Home Learn Recurring Deposit (RD): What is it, Full Form & Features

Recurring Deposit (RD): What is it, Full Form & Features

Recurring Deposit (RD): What is it, Full Form & Features
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In the ever-evolving world of finance, where uncertainties abound, one thing that remains constant is the importance of savings. Imagine a financial instrument that empowers you to cultivate a habit of regular savings while reaping the rewards of steady returns. Well, one such tool that can help you do that foundation is a RD. The RD full form is Recurring Deposit. 

Hence, whether you’re saving for a dream vacation, a down payment on a home, or simply looking to grow your wealth sustainably, RDs offer a reliable and convenient way to achieve your financial goals. In this blog, we’ll take a deep dive into the world of Recurring Deposits, exploring how they work, their benefits, and how you can make the most of this investment option

What is a Recurring Deposit(RD)?

A Recurring Deposit, often abbreviated as RD, is a savings scheme provided by banks and financial institutions. It allows individuals to save a fixed amount of money on the best effort basis over a specified duration. 

With an RD, individuals deposit a predetermined sum of money each month into their accounts. The tenure of the RD can vary, typically ranging from 6 months to 10 years. At the end of the tenure, the deposited amount, along with the accumulated interest, is returned to the account holder. RDs can be a good option for individuals who wish to seek a disciplined savings method and assured returns on their savings.

Best RD Schemes to Invest in India 2023

Let’s have a look at the best RD schemes to invest in India 2023.

Bank NameInterest Rates Interest Rates for Seniors
Punjab National Bank4.40% to 6.50%4.90% to 7.30%
City Union Bank 5.75% to 6.50%4.50% to 6.75%
BOI Bank 4.50% to 6.50%4.50% to 7.25%
Canara Bank 5.25% to 6.90%5.25% to 7.40%
Indian Bank 3.50% to 6.70%4.00% to 7.20%
BOB Bank 4.50% to 7.05%5.00% to 7.55%
Central Bank of India 4.50% to 6.75%5.00% to 7.25%
Karur Vysya Bank 6.00% to 7.00%6.00% to 7.40%
Union Bank of India 4.30% to 6.70%4.80% to 7.20%
Tamilnad Mercantile Bank 5.75% to 7.00% 5.75% to 7.50%
Disclaimer: Please note that the above list is for educational purposes only, and is not recommendatory. Please do your own research or consult your financial advisor before investing.

Note: The data on the top RD schemes in India in the list is from 1st December, 2023.  However, for real-time updates on stock prices and market trends, visit the smallcase stocks collection today!

How Does Recurring Deposit Work?

Recurring Deposit (RD) works like a monthly savings plan where you deposit a fixed amount of money into your RD account every month for a specific period. The bank pays you an interest on your deposits, which is added to your account. Over time, your savings grow as the interest compounds. 

At the end of the RD tenure, you receive the total amount deposited along with the accumulated interest. RDs are a great way to save regularly and earn guaranteed returns on your savings. Now you can easily calculate your potential RD returns by using a smallcase RD calculator.

Features of Recurring Deposit

The main features of the Recurring Deposit are as follows:

  • Regular Savings: Recurring deposits (RDs) encourage regular savings, allowing you to build a sizable corpus over time with smaller, consistent contributions.
  • Flexible Tenure: Choose a recurring deposit time period that suits your financial plan, typically ranging from 6 months to 10 years.
  • Fixed Interest Rates: Enjoy the security of fixed interest rates throughout the deposit term, safeguarding your returns from market fluctuations.
  • Compounding Interest: Benefit from the power of compounding, where your interest earns interest, leading to accelerated growth of your savings.
  • Loan Facility: Access a loan against your RD balance, providing a contingency fund when needed.
  • Tax Benefits: Enjoy tax deductions under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, reducing your taxable income.

Types of RDs

There are primarily two types of Recurring Deposits (RDs), therefore, let’s have a look at the difference between fixed deposit and recurring deposit. 

  • Regular RD: In a regular RD, you can deposit a fixed amount each month for a predetermined period. The interest rate is usually fixed for the entire tenure, and the interest is compounded quarterly.
  • Flexi RD: Flexi RDs offer flexibility in deposit amounts. You may have the option to deposit varying amounts each month within a specified range. The interest rate is typically the same as a regular RD. And the interest is also compounded quarterly.

Steps to Invest in an RD Online

Here are the steps to invest in an RD online: 

  • Access your net banking account or mobile banking application.
  • Look for the option to “Open an e-RD account” and click on it.
  • Provide the necessary details, such as the account number from which the instalment will be debited, the instalment amount, and the duration. Take note of the applicable interest rate and designate a nominee for the account funds.
  • Review the maturity amount and tick the checkbox to confirm your agreement with the terms and conditions.
  • Submit your application. A confirmation message will appear, and an email containing the RD receipt will be sent to your registered email address.
  • The specified amount will be deducted from the chosen account.

Steps to Invest in a Recurring Deposit Offline 

Here are the steps to invest in an RD offline: 

  • Head to the nearest branch of your existing bank where you hold a savings account.
  • Complete the recurring deposit application form, providing details like the instalment amount, payment mode, deposit tenure, nominee, and other relevant information.
  • Make the initial instalment payment using a check or cash.
  • The bank representative will process your application within the specified timeframe.

Eligibility Requirements and Documentation for a Recurring Deposit

The eligibility criteria for opening a Recurring Deposit (RD) account may vary slightly depending on the bank or financial institution. However, here are some common eligibility requirements:

  • Age: Most banks allow individuals of all ages to open a Recurring Deposit account. Including minors who can have a joint account with their parent or guardian.
  • Residential Status: Generally, both resident and non-resident individuals are eligible to open a Recurring Deposit account. However, this is subject to specific terms and conditions set by the bank.
  • KYC Documentation: To comply with Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations, you will need to provide certain documents. These can be proof of identity (PAN card, Aadhaar card, passport, etc.), proof of address (utility bill, bank statement, etc.), and passport-size photographs.
  • Existing Relationship with the Bank: In some cases, having an existing relationship with the bank, such as a savings account or an FD, may simplify the process of opening an RD account.

What are the Documents Required for an RD?

To open an RD account, you’ll need the following documents:

  • An application form 
  • Passport-size Photographs
  • ID & Proof of Address
  • KYC Forms & Documents

Factors to Consider When Investing in a Recurring Deposit (RD)

When you’re looking to invest in recurring deposit schemes, there are a few important things to keep in mind, including: 

  • Interest Rates and Compounding Frequency: The latest RD interest rates may vary from one bank to another. Hence, take a look at the rates offered by various banks and go for the one that gives you a higher return. Also, consider the frequency of compounding, as more frequent compounding can boost your returns over time.
  • Tenure Options and Premature Withdrawal Penalties: RD in finance can come with different tenure options, ranging from a few months to several years. Think about your financial goals and choose a tenure that may suit your needs. Be aware of any penalties for withdrawing your money before the maturity period. Because some banks may charge a fee or reduce the bank RD interest rate for early withdrawals. 
  • Evaluating RD Offerings from Different Banks: Take some time to explore the RD offerings from various banks and financial institutions. Look into factors like the bank’s reputation, customer service quality, availability of online banking facilities, and any additional benefits they offer. By comparing multiple options, you can find a bank that fits your requirements and provides favourable terms and conditions.

While RD interest rates, tenure options, and premature withdrawal penalties are important factors, remember to align your choice with your financial goals, risk tolerance, and overall recurring investment strategy. Conduct thorough research and evaluation to make an informed decision that maximizes the benefits of your recurring deposit investment.

Who Should Invest in a Recurring Deposit (RD)?

RDs are great for those who want a safe investment option with guaranteed returns and a disciplined approach to savings. You can invest in an RD if you are a:

  • Regular Savers: If you want to develop a habit of saving regularly, RDs are just for you! By depositing a fixed amount each month, you can stay committed to your savings goals and watch your money grow over time.
  • Risk-Averse Individuals: If you’re not comfortable with taking risks in investments and prefer stability, RDs provide a safe haven. With guaranteed returns, you can have peace of mind knowing that your money is secure.
  • Short to Medium-Term Planners: Planning for a specific goal like a down payment on a house? RD deposit with their fixed tenure can help you save systematically, aligning with your timeline and ensuring you reach your target.
  • Investment Beginners: If you’re new to the world of investing and want a straightforward option, RDs are a good starting point. They are easy to understand and require minimal financial knowledge.
  • Individuals with Steady Income: If you have a regular income and can allocate a fixed amount from it each month, RDs provide a structured and smart way to grow your savings without disrupting your cash flow.

Managing and Maximizing RD Returns

When it comes to Recurring Deposits, there are strategies you can implement to maximize your returns. Here’s how you can effectively manage your RD investments:

Strategies for Maximizing RD Returns

One way to maximize your returns is by opting for the highest RD interest rate offered by the bank. Different banks may offer the highest RD interest rates on RDs, so it’s worth comparing rates and choosing the one that provides the best returns. Additionally, you can consider investing in  recurring deposits with longer tenures, as they often come with higher interest rates.

Another strategy is to align your RD maturity dates with your financial goals. By staggering the maturity dates of multiple recurrent deposits, you can create a consistent income stream or have funds available for specific purposes. This approach allows you to take advantage of the interest earned while maintaining liquidity.

However, if you’re interested in investing in the Post Office Recurring Deposit (RD) savings scheme provided by the Indian Postal Service, then you can easily use smallcase’s post office RD calculator to calculate your returns on the investment. 

A Systematic Approach to Depositing and Reinvesting 

To maximize your RD returns, it’s crucial to follow a systematic approach to depositing and reinvesting. Set a fixed amount to deposit regularly into your RD account, ensuring that it aligns with your financial capabilities and goals. By maintaining a disciplined approach, you can gradually build your savings and benefit from the power of compounding.

Upon maturity of an RD, you can choose to reinvest the principal amount along with the interest earned into a new RD or other investment avenues. This helps in continuous growth and ensures that your money keeps working for you.

Tax Implications and Recurring Deposits

When it comes to Recurring Deposits (RDs), it’s important to understand the tax implications. Here’s what you need to know:

Tax Treatment of RD Interest Income

The interest you earn from RDs is taxable. It means that the interest amount is added to your total income and taxed according to your income tax slab rate. Keep in mind that even if the bank deducts TDS (Tax Deducted at Source), you are still responsible for paying taxes on the interest earned.

Understanding TDS and Tax Exemptions

Banks are required to deduct TDS on RD interest if it exceeds a certain threshold. Currently, the threshold is set at Rs. 40,000 per financial year. However, you can submit Form 15G/15H to the bank to avoid a TDS deduction if your total income is below the taxable limit.

Moreover, there’s a tax benefit you can avail under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act. RD investments may qualify for deductions up to Rs. 1.5 lakh in a financial year, provided the RD has a lock-in period of 5 years or more.

Advantages of Investing in an RD

Some of the advantages of RD account are: 

  • Regular Savings Habits and Disciplined Investing: RDs encourage individuals to develop a habit of regular savings by requiring them to deposit a fixed amount each month. This instils discipline and helps inculcate a saving culture, ensuring that individuals set aside a portion of their income consistently.
  • Low-Risk and Guaranteed Returns: RDs are considered a low-risk investment option. Because they are offered by banks and financial institutions, providing a level of security to investors. The returns on RDs are guaranteed, offering peace of mind to investors who prioritize capital preservation.
  • Flexibility in Deposit Amounts and Tenure: RDs provide flexibility in terms of deposit amounts and tenure. Investors can choose a deposit amount that suits their financial capability, and tenure based on their financial goals. This flexibility allows individuals to customize their RD investments according to their specific requirements.

Disadvantages of Investing in Recurring Deposit (RD)

Investing in a Recurring Deposit (RD) has its share of disadvantages that you should consider before making investment decisions. Here are some disadvantages of recurring deposit account,:

  • Lower Returns: RD interest rates are lower when compared to other investment options such as mutual funds or shares. This means that the growth of your investment may be slower, and you may not earn as much as you could with alternative investment avenues.
  • Impact of Inflation: RDs may not provide adequate returns to keep up with inflation. Over time, the purchasing power of your invested amount may decrease as inflation erodes the value of your returns. It is essential to consider the impact of inflation on the real value of your investment.
  • Limited Investment Options and Diversification: RDs restrict your investment to a single avenue, limiting your ability to build a diversified portfolio. Diversification is crucial for risk management and potentially higher returns. With RDs, you miss out on the opportunity to spread your investments across various asset classes.

What is Post Office RD (Recurring Deposit)?

Post Office Recurring Deposit (RD) is a savings scheme provided by the Indian Postal Service. It aims to promote regular savings by allowing individuals to deposit a fixed amount each month for a specific period.

The deposited amount earns interest, and upon maturity, the principal amount along with the accumulated interest is returned to the depositor. This secure and government-backed investment option is favoured by those seeking a structured savings plan.

Note: The Post Office RD interest rate varies from time to time and is set by the Indian government. You can use smallcase’s post office RD calculator to calculate your returns on the investment.

To Wrap It Up…

Recurring Deposits have proven to be a valuable financial tool for individuals seeking stability, growth, and disciplined savings. With their ease of access, flexibility, and attractive interest rates, RDs provide a reliable avenue to achieve your short-term and long-term financial goals. 

However, make sure you consider important factors such as interest rates, tenure options, and premature withdrawal penalties before making the final investment decision. 

In search of more profits than an RD? Compared to a recurring deposit, stock market investing often yields larger returns but also carries a higher risk. Consider investing in the stock market with diversified, pre-built stock or ETF portfolios created by SEBI-registered professionals on smallcase. Explore now!


1. What is the meaning of recurring deposit account? 

Recurring deposit meaning where one deposits a fixed sum regularly. Compared to fixed deposits, RDs offer flexibility but differ in terms of maturity.

2. Which is better: fixed deposit vs recurring deposit?

The fixed deposit and recurring deposits are two common savings options offered by banks and financial institutions. The choice between the two depends on your individual financial goals and risk tolerance. Investors should comprehend both the growth potential and challenges before investing.

3. Can I add nominees to my Recurring Deposit account?

Yes, you can add nominees to your recurring deposit account. You can typically add or modify nominees through your bank’s net banking or mobile banking platform, or by visiting the bank branch.

4. Can I cancel my RD account before the completion of the tenure?

The cancellation of an RD account before the completion of the tenure is possible but may be subjected to certain penalties or charges. However, it’s important to do your own research and/or consult a financial advisor before investing.

5. Do all RD accounts offer a loan/overdraft facility? 

No, not all RD accounts offer a loan/overdraft facility. The availability of a loan/overdraft facility against an RD account depends on the policies of the bank or financial institution. Therefore, investors must compare the terms and conditions offered by different banks.

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