your CD and lock in that rate, your potential interest earnings won’t be compromised as a result of market volatility or rapidly changing interest rates. 

Our methodology

The Fortune Recommends team compared three-year certificates of deposit (CDs) from more than 40 major banks, credit unions, and online-only banks. Our top picks are available across the U.S., so you can sign up for an account no matter where you’re located. 

We ranked the best 3-year CDs on the following categories:

  • 3-year term (50%): This number represents the real rate of return on your balance; the higher the APY, the better. 
  • Minimum deposit requirement (30%): In order to open a CD at any financial institution, it will require that you deposit a minimum dollar amount.
  • Compound frequency (15%): Interest on deposit accounts like CDs can compound daily or monthly. The more frequency interest compounds on your CD, the better.
  • Customer service (5%): Top picks offer customers three ways to get in contact: chat support, by phone, or even email. Among the three options, we gave the phone support the most weight.

The best CDs offer APYs twice the national average. We didn’t include brokered CDs on our list, which are sold on the secondary market through brokerages instead of banks and can be riskier because of this.

The rates, fees, and minimum deposit requirements for CDs are available for limited time periods, and APYs are subject to fluctuation, which could impact how much interest you earn. All the bank and credit unions on this list are insured by the FDIC and NCUA respectively. Should you choose to terminate your CD before it matures, you may likely be subject to a penalty, which varies by bank.

This story originally Appeared on Fortune

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