Guide to Jumbo Certificates of Deposit (CD)

Guide to Jumbo Certificates of Deposit (CD)

A jumbo certificate of deposit (CD) is a type of savings account that has a higher minimum required initial deposit amount than a regular CD. Jumbo CDs generally require a deposit of $100,000, and they pay a higher interest rate to account owners in return for this higher initial deposit.

Certificates of deposit are savings accounts where the account owner gives up access to their funds for a specified period of time, and earns interest in return for locking up their money. The interest rate may be fixed or variable depending on the particular CD. At the end of the term, known as the maturity date, the account owner receives their initial deposit plus the earned interest.

Is a jumbo CD right for you? Here’s what you need to know about how jumbo certificates of deposit work, and the pros and cons of this type of account.

What Is a Jumbo Certificate of Deposit?

You’re probably familiar with the traditional certificate of deposit, or CD. These accounts are similar to savings accounts, but they pay higher interest rates in exchange for certain restrictions. Generally, most CDs have a maturity date between three months and five years. Since CDs require that funds are unavailable to the account owner during the term, they pay higher rates than other types of savings and interest-bearing checking accounts.

Unlike a regular CD, jumbo CDs generally require investors to deposit at least $100,000 when they first open their account. There are some jumbo CDs that have lower entry requirements of, say, $50,000; these are typically offered by credit unions and smaller banks.

Investors looking to open a smaller CD account are generally better off opening a regular CD. The rates can be just as good as a jumbo CD, but without the steep initial deposit requirements.

Regular vs Jumbo CD

Here’s what you need to know about the similarities and differences between investing in ordinary CDs and jumbo CDs.


•   What is a certificate of deposit vs. a savings account? Regular and jumbo CDs are savings-like accounts that require investors to lock up their funds for a specified period of time in exchange for a higher rate of interest than a traditional savings account.

•   Both types of accounts can be set up for shorter and longer terms, typically from three months to five years.

•   If an investor needs their money before the CD’s term is complete, they will likely pay a penalty on the early withdrawal.


•   Jumbo CDs have higher entry requirements than regular CDs. Regular CDs typically have an initial minimum deposit requirement of less than $5,000, and some have no requirement at all. Jumbo CDs typically require a $100,000 deposit.

•   Jumbo CDs typically have somewhat higher interest rates than regular CDs. However, some regular CDs have equal or better rates than jumbo CDs. Usually large banks have some of the best CD interest rates.

•   Ordinary CDs are insured by the FDIC up to $250,000, as are jumbo CDs — but any amount in a jumbo CD above $250,000 is not FDIC-insured and subject to risk of loss.

•   Regular CDs tend to be more attractive to retail investors; jumbo CDs are geared toward large institutional investors.

Ordinary CDs vs Jumbo CDs



Investors deposit funds for a fixed period in exchange for a higher interest rate than a traditional savings account. Jumbo CDs require a $100,000 minimum deposit vs. $5,000 or less for a CD.
CD terms are typically three months to five years, but can vary. Jumbo CDs generally have somewhat higher interest rates.
Early withdrawals from any CD typically trigger a penalty. Both types of CD are FDIC-insured up to $250,000, but amounts in a jumbo CD above that aren’t covered.
Regular CDs are geared toward retail investors; jumbo CDs to institutional investors.

Advantages of Jumbo CDs

Jumbo CDs offer several advantages for investors looking to buy into a safe savings account with a fixed rate of return.

Steady Rate of Interest

Because jumbo CDs earn a steady interest rate over a fixed period of time and are fairly safe investments (i.e. your money is FDIC-insured up to $250,000), they can be a good way to save up for a longer-term financial goal, such as buying a home or saving for a wedding.

Higher Interest Rate Than Traditional CDs

Jumbo CDs tend to pay higher interest rates than regular CDs and savings accounts. National averages show that annual percentage yields for jumbo CDs tend to be about one-hundredth of a percentage point larger than regular CD yields, which isn’t much — but can add up over time.

Steady Interest Can Partly Offset Market Risk

By holding some funds in a jumbo CD that earns a steady rate, it’s possible to offset the potential volatility in other parts of your investment portfolio. Also, although interest rates may not be super high, the compound interest on the large amounts invested in a jumbo CD can add significantly to investors’ earnings (see example below).

Insured up to $250,000 per Account

The FDIC or the NCUA insure CD accounts for up to $250,000, making jumbo CDs one of the safest types of investments.

Those who want to deposit more than $250,000 might consider opening a joint CD account that allows $250,000 per account owner, or they can open different CD accounts with multiple banks. Jumbo CDs are popular with retirees who don’t want to put all their money into the stock market. On the downside, jumbo CDs tend to earn lower returns over time than stocks.

Disadvantages of Jumbo CDs

Although there are several reasons jumbo CDs can be good investments, they also come with some downsides. The biggest buyers of jumbo CDs are institutional investors looking for safe investments with fixed returns. Sometimes these institutional investors put money into a CD that they plan to invest somewhere else but they want to earn interest on it while they wait for that next investment. Retail investors typically look for CDs with lower entry requirements.

Lower Return Than Many Other Fixed-Rate Investments

Jumbo CDs are safe fixed-rate investments, but they have high minimum balance requirements and pay out lower interest rates than other types of fixed-rate investments like bonds.

Interest Rate Risk

Investors face the potential risk of interest rates going up after they buy a CD. If this happens they may miss out on the opportunity to earn those higher rates.

May Not Keep Up With Inflation

Jumbo CDs pay higher interest rates than traditional savings accounts, but the rate of these CDs may not be that high and therefore they may not keep up with the pace of inflation. The cost of living may rise more quickly than the return provided by the CD.

It may help investors to buy into jumbo CDs with longer terms, since those pay out higher interest rates — but the tradeoff there is that your money is locked up for an even longer period.

Recommended: How to Protect Money Against Inflation

Early Withdrawals Will Trigger a Penalty

When an investor puts money into a jumbo CD, they cannot access those funds until the maturity date. If they do want to access the funds they will have to pay an early withdrawal penalty. Each bank has different penalties for early withdrawal, but there are also no-penalty CDs available, so it’s important for investors to consider their individual situation and look into their options to avoid paying fees.

Reinvestment Rate Risk

If interest rates go down during the term of the jumbo CD, then the investor might struggle to find a new investment that provides a similar rate when their jumbo CD reaches its maturity date.

Jumbo CD Example

Interest rates for jumbo CDs are always changing and they can be different in different regions, but below are two examples of how a jumbo CD might be structured:

•   An investor buys a $100,000 jumbo CD from Bank A. It has a nine-month term and pays 1.5% interest. When the investor withdraws the funds at the maturity date, they’ll receive $101,122.90.

•   Another investor buys a $200,000 jumbo CD from Bank B, with an 18-month term and 2.00% interest. At the maturity date, the investor will get $206,029.90.

The Takeaway

Jumbo CDs are savings accounts with high minimum deposit requirements — typically $100,000 — that pay higher interest rates than regular CDs. These are popular with large institutional investors such as banks and corporations. While they are similar to regular CDs in some ways — your money is unavailable until the maturity date; early withdrawals can trigger a penalty — jumbo CDs may come with more risks. For example, only the first $250,000 of your money is insured. And by locking up your money at one fixed rate, you may lose out if interest rates rise.

If you’re ready to open a savings account, one easy way is through SoFi’s online banking app. You can sign up for an account right from your phone and pay zero account fees — and if you qualify and use direct deposit, you can earn 1.25% APY. Open your Checking and Savings today.


What is the range of jumbo CD rates?

Jumbo CD rates are between 0.40% and 2.1% as of April 25, 2022. The highest rates often depend on the length of the term.

How much money is in a jumbo CD?

Jumbo CDs typically require a minimum deposit of $100,000.

Are jumbo CDs negotiable?

Jumbo CDs are usually negotiable, meaning they can be sold on a secondary market.

SoFi® Checking and Savings is offered through SoFi Bank, N.A. ©2022 SoFi Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.
SoFi members with direct deposit can earn up to 1.25% annual percentage yield (APY) interest on all account balances in their Checking and Savings accounts (including Vaults). Members without direct deposit will earn 0.70% APY on all account balances in their Checking and Savings accounts (including Vaults). Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. Rate of 1.25% APY is current as of 4/5/2022. Additional information can be found at
Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

Photo credit: iStock/Andrii Yalanskyi

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All You Need to Know About Variable-Rate Certificates of Deposit (CD)?

All You Need to Know About Variable-Rate Certificates of Deposit (CD)?

A variable-rate certificate of deposit (CD) is a financial product that locks up your money for a set period of time (or term) and has a fluctuating interest rate. This varying rate of return is what sets it apart from traditional CDs, which pay a fixed rate, so you know exactly how much money your money will earn.

When interest rates are high, a variable-rate CD can help pump up your returns, but the opposite holds true, too. Depending on your financial goals, style, and comfort level, a variable-rate CD may be a good option for you.

Let’s take a closer look. We’ll dig into:

•   What a variable-rate CD is

•   What to know if you are considering investing in one

•   Pros and cons of a variable-rate CD

What Is a Variable-Rate Certificate of Deposit?

Let’s start by answering the question, “What is a variable-rate CD?” A variable-rate certificate of deposit, or CD, is a financial product that you can purchase from a banking institution, broker, or credit union. All types of CDs are a savings account that have fixed investing terms. That means they hold your money for a certain amount of time, be it six months or several years.

You pick a term that suits you best. During that time, your money earns interest, but you are not supposed to withdraw any funds or you are likely to be assessed a penalty fee. When the term ends, your CD is said to have matured, and you may withdraw the funds plus interest or roll them over into a new CD. Usually the total amount of interest is also received at the end of the investment term.

Traditional CDs pay a consistent rate of interest that you are informed of at the start of the term. In the case of variable-rate CDs, however, the interest rate fluctuates throughout the term. This means, you, the investor can potentially earn more on your deposit when interest rates go up. As you might guess, the opposite is also true: You could earn less if interest rates go down. Several market factors influence interest rates. These include the prime rate, treasury bills, a market index, and the consumer price index (CPI); we’ll go into those more in a moment.

One last note: Yes, CDs are insured. Certificates of deposit are time deposits protected by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). If the bank holding the CD were to fail, you’d be insured up to $250,000.

Recommended: How Can I Invest in CDs?

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Special Considerations of a Variable-Rate CD

The info above gives you an overview of how variable-rate certificates of deposit work. Beyond those broad strokes, there are a few key things to consider when looking into investing in variable-rate CDs. This type of CD is generally most profitable if purchased when interest rates are low, because it’s more likely that the interest rate will increase during the investment term. For this reason, there is a higher demand for these CDs when interest rates are low.

About those interest rates: There are four main factors that influence them. These are:

•   Consumer Price Index (CPI): The federal government uses the Consumer Price Index to calculate changes in the amount that consumers pay for certain products and services. Whatever the current CPI is can affect how interest rates fluctuate.

•   Market Index Levels: Another factor that affects interest rates is the performance of investment portfolios, such as major market indices. Some indices that are often analyzed include the S&P 500, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, and the Nasdaq Composite Index.

•   Prime Rate: The prime rate is the interest rate that banks charge customers who have the highest credit ratings. These customers are the least likely to default on loans, so they get the best interest rates.

•   Treasury Bill Yields: The U.S. Treasury sells Treasury bonds in order to raise money, and they also pay interest on those bonds. The interest rate associated with Treasury bonds depends on the amount and time period of the bond.

Now that you have a little more insight onto the factors that determine a CD’s variable rate, let’s look at the big picture. It’s worth noting that, during times of high inflation, CDs may not be your best option. If inflation surges, even a variable-rate CD may not be able to keep pace. At the end of your term, you may find that your investment has lost ground versus inflation.

Another factor to consider before you lock in on a variable-rate CD is the fee for early withdrawals. Some variable-rate CDs have higher fees than others. If there’s a good chance you may end up withdrawing funds early, before a CD’s maturity date, you should check those penalties and make sure they aren’t too steep.

Recommended: How Can I Buy a Bond?

Pros of a Variable-Rate CD

All CDs are known to be very safe investments since they are federally insured up to $250,000. In addition to that security, there are several benefits to investing in variable-rate CDs. Let’s take a closer look:

High Yield on Investments

Variable-rate CDs are secure, insured accounts that can provide a higher rate of return than other types of savings accounts. For instance, when you buy a fixed-rate CD, you might miss out on the opportunity to earn a higher interest rate if the market ticks upward. Variable-rate CDs, however, can respond to market conditions. If you buy a variable-rate CD when interest rates are low, you can potentially earn more as rates increase.

Profitable When Interest Rates Are Low

When interest rates are low, demand for variable-rate CDs increases, as does the profit potential. That’s because it is more likely that interest rates will increase after you purchase one. The interest rate can tick upwards and earn you more money on your money.

Lower Withdrawal Fee

Generally, variable-rate CDs come with lower penalties on early withdrawals than other types of CDs.

Cons of a Variable-Rate CD

While there are several reasons variable-rate CDs make good investments, they do come with a few downsides to consider before you invest.

Low Interest Rates

Although a variable-rate CD provides the opportunity to snag higher interest rates, it also creates a significant risk of earning a lower rate if market rates go down. If you buy a variable-rate CD when interest rates are low with the hopes that they will increase, there is no guarantee that this will happen. This means they will continue to earn a low interest rate for some or all of the duration of the CD term. In this case, you’re stuck! You may have lost out on the possibility of earning a higher return elsewhere.

Paying Extra for “Bump-Up” Feature

Although interest rates can increase or decrease with most variable-rate CDs, there are some kinds that have a “bump-up” feature. This allows for a one-time rate boost (or possibly a few rate hikes) during the CD’s term, but you may well have to pay extra for this “bump-up.” This is because the initial interest rates is typically lower than it would be on a fixed-rate CD.

Inflation Can Outpace Your Rate and Wipe Away Profit

There is a chance that inflation will increase during the term of a variable-rate CD. If this happens, inflation could end up being higher than the interest rate you’re earning. Let’s spell out what that means: Your earnings would be canceled out.

Variable-Rate CD: Real World Example

All this talk of varying interest rates can be hard to get a handle on without a concrete example. So let’s consider a CD that has a three-year term and a guaranteed repayment of the principal deposit. The starting rate is based on the prime rate, which is 4% at press time. During the term of the investment, let’s suppose that the prime rate drops from 4% down to 2%. To determine the amount of interest you’d receive, you’d take the difference between the initial prime rate and the final prime rate, which is 2%. So at the end of the term the investor would receive their initial deposit plus 2% interest. That’s half what it was when you started. Obviously, you, the CD account owner, would be happier if the reverse were true, which it could be!

What Happens if I Redeem a CD Before It Matures?

Most CDs have fees for early withdrawal; these typically involve losing interest that’s been earned, and occasionally a bit of the principal. (Generally speaking, you don’t receive earned interest until a CD matures). However, some variable-rate CDs do offer early withdrawals with no penalties for fees. These CDs usually have a lower interest rate, so you are paying for this flexibility.

The Takeaway

If you’re looking for safe, reliable, and flexible financial securities, you may want to consider adding variable-rate CDs to your portfolio. CDs provide choices in terms of how long money is invested and can provide strong returns. But, that said, they do come with some risks. It’s important to understand the factors that affect interest rates when considering buying variable-rate CDs. Time things right, and you could earn a healthy return on your investment. But if rates don’t head in a positive direction, you may not even be able to keep up with inflation.

CDs aren’t the only game in town for earning interest. Come take a look at the turbocharged 1.25% APY you can earn when you open SoFi’s online banking platform with direct deposit. And these accounts have no overdraft or account fees to gnaw away at your money, either. They’re a great way to help your money grow.

Start banking better with SoFi today.


Are variable-rate CDs issued by the government?

Variable-rate CDs are not issued by the government, but the FDIC insures them up to $250,000. They are issued by FDIC-insured financial institutions.

What determines the rate on a variable-rate CD?

Several factors affect the interest rate of variable-rate CDs. These include the prime rate, market indices, treasury bills, and the consumer price index.

Do CDs have fixed interest rates?

Many CDs have fixed interest rates, but variable-rate CDs have interest rates that fluctuate throughout their term.

SoFi® Checking and Savings is offered through SoFi Bank, N.A. ©2022 SoFi Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.
SoFi members with direct deposit can earn up to 1.25% annual percentage yield (APY) interest on all account balances in their Checking and Savings accounts (including Vaults). Members without direct deposit will earn 0.70% APY on all account balances in their Checking and Savings accounts (including Vaults). Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. Rate of 1.25% APY is current as of 4/5/2022. Additional information can be found at
Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.
Any SoFi member who receives $1,000 or more in qualifying direct deposits into their SoFi Money account over the preceding 30 days will be eligible for Overdraft Coverage. Overdraft coverage only applies to SoFi Money accounts and is currently unavailable for Samsung Money by SoFi accounts. Members with a prior history of non-repayment of negative balances for SoFi Money are also ineligible for Overdraft Coverage.

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Guide to Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Investing

When it comes to making investment decisions, more and more individuals and organizations consider environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors. ESG investing focuses on companies that are considered to be leaders in sustainability and have a positive impact on the environment and society.

If you’re interested in ESG investing, it’s essential to understand the nuances, benefits, and risks of this growing trend. It would help if you did the research to make sure you invest in companies that align with your values and follow ESG standards.

ESG Definition

ESG, which stands for environmental, social, and governance, refers to non-financial criteria that investors use to determine whether companies are socially and environmentally responsible.

There is, however, no universally shared set of ESG criteria used by all investors or financial firms to evaluate a company’s soundness or risk along these lines. Nonetheless, the following are some of the most common factors that investors consider when evaluating ESG standards.

Recommended: Investing for Beginners: Basic Strategies to Know


The environmental component of ESG criteria might include metrics on a company’s energy emissions, waste, and water usage. Investors may also focus on the risks and opportunities associated with the impacts of climate change on the company and its industry.

Some company information that environmentally conscious investors may evaluate include:

•  Pollution and carbon footprint

•  Water usage and conservation

•  Renewable energy integration (such as solar and wind)

•  Climate change policies

Recommended: How to Invest in EV Stocks


The social component of ESG generally describes the impact of a company’s relationships with people and society. Factors as varied as corporate culture, commitment to diversity, and how much a company invests in local organizations or communities can impact socially-conscious investors’ decisions on buying into a specific corporation.

Some other social factors can include:

•  Employee pay, benefits, and perks

•  Diversity, equity, and inclusion

•  Commitment to social justice causes

•  Ethical supply chains (e.g., no sweatshops, conflict-free minerals, etc.)

Recommended: Stakeholder vs. Shareholder: What’s the Difference?


The governance component of ESG generally focuses on how the company is run. Investors want to know how the board of directors, company, and shareholders relate to one another.

Some additional governance factors that investors evaluate include:

•  Executive compensation, bonuses, and perks

•  Diversity of the board of directors and management team

•  Transparency in communications with shareholders

•  Rights and roles guaranteed to shareholders

Recommended: Explaining the Shareholder Voting Process

What Is ESG Investing?

ESG investing is a type of strategy that considers environmental, social, and governance factors when making investment decisions. Investors use these criteria to screen potential investments; if a business’s operations don’t follow ESG standards, investors may avoid putting money into the company.

There are several reasons people and institutions might choose to invest in companies that prioritize ESG factors. For some, it is a way to align their values with their investment portfolio. Others believe that companies that take ESG factors into account are likely to be more financially successful in the long run.

But, as mentioned above, there is no agreed-upon set of standards for what makes a company ESG friendly. Companies committed to ESG operations may publish sustainability reports to give investors some insights into the firm. Additionally, third-party organizations have stepped in to create ESG scores for companies and funds based on their adherence to various ESG factors.

How ESG Scores Work

ESG scores – sometimes called ESG ratings – are designed to measure a company’s environmental, social, and governance performance. Investors use them to assess a company’s risks and opportunities concerning these three areas.

An ESG score is calculated by analyzing a company’s data on environmental, social, and governance policies and practices from various sources, like SEC filings, government databases, and media reports.

A high ESG score means a company manages ESG risks better than its peers, while a low ESG score means the company has more unmanaged ESG risks. Evaluating a company’s ESG score, along with financial analysis, can give investors a better idea of the company’s long-term prospects.

Some of the most prominent ESG score providers are MSCI, Morningstar Sustainalytics, and S&P Global.

ESG vs SRI vs Impact Investing

ESG investing is sometimes called sustainable investing, impact investing, or socially responsible investing (SRI). However, impact investing and socially responsible investing are often viewed differently than ESG investing.

Some of the differences between the three investment strategies are:

•  ESG investing focuses on a company or fund’s environmental, social, and governance practices and traditional financial analysis.

•  Socially responsible investing eliminates or selects investments according to specific ethical guidelines. Investors following an SRI strategy may avoid investing in companies related to gambling and other sin stocks, along with companies that may damage the natural environment.

•  Impact investing is generally done by institutional investors and foundations. Impact investing focuses on making investments in companies or projects specifically designed to generate positive social or environmental impact.

Types of ESG Investments

Investors can make ESG investments in the stocks and bonds of companies that adhere to ESG criteria or have high ESG scores. Other potential investment vehicles are mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) with an ESG strategy.


Buying stocks of companies with environmental, social, and governance commitments can be one way to start ESG investing. However, investors will often need to research companies that have ESG credibility or rely on third-party agencies that release ESG scores.

Recommended: How to Analyze a Stock


The bonds of corporations involved in ESG-friendly business practices can be a good option for investors interested in fixed-income securities. Green and climate bonds are bonds issued by companies to finance various environmentally-friendly projects and business operations.

Additionally, government bonds used to fund green energy projects can be an option for fixed-income investors. These bonds may come with tax incentives, making them a more attractive investment than traditional bonds.

Recommended: How to Buy Bonds: A Guide for Beginners

Mutual Funds and ETFs

Investors who don’t want to pick individual stocks to invest in can always look to mutual funds and exchange-traded funds that provide exposure to ESG companies and investments. A growing number of index funds invest in a basket of sustainable stocks and bonds. These funds allow investors to diversify their holdings by investing in one security. However, not all ESG funds follow the same criteria and may focus on different aspects of environmental, social, and governance issues.

Recommended: A Beginner’s Guide to Investing in Index Funds

Benefits of ESG Investing

ESG investing has several benefits, including:

•  Improving long-term financial performance: A growing body of evidence suggests that companies with solid ESG ratings may be good investments. They tend to outperform those with weaker ratings, both in share price performance and earnings growth.

•  Mitigating risk: ESG factors can help identify companies with poor governance practices or exposure to environmental and social risks, leading to financial losses.

•  Creating social and environmental impact: By investing in companies that are leading the way on environmental, social, and governance issues, investors can help drive positive change and make a positive impact on society.

These potential benefits are increasing the popularity of ESG investing. According to Bloomberg, global ESG assets may surpass $41 trillion by the end of 2022 and reach $50 trillion by 2025, up from $22.8 trillion in 2016.

How to Start an ESG Investment Portfolio

If you are interested in creating an ESG portfolio, you can start by contacting a financial advisor that can help you shape your investment strategy.

However, if you are ready to start investing and want to build a portfolio on your own, you can follow these steps:

•  Open a brokerage account: You will need to open a brokerage account and deposit money into it. Once your account is funded, you will be able to buy and sell stocks, mutual funds, and other securities. SoFi Invest® offers an active investing platform where you can start building your ESG portfolio.

•  Pick your assets: Decide what type of investment you want to make, whether in a stock of a company, an ESG-focused ETF or mutual fund, or bonds.

•  Do your research: It’s important to research the different companies and funds and find a diversified selection that fits your desires and priorities.

•  Invest: Once you’re ready, make your investment and then monitor your portfolio to ensure that the assets in your portfolio have a positive social and financial impact.

It is important to remember that you should diversify your portfolio by investing in various asset classes. Diversification will help to reduce your risk and maximize your returns.

ESG Investing Strategies

ESG investing can be different based on values and financial goals. It’s therefore essential to start with your investment goals and objectives when crafting an ESG investing strategy. Consider how ESG factors can help you achieve these goals.

It’s also crucial to understand the data and information available on ESG factors; this will vary by company and industry. When researching potential ESG investments, you want to make sure a company has a clear and publicly-available ESG policy and regularly discloses its ESG performance. Additionally, it can be helpful to look at third-party scores to determine a company’s ESG performance.

The Takeaway

If you want to learn more about ESG investing, several resources are available online and from financial advisors. Doing your research and talking to a financial advisor can help you determine if ESG investing is right for you.

There is no “right” way to invest in ESG companies. What matters most is that you are comfortable with the companies you are investing in and believe in their ability to create long-term value.

Investors interested in making ESG investments can use the SoFi app to help. With SoFi Invest®, you can trade stocks and ETFs to build an ESG portfolio. And if you’re not ready to pick stocks and ETFs by yourself, SoFi’s automated investing tool will build a portfolio for you with no SoFi management fee.

Get started investing with SoFi Invest

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The information provided is not meant to provide investment or financial advice. Investment decisions should be based on an individual’s specific financial needs, goals and risk profile. SoFi can’t guarantee future financial performance. Advisory services offered through SoFi Wealth, LLC. SoFi Securities, LLC, member FINRA / SIPC . SoFi Invest refers to the three investment and trading platforms operated by Social Finance, Inc. and its affiliates (described below). Individual customer accounts may be subject to the terms applicable to one or more of the platforms below.
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What Is the Difference Between Money Market Accounts vs CDs?

What Is the Difference Between Money Market Accounts vs CDs?

Both certificates of deposit (CDs) and money market accounts (MMAs) are low-risk accounts that tend to earn higher interest rates than traditional savings accounts. But the primary difference between a money market account vs. a certificate of deposit is accessibility. An MMA is like a savings account in that you can withdraw money as needed; with a CD, your money is locked up for a period of time.

There are some other differences between a money market account vs. a certificate of deposit, but that’s the main one. Keep reading to learn the difference between these types of deposit accounts and what their pros and cons might be.

Recommended: What is Liquid Net Worth

What Is a Money Market Account?

Banks and credit unions offer a type of deposit account known as a money market account (also referred to as money market deposit accounts or money market savings accounts).

Money market accounts function much like regular savings accounts. It’s possible to withdraw funds from a money market account by draft, debit card, or electronic transfer. But MMAs may offer check-writing privileges as well. And like a traditional savings account, the money you deposit in an MMA is insured up to $250,000 by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), if held at a bank, or by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), if held at a credit union.

Pros of Money Market Accounts

Let’s look at some advantages associated with money market accounts.

•   Security. Because of the FDIC and NCUA insurance the funds in a money market account (up to $250,000) are insured against loss.

•   Higher interest rate. Typically, money market accounts have higher interest rates than normal savings accounts.

•   Liquidity. Those looking to keep their money close at hand while still earning interest on it will appreciate how liquid money market funds are compared with other investment vehicles, like a CD.

•   Ease of access. It’s possible to access the funds in a money market account by withdrawing cash, doing an electronic transfer, or even writing checks.

Cons of Money Market Accounts

Of course, there are also some disadvantages that come with money market accounts that are worth keeping in mind.

•   Minimum balance requirements. As mentioned earlier, banks and credit unions often require a minimum deposit to open a checking or savings, and an MMA is no exception. This amount is often higher than the one required for a traditional savings account. And in some cases, it might be necessary to maintain that minimum balance in order to avoid monthly maintenance fees.

•   Limited transactions. Federal banking regulations make it so account holders can’t make more than six withdrawals or transfers a month (typically this restriction applies to checks, debit card payments, wire transfers and other electronic transfers). The transfers you make in person, at an ATM, or via mail, are not restricted. If you exceed the number of allowed transactions per month, you will receive a warning from the bank and may be assessed a fine.

•   Interest rates vary. Saving interest rates can fluctuate as they are based on the overall market’s interest rates at a given time. It’s difficult to predict how the market will perform and if this interest rate will rise or fall.

•   Limited growth potential. Those hoping to experience higher long-term growth can potentially make more by investing their money elsewhere.

What Is a Certificate of Deposit?

A certificate of deposit is another savings vehicle offered by banks, but these products provide less flexibility than a money market account. Typically the funds deposited must remain untouched for a period of time, ranging from a few months to a few years. In exchange for leaving their money in the CD, the institution agrees to pay a higher interest rate.

Thus the money deposited in a CD is typically called the principal, because it is essentially a loan the consumer is offering to the bank. The interest the customer collects is what the bank pays for the privilege of borrowing the money.

If the CD owner decides to withdraw the money early, they will need to pay a withdrawal penalty (except in the case of a no penalty CD).

There are a few different types of CDs available and each come with varying deposit requirements and term lengths that can suit different financial goals.

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Pros of Certificate of Deposits

Let’s take a closer look at some of the advantages that come with depositing money into a CD.

•   Potentially higher rates. CDs can have higher APYs (annual percentage yields) than regular savings accounts or money market accounts. Longer-term CDs usually have even higher interest rates.

•   Fixed rates can provide certainty. Because CDs tend to have fixed rates for fixed terms, the investor knows up front how long their money needs to stay in the CD and how much they will earn.

•   Security. Similar to money market accounts, CDs are either FDIC or NCUA insured.

•   Convenience. It’s fairly easy to open a CD as most banks and credit unions offer them.

Cons of Certificate of Deposits

Of course, there are also some disadvantages of CDs that are good to be aware of.

•   Lower rates than other investments. CDs often offer better interest rates than other deposit accounts, but they don’t usually offer competitive advantages over investments like stocks and bonds that can lead to longer- term growth.

•   Fixed interest rates can be limiting. Because CDs come with fixed interest rates, if the market improves and interest rates go up, the CD owner can be stuck with a lower interest rate until the CD term ends (unless they open a bump-up CD)

•   Withdrawal penalties. More often than not the CD owner has to keep the funds held in the CD until the term ends or they will need to pay an early withdrawal penalty.

•   Limited access. Unlike a money market account or savings account, it’s not possible to access the money in a CD until the term ends.

Where Can You Find Money Market Accounts and CDs?

As previously noted, both CDs and money market accounts are available at banks, credit unions, and select financial institutions.

In many cases you can open either of these accounts online, over the phone, or in person.

Because interest rates vary widely, it’s a good idea to do some research to decide whether you want to open a money market account vs. a certificate of deposit, and which institution has the most favorable terms.

Differences Between a Money Market Account and a Certificate of Deposit

Not sure which type of account is the right fit? These are the main differences to consider when choosing between a money market account vs. a CD.

•   Withdrawals. It’s possible to make withdrawals a month from a money market account (some restrictions can apply), but CD funds are typically unavailable until the end of the term.

•   Interest rates. CDs tend to offer higher interest rates (fixed) than money market accounts (variable).

•   Penalties. One withdrawal from a CD can lead to a penalty, whereas you can typically withdraw money at any point from a money market account (although in some cases, especially with regard to electronic transfers the number may be capped at six withdrawals per month).

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When to Choose a Money Market Account Over a CD

Here’s a brief look at when a money market may be a better choice than a CD.

•   When they require accessibility. Someone who requires more access to their savings will appreciate the flexibility and liquidity that comes with a money market account.

•   When building an emergency fund. A money market account is a great place to earn a little extra interest on an emergency fund that the account holder doesn’t need to access often.

When to Choose a CD Over a Money Market Account

There will be times when a CD is a better fit for a consumer than a money market account.

•   When they have longer term investment goals. If someone wants to earn more money in interest, they’ll find a CD is a better fit thanks to longer terms and higher interest rates.

•   When they won’t miss the money. If the consumer is confident they won’t need to access the funds before the CD term ends, they can earn extra interest in a safer way than investing in stocks.

The Takeaway

Both money market accounts and CDs offer safe ways to earn extra interest on savings compared with a traditional savings account. While money market accounts offer more flexibility and liquidity than CDs, CDs may have higher interest rates.

The main difference between money markets and CDs is that with the former you can access your money virtually any time — and with the latter your funds are unavailable until the CD matures. The length or term of a CD typically ranges from a few months to a few years.

If you’re ready to open a savings account, one easy way is through SoFi’s all-in-one Checking and Savings. You can sign up for an account right from your phone and pay zero account fees — and if you qualify by setting up direct deposit you can earn 1.25% APY. Open your Checking and Savings today.

Learn more about SoFi Banking rates and terms today!


Can you lose your money in a money market account?

It’s highly unlikely. Money market accounts at banks are insured by the FDIC, and money market accounts at credit unions are insured by the NCUA (up to a certain amount).

Why would you choose a CD over a money market account?

If you don’t need to access your funds for a while, a CD could be a better fit. CDs tend to offer higher interest rates than money market accounts, and the interest rate is fixed which makes the return predictable.

SoFi® Checking and Savings is offered through SoFi Bank, N.A. ©2022 SoFi Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.
SoFi members with direct deposit can earn up to 1.25% annual percentage yield (APY) interest on all account balances in their Checking and Savings accounts (including Vaults). Members without direct deposit will earn 0.70% APY on all account balances in their Checking and Savings accounts (including Vaults). Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. Rate of 1.25% APY is current as of 4/5/2022. Additional information can be found at
Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

Photo credit: iStock/Vanessa Nunes

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