There have been several schemes launched in our country to empower women to become self-reliant and independent. You may have noticed that there are special conveniences offered to women such as separate seating arrangements in public transport, special coaches in trains, reservation in jobs, exclusive scholarships, interest rate concession in education loan schemes and special insurance schemes, etc.
When it comes to financial schemes, undoubtedly, women are given certain advantages over men. Moreover, it has become important and crucial that women are empowered to be financially independent for sustenance. Realising the importance of women empowerment, most of the banks provide an exclusive savings account to help them manage their own finance.
Features and Benefits of Women Savings Accounts
Each bank, in their own creative way, comes up with offers and benefits to bring the womenfolk into the formal banking system. Below are the lists of some of the common features and benefits of women saving accounts.
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Higher Interest Rate: If you have not opened a savings account for the women in your house, perhaps this reason can motivate you to open one for them. Higher interest rate is the most common feature across all banks. Savings account for women earn slightly higher interest rate than a regular savings account.
Discounts on Lockers: Each bank provides locker facility, wherein you can keep your valuables safely. This service is offered to their customers for a certain amount of fee. Women savings account holders get a special discount on locker rentals. The discount can be as high as 50% of normal prices.
Insurance Coverage: Women savings account holder is covered by insurance schemes such as accidental death, loss of baggage, health and life insurance schemes. The coverage can be up to Rs. 10 Lakhs which depends from bank to bank. To claim the insurance scheme, the account holder must have done minimum transactions or used the debit cards at least for once or at a point of sale machines.
Reward Points: Women savings account holders get exclusive debit cards that come with benefits such as reward points and cashback. For using the debit card for shopping, the cardholder gets certain reward points which can be accumulated to redeem against various gift items from partnered outlets or at online shopping.
Preferential Rates on Loans: Women account holders get preferential rates on home loan, education loan, personal loan, car loan, etc. Moreover, there are waivers on processing fees and prepayment charges as well.
Low or Nil Average Monthly Balance: Each savings account will have to be maintained with a minimum average monthly balance. It could be higher and even go up to Rs. 10,000 for individuals living in metros. But women savings account holders get lower or no average monthly balance on their account. Also, a minimum amount should be deposited while opening the account, which could vary from bank to bank. Some banks offer zero balance account facility to children of this type of account holder.
ATM Withdrawals: Generally, the banks allow 5 free ATM withdrawals for regular savings account. However, the limits can be different for women savings account holders. Some banks even provide free unlimited ATM withdrawal for the first month.
Eligibility Criteria to Open a Women Savings Account
To open this type of savings account, the following eligibility criteria are required.
The primary account holder must be a woman and this account can be opened solely or jointly.
Most of the banks allow women from foreign countries also to open this type of savings account, provided they fulfil all the requirements prescribed by the bank.
Popular Banks Offering Women Savings Account
Following are some of the popular banks that provide women savings accounts under different names.
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HDFC Bank: Women’s Savings Account
This savings account comes with an insurance cover of up to Rs. 10 Lakhs. Account holder gets discounts on two-wheeler loans, cashback on shopping expenses, preferential rates on demat account and loans. This account can also be opened by foreign nationals who adhere to certain rules prescribed by the bank.
ICICI Bank: Advantage Woman Savings Account
With this account, women can get cashback up to Rs. 750 per month on shopping, dining, entertainment and jewellery categories by using the debit card. The account holder gets 50% discount on locker rentals and preferential rates on home loan, education loan, personal loan and car loan. The bank provides iProtect Smart insurance scheme that covers accidental death, life and 34 critical illnesses.
IDBI Bank: SuperShakti Women Account
This savings account provides two free zero balance accounts to the account holder’s children who are below eighteen years old. Moreover, the account holder gets 25% discount on locker rentals and 50% discount on Demat AMC, free e-mail statements, 10 free transactions at other bank’s ATMs, personalised cheque book and many other benefits.
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Kotak Mahindra Bank: Silk Woman Savings Account
Claiming financial independence as the true independence, the bank provides this savings account to women with a wide range of benefits. The account holder gets 35% discount on locker rentals, attractive cashback on shopping, higher ATM withdrawal limit and much more. Insurance coverage provided under this account includes accidental death, lost baggage and air accidental death insurance. All resident Indian women who are 18 years old and above are eligible to get this savings account.
RBL Bank: Womens Savings Account
With the aim of empowering women, this savings account for women by RBL Bank provides plethora of benefits that include exclusive Woman’s First Debit Card; unlimited year-long discounts on shopping, food, entertainment, health etc.; higher interest rate and free zero balance account for the account holder’s children; and 10% discount on locker rentals. The highlight of this savings account is that the bank allows unlimited free cash withdrawals at all ATMs in India. This is something that is not offered by many banks.
Is Women Savings Account Better Than Regular Savings Account?
It is undeniable that women savings account provides certain perks when compared with a regular savings account. Free cash withdrawals, discounts on locker rentals, low interest rate loans, insurance schemes are some of the major benefits of opening a savings account.
Financial freedom for women is the true way to bring women empowerment. With the advantages of women savings account, women can take part in all the financial activities in a family and contribute to overall financial growth immensely.