By Sabrina Karl
If you hold certificates of deposit, or are contemplating whether CDs are right for your savings goals, you might wonder what happens at maturity. For instance, do you have to track the certificate’s maturity date, or can you count on the bank to nudge you when the time comes?
Theoretically, you can expect the bank to notify you before a certificate matures. That’s because the Truth in Savings Act requires them to provide 30 calendar days’ notice before a CD’s maturity date, or 20 days if they extend a grace period of at least five calendar days.
That notification will be mailed or emailed, depending on preferences you’ve established with the bank. It will also outline your options on how to handle the maturing funds, with a deadline by which you’ll need to communicate your choice.
In most cases, you can: roll the money into a new CD with the same or comparable term; transfer it into a savings or checking account at that bank; or request the funds by mailed check or electronic transfer to another financial institution.
While it can be tempting to simply roll the CD into another certificate at that bank, the smarter move is to shop around to make sure you’ll earn a competitive rate. Once you know the top available returns, you can evaluate the rollover rate you’re being offered.
You’ll find that rollover rates are often not competitive, so moving to a different CD that pays a top national rate will be much more lucrative. This is why you might want to track maturity dates yourself instead of relying on a notice from your bank. Not only can bank oversights occur, but when you’re on top of maturity dates, you’ll have ample time to identify the smartest place to move your money next.