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5 easy ways to earn $500 with a CD now

It's easy to earn a strong return with a CD in today's high interest rate environment.  Mark A Hicks II / Getty Images

Certificates of deposit (CDs) can generate a meaningful return. With leading financial institutions offering APYs ranging from around 4% to over 5%, they can be hard to ignore. These accounts usually come with federally-backed insurance that guarantees your money is safe up to the insurance maximum, which is usually $250,000. 

But what if you wanted to earn a specific return by investing in a CD? For example, say you wanted to earn $500 on your deposit. The good news is that there are several ways to earn $500 on a CD in today's high interest rate environment. But, be sure to start quickly. As inflation cools, CD APYs may start falling soon. So, you'll want to lock in today's high CD rates as soon as possible. 

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5 easy ways to earn $500 with a CD now

Here are five easy ways to earn $500 with a CD right now:

Deposit $19,000 into a 6-month CD

You could earn $501.63 by depositing $19,000 into a 6-month CD with a 5.35% APY. If you did, your total account balance would be $19,501.63 upon maturity.  

Start earning more on your savings with a CD now

Deposit $9,400 into a 1-year CD

Some top 1-year CDs come with APYs as high as 5.36%. If you were to deposit $9,400 into a 1-year CD at that rate, you would earn $503.84 in interest, bringing your total account value to $9,903.84 at the end of your term. 

Deposit $3,500 into a 3-year CD

If you deposit $3,500 into a 3-year CD at a leading financial institution, you could earn a 4.61% return for the term of your account. At that rate, you would earn $506.71 on your deposit for a total account balance of $4,006.71 at the end of your term. 

Deposit $2,050 into a 5-year CD

You could earn $504.67 by depositing $2,050 into a 5-year CD with a 4.50% APY. That would bring your total account balance to $2,554.67 upon the account's maturity. 

Deposit $1,130 into a 10-year CD

10-year CDs are currently available with APYs as high as 3.75%. If you deposit $1,130 into a 10-year CD at 3.75%, you would earn $502.90 - bringing your total balance to $1,632.90 upon your account's maturity. 

Consider a high-yield savings account, too

"Savings accounts provide more flexibility than a CD," explains Matt Willer, managing director of capital markets at the financial planning firm, Phoenix Capital Markets. "While you may have transaction volume limitations, rarely is your money locked up. So, it's a more flexible option than a CD, while still allowing for a reasonable yield and remaining FDIC insured."

But, there's a tradeoff to consider. While high-yield savings accounts usually give you more access to your money than CDs, their yields are variable. So, if rates fall, returns on these accounts may fall, too. 

Nonetheless, you could earn between 4.25% and 5.25% returns on some of today's top high-yield savings accounts. So, how long would it take you to earn $500 on a $10,000 deposit at these rates if they stayed the same for the entire time you had the account?

  • 4.25%: At 4.25%, you would earn $534.04 in interest on a $10,000 balance after 15 months. 
  • 5.25%: At 5.25%, you would earn $525.00 in interest on a $10,000 balance after 12 months.

But, keep in mind that the returns above assume that your rate of return stays the same through the entire 12 or 15 months and there's no guarantee that will happen. 

Compare today's top-paying high-yield savings accounts now

The bottom line

There are several ways to earn $500 on a CD. Some of the easiest ways are to deposit $1,130 into a 10-year CD, deposit $2,050 into a 5-year CD, deposit $3,500 into a 3-year CD, deposit $9,400 into a 1-year CD or deposit $19,000 into a 6-month CD. Moreover, if you're not interested in locking your money up in a CD, a high-yield savings account could still give you access to a meaningful return. Compare leading high-yield savings accounts here and leading CDs here to earn more on your money today. 

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