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A savings account, for most people, becomes the primary mode of transacting with a bank or financial institution. It serves as an avenue to keep the extra cash safe, while letting you gradually build the nest egg for the loved ones. Though this particular account is highly important in any investment portfolio, people usually don’t research much about it. But you wouldn’t make the same mistake, right? So, take a look at the things to consider when opening your savings account.

Interest rate

Savings accounts tend to offer lower interest rates than other investment avenues. After all, they are mainly chosen for their security features and not for high interest rates. For top banks like Axis Bank, you can expect a standard rate of interest on savings account that is set at 3 to 4 percent. Some financial institutions might offer a rate of 6% or more, but there are other factors also to be taken into account in that case.

Average minimum balance guideline

The average minimum balance requirement refers to the average of all closing balances to have in an account in a month. This requirement varies from one bank to another. In most cases, the public sector banks have zero to INR 2,000 as their average minimum balance requirement. On the other hand, the private banks have kept this limit at INR 5,000 to INR 10,000. Then, there is Axis Bank that lets you open a basic saving account for a minimum balance.

Availability of 24×7 banking facility

Nowadays, you can maintain and open bank account online. You can carry out all the transactions online which means you have the banking facility available to you anytime and anywhere. You just need to download the banking app on your mobile and that’s all.

The network of banking branches

Though most people like carrying out different transactions through credit or debit cards, mobile banking, internet banking, or UPI, some procedures cannot be completed online. You might need to visit the branch for some reason or another. Thus, it helps to choose a bank that has a wider network of branches across your area.

The availability of credit facilities

It’s always easier to take loans from the bank that has your basic savings account. When banks give you loans, they take into account your prior banking history with them. A satisfactory and long banking relationship is a major plus point when it comes to taking a loan.

Furthermore, banks now offer pre-qualified and pre-approved loans to the account holders with good credit histories and account balances. You can apply for the loans online and with zero paperwork to get the money in your account instantly. So, if there is a chance for you to need some credit in the future, look at the credit facilities on offer at the bank.

Offers and discounts provided by the bank

Who doesn’t want to make bill payments easy and shopping cashless? Who would not want lucrative offers and discounts on their debit cards? The leading banks provide amazing offers and discounts from time to time. For instance, you can get flat ten to fifteen percent cashback on Flipkart for six months. Plus, there is up to 45 percent cashback on more than thirty brands each time you go shopping.

Charges and fees that you need to pay

Though the banks get you an interest to invest the funds with them, you are also charged for their services. Typically, banks charge a certain service charge when you use a non-network ATM more than a specific number of times.

There are additional charges for transactional SMS, deposit fee, cash withdrawal, getting more checks than the set limit, and so on. There is also an annual fee for lockers, credit card, debit cards, and more. You will get the complete schedule of charges right after you open the account. Do note that for Digital Savings account, during the VKYC procedure, you don’t need to upload any documents. All you have to do is to show your original PAN card and the agent will take screenshot of the same. 

Other banking facilities, services, and products

In most cases, a savings account slowly opens the doors to several other banking products, such as mutual funds, lockers, insurance, loans, recurring deposits, fixed deposits, etc. Thus, along with focusing on the benefits and features of a savings account, it is also important to look at other banking products that the bank offers.

Customer service on offer

You keep your hard-earned money in a bank solely based on trust. When you face any issue or require assistance with anything, the staff of the branch and the customer care has to be helpful and prompt. A bank that comes with an amazing line of products and poor customer support is definitely not the right choice.

A savings account that ticks all the boxes mentioned above is the one you should choose. After all, when it comes to making a sound investment, there is no place for compromise.

Disclaimer: This article is a paid publication and does not have journalistic/editorial involvement of Hindustan Times. Hindustan Times does not endorse/subscribe to the content(s) of the article/advertisement and/or view(s) expressed herein. Hindustan Times shall not in any manner, be responsible and/or liable in any manner whatsoever for all that is stated in the article and/or also with regard to the view(s), opinion(s), announcement(s), declaration(s), affirmation(s) etc., stated/featured in the same.

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