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  • Writer's pictureMenthum

How to Choose a Saving Product and Bank?

Your choice of the saving product depends on factors regarding liquidity or ability to withdraw, returns, size of deposit and other facilities such as checkbook, accessibility of branches, card offering, ease of net or mobile banking etc.

If you want the ability to withdraw your money from the bank anytime, you will choose either a savings account or a current account. If you don’t mind locking-in your money with the bank for a fixed period, you could go for a time deposit or a certificate of deposit. Depending on the period you are willing to lock-in your money for and the interest rate offered, you could choose to save your money either in a time deposit (period of one week to multiple years) or a certificate of deposit (typically 3 to 10 years, except for exceptional times when a few bank issue CDs with a one-year maturity).

You would typically earn higher interest on a CD vis-à-vis a TD, and on a TD vis-à-vis a savings / current account. But you should look at the specific rates offered by different banks before making your decision.

If you want to have a cheque book facility, then banks in Egypt would open a current account for you. If you are an individual, you can open either a current account or a savings account. If you are a company, you can open only a current account.

If you require branches services frequently, the choice of the bank would depend on them having a branch in your neighborhood. All banks offer debit cards, but their features, fees and reward programs may differ. You would like to know the details if you use debit card regularly. Availability of internet / mobile banking and the services offered on the channel is another important area to check.

Most people choose their bank based on the interest rate offered. But the fees charged by the bank and minimum balance required to be maintained are very important to find out. You may end up paying to the bank more by way of fees than you earn by way of interest.

Rather than getting swayed by a bank’s headline interest rate, you need to check the actual interest rates for different balance tiers. For instance, the bank may promote “interest rate up to 7%”, but they may have tiers where this 7% interest would only be paid if your minimum account balance is EGP 5 million. And if your minimum account balance is EGP 20,000 you might be earning just 2%.

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