- Date : 04/12/2018
- Read: 4 mins
Have you heard of women savings account? Consider these common benefits and features of this account and play smart with your deposits.
Despite all the inequities that may exist in the Indian social fabric, one area that has seen fair play over the years is the banking industry. It is well-regulated, has schemes for all sections of society, and as part of its inclusiveness has special savings accounts for women. The latter is clearly a nod towards acknowledging women as an important customer segment.
These special savings accounts come with an array of offers such as discounts on locker rentals for a fixed period (say, for the first year), easier bill payment, cashless travel offers, and home banking services. However, you have to do your research to see which women’s savings account suits you best.
Waivers and additional features offered by various banks are neither a given nor are they uniform, and many are offers exclusive to that particular bank. It is up to you to ascertain whether the ‘benefits’ on offer are actually beneficial to you, or whether they are simply marketing gimmicks.
Without delving into the merits of exclusive offers from various banks, let us consider some common benefits and features of women-specific accounts.
1. Higher ATM/shopping limits
Women’s savings accounts usually carry higher limits for ATM withdrawals and debit card purchases than regular savings accounts. A case in point is ICICI; its women’s savings account allows any number of ATM withdrawals, which is not the case with its regular savings accounts.
Similarly, while its women’s savings account carries a daily ATM withdrawal limit of Rs 1 lakh, it is only Rs 50,000 for regular savings account holders. Also, the daily purchase limit at retail outlets and for online transactions is Rs 2 lakh for the former but a flat Rs 1 lakh for the latter. So if shopping is important to you, this is an aspect you may want to consider.
2. Zero balance
If you are a mother and would like to instil the habit of savings and money management in your child, this feature should interest you: some banks provide a free zero-balance children’s account with their women’s savings accounts.
Several banks offer this facility, but with conditions. For instance, ICICI Bank’s “Women Advantage Savings Account” provides the scheme if Rs 3,000 is invested every month for six months in a recurring deposit; (do note that the Rs 10,000 monthly average balance will come into play if the recurring deposit is not maintained.)
Similarly, to have the zero balance facility for a junior account under Kotak Bank’s “Silk Women Savings” scheme, then you have to make monthly Recurring Deposit or Mutual Fund SIP instalments of Rs 2,000 (Rs 1,000 or above for semi-urban and rural branches) for a minimum tenure of 36 months (maximum 120 months). The maximum recurring deposit monthly instalment is Rs 50,000 for tenure up to 120 months and Rs 100,000 for tenure up to 36 months.
IDBI Bank’s “Super Shakti Women’s Account” offers free zero balance savings account for children below the age of 18 years.
3. Insurance cover
A women’s savings account may come with insurance, such as a free accident-related hospitalisation cover as well as a free accident death cover, or even a free group personal accident death insurance cover; features that are not available with regular savings accounts. It wouldn’t hurt to have an additional cover over and above your regular insurance plan, right?
4. Health checkups
Another feature that is often offered with women’s savings accounts is a discount on loans and medical checkups – in fact, discounts on the latter can go up to 40% of the prevailing market rate. Banks also offer special discounts on interest rates and processing fees on its two-wheeler, gold, auto, and personal loans if you have a woman-specific savings account. Some also waive fees on services such as online trading accounts and lockers.
So there you have it. If you, as an enlightened woman, play it smart, you can avail of these special offers and get more benefits at the same minimum balance (or even lesser) required for a regular savings account.