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A savings account is a deposit account held at a bank or other financial institution where you can store extra cash, earn interest on it and access the money whenever required. A savings account is the most basic type of banking instrument used by an individual. It is among the safest ways to ensure that you can easily access your hard earned money when you need it. This type of account is operated by all banks that have a retail banking division whether it is a public sector bank or a private bank. To open a savings account, you can simply visit your local bank branch with the requisite documents and complete the procedure for account opening. You can also apply online for savings account and the bank will get in touch with you to process your request. Banks offer various types of accounts which differ in their features and benefits. Based upon your personal savings account requirements you can choose the most suitable option for yourself.

You can deposit either cash or cheques into the savings account and earn interest on such deposits, which is credited to the account on a quarterly basis. The applicable interest rate offered on a savings account usually ranges from 3% to 6% and varies from bank to bank. You are allowed to make withdrawals either by visiting the bank branch and cashing a cheque/withdrawal slip drawn on the account. Alternately you can make withdrawals at an ATM by using a debit card linked to the account. In most cases, you are required to maintain an average minimum balance on a quarterly, monthly or daily basis according to the bank's rules and regulations.

In recent times, banks have come up with different types of savings accounts to cater to customers from different age groups and work domains. Banks offer dedicated savings accounts to senior citizens, minors, women, salaried individuals, institutes, trusts and many more. According to your eligibility and requirement you can open any of the bank savings account mentioned below.

The common types of savings account available in India include the following:

  • Regular/Basic Savings Account:

    A regular savings account features the minimum of facilities and basic rates for services. You have to ensure that you maintain the prescribed minimum balance in your savings account so as not to incur extra charges.

  • Salary Account:

    Also a type of savings account, this can only be opened by a salaried individual and most companies directly deposit the employee's monthly salary into this account. A key feature of the salary account is that it is a zero balance savings account, which implies that you do not need to maintain a minimum balance in the savings account. If the monthly salary is not credited into this account for 2 to 3 months, this type of account is automatically converted to a regular savings account which has minimum balance requirements.

  • Savings Account for Senior citizens

    Only a senior citizen can open a savings account of this kind. Special banking privileges are offered to seniors who have a savings account or are interested in getting one. These privileges may include a higher interest rate or waiver on minimum balance requirements.

  • Joint Account:

    You can open a savings account jointly with any person who is related to you. This savings account is operated by more than one individual and for opening a joint account documents of both the applicants need to be furnished. Cheques drawn on such accounts may be signed by any of the account holders in order to be cashed.

  • Savings account for children/minors:

    Many banks offer savings account scheme for children below the age of 18 years. This is a type of joint account that can be operated by one or more minors in case one of the other joint account holders is a parent or guardian.

  • Women's Savings Account:

    This is a savings account with special features that specifically targets women. Having this type of account can enable women to easily apply for loans and receive other facilities at the most lucrative rates.

The most important benefit of opening a savings account is that it helps you inculcate a habit to save and you can earn interest on this deposited amount. Features of savings accounts vary according to the type of account you choose. Here we have listed few of the common features to help you understand the benefits for opening a savings bank deposit account:

  • Network branches and ATMs of the respective bank are easily accessible
  • Internet Banking and Phone Banking facilities for a quick check of balance and bill payment
  • Personalized cheques for enhanced security
  • No limits on the amount deposited
  • The savings account interest rates range from 3.5% to 7% p.a.
  • Facility to link loan EMI payments or RD deductions through the savings bank account

Applying for a savings account does not require applicants to satisfy any income or employment criteria. The eligibility criteria for opening a savings account are minimal. The eligibility criteria might vary from one bank to the other, but here are some common requirements-

  • Savings account can be opened by an Indian citizen, Non Resident Indian and also foreign nationals.
  • The applicant should be over 18 years of age. This does not apply to savings account for minors.

Further, if an applicant needs to know whether he/she satisfies the savings account eligibility criteria or not, he/she can use Paisabazaar's Savings Account Eligibility Tool and check your eligibility online. The applicant just needs to enter a few simple details about himself / herself and the tool assesses eligibility based on those details.

You can open a savings account with minimum documentation. Usually, the bank asks for KYC documents and passport photos along with the filled out account opening form.

The documents to be submitted with a savings account opening form include:

  • For Individual/Joint Accounts:
  • Passport size photographs
  • Identity and signature proof (Any one)- Passport, Pan card, Driving License, Voter ID card, Aadhaar card, employee identity card in case of government employees.
  • Address Proof (Any one)- Bank statement, Rent Agreement, Voter ID card, Ration card, Passport, Driving License, telephone/ electricity/ water/ credit card bill  or Property tax receipt.
  • For Hindu Undivided Family accounts (HUF):
  • Copy of PAN/ Form 60 of HUF
  • Declaration from the Karta
  • ID and address proof of Karta
  • Prescribed Joint Hindu Family Letter signed by the adult holders

The rate of interest for savings account, in case of most banks, ranges between 3.5 to 5%, however, some banks do offer higher or lower rates of interest. For example, Kotak Mahindra Bank offers an interest rate of 6% on salary accounts, whereas, State Bank of India offers an interest rate as low as 3.5% on its savings accounts. These rates are liable to change based on RBI directives and banks offering higher interest rates often have a higher minimum balance requirement.

Savings bank interest rates can be altered by changed made by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in its policy rates according to the economic conditions of the country. RBI is the Central Bank and controls the monetary policy of India. RBI can either limit money supply to the market or release money in the market based on the prevailing economic conditions of the country. To control inflation, the RBI can limit money supply to the market which will lead to higher interest rate on the savings account. The savings account interest rates vary according to the demand and supply of money in the economy. When the demand for money is high, the interest rates are pushed towards the higher side to attract more deposits. Therefore, if the bank needs more cash, it offers better interest rates to attract additional customers.

Paisabazaar.com provides its customers with an impartial comparison of banking products for better financial planning. By logging onto Paisabazaar’s website applicants can at first check their savings account eligibility. Based upon the requirement, the eligibility tool displays savings account offers that are most suitable. Following this, the prospect can compare the savings bank accounts against an exhaustive list of parameters which helps to understand key features and choose the best saving bank account for himself / herself. Once the choice is made, the prospect can apply for the savings account online and the executives of the concerned bank would get in touch with the applicant directly.

With Paisabazaar Applicants have the following added advantages:

  • Our user-friendly online platform helps check eligibility for the savings account
  • Find the best savings account options based upon the inputs provided
  • Allows comparison of savings accounts against certain parameters
  • Finally applicants can apply online for savings account on Paisabazaar.com

Furthermore, our 24 x7 customer support service can guide customers regarding every detail of the product so that they can make an informed decision while selecting a financial plan.

Just log on to Paisabazaar and apply for a savings account in no time! Enter a few details related to yourself and get the best offers with just a click.

Just follow the following list of steps to apply for a savings account online with Paisabazaar:

  • The application process for a savings account starts with the eligibility tool. You need to enter a few details into the calculator, such as:
    1. Your place of residence
    2. You employment type and gross monthly income
    3. And your personal details

    Once the eligibility form is filled out, click the submit button. Subsequently the form is submitted and the applicant is redirected to a page displaying personalized Savings Account options to choose from.

  • On this page users can compare the different Savings Account options against diverse parameters such as, interest rate, minimum account balance and a host of other benefits and features.
  • After comparing the different savings accounts, users can decide on the option which meets requirements in the best manner. Click on apply tab and fill in personal details to complete the savings account application process.
  • The savings account application is sent directly to the concerned bank. The bank gets in touch with the customer to open the savings bank account.

In case clients need any assistance regarding the savings account application process, we are more than happy to help them! We can be reached on our toll-free number or send the query to us through email.

The online application process is very simple and hassle-free, still if you are not that comfortable applying online, you can always pay a visit to the nearest bank branch for opening a savings bank account. You can follow these steps for opening a savings bank deposit account at a bank branch:

  • The first and foremost step before you head to the bank is research. You need to devote some time to compare savings account of different banks, so that you get the best option as per your specific requirements. You can visit the bank websites or other financial websites to get an idea about the features of different savings accounts.
  • When you have made a choice, you can visit the bank branch with KYC documents. You will need to take originals and copies of your identity proof, address proof, income / employment proof (if required), and age proof and photographs to the nearest branch of the bank.
  • Approach the requisite counter at the bank which deals with the account opening process and get the account opening form.
  • Go through the account opening form and fill it properly as required. Check whether you have filled in all details correctly and signed at the required places. When done submit the form along with the copies of your documents, i.e. identity proof, address proof, income / employment proof, age proof and photographs.
  • The clerk at the bank will submit your application for processing. Your account will be functional within the time processing time as mentioned by the bank. Usually, a bank takes between 1 and 12 working days for opening a savings bank account.

Providing savings account to customers is the primary business of banks, therefore all banks, (both private and public sector) with retail services provide savings accounts. Some of the top choices of savings accounts include Citi BankAxis BankStandard Chartered BankIndusInd BankICICI BankState Bank of India and Associates, as well as others.

Banks offering highest interest rates on their savings account include:
 

  • Kotak Mahindra Bank

Kotak Mahindra Bank is an Indian private sector bank headquartered at Mumbai. The bank offers up to 6 % interest p.a. on Savings Account balance.  

  • Yes Bank

YES Bank is a leading private sector bank which offers interest rate of 6%, to be offered for an account balance of over Rs. 1 lakh.  

  • Indusind Bank

IndusInd is an Indian Bank established in the year 1994 and it is the first among the new-generation private banks in India. The bank offers interest rates of up to 6%.

  • IDFC Bank:

DFC Bank received its universal banking license on 1 Oct 2015 and has been raising the bar for service standards since then. The bank offers savings accounts at 7% interest rate per annum for savings up to 1 year.

  • DBS Bank:

DBS is a leading financial services group in Asia. The bank has tailored its savings accounts range for customers looking for high returns on low balance. It offers interest returns at 7% per annum on a daily balance up to Rs 1 lakhs.

You can also open savings account at India Post Office by visiting the nearest post office branch. The features of a savings account at Indian Post Office include the following:

  • The applicant will have to pay Rs.20 as an account opening charge.
  • Minimum balance of Rs. 500 has to be maintained in accounts with cheque facility
  • For accounts without cheque facility, a minimum balance of Rs.50. is required
  • The savings accounts can be transferred between post offices
  • Savings accounts for minors aged 10 and above can be opened
  • Single and joint accounts can be opened
  • Savings account interest rate is 4% p.a.

It is very important to make a well-researched choice because with so many options in the market it is hard to make a choice by just looking at the broad lines. Therefore, it advisable to compare the savings account options against diverse parameters in order to maximize your earnings and earn better rewards. Here, we have listed numerous parameters which will help you in making the right choice.

Savings account interest rate

Although most banks offer 4% interest rate on savings bank accounts, there are many banks which offer a higher interest rate provided you maintains a minimum balance in the savings account. Certain banks also provide a lower interest rate on deposits.

Minimum balance to be maintained

Some banks require you to maintain a minimum balance in your savings account, while others do not. If you fail to maintain the minimum account balance, the bank might charge a penalty. Therefore, it is best to check what suits you the best, a savings account with minimum balance or a zero balance savings account.

Additional facilities

Banks offer a number of facilities with a savings account such as net and mobile banking, doorstep cash deposit/withdrawal, free cheque book, etc. Such facilities help complete bank transactions without visiting the bank and from the comfort of your home or office. Check for the facilities attached to the savings account before making a choice.

Debit card deals

Savings bank accounts currently come with a debit card. Since most banks extend offers and deals on their debit cards to lure new customers, one should check out debit card schemes before choosing a savings account. Consider the bank which offers deals on debit cards which can provide you with the greatest benefit.

Q. Do I need to be over 18 years of age to open a savings account?

Ans. Yes. If you want to open an individual savings account, you need to be over 18 years old. However, a minor can be a joint account holder with an adult family member such as parent/guardian.

Q. Do all banks provide cheque facility?

Ans. Yes. All banks provide cheque facility however in case of many public sector banks, you do have the option of a basic savings account that does not have cheque facility. In that case, you can only withdraw money by visiting the bank and using a withdrawal slips available at the branch. Additionally, there are mobile only banking accounts such as Digibank by DBS and Kotak 811, which do not feature cheque book facility.

Q. Are there charges for an ATM card linked to a savings account?

Ans. Yes. ATM Debit cards carry an annual fee of approximately Rs.150 plus applicable taxes. However, many private sector banks waive the annual fee provided you use your Debit card for shopping transactions of a specified denomination during the year or you maintain the minimum average balance requirement specified by the bank.

Q. How can I check my savings account balance?

Ans. You can check your savings account balance online through net banking, or by visiting the bank or any ATM. Nowadays, almost all banking transactions can be done online and you need not visit the bank for the same. You can access your account online through net banking and also through mobile banking.

Q. Is savings account interest taxable?

Ans. Interest earnings of up to Rs.10,000 accrued on your savings account balance is tax free under Section 80TTA. Higher amounts earned as interest are subject to TDS.