Best Way to Build a CD Ladder

Conor Keenan Author Bio By: Conor Keenan  Last updated on February 17, 2024
Conor Keenan is compareaccounts.com's co-founder. His work in personal finance has been featured by MSN, CNN, AOL, Fox News, Yahoo News & many more.

Editorial Freedom: The opinions, reviews, or recommendations in our articles are solely our own & are not endorsed by any financial institution or partner. Thanks to commissions from partner offers, our site remains free. Content by our team is independent & not commissioned by any advertising partners or financial institutions herein.

Building a CD ladder can be a daughting task. Thankfully, the problem of managing multiple accounts, across different instutions and different maturity dates has been solved.

Enter the Raisin Platform. Through one secure login, you’ll gain access to 40+ insured banks & credit unions.

Sign up with confidence knowing that you’ll receive $250,000 of insurance coverage per institution, per individual, and be able to manage your savings with a single login for all of your CDs.

See our step by step guide to building your CD ladder below and open your account today!

Step 1: Short Term CDs

The first step is to select the short term CDs for your ladder. We recommend a 3 month CD for liquidity, and a 6 month CD for the next rung in your ladder.

Ponce Bank Logo Powered By Raisin

Rating:

APY

5.35%

3 Month Term

  • High Yield CD
  • Term: 3 Month
  • 5.35% APY
  • Min. initial deposit: $1
  • FDIC Insured up to $250,000
  • No Monthly Fees
  • 24 /7 Access to Funds
  • Certified Community Development Financial Institution
  • Interest Compounded Daily
  • See Site for Details

On Raisin's Secure Site for
Ponce Bank, FDIC Insured

 

Western Alliance Bank Powered by Raisin

Rating:

APY

5.23%

6 Month Term

  • High-Yield CD
  • Min. initial deposit: $1
  • Term: 6 Months
  • 5.23% APY
  • FDIC Insured up to $250,000
  • No Monthly Fees
  • Interest Compounded Daily
  • Ranked #1 Top-Performing Large Bank with Assets $50 Billion and Above in 2021, 2022, & 2023 by American Banker
  • Exclusive Offer Powered by The Raisin Platform
  • 3.4x the National Avg. APY
  • See Site for Details

On Raisin's Secure Site for Western Alliance Bank,
FDIC Insured

Step 2: Medium Term CDs

The second step is to select the medium term CDs for your ladder. We recommend a 9 month CD and a 12 month CD for the next rungs in your ladder.

Lemmata Savings Bank Powered By Raisin

Rating:

APY

5.20%

 

 9 Month Term 

  • High Yield CD
  • Min. initial deposit: $1
  • Term: 9 Months
  • 5.20% APY
  • FDIC Insured up to $250,000
  • No Monthly Fees
  • Interest Compounded Daily
  • Lemmata Gives Back Through Charitable Donations
  • Exclusive Offer Powered by The Raisin Platform
  • See Site for Details

On Raisin's Secure Site for
Lemmata Savings Bank,
FDIC Insured

Pacific Western Logo Powered By Raisin

Rating:

APY

5.51%

 

 12 Month Term 

  • High Yield CD
  • Min. initial deposit: $1
  • Term: 12 Months
  • 5.51% APY
  • FDIC Insured up to $250,000
  • No Monthly Fees
  • Interest Compounded Daily
  • Listed previously by Forbes as the #1 Best Bank in America
  • Exclusive Offer Powered by The Raisin Platform
  • See Site for Details

On Raisin's Secure Site for
Pacific Western Bank,
FDIC Insured

Step 3: Longer Term CDs

The third step is to select the longer term CDs for your ladder. We recommend a 15 month CD and a 18 month CD for the next rungs in your ladder.

 High APY Rate 

Blue Credit Union Logo Powered By Raisin

Rating:

APY

4.70%

 

 15 Month Term 

  • High Yield Certificate of Deposit
  • Term: 15 Months
  • 4.70% APY
  • Min. initial deposit: $1
  • Blue FCU is Federally Insured by NCUA, the National Credit Union Administration
  • NCUA Insured up to $250,000
  • No Monthly Fees
  • 24 /7 Online Access to Funds
  • 2.0x National Avg. APY
  • Interest Compounded Daily
  • Blue FCU Has Served Its Members for Over 70 Years
  • See Site for Details

On Raisin's Secure Site for​ Blue FCU, NCUA Insured

Step 4: Congratulations

The final step is to congratulate yourself on accomplishing something that used to take days, or weeks, in a matter of minutes. Take a bow, you’ve earned it.

To recap our recommendations.

Best Certificate of Deposits According To CompareAccounts™

Western Alliance Bank® High-Yield CD: 5.23% APY - 6 Month Term

Customers Also Viewed These High-Yield Savings Accounts

What to Look for in a Certificate of Deposit Account

It’s always wise to compare your options when opening a new certificate of deposit account.

Small differences in interest rates and fees can quickly add up over time, especially if you’re keeping a large balance in the account.

Here are the top features to look for and compare:

1. Interest Rate

The interest rate of a certificate of deposit is one of its most important features. However, a very high interest rate can get completely wiped out if you have to pay a penalty fee because you need to withdrawl your funds before the term is complete.

Besides interest rate, term length is the second most important factor. Other important features of your certificate of deposit account include the required initial deposit, and minimum balance required.

2. Term Length

Most banks will charge you what’s called a “penalty fee” for withdrawing your funds before the term length has been completed.

This means, that if you open a 12-month CD, but withdraw your funds within 6 months, then you’ll pay a penalty fee.

Therefore, you need to decide when you’ll need these funds again.

For any term less than a year, we recommend a high-yield savings account.

If this is your first CD account, we recommend starting with a 12 – 15 month term.

If you’ve opened a CD account in the past, then you choose which term is right for you and your unique situation.

3. Required Initial Deposit

Initial deposit is another important factor when deciding to open up a certificate of deposit. Most banks require at least a $500 initial deposit to open a CD account.

While others require much more than $500 to open the account.

Again, because the initial deposit is in the hundreds if not thousands, we recommend you open a high-yield savings account if you need these funds within a year.

*National Savings Rate Average as published by FDIC