Editor's Note: APYs listed in this article are up-to-date as of the time of publication. They may fluctuate (up or down) as the Fed rate changes. CNBC will update as changes are made public.
When you've got a large expense coming up in a year, from a wedding to a major home appliance, it's best to get a jump-start on saving as early as possible. But making a plan not to touch your savings for 12 months could be a big decision if you're used to tapping into this cash every couple of months for emergencies.
Undoubtedly, high-yield savings accounts are the best kind of savings accounts to use as a fund for rainy days. Most give you 24/7 access and are easily linked to your checking account so that you can transfer cash when needed.
Once you have started building up this fund, however, you may want to consider depositing other cash into a certificate of deposit (CD) for an added level of discipline that helps you keep your hands off your funds.
With a CD, savers are locked into a fixed interest rate for the length of their CD term. Usually, the longer your term the better the rate. Returns for one-year CDs can outpace what's being offered by the best high-yield savings accounts, and the rate won't fluctuate for the entire 12 months.
CDs term lengths range between three months and five years, but a one-year CD is a safe place to stash your money if you have a big event taking place at least 12 months away that you'll need the money for. Note that you usually can't add additional money or withdraw your funds until the CD term is up, unless you pay a penalty fee.
The CFG Community Bank CD ranks on CNBC Select's list of the top CD savings accounts because, with a fixed 0.73% APY, it offers an interest rate that's more than four times the national one-year CD average.
Below, we take a closer look at the one-year CFG Community Bank CD by breaking down its annual percentage yield (APY), access to your cash, perks and fees so you can decide if this savings account is right for you.
0.73% fixed APY
$500 to open and start earning interest
For 1-year CD: Subject to a penalty fee; Withdrawing within six days of account opening will cost you a 7-day interest penalty
See our methodology, terms apply.
The CFG Community Bank CD currently offers a fixed 0.73% APY on its one-year CD. With the national average rate for a one-year CD at 0.17% APY according to the FDIC, this is more than four times the national average.
CFG Bank is a community bank headquartered in Maryland and is a subsidiary of Capital Funding Group. It offers both business and personal banking products online and at its physical branches. Many of the best CDs are offered only online, so this is a unique perk.
Similar to the other traditional and high-yield CDs, users don't have access to their cash until their CD term length is up (unless they withdraw early for a penalty fee).
Once your one-year CFG Community Bank CD term is up, you can withdraw the full amount or renew/change CDs.
CFG Bank's CD offerings, including its one-year CD, stand out because they all offer the same low $500 minimum balance requirement.
So, for those looking to open a CD with a longer term, you can do so at CFG Bank and expect to have to only put down $500. The bank offers 12-, 13-, 18-, 33- and 60-month CDs.
If you aren't committed to 12 months, consider CFG Bank's 13-month CD. Though it currently offers a lower 0.68% APY, account holders can take advantage of a one-time penalty-free withdrawal.
CFG Bank's website isn't as user-friendly as some other CD accounts that CNBC Select reviewed, but interested savers can still apply online for an account. You'll need a Social Security number, your physical U.S. address and your driver's license or state-issued ID to apply. For making initial deposits to open an account, CFG Bank requires ACH electronic transfer.
The minimum deposit is $500 to open and start earning interest with a one-year CFG Community Bank CD, which is on the lower end for CDs. There are no monthly maintenance fees, which is typical of CDs.
If you withdraw your money within six days of your account opening, it will cost you a 7-day interest penalty. All other CD accounts by CFG Bank are subject to an early withdrawal penalty depending on the term length. (Note that the 13-month CD mentioned above has a one-time penalty-free withdrawal.)
With the one-year CFG Community Bank CD, account holders earn a higher-than-average interest rate and only have to deposit a minimum $500. Generally, however, a larger deposit will earn you the most money. And if you want as an alternative, you can open their 13-month CD instead and have access to a one-time withdrawal of your funds at no cost to you.
This is a perfect mid-range CD. For a shorter term, consider the three-month BrioDirect High-Rate CD or six-month iGObanking High-Yield iGOcd®. For a longer term, you are better of with the three-year First National Bank of America CD or five-year Ally Bank High Yield CD.
To determine which certificates of deposit (CDs) offer the best return on your money, CNBC Select analyzed dozens of CD accounts offered by online and brick-and-mortar banks, including large credit unions. We narrowed down our ranking by only considering those high-yield or traditional CDs that offer competitive APYs, or higher-than-average rates, as well as low minimum deposits requiring $1,000 or less to open an account and zero monthly maintenance fees (which is typical of CDs).
We did not include CDs offered by credit unions on this list, as well as specialty CD types like no-penalty CDs (for easy withdrawals), add-on CDs (for making additional contributions), jumbo CDs (for large deposits) and IRA CDs (for retirement).
When rating our top five CD accounts, we ranked the best in the following categories: three-month CD, six-month CD, one-year CD, three-year CD and five-year CD.
While the accounts we chose in this article consistently rank as having some of the highest APY rates, we also compared each CD account on a range of features, including penalties for early withdrawal, website and mobile features, insurance policies and customer reviews when available. We also considered users' deposit options and the frequency with which the interest compounds.
All of the CD accounts included on this list are FDIC-insured up to $250,000 per person. If you are opening a joint account CD with a spouse, the insurance limit is doubled.
The rates and fee structures banks advertise for their CD accounts are not guaranteed forever. They are subject to change without notice and they often fluctuate in accordance with the Fed rate. If you open a CD account, however, you are locked into that APY offered at account opening for the entire term length.
Your earnings depend on the CD term length, the amount you deposit, the APY offered when you opened the account and any associated fees. Generally, a longer term with a larger deposit and a higher interest rate will earn you the most money. Any early withdrawals may result in penalty fees that lower your principal balance/earnings.
To open a CD account for the first time at a bank, most banks and institutions require a deposit of new money, meaning you can't transfer money you already had in an account at that bank.