• September 20, 2023
  • Posted by General Electric Credit Union
  • 3 read

Here's Why Opening a Certificate is Really Worth It

People save for many reasons – an upcoming vacation, college tuition, retirement, and costs both expected and unexpected. Savings provide peace of mind, so you aren’t financially stressed when it comes time to cover a large expense. While there are various savings options to choose from, there’s one that yields a greater return than a traditional savings account with a rate you can lock in: a certificate.

How are certificates different from a savings account?

A standard savings account will keep your funds accessible, but you won’t earn nearly as much interest as you would if you placed those funds in a certificate. 

Certificates are commonly used for short- and long-term savings goals due to their exponentially higher rates and variety of terms, which can range from a few months to years. In exchange for the higher rate, your money is locked in for the length of the term you select. Because of this, you should choose a time frame that best aligns with your savings goals and budget. Doing so will allow you to earn a pre-determined amount in interest and avoid early withdrawal penalties. 

Why certificates are a great savings option

Higher rates

As mentioned, you’ll earn a higher rate of return from a certificate than a regular savings account. This may allow you to reach savings goals faster, or at least give your savings the boost they need during high rates of inflation


Certificates are one of the safest and most reliable options to help you reach your financial goals. Just be sure you’re opening one at a credit union that’s a member of the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). You’ll feel confident knowing your funds are insured to at least $250,000 per credit union, per accountholder, per ownership category. There are strategies to extend coverage, which you can learn more about in this quick guide

Fixed and predictable returns

You have control over how you want to save. Choose a certificate with a term length and minimum deposit to open that work for you. While a higher balance will allow you to earn more in interest, you don’t want to commit money you’ll need before the term length ends.  

Assuming you don’t withdraw your funds early, your earnings are guaranteed. You know exactly what will be earned from the start, making certificates a predictable option to save. 


Overspending can occur for a handful of reasons. Maybe you’re used to the convenience of food delivery apps and turn a blind eye to the exorbitant fees. Or maybe influencer marketing on social media leads you to make purchases you wouldn’t otherwise. Either way, overspending can throw your budget and savings progress off track. 

If you’re looking for a more structured way to save, consider a certificate. The funds are locked in and safely out of reach for a fixed period. This takes the guesswork out of saving and removes temptations to spend. 

Save with confidence with a certificate from General Electric Credit Union (GECU). Our term lengths range from 3 months to 5 years, giving you the flexibility to earn on a schedule that works for you. Open one online to start earning or schedule an appointment to review your options with a GECU team member. 

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