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What Is A Fixed Deposit Account?

A Fixed Deposit account (FD) is a financial instrument offered by banks, which allows you to save your money for a fixed period of time to generate higher interest compared to a conventional savings account. In many western countries, FD is also known as term deposit or time deposit.

How Does A Fixed Deposit Account Work?

In a typical FD arrangement, you place a sum of money into a bank by cash or cheque, and receive in return a certificate of deposit indicating the deposited amount, the interest and the maturity date. At the specified maturity date, you then return the certificate of deposit to the bank to withdraw your deposited amount plus interest.

How to Get Higher Interest from Your FD?

FD's generally provide savers with higher interest rates than regular savings accounts. As such, if you have some spare cash that you do not need access to, you can boost your income by choosing to invest in it.

  • Take advantage of FD promotions: Most banks run FD promotions a few times a year in order to entice new and recurring customers. Interest rates from FD promotions are usually higher than the board rate. Keep yourself updated with the latest FD promotions by checking iMoney's online calculator regularly (Scroll up to use the calculator).

  • Compare the rates: Different banks have different FD interest rates. To get maximum returns from your deposits, check the rates of all the banks before opening an FD. This can also be done via iMoney's online calculator.

  • Lengthen your Fixed Deposit period: Typically, the longer your FD period is, the higher the interest rate is. However, bear in mind that you may risk losing all or part of your interest if the fund is withdrawn prematurely.

What Happens If You Terminate Your FD Before The Maturity Date?

Based on the standard policy of major banks in Malaysia, you will instantly lose all interest if you:

  • make a premature withdrawal from an FD with a term of one, two or three months
  • make a premature withdrawal before three months from an FD account with a term longer then three months

However, if you make a premature withdrawal from an FD after three months, you get to keep half of the interest generated.

Are Your FD Deposits Safe?

In Malaysia, all deposits made at a member bank are automatically protected by Perbadanan Insurans Deposit Malaysia (PIDM). In the event that your bank fails, PIDM protects you against the loss of your deposits, but only for up to RM250,000 per depositor per bank. For peace of mind, look for the PIDM sign that indicates your bank is a member bank.

For those with more than RM250,000, consider getting maximum protection by depositing your money in sums of RM250,000 with different banks. Alternatively, you can also place your money into an Islamic account or a joint-name account with the same bank, as they are insured separately. For more information on PIDM, click here.

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