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?

90 CommentsAdd Comment

  1. Yogesh Tiwari

    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

    • Vasanth

      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

      • Yogesh Tiwari

        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

        • vasudha

          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

          • Vasanth

            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.

            • Raj

              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

              • Vasanth

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

  2. Srinivas

    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.

  3. 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

    • 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 .

      • Sundaram

        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.

          • Sundaram

            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 :)

                • Vijay

                  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.

                    • Sundaram

                      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.

                  • Vijay1

                    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.

  4. praveen

    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?

    • Vaibhav

      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.

      • praveen

        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 ?

        • Vaibhav

          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.

  5. 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?

  6. VISHAL SHUKLA

    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.

      • viral

        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

  7. Vijay

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

    • 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

  8. 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).

      • 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.

  9. Avni Khanna

    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

  10. Venki

    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.

    • 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 !

      • S Rangan

        >> 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!

  11. Rupanjali

    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!!

  12. Mahesh Deshmukh

    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.

  13. Harish

    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 ?

  14. Shilpi Nigam

    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 :)

  15. arun kumar

    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

    • 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 !

  16. harpreet

    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

    • 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 !

  17. MANU

    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

  18. Sachin

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

  19. Mahesh

    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,

  20. Gobinda Das

    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?

  21. harkesh kumar

    hi, I am harkesh kumar and my A/c in yes bank, I want to know that which month that yes bank provide us interest in a one year. (please discribe the month in year.)

  22. deepak

    7% interest is gr8 if u r a daily share trader…………

    i mean earn 7 % from bank + earn profits from daily trading.
    if u manage a nominal profit % of arnd 7 % through stock trading den total interest earned will b 15-25 %……….

    now 15 % is a hell lot of interest ………..if u invest 5000 a month and earn 15 % compounded interest u can make arnd 80 lacs to 1.2 crore in 20 years. how about that

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