So, which is the best savings account in Kenya?
Well, it depends on your needs and saving goals.
You will need to look for critical factors like the interest rates, minimum initial deposit, required operating balance, and others including access to your account via mobile/internet banking.
For the benefit of starters, let’s look at the meaning of a savings account before I disclose the 11 savings accounts that made the cut.
Meaning of a Savings Account
A savings account is simply a deposits account which earns interest.
The interest is paid on your savings account credit balance as per the terms. In Kenya, you can only open a savings account in a bank.
Why open a savings account
A savings account helps save for and secure your future. You save then use your savings to invest in a business, land, or other assets that can help you get financial freedom.
Other goals you can save for includes your children’s school fees, an annual holiday in an exotic location, retirement, and more.
With that out of our way, let’s look at our nominees for the best savings account in Kenya.
Best savings account in Kenya: A review of 11 different accounts from 8 leading banks
Here are our contenders for the best savings account in Kenya in no particular order.
1. Cooperative Bank of Kenya Savings Account
Coop Bank’s Hekima Savings Account is also among the best savings account bank in Kenya. Hekima is actually one of the few savings accounts you can open without depositing a penny. It also doesn’t have a minimum operating balance.
To discourage you to save more and withdraw less, you’re free to deposit as many times as you might want (free deposits) while you’re restricted to just one withdrawal every quarter (three months).
An ATM card is an enemy to savers and the bank fully understands this so they won’t issue you with one.
The bank calculates interest on your saved balance daily and pays out gained interest quarterly.
You are entitled to a free account statement every 6 months.
Account Opening Requirements
Visit your nearest Cooperative bank’s branch with the following documents:
- An original ID Card (or Passport) as well as its copy.
- KRA PIN (Copy)
2. KCB savings account
KCB has in recent years emerged as one of the best banks to do business with in Kenya.
And yes, many of us know about the immensely popular KCB MPESA loan app (It’s today Mshwari’s biggest rival).
What you may not know is about KCB’s friendly savings account.
Take a look:
Types of KCB bank accounts (savings)
KCB operates a plethora of savings accounts and they certainly have one to match your needs.
For example, you can use the KCB Goal savings account to save for your investment goals. The lock-up feature forces you to get financial discipline as you can’t withdraw until the set saving period expires.
KCB savings account also pays one of the most competitive interest rates in the market.
Here is a summary of the best savings account from KCB bank.
A. KCB Goal Savings Account
I recommend the KCB Goal Account for those who want to secure their future by saving to invest.
Let’s say that you want to start a shs.300, 000 spares business in a few years’ time and you can afford to set aside shs.5000 every month.
You simply open a Goal account where you’ll be depositing the shs.5000 for the required period.
If you tighten your belt, you’ll be able to accumulate the starting capital without over-straining and eventually launch your dream business debt-free.
In addition, you can take a life insurance policy against the account. Your insurer would hence take up the burden if you’re unable to make further deposits due to suffering an accident or such unfortunate happenings.
The account pays very attractive interest rates.
Finally, like most of the best savings accounts, you can’t withdrawal until the stated maturity period.
Benefits of KCB Goal account
- You can borrow as much as 100% of the saved amount at reduced interest rates
- The account is flexible so you can lock your cash for any period.
- You can open a free standing order to allow KCB to be transferring your cash to the goal account from your salary/business account.
- You need just KES 1,000 to open the account. Besides, you can be depositing any amount you’re comfortable with.
- Zero account maintenance fees/charges.
- Original ID card.
- KRA pin (copy).
- A passport-size photo – which will be taken at the branch.
B. KCB Advantage Simba Savings Account
The biggest advantage of this savings account is that you’ll be enjoying VIP banking services from the KCB advantage exclusive baking desks across KCB Bank branches.
We all hate winding queues so perhaps you should give it a thought.
In addition, you have access to a dedicated relationship manager to help you with financial advice.
But there’s a catch- you must be earning at least shs.50000 net per month.
Other benefits of KCB advantage savings account
- Substantial interest rates.
- You can access your savings from mobile/internet banking.
Cons of KCB advantage savings account
- Like I hinted, it’s not for all- qualifying income is Ksh. 50,000+
- To earn interest, you must not exceed 4 withdrawals in a year.
- National ID, KRA pin, and a passport-size photo.
- Bank statements ( 3 months) if you’re joining from a different bank
3. CBA Bank savings account
CBA bank has a couple of savings account designed to help encourage you to save.
All reward your efforts by paying good interest rates.
Here they are.
A. CBA Savings account
This account is open to Kenyans from open to all walks of life and has great terms. For instance, the account has 0 ledger fees.
At the same time, to discourage you from depreciating your savings, you’re limited to only one free withdrawal per month.
Other standout benefits of CBA savings account
- Your savings earn market interest rates.
- You can make unlimited deposits.
- You can link to your CBA current account (or other CBA accounts).
- Free monthly statements/inter-account cash transfers.
- You can secure a loan pegged on your savings.
B. Nufaika Savings Account
This personal saving account can be a worthy option if you’re saving for long-term investments.
The good news is that the bank allows you to get an overdraft/loan advance up to 75% of your current savings balance to help you solve an unforeseen financial crisis.
It also comes with outstanding insurance packages (ask the relationship officer for existing insurance offers).
Withdrawals are strictly over the counter.
Lastly, the bank pays Interest bi-annually -end of June and December.
Benefits of CBA Nufaika Savings account
- Access to information about emerging long-term investment opportunities.
- Friendly terms for their credit facilities.
- Zero fees.
- Free funds transfers
- Mobile/internet banking provided.
Drawbacks of this account
- Minimum opening balance for this account is KShs.3,000
- Savings below Kshs.30, 000 won’t attract interest.
C. Target Savings Account
This account is very close to KCB Goal account and enables you to save for long-term dreams.
You’re allowed four withdrawals a year and you can open it in Kshs or select foreign currencies.
You receive interest every quarter.
You can also open this account with your wife/girlfriend/boyfriend/husband if you’re working on joint projects.
- You have the option to simultaneously save and invest. Talk to the relationship manager for investment advisory.
- Zero monthly charges.
- Stringent opening requirements. For instance, you have to get a letter of introduction from your employer.
In addition, you need a referee who must have operated an account with CBA Bank for not less than six months.
Other account opening requirements
- Original ID and its certified copy (or your passport)
- KRA PIN Number
- 2 quality recent passport-sized photographs
4. Equity Savings Account (Jijenge Account)
An Equity bank savings account can also be a good choice depending on your savings targets.
This savings account minimum lock period is six months and like the rest, it pays some interest on your savings.
You must deposit at least shs.300 every month to maintain the account and you’re permitted two withdrawals annually.
Pros of Equity Savings Account
- Free standing order
- You can access your cash from any branches countrywide.
- Flexible- You can save for any duration from six months upwards.
- You can borrow as much as 90% of your savings at reduced rates.
- You can’t access your savings before the expiry of the 6-months minimum lock period.
- You have to pay shs.300 monthly account maintenance fee. Moreover, the bank charges shs.200 for over the counter withdrawals.
Account Opening Requirements
- Original plus a copy of your national ID/passport
- KRA PIN.
5. Safari Savings Account
One of Standard Chartered bank’s premium savings accounts, safari saving account offers you a convenient way to save towards both short-term and long-term objectives whilst earning interest.
The tenure is flexible and you’re allowed quarterly withdrawals.
Like CBA savings account, you can also open this account in foreign currencies such as Sterling pounds (GBP), US Dollar, and the Euro.
The bank also runs the Safari Business savings account, designed to help businesspeople save for their business goals.
6. Flexi deposit builder
Flexi deposit builder is an innovative savings solution from I&M Bank.
It works almost like a standing order and is a brilliant way driving up savings quickly, particularly if you’re an infrequent saver.
You first specify the amount you wish to be saving every month and the date you would like the transaction completed.
The cash will be automatically deducted from your main account, for example, your salary account to the flexi saver.
Needless to say, you need to have an account with I&M Bank.
You can as well top up your savings by making further cash deposits or initializing additional funds transfer from other I&M accounts.
Minimum monthly flexi deposit is shs.1000 and USD 100 (for Dollar denominated accounts).
I&M bank interest rates are competitive and you can ‘flexi’ your deposits for 1 year.
7. NIC bank savings account
A few years after its launch, this has grown to become one of the renowned savings dollar account in Kenya.
Minimum opening balance is USD 100 while the threshold to earn interest is USD 5,000. Other permitted currencies are the Kshs. And British pound (GBP)
In this case, the limits are as follows:
|Minimum opening balance||5000||50|
|Least Interest Earning balance||20,000||5000|
You won’t be charged for local funds transfers into the account neither do you incur any ledger fees.
You can make one withdraw every 30 days.
8. STANBIC savings account (PureSave)
Stanbic Bank Kenya has not also been left behind and has an excellent savings account christened PureSave.
The most remarkable feature about this account is that the interest rates are tiered so you reap higher interest with bigger savings.
The interest is deposited into your PureSave account every month.
Further, and like NIC Bank savings account, you’re allowed one withdrawal monthly.
You can always view your balance in real-time via Stanbic internet banking.
Which is the best bank for savings account?
Well, each of the banks has its own advantages/disadvantages. For example, Stanbic Bank has an excellent internet banking platform to help you track your savings.
On the other hand, I&M Bank (Flexi Builder) is amazing because of the automated funds transfer.
Moving on, KCB – like Equity- has branches countrywide and you’re sure of accessing a direct relationship manager near you.
And so forth.
The best bank would be- in my opinion- that which is near you and has customized its savings account to match your unique needs.
For this reason, do your research and compare the terms offered by each of the banks in our best savings account in Kenya list.
ALSO READ: Top 10 SACCOs in Kenya
How to choose the best Savings Account in Kenya
- Fees: Focus on the account charges- most are free though we still have accounts that charge per month. For example, Equity levies shs.300 per month on their savings product.
- Accompanying benefits: Besides the interest rates, some banks extend loans to the savings account holders in addition to overdraft. Look out for such extras.
- Currency: Some of the accounts are shillings only meaning you have to consider their competitors if you want a foreign-currency-denominated account.
- Customer service: You don’t want to be dealing with rude staff when seeking information on how to invest your accumulated funds.
- Also, look at the pros and cons of each account
Winding it up
There goes our review of the current top-rated savings accounts in Kenya from various banks.
I believe that you have made your choice and that you will soon start saving towards your financial goals.
Admittedly, the list is not exhaustive but it will give you a head start.
We also have our eyes on the market constantly and will be updating our review of the best savings account in Kenya appropriately.
Good luck and share this best savings account in Kenya article if you have found it informative.