If you’ve got a short-term savings goal and you’re looking to give your bottom line a boost, a five-month special term deposit may be worth considering.
If you’ve got a lump sum of cash but don’t want to lock it away for a long period, a five-month special term deposit can be an effective way to try out a term deposit and earn a little extra interest in the process.
Read on to find out if a five-month term deposit is the right savings strategy for you.
What is a five-month term deposit
A five-month term deposit is an amount of money you deposit with a bank or lender for a fixed period, in this case five months, in return for an agreed amount of interest.
At the end of the five-month term deposit period, you have the option to withdraw the original amount you deposited plus the interest you’ve accumulated.
For example, you may choose to invest $5,000 in a term deposit that lasts five months and pays 3 per cent. At the end of the five-month term deposit period, the bank will return your original $5,000 and pay you the agreed interest.
When compared to regular savings accounts, five-month term deposits tend to have higher interest rates, which means you earn more on your money. Five-month term deposits have fixed interest rates, which not only makes budgeting easier, but it also means that the interest rate can’t change during the five-month term.
When you invest your money in a five-month term deposit, you’re essentially locking the funds away for 150 days. In most cases, lenders will penalise you if you withdraw your money before the end of the five-month term. If you need easy access to your money within the five-month term, you may be better off with a high-interest savings account that has more flexibility with withdrawals.
How to compare five-month term deposits
If you’re working towards a savings goal, the most important element you want to compare is the interest rate. It’s not just about the percentage – you’ll want to find out whether the interest is paid monthly or on maturity. On shorter deposits like five-month term deposits, the interest is usually paid on maturity. Depending on your relationship with the bank and the amount you’re depositing, you may be able to negotiate a better rate.
Some five-month term deposits will have a minimum amount you can invest for the period. Check the minimum balance requirements and do your research to see if investing more gets you a higher interest rate.
On shorter term deposits, the banks don’t usually charge account-keeping or set-up fees. So while it’s unlikely that you’ll be charged any fees on a five-month term deposit, it still pays to check.
If for any reason you need to access your term deposit before the five months has finished, you’ll most likely be charged a penalty. Check to see what these fees are in case you need to break your term.
It’s worth noting that there are new regulations in place which restrict your ability to withdraw your funds early. If you need to access your funds before they mature, you will need to give the bank 31 days’ notice.