A certificate is a fantastic savings vehicle because it has a fixed date of maturity and fixed interest rate. This translates to guaranteed earnings. Most certificates require a minimum deposit to open and may offer rates contingent on the size of the deposit. They are also insured by the National Credit Union Association (NCUA) up to $250,000 per individual depositor. As a depositor, you are committing to leave your funds in the certificate for the full length of its term. To reward you for the time commitment, certificate rates are typically higher than traditional savings or money market accounts. Keep in mind that an early withdrawal of funds will likely come with a financial penalty.