by Venus Zoleta, on category "Personal Finance"
October 10, 2019
The Philippines is still a largely unbanked country. Data from the latest Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas financial inclusion survey show that 77% or 52.8 million adults don’t put their money in a formal bank account.
Out of those who are unbanked, 60% said they didn’t open an account due to lack of money. This is a common misconception about having a savings account in the Philippines.
In fact, Filipinos have many affordable banking options at their disposal. There are bank accounts that make saving easy through low maintaining balance and initial deposit. No need to worry about not having enough money and having your account closed. You just need to know where to look for low maintaining balance savings accounts.
Here are the savings accounts in the Philippines with the lowest maintaining balance. Some even don’t require it. All accounts listed below are insured by the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC).
ING Philippines makes saving more affordable and rewarding for Filipinos through its savings account that has one of the highest interest rates in the country and doesn’t require a maintaining balance and initial deposit.
Being a fully digital bank, ING enables banking transactions, including savings account opening, through its mobile app. Clients may even deposit a check via the ING app.
Run by CIMB Bank Philippines, GSave is an in-app savings account for GCash users who are either fully verified or semi-verified for less than nine months. The current interest rate of this GCash savings account is 10 times higher than traditional bank accounts in the country.
GSave transactions—from savings account opening and deposits to checking balance and withdrawal—are all performed using the GCash app. Sending and receiving money can be done only from the GCash user’s GSave account to his/her own GCash wallet.
CIMB Bank Philippines is a pioneering all-digital bank in the country that offers a high interest rate on its UpSave account. Aside from its zero maintaining balance, the CIMB Bank UpSave Account also has no required initial deposit and minimum balance for earning interest.
True to its name, Fast Account can be opened in only 10 minutes through the CIMB Bank PH mobile app. Once your balance reaches PHP 1,000, you’ll receive a Visa debit card that you can use to withdraw from over 20,000 ATMs nationwide.
Valid for 12 months, the Fast Account can be upgraded to a Fast Plus Account, which has a higher interest rate of 0.75% and longer account validity.
iSave is an online-only savings account that you can open without going to a Maybank branch. All you need to do is sign up and submit the requirements through the Maybank2U PH app. All banking transactions are also completed via the mobile app.
This digital savings account comes with an EMV-chip ATM card that can be used to withdraw for free via any ATMs nationwide and Maybank ATMs in Singapore, Malaysia, and Cambodia. Check this guide to learn how to open an iSave account.
AUB offers a savings account with no maintaining balance and initial deposit called Starter Savings. Indeed, it’s a good tool to begin saving money, especially for those who have yet to open a savings account.
TAP Mastercard is one of PNB’s zero maintaining balance accounts geared toward Filipinos who just need a bank account for safekeeping their money or sending and receiving funds.
This savings account in PNB comes with a PNB-PAL Mabuhay Miles Debit Mastercard that can be used to withdraw and pay for purchases at establishments that accept Mastercard and Maestro. It also allows for earning points that can be redeemed for Mabuhay Miles.
Debit Account Lite is ideal for low-income earners and owners of micro-enterprises who need a bank account where they can deposit or receive their earnings without having to maintain a certain balance. This PNB savings account comes with a debit card and has a balance limit of PHP 50,000.
The only UnionBank account with zero maintaining balance, the Personal Savings Account comes with a Visa debit card that you can use at UnionBank and BancNet ATMs in the Philippines and Visa ATMs worldwide.
Without a required maintaining balance, Easi-Save Basic makes opening and maintaining savings account easy and affordable for first-time depositors.
DBP has a special ATM savings account, called the EC Card Account, with no required maintaining balance and initial deposit. The ATM card can be used not just for withdrawals but also for point-of-sale (POS) transactions and bills payment.
Need to open a savings account in BPI but don’t have enough money? With Kaya Savings, you can easily open and maintain a BPI account for as low as PHP 200. No need to worry about keeping a minimum balance in your account, too.
When you open a low maintaining balance account in Equicom Savings Bank, your savings will earn 0.75% interest per year—which is quite higher than most savings accounts in the Philippines.
You’ll also receive an ATM card called the Equicom Key Card for accessing funds from the bank’s ATMs, as well as Megalink, BancNet, Expressnet, and VISAPlus ATMs. Doubling as a debit card, the Key Card also lets you pay for transactions at Visa merchants worldwide.
Opening this EastWest savings account requires only a PHP 100 initial deposit and the same amount as the maintaining balance.
OFWs and their families can easily send and receive remittances through savings accounts with zero maintaining balance like the Sikap Pinoy OFW Account. This Bank of Commerce savings account comes with a Mastercard debit card that OFWs can use for local and overseas transactions.
Read more: The Ultimate Money Remittance Guide for OFWs
BDO Kabayan Savings is a convenient and affordable way for OFWs to send remittances to their loved ones back home. OFW remittances get immediately credited to the beneficiary’s Kabayan Savings Account.
OFWs and their families can open this special bank account at any BDO branch in the Philippines. After account opening, BDO will issue a Mastercard debit card and a passbook.
For the zero maintaining balance to take effect, at least one remittance must be sent to the Kabayan Savings account within two years. If nothing has been remitted to the account within the period, the account will automatically convert to a regular ATM savings account with a PHP 2,000 maintaining balance.
Sterling Bank of Asia offers a special OFW savings account that comes with a Bayani OFW Visa card. Its zero maintaining balance applies as long as one remittance is made every 12 months. OFWs can remit their savings abroad to this Sterling Bank account through any iRemit center worldwide or wire transfer on foreign banks.
When OFWs remit in foreign currency to this Metrobank savings account, it’s automatically converted to Philippine Peso. This way, the OFW Peso Savings Account helps OFW families save money and effort having to exchange from foreign to local currency. Funds can be withdrawn via BancNet ATMs in the Philippines and Maestro-Cirrus ATMs worldwide.
Account holders must remit at least once within a year to enjoy the zero maintaining balance. If there’s no remittance during that period, the OFW savings account will be converted to a regular Metrobank account with a maintaining balance of PHP 2,000 (ATM account) or PHP 10,000 (passbook account).
This savings account in BPI caters to OFWs and their families for managing their household income. The BPI account has no maintaining balance, as long as the OFW accountholder has remitted at least four times in a year.
This Metrobank savings account is intended for retirees who are receiving their SSS pension. The account is easy to open (with only PHP 100 required initial deposit) and maintain (with only PHP 100 required minimum balance).
Another savings account suitable for pensioners in the Philippines is the one provided by DBP. The ATM savings account has a low maintaining balance of PHP 100 and earns interest with just at least PHP 500 balance.
Retirees in the Philippines can open a savings account in PNB to receive their monthly pension from the SSS. A debit card is issued upon opening this special PNB savings account.
With so many low maintaining balance savings accounts to choose from, the right account for you boils down to the bank that matches your needs best.
Kiddie savings accounts are not included in this list, though they also have low maintaining balance and initial deposit. Check this Moneymax article to know the best savings accounts for kids and students in the Philippines.
(Photos from the official website and Facebook pages of the featured banks)