Top CDs Today, May 21, 2024 - Leading Rate Falls to 5.51% (2024)

CD TermToday's Top National Bank RateToday's Top National Credit Union RateToday's Top National Jumbo Rate
3 months5.51% APY*5.30% APY5.20% APY
6 months5.51% APY*5.50% APY5.51% APY*
1 year5.40% APY5.25% APY5.50% APY*
18 months5.25% APY5.40% APY5.41% APY*
2 years5.00% APY5.25% APY*4.91% APY
3 years5.00% APY*5.00% APY*4.97% APY
4 years4.70% APY4.86% APY*4.48% APY
5 years4.80% APY*4.65% APY4.38% APY

Where Will CD Rates Go in 2024?

To combat decades-high inflation, the Federal Reserve aggressively hiked the federal funds rate between March 2022 and July 2023, raising the benchmark rate to its highest level in 22 years. That's important to savers because when the fed funds rate rises, banks and credit unions increase the interest rates they're willing to pay on customer deposits.

As a result, this past fall saw historically favorable conditions for CD shoppers, as well as for anyone holding cash in ahigh-yield savingsormoney market account. Rates on CDs rose to an October-November peak that was the highest we've seen in two decades.

But since its last rate hike in July, the Fed has been in a holding pattern. As was almost universally expected, the Federal Reserve's rate-setting committee announced on May 1 that it is maintaining the federal funds rate at its current level. It was the sixth meeting in a row in which the central bank has held its benchmark rate steady.

That's because inflation has been cooling, allowing the Fed to stop raising interest rates. Yet, further inflation progress has been elusive. That puts the central bank in wait-and-see mode as it looks for evidence that inflation is falling enough to justify lowering the federal funds rate.

The Fed's written statement on May 1 left out discussion of projected rate cuts. When asked about this during his press conference following release of the statement, Fed Chair Jerome Powell responded that the stalled progress against inflation means it will take longer than originally expected to lower the fed funds rate.

"My colleagues and I today said that we didn't see progress in the first quarter," Powell said. "And I've said that it appears then that it's going to take longer for us to reach that point of confidence. So I don't know how long it will take. When we get that confidence, then rate cuts will be in scope."

Several Fed board members have spoken publicly this week, conveying that although they believe inflation will continue to come down, it's not on a quick path. Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Raphael Bostic said he expects the inflation fight to extend into 2025, while Cleveland Federal Reserve President Loretta Mester said that due to the stalled progress against inflation, she's unlikely at next month's meeting to stick with her projection of three rate cuts in 2024.

"I think it's too soon to tell what path inflation is on," Mester said.

Today, Federal Reserve Governor Christopher Waller joined the chorus, saying: "I need to see several more months of good inflation data before I would be comfortable supporting an easing in the stance of monetary policy."

It therefore seems likely the fed funds rate will stay where it is for a number of months—with great uncertainty on when exactly the Fed will first cut rates. Following the Fed's May statement, a majority of fed funds futures traders have been betting it will take until Sept. 18 for the first rate cut to be implemented, according to CME Group's FedWatch Tool. That's still three meetings away.

New monthly inflation data was reported last week, with the eagerly awaited April Consumer Price Index (CPI) coming in at 3.4%. That's down from March's 3.5% level but represents only a minor change. As a result, Fed officials are expected to remain watching and waiting for additional data before making any decisions.

That also means CD rates will likely continue their current plateau. When at some point the Fed signals it's ready to start cutting rates, that will begin driving CD yields down more quickly. But it appears that could be months away.

The central bank will hold five more rate-setting meetings in 2024, with the next one scheduled to conclude June 12.

Best High-Yield Savings Accounts for May 2024—Up to 5.55%

Best CD Rates for May 2024: Up to 5.51%

Best Money Market Account Rates for May 2024—Up to 5.35%

Note that the "top rates" quoted here are the highest nationally available rates Investopedia has identified in its daily rate research on hundreds of banks and credit unions. This is much different than the national average, which includes all banks offering a CD with that term, including many large banks that pay a pittance in interest. Thus, the national averages are always quite low, while the top rates you can unearth by shopping around are often 5, 10, or even 15 times higher.

How We Find the Best CD Rates

Every business day, Investopedia tracks the rate data of more than 200 banks and credit unions that offer CDs to customers nationwide and determines daily rankings of the top-paying certificates in every major term. To qualify for our lists, the institution must be federally insured (FDIC for banks, NCUA for credit unions), and the CD's minimum initial deposit must not exceed $25,000.

Banks must be available in at least 40 states. And while some credit unions require you to donate to a specific charity or association to become a member if you don't meet other eligibility criteria (e.g., you don't live in a certain area or work in a certain kind of job), we exclude credit unions whose donation requirement is $40 or more. For more about how we choose the best rates, read our full methodology.

Top CDs Today, May 21, 2024 - Leading Rate Falls to 5.51% (2024)
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