Open A Checking Account With P5,000
You can use a checking account as your current account, some sort of a clearinghouse for your funds. Put your payroll here, transfer your savings to your savings account, and make payments using checks or other facilities using this account. The best checking accounts are 3-in-1 accounts (kind of like instant coffee) that combine a checking account with the convenience of an ATM card and the documentation of a passbook or a statement of account. Here, we explore a few banks offering similar checking product for an opening balance of as low as 5,000 pesos.
For checking accounts, like savings accounts, you would need to consider the three minimum balance numbers: initial deposit, maintaining balance and balance to earn interest, in case you’re in the market for a checking account. Aside from these, there are also fees linked to a checking account like minimum balance fee if you go below your maintaining balance, dormant fee for accounts with no fund activities for a specified period of time, overdraft fees for issuing checks with insufficient funds (a criminal offense) or uncollected deposits.
EastWest Bank’s Regular Checking Account requires a relatively low initial deposit requirement of P5,000.00 and the same amount as maintaining balance. In case funds go below minimum, a fee of P220 per month applies. If the account goes dormant, there is also a dormancy fee of P220 per month.
Banco de Oro also offers a Regular Peso Checking account with ATM for an initial deposit of P5,000.00 and a minimum ADB of P5,000.00. Falling below minimum ADB will set you back by P200.00 every month and dormancy fee is also P200.00. The account does not earn any interest.
However, why settle for a non-interest bearing deposit account when you can get a similar product with the same initial deposit requirement that earns you interest as well. For P5,000.00 you can open a checking account with RobinsonsBank, which also comes with an ATM. Maintain at least P25,000.00 ADB every month and your account may earn 0.25% interest per annum, subject to a 20% withholding tax.
At the top of this class I think is ChinaBank’s ChinaCheck Plus checking account because it lets you open a checking account with an ATM card, a monthly statement and an optional passbook for the same low initial deposit requirement of P5,000.00 and maintain the account for the same amount. It also allows you to earn interest from your account if you maintain an average daily balance of P20,000.00. Interest rate is at 0.50% per annum, subject to a 20% withholding tax.
Whatever your need for a checking account is, there is one that will fit your budget and expectations. As with anything we purchase, shop around for the best financial product. Don’t just look at the interest earnings. Think also of your existing banking relationships (you might want to open a checking account with the same bank where you have your savings), convenience of location, quality of service, fees and other relevant charges. The best checking products might still be out there. My rule of thumb is to always go for the products with the most features at the lowest initial and maintenance cost.