We publish unbiased product reviews; our opinions are our own and are not influenced by payment we receive from our advertising partners. Learn more about how we review products and read our advertiser disclosure for how we make money. Rates are updated weekly and are accurate as of time of update.

Our Criteria

We conducted an assessment of 2-year certificate of deposit options provided by the biggest banks and credit unions across the country to determine the best options, ultimately only featuring those that fit our strict criteria. To be eligible, a bank or credit union must:

  • Fall among the top 30 banks and top 10 credit unions based on 2022 consolidated assets.
  • Be federally insured by either the FDIC or the NCUA.
  • Offer 2-year CDs in all 50 states.

Understanding Our Methodology

Annuity.org’s independent editorial team evaluated CD products from the country’s 30 largest banks and 10 largest credit unions, selected based on consolidated assets as reported by the U.S. Federal Reserve or National Credit Union Administration, to determine the qualifying institutions for their rankings.

Out of the 19 qualifying banks and credit unions falling under the criteria outlined above, only 11 offered CDs with 2-year terms. However, two banks that did not structure their terms by 1-year increments offered terms near two years with high interest rates, and we included them in our review.

The staff further narrowed the selection to only those offering more than 3.00% APY for their final comparisons, resulting in a shortlist of eight institutions.

Final selections were based on evaluating APY, minimum deposits, early withdrawal penalties and any bonuses or promotions offered by the institution.

Learn more about our broader Editorial Guidelines.

Before purchasing a CD, make sure you are comfortable leaving your money on deposit for the specified term. Failure to do so will usually trigger a loss-of-interest penalty. Generally, the longer the term, the more punitive the charge.

Editor’s Choice: Best Overall

Alliant Credit Union Details

Founded by United Airlines employees in 1935, Alliant is now one of the largest credit unions in the United States with 700,000 members and $17 billion in assets, as reported by Alliant.


  • Highly competitive APY
  • Low-cost membership
  • Large network of surcharge-free ATMs


  • High minimum deposit ($1,000)
  • Limited physical branch locations
  • Must have an active Alliant savings or trust account

Our Take

Alliant’s 2-year APY is among the highest available, but you must have an active Alliant account to purchase a CD — or share certificate, as they are called with credit unions. Membership is inexpensive: a $5 contribution to Foster Care to Success, with Alliant reimbursing your account for the amount.

Though branches are limited, Alliant has highly rated mobile apps and access to 80,000 fee-free ATMs around the country.

Best for Small Depositors


Capital One

Capital One logo

APY: 4.40%
Capital One Bank Details

Capital One launched in 1984 as a credit card company. It expanded to auto loans in 1996 and into retail banking in 2005. Based in McLean, Va., it had $453.3 billion in assets in 2022, according to the U.S. Federal Reserve.


  • No minimum deposit requirement
  • High APY
  • Robust online banking options
  • Access to 70,000 fee-free ATMs


  • High early withdrawal penalty
  • May have to use out-of-network ATMs
  • Physical branches are limited to six states and the District of Columbia

Capital One 360’s 2-year CD rates tied for the second highest among the banks reviewed. It also has no minimum deposit and the lowest minimum withdrawal penalty among the institutions we reviewed — 120 days’ interest, less than half the penalty of many similar products — making it an attractive option for small depositors.

Best for Online Bankers

Marcus by Goldman Sachs Details

Goldman Sachs launched Marcus in 2016 as an online bank offering personal loans and savings accounts to retail clients. It is an online-only bank offering high-yield savings accounts and similar products.


  • Best APY offered by a bank in our roundup
  • Relatively low minimum deposit requirement ($500)


  • Relatively high early withdrawal penalty (270 days’ interest)
  • Online only with no branches or ATM access

Our Take

Marcus specializes in high-yield savings. It offered the highest APY from the commercial banks meeting our requirements while balancing with a relatively low minimum deposit. Banking services are limited: for example, Marcus does not offer checking accounts. A lack of branches and ATMs limits physical access to your account, but it may be a strong option for people comfortable with online banking.

Best for Military and Veterans

Navy Federal Credit Union Details

Navy Federal has 12.3 million members and 350 branches globally. Membership is limited to military members, their families or household members, veterans and U.S. Department of Defense personnel. According to the U.S. Federal Reserve, Navy Federal had $156 billion in assets in 2022.


  • APY is competitive with online banks
  • Branches and ATMs near military installations


  • Membership is limited to family or household members of current or former military
  • $1,000 minimum deposit requirement on standard certificates
  • 180-days’ dividend early withdrawal penalty on the amount withdrawn

Our Take

The high APY on standard certificates is an attractive option for military members, veterans, military families and others who qualify for Navy Federal membership and have at least $1,000 to lock up for the entire maturity period.

Best Special Rate


U.S. Bank

U.S. Bank logo

APY: 2.50% (for 19 months)
U.S. Bank Details

U.S. Bank’s earliest charter in Minneapolis dates back to the Civil War, but the modern version emerged from acquisitions during the 1990s. According to the U.S. Federal Reserve, it is the fifth largest bank in the United States with $585.1 billion in assets reported in 2022.


  • Low minimum deposit requirement ($500)
  • High APY
  • More than 3,000 physical branches in 29 states


  • The special rate is only for 19 months instead of a full 24
  • Rates vary by location

Our Take

Several banks and credit unions offer special deals on CDs that fall outside the typical terms. While U.S. Bank’s 2-year standard CD offers a low APY, it markets a 19-month CD special with an APY that is competitive with other 2-year CDs.

Others We Considered

Among the other institutions Annuity.org considered, we found four banks that offered competitive choices among rates, minimum deposits and early withdrawal penalties.

Other Top 2-Year CD Options
American Express Bank
Just fractions of a percentage point edged American Express Bank out of our choice of Best for Small Depositors. At the time of consideration, it offered a competitive APY with no minimum deposit and an early withdrawal penalty of 270 days’ interest.
Discover Bank
Discover Bank offered a solid APY and an early withdrawal penalty of just six months’ worth of interest. But it also required a $2,500 minimum deposit — higher than most banks we reviewed.
BMO’s CD terms are not structured to coincide with years and its nearest term was 25 months. It required a $1,000 minimum deposit and had a steep early withdrawal penalty — up to 545 days’ interest.
HSBC offered a 2-year CD with a lower-than-ideal APY and a minimum deposit of $1,000. The minimum withdrawal penalty was 90 days’ worth of interest.

How Do 2-Year CDs Compare to Other CD Terms?

Compared to shorter-term CDs, which are considered less risky by banks and credit unions, 2-year CDs generally offer higher interest rates — but lower rates than longer-term CDs.

Locking in funds for longer periods of time, such as with 5-year or 10-year CDs, typically results in higher interest rates but also carries more risk for the depositor.

It’s important to note that these are not strict guidelines, as rates can vary widely between institutions and even within a single bank or credit union. So, it’s important to compare different institutions and CD terms when shopping for a certificate of deposit.

Who Should Get a 2-Year CD?

A 2-year CD may be a good choice if you’re looking for a balance between earning a relatively high rate of return while still keeping some flexibility in your investment strategy.

It’s important to consider your personal financial goals and needs when choosing the length of your CD term. It’s also important to consider circumstances that may arise requiring you to tap your savings. Early withdrawal penalties can eat away at your earnings.

You may choose to consider alternative options as well, such as high-yield savings accounts, to determine what saving or other personal finance strategies work best for you.

Frequently Asked Questions About 2-Year CDs

What other short-term CDs can you get?

Typically, short-term CDs are those that have a maturity of one year or less. These include 30-day, 3-month, 6-month, 9-month and 12-month CDs. Banks and credit unions are free to determine which terms they will offer and not all institutions offer all CD terms.

What short-term investments are good alternatives to a 2-year CD?

High-yield savings accounts are a possible alternative to 2-year or shorter-term CDs. While they may not offer as high a return, high-yield savings accounts can offer greater flexibility and liquidity if you need to access your savings before a CD matures. Other alternatives include money market accounts and short-term government or corporate bonds.

Are 2-year CDs good for CD laddering?

CD laddering involves blending longer-term CDs with shorter-term certificates of deposit. A 2-year ladder may include CDs with 6-month, 12-month, 18-month and 2-year CDs. And a 5-year ladder may include 1-, 2-, 3-, 4- and 5-year CDs.

Please seek the advice of a qualified professional before making financial decisions.
Last Modified: November 7, 2023