Savings account is one of the widely availed services that the banks offer. The Indian government today has made it easier to open a savings account through the PMJDY (Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna) scheme, which is one of the massive financial inclusion programs until date. However, such basic savings accounts often come with restrictions in terms of features and facilities. Thus, when you look to create a bank account online or through offline mode, ensure to ask some of the crucial questions before zeroing on a certain bank account to avail the maximum features and benefits.
Have a look at 4 crucial questions you should ask yourself before opening a savings bank account:
- What kind of savings account best fits you as per your usage?
There are wide ranges of savings accounts offered by different banks. Some of the accounts include regular, basic, women centric, senior citizen centric, premium etc. All these bank accounts come with different features and benefits with few of them offering higher benefits based on the purpose they are designed for. Regular and basic accounts come with basic benefits like minimal MAB requirement, free passbook facility, limited free transactions allowed through ATM etc.
Privilege or premium savings accounts come with several features like accidental coverage, higher withdrawal limits, unlimited free ATM transactions, dedicated relationship manager etc. However, privilege accounts may come with a higher MAB requirement too. Women and senior citizen savings accounts are customized to meet the needs of the women and senior citizens, respectively. Thus, first analyze your requirement and transaction or usage pattern and based on that decide on the savings account.
- What is the MAB (Minimum Average Balance) requirement for a savings account?
Before opening an account, you must check whether the account you are looking to open is a zero-balance account or has any minimum balance requirement linked to it. Banks levy a penalty on non-maintenance of the MAB. Ensure to open a low MAB or zero balance account with maximum benefits and features if you lack the confidence of maintaining high MAB in the savings account.
- What rate of interest is offered by the savings account?
Currently, savings account interest rates range anywhere between 3% and 6% p.a. on private sector banks, up to 7% p.a. on small finance banks and up to 3.35% p.a. on the public sector banks. Note that higher interest rate on savings bank accounts is provided only if your account balance is within a specific threshold limit. Thus, you should choose a savings account that offers a higher interest rate along with maximum features and benefits as per your requirement.
- What are the benefits and offers on the savings account’s debit card?
Many of the banks provide free insurance and purchase protection on their debit cards. Some of the debit cards even provide EMI facility, discounts on purchases, free airport lounge access, cash back offers and reward points. If used in a disciplined manner, debit cards can lower your transaction expense to an extent. Thus, when choosing a savings account, make sure to compare different deals offered on the debit cards.
As savings account is one of the first modes for conducting transactions, you should choose your account after factoring in all the crucial questions listed above to attain maximum benefits at nil or lower cost.