Top national 6-month CD rates pay 2.62%
The top nationally available 6-month CD rate is currently 2.62% APY.
That's up more than a full percentage point since this time last year.
Indeed, we're finally starting to see short-term CDs move north.
And it's likely we'll see some more upward movement for 6-month CDs, given the Federal Reserve's decision to keep increasing its benchmark interest rate. We'll tell you what the Fed indicated about potential additional rate hikes in 2019.
Of course, it can still pay off to shop at local banks and credit unions, where you can occasionally find deals beating the best national rates.
The top national deals
The top spot on our list is held by Advancial Federal Credit Union, which is paying 2.62% with a hefty $25,000 minimum.
You can apply online to join Advancial Federal if you meet the requirements — you have to be 18 or older and be a U.S. resident or permanent resident alien. Membership is open to anyone who joins Connex, a professional network.
If you can't quite swing that $25,000 minimum, check out My eBanc, which is offering 2.53% with a $5,000 minimum.
In total, there are now 13 banks offering 2.25% APY or better on nationally available 6-month CDs.
These CDs are, of course, a great place to invest for short-term financial obligations, like a wedding or family vacation. But they can also be useful financial tools for a CD ladder.
While rates are creeping up, they're still historically low since plummeting during the last recession. That’s why it’s important to shop around for the best CD rates.
RATE SEARCH: Shop CD rates.
TOP 6-MONTH CD RATES: Nationally Available Bank Deals
|Advancial Federal Credit Union||2.62%||$25,000|
|Live Oak Bank||2.45%||$2,500|
|First Internet Bank||2.45%||$1,000|
|Pentagon Federal Credit Union||2.40%||$1,000|
|Colorado Federal Savings Bank||2.25%||$5,000|
Credit union and community bank CDs can often be the best game in town for those who live in the right place or work for a certain employer.
The Fed impact
The national average for 6-month CDs sank to a record low of 0.14% APY in September 2013 and remained there as recently as June 2014.
Back in February 2007, before irresponsible mortgage lending led the economy over a cliff, the average return for 6-month CDs was 3.50% APY.
But after the Federal Reserve stepped in to talk the markets off a ledge by holding interest rates down to allow the economy to rebuild to full capacity, it kept them there for seven years.
That era finally concluded in December 2015 when the Fed's rate-setting committee launched what was expected to be a series of gradual rate hikes over the next several years.
According to polls, the Fed is expected to hike rates two more times in 2019.
With potential rate hikes on the horizon, 6-month certificates can be a savvy buy.
RATE SEARCH: Compare CD rates.
Disclaimer: The rates above were verified Feb 15., 2019. Banks and credit unions should be contacted directly to determine eligibility for opening accounts with that institution, as well as to verify current rates.