Contributor, Benzinga
August 21, 2023

Quick Look at the Best 1 Year CD Rates:

While it’s true that CDs with longer terms typically offer higher annual percentage yields (APYs), sometimes it makes sense to open a Certificate of Deposit (CD) with a shorter term. You might choose this route because it is your first experience with saving and you don’t want to tie up your money for a long time, or you may be looking for a reasonably quick return on your investment.

Whatever your reason for exploring the best CDs for a 1-year term, here are Benzinga’s findings.  

1. Best Overall: Crescent Bank

  • securely through Crescent Bank's website
    securely through Crescent Bank's website
    Best For:
    Low Fee Banking

Crescent Bank offers a wide range of online CDs, including our 12-month CD, automatically renewing at the current rate as many times as you need. You can open one of our CDs starting at $1,000 with an attractive annual percentage yield (APY). Our CDs never have a maintenance or service fee and we give you access to online banking services at all times. Remember, though, these rates apply to new money only. Member FDIC.

2. Best for Low Deposits: Bread Savings (formally Comenity Direct)

  • securely through Bread Savings's website
    securely through Bread Savings's website
    Best For:
    Low Deposits

Bread Savings is an online platform that offers higher-than-average CD rates. With its low-entry deposit, it opens up CD saving to more people. You can use a CD like this as part of a CD ladder, which combines both short- and long-term savings with more frequent access to a portion of your money. In a CD ladder, you divide the amount of money you'd like to save into CDs with different maturity dates. The only drawback to this bank is that it does not have local branches or ATMs – all of your transactions must be made online.

3. Best for Simplicity: Live Oak Bank

  • securely through Live Oak Bank's website
    securely through Live Oak Bank's website
    Best For:

If you’re looking for an online bank that offers simplistic features at competitive APYs, Live Oak Bank could be it. You can open one of the best savings accounts with no minimum balance with your CD and manage the entire thing with the Live Oak mobile app. However, if you want more products than a savings account and a CD, this bank might not be for you. Additionally, since it has no branches or ATMs, so you have to be comfortable conducting all of your transactions online.

4. Best for Variety of Terms: Pentagon Federal Credit Union

If you have $1,000 to save, you can open a Money Market Certificate with the Pentagon Federal Credit Union. Some credit unions use the term Certificate in contrast to banks, which call the account a CD. At only $1,000, the PenFed offering opens the CD/Certificate market to just about anyone. You will have to balance the benefits with the high penalty rate and lower APY rate. But if you know your money will stay put for a year, this option might be a good choice for you.

5. Best for Low Minimum Deposit: Department of Commerce Federal Credit Union

The Department of Commerce Federal Credit Union makes it easy for those who want to start saving. With a little as $500, you can get a 1-year CD that pays one of the best CD rates. And with a $5 opening deposit, you can open a savings account with the credit union and transfer your interest to it. You will have to join the credit union to open a CD, but anyone can join – and can do it online or by calling.  

6. Best for Account Access: Merrick Bank

  • securely through Merrick Bank's website
    securely through Merrick Bank's website
    Best For:
    Account Access

Merrick Bank offers a wide variety of CD terms – from six months to 60 months, all with competitive APYs. You will have access to your account online at any time, but you can also reach a customer service representative during normal business hours Monday through Friday. While the minimum balance is higher than some, the rates that this bank offers can make it worthwhile.

Features to Look for in 1-Year CDs

When trying to find a 1-year CD to buy, you should look for the following features to ensure that your money is working for you in the best way possible.

1. Minimum deposit

Depending on how much you have to save and your goals, it may be a good idea to look for a CD that offers a low minimum deposit. Some allow savers to open a CD with as little as $500. If it’s your first time using this type of savings vehicle, a low minimum deposit will allow you to dip your toe in the water as you learn.

2. APY Rates

The APY is the amount of money you will earn on your deposit over one year. When buying a 1-year CD, the APY reflects the total amount of money you will earn. The APY is based on the interest rates that the bank or credit union pays on the CD. Look for the highest APY you can because that means more money in your pocket.

3. Fees

Every bank or credit union sets fees, and you should thoroughly investigate them before deciding which institution you will use to open your CD. For instance, some banks take a larger fee for early withdrawals, while others can charge a variety of small fees that can quickly reduce your balance.

4. Customer Care Access

In this list, Benzinga reviews online-only banks and brick-and-mortar branches, and while each type of bank is acceptable, the one you choose must have good customer care. Parking your money with a bank or credit union for a year can be positive, but if you have trouble contacting them, it can quickly turn into a bad experience.

How to Apply for a CD

Applying for a CD is easy and fast in most instances. Here are the steps you will take when applying.

Find a Bank or Credit Union

Using the suggestions above, do your research and find a bank or credit union that offers the best terms for your situation. Be sure to do business with a bank that is insured by the FDIC or a credit union that is insured by NCUA.

Decide How You Want to Be Paid

Next, you need to decide how and when you will collect your interest. You can have it applied to your CD balance, transfer it to a savings account or ask that it is directly delivered to you via check, bank wire or other means.

Open an Account

If you don’t already have an account with the issuing bank or credit union, you will have to open one. It will ask for personal information such as your name, address and social security number.

Fund the CD

The last step is to deposit funds into your CD account. Depending on the bank or credit union you have chosen, you can do this by sending a wire, transacting an ACH deposit, mailing a check or providing cash to a local branch.

How You Can Improve Your Finances

One of the best ways to improve your life is by ensuring that your financial health is in tip-top shape. Here are some of the ways you can make sure yours is as good as it can be.

Educate Yourself

The more you know about finances and how to improve yours, the better shape you will be in. Start by reading books or visiting websites that teach the basics of finance, such as CDs. As you read and learn, that knowledge will contribute to better financial health.


Even if you start small, saving with a CD is a great way to improve your finances. For instance, 1-year CDs with a low minimum deposit are a great way to begin investing in your future. And once that CD matures, you can put the money in a CD with longer terms that offer higher yields.

Savings Accounts

Starting a savings account is a great habit if you’re serious about improving your financial health. Even if you only deposit the interest from your 1-year CD, that’s a start. Remember, the more you can save, the more you will have to invest in your future.

Round up Your Expenditures

In the past, many households had glass jars that they used to dump in the change they collected throughout the day. By the end of the month, that change added up and they would deposit the money into their bank account. Today, the concept of rounding up still makes sense, but it works a little differently.

Instead of putting the change into a jar, you can ask your bank to round up your spending transactions and deposit the excess into your savings account. For instance, if you spend $2.50 on your debit or credit card, the bank would deposit $0.50 into your savings account. If your bank doesn’t offer this service, look for an app that will do it with minimum fees.

Frequently Asked Questions 


Who has the highest 1-year CD rate?


Banks and credit unions change their CD rates as interest rates rise and fall. At the time of this writing, the Department of Commerce Federal Credit Union was offering 1.90% APY for a 1-year CD. Before you buy a CD, look at the latest rates to make sure you get the highest APY.


Can you add money to a CD regularly?


You cannot add money to a traditional CD, but it is possible to open an add-on or additional CD. Banks and credit unions vary in their requirements, but most offer this type of CD for those with larger minimum deposits.


How much does a $10,000 CD earn in a year?


The amount of money your CD earns in a year depends on your interest rate. For instance, if your APR is 1%, you would earn $100. But if your APR is 2%, the CD would earn $200.


Will CD rates go up in 2023?


The Federal Reserve has made it clear that in addition to its latest interest rate hikes, more are coming. That’s good news for people who want to buy CDs because every time the Fed hikes interest rates, the rates on paid by CDs go up.