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CD vs. Savings Account: Which One Is Right for You

Matthew Levy Updated: September 21, 2023 • 3 min read
saving money

In light of the present state of the economy, many are pondering the question of where they should store their savings. Savings accounts and certificates of deposit (CDs) are both fantastic choices if you need someplace to keep your short-term savings.

Certificates of deposit are a type of investment that pays interest on a set amount over a specific period. The interest is usually compounded and the CD can be withdrawn after the term is up. Savings accounts are one of the most popular ways to save money. They usually offer higher rates than CDs, but also require more maintenance. It's better to save in certificates of deposits if you want to save for longer periods such as retirement or college tuition payments because they offer higher rates than savings accounts do. This page will help you decide which type of savings account is right for you, based on your individual needs and goals

Savings Accounts

A person may put their money into a savings account, which is a fundamental kind of financial instrument, and receive interest on the money that they have saved. There are many different methods to start a savings account, and most of them charge very little to do so. Most banks provide savings accounts.

Unlike many other investments, savings accounts are typically insured (FDIC and NCUA). This means that your savings are protected up to certain limits if your bank or credit union fails ($250,000 per depositor, per account ownership category).

As a result, thanks to their security, reliability, and easy access to funds, savings accounts are an excellent way for you to keep the money for a future date, apart from money used for day-to-day expenses. This can be for unexpected expenses or savings for achieving certain objectives in the future.

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Certificates of Deposit (CD)

A certificate of deposit, or CD, is another choice for saving for short and long-term objectives. In addition, it is possible to earn a larger yearly return with a CD account than with other savings accounts.

They are a reputable investment product that can help you optimize returns at a bank or credit union while keeping your cash safer than it would be in investment vehicles such as equities and funds. You eliminate the danger of losing money if the market falls, so you can be certain that your funds will be there when you need them.

Even while most CDs are bought from banks directly, several brokerage houses and independent sellers also sell CDs. By committing to deliver a certain quantity of deposits to the institution, these known as "deposit brokers" are sometimes able to negotiate a higher interest rate on a CD. They can then provide their clients with these negotiated CDs.

CD or Savings Account

Savings Account Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
Earnings interest on deposits May be bound to transaction limits
Insured up to a certain amount (FDIC) May have fees
Easy to open and access Low yield
Low risk No tax advantages

Certificate of Deposits Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
Higher interest rates Lower liquidity
Safety Withdrawal penalties
Predictable returns Inflation risk
Laddering strategies Tax burden


In conclusion, both choices come with their fair share of benefits and drawbacks, and the one you choose will mainly be determined by the objectives you have set for your personal finances. For instance, due to the ease with which you can obtain the money stored there, an emergency fund would be well-served to be kept in a savings account.

On the other hand, if you want to enhance your financial performance and don't mind tying up your money for a lengthy period, a certificate of deposit can be the correct choice for you.

Before determining where to invest your money, make sure you are aware of the restrictions and ramifications of each form of savings vehicle.

Written by Matthew Levy

Matthew is a freelance financial copywriter with 14+ years in financial services. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics with business and finance options and is a CFA Charterholder. He is from Vancouver, Canada, but writes from all over the world.