Our Guide to Accounts in UAE
Our Accounts vertical is set up to allow you to compare over 150 bank accounts provided by the different UAE banks and financial institutional. You can filter your search results of the bank accounts based on the account type you require such current account, savings account, or a fixed deposit. With Souqalmal.com, you can find out which bank account offers the lowest balance requirement and fees, highest rate and which ones are sharia’h compliant.
How to find the right bank account in the UAE for you?
There are over 150 bank accounts in the UAE to compare but the different benefits and options will dictate which ones would suit you best.
1. Current, Savings or Fixed account – based on what you require the bank account for, you would be able to refine your search criteria. Are you looking for a bank account to transfer your salary to and make payments for all your utility bills, rent and so on? In this case, you need to take a current account that comes with a chequebook. Or are you looking to put some money on the side and earn interest while you still have the flexibility to access it at any time? In that case, a savings account is what you should be looking for but not only that, you should also consider whether you want a regular savings account that comes with a lower interest rate but no restrictions on how many times and how you withdraw funds? Or an e-savings account which offers you higher returns on your money but can only be accessed through online banking and would have certain limitations such as, if you withdraw more than once a month, then the interest for that month is forfeited. As for long-term savings with higher returns, then fixed deposits will do the trick but you would need to be sure you don’t need to access that money for the tenure you set and that can be in weeks, months or years.
2. Minimum balance or deposit required – how much do you need to deposit or maintain in the bank account on a monthly basis? Most banks would have a minimum deposit requirement and if you do not maintain it for that month then you are charged a fee. However, this requirement is usually waived off if your employer is listed or if you personally have a loan with the bank.
3. Interest Rates – The general rule of bank accounts is that current accounts do not offer any interest on the amount you deposit while savings accounts and fixed deposits do. However, there is an exception to this rule and that is if the account is a premium account, which usually requires you to have a high level of salary being transferred into the account or a huge sum of deposit to be maintained.
4. Are you looking to save your money in a different currency? – Majority of the UAE banks will offer you an option to open a bank account in other currencies, mainly in any of the main three currencies, i.e. USD, Euro and GBP. A few others would extend the currency option to JPY, CHF, CAD and more. It is worth noting that currency accounts come with some restrictions as well, such as how you withdraw your funds, i.e. some banks would only allow you to withdraw funds by visiting the branch. It is important to note that there are fees to be accounted for when you withdraw cash or make a deposit.
5. Other fees – what are all the other charges applicable on the account? Do you pay for a second chequebook or even to withdraw cash from an ATM that is not your bank’s ATM? Make sure you are aware of the fees that are associated with your bank account. These fees can include ATM withdrawal from a bank, transfer fees to another bank account, standing order fees.
6. Rewards - While rewards is not a common feature on bank accounts in the UAE like it is on credit cards but it is a growing trend in the UAE. The rewards can be points for any amounts you deposit into your account, for salary transfers you make or utility bill payments and these points can then be redeemed for shopping vouchers, waiver of fees and charges on other finance products you hold with the bank or even more. Some banks offer you a chance to win big prizes as part of a weekly, monthly or quarterly draw.
7. Premium accounts – you might ask yourself what is a premium account and is it not the same as a regular current account? Well, yes and no. It is the same in the sense that it offers you a debit card, chequebook, ability to withdraw and deposit. A premium account generally requires you to be a high income earner or have a significant minimum balance on your account. The premium account would have a relationship manager to help you with all your banking needs and a free premium debit and credit card generally accompanies the account.
8. Islamic or conventional: Are you looking for a current, savings or fixed deposit account that is Sharia compliant? You can choose to opt to see only the Islamic products and the list of Islamic bank accounts will appear in your search results.