Banking » Compare Banks » Best CD Rates In California: 7 Lucrative Options (February 2024)
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Best CD Rates In California: 7 Lucrative Options (June 2024)

Looking for the top CD rates in California? We've compiled 7 fantastic options to guide you towards the best choice
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
Interest Rates Last Update: June 3, 2024
The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
Interest Rates Last Update: June 3, 2024

The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.

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California is home to numerous banks and credit unions, resulting in the challenging task of identifying the optimal CD rates. Furthermore, each CD account presents its advantages and disadvantages.

Certain accounts provide higher yields for short-term investments, while others excel in the long term. Some offer limited terms with attractive rates, whereas others provide multiple terms suitable for CD laddering but with lower rates. Additionally, variations exist in terms of minimum deposit requirements and early withdrawal fees.

In this article, we have briefly outlined some of the most rewarding CD accounts available in California in terms of CD rates. However, we have also encountered additional factors contributing to the overall assessment, including terms, minimum deposit requirements, and early withdrawal options.

Navy Federal Credit Union

navy federal credit union logo
navy federal credit union logo

Navy Federal Credit Union

APY Range

4.70%

Minimum Deposit

$1,000

Terms

3 months – 7 years

Fees

$0

Navy Federal Credit Union operates more than 20 branches across California, providing a range of certificate options with varying terms and interest rates. This allows you to select the one that aligns with your specific savings objectives.

Generally, the rates are comparatively higher than those offered by traditional banks and are on par with other credit unions and online banks. The 15-month special CD stands out with one of the most competitive rates available in the market

However, the rates for shorter-term CDs, such as three or six months, are relatively lower. Committing your funds for a minimum of 12 months is advisable to obtain a favorable rate.

Certificate Term
Navy Federal APY
Early Withdrawal Penalty
3 Months
2.75% – 2.80%
Dividends for 90 days
6 Months
0.45% – 0.50%
Dividends for 90 days
12 Months
4.80% – 4.85%
Dividends for 90 days
18 Months
4.50% – 4.55%
Dividends for 180 days
24 Months
4.20% – 4.25%
Dividends for 180 days
36 Months
4.00% – 4.05%
Dividends for 180 days
60 Months
3.80% – 3.85%
Dividends for 365 days
84 Months
3.80% – 3.85%
Dividends for 365 days
15 Months (Special CD)
4.85%
Dividends for 180 days

Navy Federal Credit Union, a nonprofit organization headquartered in Virginia, is among the largest credit unions in the United States. Primarily catering to military personnel and their families, they boast an impressive membership base of 9 million individuals worldwide.

First Internet Bank

First Internet Bank review
First Internet Bank review

First Internet Bank

APY Range

4.14% – 5.26%

Minimum Deposit

$1,000

Terms

3 months – 5 years

Fees

$0

First Internet Bank offers California residents a selection of highly competitive interest rates for their CD products, notably better than rates offered by other banks and credit unions. While the rates for the 3-month CD might not be exceptionally high, several other term options are available that provide attractive rates for potential investors.

Additionally, the minimum deposit requirement is reasonable and reliable, ensuring that customers can easily access these services. Nevertheless, it is worth mentioning that the early withdrawal fees at First Internet Bank are relatively high compared to other banks and credit unions. 

Term
APY
Early Withdrawal Penalty
3 Months
4.14%
90 days interest
6 Months
5.13%
180 days interest
12 Months
5.26%
180 days interest
18 Months
4.98%
180 days interest
24 Months
4.76%
360 days interest
36 Months
4.61%
360 days interest
48 Months
4.45%
360 days interest
60 Months
4.50%
360 days interest

With a presence since 1998, First Internet Bank of Indiana is an online banking institution that caters to customers in all 50 states. According to the bank itself, it holds the distinction of being the first FDIC-insured bank to operate entirely through the internet.

Alongside CD products, the bank offers a range of other services including checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, and more.

Capital One

Capital One
Capital One

Capital One

APY Range

3.90% – 5.00%

Minimum Deposit

$0

Terms

6 – 60 months

Fees

$0

Capital One 360 presents a variety of CDs with durations ranging from 6 to 60 months. California citizens can take advantage of the competitive interest rates across all terms, making Capital One an ideal option for CD laddering techniques.

Additionally, you can determine the payout frequency of your CD interest, whether on a monthly, annual, or end-of-term basis.

CD Term
APY
Early Withdrawal Penalty
6 Months
4.25%
3 months interest
9 Months
4.25%
3 months interest
12 Months
5.00%
3 months interest
18 Months
4.45%
6 months interest
24 Months
4.00%
6 months interest
30 Months
4.00%
6 months interest
36 Months
4.00%
6 months interest
48 Months
3.95%
6 months interest
60 Months
3.90%
6 months interest

Capital One CDs sets a comparatively low penalty for early withdrawals from your CD, setting it apart from other banks.

Capital One, a well-known credit card issuer, expands its services to include online banking and Capital One Cafés and currently it's one of the leading online banks nationwide.

CommunityWide

CommunityWide Federal Credit Union CDs
CommunityWide Federal Credit Union CDs

CommunityWide

APY Range

4.00% – 5.30%

Minimum Deposit

$1,000

Terms

6 months – 5 years

Fees

$0

While CommunityWide Federal Credit Union has no branches in California, it provides various certificate products featuring varying terms. Regardless of the term duration, a minimum balance of $1,000 is required, and all clients are entitled to the benefits of NCUA insurance, safeguarding deposits of up to $250,000.

Moreover, CommunityWide Federal Credit Union's certificate rates fare favorably compared to those of other credit unions and online banks.

As for the early withdrawal fee, the equation is a bit difficult – any amount withdrawn before the maturity date will be assessed a penalty equal to the amount of the withdrawal times the remaining term (days) of this certificate at the rate of 2 times the current APR (divided by 365) paid on this certificate.

Term
APY
6 Months
5.30%
12 Months
5.15%
18 Months
4.85%
24 Months
4.50%
36 Months
4.25%
48 Months
4.10%
60 Months
4.00%

With an APY ranging from 4.00% – 5.30%, contingent upon the chosen term, CommunityWide confidently asserts its position as the provider of some of the most competitive rates in the market, a claim that is difficult to refute. Even the shortest term certificate, lasting 60 months, presents an impressive APY of 4.00% as of June 2024.

CIT Bank

CIT-Bank-Logo
CIT-Bank-Logo

CIT Bank

APY Range

0.30% – 3.50%

Minimum Deposit

$1,000

Terms

6 months – 5 years

Fees

$0

CIT Bank does not offer highly competitive rates for long-term CDs. However, they do provide attractive rates for short-term CDs, along with a low minimum deposit requirement. We decided to include CIT Bank in our options because they offer a rare feature in the market – a high rate on no-penalty CDs. This is beneficial for investors who want to avoid penalties for early withdrawal.

At CIT Bank, you have a variety of CD options to choose from. They offer term CDs, no-penalty CDs, Jumbo CDs for substantial investments, and Ramp Up CDs exclusively available to existing customers.

CD Term
APY
Early Withdrawal Penalty
6 Months
3.00%
3 months of interest
11 Months – No Penalty
3.50%
/
13 Months
3.50%
6 months of interest
18 Months
3.00%
6 months of interest
36 Months
0.40%
6 months of interest
48 Months
0.50%
12 months of interest
60 Months
0.50%
12 months of interest

It is important to note that CIT Bank operates as a division of First Citizens Bank. It has a long and esteemed banking history dating back to 1898 and carries over 20 branches in California. Opening a CIT Bank CD is entirely online.

Synchrony Bank

synchrony-bank-logo-vector
synchrony-bank-logo-vector

Synchrony Bank

APY Range

UP TO 5.10 %

Minimum Deposit

$0

Terms

3 months – 5 year

Fees

$0

California residents looking for an online bank with high CD rates may want to consider Synchrony Bank, which offers competitive CD rates. Apart from providing traditional CDs, Synchrony Bank also offers two specialized CD options – bump-up and no-penalty CDs, catering to savers who desire flexibility in their investments.

The terms are varied, there is no minimum deposit, and the rates are competitive for long- and short-term CDs. The early withdrawal fees are in line with other banks and credit unions.

CD Term
APY
Early Withdrawal Penalty
3 Months
0.25%
90 days of interest
6 Months
4.80%
90 days of interest
9 Months
5.10%
90 days of interest
12 Months
4.80%
90 days of interest
11 Months – No Penalty
0.25%
/
18 Months
4.50%
180 days of interest
24 Months
4.20%
180 days of interest
36 Months
4.15%
180 days of interest
48 Months
4.00%
365 days of interest
60 Months
4.00%
365 days of interest

Synchrony Bank allows a grace period of only 10 days. During this timeframe, customers have several options available to them. They can choose to add more funds to their CD account, renew their CD, transfer the funds to another account, or withdraw their money.

Marcus

APY Range

3.90% – 5.10%

Minimum Deposit

$500

Terms

6 – 72 months

Fees

$0

California residents can also consider Marcus, a financial institution operating under the umbrella of Goldman Sachs, which offers a diverse range of financial products. One notable offering is their CDs, which come with a wide selection of terms and competitive interest rates on each term.

Due to these factors, Marcus is an excellent choice for those considering CD laddering. In a crowded online banking landscape, Marcus distinguishes itself by providing some of the most competitive rates for CDs. The minimum deposit required is relatively low, and the penalties for early withdrawal are reasonable.

CD Term
APY
Early Withdrawal Penalty
6 Months
5.10%
90 days interest
9 Months
5.00%
90 days interest
12 Months
5.00%
180 days interest
13 Months – No Penalty
4.70%
/
18 Months
4.60%
180 days interest
24 Months
4.20%
180 days interest
36 Months
4.15%
180 days interest
48 Months
4.05%
180 days interest
60 Months
4.00%
180 days interest
72 Months
3.90%
270 days interest

Being an exclusively online institution, Marcus does not maintain physical branches. However, they offer convenient access to their customer support team through various channels, including online platforms, their dedicated app, and telephone services.

The process of opening a CD with Marcus is quick and can be completed within minutes. Moreover, should you encounter any challenges, their customer contact team is available seven days a week to provide assistance.

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Jumbo CDs In California

Jumbo CDs usually require a larger minimum deposit than regular CDs. The exact minimum amount varies depending on the bank, but it's generally over $100,000. Other terms and conditions are similar to standard CDs.

If you want a jumbo CD in California, you have several options. The first one, which is not the best, is to search online for better rates. You can try typing “best Jumbo CDs” and see what comes up.

However, this strategy is ineffective because only a few online banks offer slightly higher rates on jumbo CDs, usually around 0.05% to 0.25% higher. Also, these comparison websites for the best jumbo CDs typically don't show all the available options.

The next option is to check with your regular bank. Traditional banks often offer higher rates for large deposits and are open to negotiating. Since you already have a relationship with your banker, see what they can provide you with. You might be pleasantly surprised. Don't forget to mention the rates you found online as a benchmark for what you're expecting.

The last option is to visit 4-5 traditional banks in California. Before committing to your own bank, see what other banks are offering. Traditional banks advertise their rates online, but by having a personal meeting or a phone call, you can often secure even better rates. Don't be lazy; it could be worth thousands of dollars.

How California CDs Compare?

The competition in the CD market is very intense right now. Interest rates have gone up, and banks and credit unions are offering rates that were unimaginable just a few years ago.

It's important to compare rates in California and across the country. Online banks are easily accessible from anywhere and tend to offer the highest rates.

Here are some attractive options that were not included in our California CD list:

CD APY Range
Minimum Deposit
3.50% – 5.00%
$0
5.05%
$1
4.30% – 5.05%
$500
2.00% – 4.35%
$1,000
5.08%-5.20%
$1,000
5.00% – 5.10%
$2,500
4.25% – 4.75%
$1,500
3.00% – 4.75%
$1,000
3.75% – 4.30%
$2,500
3.00% – 4.50%
$0
0.05% – 4.75%
$500
3.51% – 4.85%
$5,000
4.20% – 5.40%
$25,000
4.65% – 5.40%
$1,000
5.35% – 5.51%
$1,000
4.90% – 5.50%
$1,000
0.05% – 4.50%
$1,000
4.25%- 4.75%
$2,500
2.75% – 5.25%
$1,000
1.00% – 5.00%
$250
4.00% – 5.15%
$2,500
3.95% – 5.5%
$1,000
0.20% – 0.40%
$500
0.05% – 4.75%
$1,000

How To Smartly Compare CDs?

Here are the main factors to consider when comparing and choosing a CD:

  • Interest Rate: Start by comparing the interest rates offered by different CDs. The interest rate determines how much you'll earn on your investment. Look for CDs with competitive rates that will maximize your returns.
  • Term: CDs have specific term lengths, such as 6 months, 1 year, 3 years, etc. Consider your financial goals and needs to determine the ideal term length for your investment. Longer-term CDs generally offer higher interest rates, but they also lock up your funds for a longer period.
  • Bank Reputation: put your money in a place you feel comfortable with. Read online reviews, understand bank financial stability, and check customer service.
  • Early Withdrawal Penalty: Find the terms and conditions of early withdrawal penalties. If you need access to your funds before the CD matures, look for CDs with lower penalties or flexible withdrawal options.
  • Minimum Deposit Requirements: Some CDs have minimum deposit requirements. Make sure you can meet the minimum deposit amount before opening the account. Consider whether you're comfortable with the required deposit and whether it aligns with your investment goals.
  • Compounding Method: CDs can compound interest at different intervals, such as daily, monthly, quarterly, or annually. The more frequently the interest is compounded, the higher your overall returns will be. 
  • CD Type: Some CDs may offer additional features, such as step-up rates, where the interest rate increases over time, or add-on options that allow you to make additional deposits. Evaluate these features to determine if they align with your investment strategy.

Best CD Rates In California: Research Methodology

The Smart Investor team extensively researched to identify the best CD rates in California. We assessed them based on four main categories:

  • Interest Rates and Terms (50%): We examined the interest rates offered by CD accounts in California and any accompanying terms, such as the duration of the CD term, early withdrawal fees and minimum deposit requirements. CD accounts with higher interest rates and more favorable terms received higher ratings in this category.
  • Account Features (20%): This category evaluated additional features offered by CD accounts, such as the option for automatic renewal at maturity, flexibility in terms of interest payout frequency (e.g., monthly, quarterly, or at maturity), and any special promotions or bonuses. CD accounts with extra features and flexibility earned higher scores.
  • Customer Experience (20%): We analyzed the ease of opening a CD account, communication with customer service representatives, the usability of online banking platforms (tested by our team), and the availability of support channels. CD accounts offered by banks with user-friendly interfaces, responsive customer support, and efficient digital banking tools received higher ratings.
  • Bank Reputation (10%): Our team scrutinized each bank's reputation based on factors such as customer satisfaction ratings, JD Power scores, TrustPilot reviews, and the bank's Better Business Bureau (BBB) profile. Banks with positive reputations and minimal customer complaints regarding CD account services received higher ratings.

We assigned weights to various features and qualities within each category to ensure a comprehensive evaluation of each CD account's offerings. Our ratings were based on a combination of these factors to assist consumers in selecting the best CD account in California to meet their financial needs.

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Picture of Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
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