Most of us knowingly or unknowingly fall prey to banks’ hefty penalty for not maintaining the Monthly Average Balance (MAB) in our bank accounts. In a savings bank account, it is mandatory to maintain a monthly average balance. However, many people miss or forget maintaining the minimum balance, especially those with multiple saving bank accounts.
With a zero balance account, bank account holders are not required to maintain any minimum average balance, unlike normal bank accounts. Anyone can opt for a zero balance account. Experts suggest people who forget or just do not maintain monthly average balance in their bank accounts, should opt for a zero balance account, as one need not keep the normal savings account active and keep paying fines on a regular basis. Similar to a regular savings account, zero balance bank accounts provide the usual facilities of a savings account.
Find out the interest rates and facilities offered by banks on Zero balance accounts:
State Bank of India (SBI) – For an amount up to Rs 1 crore, SBI offers 3.5 per cent interest rate for a zero balance account, and 4 per cent for Rs 1 crore and above. Depositors need to have/open a Basic Savings Bank Deposit account under which they can open an account and maintain zero balance. There are no upper limits set on the deposit of money and also does not come with any additional charges. The account holder also gets a RuPay debit card with the account. If they want to open a zero balance account with the bank, one cannot have separate savings account with the bank.
ICICI Bank – ICICI bank offers an interest rate of 3.5 per cent for the amount below Rs 50 lakh for a zero balance account, and 4 per cent for Rs 50 lakh and above. The interest payable is half-yearly on these accounts and comes with a debit card and a checkbook for free. You can open a basic savings bank deposit account if you do not have an existing ICICI Bank savings account.
Axis Bank – Axis bank offers an interest rate at 3.5 per cent for an amount up to Rs. 50 lakh for a zero balance account. For an amount ranging between Rs 50 lakh to Rs 100 crore, the bank offers an interest rate at 4 per cent and 6 per cent for an amount above Rs 100 crores Just by providing a mobile number, Aadhaar, and PAN, the Axis Bank’s zero balance ASAP account can be opened instantly. Depositors also get auto-sweep Flexi FD with a zero balance account, on balances above Rs 1,000. which comes with a deposit capping of maximum Rs 1 lakh in the account.
HDFC Bank – For an amount up to Rs 50 lakh, HDFC Bank offers an interest rate of 3.5 per cent for a zero balance account, and 4 per cent for Rs 50 lakh and above. One should not have any other banking relationship with HDFC Bank while opening BSBDA Small Accounts (Basic Savings Bank Deposit Small Account). HDFC zero balance comes with the benefit of RuPay debit cards and free-of-cost IVR-based phone banking facility, wherein the card comes with the option to be upgraded into an international debit card.
Standard Chartered Bank – For an amount up to Rs 50 lakh, Standard Chartered Bank offers an interest rate of 3.5 per cent for a zero balance account, and 4 per cent for Rs 50 lakh and above. The Aasaan zero balance account of Standard Chartered is a digital account, which offers free multicity checkbooks and debit card, to the account holder