Top national 6-month CD rates pay 1.90%

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The top nationally available 6-month CD rate is currently 1.90% APY.

That's up nearly a half 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 Crestmark Bank, which is paying 1.90% with a hefty $25,000 minimum.

Ally Bank isn't too far behind, offering 1.75% APY with a $25,000 minimum.

And right behind Ally you'll find Limelight Bank, paying 1.71% APY with a $1,000 minimum.

Last month, the top rate came from My eBank. Now it's paying 1.60% APY.

In total, there are now 13 banks offering 1.28% APY or better on nationally available 6-month CDs.

RATE SEARCH: Shop CD rates.

TOP 6-MONTH CD RATES: Nationally Available Bank Deals

Bank APY Minimum Deposit
Crestmark Bank 1.90% $25,000
Ally Bank 1.75% $25,000
Limelight Bank 1.71% $1,000
Live Oak Bank 1.65% $2,500
First Internet Bank 1.63% $1,000
TAB Bank 1.61% $1,000
Luana Savings Bank 1.61% $25,000
My eBanc 1.60% $1,500
VirtualBank 1.56% $10,000
EverBank 1.45% $5,000
CDBank 1.40% $10,000
Sallie Mae 1.30% $2,500
Colorado Federal Savings Bank 1.28% $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, Star One Credit Union is offering 1.50%, competing with the banks on our national list.

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
Star One Credit Union California 6 1.50%
Peoples Transport Federal Credit Union New Jersey 6 1.49%
State Employees’ Credit Union North Carolina 6 1.25%
American Investors Bank & Mortgage Minnesota 6 1.11%

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 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.