An Islamic Fixed Deposit Account (Islamic FD, or commonly referred to as Islamic Fixed Deposit-i or General Investment Account-i) is a financial instrument that offers a fixed profit / return upon the maturity of the deposits. The key difference conventional and Islamic FDs is that Islamic Fixed Deposits are Shariah compliant.
According to the principles of Shariah, the payment or acceptance of interest (riba) is strictly prohibited. In order to generate additional returns from your deposits without involving interest, an Islamic FD typically adopts a Shariah concept known as murabahah, or cost plus, which refers to the sale of goods at a profit margin agreed between two parties. To make it Shariah-compliant, both the seller and the buyer must know the cost and the profit margin right from the start, so that there is no financial uncertainty.
When you place a deposit into an Islamic FD, you are essentially purchasing an approved Shariah-compliant commodity and selling the said commodity at an agreed marked-up price to the bank on a deferred payment basis (i.e. to be paid upon the maturity date). As a result, you generate additional returns from your funds without involving the concept of interest.
Sign up for Islamic FD promotions: In Malaysia, banks generally run Islamic FD promotions several times a year, where the rates of return are higher than the board rate. To watch out for these promotions, visit iMoney’s online calculator regularly (scroll up to use the calculator).
Compare the rates: Different banks offer different rates of return for their Islamic FD. Before you sign up for one, do the necessary comparisons on iMoney’s online calculator to make sure you are getting the best possible rate.
Extend your FD period: Just like a conventional FD, your Islamic FD generates higher return for longer FD period. If you plan to place a deposit for an extended period of time, always ensure you have enough funds to sustain yourself without having to make an early withdrawal from your Islamic FD, or you may lose part or all of your return.
Though premature withdrawal is allowed for Islamic FD in Malaysia, you will commonly lose all return if you make a premature withdrawal within the first three months. If you make a premature withdrawal after three months, you get to keep 50% of the return generated from your deposit.
In Malaysia, Perbadanan Insurans Deposit Malaysia (PIDM) provides free protection for all deposits (conventional or Islamic) made at a PIDM member bank. Should your bank fail, PIDM insures you against the loss of your deposits for a maximum of RM250,000 per depositor per bank. To make sure your deposits are protected, keep an eye out for the PIDM sign to ascertain that your bank is indeed a PIDM member bank. If you have more than RM250,000, you can opt to deposit in sums of RM250,000 at different banks to protect your money. Alternatively, you can also consider placing your money with the same bank using a conventional banking account or a joint-name account, as they are insured by PIDM separately. For more information on PIDM, click here.
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