Top national 6-month CD rates pay 1.50%

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The top nationally available 6-month CD rate is currently 1.50% APY.

That's up nearly a tenth of a percentage point from this time last month.

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 2018.

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 My eBanc, which is paying 1.50% with a $1,500 minimum.

Last month, the top rate came from M.Y. Safra Bank, but it has since dropped to the bottom of the pack and is now paying just 1.20% APY.

Right behind My eBanc you'll find Live Oak Bank, paying 1.45% APY with a $2,500 minimum.

In total, there are now 12 banks offering 1.20% APY or better on nationally available 6-month CDs.

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TOP 6-MONTH CD RATES: Nationally Available Bank Deals

Bank APY Minimum Deposit
My eBanc 1.50% $1,500
Live Oak Bank 1.45% $2,500
Limelight Bank 1.44% $1,000
First Internet Bank 1.43% $1,000
Luana Savings Bank 1.40% $25,000
CDBank 1.40% $10,000
TAB Bank 1.30% $1,000
Sallie Mae 1.30% $2,500
VirtualBank 1.29% $10,000
Colorado Federal Savings Bank 1.28% $5,000
EverBank 1.21% $5,000
M.Y. Safra Bank 1.20% $5,000

 

Shopping locally

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.

For example, People's Transport Federal Credit Union in New Jersey is paying nearly as much as the top deal on our list. It's offering 1.49% APY.

As always, eligibility requirements apply. So contact the bank or credit union directly to determine if you qualify.

REGIONAL 6-MONTH CDS: Credit Unions & Community Banks

Bank States Term (in months) APY
Peoples Transport Federal Credit Union New Jersey 6 1.49%
Star One Credit Union California 6 1.30%
American Investors Bank & Mortgage Minnesota 6 1.06%
State Employees’ Credit Union North Carolina 6 1.00%
Down East Credit Union Maine 5 0.75%
Sun Community Federal Credit Union California 6 0.65%
Island Federal Credit Union New York 6 0.45%
Boeing Employees Credit Union Washington 6 0.30%
HarborOne Bank Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont 7 0.25%

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.

Over the past two years, the Fed has slowly inched up its benchmark rate. And in its December 2017 meeting, it decided on another boost.

According to polls, the Fed is expected to hike rates three more times in 2018. But we, of course, know better than to assume three hikes will actually be announced in the next calendar year.

With any rate hikes potentially on the horizon, though, 6-month certificates can be a savvy buy.

RATE SEARCH: Compare CD rates.

Disclaimer: The rates above were verified Jan. 15, 2018. Banks and credit unions should be contacted directly to determine eligibility for opening accounts with that institution, as well as to verify current rates.