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What are the Different Types of Saving Accounts?

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What are the Different Types of Saving Accounts?

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Imagine a piggy bank that grows the money you save in it - that’s what a savings account can do for you. Before you go create a savings account from the first bank you find, you should know that there’s more than one type. The more you know about the different types of savings accounts, the more likely you are to find one that suits your needs best. 

Types of savings account in India

While the broad characteristics of the different kinds of savings accounts worldwide remain the same, there are hundreds of different iterations of these accounts. The terms of these accounts vary slightly from account to account based on factors like preferential interest rates, lower fees, minimum balance requirements, age groups, gender, and so on. These are some of the best-known savings account types in the world.

1) Regular savings accounts

Regular savings accounts are one of the most widespread and well-known financial instruments in the world. People around the world use them as a means to keep their money safe. They act as a natural hedge against inflation, provided the rate of interest offered on these accounts is higher than the current inflation rate. They also allow users to access various kinds of banking features both offline and digitally in the case of net banking.

2) Joint accounts

A joint savings account functions similarly to a regular savings account. The difference between a joint account and a standard account lies in the fact that it isn't operated by one individual when it comes to the joint account. This means that all parties have access to the funds in this account. All parties may withdraw funds from the account or deposit funds into the account.

Joint accounts are common in married couples. An adult may also open a joint account with a minor. This is why they also tend to be quite common with parents opening a joint account with their children.

3) Zero balance savings accounts

These accounts do not require their users to have any amount of funds in their accounts. As a result, they tend to be popular amongst users that are relatively new to the banking system. Since maintaining a minimum balance is not required, users do not run the risk of incurring penalties. While there are no minimum balance requirements, the bank will still charge other fees like maintenance fees.

4) High Yield savings accounts

High yield savings accounts are those savings accounts that offer a much higher rate of interest than the average savings account. These types of accounts are more common with online banks and neobanks. 

Since neobanks do not need to pay for rent and utilities for a physical location, they save a lot of money. The effects of this are passed on to their customers, who are given better interest rates and rewards. High-yield accounts are an excellent way to grow your money over time without incurring as much potential risk as a stock market investment.

5) Company savings accounts/ salary accounts/ corporate accounts

There are many different names for these accounts. In essence, a salary account is an account opened by a corporation to simplify the process of giving out salaries to their employees. 

In some cases, these accounts may be subject to better interest rates, lower fees, etc. Companies tend to open such accounts in bulk for their employees. If salaries aren't credited to the company savings account for over three months, it automatically turns into a regular savings account.

Minor’s savings accounts - 

While regular savings accounts require individuals to be over the age of 18 to open an account, minors are allowed to open a savings account with their parent/ legal guardian. 

Parents/ legal guardians generally open these accounts to educate their children about money or invest for their future. They must be handled exclusively by the parents/ legal guardian until the minor reaches 10 years ago. Once they cross this age, they can operate this account by themselves. A minor account automatically turns into a regular savings account when the child reaches the age of 18.

6) Student’s savings accounts

Student savings accounts are offered by some banks and financial institutions as a way to educate students when it comes to finances. They also allow the student to save and invest for their future. These accounts function like regular savings accounts but may have low or zero balance requirements, given how students are just learning how to budget their finances. 

Some banks may also waive or reduce additional banking fees like maintenance fees and ATM withdrawal fees. To be eligible for this type of account, you must be a student studying in a recognised school or college. There may also be some cut-offs based on age, but these will differ from bank to bank.

7) Women’s savings accounts

Women’s savings accounts were introduced to encourage women to join the banking system. While the minimum balance requirements are generally the same for women's accounts and regular savings accounts, they get other privileges like reduced fees, cashback offers, low ATM fees, and so on.

8) Senior citizen savings accounts

As the name suggests, these accounts are meant for senior citizens only. In some cases, these accounts have slightly higher interest rates, amongst other factors like reduced banking fees. These accounts may also be linked to a senior citizen’s pension fund. This makes accessing their funds easier and hassle-free.

9) NRI accounts

NRI (Non-resident Indian) accounts are savings accounts that cater to Indians who live abroad or people of Indian origin living overseas. There are two main types of NRI accounts offered in India. These are as follows -

10) Non-resident ordinary savings accounts (NRO)

NRO accounts are non-resident accounts opened in India. NRIs open these accounts to manage the money they earn in India. Money can be deposited in this account in Rupee or foreign currency. However, if the money is transferred in foreign currency, it is subject to the exchange rate at the time of deposit. This means that if the money is deposited in INR itself, there is no currency rate fluctuation risk. The interest earned on an NRO account is subject to taxation in India.

11) Non-resident external savings accounts (NRE)

NRE accounts are non-resident accounts that can be opened from outside India. NRIs usually use these accounts to repatriate money to their families in India or store their foreign earnings to invest in the country. The deposits in these accounts are usually in foreign currency. As a result, they are subject to risks based on currency rate fluctuations. The interest earned on an NRE account is not taxable in India.

12) 3 in-1 accounts

banks offer 3 in 1 accounts to make the process of investing easier. First-time investors must open a savings account, a trading account, and a Demat account to start trading. This can be a little tricky, especially if they open these accounts in different banks. To simplify this process, some banks offer a 3-in-1 account where users can use features of all three accounts. They may be in the form of a hybrid account or just three separate accounts that are interlinked.

13) Privilege Accounts

Privilege accounts may offer special rewards, higher interest rates, increased withdrawal limits, and so on. The catch is that users must maintain a relatively high minimum balance for these accounts to be eligible for these special features.

14) Health Savings Accounts

Health savings accounts are accounts made to save money for health and wellness purposes. These accounts may work as a savings account- cum - insurance policy. While insurance covers the bulk of the hospitalisation fees, the money saved in the savings account is used to pay for pre and post-hospitalisation treatments and medical care.

15) Digital savings accounts - 

Digital savings accounts are savings accounts with their services entirely online. They function similarly to regular bank accounts; they usually have higher interest rates as they do not have to spend money on maintaining physical locations. While some major banks offer digital savings accounts, these accounts are gaining popularity through neobanks.

In a nutshell

While we’ve gone through various types of savings accounts, this is by no means an exhaustive list of all the savings accounts out there. Banks and financial institutions may offer their versions of savings accounts. In addition to this, there can often be an overlap between these accounts. For example, a women’s savings account can at times, be a zero balance account as well.

At the end of the day, what’s important is to have a savings account. If you do not wish to go through the hassle of driving to the bank, waiting in line, and slowly going through the document verification process, you may consider signing up for a digital savings account instead.

Fi offers a zero balance digital savings account that also provides features to simplify your finances and help your money grow.

And you don’t even have to leave your house to sign up.

Frequently asked questions

1. What are the main types of savings accounts?

There are several different types and iterations of savings accounts. The main types of savings accounts are - 

  • Regular savings account - These are standard savings accounts you find throughout the world. They offer an average rate of interest and act as a means of keeping your money safe in the banking system. They give users access to many banking features as well.
  • High-interest savings accounts - These accounts offer higher rates of interest than an average savings account. These accounts are also known as high-yield accounts. Savings accounts that are primarily digital usually offer higher rates. Savings accounts that require a higher minimum balance also offer higher rates of interest.
  • Zero balance savings accounts - These savings accounts do not require their users to maintain any minimum balance. These accounts are generally better for people new to the banking system as they do not have to worry about penalties and fees for failing to maintain a minimum balance. This feature may also be seen in accounts meant for certain people like students, minors, women, and senior citizens accounts.
  • Corporate savings accounts - Companies set up these savings accounts to simplify the process of paying salaries to their employees. The companies set up individual corporate accounts for their employees and then pay them their salaries through this account. If no salary is credited for 3 months, this account automatically turns into a regular savings account.

2. What are the classifications of accounts?

Understanding the classification of accounts can help explain what are the types of bank accounts that exist in the country.

Bank accounts are classified primarily based on the following criteria.

  • Type of account - Many different types of accounts exist in the world. There are regular accounts that offer interest for money saved and banking services. Health savings accounts act as savings accounts and insurance policies. 3 in 1 account combines the services of savings, demat, and trading account. Banks around the world offer countless iterations of bank accounts.
  • Rate of interest offered - Regular savings accounts offer an average rate of interest. High yield savings accounts offer higher interest rates. Deposit accounts offer higher rates of interest than savings accounts but lock your money away till maturity. Current accounts do not pay interest on the money stored in them.

Who the account belongs to - Regular bank accounts can be accessed by most people. There are accounts with preferential interest rates and fees for minors, women, and senior citizens. Special rules apply to non-resident accounts.

3. What is the safest saving account?

While savings accounts are generally considered one of the safest spots to park your money in, a few banks stand out as the best savings bank accounts. This is based on interest rate, bank stability and general safety policies

a. State Bank of India (SBI) Savings Account

b. HDFC Bank Savings Account

c. Kotak Mahindra Bank Savings Account

d.DCB Bank Savings Account

e. RBL Bank Savings Account

4. How do I choose a savings account?

When choosing a savings account you should consider the interest rates, fees, and minimum balance. Look for an account with a high-interest rate, minimal fees, and a balance that you can maintain. You could even opt in for a zero-balance account.

5. Which bank gives highest interest rate on savings account in 2023?

Currently, IndusIND bank, Yes Bank, IDFC First, and RBL Bank offer higher interest rates than their peers. The average interest rates offered by these banks is from 3.50%- 6.50%

Time to switch to Fi. Smart banking and only that.
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