What’s the Typical Minimum Balance for a Certificate of Deposit?

Nearly every financial institution requires a minimum starting balance when opening a certificate of deposit. This minimum deposit requirement can range from $500 to $2,500 or more depending on the bank, but a select few financial institutions offer CDs with no minimum balance requirement.

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APA Schell, J. (2022, April 27). What’s the Typical Minimum Balance for a Certificate of Deposit? Annuity.org. Retrieved May 28, 2022, from https://www.annuity.org/personal-finance/banking/certificate-of-deposit/typical-minimum-balance/

MLA Schell, Jennifer. "What’s the Typical Minimum Balance for a Certificate of Deposit?" Annuity.org, 27 Apr 2022, https://www.annuity.org/personal-finance/banking/certificate-of-deposit/typical-minimum-balance/.

Chicago Schell, Jennifer. "What’s the Typical Minimum Balance for a Certificate of Deposit?" Annuity.org. Last modified April 27, 2022. https://www.annuity.org/personal-finance/banking/certificate-of-deposit/typical-minimum-balance/.

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Do Banks Have Minimum Deposit Requirements To Open a CD?

When you open a certificate of deposit (CD) at a bank or credit union, you traditionally deposit at least a minimum required amount of money for the account to be created. This amount is known as the minimum deposit, and nearly every bank has a minimum deposit requirement for opening a CD.

Minimum deposit requirements exist for CDs because of the way the financial product works. After you open a CD and make your initial deposit, you cannot continue adding funds to the CD or access your money at all (without penalty) until the CD matures. So, your initial deposit should be robust enough to make the interest you’ll earn worth this illiquidity.

Jumbo CDs typically require the highest minimum deposits. A jumbo CD might have a minimum deposit requirement ranging from $100,000 to as high as $1 million. In return, since larger deposits are more attractive to the banks offering these products, jumbo CDs tend to pay higher interest rates than smaller CDs.

Current CD Minimums and Rates at Popular Banks

As of April 2022, these are the current minimum deposits and interest rates for 1-year CDs offered by popular banks:

April 2022 CD Minimums and Rates
BankMinimum Deposit for 1-Year CDAPY for 1-Year CD
Ally Bank$00.75%
Bank of America$1,0000.03%
Capital One$00.08%
Discover Bank$2,5000.55%
JPMorgan Chase & Co.$1,0000.02%
Marcus by Goldman Sachs$5000.75%
PNC$10000.02%
TIAA Bank$10000.90%
Wells Fargo$2,5000.01%

The Best CD Accounts You Can Open for $500 or Less

As illustrated above, there are banks offering CDs with no minimum deposit requirements to open. You’re likely to find higher rates and more lenient requirements, such as no deposit requirements, at online-only banks like Ally Bank and Marcus by Goldman Sachs.

Ally Bank and Capital One both currently offer CDs with no minimum deposit, and Marcus by Goldman Sachs only requires a $500 deposit for CDs. Each of these banks also offer competitive interest rates that are much higher than the national average of 0.15% as of April 2022.

Ways To Get Higher Interest on Your CD

CD interest is calculated based on the length of the CD’s maturity term and how much money you’re depositing into the CD. Simply put, the more money you put into the CD and the longer you keep it there, the more interest you will earn. But there are a few other strategies you can use to earn more interest from CDs.

The first is a technique called CD laddering, which refers to the practice of splitting your deposit across multiple CDs with different maturity terms in order to maximize your luck with interest rates and contract terms. As your shortest-term CD matures, you can roll your initial deposit and the earned interest over into a new CD, which will then earn even more interest. You continue the process, adding a new rung on the “ladder” with each rollover.

When CD laddering, you’re able to take advantage of higher interest rates while continuously having access to maturing funds, thus minimizing the illiquidity risk associated with CD products. CD laddering is most advantageous in rising interest rate environments since you can upgrade to CDs with newer, better APYs as your CDs mature.

You can also purchase other types of CDs, such as bump-up CDs. With a bump-up CD, you’ll have the option to “bump up” your CD’s APY if rates increase during your CD’s term. You can usually only do this once during a CD’s term, so it can be tricky to time the order.

A professional financial advisor can help you to shape your CD investment strategy and best take advantage of the current interest rate environment.

What Are Some Alternatives to CDs?

If you’re looking for a risk-free way to earn interest on your savings, CDs can be a useful tool. But some savers prefer more flexibility or higher returns than CDs can offer. There are some alternatives to CDs you might consider, depending on your personal financial situation. Each alternative product carries its own unique benefits and risks.

Those who want to continuously add money to their savings while retaining the option to withdraw money when they need it might be better suited for a high-yield savings account. These accounts can offer very competitive interest rates, some even on par with those offered by CDs, and you’ll have unlimited access to your money. Keep in mind that, unlike with CDs, your interest rate is not locked in and may go down after you open the account.

People who are saving money for retirement — and thus are looking for a long-term solution — might prefer a fixed annuity to a CD. Like CDs, fixed annuities offer guaranteed returns on your deposit after a period of time, plus interest. But fixed annuities typically beat the interest rates offered by CDs.

In exchange, fixed annuities differ from CDs in that they have much longer maturity terms. The interest on a fixed annuity is also tax-deferred, unlike the interest earned from CDs. This means that you won’t pay taxes on your annuity’s interest until you withdraw it, usually during retirement.

Please seek the advice of a qualified professional before making financial decisions.
Last Modified: April 27, 2022

6 Cited Research Articles

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  1. Ally Bank. (n.d.) High-Yield Certificate of Deposit (n.d.) Retrieved from https://www.ally.com/bank/high-yield-cd/
  2. Capital One. (2022, April 5). CD Savings Accounts and Interest Rates. Retrieved from https://www.capitalone.com/bank/cds/online-cds/
  3. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. (n.d.) Certificates of Deposit (CDs). Retrieved from https://www.finra.org/investors/learn-to-invest/types-investments/bank-products/certificates-deposit-cds
  4. Marcus by Goldman Sachs. (2022, April 5). Online Certificates of Deposit (CDs). Retrieved from https://www.marcus.com/us/en/savings/high-yield-cds
  5. Marquit, M. (n.d.) How To Build a CD Ladder (Infographic). Retrieved from https://www.depositaccounts.com/blog/how-to-build-a-cd-ladder.html
  6. Merritt, C. (n.d.) What Constitutes a Jumbo CD? Retrieved from https://finance.zacks.com/difference-between-basic-certificate-deposit-jumbo-4498.html