The best savings accounts in the Philippines

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There are many banks in the Philippines that offer savings accounts to customers. But do you know which ones are considered the best among the rest? After all, choosing a bank account to open and keep is crucial as you wouldn’t want to miss the opportunity to get the most bang for your buck.

What is a savings account?

A savings account is a basic account offered by banks, coops, and other financial institutions. It’s where you can deposit money to be kept safely and that you can withdraw anytime. Plus, it is insured by the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC) up to half a million pesos and earns modest interest over time.

Why open a savings account?

A savings account is good for spare cash that you don’t need to spend for everyday expenses. It can also be used in building your emergency fund. Because it earns interest, it’s the easiest form of passive income and investment. It’s a better alternative to piggy banks where your money doesn’t earn interest and may be subject to wear and tear. Besides, the bank gives an ATM card which you can bring with you just in case you need to withdraw funds instead of always carrying bills.

However, the downside is that you may be tempted to spend your savings because it’s easily accessible. Also, the interest is small that whatever you gained isn’t enough to counter inflation, so it isn’t really a great way to save your money for long term or to preserve the value of your money over time.

Lastly, there are savings accounts for kids exclusively. They offer comparable rates and may even come with perks, insurance, or educational benefits.

Features of a savings account

A typical savings account has the following features:

  • Interest. It earns interest which is paid usually every three months.
  • Initial deposit. This is the minimum money to open an account. There are accounts that don’t require any initial deposit.
  • Maintaining balance. It’s the balance that must remain in the account. When the balance falls lower than that, there may be fees.
  • Required balance to earn interest. Some savings account will only give you interest if you meet the required level of deposit.
  • Withholding tax. The interest you earned is subject to 20% tax, although some accounts waive it when certain conditions are met.

In addition, fees may be charged on the following situations:

  • withdrawing funds, from other branches, other banks, over the counter (for ATM accounts), or within specific period of time (like the first 30 days)
  • making deposits in another branch
  • lost passbook or ATM card
  • balance falling below the required maintaining balance
  • dormant account

Best savings accounts

Here are the top 10 savings accounts in the Philippines with the latest interest rates ranked from highest to lowest.

The top 10 best savings accounts in the Philippines ranked from the highest to lowest interest rate.
The top 10 best savings accounts in the Philippines ranked from the highest to lowest interest rate.

Now, let’s compare these accounts. Let’s check how much earnings you would get after a year and after 10 years. If you look at the picture, you’ll see that some of the accounts require minimum opening balance of P100K. In our projection, we’re going to use this amount to compute for gained interest.

You don’t have to worry if you don’t have P100K right now. What this comparison shows is the growth of your money over time using the same deposit amount. In this way, we make sure that we compare apples to apples.

NameInterestafter 1 yearafter 10 years
Citibank Peso Bonus Saver Account1.56%1,248.0013,204.72
BDO Optimum Savings Account1.25%1,000.0010,462.21
Security Bank eSecure Savings Account1.200%960.0010,025.52
BPI Family Savings Bank Advance Savings Account with Passbook1.00%800.008,294.23
Security Bank Premium Build Up Savings Account1.00%800.008,294.23
Sterling Bank of Asia Bayani OFW Savings Account1.00%800.008,294.23
Citibank e-Savings Account0.75%600.006,164.62
BPI Advance Savings account with Passbook0.75%600.006,164.62
Citibank Peso High Rate Saver0.70%560.005,743.25
Equicom ATM Savings Account0.60%480.004,905.02

As you can see, it’s clear that the interest the banks give can make a huge difference on how much you’re going to earn in a year or in a decade. The Citibank Peso Bonus Saver Account gives P1,248 after a year, while the lowest one only gives P480. That’s over 2x the difference.

Likewise, after a decade, Citibank gives out P13,204.72 of interest while the last on the list only gives P4,905.02. This means you’re going to miss P8,299.70 just by the choice of banking product.

Below is a summary of all the products reviewed in this article. You can click on each to be directed to the discussion point, which will conclude with a forecast of your savings.

  1. Citibank Peso Bonus Saver Account
  2. BDO Optimum Savings Account
  3. Security Bank eSecure Savings Account
  4. BPI Family Savings Bank Advance Savings Account with Passbook
  5. Security Bank Premium Build Up Savings Account
  6. Sterling Bayani OFW Savings Account
  7. Citibank e-Savings
  8. BPI Advance Savings Account with Passbook
  9. Citibank Peso High Rate Saver
  10. Equicom ATM Savings Account

1. CITIBANK Peso Bonus Saver Account

The CITIBANK Peso Bonus Saver Account is an interest-bearing deposit account that allows you to earn bonus interest if you save up more each month. Now, that’s a better way to encourage everyone to save.
Additionally, you’re able to withdraw your money free of charge and for unlimited times.

Initial deposit: P50,000
Balance to earn interest: P50,000
Interest: 0.60% to 1.56%

CITIBANK PESO BONUS SAVER ACCOUNT interest rate from 0.60% up to 1.56%
CITIBANK Peso Bonus Saver Account interest rate from 0.60% up to 1.56%.

The base interest is 0.60% for required balance of P50,000. You will be rewarded with a bonus of 0.08% if your balance increases by P5,000 the next succeeding months, with a cap of 1.56%.

The interest goes back to 0.60% if there is no increase on balance, or you may enjoy earning interest of 1.08% if you were able to increase P5,000 consistently each month for six months in the past and the balance is less than P4 million. And if your balance is P4 million or higher, you get to earn the maximum interest of 1.56%.

Here’s the fun part. Let’s say you want to start a Citibank Peso Bonus Saver Account, but you want to know how much you need to save to have P1 million after 10 years. The strategy is to save P50,000 on the first month and then save P5,000 for each of the remaining 11 months on the first year. Then, starting on the second year and onward, you need to save at least P7,710.48 monthly. (In the table, Year-End means the amount you’ve saved after the year ends. The Balance column includes the interest you’ve earned for that year.)

YearMonthlyYear-endBalance
150,000 (initial)
5,000.00
105,000.00105,777.36
27,702.94198,212.64200,255.99
37,702.94 290,647.93295,919.17
47,702.94383,083.21392,781.75
57,702.94475,518.50490,858.77
67,702.94567,953.78590,165.44
77,702.94660,389.07690,717.19
87,702.94752,824.35792,529.63
97,702.94845,259.64895,618.57
107,702.94937,694.921,000,000

2. BDO Optimum Savings Account

The Optimum Savings Account is an offering from BDO Unibank Inc. that gives savers higher interest rates as they deposit more money. The account allows withdrawal up to three times a month free of charge.

Interest: 1.25%
Initial deposit: P30,000
Balance to earn interest: P30,000

BDO Optimum Savings Account terms and conditions, including initial deposit, maintaining monthly average daily balance, balance to earn interest, interest rate, and fees.
BDO Optimum Savings Account deposit requirements, interest, and fees.

The following fees are assessed:

  • P300 for closing the account within the first 30 days
  • P300 for falling below the maintaining minimum average daily balance
  • P30 for accounts that became dormant for five years.
  • P110 for withdrawing money more than three times in a month.

Wondering how much to save each month if you open a BDO Optimum Savings Account? Considering that the deposit will earn 1.25% interest, you would need to save P7,914.23 each month to have a million pesos at the end of 10 years. Here’s how that would look like.

YearMonthlyYear-endBalance
17,914.2394,970.7495,565.79
27,914.23189,941.47192,090.83
37,914.23284,912.21 289,584.74
47,914.23379,882.95388,057.25
57,914.23474,853.68487,518.19
67,914.23569,824.42587,977.48
77,914.23664,795.16689,445.13
87,914.23759,765.89791,931.26
97,914.23854,736.63895,446.11
107,914.23949,707.371,000,000.00


3. Security Bank eSecure Savings Account

Security Bank Corporation’s eSecure Savings Account gives a tiered interest rate depending on your balance. The higher your savings, the higher interest you enjoy.

Interest: 0.50% to 1.20%
Initial deposit: P500
Balance to earn interest: P5,000

Security Bank eSecure Savings Account with tiered interest rates.

Also, the account only requires P500 as initial deposit, with P5,000 already earning starting interest of 0.50%. The only drawback is that you’re only allowed one withdrawal per month or else interest becomes 0.10%.

Should you want to start saving gradually for a million pesos, the strategy is to deposit P100,000. In this way, your account earns 1.10%. Then, you can save P7,149.62 monthly for 10 years. The projection in the table shows just how your funds would grow over the years.

YearMonthlyYear-endBalance
1100,000 (initial)
7,149.62
185,795.42186,488.33
27,149.62271,590.84273,738.82
37,149.62357,386.26361,758.19
47,149.62443,181.68450,553.23
57,149.62528,977.10540,130.77
67,149.62614,772.52630,497.73
77,149.62700,567.94721,661.08
87,149.62786,363.36813,627.83
97,149.62872,158.79906,405.09
107,149.62957,954.211,000,000.00

4. BPI Family Savings Bank Advance Savings Account with Passbook

The Advance Savings Account with Passbook from Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) Family Savings Bank allows you to have faster returns on deposit. You can deposit your money and use the interest ahead of time. It has a higher interest rate than a regular savings account, and the interest goes up to 1.50% when balance reaches a million pesos or higher.

Interest: 1.00%
Initial deposit: P100,000
Balance to earn interest: P100,000

BPI Family Savings Bank Advance Savings Account with Passbook

The maintaining balance is P100,000. If the balance falls below that, the account does not earn any interest. It is also convenient to monitor the account through their online banking portal.

If you wish to save today and hope to have P1 million pesos after 10 years, you may want to put up the initial deposit of P100,000. Afterwards, you can save P7,180.96 each month. The table below shows a projection of BPI Family Savings Bank Advance Savings Account with Passbook.

YearMonthlyYear-endBalance
1100,000 (initial)
7,180.96
186,171.53186,803.25
27,180.96272,343.05274,301.80
37,180.96358,514.58362,501.24
47,180.96444,686.11451,407.19
57,180.96530,857.64541,025.30
67,180.96617,029.16631,361.30
77,180.96703,200.69722,420.95
87,180.96789,372.22814,210.03
97,180.96875,543.75906,734.42
107,180.96961,715.271,000,000.00

5. Security Bank Premium Build Up Savings Account

The Premium Build Up Savings Account from Security Bank Corporation is for people who don’t want to be locked in but would still want to enjoy better interest rates than traditional savings accounts. The initial deposit starts at P50,000 with interest rate of 1.00%.

Interest: 1.00%
Initial deposit: P50,000
Balance to earn interest: P50,000

Security Bank Premium Build Up Savings Account

However, you’re allowed three withdrawals per quarter. This account is ideal for people who would want to grow their money quicker and willing to save long-term.

The strategy to save a million pesos in 10 years is the same as the previous example. This time, the initial deposit is only P50,000, and the monthly savings is P7,588.87. Below shows how your savings will grow over time.

YearMonthlyYear-endBalance
150,000 (initial)
7,588.87
141,066.42 141,622.67
27,588.87232,132.85233,979.91
37,588.87323,199.27327,077.64
47,588.87414,265.69420,921.77
57,588.87505,332.11515,518.31
67,588.87596,398.54610,873.29
77,588.87687,464.96706,992.78
87,588.87778,531.38803,882.94
97,588.87869,597.81901,549.93
10
7,588.87960,664.231,000,000

6. Sterling Bank of Asia Bayani OFW Savings

Sterling Bank of Asia Bayani OFW Savings is a type of account intended for Filipinos working abroad. It has relatively high interest rate and no required initial deposit, and it comes with an ATM card.

Interest: 1.00%
Initial deposit: Not required
Balance to earn interest: P2,000

Sterling Bank of Asia Bayani OFW Savings Account

The account is ideal for people who are going to remit money from other countries as fund transfer can be credited to the account. Remittance can be done via iRemit Global offices, wire or telegraphic transfer from foreign banks.

If you’d like to grow your money with Sterling Bank of Asia Bayani OFW Savings to become a million pesos in 10 years, you would need to consistently save at least P7,996.78 every month. The table below shows the projection of your deposit.

YearMonthlyYear-endBalance
17,996.78 95,961.32 96,442.09
2 7,996.78 191,922.64 193,658.03
3 7,996.78 287,883.96291,654.03
47,996.78383,845.27390,436.36
57,996.78479,806.59490,011.32
67,996.78575,767.91590,385.27
77,996.78671,729.23691,564.62
87,996.78767,690.55793,555.85
97,996.78863,651.87896,365.45
107,996.78959,613.181,000,000.00

7. Citibank e-Saving Account

The Citibank e-Saving Account allows you to enjoy high interest rate with the convenience of managing your account via the online portal. You’re also given free and unlimited fund transfer to other users’ other Citibank CASA.

Interest: 0.75%
Initial deposit: (not mentioned)
Balance to earn interest: P100,000

Citibank e-Savings Account

Enjoy free two withdrawals per month. More than three withdrawal will incur a fee of P20 for non-over the counter and P30 for over the counter withdrawal.

With Citibank e-Savings Account, you can come up with a strategy to grow your savings to become a million pesos in 10 years. For instance, you may choose to deposit P100,000 to earn interest, and then save P7,259.76 monthly for a decade as the table below shows.

YearMonthlyYear-endBalance
1100,000 (initial)
7,259.76
187,117.14187,594.32
27,259.76274,234.28275,714.71
37,259.76361,351.42364,364.34
47,259.76448,468.56453,546.39
57,259.76535,585.71543,264.05
67,259.76622,702.85633,520.55
77,259.76709,819.99724,319.13
87,259.76796,937.13815,663.04
97,259.76884,054.27907,555.56
107,259.76971,171.411,000,000.00

8. BPI Advance Savings Account with Passbook

The BPI Advance Savings Account with Passbook features quick return on your deposit and a higher interest rate compared to a regular savings account. You can also earn in advance for every deposit and enjoy seamless account management through their online banking system.

Interest: 0.75%
Initial deposit: P100,000
Balance to earn interest: P100,000

BPI Advance Savings Account with Passbook

The maintaining balance is P100,000 and if the balance is a million pesos or higher, then the interest rate will be 1.25% instead of the base rate of 0.75%. So, if you want to be a millionaire using the BPI Advance Savings Account with Passbook, you may need to put up the initial deposit of P100,000. Afterwards, you can save P7,259.76 each for the next 10 years. The sample projection is actually the same as the previous table with Citibank e-Savings Account, so you may refer back to it.

9. Citibank Peso High Rate Saver Account

The Peso High Rate Saver Account from Citibank offers market-leading interest rates from 0.70% to 0.85%. The higher the balance that remains in the account, the higher the interest you’re going to earn. There are no fixed terms to worry about, balance inquiry is available in over 13,000 ATMs worldwide, and you can manage your account on their online platform.

Interest: 0.70%
Initial deposit: (not mentioned)
Balance to earn interest: P100,000

Citibank Peso High Rate Saver Account interest rate.

With your account, you’re allowed up to two free withdrawals each month. A P20 fee is charged for non-over the counter withdrawal and P30 when withdrawal is done over the counter.

With Citibank Peso High Rate Saver Account, we can estimate your deposit to be able to have a million after a decade. Since there is a required balance to earn interest, then the initial deposit is P100,000 and a monthly savings of P7,275.60. Check the forecast contained in the table below.

YearMonthlyYear-endBalance
1100,000 (initial)
7,275.60
187,307.18187,753.18
27,275.60274,614.36275,998.23
37,275.60361,921.55364,737.90
47,275.60449,228.73453,974.96
57,275.60536,535.91543,712.21
67,275.60623,843.09633,952.45
77,275.60711,150.27724,698.50
87,275.60 798,457.45 815,953.21
97,275.60885,764.64907,719.42
107,275.60973,071.821,000,000.00

10. Equicom ATM Savings Account

The Equicom ATM Savings Account offers an interest rate of 0.50% per year. It features a really low initial deposit of P2,000 as well as P5,000 required balance to earn interest. The account comes with an ATM/debit card, which you can use to withdraw any Equicom, BancNet, Expressnet, Megalink, and VisaPlus ATMs, which may be subject to fees.

Interest: 0.50%
Initial deposit: P2,000
Balance to earn interest: P5,000

Equicom ATM Savings Account comes with the Equicom Key Card

There is a maximum withdrawal of P25,000 per transaction and P50,000 limit per day. However, you may conveniently manage your account through their online banking facilities.

Because there is no large initial balance required like other accounts we’ve seen so far, you definitely can slowly build your savings with a small deposit. For example, you can save P8,163.78 each month for 10 years to have one million pesos through Equicom ATM savings account. Please see table below for projection.


Year
MonthlyYear-endBalance
18,163.7897,965.3598,210.51
28,163.78195,930.71196,814.45
38,163.78293,896.06295,813.40
48,163.78391,861.41395,208.95
58,163.78489,826.76495,002.66
68,163.78587,792.12595,196.16
78,163.78685,757.47695,791.03
88,163.78783,722.82796,788.88
98,163.78881,688.17898,191.33
108,163.78979,653.531,000,000.00