How to open passbook accounts in the Philippines

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Passbooks once were the only way for customers to know their transactions made with a bank. They are small booklets that reflect deposit and withdrawals. They may not be as popular as before, but they are still available to anyone who’d like to open one.

In this article, we talk about what a passbook account is, what it is for, and available accounts offered by major banks.

What is a passbook account?

Also called bank books, passbooks are a ledger that contains banking activities. They are used to quickly identify the account-holder without having to go through a long check. Historically, they were welcomed as a document of their bank account that people can bring home with them. Prior to that, the only way for them to know and access their account is by talking to a teller.

Nowadays, with the rise of ATM cards and the technology that allows anyone to check their account real-time, they may not be as popular as before. Nevertheless, they remain to be part of the offerings that Philippine banks provide to their clientele.

ATM versus passbook account

Which should you choose: ATM savings account or passbook account?

It depends on the need as a depositor. Accounts that provide ATM debit cards only generally tend to require lower initial deposit, maintaining balance, and balance to earn interest. The plastic cards are used to access the funds through the automated teller machines for inquiry, withdrawal, deposit, and other services.

Presently, debit cards are becoming more ubiquitous. They are now accepted as form of cashless payment in point-of-sale (POS) terminals, online shops, and other business establishments. Fund access is also made possible at other Philippine banks’ ATMs, subject to applicable fees.

Thus, they are suitable for people looking for the advantages and conveniences of modern banking.

Meanwhile, a passbook is a written record that contains details of the bank account. When deposits are made by people other than the account-holder, it needs to be updated at the teller to reflect the new balance. The only way to withdraw and/or deposit money is by visiting the bank and conduct business over the counter.

Thus, it can be a good alternative to people who may be uncomfortable with automated or online banking. Besides, it can be recommended for those who insist in dealing face-to-face with a representative every time they’d like to deal with the bank.

Moreover, there are bank accounts that provide debit cards and passport at the same time. In so doing, they combine the conveniences of both for depositors.

In addition, some checking accounts

Features of a passbook account

Here are some of the details you need to expect in a passbook account.

  • Type of account, which can be individual, joint or corporate.
  • Opening balance, or initial deposit, is the least amount of money required to open an account.
  • Maintaining balance is the minimum deposit to keep the account active and avoid paying any service charge.
  • Balance to earn interest is the minimum deposit that qualifies the account to earn interest.
  • Interest is a percentage of the balance that is paid to you by the bank.
  • Frequency of interest credit, usually this is made every three months.

Fees of passbook accounts

What are the fees associated with a passbook account?

  • Account closure fee. This is a charge when the account is closed within 30 days from account opening.
  • Monthly service charge is assessed when the account falls below the maintaining
  • Dormancy fee is charged when the account is below maintaining balance and no client-initiated activity in two years.
  • Replacement of a lost or stolen passbook may incur a fee.

There may be other fees aside from the ones mentioned above. Check the terms and conditions specific to your account and bank.

Advantages of a passbook account

what are the benefits of having a passbook account?

There are various advantages in having a passbook account. Savings accounts are insured by the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation up to half a million pesos. This is a layer of protection that most people would want to have. In the unlikely case the bank goes under, the deposit is relatively safe.

Secondly, the booklet is a way to identify the account-holder. Thus, transactions can only be authorized when it is presented. Aside from that, the signature on the debit or withdrawal slip must match with the signature on record before any banking activities are performed.

One other benefit is that it discourages impulsive spending. Getting money requires paying a visit at the bank, waiting for your turn, and going through customer service or teller.

Another good thing is that it can be a way for kids to get their own savings account. They can monitor their money through the booklet.

Next, your savings account is liquid. You can withdraw any time within banking hours.

Moreover it can give access to some special savings accounts (SSA) whose yields are higher compared to basic bank account and comparable with time deposit. The deposit may be held for a fixed term, generally as short as 30 days. The booklet serves as the certificate of deposit.

Disadvantages of passbook

What are the disadvantages of owning a passbook account?

One, safekeeping can be a concern. The booklet has to be kept out of reach of people who are not meant to see it. If fallen into the wrong hands, they can get access to the funds especially when account-holder’s signature is known and can be easily copied.

Two, its advantage is also its downside. Paying the bank a visit for every deposit, withdrawal, or account update can be inconvenient and time-consuming. It may be a hassle to those who are working and cannot drop by within banking hours, and to those who are in the midst of an emergency situation where the need to access the funds is immediate.

Three, the account may require higher opening balance, maintaining balance, and balance to earn interest compared to ATM savings accounts.

Lastly, earnings from interest may be subject to the withholding tax of 20%.

How to open a passbook account in the Philippines

How do you start a passbook account? It is easy. It is just like opening other bank accounts.

See what your banking needs are. Would you like to get special savings accounts (SSA), checking account, or a simple deposit account? Do you think you’ll need to have a debit card?

Check what account you need. In the succeeding sections, we list down the offerings from major banks. Consider such factors such as location, customer service, etc. It is also recommended that you either reach out or drop by at the nearest branch to inquire about specific details, requirements, etc.

Prepare the documentary requirements, which may vary depending on the bank that you go with. Usually, you might be asked to present at least one valid identification card, a 1×1 picture, proof of address, proof of income, etc.

Prepare the amount needed for initial deposit. Again, this varies depending on the account that you’ve picked. You may also need to be familiar with the maintaining balance and the balance required to earn interest. See if they offer an online copy of their terms and conditions, and spend some time to read through them.

Once you got everything prepared, go to the bank of your choice. Fill out the forms, submit the documents, and make a deposit equal or more than the required opening balance.

The booklet may be released to you immediately or after a period of time. You may also want to think about opening an online account for more convenient banking.

How much can you earn from opening passbook accounts?

Accounts offer varying interest rates. Thus, the table below shows the growth of money over time according to specific rates. Taxes have been taken into account as well.

Some caveats, the figures that you see are estimates. Actual returns vary due to the nature of compounding and frequency. In addition the estimate assumes that there will be no withdrawal made from the initial deposit of ₱100,000.

YearDeposit0.125%0.25%0.50%0.75%1.00%
1100,000100,100100,200100,400100,600100,800
2100,200100,400100,802101,204101,606
3100,300100,601101,205101,811102,419
4100,401100,802101,610102,422103,239
5100,501101,004102,016103,036104,065
6100,602101,206102,424103,654104,897
7100,702101,408102,834104,276105,736
8100,803101,611103,245104,902106,582
9100,904101,814103,658105,531107,435
10101,005102,018104,073106,165108,294

Passbook accounts in the Philippines

What follow are banks and the passbook accounts they offer, arranged alphabetically. Information may change without prior notice, so it is recommended to check the banks for the most updated details.

Asia United Bank

  • AUB Preferred Peso Savings
  • AUB Preferred Peso Savings Plus

The Preferred Peso Savings is a deposit account offered by the Asia United Bank. Its transaction record is kept in a passbook or funds can be accessed through the use of the ATM card. Also, other ways for fund access are transactions made over-the-counter and inter-branch, as well as internet and mobile banking. Moreover, it does not require any opening balance, has a low maintaining balance of ₱5,000. The one downside is that in order to earn interest, the account balance must be at least half a million pesos. In addition, the interest is credited to the account every three months.

Asia United Bank’s Preferred Peso Savings Plus is an interest-bearing account. It is a special savings account that offers interest rate higher than the basic account offered by the bank and may be competitive with time deposit. For instance, it is considered an investment where the deposit has to be maintained for a fixed term. The shortest term available is 30 days. Meanwhile, the interest is credited upon maturity. In addition, the passbook that comes with it serves as certificate of deposit.

Bank of Commerce

Bank of Commerce offers Savings Account with Passbook. Information on the account is rather few. The required initial deposit and the maintaining monthly average daily balance (MADB) is ₱5,000. To earn interest, the deposit must reach at least ₱10,000. The interest is credited every month.

Bank of the Philippine Islands

  • Passbook Savings Account
  • Maxi Saver (Passbook)
  • Pamana Savings (Passbook)

BPI (Bank of the Philippine Islands) Passbook Savings Account gives account-holder the power to monitor transactions. It comes with the convenience of a passbook that keeps records. To get started, the opening balance must be at least ₱10,000. That is also the amount required for minimum monthly average daily balance. For the deposit to earn interest, it has to have a balance of at least ₱25,000.

The Maxi Saver Passbook account from BPI has an attractive offer. The potential interest can be higher if there are no withdrawals made within a month. Additionally, it follows tiered interest. The higher the deposit, the higher the interest becomes. The account can be opened for as long as the initial deposit is not below ₱75,000. It is also the same account balance required to earn interest and be maintained to avoid getting service charges and the balance to earn interest.

Lastly, it allows depositor the option to open either a peso or dollar account. Thus, it may appeal to those who would like to maximize their interest income out from their savings.

BPI Pamana Savings (Passbook) is a bank account that gives life insurance coverage. Just like the Maxi Saver, the required starting capital, maintaining daily balance to earn interest, and the minimum monthly average daily balance is ₱75,000.

It can be suitable to people who may be looking to get insured while saving up. The coverage is three times (3x) worth the average account balance, capped at ₱2 million. What’s more, the bank is not going to ask for medical check-ups and no premiums are to be paid.

Banco de Oro (BDO)

  • Passbook Savings Account
  • Smart Checking Account

The Peso Passbook Savings Account from Banco de Oro provides flexibility to depositors. It can come with a debit card so funds can be accessed through ATMs, or one may choose to get the passbook only. Either way, this account can help in getting started in the habit of saving.

The details of the account are as follows: the minimum starting balance is ₱5,000. The amount for the minimum maintaining monthly average daily balance and the balance to earn interest is ₱10,000.

A few things need to be looked out such as account closure, falling below the maintaining balance, and no transactions made for two years or more.

The BDO Smart Checking Account comes with a debit card. The account-holder has an option to receive records of transactions through electronic statement of account or passbook. Hence, we included this offering from Banco de Oro in the list.

There are two variants. One is for individual depositors and another for business. Aside from documentary requirements and other details, the personal account has lower required balances compared to the business variant. For personal, the minimum initial deposit, MADB and balance to earn interest is ₱25,000. On the other hand, the business type is twice the amount for all three aforementioned balances.

China Banking Corporation (China Bank)

  • ChinaCheck Plus
  • Peso Savings Account

The China Banking Corporation ChinaCheck Plus has an optional passbook to those that would like to keep records of banking activities. The account comes with a ATM and monthly statement of account. It is suitable for anyone who would like to take advantage of the convenience of having a checking account.

For depositors to get started, the initial deposit required is at least ₱5,000. The minimum MADB is also ₱5,000. Take note that the balance to earn interest is ₱50,000.

The Peso Savings Account from China Banking Corporation is designed for people who would like to get started developing the habit of setting aside money for emergency purposes. This interest-bearing account comes with a passbook, which can be used to easily monitor transactions.

If you would like to open an account, the opening balance required and minimum MADB is ₱5,000. To earn interest, the deposit must reach at least ₱10,000. Funds can be accessed by visiting the bank or through the online portal.

Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP)

DBP Peso Account comes with an ATM card and passbook. The opening balance and minimum daily balance required are ₱5,000. In addition, the average daily balance to earn interest is ₱10,000.

East West Banking Corporation

  • Peso Passbook Savings Account
  • Passbook Savings with Debit Card
  • SuperSaver

The Passbook Savings Account from East West Banking Corporation only requires ₱5,000 for starting deposit. The MADB is also set at ₱5,000. For it to be qualified to earn interest, the deposit must be at least ₱10,000. The passbook serves as documentation, and it is required when the depositor needs to make a deposit or a withdrawal of the funds.

East West Passbook Savings with Debit Card is a deposit account that comes with a debit card and a passbook. Thus, it can cater to the needs of depositors looking to have a record of all banking activities recorded on paper, as well as provide the benefits of having an ATM card. The minimum opening balance and maintaining balance is ₱5,000, and the balance required to earn interest is set at ₱25,000.

East West SuperSaver is a high-yield savings account. It comes with a debit card and a passbook. The account is designed for those who would like to get the most out of their savings. Specifically, it follows a tiered interest. The higher the balance is, the higher the interest it earns. Plus, a bonus interest is given to the account when there are no withdrawals made within a month. The initial deposit, maintaining balance, and the required balance to earn interest are at least ₱500,000.

Land Bank of the Philippines

  • Regular Passbook Savings Account
  • Easy Savings Plus (ESP)

The Land Bank of the Philippines Regular Passbook Savings Account is open to individuals and institutions. To open an individual account, one must be at least 7 years old, literate, free from legal liabilities, and able to verify identity. Institutions that can open an account include local government units and government-owned and controlled corporations, government line agencies, private businesses, cooperatives, partnerships, associations, and other registered entities. The initial capital required, required MADB, and balance to earn interest are ₱10,000.

Land Bank of the Philippines Easy Savings Plus (ESP) is an account that gives tiered interest. When the account holds high average daily balance, then the interest income can be higher. Anyone who is at least 7 years old. The initial deposit, minimum MADB, and balance to earn interest is ₱20,000.

Maybank Philippines

The accounts mentioned here come with passbook and an ATM card that is accepted in some countries in Asia.

  • Classic Savings Account
  • IM Teen Savings Account
  • Save ‘n Protect Savings Account
  • Yippie Savings Account

Maybank Philippines Classic Savings Account offers a passbook and a debit card that can be used in some Asian countries. In addition, you only need to maintain ₱10,000 to earn interest.

The Maybank Philippines IM Teen Savings Account is designed for savers who are between 13 and 17 years old. It comes with a personal accident and medical reimbursement benefit. The free personal accident insurance is equal to five times the average daily balance (ADB) of the previous month, capped at ₱500,000. The free medical reimbursement benefit, meanwhile, is 10% of the personal accident cover. The maintaining balance is ₱500, and the balance required to earn interest is ₱5,000.

Maybank Philippines Save ‘n Protect Savings Account is a deposit account that comes with a passbook, a debit card that is accepted in Maybank ATMs in Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei, and free insurance. To earn interest, the average daily balance (ADB) must be at least ₱20,000. Moreover when the balance reaches ₱50,000, the account-holder can get free life insurance of up to twice the ADB of the previous month. The maximum coverage is ₱5 million.

Maybank Philippines Yippie Savings Account is targeted towards young savers who are 12 years old and younger. It comes with a personal accident insurance and medical reimbursement benefits. The free personal accident insurance is up to five times the ADB of the previous month to a maximum of ₱500,000. On the other hand, the free medical reimbursement benefit is equal to 10% of the personal accident insurance cover.

The maintaining balance is ₱500, and the balance required to earn interest is ₱5,000.

Metrobank

  • Passbook Regular Savings Account
  • Fun Savers Club Account
  • OFW Savings Account
  • SSS Pensioner Savings Account

In general, the Metrobank website seems to have lumped all of their product information into one page. Thus, there are very few details that are available online. It is therefore best to reach out to them for more info.

The Passbook Regular Savings Account has an initial deposit requirement of ₱10,000. It can earn interest. Aside from that, it addresses financial needs such as paying bills, purchase of mobile network credits, or settlement account.

Fun Savers Club Account caters to kids who at least 17 years old. The initial deposit required is only ₱100. Once the depositor turn 18 years old, it is converted to the Passbook Regular Savings Account.

The OFW Savings Account is designed for Filipinos who are working in other countries. Its purpose is an account to receive remittances to the family members who are left behind. There is no maintaining balance.

Lastly, the SSS Pensioner Savings Account requires an initial deposit of ₱10,000. It is targeted for retirees who are receiving their SSS benefits.

Philippine Bank of Communications

  • Regular Peso Savings
  • IntegrALL

The PBCOM Regular Peso Savings comes with a passbook, EMV-enabled ATM card, and online portal for account monitoring and fund access. The card can be used at any POS terminals and any shops located within and outside the country that accept Mastercard. The minimum initial deposit is ₱5,000, and the balance to earn interest is ₱10,000.

Meanwhile, the PBCOM IntegrALL, as the name suggests, combines the convenience of the checking account, ATM, and passbook into one. The minimum oipening balance is ₱15,000 for individuals (₱25,000 for institutions), the balance to earn interest is ₱50,000. The transaction record is available via online, ATm, passbook, checkbook, and statement of account.

Philippine National Bank

  • Passbook Savings Account
  • Top Saver
  • MyFirst Savings
  • Priority Checking

The PNB Passbook Savings Account is a deposit account that lets you earn interest while saving up. You can transact at any of the PNB branches located nationwide. The required initial deposit is and maintaining balance is ₱10,000, while the minimum ADB to be eligible to earn interest is ₱15,000.

PNB Top Saver Account, on the other hand, is a savings account that gives tiered interest. The higher the deposit, the higher the interest income. You are given the choice to pick between an PNB-PAL Mabuhay Miles card or a passbook. Initial deposit, maintaining balance, and minimum ADB to earn interest is ₱30,000.

PNB MyFirst Savings is designed for savers who are 7 years of age or older, and it comes either with a PNB-PAL Mabuhay Miles Debit Mastercard or a PNB Passbook. (Children who are younger than 7 years old can secure an “in trust for”/ITF where signatory is a parent or legal guardian.) There is no initial deposit and maintaining balance required, and the minimum ADB to earn interest is ₱5,000.

PNB Priority Checking has the convenience of a debit card, the benefit of a passbook, and payment facility of a checkbook. It is an interest-bearing account, and the opening balance required is ₱25,000.

Robinsons Bank Corporation

  • IPONsurance
  • Tykecoon Savings Account
  • Passbook Savings

The Robinson IPONsurance is a passbook-based deposit account that comes with a free life insurance. The insurance coverage can be up to 4 times the account’s average daily balance to a maximum benefit of ₱4 million. It follows a tiered coverage schedule where the higher the ADB for the past three months, the higher the benefit becomes. (Benefit for depositors between 51 and 65 years old is equivalent to 1x the ADB.) There is no medical check-up that is required, and the coverage is effective upon opening the account. It is available to those who are between the ages 18 and 65 years old. The required opening balance, mainintaing balance, and balance to earn interest is ₱20,000.

The Robinson Tykecoon Savings is created for young savers. Not much details are available that describe this product. Opening balance, maintaining balance, and balance to earn interest is ₱2,000.

The Robinsons Passbook Savings account requires ₱5,000 initial deposit and maintaining balance. To qualify for interest, the deposit must reach ₱10,000.

Security Bank Corporation

  • All Access Checking Account
  • Junior One

All Access Checking Account provides a passbook, a checkbook, ATM debit card, and free life insurance plans. The opening balance required is ₱5,000, maintaining balance is ₱25,000, and the balance to earn interest is ₱100,000.

The insurance takes effect upon “approved enrollment” without going through medical exams. (Declaration of any medical conditions will be made on enrollment.) It is available to clients 18 to 60 years old. The life insurance benefit is equal 3 times average daily balance of the past three months (for 51 – 60 year old clients, 1x ADB), capped at ₱3 million. The terminal illness is equal to life coverage, capped at ₱2 million. The accidental death benefit is equal to average daily balance of the past three months, capped at ₱3 million.

Junior One is designed to appeal to clients who are 18 years and younger. It comes with a passbook and/or debit card. It can be a way to teach kids to save, give them a financial headstart, and grow their deposit with interest that is higher than is given to basic deposit account. The initial deposit required is ₱100, balance to earn interest and maintaining balance is ₱5,000.

United Coconut Planters Bank

UCPB has several passbook accounts. Due to few details available on their website, the products are summarized in the table below.

  • Regular Savings Account with Passbook
  • Multi-One Account (Checking Account with ATM Card and Passbook)
  • Start2Save Junior Savings Account
  • U-remit Passbook Savings Account

Other passbook accounts the bank offers include:

  • SSS Pensioner’s Account
  • AFP Pension Savings Account
  • PVAO Pension Account
  • AFPSLAI Pension Account
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