Learn more about CD Valet® and view frequently asked questions.

CD Valet® is an easy-to-use website and mobile app that delivers the most relevant and unbiased CD rates in terms from one to five years from local and national financial institutions. Developed by Seattle Bank to serve consumers the “straight up rates”, CD Valet® offers daily rate updates and a “Promos‚ section spotlighting exceptional CD offers with unique maturities, rate-adjustment options and more. CD Valet® also provides portfolio management tools to track earnings and maturities, as well as calculators to determine the cost of breaking an existing CD and reinvesting in a new CD for a potentially higher return. Unlike other CD rate comparison sites, CD Valet® shows the most competitive rates without bias as the website does not use a “pay to play” approach. CD Valet® does not accept promotional dollars and provides this service to the consumer at no charge.

Seattle Bank does not endorse, approve, certify, or control any linked websites, their sponsors, or any of their policies, activities, products, or services. We do not assume responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or timeliness of the information contained therein. While Seattle Bank is FDIC Insured, we cannot guarantee the deposit insurance coverage of quoted CDs at other financial institutions. Visitors to any linked websites should independently verify all terms, conditions, and limitations including, but not limited to federal deposit insurance coverage, credit union eligibility and membership requirements, other account relationships, access restrictions such as online access only, new customer or new money required, etc. For more information about how we selected the rates that are featured, please see our FAQs.

What is a Certificate of Deposit (CD)?
A CD is an account with a fixed interest rate that is generally higher than a regular savings account. CDs typically have a fixed-term length and a fixed date of withdrawal, known as the maturity date. CDs generally have a minimum dollar balance that must be invested and sometimes a maximum dollar amount you can invest. You can generally invest funds in a CD for terms between three months and five years. CDs typically do not have monthly fees associated with them, but most have early withdrawal fees.

How is a CD different from a savings account?
CDs tend to have higher interest rates than regular savings accounts, often have a higher minimum deposit balance than a savings account, and have a minimum amount of time (term) in which funds must be invested. CD interest rates are fixed for the term of the CD, while savings account interest rates are variable and can change at any time. Typically, CDs do not allow deposits or withdrawals of funds except at maturity and followed by a short grace period. Withdrawals made during the term typically trigger an early withdrawal fee. Savings accounts, however, allow regular access to your money. You can typically make deposits and withdrawals at any time without incurring a fee. Electronic transactions from savings accounts do have withdrawal limitations.

What are the different types of CDs?
Fixed-Rate: An account with a set interest rate over its entire term. Fixed-rate CDs offer terms from three months to five years, during which your money earns interest until it reaches maturity.

Bump-Up: An account that allows you to increase the interest rate during the CD’s term. Most bump-ups allow one increase, but longer-term bump-up CDs allow multiple rate adjustments. A bump-up allows for more flexibility to optimize your savings.

Jumbo: An account that requires a higher minimum deposit but provides higher interest rates than your traditional CD. Most jumbo CDs start at $100,000, but some financial institutions may offer lower minimums for the initial deposit.

Liquid: An account that allows you to withdraw funds without paying a penalty (also known as a no-penalty CD). Unlike traditional CDs, funds are always accessible.

Add-On: An account that allows you to add to your principal balance before maturity. However, they generally offer lower interest rates in exchange for the ability to add new funds into the account at any given time during the term.

What is a CD Ladder?
“Laddering” is the process of opening several CDs, each with different maturities, so that you have a set schedule of funds becoming available. This could be to meet an expected cash flow, such as college tuition payments or funding a home renovation. Or it can be a way to keep funds invested unless needed. For example, a client may open four CDs, each for $50,000 but with respective terms of 3-, 6-, 9- and 12-months. Over the coming year, $50,000 will be available every 3 months. At each maturity, the client may use some or all of the cash. Or they can set it up to let each CD roll over into a new 12-month CD and retain the same 3-month availability in the coming year, while still earning the higher rates typically offered for CDs.

What is the advantage of CDs?
In exchange for you depositing money for a predetermined length of time, financial institutions are typically willing to offer a higher interest rate that will stay fixed for the term of the CD. This can be an advantage, as CDs have fixed, predictable returns. Certificates of deposit make a relatively safe investment and provide peace of mind because even if the financial institution is forced to close, your principal and interest up to the insured amount are protected. FDIC coverage is based on account ownership and structure. The combination of low risk and higher interest rates compared with other accounts, can make CDs an attractive investment.

How do I decide on a CD term?
This depends on your savings goals. Traditionally, the longer the term length, or the longer you commit funds to a CD, the higher the interest rate. People will often open several CDs, making sure the maturities fall before the time funding is needed for tax payments, college tuition, or a remodel, for example. Also, clients often keep a certain amount of cash liquid—in a checking or savings account—to help meet any unexpected liquidity needs that may arise before the maturity of their CDs. It’s also important to watch and understand where interest rates are in their cycle. In a “normal” yield curve, long-term yields are higher than short-term yields so the longer you invest your funds, the higher the rate of return will be. With an inverted yield curve, long-term interest rates are less than short-term interest rates. The yield decreases the farther away the maturity date is.

What if I need the money before the end of the term, or CD maturity?
You can always access your money, if needed, before maturity but you may pay an early withdrawal fee. Typically, this will require speaking with your financial institution so it can process the early withdrawal, or “break.” You may be assessed an early withdrawal fee which can be equal to the interest earned over a certain amount of time. This early withdrawal fee can equal an amount of interest that has not been earned on the CD yet resulting in a loss of principal. Most financial institutions typically allow no-fee withdrawal of interest that has been posted to your account during the CD term. Some financial institutions may offer a loan using the CD as collateral, eliminating the need to withdraw from the CD before maturity. There are a few exceptions for no-fee withdrawals such as the death of an account holder, and some financial institutions allow no-fee withdrawals on IRA CDs when the IRA holder reaches age 59.5 years old.

What is the fee for withdrawing funds from my CD before maturity?
The details of the early withdrawal fee are provided in the account disclosures received with the CD is opened. They may vary by institution, but typically it is some portion of interest that would be deducted and held back when you cash out. For example, if the early closure fee is 90 days’ worth of interest and you close the account in six months, you will receive the interest earned minus the fee. There are a few exceptions for no-fee withdrawals, such as the death of an account holder.

How does a CD work?
The process for opening a CD begins in the same way as with most financial institution accounts — by applying online or in person at a financial institution. The key difference is that your initial deposit into a CD will usually be the only time you can deposit money into it. With most CDs, you can’t add contributions to CDs over time like you can with a regular savings or checking account. The interest earned in a CD is usually compounded and posted to the account, either monthly, quarterly, or when the CD term expires or matures. Interest may compound daily, monthly, quarterly, or annually. The more often your interest compounds, the more money you will earn. For example, if your interest compounds daily, you earn interest on your interest each day and this creates a larger balance at the end of the maturity term. However, some people prefer to receive their CD interest each month or quarter. Depending on your financial institution’s policies, you may be able to receive regular interest payments by check or transfer to your checking account, providing you with additional monthly or quarterly income. If the interest is paid to another account or if it is withdrawn, you will not earn the stated APY.

How do CD rates work?
Most CD rates are compounded based on annual percentage yield, or APY. This is the annual interest rate after compounding, or when your account earns money from both the original deposit and the increasing interest. If it does not compound or if the interest payments are taken out, the account will not earn the stated APY.

What is the difference between the interest rate and annual percentage yield (APY)?
The APY indicates the total amount of interest you can earn on a CD over the course of one year. Although it is based on the interest rate, APY also accounts for the frequency of compounding interest, which can provide you with an accurate estimate of your earnings during that year.

Are there any fees associated with CDs?
Usually, there is no fee associated with CDs, provided they are held to maturity. For this reason, they represent a very efficient savings vehicle. Visit the FAQ titled “What is the fee for withdrawing funds from my CD before maturity?” for more information on early withdrawal fees, or “break-fees.”

What happens to my money when my CD matures?
Typically, you can provide instructions at the time of opening a CD as to what to do with funds at maturity. Common options include rolling it over into another CD, having funds sent to you by check or electronic transfer, or transferring them into a checking or savings account.

Are CDs covered by FDIC insurance?
Most banks are federally insured by the FDIC, while credit unions are insured by NCUA, and some financial institutions are privately insured. In general, the FDIC and NCUA insure up to $250,000 per depositor. FDIC coverage is based on account ownership and structure. Depending on ownership, CDs can be insured for more than the standard $250,000. Consumers should check the insured status of the financial institution they are considering. To determine the insurance eligibility of your deposits contact the bank or credit union directly or visit the FDIC.

Can a business open a CD?
Many financial institutions and credit unions will open business CDs, though not all financial institutions will open business CDs online. Please contact the financial institution directly or visit the website to check on the availability of business CDs.

Can a CD be opened in the name of a trust?
In most cases, yes. However, not all financial institutions will open a CD in the name of a trust. This may be easier with a local financial institution, where you can speak with an account specialist.

Can CDs be owned jointly?
Yes, although IRA certificates may not. This may be easier with a local financial institution, where you can speak with an account specialist.

Why is CD Valet sharing rates of other financial institutions?
There are two reasons. First, community financial institutions often offer deposit rates that are higher than the large national and online financial institutions but because we do not advertise as frequently or broadly, consumers can miss out on earning the best possible returns. When they turn to rate comparison websites, they can find information influenced by advertising relationships. CD Valet® simply brings you the best rates by simplifying your online search and providing more inclusive coverage of CD rates offered by financial institutions of all sizes and from across the country. Second, community financial institutions are an integral part of our country’s financial system, reinvesting local dollars back into the community to create greater economic opportunity through jobs, housing, local services, and more. When people deposit their funds in local institutions, it fuels greater local investment. As the financial services sector grows more complex with fintech firms, neobanks, and more, CD Valet® helps people invest locally, where it matters most.

What is the source for the rates shown on CD Valet®?
We obtain rates from financial institutions’ published rates, usually posted on their website. CD Valet does not endorse, approve, certify, or control any linked websites, their sponsors, or any of their policies, activities, products, or services. We do not assume responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or timeliness of the information contained therein. Visitors to any linked websites should independently verify all terms, conditions, and limitations including, but not limited to, federal deposit insurance coverage, credit union eligibility, and membership requirements, other account relationships, access restrictions such as online access only, new customer or new money required, etc.

How do you choose what financial institutions to show on CD Valet®?
CD Valet® provides CD rates for an ever-growing number of financial institutions, as we continue to expand. A financial institution must post CD rates on its public website to be included in CD Valet®. All financial institutions that publicly post their CD rates and have more than $250 million in total assets are automatically listed. CD Valet® may also include financial institutions under $250 million in total assets if they offer competitive and publicly available rates. In addition, CD Valet® includes many of the largest financial institutions and online financial institutions with a presence across the nation.

Why do you differentiate between national and local financial institutions? Why not just show the financial institutions paying the highest rates?
Many people prefer local financial institutions, as they want to be able to transact business in person if needed, or they prefer to support local financial institutions closer to their community as a result, we believe it is important for our rate comparison tool to have the ability to filter by financial institutions that have a local presence versus those that are strictly digital.

How does a financial institution or credit union get listed on CD Valet®?
We attempt to report the highest number of online and local payers. If a financial institution’s rates are consistently amongst the highest but are not showing up on CD Valet®, or if they have a scheduled campaign, please Contact Us and we will consider adding them to our survey and CD Valet®.

Are rates shown on CD Valet® guaranteed?
While we commit to showing accurate published rates as of the times noted on our site, financial institutions can change their published rates at any time. Additionally, financial institutions may have other non-published rate campaigns, or offer rates on a relationship basis for customers that have a lot of other business with them. Rates are based on publicly available data for comparable CD products. We do not assume responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or timeliness of the information contained therein. Visitors to any linked websites should independently verify all terms, conditions, and limitations.

I found a higher rate online!
We don’t have perfect information, so that is possible. Our goal, however, is to be a reliable source for most of the national and local highest CD rates. However, if your research shows that we have not listed a financial institution that is consistently a leading ratepayer, or you found a rate that is significantly higher for a given term than what we show on CD Valet®, please Contact Us and we’ll monitor and may add it to our list.

Is CD Valet a broker?
No, we are just sharing public information.

Do financial institutions pay to be listed on CD Valet®?
No. We do not accept money from financial institutions to list their CD rates on CD Valet. They do pay CD Valet if they utilize our CD market analytics, lead generation, or digital account opening services, which financial institutions can use to better serve consumers and enable them to digitally open their CDs online in one seamless experience.

How should I decide how much money to put into a CD?
This is a personal choice. We suggest people have at least three to six months’ worth of cash in a checking or savings account. Depending on the predictability of your income or expenses, more cushion may be advisable. From there, it is important to think about the goals and timelines for the rest of your financial assets—that is your savings over and above daily needs or emergency funds. CDs are often used for that portion of saving where you want principal protection first and then optimize for interest. This might be for near-term expenses (tax payments, college tuition, or an approaching retirement) for which you do not want to put the principal at risk but do want to earn as much interest as you can.

Why do people use CDs?
CDs are a safe, efficient way to save. Depending on the principal amount, they can be structured to be fully covered by FDIC insurance yet can pay very competitive rates compared to Treasury notes or money market funds. At the same time, if held to term, there are no transaction or management fees associated with CDs. This makes CDs often a highly effective way of managing funds, that you don’t expect to need for a matter of months or years, but that you do not want to place at risk by investing in stocks or other assets that are subject to price volatility.

Why do financial institutions offer CDs?
Financial Institutions issue CDs as part of their funding strategy. It helps for planning purposes to know that a portion of deposits will be on hand for a definite amount of time—unlike checking or savings accounts which can fluctuate more often. As a result, financial institutions are willing to pay a higher interest rate on CDs.

Why do rates vary so much between financial institutions?
Financial institutions set their CD rates based on their own liquidity needs—that is, the money they need to make loans and fund deposit withdrawals. Different financial institutions have different business models and cost structures, or at a given time may be looking to meet growing loan demand or achieve a different deposit mix.

How can I stay up to date on rates?
CD Valet is a national marketplace that connects consumers with financial institutions to compare and open CDs. We are constantly updating CD rates as they change for each featured financial institution across the nation. CD Valet has tools to help you compare standard term CD rates, uncover promo rates and specials that best suit your savings goals, gives you the ability to track your accounts, and receive alerts to notify you of better earnings opportunities and help you forecast your estimated earnings and determine costs of early withdrawal if you find a better rate.

What are the benefits of creating a CD Valet® account?
You can freely look at the CD rates and visit as often as you like without becoming a CD Valet® subscriber. You gain several benefits when you become a CD Valet accountholder. The first is access to CD Portfolio. The CD Portfolio tool tracks the earnings and maturities of your CD accounts. Given that you are tracking your investments, a subscription is required with a unique username and password. Another benefit is that once you are a subscriber, you can also set up push alerts to be automatically informed about rate changes, CD maturity dates, and more. You also can add rates to your watch list, as well as add CD rates you find that are not posted on CD Valet.

What is "Open Now"?
As an online marketplace, CD Valet connects consumers to financial institutions to compare and shop for CDs. Financial institutions can buy CD Valet services to contact consumers, direct consumers to their digital online account opening platform, or enable consumers to directly open an account with the financial institution on CD Valet. These services provide consumers with a smoother and more efficient banking experience. Financial institutions and credit unions utilizing these services are identified with the "Open Now" button. If you are a financial institution and would like more information, please contact

* Annual Percentage Yields (APY) are from the latest rate surveys which are typically completed every business day. Rates are based on publicly data for comparable CD products. Additional restrictions and requirements may apply. The APY assumes interest remains on deposit until maturity. Early withdrawal penalty may be imposed if funds are withdrawn prior to maturity. Fees and penalties may reduce earnings.

Tiered rates may be included in the Standard and Promo pages. Please refer to the financial institution's website for the full listing of any tiered rates. Visitors should independently verify all terms, conditions, and limitations including, but not limited to deposit insurance coverage, credit union eligibility and membership requirements.

CD Valet is compensated by a limited number of financial institutions that have an Open Now or affiliate link on CD Valet. Visit our Privacy and Disclosure Center to read related disclosures and policies of CD Valet and our partners.

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