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12 Types Of CDs: Which Is Best?

The traditional certificate of deposit is far from being the only CD product available to savers. Financial institutions offer a variety of CDs, giving savers more flexibility to manage their money when economic winds change.  Since rates have risen significantly over the past year, it might be a good time to explore your investment options and consider the many varieties of CDs.

What is a CD?

A CD is a deposit account that generally pays a fixed interest rate over a set amount of time, or term.

Depending on the term and the bank, CDs may pay more interest than the average savings account or money market account. And CDs are insured up to $250,000 if taken out at a federally insured bank or credit union by an individual.

To open a traditional CD, the account holder makes a one-time deposit, then leaves the funds to grow until the CD matures. Common terms include three, six, nine and 18 months, along with one, two, three, four and five years. Closing a traditional CD before the term ends generally results in an early withdrawal penalty.

But there are many specialty CDs that don’t conform to the features of traditional CDs. Specialty CDs give savers more flexibility to take advantage of better rates, shield themselves when interest rates are falling and provide easier access to their funds without penalty. Carefully consider which type of CD is best for you.

1. Traditional CD

With a traditional CD, you make a one-time deposit that meets the bank’s minimum opening deposit requirement. The money stays with your bank for a specific term and earns a fixed interest rate. You have the option of cashing out at the end of the term or rolling over the CD for another term. Penalties for early withdrawal can be stiff and will erode your earnings, and possibly your principal. Those fees must be disclosed when the account is opened.

Before you pick a CD, calculate how much interest you would earn by the end of its term.

2. Bump-up CD

A bump-up CD helps you benefit from a rising-rate environment. Suppose you open a two-year CD at a given rate, and six months into the term your bank raises the annual percentage yield (APY) on that product.

A bump-up CD allows you to tell your bank you want the higher rate for the remainder of the term. Institutions that offer bump-up CDs usually allow only one bump-up per term.

The drawback is that a bump-up CD typically has a lower APY than a traditional CD, so when rates rise, you’ll be catching up. It’s important to understand the interest rate environment before taking out a bump-up CD. See how bump-up CD rates stack up against traditional CD rates.

3. Step-up CDs

Like a bump-up CD, a step-up CD lets you move to a higher yield. But unlike a bump-up CD, you don’t have to ask the bank for the higher rate; a step-up CD rate rises automatically by a predetermined amount at certain intervals during the term.

Step-up CDs are uncommon, and there’s no guarantee that you will earn more than a traditional CD. With that in mind, you’ll want to evaluate the initial APY, as well as how much the rate can increase, before choosing this product.

4. Liquid (or no-penalty) CD

Liquid CDs, or no-penalty CDs, allow investors to withdraw money before the CD term ends — generally after the first six days — without incurring a penalty. The APY tied to a liquid CD may be higher than the yield on a savings or money market account, but it will likely be lower than the rate on a traditional CD of the same term.

You’ll have to weigh the convenience of liquidity against whatever return you’re sacrificing. A key consideration with a liquid CD is how soon you can make a withdrawal after opening the account. Most banks require that the money stay in the account for at least seven days before it can be withdrawn without penalty. But financial institutions can set their own penalty-free withdrawal rules, so read the fine print before opening a liquid CD.

5. Zero-coupon CD

With zero-coupon CDs, you buy the CD at a discount to its par value, which is its value at maturity. Coupon refers to a periodic interest payment, so zero-coupon means there are no interest payments during the CD term. For example, if you bought a 10-year, $100,000 CD for $85,000, you wouldn’t receive interest payments during the CD term. Instead, you’d receive the $100,000 face value and the accrued interest when the CD matures.

One drawback of zero-coupon CDs is that they are usually long-term investments and you don’t get the interest until the CD matures.

A bigger drawback is that you must declare the accruing interest as income each year and pay taxes on it, even though you can’t pocket the interest until the CD matures. Each year, you’ll have a higher base than the year before — and a bigger tax bill.

You can inquire about zero-coupon CDs at your bank, but you may have to go through a brokerage firm to get one.

6. Callable CD

With a callable CD, there is an opportunity to earn higher interest, but it comes with a risk: The issuer of a callable CD has the option to “call” back the CD after a set time, before it matures. Whether the issuer uses that option depends on the interest rate environment.

Let’s say you take out a five-year CD at a top rate and the bank has the option to call back the CD in one year. During that year, prevailing rates drop, so your bank also drops its rate on new five-year CDs. The bank can call back your CD and return your principal, plus the interest you’ve earned up to that point. But then you’re stuck with having to reinvest the money after rates have fallen.

When you’re seeking an initial higher yield, you might consider a callable CD. But weigh the downsides and economic conditions before choosing this type of CD.

7. Brokered CD

A brokered CD is sold through a brokerage firm. To get one, you need a brokerage account. Buying CDs through a brokerage can be convenient because you don’t have to open CDs at a variety of banks to get the best yields. Some banks use brokers as sales representatives for their CD products. Banks offering brokered CDs compete in a national marketplace, so they might pay higher rates, but not always.

Brokered CDs are more liquid than bank CDs because they can be traded like bonds on the secondary market. There’s no guarantee you won’t take a loss. The only way to guarantee getting back your full principal with interest is to hold the CD until maturity.

Don’t assume all brokered CDs are backed by the FDIC because not all brokerage firms partner with federally insured banks. Also, watch out for brokered CDs that are callable. Read the fine print before you invest, and check on fees and early withdrawal penalties and policies.

8. High-yield CD

Banks compete for deposits by offering better-than-average rates. High-yield CDs are generally traditional CDs that pay better returns.

Bankrate offers the best route for finding the highest rates in the nation. Bankrate surveys local and national institutions to find banks offering the highest yields on CDs. All accounts are directly offered to the consumer by the institution.

Take time to compare the best CD rates. Then calculate your potential earnings.

9. Jumbo CD

Just as its name implies, a jumbo CD requires a larger deposit than a traditional CD — typically, around $100,000. In some instances, the deposit requirement is somewhat lower. Jumbo CDs may or may not pay more than a traditional CD. The average rate on a five-year jumbo CD is 1.30 percent, while the average rate on a standard five-year CD is 1.24 percent, as of April 5, 2023, according to Bankrate’s national survey of banks and thrifts.

10. IRA CD

An IRA CD is a CD that is held in a tax-advantaged individual retirement account. IRA CDs may appeal to the risk-averse who want to build their retirement savings with guaranteed returns. The trade-off is that you won’t earn high returns compared to what you could earn in stocks, but you could also lose money by investing in the market.

An IRA CD with an FDIC-insured institution is protected up to $250,000.

Though they can help you diversify your portfolio, IRA CDs generally aren’t viewed as smart retirement strategies for younger investors who are well positioned to take on more risk. To get the most out of an IRA CD, fund one with money you won’t need until age 59½, so you don’t have to pay a tax on early distributions.

11. Add-on CD

With most CDs, you make the initial opening deposit and can’t add money to it during the term. But add-on CDs let you deposit more money into the account during the CD term, like a savings account. The number of additional deposits you can make with an add-on CD varies, so be sure you read the fine print.

12. Foreign currency CD

Foreign currency CDs aren’t for novices or risk-averse investors. They are complicated. They can be issued in euros, British pounds and other foreign currencies. They’re bought with U.S. dollars and are converted back to dollars when they mature. There’s no guaranteed APY because the interest is based on a foreign currency or a basket of foreign currencies.

Investing in foreign currency CDs may yield higher returns, but currencies and global economic conditions fluctuate, creating risk. There are also risks when you convert the foreign currency CD back to U.S. dollars. A strengthening dollar can wipe out your return or result in you losing money.

Foreign-currency CDs might not be FDIC-insured. To qualify for FDIC insurance coverage, the principal amount you invest must be guaranteed by the issuing bank. “If the principal is subject to loss — other than for an early withdrawal penalty — the product is not insured by the FDIC if the bank were to fail,” the FDIC says on its website.

Other CD strategies

Besides choosing the right CD, it’s important to implement the right investment strategy to achieve your goals. Buying a single CD is an option, but it might make sense to purchase multiple CDs at the same time so that you can ladder them. CD laddering provides flexibility and involves buying different CDs with different term lengths.

For example, you could build a CD ladder by depositing $2,000 each into one-, two- and three-year CDs. By laddering, you’ll consistently have access to liquid funds that you can reinvest or use for a different purpose. At the same time, you’ll have an opportunity to earn a higher yield by investing in CDs with longer terms that pay more interest.

— Bankrate’s Matthew Goldberg contributed to an update of this article.

How to listen to music in the car from the phone? Via Bluetooth, AUX, USB cable, transmitter

There are many ways you can connect your phone to your car radio and listen to your favorite music from your phone in your car. This is convenient, because now almost everyone has all the music stored in their smartphone. In addition, many use music services such as Apple Music, Google Play Music, Spotify, etc. to listen to music online (or via the Internet from VK, other applications and sites). It doesn’t matter if you use music services, or music is downloaded to your phone’s flash drive, you can listen to it in the car by simply connecting your phone to the radio via Bluetooth, using a USB cable, AUX cable, or in another way. In this article, we will look at all the possible ways in which you can connect your smartphone to the car radio.

There is a huge number of regular head units and universal car radios. All of them differ in their capabilities and functionality. Some can only play music from old cassettes and receive radio, while some no longer support CDs. Modern radios most often support music playback only from USB drives, SD cards and via Bluetooth.

The newest and most advanced standard and universal radios (audio systems) support Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Of course, you can connect your Android smartphone or iPhone to such modern devices without problems at all (and not only to access music), most often even without using wires. But even an old car radio can be connected to a phone and used to listen to music in the car. Even if there is no AUX. Almost all methods are equally suitable for both iPhone and Android smartphones. A conventional push-button mobile phone can also be connected.

Ways to connect a smartphone to a car radio

Most of the solutions that I will discuss in this article, I tested on my own experience. I’ll start with the most convenient and relevant (in my opinion). Since the article will be large, using the menu (article content) below, you can jump straight to the connection method that is right for you. If you still don’t know which method to choose (based on the capabilities of your radio and smartphone), then I recommend that you familiarize yourself with all the possible options.

  1. Bluetooth wireless connection
  2. AUX connection
  3. With USB cable
  4. Via Bluetooth transmitter (if radio does not have Bluetooth)
  5. Via radio (FM transmitter)
  6. Special emulator
  7. Apple CarPlay or Android Auto

Via Bluetooth (without wires)

One of the most convenient and popular ways. It’s very simple: the smartphone connects to the car radio via Bluetooth and plays sound through the car’s speakers. And in some cases (depending on the radio), it is possible to use the car’s speaker system for hands-free calling. The radio screen displays information about calls, network level, smartphone battery charge and other functions. And the connection process itself is practically no different from connecting a phone to wireless headphones, or a speaker.

The main thing is that the radio in your car supports Bluetooth. This can be found by looking at the instructions, or the characteristics on the official website. If your car has a regular head unit, then you are most likely aware of whether there is Bluetooth there or not. Also, in most cases, there is a Bluetooth icon on the device itself, or a corresponding item in the settings. The process of connecting a smartphone to your car’s speaker system may differ from my instructions.

How to connect:

  1. The radio needs to be switched to Bluetooth mode (BT AUDIO). This is usually done with the Mode button.
    Perhaps, depending on the device, you need to activate the connection mode (if the phone does not detect the radio via Bluetooth).
  2. Open the Bluetooth settings on the phone and select our radio there. In this case, it doesn’t matter if it’s an iPhone or an Android smartphone.
  3. On the radio, you will most likely need to confirm the connection. Pairing appeared on my screen, and then Pair and two options NO and YES. Select YES (allow pairing) and confirm.
  4. Everything is connected!
  5. The network signal level and the charge level of my iPhone appeared on the radio screen (it also works on Android). Also on the phone there was a request for permission to synchronize my contacts. To be able to make and receive calls through the speakerphone in the car.
  6. We are interested in listening to music from the phone. All sounds from the phone are played through the car’s speakers. We just turn on the music on the phone (in the player, Apple Music, Spotify, Deezer, Google Play Music, YouTube, in the browser) and listen.
    You can listen to audiobooks through special applications.

Tracks can be switched using the buttons on the radio or on the steering wheel. You can also control the volume, receive calls. But it depends on the functionality of the radio, or the configuration of your car.

Important! If you have a radio without Bluetooth, you can buy a special Bluetooth transmitter (receiver). It connects via AUX and takes power from USB. Then you can output sound from any phone. But only switching tracks on the radio will not work, you have to do it on the phone. I will talk about Bluetooth transmitters in even more detail.

I believe that this connection is one of the most convenient and affordable today. And if you are lucky and you have a car with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, then after connecting, icons of the most necessary applications that may come in handy in the car will appear on the screen of the head unit. Including the Music app.

We connect the phone to the radio via AUX

The easiest and fastest way. In addition, even in old radios, as a rule, there is an AUX input. And the phone has a 3.5 mm headphone jack. Or does it come with an adapter. On the radio, the AUX input looks something like this:

This is an input for a regular 3.5 mm jack. If you have a head unit, then the AUX input can be somewhere in the armrest, glove compartment, some kind of pocket. To connect the radio to the phone via AUX, you need a 3.5 mm jack – 3.5 mm jack cable.

I had it in the kit. If you do not have it, then you can buy it in almost any digital equipment store. He’s not expensive.


  1. Insert one end of the cable into the AUX input on the radio, and the other end into the 3.5 mm output on the phone.
  2. Switch the radio to AUX mode.
  3. Turn on music on your phone and listen to it in your car.
  4. Music playback can only be controlled on the phone.

iPhone can also be connected via AUX.

If you have a new iPhone that no longer has a 3.5 mm output, then use an adapter. If the adapter was not included with the phone, you will have to buy it yourself. By the way, I have already seen a Lightning – 3.5 mm jack cable on the Internet.

I myself often listen to music in the car via AUX, since there is no Bluetooth in my radio. Not as convenient as Bluetooth, but not bad either.

Via USB cable

The goal is to use the phone simply as a storage device. That is, there is music on the flash drive (or internal memory) of the phone, we connect the phone to the radio tape recorder via USB in data transfer mode, the radio tape recorder scans the phone’s memory, finds audio files there and starts playing them. As if we connected a regular USB flash drive.

Please note! The possibilities of this connection method are highly dependent on the functionality of the radio. For example, there are radios that support connecting Android devices via USB. In this case, a special application is installed on the phone. You can control playback both from the phone and from the radio.


  • The car radio must have a USB input. Again, if this is a standard system, then the USB input is most likely located in the glove compartment, or in the armrest.
  • iPhone will most likely not be connected in this way. Because the iPhone cannot be used as a storage device. Unless your car only has Apple CarPlay support. Or the radio supports iPhone cable connection (see specifications). This feature is available on some models from Alpine, BOSS, JVC, Kenwood, Pioneer.
  • Most often you need a USB – Micro USB cable. Or USB – USB Type-C (on new, high-end smartphones). But not every cable will fit. The fact is that there are cables that were originally designed only for charging the phone. It is difficult to distinguish it. You need a USB data cable. The one that comes with the phone should work.
  • You can only listen to music that is stored in the phone’s memory (or on a flash drive). Music via the Internet, various music services (the same Spotify, Deezer), applications, browser, you will not be able to listen. The exception is cars with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay (I will talk about them at the end of the article). On them, when connecting a smartphone via a USB cable, the functionality will be huge. Including access to online music services.
  • You can try to connect not only an Android smartphone, but also some ordinary, push-button phone. The main thing is that it is defined as a USB drive. If you connect it via USB to a computer and just transfer files, then it will most likely be possible to connect it in the car.
  • The phone will charge immediately.

We connect the smartphone with the radio:

  1. Connect one end of the USB cable to the phone and the other to the car radio.
  2. The phone may ask in which mode to connect. Or manually select “File transfer” (data storage device) in the settings.
  3. If the radio does not automatically switch to the “USB” mode, then do it manually.
  4. After reading the USB drive, audio files should appear and music from the phone will start playing.
  5. Most often, playback can only be controlled on the car radio.

Working method, can be used. But as we have already found out, it has many disadvantages and various nuances.

Via Bluetooth transmitter or receiver (receiver)

We need a special Bluetooth transmitter or Bluetooth receiver (also called a Bluetooth AUX receiver). And a radio with AUX input. The bottom line is to add Bluetooth support for a radio that does not have it.

In a nutshell, what is the difference between a transmitter and a receiver. The transmitter can work in two modes: receive sound via Bluetooth from the same phone and transmit it to speakers, headphones, radio. Or receive sound via cable and transmit it via Bluetooth to the same headphones. That is, work on reception and transmission (TX – transmitter, RX – receiver). A Bluetooth receiver can only receive audio via Bluetooth and transmit it via cable.

As you already understood, both devices are suitable for us. Since we need to receive sound from a smartphone via Bluetooth and transmit it to the car radio via AUX. I won’t tell you for a long time, but rather I’ll show you how it works with a real example.

  1. We connect the Bluetooth transmitter (receiver) to the power supply from the charger, or the USB port of the radio. We also connect the radio to the transmitter using a 3.5 mm cable via AUX.
  2. If you have a Bluetooth transmitter, then it must be switched to receiver (RX) mode. Well, in AUX mode, if it has other modes.
  3. Turn on the transmitter (depending on the model). Mine needs to be turned on as it has a built-in battery. But there are models that start working immediately after connecting to the power supply.
  4. We activate the connection mode on the transmitter (so that our phone can see it). Perhaps it is already searchable by default immediately after connection. Again, it all depends on the specific model.
  5. In the Bluetooth settings on the smartphone, select our transmitter and connect to it.
  6. Switch the radio to AUX mode.
  7. Now you can turn on music in any application on your phone and listen to it in your car.
    The photo above shows that BT-B19 is selected as the audio output source(my transmitter).

I have a transmitter model not quite suitable for use in a car. It is very large, with a battery. There are more compact and simple models, smaller in size than a flash drive.

Via FM transmitter (radio)

FM transmitter is a separate device that receives sound from a smartphone via Bluetooth or AUX and transmits it to the radio via radio (FM tuner). The radio on the radio is tuned to the FM frequency on which the FM transmitter broadcasts sound.

If your radio only reads cassettes or CDs and picks up the radio, then you can connect your phone to it via an FM transmitter. There are a huge number of different devices. They differ in their capabilities, design, etc. In addition to transmitting music from the phone via the radio, FM transmitters can read SD cards, ordinary USB flash drives, and work as a speakerphone. They are usually powered by a cigarette lighter. Or via USB from charging.

Buying such a device makes sense only if the radio in the car without AUX input and Bluetooth. If there is AUX, then it is better to buy a Bluetooth transmitter. But this is purely my opinion. With such a connection, there may be poor sound quality, interference.

It works like this:

  1. FM transmitter connected to power.
  2. A smartphone is connected to the transmitter via Bluetooth or using a 3.5 mm (AUX) cable.
  3. The radio on the radio is tuned to the FM frequency that is set on the FM transmitter.
  4. You can control music from your phone. If the connection is via BT, then also with the buttons on the transmitter itself.

In some cases, this is the only solution that allows you to listen to music in the car using your phone. We are talking about old radios and regular head units.

Special emulator for headunit

There are devices such as CD changer emulators for radio. This device is connected to a special connector (on the rear panel of the radio) and allows you to read music from SD cards, USB drives, receive it from your phone via AUX, or Bluetooth. And the radio “thinks” that it works with a conventional CD changer. Everything connects beautifully and works, without a collective farm. Suitable for old standard car radios.

It is connected via the input for the CD changer. Or through a special adapter.

It is usually displayed somewhere in the glove compartment, or in another convenient place. The head unit detects it as a CD changer.

Nothing complicated, just be careful when choosing this device. There are a lot of them on the same AliExpress. Be sure to find out if a particular model is suitable specifically for your car. It is necessary that certain protocols that are supported by the emulator and the head unit match. Read reviews, ask the seller, google information on your car model.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

Well, this is the best solution to date. If your car has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, then you can not only listen to music from your iPhone or Android smartphone, but display the necessary applications on the head unit screen: maps, podcasts, audio books, instant messengers, calendar, phone. You can also use voice search.

Support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto must be on the side of the standard head unit or car radio. Some popular manufacturers such as Gazer, Pioneer, ALPINE, Kenwood, SONY, JVC have already released radios with support for these functions.

For cars (original devices), Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support started appearing in cars in 2016. But it all depends on the brand, model, configuration. Currently, more than 500 car models support this function. Many models from Audi, BMW, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Chevrolet, Citroen, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, Skoda, Toyota and others. It is strange that Mercedes is not on this list.

A complete list of supported cars is available at https://www.android.com/auto/ and https://www.apple.com/ru/ios/carplay/. You can also learn more about these functions there.

  • iOS device support: all iPhones from iPhone 5.
  • Support for Android devices: From Android 5 to Android 9, you need to install the Android Auto app from Google Play. In Android 10, Android Auto is built into the system.

The phone is connected to the car via a cable. Some devices have wireless connectivity. Well, as far as I understand, the possibility of a wireless connection also depends on the car itself (configuration).