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Best Savings Accounts in South Korea

Best Savings Accounts in South Korea – that will be the topic of today’s article.

If you are looking to invest as an expat or high-net-worth individual, which is what I specialize in, you can email me (advice@adamfayed.com) or use WhatsApp (+44-7393-450-837).


Let us start by discussing the information about the banking scene in South Korea. This is to help you get a better understanding of how banks operate.

In South Korea, there are three types of bank accounts. These are available for the residents and non-residents of South Korea. They are as follows:

1. Savings Account

The savings accounts in South Korea work in the same way as the savings accounts in any other country. When the client deposits money, the bank offers interest in return.

You can get higher rates depending on certain factors such as the term of the deposit.

People who deposit for longer terms get access to higher rates.

2. Time Deposit Account

A time deposit account works in a similar way as a current account. Some banks even offer interest on the money deposited in time deposit accounts.

Yet, the interest earned from these might not be as high as that earned from savings accounts.

The process is like certificates of deposit. The difference is the need for paying money upfront in monthly deposits.

3. Instalment Account

As the name itself suggests, an instalment account is all about instalments. These require a customer to make regular monthly payments for getting interest.

Not to confuse with the traditional installment accounts in other countries. These refer to the credit taken on your behalf and repayment gets done in installments.

Other important banking details

After completing the sign-up process, you receive a bank passbook and a card.

Unlike most other countries, the card serves for withdrawals from an ATM. You cannot use it for charging purchases to the bank account.

There are certain major beneficial aspects of banking with Korean banks. One of them is that individuals are not charged with any sort of fees for the services they get.

People who want to get interest can opt for savings accounts or instalment accounts. The interest earned on such accounts can usually vary between 2% to 4%.

The interest on these bank accounts gets paid yearly, half-yearly, quarterly, or monthly.

Some banks even offer tax benefits to their customers. In most circumstances, such tax benefits are only offered to the residents of South Korea.

In general, South Korean banks charge 10.5% on time deposit accounts (for tax purposes).

Besides cash cards which are for withdrawals, there are also credit cards and debit cards.

Some mainstream credit cards are valid at malls, restaurants, consumer stores, and businesses. These include credit cards offered from banks like American Express, Visa, MasterCard, etc.,

People are also able to withdraw money at certain ATM machines with the help of these credit cards.

There is no personalization for bank cheques and you can use them in the same way as cash.

Most businesses and banks accept bank cheques. They are also an alternative to cash when deposited at an ATM.

In ATMs, bank cheques are available in the denominations of KRW 100,000. Whereas in banks, they are available from KRW 100,000 to KRW 10 million.

While opening an account, you can apply for the online banking feature.

If using online banking for the first time, you get a certificate limiting access. This certificate depicts that the access limits you to an individual computer.

Customers are able to get past the limited access with the help of a USB drive. This has to be while installing the certificate.

This USB drive assists customers to access their accounts from any computer.

Banks in South Korea are usually operational between 9 AM to 4 PM from Monday to Friday.

As for expats or foreigners, the most common reasons for opening a bank account are as follows:
Living in South Korea
Going to live in South Korea in the future
Thinking about pursuing education in a South Korean school on a temporary basis.
Planning on getting payments from an employer abroad while living in South Korea.
Getting a salary while living in South Korea and employment overseas.
Planning on acquiring a credit card in South Korea.
Thinking about living in South Korea for a few months.

South Korean banks and other financial institutions have at least one English-speaking person. The chances are higher when banking with some major banks located in the main cities such as Seoul or Busan.

English-speaking staff can assist you in knowing more about the banking services.

You should notice that the English staff may only be available on certain days of the week. when you are residing in areas that do not have access to major banks.

The following documents are generally needed while applying for a bank account.
Certificate of Employment
Alien Registration Card
Korean Phone Number

Depending on the bank applying for, you might need other documentation as well.

Best Savings Accounts in South Korea (Korean Banks):

There is no specific data related to the best savings rates available in South Korea on the internet. Don’t worry! To relieve you of this trouble, we created this list.

This list is going to help you in knowing the savings rates of top banks in South Korea. Based on that, you can decide on the savings account that is in your favor.

The banks that we are going to discuss over here are as follows:
— KB Kookmin Bank
— Hana Bank
— Woori Bank
— Industrial Bank of Korea (IBK)

Let us get to the details of each of these banks and savings rates. And in that way, you can choose the one that suits your needs.

KB Kookmin Bank

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The Savings products offered by KB Kookmin Bank are Installment Savings Deposits. They are:
• KB Welcome Plus Installment Savings Account
• Salaryman Preferential Installment Savings Deposit
• KB Kookmin First Investments Installments Deposits
• KB Smart Phone Installments Deposits
• KB Mutual Installment Savings Deposit

All these savings products get protected by Korea Deposit Insurance Corporation.

According to this, each person gets protected for an amount of up to KRW 50 million. This applies to the principal as well as the interest of the selected savings product.

Let us have a brief insight into each of these savings products.

1. KB Welcome Plus Installment Savings Account

The customers must are to be from outside of Korea. Only one account per customer. The customer can either be a business owner or an organization.

The tenure for this account is at least six months. This doesn’t exceed twelve months. You can make deposits on a daily or monthly basis.

The deposit amount should not exceed KRW 3 million per month. The deposit amount must be at least KRW 100,000 when opening an account.

The basic interest rate is 1% for 6 – 12 months and 1.2% for 12 months. The preferential interest rate is 0.3%, whereas it is 0.1% – 0.2% for outward overseas remittance.

Altogether, customers get an interest of 1% to 1.5% for 6 to 12 months. Whilst, the interest rate for twelve months is 1.2% – 1.7%.

Other benefits include “Overseas Remittance Service” and “Death and Disability Insurance Service”.

To get detailed information about KB Welcome Plus Installment Savings Account, click here.

2. Salaryman Preferential Installment Savings Deposit

There is no specific necessity for eligibility, and the tenures are 1,2, and 3 years. The deposit amount should be KRW 10,000 to KRW 3 million per month.

There is a preferential rate for the 3rd month’s salary. This includes accounts with salary transfers and those more than KRW 300,000 usage on the KB card.

You can make a bonus deposit once every quarter apart from the monthly deposit.

A 0.2% preferential rate applies to this deposit. The bonus deposit should exceed the monthly deposit amount but it must be under KRW 5 million.

The accounts that reach half of the maturity period can be terminated with the base rate. Only under special circumstances.

To get detailed information about Salaryman Preferential Installment Savings Deposit, click here.

3. KB Kookmin First Investments Installments Deposits

This account is not for non-residents and applicants must be between 18 to 38 years. The tenure is 3 years.

The monthly deposit amount must not exceed KRW 300,000. You cannot make extra deposits from 1 month before maturity.

The initial deposit amount should be at least KRW 10,000.

Preferential rates get offered for some specific conditions, which are 0.10% and 0.20%.

Preferential rates of 0.10% – 0.20% are also offered for holding a particular amount or by the time of maturity.

To get detailed information about KB Kookmin First Investments Installments Deposits, click here.

4. KB Smart Phone Installments Deposits

Normal individuals and self-employed individuals are eligible. This account isn’t for non-residents.

You can open an account only through KB Star banking, which is a smartphone banking service.

The tenure is 12 months. The min. initial deposit amount is KRW 10,000.

The min. monthly deposit is KRW 1,000 and you can make it until one month before maturity.

Preferential rates of 0.2% and 0.3% get offered upon meeting certain conditions. You can get more details about KB Smart Phone Installments Deposits by clicking here.

5. KB Mutual Installment Savings Deposit

This account isn’t for non-residents. The tenure for a Fixed monthly installment is 6 – 60 months (monthly). For the Free installment, it is 12 – 60 months (monthly).

The deposit amount of the fixed monthly installment should exceed KRW 10,000. The deposit amount for Free Installment should be KRW 10,000 – KRW 5 million.

You can get a preferential rate of 0.3%. Only, if a Salaryman Preferential Account holder opens this account through the internet.

To get more details on KB Mutual Installment Savings Deposit, click here.

Other interest-bearing accounts

Kookmin Bank has two Time deposit accounts and three Demand deposit accounts. They are as follows:

Kookmin Super Time Deposits

e-Power Time Deposits

Salaryman Preferential Account

KB Star*t Savings Account

KB Welcome Account

Customer support

The customer support phone numbers of KB Kookmin Bank are as follows:

1599-4477 (For domestic calls)

82-2-6300-9999 (For foreign calls)

Hana Bank

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There are two types of savings products offered by Hana bank. They are:
• Easy-One Pack Savings Account
• The Wide Foreign Currency Savings Account

Now, we will have an in-depth analysis of these savings products. Following that, we will also take a look at some other accounts offering interest rates.

1. Easy-One Pack Savings Account

This is a specialized account dedicated to foreign customers. The enrolment period is 1 year.

The min. amount for deposits is KRW 10,000. The max. amount for deposits is KRW 10 million per month.

Hana bank offers an interest rate of 2.9% per annum with this savings product.

A preferential rate of 0.3% is available for the individual’s interest rate. For this, the account holder must meet certain criteria set forth by Hana bank.

To qualify for preferential rates, there are many options available with this account.

For each option you qualify for, you get an additional preferential rate of 0.1%.

You can qualify for three options among any of these and get the 0.3% preferential rate. Given below are the options for getting a preferential rate.
— Sign up for Easy-One Foreign Currency Remittance service.
— Have an Easy-One Pack account or NN account.
— Transfer salary at least one month before maturity.
— Using the Hana bank account for making payments to the following:
a. Global check card
b. Rainbow check card
c. KRB Hana credit card
— Make an acquaintance enroll for an Easy-One savings account. This should be at least one month before the maturity period. With this option, both the acquaintance as well as the customer get the preferential rate of 0.1%.
— Have a China Eastern Airlines ticket under your name while enrolling for the account.

There are 6 options given above, which provide a preferential rate of 0.1% each. Nonetheless, you can only get a max. of 0.3% on the additional preferential rate.

The bank has early interest rates depending on the deposit period and elapsed period.

To get more details on Easy-One Pack Savings Account, click here.

2. The Wide Foreign Currency Savings Account

This is a free-installment foreign currency deposit account offered by Hana bank. You get access to unlimited deposits and split withdrawals.

Additionally, you get preferential interest rates, exchange rates, and foreign exchange fees.

The enrolment period for this account is more than 6 months, yet less than 24 months. Earnings get offered in the form of free installments.

The available currencies for this account are USD, EUR, JPY, GBP, CHF, CAD, AUD, and NZD.

The interest rate is not provided on Hana bank’s website. Anyhow, you can get access to that information by contacting the bank. You can contact them at 1599-6111 (from Korea) 82-42-520-2500 (from overseas).

The max. additional interest rate benefits cannot exceed 0.30%. You can get more details on the Wide Foreign Currency Savings Account by clicking here.

Other interest-bearing accounts

Easy-One Pack Account

Easy-One Pack Time Deposit Account

N°N (Number N) Account

YES Keungippeum Deposit Account

Foreign Currency Deposit Account

Foreign Currency Time Deposit Account

Customer support

The customer support phone numbers of Hana bank are as follows:

1599-6111 (For domestic calls)

82-42-520-2500 (For foreign calls)

Woori Bank

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Woori bank offers three different types of savings products. They are:
• Housing Subscription Total Saving Deposit
• Global CNY (Chinese Yuan Renminbi) Discretionary Savings Deposit
• Woori We’ll Rich 100 Savings

Now, we will have an in-depth analysis of these savings products. Following that, we will also take a look at some other accounts offering interest rates.

1. Housing Subscription Total Saving Deposit

This savings product of Woori bank is a housing subscription deposit account.

To qualify, applicants must get a subscription for an apartment. To do so, you must have an account with only one financial institution.

There is a time limit until you get selected as a tenant. You can become a tenant of either a national apartment or a private apartment.

Individuals can deposit anywhere between KRW 20,000 to KRW 500,000.

The interest rates vary depending on the deposit period, and it gets paid on maturity. For instance, you can get an interest rate of 1% per annum for 1 month to 1 year.

You can get 1.5% per annum for 1 year to 2 years and 1.8% for more than 2 years. You can use this account as a tax-free composite savings account.

To get more details on Housing Subscription Total Saving Deposit, click here.

2. Global CNY Discretionary Savings Deposit

This savings product is a foreign currency deposit account accepting CNY deposits.

Customers can make unlimited deposits with this account. Yet, you must be attentive to withdrawals with this account.

You should know that the withdrawals may result in a loss of capital. This is because of currency rate fluctuations. Check rates before making withdrawals.

The basic interest rate is the same as the CNY foreign currency regular deposit rate.

An additional preferential interest rate of 0.2% is applicable for qualifying candidates.

Post Maturity and Early Termination rates apply. A good benefit offered with this account is that the foreign currency cash fees get waived off.

The foreign currency cash fee gets waived for deposits up to USD 2,000 per year.

The fees for outward remittance are also excluded. Anyhow, this happens when the deposit gets done in the name of the depositor.

To get more details on Global Savings Discretionary Savings Deposit, click here.

3. Woori We’ll Rich 100 Savings

You can consider this account to be a retirement savings option. This concentrates on a sizeable sum of money accumulation.

You can make non-compulsory deposits up to a limit of KRW 3 million into this account. This savings product doesn’t have any term restrictions.

You can deposit savings for 1-year, 2-year and 3-year terms. The deposits can be redeposited for the 3-year terms up to a max of 9 years (2 times).

The base interest rate varies around 1.95%, 2.05% and 2.15% for 1-year, 2-year and 3-year terms respectively.

The customers get a preferential rate of 0.2% when they qualify for certain conditions. The conditions are:
— Make a pension deposit and get a 0.1% additional preferential rate.
— Opt for automatic transfers and get a 0.1% additional preferential rate.
— Own a Woori Credit Card or Woori Debit Card and get a 0.1% additional preferential rate.
— Subscribe to internet banking or smart banking and get a 0.1% additional preferential rate.

Even if you get qualified for all these options, the max additional preferential rate you can get is 0.2%.

The prematurity withdrawal rate is the same as that of a regular deposit account. The scenario is the same for post-maturity rates as well.

To get more details on Woori We’ll Rich 100 Savings account, click here.

Other interest-bearing accounts

Woori Fortune Salary Account

Woori Fortune Fixed Deposit

Woori We’ll Rich Joogerae Account

Woori ONE Interest Compounded Turn Over Deposit

Woori We’ll Rich Joogerae Fixed Deposit

Customer support

The customer support phone numbers of Woori bank are as follows:

1599-2288 (For dedicated foreign calls)

1588-5000 and 1599-5000 (For domestic calls)

82-2-2006-5000 (For international calls)

Industrial Bank of Korea (IBK)

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The interest-bearing account of IBK is the IBK W Account. This is a savings specialized account for customers earning wages.

Except for self-employed individuals and private business owners, anyone can open this account. This is an SME financial bond type of account.

The base interest rate usually depends on the market interest rate. To know the exact rates, you can contact the bank inquiring about the details.

Individuals get a preferential rate of 0.2%. This is when depositing their wages into IBK bank accounts.

The interest amount gets paid upon the completion of the maturity period.

The interest payments can get declined if:
— the account gets seized
— the account gets provisionally seized
— if an establishment of a pledge right takes place.

The maturity period for IBK W Account is 1 year. The min. deposit amount is KRW 1 million while the max. limit is KRW 30 million.

You should note that the IBK W Account does not offer depositor protection. This is due to the lack of depositor protection for SME financial bonds in Korea.

Other interest-bearing accounts

Not disclosed or None

Customer support

You can call the customer support of the Industrial Bank of Korea at 1588-2566.


Finding a savings account offering good interest rates can be a very hard task. Hence, this list.

Most of the banks in this list offer their savings products to non-resident customers as well.

Almost all the financial institutions in South Korea offer deposit insurance protection. You can check the status of deposit protection by checking with the support team.

So, if you are an expat, you can visit the website and check for this information. otherwise, you can call their customer support teams.

Not only that, but you can also find other information through the support team or websites.

We provided relevant links to the websites and their customer support contact numbers. This is to relieve you of the trouble of searching for the sites or phone numbers,

Getting the right type of savings account isn’t enough. Because you must also consider the taxes imposed on the interest income.

Try choosing a savings product that offers tax benefits. In this way, you can have extra advantages compared to products not having tax benefits.

These are the available savings products offered by the top banks in South Korea. All the information is up-to-date by the time of writing this article.

Note: This is the first part of the two articles listing the best savings accounts in South Korea. To find more options, you can check out the second part of this article.

Disclaimer: This is a review article for educational purposes. We are not affiliated with any of these banks or their financial products. We do not endorse, recommend, or suggest any of our readers go ahead with these options. It is a guide with a list of suitable options from where you can search and find the apt option. It is still possible for you to find another option that is suitable for your needs.

We keep updating the data on a regular basis for providing accurate details to our readers.

Considering all the info, we hope that you can be successful in finding the best savings account.

Savings accounts won’t be an effective way of investing money. Unless you are from a country offering way too much interest rates on deposits.

Yes, some savings accounts offer interest rates of up to 3% or higher in South Korea. Even though, it may not be enough for reaching your goals or beating inflation.

Thus, it is wise to have a diversified portfolio rather than opting for a single investment. Especially a conservative type of investment portfolio.

Not everyone can be successful in creating/managing a portfolio suiting financial goals.

So, you might need the services of a financial professional to take care of those things for you.

If you are looking for a financial expert to handle your necessities, then you have come to the right place.

We offer top-notch investment services and financial planning services to our clients.

We were able to help many clients over the past few years to achieve their financial objectives. And, you could be the next one!!! To access the best-in-class services offered by us, you can click here.

Pained by financial indecision? Want to invest with Adam?

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Best Savings Accounts in South Korea 10

Adam is an internationally recognised author on financial matters, with over 760.2 million answer views on Quora.com, a widely sold book on Amazon, and a contributor on Forbes.

This website is not designed for American resident readers, or for people from any country where buying investments or distributing such information is illegal. This website is not a solicitation to invest, nor tax, legal, financial or investment advice. We only deal with investors who are expats or high-net-worth/self-certified  individuals, on a non-solicitation basis. Not for the retail market.



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