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Term Deposit


A term deposit is a fixed-term investment offered by banks and credit institutions where money is deposited for a specific amount of time. The interest rate of a term deposit is typically higher than that of a regular savings account, providing the depositor with a guaranteed investment return after the term ends. Withdrawal of funds before the end of the term often incurs penalties.


The phonetic pronunciation of the keyword “Term Deposit” is:Term: /tɜːrm/Deposit: /dɪˈpɒzɪt/

Key Takeaways

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  1. A term deposit is a secure type of investment where you deposit a fixed amount of money with a financial institution for a set term. This helps you earn interest over that set period of time.
  2. Term deposits generally offer higher interest rates compared to regular savings accounts as they come with a commitment of keeping the deposit for a fixed term. Early withdrawal might attract penalties.
  3. Term deposits can be a good option for those who want a fixed return and can invest a lump sum amount for a certain period of time. However, they may not provide as much flexibility compared to other investment options.

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Term Deposit is an important term in business and finance because it refers to a type of fixed investment where a financial institution, like a bank or credit union, retains money for a specific amount of time or term. The appeal of a term deposit lies in its potential to accrue interest over that predefined term, often resulting in higher returns than traditional savings accounts. This makes it a reliable and low-risk investment option favored by many individuals and businesses. Additionally, terms can range from a month to a few years, providing flexibility for investors. However, early withdrawal usually results in a penalty, encouraging discipline in saving and investing.


Term Deposits refer to an investment vehicle that allows individuals to invest their excess savings for a specific period, anywhere from 1 month to 5 years or more. The primary purpose of term deposits is to enable investors to earn a higher rate of interest than a conventional savings account while safeguarding their savings. It is a popular choice among those who wish to earn a guaranteed return on their investments without significant risk. It can be an ideal savings tool for a risk-averse investor who prefers stable returns over the potential for high yet uncertain returns from other investment avenues such as equities or mutual funds.Coming to its usage, term deposits are flexible and can serve several financial purposes. For instance, individuals planning for important life events or future expenses like education, marriage, retirement, etc., can use term deposits for their savings. This helps ensure their investment remains untouched for the specified term, and interest accumulates, increasing the total corpus. Enterprises and institutions also use term deposits to manage their short-term liquidity needs better. They’re also an attractive option for people who want to save but may be tempted to withdraw their savings prematurely as most term deposits enforce a penalty for early withdrawals, encouraging savers to leave their investment until the term expires.


1. Certificates of Deposit: A certificate of deposit (CD) is a popular type of term deposit offered by banks and credit unions. When you open a CD, you agree to deposit a certain amount of money for a fixed period and in return, the bank guarantees you a specific interest rate. For example, let’s say a person invests $10,000 into a CD for a term of five years with an annual interest rate of 1.5%. At the end of the term, they will receive their initial deposit back, plus interest earned over the term.2. Fixed Deposit Accounts: This is a common type of term deposit offered by banks typically in many countries like India, UK, and Australia. A person deposits a sum of money, let’s say $5000, into a fixed deposit account with a term of 3 years and an annual interest rate of 2%. At the end of three years, they will receive their initial deposit in addition to the interest that accumulates over the period. 3. High-Yield Savings Account: Though slightly different from traditional term deposits as you can usually withdraw at any time, some high-yield savings accounts require you to keep your funds in the account for a certain term to earn the stated interest rate. For instance, a bank may offer a high-yield savings account with an interest rate of 2.0% APY if you maintain a balance of at least $10,000 for 6 months. Failure to meet these conditions might result in a lower interest rate being applied.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is a Term Deposit?

A Term Deposit is a type of financial investment where an individual provides a certain sum of money to a bank or financial institution for a fixed period of time, during which interest is accumulated. The money can only be accessed after the term ends or by giving a predefined notice.

What are the benefits of Term Deposits?

One of the primary benefits of Term Deposits is the interest rate, which is often higher than a regular savings account. Furthermore, with a Term Deposit, your funds are locked away for a set period, encouraging saving rather than spending.

Are Term Deposits covered by insurance?

In most cases, Term Deposits are covered by deposit insurance schemes, however, the amount insured might vary by country, bank, and the type of deposit.

Can I withdraw my money before the term ends?

Usually, early withdrawal from a Term Deposit is possible; however, it typically incurs a penalty fee.

How is interest calculated on Term Deposits?

Interest on Term Deposits is often calculated on a yearly basis and the rate depends on the agreed-upon terms and conditions at the start of the deposit term.

Do I have to pay tax on the interest earned?

Interest earned on Term Deposits is often subject to tax, depending on the tax laws of your particular jurisdiction. It’s recommended to consult with a tax advisor to understand your tax obligations better.

Is there a minimum amount for a Term Deposit?

The minimum amount for a term deposit can vary greatly between banks and institutions. Smaller term deposits might start at around $1,000, while larger term deposits may require $10,000 or more.

What happens to my Term Deposit at the end of the term?

At the end of the term, your Term Deposit will usually automatically roll into a new term deposit unless you provide instructions to your bank otherwise. You’ll typically be notified prior to this happening.

Related Finance Terms

  • Fixed Interest Rate: This term refers to the fixed rate of interest that banks agree to pay on term deposits over a certain period of time.
  • Maturity: This refers to the length of time for which a Term Deposit is held. At the end of this period, the deposit ‘matures’ and the principal amount along with the interest is paid back to the depositor.
  • Rollover: When a term deposit reaches its maturity, if it’s not withdrawn, it’s often automatically rolled over for a similar term with the applicable interest rate at the time of renewal.
  • Early Withdrawal Penalty: This is a penalty that a depositor has to pay if funds are withdrawn from the term deposit before the end of the maturity term.
  • Principal: This refers to the initial sum of money deposited into a Term Deposit account. It doesn’t include any interest earned.

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