Banks are currently under pressure to keep their deposits as Treasury Bill rates continue to rise. The interest on the standard savings accounts in Nigeria has remained constant at 1.25 percent per year, with improvements expected in the near future.
Since the CBN’s decision late last year to peg savings account deposit rates at 1.25 percent, it has been critical to know the new interest rates that ‘High Yield’ accounts now provide.
Some banks have now created high-interest savings accounts, which can pay up to 3.5 percent interest per year on your funds in Nigeria.
The following are the features and benefits of a high-interest savings account:
Withdrawals are not allowed
If you have a high-interest savings account in Nigeria, the bank will tell you not to make your regular frequent withdrawals.
You can make more deposits, but withdrawals will attract a forfeiture of any interest the bank has set for you. Although some banks still allow you to make two or three withdrawals in a month.
High rate of interest
The interest rate on a high-interest savings account is usually much higher than that on a regular savings account.
Exemption from charges
ATM and SMS fees are waived for the high-interest savings account. You should avoid using cards on this type of account. However, the CBN statutory taxes like the N50 stamp duty charge will be charged to this type of account.
The lock-in feature
The lock-in feature is essentially a lien or a Post No Debit (PND) placed on your account at your request to prevent any withdrawal unless you specify otherwise.
Once you enable this function, you will be unable to withdraw emergency funds from this account.
A minimum operational balance and opening
A high-interest savings account typically requires a minimum initial balance, usually between $5,000 and $100,000.
Here are the 5 Best High-Interest Savings Accounts in Nigeria.
1. Fidelity Bank High Yield Savings Account (HYSA Account)
The Fidelity High Yield Savings Account was acclaimed as one of the best in the market in 2020 by market watchers. Fidelity Bank now has the highest savings deposit account (target) of 3.5% interest rates in Nigeria.
The current Fidelity Bank HYSA savings account interest yield combo is actually the highest observed. This currently makes Fidelity Bank the best bank in Nigeria for saving money.
Features and Advantages
- If you don’t make a withdrawal within six months, you get an extra 1% bonus interest.
- The monthly interest is paid.
- Choice of debit card at regular pricing.
- Deposits of cheques, cash, and warrants are all accepted.
- Internet banking services are now available.
- A N5,000 minimum operating balance is required.
- A filled-out HYSA account application for new clients.
- A request to open a HYSA account for existing client.
- One reference.
- Most recent utility bill.
- A valid government-issued identification card.
2. Stanbic IBTC Max Yield Savings Account (MYSA)
Before the crash in 2020, this was likely the best high-interest savings account. In March 2019, Stanbic IBTC launched the MYSA (MaxYield) account. You must follow the account’s terms and conditions to earn interest.
Features and Advantages
- Check deposits and withdrawals from your MaxYield account by third parties (Maximum deposit of N2 million and non-clearing 3rd party cheque withdrawals).
- Cash deposits and withdrawals are available at any Stanbic IBTC Personal Deposit Machine or ATM.
- Use your debit MasterCard to make online and POS payments.
- All E-Banking channels are accessible.
- Set up direct debits or standing orders to pay your bills on a regular basis.
- If your daily amount is more than N100,000, you will receive 0.5 percent bonus interest plus 10% Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) each year.
- If the balance is less than N100,000 or there is more than one withdrawal per month, you will earn 10% of the MPR every year.
- After the fifth withdrawal in a month, interest is forfeited. Monthly interest is paid, less a 10% withholding tax.
- For a minimum daily balance of less than N100,000 or more than one withdrawal per month, 1.15 percent applies.
- A minimum of N10,000 is required.
- A completed account application.
- Each account signatory must provide two recent clean passport pictures.
- A valid photo ID such as a driver’s license, international passport, national ID, or voter’s card is required.
- Utility invoices that will serve as proof of home or official address.
3. Access Bank HIDA Bank account
The Access HIDA savings account still gives lower interest yields to low savers. This product was previously owned by Diamond Bank which is now obsolete and now merged with Access Bank of Nigeria.
One of the three products removed from the obsolete bank’s catalogue was the HIDA account. This happened due to its high sellability features.
Features and Advantages
- A N500 operating balance. If you let your balance go below the minimum operating balance, you will be penalised of 150.
- The HIDA account earns daily interest, which is paid monthly.
- Allows you to deposit cash, other bank checks, and dividend warrants at any of the branches with ease and flexibility.
- Make four free withdrawals without having to pay credit interest on your accessible amounts.
- The account does not come with a debit card, which encourages people to save.
- You can transfer money between your own Access Bank accounts in the branch, online, or over the phone.
- If the balance falls below N5,000, there is a N150 penalty charge.
- A completed HIDA opening form for new clients and instructions on how to open for existing clients.
- A single passport photo.
- Identification: Voter registration card, national identification card, international passport, or driver’s license.
- Permit to Reside (for foreign nationals only)
- Verification of home address with a utility bill.
- N100,000 is the minimum opening balance.
- N500 is the minimum operating balance.
4. FCMB Premium Savings Account
Having an account allows you to make three withdrawals without losing interest. FCMB also has one of Nigeria’s best high-interest savings accounts.
When you deposit N100,000 or more into FCMB’s Premium Savings Account, you can earn up to 1.15 percent interest.
Features and Advantages
- Account opening balance of N100,000.
- Allows third-party withdrawals over the counter.
- Allows clearing instruments, such as dividend warrants, to be deposited.
- Per month, the account is permitted four (4) free domestic bank drafts or manager’s checks.
- Withdrawals are unlimited. However, if you make more than four (4) withdrawals in a month, you will lose your interest for that month.
- If you are a new customer, two satisfactory references are required.
- Valid identification proof.
- A recently received electric bill.
- A completed application form.
- A copy of the non-Nigerian applicant’s Resident or Work Permit.
5. UBA Target Account
The UBA Target account is a savings account created for people who want to save towards a specific project or goal.
Like the others on this list, it allows clients to save and maximise their investments while having convenient access to their accounts at any time.
Advantages and features
- Opening Bal Minimum: N50,000.
- Operation Bal Minimum: N50,000.
- Outward Bills for Collection (OBCs) and Dividend Warrants can be deposited.
- Debit Cards are accepted.
- Withdrawal over the counter – After four withdrawals in a month, free interest is forfeited.
- Money can be transferred both inside and outside the bank.
- Online, mobile banking, USSD, and other options are available.
The following are the pre-requisites for opening a UBA target savings account
- Account Opening Form, properly completed.
- N50,000 is the minimum opening balance.
- 1 Recent Passport Photograph Government-issued ID.
- Parent’s valid identification (national identification card/license/permanent driver’s voter’s card/international passport).