Fixed Deposits (FD) are a financial instrument from banks providing FD holders with higher returns than a normal savings/checking account.
Updated: Jan 21, 2020
- FD rates in Malaysia are around 3-4% (affected by FD promotions) and determined by the individual bank.
- FD rates are affected by BNM base rate which is different depending on the bank.
- FD can be placed on auto-renewal (see FAQ below).
- FD interest can be deposited into another account (i.e. savings account) OR included into the FD for renewal.
Types of Fixed Deposits
FD vs eFD
- FD: over the counter transactions
- eFD: most banks now allow you to place/uplift FD online via internet banking
Conventional vs Islamic FD
- Conventional: a predetermined interest rate given between depositor and bank.
- Islamic: following Shariah principles whereby there is no interest but based on profit sharing between buyer and seller.
- For wholesale returns, Islamic FD must be for a Shariah compliant business.
- Early withdrawal is allowed with rebate for Islamic FD and allowed with penalty for conventional FD.
- Returns are fixed and agreed upfront for both conventional and Islamic FD.
- Non-Muslims can use Islamic FD products.
- Generally there are no distinct benefits for opting for Islamic or conventional FD.
Which Fixed Deposit to choose?
- Check what FD gives you the best rate for your duration. The longer the duration, the better the rates typically.
- Typically 12 months is a good duration and most promotional rates are for 12 months as well.
- If you may need your funds urgently, you may consider a shorter term duration (i.e. 1, 3 or 6 months).
Note: shorter duration may have higher minimum FD deposit requirements and lower returns
- Suggested for eFD for increased flexibility and time savings versus over the counter.
- Conventional rates are guaranteed. Islamic rates are non-guaranteed but will you will not be penalized for early uplifting.
- If you have large sums (typically 100k and above), you can negotiate with your banker for better rates.
- If you are opening a joint account with your spouse, child or parent, check with your bank to make sure there is a survivorship clause which enables you to lay claim on a jointly owned asset.
- Some fixed deposit promotions require placement into 2 separate accounts: part into a fixed deposit account, and part into a current or savings accounts (CASA). The effective returns will then be based on both the fixed deposit portion and CASA portion.
E.g. 75% x 5.50% = 4.125% + 25% x 0.50% = 0.125% = Effective rate 4.25%
Best FD Rates
- MBSB: eff 4.25% 6 months (min 30k; 25% into CASA; until Jan 31, 2020)
- Hong Leong Bank Term Investment Account-i: up to 4.25% 6 months (min 2k; until Feb 18, 2020)
- Hong Leong Bank eFD/-i: 3.98% 6 months (min 10k; until Feb 29, 2020)
- Hong Leong Bank FD/-i: 3.90% 6 months (min 10k; until Feb 29, 2020)
- Affin Bank: 3.90% fresh funds | 3.85% existing funds 12 months (min 10k; until Mar 31, 2020)
- RHB: 3.83% 8 months (min 10k; until Feb 7, 2020)
- Alliance Bank: 4.00% 6 months (min 10k; min req 10k into CASA; until Jan 31, 2020)
Private/Preferred Banking FD/Savings Accounts Rates
- Hong Leong NEW: 4.76% 6 months (min 100k; 20% placement in Top Yield Account)
- OCBC: 4.55% 6 months (with 2x FD amount in Premier Booster Account)
- CIMB Preferred: 3.90% 6 months
- Hong Leong Priority Banking: 3.00% 12 months | 2.95% 6 months (min 50k)
- UOB Privilege: up to 2.65%
- Public Bank Premier ACE Account: up to 2.53%
- Maybank Premier Wealth: 2.05%
Senior Citizens FD Rate
- Hong Leong Senior: 3.80% 12 months (min 10k)
- MBSB 49’ners: 3.50% 12 months | 3.45% 9 months | 3.35% 6 months | 3.25% 3 months 1k)
- BSN Senior Citizen: 3.45% >12 months | 3.40% 12 months (min 50k) | 3.40% >12 months | 3.35% 12 months (min 5k)
- CIMB Golden Time 2 (Big Plus for 50 Plus): 3.40% 60 months | 3.30% 48 months | 3.20% 36 months | 3.10% 15-24 months (min 1k)
- Am50Plus: 3.20% 48 months | 3.15% 36 months | 3.05% 6 months (min 5k)
- Public Bank PB Golden 50 PLUS: 3.20% 12 months (min 30k) | 3.20% 15-60 months (min 10k)
Junior Saving Accounts
- AmBank AmGenius: 3.20% (up to 100k)
- RHB Junior / Children Account-i: 2.95%
- PB Bright Star Savings Account: 2.95% (up to 50k)
- Maybank Yippie: 2.90% (up to 50k)
High Yield Savings Accounts
Maybank General Investment Account (GIA)
Maybank’s GIA-i is an investment account which gives your profit sharing returns at approximately FD rates. No PIDM protection. GIA no longer offers no penalty withdrawals (wef Aug 1, 2017).
CIMB Unfixed Deposit
CIMB unfixed deposit allows partial withdrawals in multiples of 1,000 prior to FD maturity date. PIDM protected. Early withdrawal penalties still apply. (More info)
Q: Are there any concerns on FDs?
A: If your FD is on auto-renewal, it is considered as untouched money if passes 7 years and can be forfeited. (more info)
Q: What is the difference between a high yield savings account vs FD?
You can put in & take out funds from a savings account at anytime with no penalties or affecting your returns %. The monthly interest will be based on your average account balance. Some “unfixed” FDs work in a similar way (but do check the T&C).
Q: What happens if I uplift (end) my FD early?
For a short-term FD (3 months or less), you will lose all FD interest* for early uplifting. For longer term FD (above 3 months), you will lose ~50% of FD interest for early uplifting. (*Profit sharing for Islamic FD)
Q: Can non-Muslims use Islamic FDs?
A: Yes, no restrictions.
Q: Can Muslims use conventional FDs?
A: It is up to the individual.