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Recurring Deposit (RD): Types, Features and Benefits of RD

Saving money is an important habit in personal finance that can pave the road for a secure future. Recurring Deposit (RD) is a widely embraced investment tool that empowers individuals to save regularly while earning interest on their deposits. This article provides a comprehensive overview of recurring deposits, including their types, features, benefits, eligibility criteria, prevailing interest rates, and their differences compared to fixed deposits

What is a Recurring Deposit? 

A Recurring Deposit is a term deposit offered by banks and financial institutions. It allows individuals to deposit a fixed amount at regular intervals, typically every month, over a predetermined period. The duration of the RD can vary, ranging from a few months to several years, based on the individual’s preference and financial goals. It is an excellent tool for individuals who want to cultivate a habit of regular savings while earning a fixed interest on their deposits.  

What are the Types of Recurring Deposits? 

  1. Regular Recurring Deposit: This is the most common recurring deposit, where individuals deposit a fixed amount every month for a specific tenure. The interest is usually calculated every quarter and compounded annually. 
  1. Flexi Recurring Deposit: In a flexible recurring deposit, individuals have the flexibility to vary the monthly deposit amounts within a predetermined range. This type of RD is ideal for those who expect fluctuating incomes or expenses but still want to save regularly. 

What are the Features of Recurring Deposits?

  1. Tenure and Flexibility  

Recurring deposits come with flexible tenure options, allowing individuals to choose the duration that best suits their needs. The tenure can typically range from 6 months to 10 years, depending on the financial institution. This flexibility enables individuals to align their savings plans with short-term or long-term goals.  

  1. Minimum Deposit Amount  

Banks set a minimum deposit amount that individuals need to contribute regularly. Investing as low as Rs.100 per month opens an RD account. This affordability encourages even those with limited financial resources to cultivate a saving habit.  

  1. Interest Rates  

Recurring deposits offer fixed interest rates, which are predetermined at the time of opening the account. The interest rates are influenced by various factors, including market conditions, monetary policies, and the tenure of the RD. 

What are the Benefits of Recurring Deposits? 

  1. Regular Savings: RDs encourage individuals to save a fixed amount regularly, instilling a disciplined savings habit. It ensures that a portion of one’s income is set aside for future needs.  
  1. Guaranteed Returns: Recurring deposits offer guaranteed returns, providing a sense of security to the depositors. The interest rates remain fixed throughout the tenure, shielding depositors from market fluctuations.  
  1. Low Risk: Unlike investments in stocks or mutual funds, recurring deposits carry minimal risk. The principal amount remains intact, and the interest earned is predetermined, offering a safe investment option.  
  1. Flexibility: RDs provide flexibility in terms of tenure and deposit amounts, allowing individuals to choose a plan that suits their financial goals. Flexi RDs offer further flexibility by enabling depositors to vary their monthly deposits. 

What is the Eligibility Criteria for Opening a Recurring Deposit Account? 

The eligibility criteria for opening a recurring deposit account generally include the following: 

  • Age: Recurring deposits can be opened by individuals of any age, including minors. 
  • Citizenship: The account holder must be a resident of the country where the RD is being opened. 
  • Documentation: Proof of identity and address documents such as an Aadhaar card, PAN card, passport, or voter ID card is usually required to open an RD account. 

What are the Interest Rates for Recurring Deposit Accounts? 

By establishing an RD account, one can earn a rate of interest ranging from approximately 2.50 % to 8.50 %. Recurring Deposit interest rates are comparable to those of Fixed Deposits, but the flexibility of monthly instalments is what makes RD stand out.  

Interest rates on recurring deposits are determined by banks and vary from institution to institution. They are influenced by factors such as market conditions, liquidity requirements, and the tenure of the deposit.  

What are the Major Differences between Fixed Deposits and Recurring Deposits?

Fixed and Recurring Deposits are two popular financial provisions offered by banks and financial institutions. While both involve depositing money for a specific period to earn interest, there are key differences between the two. Let’s discuss Fixed deposits vs Recurring deposits

  1. Deposit Structure  

In Fixed Deposit (FD), a lump sum amount is deposited for a fixed duration. The deposit amount is made at once, and the tenure can range from a few months to several years. While in a Recurring Deposit (RD) individuals deposit a fixed amount regularly at predefined intervals, typically every month.  

  1. Flexibility  

Fixed Deposit offers less flexibility as the deposit amount is made at once and cannot be modified during the tenure. On the other hand, Recurring deposits provide more flexibility as individuals can vary the monthly deposit amounts within a predefined range.  

  1. Interest Calculation  

Interest on FDs is calculated on the entire principal amount deposited for the entire tenure whereas interest on RDs is calculated quarterly or compounded annually, depending on the bank. It is generally calculated on the monthly deposits made during the tenure.  

  1. Interest Rates  

FDs often offer higher interest rates compared to RDs, especially for longer tenures. RDs usually offer lower interest rates as the deposits are made in instalments, and the average balance is lower.  

  1. Withdrawal  

Premature withdrawal of an FD may attract penalties and can impact the interest earned. In case of emergencies, RDs allow premature withdrawals. However, penalties may apply, and the interest earned might be lower.  

  1. Purpose  

Fixed deposits are suitable for individuals with a lump sum amount that they do not need immediate access to, aiming for higher returns. Recurring Deposits are ideal for individuals looking to save regularly and cultivate a habit of disciplined savings. 

The Bottom Line- 

Recurring Deposits provide individuals with a reliable and structured approach to savings. With their flexible tenure, affordability, and guaranteed returns, RDs have become an indispensable tool for individuals seeking financial stability and growth. It is an attractive investment option for those looking for a disciplined savings plan with guaranteed returns.

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