How is interest on saving bank account is calculated ?

A lot of people do not know interest is calculated on their savings bank account.In this article I will explain all the aspects of interest on a savings bank account. Earlier all the banks had the same interest on their saving bank accounts, which was 4% , so a person had no choice in terms of interest rate, you would have got the same return with any bank. But, RBI has recently de-regulated interest on saving bank account and now banks can decide the interest they want to pay on saving bank. This has had a positive impact for customers, because now due to competition, banks like Kotak Bank and Yes Bank have started offering higher interest rates like 6% or 7% and using that parameter to attract lot of customers.

How is interest on saving bank is Calculated ?

Coming to the main question, the procedure to calculate saving bank interest, we will first see how it was done earlier and then we will see how its done now.

Old Method

Earlier, Banks used to pay 3.5% interest on the minimum balance between 10th and last day of the month. This was not a very customer friendly method because if you kept Rs 5,00,000 in your saving account for the whole month and on 26th, & let’s say you take out 4,90,000. You would have got interest only on Rs 10,000 @3.5% , which is just Rs 28.

New Method

Now a new method is used to calculate the interest on saving bank account which is very fair.  From April 1, 2010 , as per the RBI circular on new guidelines on saving bank interest calculation; this is the rule for interest calculation.

“The interest has to be calculated on daily basis for the closing day balance” – It’s that simple. So let’s say the interest rate is 4% , then you will get interest @4% on daily basis for your closing balance and it will get accumulated , but it will be paid back to your account only after 3 or 6 months. While RBI wants all the banks to pay the interest every quarter, each bank has its own criteria , like ICICI Bank pays it twice a year right now in Sept and March.

So now, if you see the same example we discussed above, with the new method of interest calculation, the interest will be 4% on 5 lacs (Rs 1,369) for 25 days (from start of month to 25th) and on 10,000 for next 5 days (Rs 5) (26th – 30th) . So the interest would be total Rs 1,374 . In the old method it was just Rs 28 . Can you see the gigantic difference?

Saving Bank Interest Calculation

High Interest on Saving bank from some banks

You must have seen some banks are now offering 6-7% of interest rate and they have dual interest rates, like 5.5% below 1 lac and 6% above 6% (in case of Kotak Bank) , which means that you will be getting 5.5% on the amount below 1 lac and only on the difference amount above 1 lac, you will get 6% interest . So if you have a balance of Rs 1,50,000 in your bank (lets say kotak bank) , you will get 5.5% on 1,00,000 and 6% on 50,000 .

You should be more interested in interest below 1 lac

If you see the average amount kept in saving bank account , it should not cross 1 lac for most of the people . While there are people who park their money in saving bank account for some time, but it does not happening with most people. So if some bank is giving higher interest for amounts above 1 lac, that’s a secondary benefit for you, not the basis of selection of bank. Because if you are anyways ready to keep a balance of more than 1 lac, why not just create a short term deposit online,which can be broken anyways or just activate your sweep in account option, so that an amount above a target amount automatically gets converted to FD and earn more money.

Do you now understand how interest on saving bank account is calculated? Will it help you manage your bank money in a better way?

Want FREE HELP in buying right health insurance policy for you ? Get Free Help Now


By Manish Chauhan on October 8, 2012 · Posted in Banking

Tags: ,

85 Comments | Post Comment

Yogesh Tiwari says:

I second Auto sweep option..that works like charm…I have account in Kotak. Instead of keeping 1lac and then get 6% on amount over and above it…I asked them for account with least balance requirement…Edge account, they say…It needs 10K monthly avg balance…

Once, you enable auto sweep, any amount above 20k, in multiples of 10k goes into short term (6months) FD and earns 8.25% (current rate).

Now, that’s better than anything else…Best part is, since 6 months TD is less than 181 days, it doesnt warrant TDS nor a penalty(1% normally) if it is broken before maturity time…

Lastly, I believe, this is best way to manage your contigency fund with highest possible liquidity and very decent return.

-Yogi

Posted on October 8th, 2012

Srinivas says:

Good article.

Here it is pertinent to note that in this year’s budget, it was indicated that SB interest till Rs 10,000 is tax free. By diligently managing the balance in SB account, this can be utilised in tax planning.

However, it is to be checked as to what will happen if auto sweep makes it an FD.

Posted on October 8th, 2012

Manish says:

Hi Manish,
I’ve notice that icici bank pays interest on saving banks afteer 6 months. In tht case does the liable to pay some penalty on delay of interst if RBI ants bank to pay after evry quarter.

Second thing yes bank 6-7% interest thing attracted me to open a yes bank account. but i need one clarification i read it that interst on saving bank amount till 1 lakh is 6% and above 1 lakh is 7% but yes bank representative said if u keep amount above 1 lakh in that case interest on entire amount will be 7%. is that ture or yes bank person lied to me.

Yogesh ur way of managing the contigency fund is good i will say . Will surly think about it…

Manish

Posted on October 8th, 2012

praveen says:

Thanks Manish for sharing the details. As always simple and enlightening :-)
I noticed that Citi bank credits the interest in every six months, which is Apr – sep for the current cycle.

I have question for Auto sweep, If it is enabled in-case of online transactions money will be reverse sweep to Saving account in SBI?

Posted on October 8th, 2012

Manish Chauhan says:

Its a general practice to give the interest in every 6 months . I am not very clear about the online transaction and the reverse sweep part ! , you might want to ask it on our forum – http://www.jagoinvestor.com/forum/

Posted on October 8th, 2012

Manish Chauhan says:

I dont think Yes Bank representative told right thing to you . If you go to YES bank website, I think it clearly mentions that only additional part gets 7% interest. Also RBI does not have any guidelines on the interest payment frequency .

Posted on October 8th, 2012

Manish Chauhan says:

Srinivas

With Sweep in , the FD will not be tax free ! .. Only the pure saving bank account interest will get tax benefit

Posted on October 8th, 2012

Manish Chauhan says:

Thats a great tip !

Posted on October 8th, 2012

vijay singhal says:

Useful Article..

Posted on October 8th, 2012

Vaibhav says:

Hi Praveen,
It works according to one time standing instructions. There is no change in transactions part or frontline operations for a user. It happens as simple as your saving a/c works under normal circumstanes.

Posted on October 8th, 2012

praveen says:

Thanks Vaibhav.
Are you saying that if there is no sufficient balance in the SB at the time of online transaction say bill payments, then it goes successful as if under normal circumstances ?

Posted on October 8th, 2012

Vaibhav says:

Pravin
If money in SB goes above threshold limit, it will be auto sweep to FD. Similarly if money in SB is suppose to go below threshold limit due to a transaction (ATM withdrawal/online transaction/bill pay/etc..), FD will reverse sweep automatically to SB.
In simple words, all the money in SB+Auto sweep a/c will be available all the time for withdrawal, as if it is in normal saving a/c. Only difference is you will get better interest.

Thanks
Vaibhav.

Posted on October 8th, 2012

Sundaram says:

Dear Manish,
I have checked with Yes Bank and they confirm that 7% will be paid NOT on the “additional” amount exceeding Rs. 1L but on the entire balance if the total amount exceeds Rs.1 Lakh.Also their site does not mention about only the “incremental” or “additional” amount above Rs. 1 Lakh earning 7%. Maybe the Yes Bank person was not lying….:)(as doubted by the other Manish)!Would appreciate your comments/observation.

Posted on October 8th, 2012

Vasanth says:

Thanks for the tip Yogi!!

I have a small query regarding auto sweep.

If i have multiple FD’s (after enabling auto sweep) and if i withdraw amount above my threshold limit which FD will break?? the recent one or the first one??

Regards,
Vasanth

Posted on October 9th, 2012

Manish Chauhan says:

If you go to their website http://www.yesbank.in/index.jsp?navigationUrl=%2FYES+Bank+Repository%2Fen%2FBranch+Banking%2FBranch+Banking+-+Personal%2FSavings+Account

Its written

“Earn a higher return of 7% p.a.* on your YES BANK Savings Account for balance more than Rs. 1 lakh & 6% p.a.* for balance up to Rs. 1 lakh”

I would like to trust what is written on website, rather than what is told by someone on phone :)

Manish

Posted on October 9th, 2012

Srinivas says:

I too thought that way.

In view of that, SB balance may be more logical(till interest doesnot cross 10,000 for the year) compared to FD’s or sweep accounts.

Individual’s SB interest(Rs 10000) along with Rs 1500 tax free interest on each dependent child’s SB account can be an option(though minor) for tax saving.

Posted on October 9th, 2012

Manish Chauhan says:

Yes . agree !

Posted on October 9th, 2012

varsha says:

very useful information!!

Posted on October 9th, 2012

Manish Chauhan says:

Thanks

Posted on October 9th, 2012

Yogesh Tiwari says:

Vasanth,

Good question!

Say, you have 3 FDs 60k, 20k, 40k in order of their creation date.

Order of breakage is…oldest and smallest to satisfy account threshold limit.

Incase you take out 10k,
20k FD ‘d be swept out.

Incase you take out 30k,
20k FD and 10k from 40k FD ‘d swept out.

I can confirm this becoz, that’s how it showed in my bank statement.

-Yogi

Posted on October 9th, 2012

vasudha says:

i think the most recent created fd breaks as they preserve the old fds to mature fully…his is how it works in my account in SBI

Posted on October 9th, 2012

Sundaram says:

Manish,I was referring to the same source-it does not mention for “incremental” or “additional” amount over Rs.1 Lakh- it merely mentions for balance more than Rs. 1 Lakh,7 % would be paid.Just to get more clarification,I referred IndusInd Bank site which clearly states that only incremental amount over Rs.1 Lakh would earn the higher interest rate of 6%. I guess the only litmus test would be to actually place over Rs.1 L in Yes Bank SB A/c and see the result :)

Posted on October 9th, 2012

sahil says:

Hello Manish,
The article seems to very informative,
My few queries got clarified with your calculation,
As what i see (I might be wrong) banks whose min bal is less gives less ROI but banks like Kotak which min bal is 10k can give ROI of 6%.
Banks like Union Banks min balance 1000 give 4%
Is it true?

Posted on October 9th, 2012

Manish Chauhan says:

I think there is no confusion , it says balance over 1 lacs :)

Posted on October 9th, 2012

praveen says:

Thanks Vaibhav for well clarification :-)

_________________________
I added cool smileys to this message…

Posted on October 9th, 2012

Sundaram says:

I guess it’s a matter of interpretation :)

Posted on October 9th, 2012

Sundaram says:

A matter of interpretation? :)

Posted on October 9th, 2012

VISHAL SHUKLA says:

thanks for such a nice info.. I want your expert opinion on “liquid fund”. Is this same formula used for liquid funds? as I think most of liquid fund gives returns around 9% PA. How they calculate intrest on this? If my question is out of track for this article then kindly give another article for comparison between liquid fund and saving bank account for ideal money.

Posted on October 9th, 2012

Vijay says:

Litmus Test Results :)
I do have Yes Bank Account and there was some periods in between when the balance was more than 1L. The 7% interest is applied on complete amount as per the quarterly interest provided.

Posted on October 9th, 2012

Sundaram says:

Thanks,Vijay.Q.E.D. :)

Posted on October 9th, 2012

Sundaram says:

Vijay,since you hold an SB A/c with Yes Bk,could you pls let me know the “daily maximum limit” for making online payments using Net-banking facility of Yes Bk.Is it “unlimited”(i.e. limited only by the extent of funds you have in the A/c) or is there any daily cap?(For instance,ICICI Bk has a daily limit of Rs.5 L). Thanks for your clarification.

Posted on October 9th, 2012

Sachin says:

Thanks Manish. Good info.

Posted on October 9th, 2012

Vijay says:

Great!! good posts and decent discussions. I want to contribute articles like this. Manish, let me know if you are accepting articles from outsiders.

Posted on October 10th, 2012

Ankur says:

So does it mean to park money in SB (with 6% interest) vs. in FD if you come in 30% bracket? As I think post tax returns would be better with 6% SB acc.

Posted on October 10th, 2012

Ram Mohan says:

nice article as usual

Posted on October 10th, 2012

Vijay1 says:

This is another Vijay here. I too crunched my account. After seeing this discussion thread, I too checked my account. Its 7% right from 1st rupee if the balance is above 1 lakh. I was also under impression that 7% is calculated on the balance only above Rs.1 lakh. Either its software glitch in interest calculation or the wordings in website is giving out a wrong message.

Posted on October 10th, 2012

Sridhar says:

Wonderful article!. This clearly shows how banks have been using people’s funds and paying paltry interest amount. This enabled them to make huge profits while customers got interest worth peanuts.
Its a real shock to also know that the differential interest is only for the amount above the cut off (Rs.1 lakh). I was under the impression that the whole amount (if above Rs.1 lakh) is eligible for the higher interest. In any case I’m not worried because I havent opened any account at these banks (with special offer).
However this is truly an Eye Opener for people who want to shift their bank account. Its safer and smarter to be with larger banks who have sufficient points of service (branches, ATMs, etc).

Posted on October 10th, 2012

Manish Chauhan says:

Definately .. if you can write something which is useful knowledge for all , not for self promotion and some thing different from what is already written in this blog, then we accept it

Posted on October 10th, 2012

Elbis says:

Very informative article!!

I’ve a question: at what time is the closing day balance calculated? Evening/12am??

Posted on October 10th, 2012

Vasanth says:

Term deposits are useful only if you have the cash deposited in ter deposit for min number of days for which the rate of int is 6%. in case of kotak , if you plan to withdraw money anytime before 45 days , its a loss. In SB account , you would have earned 6%, but by term deposit you will earn 5%.

Hence, autosweep is a loss if we plan to withdraw money before 46 days.

Posted on October 10th, 2012

Raj says:

Hi Vasanth,

I have edge SB A/C with Kotak and they provided the auto swept facility .and i asked same query to the kotak executive and they confirmed if we withdraw the money before 46 days from auto sweep, for those days interest will be provided according to savings bank interest rate.

Thanks
Raj

Posted on October 11th, 2012

Avni Khanna says:

Hi Manish,
I require an advice. I am the only earning member of my family. I am living with my old parents. I have set aside a amount of 1.5 lakhs as emergency medical funds in a saving bank account in HDFC bank. I get about 4% interest for that. Should I opt fro YES Bank Saving account which gives me 7% interest. Or Is there any other financial instrument which will provide me same interest rate and keep my funds in liquid state.

Thanks,
Avni

Posted on October 11th, 2012

Vasanth says:

Raj,
I have double checked with Kotak. They provided me the same information. This is the same case with CITI bank too.

Posted on October 12th, 2012

Manish Chauhan says:

Yes you can do that, but I would suggest why not create a online fixed deposit for 1.2 lacs , that way you can get 7-8% interest and it will be breakable in few hours itself !

Posted on October 12th, 2012

Manish Chauhan says:

It should be end of the day – 12 am night

Posted on October 12th, 2012

Manish Chauhan says:

Sridhar

Also note that the above 1 lac rules is still debatable as some people on this blog are claiming that they get it for full amount and some say they get it for full amount .

Posted on October 12th, 2012

Manish Chauhan says:

Hmm.. its gettting confusing now . the website of banks mention that it will be over and above the 1 lac :)

Posted on October 12th, 2012

Manish Chauhan says:

with FD the return would be better i guess , if its 10% return , then net return is 7%

Posted on October 12th, 2012

Sridhar says:

Thanks Manish for clarifying. Looks like the additional interest calculation differs from bank to bank.
I personally feel its not a wise idea to shift the bank account just for the sake of interest. Probably you will gain a few hundred rupees but what about services, ATMs, branches, access to facilities, etc. If these are not easily accessible the time, effort and costs will add up and negate gains. This is one point people have to consider….just a personal opinion I wanted to share….in some cases benefits could be more.

Posted on October 12th, 2012

Manish Chauhan says:

Yes , I agree with you on that

Posted on October 12th, 2012

Manish Chauhan says:

Its not the interest which is paid , they invest in other instruments which offer coupon rates , you should not expect more than 7% on them .

Posted on October 12th, 2012

Venki says:

I appreciate you, Manish, good article. Its been three months waiting for the same article. I have the following points to note, may be helpful to readers

1. You have suggested sweep-in AC, isn’t an FD which entitles tax? For those in 30% bracket effective interest rate comes around 5.6%. That is why few banks are smart here, it doesn’t matter whether FD or keeping liquid cash in SB, both yield same interest. In the current fiscal, we can get tax exemption max of Rs.10000/- on SB interest (there is no such facility on FD). Perhaps the SB is more comfortable and effective (10 K benefit).

2. Liquid/Debt/FMP funds and SB are advisable for contingency fund (distribute across all). We will get the benefit of indexation. For those trading or short term investment in equities, SB will be good option to park their money.

3. For all MF SIPs, monthly bills, Home loan EMI, etc. I am using Yes bank. I will credit required balance for three months, and I won’t touch that amount. It is quite useful, and getting comparatively better interest on the balance. Monthly avg balance required is 10 K, so, if I keep 1 lac for 9 days, no need to worry about min balance for three months. They don’t have any charges on SIP, ECS, etc…, so far.

4. Kotak credits SB interest once in 3 months. SBI, HDFC are paying twice an year.

Posted on October 12th, 2012

Rupanjali says:

Thanks Manish…. This has always been a confusion for many… the Old method was known… but hardly anyone, including me, didn’t know the change in calculation as per the RBI guideline… great Job…

Now, I know.. any basic financial question… answer would surely be on ur site!! keep up the gr8 work!!

Posted on October 16th, 2012

Manish Chauhan says:

Thanks Rupanjali

Posted on October 16th, 2012

Manish Chauhan says:

venki

1. Yes ,at the end you have to look at the final yield and decide if it makes sense of not

2. Yes

3. Thats a great idea actually .

4. Thanks for that info . I thought all banks are doing it twice a year !

Posted on October 16th, 2012

shobha says:

Hi,

In HDFC Bank, the FD can be broken and money is credited immediatly. Also there is no Penalty on early breakage unlike Axis/ICICI etc. Bank. (I hold an HDFC Ac and have been regularly doing short term FD for my Emergency Fund)

Regards
Shobha

Posted on October 17th, 2012

Mahesh Deshmukh says:

Hi Manish,

you are doing a very nice job. Really great article.
I have read out your all articles and those are really great.
Wish you all the best.

Posted on October 18th, 2012

Manish Chauhan says:

Thanks Mahesh

Posted on October 19th, 2012

Manish Chauhan says:

Thansk for sharing that Shobha !

Posted on October 19th, 2012

S Rangan says:

>> 4. Kotak credits SB interest once in 3 months. SBI, HDFC are paying twice an year.

Which means, your money compounds twice as fast with Kotak and at the end of the year, one can expect more in the Kotak savings account compared to another bank that offers the same interest rate but deposits the interest only twice a year. Yippee!

Posted on October 26th, 2012

Manish Chauhan says:

Yea , that point makes sense !

Posted on October 27th, 2012

Anisley says:

Thanks for such a wonderful information I am looking forward to read your informative post.

Posted on October 27th, 2012

Manish Chauhan says:

Welcome !

Posted on October 30th, 2012

viral says:

since last year liquid funds have generated returns of more than 8% and Relaince Mutual fund is offering option to have debit card also to withdraw fund from any ATM though fund from Reliance is not top performing but still it is better than savings bank account at the same time no compromises at liquidity front too.
when interest rate starts coming down liquid funds also give less return but than all other banks are also supposed to lower their savings bank account’s interest rate too.
mutual fund AMCs are planning to adopt initiative like reliance. So hope for good change

Posted on November 13th, 2012

Manish Chauhan says:

Thanks for that comment

Posted on November 15th, 2012

Harish says:

I may be asking a very basic question but I am sure many of us are aware –
when we say that bank pays Interest of the closing day balance or End of day account balance ..what does the cut off timing for calcutaing the closing day balance or End of day account balance (EOD/AB). I checked by calling customer care of few banks and surprisingly each has a different answer – which I think should not be the case –
Bank 1 – Cut off timing is 8 p.m .After that any debit or credit transcation will not be considered for calulating the EOD/AB.
Bank 2 – Cut off timing is 12 midnight.
Bank 3 – Cut off timing doesnot matter . The lowest balance after all transcations in the day will be considered for calculating the daily interest ..i.e independent of the EOD balance. E.g Day’s opening balance 20000 INR, then a debit of Rs 50000,and then a credit of Rs 10000 ..so in a normal calcualtion EOD AB is 25 K (20-5+10) but they will take EOD AB as 15 K as that is the lowest balance the account has hit during the day when 5K was debited.
Now I want to Understand what is the realty ?????? How actually EOD AB decided ? What is the cut off timing , if any ?

Posted on December 27th, 2012

Manish Chauhan says:

Not sure on this , I asked it on forum, lets see what others have to say about it http://www.jagoinvestor.com/forum/what-is-cut-off-time-in-bank-to-calculate-eod-balance/5963/

Posted on December 29th, 2012

Shilpi Nigam says:

Hi Manish,
I just discovered your blog yesterday and I stayed up late in night just reading all the articles you have put up. I used to feel very helpless when it came to queries about financial matters and hence was always apprehensive of taking any steps towards building my wealth or taking up a loan. There are so many catches in each scheme or area one wants to invest in and one is always in for surprises, mostly unpleasant ones.
It is very liberating to have discovered your amazingly informative website. It has become my favourite website over last 2 days and I already feel more confident about things now.

Knowledge is power and thanks a lot for saring your knowledge with us :)

Posted on January 25th, 2013

Manish Chauhan says:

Thanks for sharing that Shilpi

I am glad you are liked the blog and found it . Spend more time on this website and you will see there is so much to learn especially from other people comments in comments section . Dont forget to check our forum http://www.jagoinvestor.com/forum/

Posted on January 25th, 2013

arun kumar says:

Sir,
Is the exemption limit for tax on interest upto Rs. 10,000/- applicable for savings bank account or for fixed deposits or recurring deposits also? I come under the purview of 20% slab. My interest from fixed deposits is more than Rs. 10,000/-. I prefer to pay tax on interest through govt.Challan. In this context, I submit form 15G to the bank. Is it appropriate? I have to calculate tax on interest @ 20% only or plus educational cess whatever? My annual interest from bank deposits is Rs. 20,000/-.For how much amount I have to pay the tax. You are requested to kindly guide me.
With regards
arun kumar

Posted on June 21st, 2013

Manish Chauhan says:

the exemption is only on saving bank interest, if your interest from saving bank is less than 10k , just ignore that part then

However for bank deposits and recurring deposits ,you need to pay the tax as per your slab rate . Note that form 15G has to be submitted in the start of the year, not now !

Posted on June 21st, 2013

arun kumar says:

Thanks!

Posted on June 21st, 2013

harpreet says:

i have leased my premises to bank for 20000/- p.m after 3 years the rent was to be increased 10% . but bank continued to pay me same 20000/-p.m instead of 22000/- now 36 months have passed what amount should i claim from the bank as per rbi guidlines

Posted on September 10th, 2013

Manish Chauhan says:

There is nothing like regulations here . You have to move as per your agreement . If its mentioned in agreement that 10% increase should be there, then bank has to pay increased rent to you. File a case on them !

Posted on September 18th, 2013

Tariq Anwar says:

Very informative article. Thanks http://www.jagoinvestor.com

Posted on January 15th, 2014

MANU says:

sir i want to know about intrest to my money …in my account having 500000@4%.how much intrest are getting monthly please caluculate and send me sir its very important

Posted on April 20th, 2014

Manish Chauhan says:

It will be close to 1666

Posted on April 21st, 2014

Sachin says:

could anybody share per day interest rate calculator which is used for calculating interests in Indian bank accounts?

Posted on April 30th, 2014

Manish Chauhan says:

Sachin

I dont think there is any ready made calculator like that, but you can create it in excel easily !

Posted on April 30th, 2014

Mahesh says:

Hi,

Just need to ask you one question that if balance in saving account changes persistently then how they calculate interest rate . Could you please explain ?

Thanks,

Posted on August 16th, 2014

Manish Chauhan says:

It is calculated on daily basis. Seems like you did not read the article itself .

Posted on September 20th, 2014

Mahesh says:

Hi Manish,

Thanks, Now i am clarified , Actually this time I read it more carefully

Apologies, for wasting your time…

Posted on September 20th, 2014

Manish Chauhan says:

Welcome !

Posted on September 21st, 2014

Gobinda Das says:

I couldn’t understand the method of calculating the interests of savings bank accounts. You are telling that the rate of interest is 4%. Then how the interest of Rs. 5,00,000/- becomes Rs. 1,369/- although in daily basis?

Posted on October 28th, 2014

Anand says:

This is only for 25 days.
I=PNR/100 where P=500000;N=25/365;R=4

Is it clear now?

Posted on October 29th, 2014