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Best 3-Year CD Rates of October 2022

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Three-year CD rates are often similar, if not the same, as longer term CDs. They're great for people wanting higher rates than short CD terms but less commitment than a 5-year CD. Here's a detailed look at 3-year CD rates, factors to consider when choosing a CD, and alternatives to a 3-year CD.

Ratings Methodology
Rates as of Sept. 28, 2022
Best 3-Year Certificates of Deposits (CDs) of October 2022 picks.
Bank & CD Offer APY Min. Deposit Next Steps
APY -3 Yr.:  3.15% Min. Deposit:   $2,500
APY -3 Yr.:  3.00% Min. Deposit:   $500
APY -3 Yr.:  3.20% Min. Deposit:   $0
APY -3 Yr.:  2.90% Min. Deposit:   $5,000
APY -3 Yr.:  2.80% Min. Deposit:   $1,000
APY -3 Yr.:  3.05% Min. Deposit:   $1,000
APY -3 Yr.:  3.15% Min. Deposit:   $500
APY -3 Yr.:  2.80% Min. Deposit:   $0
APY -3 Yr.:  3.55% Min. Deposit:   $1,500
APY -3 Yr.:  3.10% Min. Deposit:   $0
APY -3 Yr.:  2.70% Min. Deposit:   $0
APY -3 Yr.:  2.65% Min. Deposit:   $1,000
APY -5 Yr.:  3.15% Min. Deposit:   $0
APY -1.5 Yr.:  3.00% Min. Deposit:   $0
APY -1 Yr.:  3.00% Min. Deposit:   $0
APY -6 Mo.:  1.75% Min. Deposit:   $0
APY -4 Yr.:  1.20% Min. Deposit:   $0
APY -3 Yr.:  1.15% Min. Deposit:   $0
APY -2 Yr.:  2.75% Min. Deposit:   $0
APY -1.5 Yr.:  1.00% Min. Deposit:   $0
APY -5 Yr.:  3.50% Min. Deposit:   $0
APY -4 Yr.:  3.25% Min. Deposit:   $0
APY -2 Yr.:  3.15% Min. Deposit:   $0
APY -1.5 Yr.:  3.10% Min. Deposit:   $0
APY -1 Yr.:  3.05% Min. Deposit:   $0
APY -6 Mo.:  0.10% Min. Deposit:   $0
APY -5 Yr.:  3.65% Min. Deposit:   $1,500
APY -4 Yr.:  3.60% Min. Deposit:   $1,500
APY -2 Yr.:  3.50% Min. Deposit:   $1,500
APY -1 Yr.:  3.00% Min. Deposit:   $1,500
APY -5 Yr.:  3.20% Min. Deposit:   $0
APY -4 Yr.:  2.80% Min. Deposit:   $0
APY -1.5 Yr.:  2.40% Min. Deposit:   $0
APY -5 Yr.:  0.50% Min. Deposit:   $1,000
APY -4 Yr.:  0.50% Min. Deposit:   $1,000
APY -3 Yr.:  0.40% Min. Deposit:   $1,000
APY -2 Yr.:  0.40% Min. Deposit:   $1,000
APY -1.5 Yr.:  0.30% Min. Deposit:   $1,000
APY -1 Yr.:  0.30% Min. Deposit:   $1,000
APY -6 Mo.:  0.30% Min. Deposit:   $1,000
APY -5 Yr.:  3.25% Min. Deposit:   $5,000
APY -4 Yr.:  3.00% Min. Deposit:   $5,000
APY -2 Yr.:  2.80% Min. Deposit:   $5,000
APY -1 Yr.:  2.25% Min. Deposit:   $5,000
APY -5 Yr.:  3.30% Min. Deposit:   $2,500
APY -4 Yr.:  3.20% Min. Deposit:   $2,500
APY -2 Yr.:  3.10% Min. Deposit:   $2,500
APY -1.5 Yr.:  3.00% Min. Deposit:   $2,500
APY -1 Yr.:  3.00% Min. Deposit:   $2,500
APY -6 Mo.:  1.00% Min. Deposit:   $2,500
APY -5 Yr.:  3.30% Min. Deposit:   $500
APY -4 Yr.:  3.20% Min. Deposit:   $500
APY -2 Yr.:  3.10% Min. Deposit:   $500
APY -1.5 Yr.:  3.00% Min. Deposit:   $500
APY -1 Yr.:  3.00% Min. Deposit:   $500
APY -6 Mo.:  2.00% Min. Deposit:   $500
APY -5 Yr.:  3.25% Min. Deposit:   $500
APY -4 Yr.:  3.10% Min. Deposit:   $500
APY -3 Yr.:  3.05% Min. Deposit:   $500
APY -2 Yr.:  2.85% Min. Deposit:   $500
APY -1.5 Yr.:  2.50% Min. Deposit:   $500
APY -1 Yr.:  2.30% Min. Deposit:   $500
APY -6 Mo.:  2.05% Min. Deposit:   $500
APY -5 Yr.:  3.20% Min. Deposit:   $500
APY -2 Yr.:  2.80% Min. Deposit:   $500
APY -1 Yr.:  2.50% Min. Deposit:   $500
APY -6 Mo.:  1.70% Min. Deposit:   $500
APY -5 Yr.:  3.05% Min. Deposit:   $2,500
APY -3 Yr.:  3.05% Min. Deposit:   $2,500
APY -2 Yr.:  3.00% Min. Deposit:   $2,500
APY -1.5 Yr.:  2.80% Min. Deposit:   $2,500
APY -1 Yr.:  2.65% Min. Deposit:   $2,500
APY -6 Mo.:  1.75% Min. Deposit:   $2,500
APY -1 Yr.:  0.70% Min. Deposit:   $250
APY -5 Yr.:  3.25% Min. Deposit:   $0
APY -4 Yr.:  2.80% Min. Deposit:   $0
APY -2 Yr.:  2.60% Min. Deposit:   $0
APY -1.5 Yr.:  2.50% Min. Deposit:   $0
APY -1 Yr.:  2.30% Min. Deposit:   $0
APY -6 Mo.:  1.50% Min. Deposit:   $0
APY -5 Yr.:  3.25% Min. Deposit:   $1,000
APY -4 Yr.:  3.10% Min. Deposit:   $1,000
APY -2 Yr.:  2.85% Min. Deposit:   $1,000
APY -1.5 Yr.:  2.50% Min. Deposit:   $1,000
APY -1 Yr.:  2.35% Min. Deposit:   $1,000
APY -6 Mo.:  1.75% Min. Deposit:   $1,000
APY -5 Yr.:  2.85% Min. Deposit:   $1,000
APY -4 Yr.:  2.75% Min. Deposit:   $1,000
APY -2 Yr.:  2.50% Min. Deposit:   $1,000
APY -1.5 Yr.:  2.40% Min. Deposit:   $1,000
APY -1 Yr.:  2.30% Min. Deposit:   $1,000
APY -6 Mo.:  1.30% Min. Deposit:   $1,000

How to find the best 3-year CD rates

The best 3-year CD rates are typically found through online banks or credit unions. Online banks can usually offer higher rates than found at local brick-and-mortar banks, since online banks have lower overhead costs. Nevertheless, it's still a good idea to check with traditional banks while rate-shopping. By shopping around, you can find the best CD rates before locking your money into a CD account.

Wherever you choose to open a 3-year CD, make sure your money is protected in case of bank failure. The FDIC is the organization that protects banks, while the NCUA protects credit unions.

How to compare the best 3-year CD rates

Three-year CDs can earn higher APYs than short-term CDs. However, APY is not the only feature to consider when shopping for a CD. Here are some other factors to consider when comparing 3-year CDs:

Minimum deposit: Some of the best 3-year CD rates are attached to CDs that require a minimum deposit. Check the account details to ensure the amount you plan to deposit meets these requirements. 

Fees: Make sure your CD account does not charge monthly maintenance fees. These can eat away at your interest earnings.

Withdrawal penalties: Most banks charge an early-withdrawal penalty if you pull money from your CD before it reaches maturity. Don't use 3-year CDs for your emergency fund (or for any other funds you'll need in the short term).

Compounding interest: Interest on CDs normally compounds daily, weekly, or monthly. Note you'll earn slightly more if your CD interest compounds every day.

Interest payouts: Many banks give you the option to receive interest payouts monthly, quarterly, or annually. You can also (usually) add these payouts to your CD balance. You'll earn more interest if you add your payouts to your CD balance, but you may prefer to receive payouts as you go along.

CD maturity: Many 3-year CDs will automatically enroll you in a new CD when yours reaches maturity. Typically, you'll receive notice from your bank that your CD is maturing soon, and you must contact it directly or withdraw funds during the grace period to opt-out. Don't let someone else make your financial decisions for you. Keep tabs on your maturity date so you can act quickly and avoid an unwanted 3-year CD renewal.

What to consider when choosing a 3-year CD

Opening a 3-year CD account can be a great investment, but it also has its drawbacks. Here are some pros and cons to 3-year CDs:

Pros

Higher rates: The best 3-year CD rates earn a higher rate than most savings accounts and shorter CD terms. Banks pay the higher rate because you can't touch your funds without paying a penalty.

Protection against interest rate drops: 3-year CDs come with fixed rates, which means you'll earn a guaranteed rate for the next three years regardless of market rate drops. 

Predictable returns: Having a fixed rate means you can quickly calculate precisely how much interest you'll earn over the next three years. Plus, your money has the added safety of being FDIC-insured up to $250,000. 

Cons

Can't benefit from interest rate increases: The market can change drastically over your CD term. Having a fixed rate also means you lose out if market rates increase.

Penalties: Tying your money up in a 3-year CD is not without risk. If you end up needing access before your CD matures, you'll end up paying hefty early-withdrawal penalties that could decrease your CD earnings dramatically. 

Inflation risk: There's also a risk that your 3-year CD rate won't keep up with inflation. You can protect yourself against this by building a CD ladder. CD laddering allows you to increase your financial flexibility while possibly taking advantage of higher APYs instead of being locked into one rate.

Alternatives to a 3-year CD

Three-year CDs are a great way to earn a high interest rate over time. However, they are not right for everyone. Here are some other options for both shorter- and longer-term investments:

High-yield savings account: Many online banks offer high-yield savings accounts with competitive rates. With these accounts, you'll also have access to your money whenever you need it without paying any penalties. 

Money market account: Another great account with competitive interest rates is a money market account. This is a hybrid that combines the best of both savings and checking accounts. With a money market account, you get a high interest rate but don't get locked into the time commitment of a CD. 

Long-term CDs: Three-year CDs are considered a mid-range CD. Opting for a 4-year or 5-year CD isn't too much more of a time commitment, and you could score an even higher interest rate. 

Investments: Stock market investments and retirement accounts can typically earn better returns than even the best 3-year CD rates. However, you'll likely need to leave your money in a brokerage account for longer than three years to take advantage of its higher returns. Also remember that the stock market is always a riskier investment. Stocks are not FDIC insured, and can plummet in value with little notice.

There are a lot of advantages to putting money into a 3-year CD. With this mid-length CD, you benefit from higher interest rates without committing your cash for a longer time period. Think about your needs and survey the available options to determine if 3-year CDs are right for you.

Offer APY Min. Deposit
3.15% - 3 Yr. $2,500
3.00% - 3 Yr. $500
3.20% - 3 Yr. $0
2.90% - 3 Yr. $5,000
2.80% - 3 Yr. $1,000
3.05% - 3 Yr. $1,000
3.15% - 3 Yr. $500
2.80% - 3 Yr. $0
3.55% - 3 Yr. $1,500
3.10% - 3 Yr. $0
2.70% - 3 Yr. $0
2.65% - 3 Yr. $1,000

FAQs

  • A 3-year CD is right for individuals who don't need access to their money for three years. It's a good investment for mid-range savings goals like future home improvements or a down payment on a house or car.

  • Three-year CDs offer solid interest rates, but with a shorter time commitment than longer CD terms. You can often find 3-year CDs with rates that are similar to or the same as a 5-year CD.

  • A 3-year CD is worth it if you know that you won't need to access your money for three years. You'll earn a considerably higher APY than the national savings average.

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