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FD vs RD – Understand The Difference Between FD and RD

FD vs RD – Understand The Difference Between FD and RD
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When it comes to saving and investing, recurring deposits (RDs) and fixed deposits (FDs) are two popular options that individuals consider. RDs and FDs provide a secure and reliable way to grow your savings while earning interest. 

However, understanding the key difference between RD and FD is crucial in making an informed decision that aligns with your financial goals. In this blog, we will explore the features, advantages, and considerations of both RDs and FDs, helping you determine which option suits your needs and preferences best.

FD vs RD – What’s the Difference Between the Two?

A Fixed Deposit (FD) is a financial instrument where a lump sum amount is deposited with a bank or financial institution for a fixed period, earning a predetermined interest rate.

Recurring Deposit (RD), on the other hand, is a financial product where a fixed amount is deposited regularly on a monthly basis for a predetermined period, earning interest on the accumulated deposits.

Here’s the table of differences between these two investment options – RD vs FD

Main Differences Between FD and RD

FeatureFixed Deposit (FD)Recurring Deposit (RD)
Deposit Amount In an FD, a lump sum amount is deposited at once.In an RD, a fixed amount is deposited regularly every month.
Tenure FDs have a fixed tenure chosen at the time of deposit. RDs have a predetermined duration, usually ranging from 6 months to 10 years.
Interest Calculation FDs earn interest on the entire deposited amount from the beginning. RDs interest is calculated on the increasing balance as each monthly deposit is made.
Interest RatesUsually higher than an RD Usually lower than an FD 
Maturity Amount In FDs, the maturity amount is the principal amount along with the accumulated interest.In RDs, the maturity amount includes the total deposits made plus the interest earned.
Premature Withdrawal Cannot withdraw money until the end of the tenure, unless you pay a penaltyCan withdraw money at any time, but may have to pay a penalty
Deposit Flexibility FDs require a lump sum amount to be deposited. RDs offer flexibility in the monthly deposit amount.
Insurance FDs have insurance coverage.RDs have insurance coverage.
Best for People who want to earn a higher return on their investment and do not need access to their money in the short termPeople who want to save money gradually and have the flexibility to withdraw their money if needed
Difference between FD and RD

FD vs RD – Advantages and Disadvantages

Fixed Deposit (FD) Advantages:

The advantages of Fixed Deposit or FD are as follows

  • Higher interest rates: FDs generally offer higher interest rates compared to other fixed-income investments.
  • Fixed returns: The interest rate is fixed at the time of investment. Hence you can predict your returns.
  • Flexibility in tenure: FDs come with various tenure options. Therefore, allowing investors to choose a suitable investment period.

FD Disadvantages

The disadvantages of FDs are as follows:

  • Lack of liquidity: FDs have a fixed tenure, and premature withdrawals may attract penalties or reduced interest rates.
  • Inflation risk: Fixed interest rates may not keep pace with inflation, potentially impacting the purchasing power of returns.
  • Inflexible deposit amount: FDs usually require a lump sum deposit, which may not be feasible for everyone.

RD Advantages

The advantages of investing in an RD are as follows: 

  • Regular savings: RDs encourage disciplined savings as they require monthly deposits, promoting a regular savings habit. You can easily calculate your RD returns by using smallcase RD calculator.
  • Lower minimum deposit: RDs have a lower minimum deposit requirement compared to FDs, making it accessible to a wider range of investors.
  • Flexibility in deposit amount: RDs allow investors to choose a monthly deposit amount that suits their budget.

Recurring Deposit or RD Disadvantages

Some of the disadvantages of a Recurring Deposit are as follows:

  • Lower interest rates: RDs generally offer lower interest rates compared to FDs, resulting in potentially lower returns.
  • Longer investment period: RDs require a fixed investment period, which may not be suitable for those seeking shorter-term investments.
  • Limited premature withdrawal options: RDs usually have restrictions on premature withdrawals, limiting liquidity options.

Key Differences between FD and RD – FD vs RD

Both recurring deposits (RD) and fixed deposits (FD) are investment options that offer guaranteed returns. However, there are some key differences between the two that can affect your earnings.

Investment Amount 

The first and most important thing that you should consider is your investment amount. If you have a large chunk of money to invest in lumpsum, you can consider investing in an FD. On the other hand, RDs don’t demand lump-sum investments. So, if you have a little money to invest you can go for an RD. 

RD vs FD Interest rates

In general, FDs offer higher interest rates than RDs. This is because FDs require a lump sum investment, while RDs allow you to invest a fixed amount each month. Banks are willing to offer higher interest rates on FDs as they are considered to be a lower-risk investment.


FDs have a fixed tenure, while RDs have a flexible tenure. This means that you can withdraw your money from an RD at any time, while you will have to pay a penalty if you withdraw your money from an FD before the end of the tenure.

Liquidity and premature withdrawal options

FDs have a fixed tenure, and premature withdrawal may result in penalties or reduced interest rates. RDs provide more flexibility, allowing partial withdrawals and premature closures with certain conditions.

Tax implications and exemptions

The interest earned from FDs is taxable as per the individual’s income tax slab. In contrast, the interest earned from RDs is fully taxable. However, both FDs and RDs offer tax-saving options like the 5-year tax-saving FD or the 5-year RD eligible for tax deductions under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act.

FD vs RD: Choosing the Right Option

Fixed Deposits (FD) and Recurring Deposits (RD) are popular investment options that offer a fixed rate of return over a specific period. Understanding the differences between FD and RD is crucial for making an informed investment decision. Let’s delve into the details:

A. Assessing personal financial goals and requirements

  • FD: FDs are suitable for individuals with a lump sum of money that they don’t require immediate access to. It is ideal for long-term financial goals, such as retirement planning or purchasing a property.
  • RD: RDs are beneficial for individuals who want to accumulate a specific amount over time through regular contributions. It is suitable for short-term goals like saving for a vacation or a down payment on a home.

Hence, if you think that you can invest in lumpsum, you can go for an FD. Otherwise, you can choose an RD. 

B. Considering risk tolerance and investment horizon

  • FD: FDs are considered low-risk investments as they offer a fixed rate of return. They are suitable for risk-averse investors who prioritize capital preservation. The investment horizon can range from a few months to several years.
  • RD: RDs also have low risk, but they provide a steady accumulation of funds over time. They are suitable for individuals with a longer investment horizon and a lower risk tolerance.

Both options are suitable for risk-averse investors. However, the main difference is between the investment horizon. Therefore, if you want to make a long-time investment, you should choose an FD. On the contrary, if you want to invest for a short period of time, go for an RD.

C. Evaluating interest rates and investment terms

  • FD: FDs offer a fixed interest rate throughout the investment tenure, providing clarity on the returns. The interest rates vary based on the bank, tenure, and investment amount. FDs typically have a lock-in period, and withdrawing before maturity may incur penalties.
  • RD: RDs also have a fixed interest rate, but it is calculated on a monthly basis. The interest rates are determined by the bank and can vary. RDs usually don’t have a lock-in period, allowing flexibility in withdrawing funds when needed.

Both investments have fixed interest rates. However, an FD comes with a lock-in period whereas an RD doesn’t. Hence, if lock-in periods are not an issue for you then choose FD. Otherwise, you can invest in an RD.

Recurring Deposit vs Fixed Deposit – Which is Better?

Tenure`Fixed Deposit AmountInterest Earned on FD(6%)FD Maturity AmountRecurring Deposit AmountInterest Earned on RD (6%)RD Maturity AmountDifference
RD vs FD Example

*The difference is calculated by subtracting RD Maturity Amount from the FD Maturity Amount.*

You might have heard a proverb that ‘one shoe doesn’t fit all’. This statement holds true for your investments as well.

See when it comes to FD vs RD, no option is good or bad. It completely depends on your risk tolerance, investment horizon, and financial goals. 

So, if you have a lump sum of money to invest and you are looking for the highest possible returns, then an FD is the better option. This is because FDs offer higher interest rates than RDs. However, if you are unable to invest a lump sum of money and you need the flexibility to withdraw your money at any time, then an RD is the better option.

Final Thoughts on FD vs RD

Both fixed deposits (FDs) and recurring deposits (RDs) have their own unique advantages and considerations. FDs offer a fixed lump sum investment with higher interest rates and flexibility in terms of tenure. They are suitable for individuals with a sizable amount of savings and a longer investment horizon. 

On the other hand, RDs provide the convenience of regular monthly contributions, making them ideal for individuals with a steady income and a desire for disciplined savings. RDs offer flexibility in terms of deposit amount and tenure, making them accessible to a wider range of investors.

When deciding between FDs and RDs, it’s essential to consider your financial goals, risk tolerance, liquidity needs, and investment horizon. Assessing these factors will help you determine which option aligns better with your requirements.

Looking for higher returns than an FD and RD? Well, investing in the share market tends to produce higher returns as compared to an FD and RD. But, it also comes at a higher risk as compared to FD and RD. You can consider investing in financial markets through diversified, low-cost stock or ETF portfolios curated by SEBI-registered RAs and RIAs on smallcase. Try now!


1. Which is better FD or RD?

The choice between FD and RD depends on your financial goals and preferences. FDs offer a fixed interest rate and a lump sum investment, making them suitable for individuals with a lump sum amount and a longer investment horizon. RDs, on the other hand, allow you to invest a fixed amount regularly, making them suitable for individuals looking for disciplined savings. 

2. What is the difference between FD and RD?

FD (Fixed Deposit) is a one-time investment made for a fixed period with a predetermined interest rate. On the other hand, RD (Recurring Deposit) involves regular monthly investments of a fixed amount for a specified period. 

3. Is FD tax-free?

No, FDs are not tax-free. The interest earned on FDs is considered income and is subject to tax as per the individual’s tax slab. However, there are certain tax-saving FDs available with a lock-in period of five years that offer tax benefits under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act. 

4. Which is better FD or RD or SIP?

FDs, RDs, and SIPs (Systematic Investment Plans) are different investment options suited for different financial goals. FDs provide a fixed interest rate and are suitable for conservative investors seeking fixed returns. RDs allow regular savings with flexibility, ideal for disciplined investors. SIPs are investment plans for mutual funds, offering the opportunity for potentially higher returns over the long term.