ӣƵ

BLUEPRINT

Advertiser Disclosure

Editorial Note: Blueprint may earn a commission from affiliate partner links featured here on our site. This commission does not influence our editors' opinions or evaluations. Please view our full advertiser disclosure policy.

No-penalty certificates of deposit (CDs) are a good solution to a interesting interest rate environment: you can lock in a relatively high rate for many months, but still be able to get at your cache in case of an emergency, or to earn a higher interest rate, at any time without losing a dime due to an early withdrawal penalty.

We scoured more than 350 CDs, taking into account hundreds of data points, to find the best no-penalty options for you.

All rates and Annual Percentage Yields (APYs) are current as of June 14, 2024.

Best No-Penalty CD Rates

Why trust our banking experts

Our team of experts evaluates hundreds of banking products and analyzes thousands of data points to help you find the best product for your situation. We use a data-driven methodology to determine each rating. Advertisers do not influence our editorial content. You can read more about our methodology below.

  • 140 CDs from 84+ financial institutions reviewed.
  • 4 levels of fact checking.
  • 50+ data points analyzed.

Best no-penalty CDs

Our Partner

CIT Bank No-penalty CD

BLUEPRINT RATING
Our ratings are calculated based on fees, rates, rewards and other category-specific attributes. All ratings are determined solely by our editorial team.
Via CIT Bank’s Website
CD APY 11 month
3.50%
Minimum deposit requirement
$1,000
What should you know
CIT Bank’s no-penalty CD has a competitive yield on an 11-month CD term. The tradeoff, though, is that it requires the highest minimum deposit of $1,000, which might be taxing for new savers. If that jibes with your financial plan, you can painlessly set up your account online. During set up, you’ll have the option to direct the monthly interest earned to remain in the CD or transfer to another account. Should events change and you need the money back, you can withdraw the total balance without penalty as long as it’s been at least seven days since you funded the CD. When the term is almost up (if you don’t divest early), you’ll receive a 30-day notice and you’ll have 10 days after the maturity date to make any changes. Otherwise, it will automatically renew for the same term at whatever the current rate is at that time. To withdraw your funds, you can log into your account and send a secure message or call the bank and speak to a representative.
Pros and cons
Pros
  • High yield.
  • Good customer experience scores.
  • No fees
Cons
  • High minimum balance requirement.
  • No physical locations.

Ally Bank No Penalty CD

Ally Bank No Penalty CD
BLUEPRINT RATING
Our ratings are calculated based on fees, rates, rewards and other category-specific attributes. All ratings are determined solely by our editorial team.
CD APY 11 month
4.00%
Minimum deposit requirement
$0
What should you know
Ally Bank, perhaps the most established online-only bank, has long been known for competitive rates, especially compared to its brick-and-mortar competitors. It’s no-penalty is no exception: you can lock in a 4.00% APY for 11 months. Why not just opt for a savings account? Well, Ally’s no-penalty CD yield is currently half-a-percentage point higher than its high-yield savings offering, and the 11-month term means you’ll benefit if Ally decides to cut rates in the interim. There are other benefits to consider, including daily compounding schedule, no minimum balance and a 0.05% loyalty bonus if you renew your CD. If the CD rate increases within 10 days of you opening it, you’ll automatically get the raised rate. You can withdraw all of your money any time after the first six days of funding your CD without facing a fee. However, you can’t make a partial withdrawal before the maturity date. If you need some cash early, you have to withdraw the whole amount. But nothing’s stopping you from reinvesting it in a new CD. When your CD does mature (if you don’t make an early withdrawal) you have a ten-day grace period to withdraw your funds, change how much you invest or pick a new CD. Otherwise, it’ll automatically renew.
Pros and cons
Pros
  • High interest rate.
  • No minimum deposit requirement.
  • Renewal bonus on CDs.
Cons
  • No physical bank branches.
  • Not the highest interest rate on the market.

ӣƵlliance Federal Credit Union No-penalty CD

ӣƵlliance Federal Credit Union No-penalty CD
BLUEPRINT RATING
Our ratings are calculated based on fees, rates, rewards and other category-specific attributes. All ratings are determined solely by our editorial team.
CD APY 11 month
4.80%
Minimum deposit requirement
$500
What should you know
On first blush, ӣƵlliance’s 11-month no-penalty CD doesn’t seem worth it. However the no-penalty CD allows you to skip the early withdrawal penalty that would otherwise cost you at least 180 days’ worth of interest. Therefore you should take the lower interest rate if you think you may have to pull out the cash early. Anyone can join the credit union through the application process by joining a partner association. You will also have to open a savings account and maintain a balance of $5 when you opt for a CD-you can leave it mostly unused or use it as a homebase to transfer money into and out of your CD. Besides a competitive, daily compounded interest rate, you can divest from this no-penalty CD at any time after the first seven calendar days of opening the account. Partial early withdrawals aren’t permitted though.
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Competitive interest rate.
  • Low minimum balance.
  • Daily compounding interest.
Cons
  • Few physical locations.
  • Not the highest rate on the market.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs No-Penalty CDs

Marcus by Goldman Sachs No-Penalty CDs
BLUEPRINT RATING
Our ratings are calculated based on fees, rates, rewards and other category-specific attributes. All ratings are determined solely by our editorial team.
CD APY 13 month
4.70%
Minimum deposit requirement
$500
What should you know
Marcus, a consumer loan company from Goldman Sachs, offers a few different no-penalty CD options, a 7-month, 11-month and 13-month term each currently offering a competitive rate of 4.70% APY. As you might expect from a digital-focused bank, you’ll have access to 24/7 customer service (available by chat and phone) and a highly-rated mobile app (4.8 stars on the Apple App Store and 4.4 on the Google Play Store). Partial withdrawals aren’t allowed, but you can divest the entire no-penalty CD if it’s been at least seven days after opening the account. You can initiate a withdrawal through your Marcus account or your linked, external bank account. Note that if you have a lot of money to invest, CDs have a maximum balance limit of $1,000,000 per account.
Pros and cons
Pros
  • High interest rate.
  • Long term length.
  • Low minimum balance requirement.
Cons
  • No physical locations.
  • No partial withdrawals.

Comparing the best no-penalty CDs

INSTITUTIONAPYMINIMUM DEPOSITTERM LENGTH
Ally Bank No-penalty CD
4.00%
$0
11 months
ӣƵlliance Federal Credit Union No-penalty CD
4.80%
$500
11 months
Marcus by Goldman Sachs No-penalty CD
4.70%
$500
13 months
CIT Bank No-penalty CD
3.50%
$1,000
11 months

Methodology

APY 60%

You invest in a CD to earn money. The greater the yield, the better.

But CDs haven’t been greatly desirable over the last three decades. In 2019, according to the Federal Reserve, just 8% of households owned a CD compared to a fifth of families just 30 years earlier.

A major catalyst in weaker demand for CDs was the Federal Reserve’s decision to cut interest rates to near zero following the Great Recession in order to stimulate the economy, and kept them there for years.

That trend turned in March 2022 after the Fed began to raise rates to moderate sky-high inflation, bringing them up to a range of 5.00% to 5.25% in early May 2023.

This has been great news for savers. As the Fed rate increases, so do deposit rates.

Learn more with our CD rate forecast.

And while no-penalty CDs typically have a lower rate than traditional CDs, they’ve still been buoyed up on the rising tide.

Customer service 12%

The point of accepting a lower rate in a no-penalty CD (compared to a traditional CD) is the ability to pull the funds early. If you do end up divesting your CD before its maturity, you want it to be a smooth process.

To this point, we looked at grades from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), rankings from J. D. Power and reviews from Trustpilot. CD providers with more positive customer experiences earned a higher score.

Minimum deposit requirement 11%

We believe you should be able to invest in a CD without putting down a small fortune.

While meeting a high minimum deposit may not be a problem for some, it can be more of a consideration for others, especially those investing in multiple CDs via a CD ladder or for whom CDs are a smaller part of their diversified portfolio.

Compound interest schedule 5%

The more frequently your funds compound, the more quickly they’ll grow. We rewarded no-penalty CDs with a compound interest schedule that ran forward rather than shuffled along. Continuously compounding interest is the golden standard. All of our picks have at least daily compounding interest that’s credited monthly.

Available terms 5%

Whether you’re in the market for multiple no-penalty CDs or just one, it’s good to have choices. The most popular traditional CD terms range from six months to five years, but no-penalty CDs tend to be more limited. We looked at how many no-penalty CDs providers offered and how far ranging their terms were.

Availability 5%

If you find out that the no-penalty CD of your dreams (the one with the highest yield) is only available in a state you don’t live in, that’s not helpful.

We checked what states were eligible for each CD, whether you had any branch access for in-person transactions; the number of branches and their locations; and, if membership was required, how strict it was.

Digital experience 2%

Tapping on a button five times, praying that the click will go through once (and only once) isn’t the best experience. We took the average rating (and the number of reviews) for the CD provider’s mobile app from both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store into account.

Why some banks weren’t chosen

You may notice that some of the very largest banks in the country don’t have the best no-penalty CDs.

We rated CDs based on our methodology above. The largest banks were typically disqualified due to low APY. They don’t have the most competitive CD rates because they already have plenty of deposits. As they’re top-of-mind for many consumers, they don’t need to offer great rates to attract customers.

Relatively smaller financial institutions tend to offer the best CD rates as they want to make a splash, gain attention and earn customers.

Choosing a no-penalty CD vs. a traditional CD

In many ways, a no-penalty CD is similar to a traditional CD. Both are savings products that offer interest earnings over a set period of time. 

The appeal of a no-penalty CD however is that you won’t get slapped with an early withdrawal fee if you need to tap into your funds before the end of the CD’s term. 

“It makes sense to pick a no-penalty CD instead of a traditional CD when you are not certain you can part from the money during that period of time,” said Gary Grewal, CFP and author of Financial Fives. “If you value the flexibility of withdrawing at any time, such as in case you find the perfect house, a no-penalty CD makes perfect sense.” 

The catch is that no-penalty CDs tend to come with a lower interest rate than the best traditional CDs.

Finding the highest no-penalty CD rates

Whatever kind of CD you’re after, locking in the best interest rate is a big deal. You don’t want to leave money on the table. 

Savers looking for the highest no-penalty CD rates can start their search with the top options outlined above. But don’t be afraid to go off the beaten track if you find an FDIC-insured option that offers a phenomenal rate. 

To find the highest no-penalty CD rates:

  • Shop around. The good news is that it’s easy to shop for the highest rates. A simple Google search can yield a whole list of the best CD rates. Taking a few minutes to shop around can make a big difference to your bottom line. 
  • Read the fine print. Every CD comes with detailed information about fees and rates. Don’t blindly accept the fine print without reading through the details. Pay attention to any fees tied to the CD. If you don’t like what you see, move on to another option. 
  • Be willing to work with a new bank. It’s unlikely that your current bank will be the one offering the highest interest rates; traditional brick-and-mortar financial institutions don’t need to offer competitive yields in order to gain consumer deposits. Consider branching out to tap into better rates. 
  • Confirm the bank is insured. A great interest rate should be paired with insurance from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation () or the National Credit Union Administration (). If the financial institution isn’t insured, you’re putting your money at risk. It’s best to stick with banks that offer insurance.  

If you get stuck trying to choose between a few CDs, consider CD laddering

For example, imagine you purchase three CDs: in one-year, two-year and three-year terms. As each matures, you reinvest it into a three-year CD. This way, all of your funds are eventually in a longer-term, three-year CD investment, but you’re never more than a single year away from having access to a stash of your funds.

Benefits and disadvantages of a no-penalty CD

Every financial product comes with pros and cons. Let’s start by taking a look at the benefits:

  • Flexibility. The major selling point of a no-penalty CD is that you have the opportunity to pull out funds without paying an early withdrawal penalty. If you run into an emergency or move up the timeline on a big purchase, you can move forward without worries. 
  • Locked-in rate of return. You don’t have to worry about changing interest rates lowering your overall earnings. Instead, you’ll know exactly how much your CD is scheduled to earn, which will only change if you withdraw funds early. 
  • Low risk. You can choose a no-penalty CD that offers insurance, protecting your total deposits for up to $250,000 at each institution.

And we can’t forget the disadvantages:

  • Generally lower rates than traditional CDs. “It’s important to note that no-penalty CDs often offer lower interest rates than traditional CDs,” said Joseph Carpenito, a financial advisor at Materetsky Financial Group. 
  • Minimum balance requirements. Some no-penalty CDs require a minimum balance to get started. Depending on your situation, a minimum balance requirement could put a particular CD out of reach. 
  • Cannot reinvest funds. “One of the drawbacks to these CDs is that once you take the money out, you cannot put it back into the CD and start earning interest on it again,” said Howie Wu, general manager of CD Valet at Seattle Bank. 
  • Typically lower rates than other investment opportunities. While the stock market offers more risk, it also offers greater potential yields. The average annual return on the S&P 500 over the long term is about 10%. However, you can’t know what stocks will do over any given period of time.

Opening a no-penalty CD

Here’s what to do if you’ve decided that a no-penalty CD is the right fit for you:

Find the right CD

As you look at no-penalty CDs, keep these three things in mind: 

  • Interest rates. If possible, you’ll want to find the CD with the highest interest rate attached.
  • Minimum deposit requirements. Find a no-penalty CD that offers a deposit requirement that suits your situation. 
  • Deposit insurance. You don’t want to accidentally open a CD that doesn’t come with FDIC or NCUA insurance. Coverage is limited to $250,000 at each insured institution, per depositor, per account ownership type. 
  • Terms. The most popular CD terms vary from six months to five years.

Apply for an account

Once you’ve found the right CD, it’s time to make it official. If you’re already a customer of the bank or a member of the credit union, you’ll simply need to log in online or go to a branch. 

Here are some popular CD providers: 

If you don’t already have an account, sign up for one. Be prepared to provide basic personal information about yourself: your name, date of birth, address, Social Security Number and contact details. 

Fund the CD

If you’re doing the transaction in person, you’ll simply need to write a check or deposit cash. If you’re online, you’ll typically need to link another account to make a transfer. Have the routing number and the account number of your funding account ready.

If you run into any issues, reach out to the bank’s representatives. 

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

The exact amount of an early withdrawal penalty varies based on the individual CD. In most cases, the early withdrawal penalty is equal to a period of interest payments. For example, you might have to forgo 90 days’ worth of interest if you tap into your CD early. 

In some cases, you might have a grace period to withdraw funds without a penalty. Read the fine print attached to your CD to determine exactly what early withdrawal penalty is involved. 

CD interest rates are rising. For example, based on , the interest rate on a one-year CD increased from 1.54% to 1.80% year-over-year in May 2024. As a saver, monitoring the changing CD rates can help you make efficient choices for your funds.

No-penalty CDs are typically available in terms of 11 to 13 months. If you want a longer term, you could find one by shopping around or you could renew your CD at its maturity for as many times as you desire, although the rate will most likely fluctuate.

You can avoid a CD penalty by choosing to open a no-penalty CD. If you don’t want to open a no-penalty CD, you can avoid the early withdrawal penalty by sticking it out until the end of your CD’s term. 

In some cases, you’ll have a grace period during which you can withdraw funds without a penalty. If you are looking for a loophole, consult the fine print of your CD. You’ll find any possible solutions outlined in those details.

Blueprint is an independent publisher and comparison service, not an investment advisor. The information provided is for educational purposes only and we encourage you to seek personalized advice from qualified professionals regarding specific financial decisions. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

Blueprint has an advertiser disclosure policy. The opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Blueprint editorial staff alone. Blueprint adheres to strict editorial integrity standards. The information is accurate as of the publish date, but always check the provider’s website for the most current information.

Sarah Sharkey

BLUEPRINT

Sarah Sharkey is a personal finance writer who enjoys diving into the details to help readers make savvy financial decisions. She covered mortgages, insurance, money management, and more. She lives in Florida with her husband and dogs. When she's not writing, she's outside exploring the coast.

Jenn Jones

BLUEPRINT

Jenn Jones is the deputy editor for banking at ӣƵ Blueprint. She brings years of writing and analytical skills to bear, as she was previously a senior writer at LendingTree, a finance manager at World Car dealerships and an editor at Standard & Poor’s Capital IQ. Her work has been featured on MSN, F&I Magazine and Automotive News. She holds a B.S. in commerce from the University of Virginia.