If you’re new to the Capital and you’re about to open a bank account, here are some things to keep in mind.
5 June 2017| Last updated on 15 June 2017
There are several different banks available in Abu Dhabi, each with their rules and characteristics. You'll first have to decide whether you want a current, savings or fixed deposit account. Current accounts are for your everyday banking, savings are for putting money aside and gaining interest on it and fixed deposits are for long-term savings with higher returns.
You should compare different banks and what they offer. There are also Sharia-compliant banks accounts available with Islamic banks. If you’re trying to decide which banking account is best for you, we’ve put together a few of things that should influence your decision.
1. Minimum balance necessary
Most banks here require you to maintain a minimum amount of money in your account. In the case that you fail to maintain that balance, you will be charged a penalty fee. However, if your employer is listed with the banks, this is likely to be waived.
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2. Interest rates
This will depend on the type of account you have. Generally, current accounts don’t offer interest on any money in the account. However, savings accounts and fixed deposits accounts do.
3. Saving in a different currency
Many banks here give the option of having a bank account in other currencies. The most common used tend to be US dollars, Euros or British Pounds. While this might seem appealing, keep in mind that many of these counts have restrictions on how you withdraw funds and fees whenever you do withdraw or deposit cash.
4. Fees and Charges
Go over all the possible fees and charges that you might incur for things you will likely do. For instance, will you be charge for withdrawing from a different bank’s ATM? Are there monthly administrative fees? What are the transfer fees to another bank account? Even if the fees are low, keep in mind that if it’s something that happens often, it will add up.
5. Rewards and discounts
While offers usually come with credit cards, there are several bank accounts that offer rewards and discounts. Offers can be on shopping, dining or leisure option and can be availed simply by using your card to pay. Rewards can also be points in exchange for certain things like depositing money. These points can then be redeems for vouchers.