Best 6 Month CD Rates for April 2024

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A 6-month CD is great for short-term goals. Check out 6-month CDs with great rates today.

Top 6-month CD Rates:

Have something coming up in the next 6 months? Maybe a vacation or a big-ticket purchase. You'd want to save some money for it. And earn some interest while you're at it.

If you want stable and guaranteed returns for the next half year, try getting a 6-month CD. See if a 6-month CD suits you, how you can make the most of your CD, and check your alternatives.

What is a 6-month CD?

A 6-month certificate of deposit (CD) is a savings account where you hold a fixed amount of money for a fixed term of 6 months. In exchange, you get a fixed rate that is usually higher than most savings accounts. But you cannot withdraw your money until the term ends.

A 6-month CD is one of the shortest CD terms available. These days, you can find 6-month CDs with competitive APYs. But typically, short-term CDs would have lower rates due to the shorter commitment.

What is the most important factor you consider when choosing a 6-month CD?

How much does a 6-month CD pay?

With $1,000 in a 6-month CD at 3.50% APY, you can earn around $17 after the term ends. Here's what you can earn on a 6-month CD with different APYs and investment amounts.

$1,000$2,000$5,000$10,000
0.00%$1,000$2,000$5,000$10,000
0.50%$1,002$2,005$5,012$10,025
1.00%$1,005$2,010$5,025$10,050
1.50%$1,007$2,015$5,037$10,075
2.00%$1,010$2,020$5,050$10,100
2.50%$1,012$2,025$5,062$10,124
3.00%$1,015$2,030$5,074$10,149
3.50%$1,017$2,035$5,087$10,173
4.00%$1,020$2,040$5,099$10,198
4.50%$1,022$2,045$5,111$10,223
5.00%$1,025$2,049$5,123$10,247
5.50%$1,027$2,054$5,136$10,271

If you want to see how much your money can grow with other deposit amounts, here's a simple CD calculator that you can use.

CD Calculator

Is a 6-month CD Worth It?

6-month CDs are a good option for stable and guaranteed returns. If you have money that you don't mind locking up for half a year, it is worth considering. But ultimately, it will depend on your financial goals.

Say you're saving for a vacation six months from now. A 6-month CD with a high APY can be worth it, and your money will be freed up just in time for the holiday.

But if you're building an emergency fund, a CD might not be the best because you may need that money. And you may need to pay early withdrawal penalties.

What are you saving money for?

When is the best time to get a 6-month CD?
Typically, the best time to get a 6-month CD is when the Fed Funds rate increases or if the Treasury yield is high. Interest rates typically move with these benchmarks so when their rates are high, it can be a good time to get a CD.

Can I lose money on a 6-month CD?

In most cases, you won't lose money on a CD. Your money in a CD is federally insured for up to $250,000. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) or the National Credit Union Association (NCUA) will cover your deposits in case your bank or credit union fails.

But you could lose some money on a CD if you withdraw early and the penalty is big enough that it eats into your principal.

For example, let's say the early withdrawal penalty for a 6-month CD is the interest on the full term. You open a 6-month CD but have to close it in 3 months because of an emergency. The penalty will be greater than the interest you've earned.

Pros and Cons of a 6-month CD

You need to understand what could make or break your savings. Here are the pros and cons of getting a 6-month CD:

Pros:

  • Shorter term commitment.
    Because its term is only 6 months, your money won't be locked in for too long. At least, not as long as CDs or other investments that require you to commit for more than a year.

  • Lock in high interest rates.
    You get a fixed interest rate during the entire 6-month CD term. Your rate will typically be higher than a regular savings account. And it will stay the same regardless of market changes.

  • Low-risk exposure.
    A CD is one of the safest investments you can get. It is a secure, low-risk investment. Your CD is federally insured and returns are guaranteed.

Cons:

  • Relatively lower rates.
    Some longer-term CDs may offer higher rates, if you're willing to lock up your money for a bit longer.

    Compare CD rates

  • Limited flexibility.
    Unlike other investments, you can't add more money to a CD. Nor can you pull out your money without paying penalties. If you need to be flexible with your money, having it tied up in a CD even for just 6 months might not be the best.

  • Interest rate risk.
    Market rates can change quickly. If you just opened a CD and interest rates go up, you'll miss out on better CD rates. The good thing though, is that 6 months is a pretty short commitment, and you can reinvest with a higher rate.

    Can I withdraw money from my 6-month CD?
    Generally, you cannot withdraw money from your 6-month CD. You are required to hold your funds for a fixed amount of time to earn higher rates. Otherwise, you will pay early withdrawal penalties worth months of interest.

How to Choose the Best 6-Month CD

Many banks and credit unions offer 6-month CDs so it might be overwhelming to choose one. Here are two questions to consider:

What is the APY?
You'd want the highest APY to maximize your earnings on a 6-month CD. Take time to shop around and compare rates.

Look out for promos or relationship rates if you're an existing customer of an institution for better offers.

How much is the early withdrawal penalty?
Penalties for 6-month CDs usually cost a couple of months of interest. Worst case, though rare, the penalty could be the full term's interest. If you think you might need to close your CD early, look for 6-month CDs with lower penalties.

How to Maximize Earnings on a 6-month CD

The most straightforward way to maximize earnings on a 6-month CD is to shop for the highest rates. A high APY will give you higher earnings as long as you don't withdraw early.

Another way to maximize interest earnings on a 6-month CD is to use it in a CD ladder. A CD ladder is a strategy where you split up your money into multiple CDs with different rates and terms.

If you have the budget to split your money into several CDs across a longer period, you may earn more. Check potential returns on your 6-month CD in a CD ladder using this CD rate calculator.

Alternatives to 6-month CD

If you're not sure if you want to get a 6-month CD, here are some alternatives to look at.

High-Yield Savings Account
An online savings account has the flexibility to add and withdraw funds. Plus, it is good to have for short-term goals and emergencies.

Compare Savings Account Offers

Money Market Accounts
A money market account acts like a savings account but offers freer access to your money. Many accounts offer a debit card, ATM access, and check-writing abilities.

Compare Money Market Account Offers

High-Yield Checking Account
A high-yield checking account is great if you need quick and frequent access to your money, but also want to grow your balance a bit.

Compare High-Yield Checking Accounts:

Longer-term CDs
Many longer-term CDs offer competitive rates too. If you're not sure about tying up your money, there are no-penalty CDs available too.

Compare Long-Term CD Rates:

Stocks
If you don't mind the extra risk for higher rewards, trading stocks is a popular option. However, returns are not guaranteed and you could lose money too.

6-month CD FAQs

Who should get a 6-month CD?
A 6-month CD is good for folks who are looking for stable interest earnings and can park their money for 6 months. If you have a short-term goal of 6 months, keeping your money in a 6-month CD can give you some extra dollars when the time comes.

If you need to withdraw your money during the term, you might want to consider other options. If you have a larger risk appetite, CDs might not be the best fit for you. Ultimately, it will depend on your specific financial goals.

Will 6-month CD rates go up?
There's no guarantee that 6-month CD rates will go up or down, but you can make an educated guess by observing the Fed Funds rate and the Treasury yield. If they increase, CD rates may increase as well.

What other CD terms are available?
CD terms can range from as short as 1 month up to 10 years. However, not all banks offer the same CD terms. If you can't find the term you want at a particular bank, try shopping around other banks and credit unions.

What are the types of CDs?
Here's a list of different types of CDs available.

  • Term CD: standard CDs with fixed rate for fixed term
  • No-Penalty CD: allows you to withdraw money early without any withdrawal penalties.
  • Bump-Up CD: includes an option to increase your rate during the term of the CD.
  • Add-on CD: includes an option to add more deposits to your CD balance.
  • Jumbo CD: for large deposits of usually $100,000+.
  • IRA CD: offers tax advantages for retirement savings.

Bottom Line

6-month CDs make for a stable and guaranteed option to park your money for a short term. It may be a good fit for you depending on your financial goals and situation.

Think about your needs before you lock into any investment. Ultimately, you will need to choose an investment that will best suit your plans.

Write to Rue Atanacio at feedback@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

Note: This website is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content. You do not have to use our links, but you help support CreditDonkey if you do.

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Best CD Rates

March 27, 2017 - Reviews for Bank Reviews & Deals
Unearth the highest CD rates and maximize your savings. This list showcases the banks with the most lucrative rates.
What are you saving money for?
12% Retirement
6% College
37% House
6% Vacation
2% Christmas
29% Car
8% Emergency Fund
Source: CreditDonkey poll of 10,693 respondents
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