The Best 18-Month CDs for 2024: Fixed Returns, Short-Term Commitment

Discover the financial benefits of 18-Month CDs – a secure investment with fixed rates. Explore top bank options for maximizing returns in a short-term commitment.
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Written by Shannon Lee
Financial Expert
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Managing Editor
Our methodology is designed to provide consumers with unbiased and comprehensive evaluations of various banking products. Visit our Editorial Policy page for more information.

Do you want to invest your money in a savings vehicle with a fixed interest rate? Most high-yield savings accounts offer a variable rate, meaning they can change the rate at any time. You might sign up for a savings account at a highly competitive rate, only to see that rate fall a month later.

That’s where CDs come in.

The certificate of deposit is a way to invest your money in something similar to a savings account, but the interest is at a guaranteed, fixed rate. Among the options for CDs, the 18-month CD is quite popular.

Here’s what you need to know about this promising savings opportunity.

What Is an 18-Month CD?

A certificate of deposit is a type of savings and investment option banks offer. Credit unions call the CD a “share certificate,” which essentially works the same way.

CDs are available in various terms, usually from six months to five years. The term is the period during which you agree to leave your money in the CD.

When you open the CD, you do so at a specific and guaranteed interest rate.

If you leave the money in the CD for the agreed-upon period, the bank will provide the interest rate you accepted when you signed up. This is a fixed rate, meaning that it will not change during the life of the CD. A CD’s rates are usually higher than even high-yield savings accounts.

An 18-month CD is a popular option for those who want to invest their money and get a higher interest rate but only have their cash tied up for a short time.

If you leave the money in the CD, you’ll get the interest and initial investment. If you pull the money from the CD early, you will face a penalty that could wipe out the interest you earned (and then some).

Which Banks Have the Best CD Rates?

Many banks provide high-yield CDs, competing intensely to offer top rates. We’ve listed some of the best CD accounts to assist you in finding ones that align with your financial goals.

Where to Find the Best 18-Month CDs

Many banks offer CDs of various terms and minimums. These are some of the top banks for choosing online CDs. Think about what matters most to you and then compare these banks to find the one that suits your needs.

Discover® Bank 

Discover is a tried-and-true bank that offers a wide variety of products, including CDs with consistently above-average interest.

The most common are the 1-year and 5-year terms, which begin earning money on as little as one dollar. However, the minimum opening deposit is $2,500, potentially putting this out of reach of many consumers.

Tab Bank

With consistently high rates and eight CD terms to choose from, TAB Bank requires a $1,000 minimum to open each of them.

The terms range from 6 to 60 months, perfect for CD laddering to protect your investment. Some fees are associated with this account, so read the fine print before opting in.

Seattle Bank

Seattle Bank offers four terms: 12 months, 18 months, 24 months, and 36 months. All terms renew at 12-month intervals.

The bank says it has some of the highest potential rates for the 18-month CD, but keep in mind that these rates are always subject to change until you lock in your term. It’s a minimum of $1,000 to open any CD here.

Barclays

For complete banking services, no matter where you are in the country, Barclays is a potential solution.

There are six options for CDs ranging from 12 months to 60 months, with the 18-month CD having some of the highest rates among those offerings.

No minimum balance or deposit is required to open the account, but there might be fees, so check the fine print.

Synchrony

Synchrony Bank offers nine options for CDs, including those from three months to 60 months.

The 18-month CD is among those with the highest rates offered at the bank. There is no minimum balance required.

You can withdraw the interest at any time without penalty, but remember that this will substantially cut your savings rate.

Pros and Cons of an 18-Month CD

As with any banking product, there are some pros and cons. Here’s what to expect from the 18-month CD.

Pros

  • You get a fixed interest rate that won’t change during the life of the CD
  • As with other terms, your money is tied up for 18 months rather than several years
  • The interest rate is quite competitive across all banks that offer CDs
  • Many banks offer the highest rates on the 18-month CD rather than the other terms
  • Some banks allow you to open a CD with as little as one dollar

Cons

  • If you take the money out of the CD before the 18 months is up, you will pay a penalty
  • Sometimes, the variable interest rate might be higher than the fixed rate you’re getting with the CD
  • Some banks might require a high initial deposit to open a CD

Who Are 18-Month CDs Best For?

These CDs work well for someone who wants the comfort of investing in a safe, secure financial option but doesn’t want to tie their money up for too long.

Consumers who choose an 18-month CD will enjoy a fixed rate, so many will opt to put additional money in a savings account that earns a variable rate, thus getting the best of both worlds.

If you have cash you don’t mind keeping in one safe place for 18 months and don’t think you will need to withdraw any of it, a CD could be an excellent home for your money.

When Is a CD the Right Choice?

A CD might be right for you when the interest rates are high, and you can afford to let your money sit in the CD to gain that interest over the life of the term.

If you are looking to save for something specific, such as a vacation or home improvement, using a CD to get the highest rates possible makes sense.

On the other hand, if you are close to retirement, it might be better to go with a money market account or other option that can offer higher rates.

Remember that a CD shouldn’t function as an emergency fund. For that, a high-yield savings account is a better bet. It allows you to pull out funds at any time without worry about penalties.

What is “laddering” your CDs?

Laddering is a method of choosing several CDs with different terms and putting money into each one. This allows you to move money around if you find a CD that brings you more interest. For instance, you could put $500 each into a 6-month, 12-month, and 18-month CD. When the 6-month CD matures, you can look at the current interest rates and decide if you want to pull that money out and reinvest in another CD with higher interest. But if interest rates drop, you still have the higher rates in your 12-month and 18-month CDs.

What is the penalty for money from a CD before it matures?

The penalty levied depends upon the bank. It can often be enough to negate any interest you might have gained thus far on the CD and could even go further, resulting in having less money than you put into it. Because of this, choose your CD carefully and make sure you can live without that money for the period of the CD term.

Is the money in my CD insured by the FDIC?

The money in your CD is covered up to $250,000 per account per depositor. If you choose to put more than $250,000 in a CD, keep in mind that if the bank ever becomes insolvent, you might not get any money back over that $250,000 threshold guaranteed by the federal government.

About Author
Shannon Lee
Shannon Lee, a versatile contributor to MoneyRates, is a freelance writer with a passion that spans over two decades. Her extensive writing portfolio encompasses a myriad of topics, ranging from personal finance and home improvement to education, relationships, and medical and health subjects. In addition to her prolific freelance career, Shannon is also a novelist. Shannon’s dedication to providing insightful and informative content makes her a valued voice in the world of personal finance.