Determine how long you can keep your money invested. If you need access to your cash quickly, it is best to use a money market or savings account. If you can afford to keep your money tied up for the longer term, you can probably get a higher rate of interest with a certificate of deposit. CDs with longer terms should have higher interest rates.
Start with the bank where you have your checking account and ask for a rate sheet that shows the current interest rate on all of the bank's term deposit accounts, including money market accounts and CDs. Use those rates as your baseline when you shop around at other banks and credit unions.
Compare the interest rates offered by your own bank to what you can find elsewhere. It pays to shop around, not only at local banks but at online and national institutions as well. Check the terms and conditions of the accounts carefully to make sure the account would not be subject to any costly monthly fees. Also check with the bank to see if the interest rate quoted is guaranteed and, if so, for how long.
Check the interest rate on your term deposit account each time you get your statement. If you invest in a CD, the interest rate should not change for the entire term. But if you use a savings account or money market account, the rate can fluctuate. If the rate drops significantly, it might be worthwhile to seek out a higher rate and move your money there.