FAB’s iSave Electronic Account Review 2021

FAB’s iSave Electronic Account Review 2021 – that will be the topic of today’s article.

It continues our reviews of savings accounts after I looked at options in numerous countries.

This has included Marcus by Goldman Sachs , Emirates NBDHSBC Term Deposit, Bank of China Smart SaverCitibank’s Time Deposit Account and an expat-specific solution.

The article will look at the positives and negatives of the accounts, although it remains our position to in an era of 0% interest rates, saving money in the bank doesn’t make sense.

For any questions, or if you are looking to invest, you can contact me using  this form.

Introduction

It is very disturbing to see that a significant number of people today are living beyond their means. This is made possible mainly by the easy access to credit, which has led to people gradually becoming reckless when it comes to financial discipline.

Take the UAE as an example, where it is often joked that it is easy to get the luxury car of your dreams (due to easy access to car loans), but rather difficult to get a driver’s license (due to increasingly stringent standards in an attempt to improve road safety).

In this respect, the importance of savings cannot be overstated, especially in today’s world. Where possible, this will be a significant step towards financial discipline for chronic wasteful, on the other hand, it will allow more financially savvy people to create an emergency fund.

Your savings will first create a safety net that will enable you to cope with emergencies or unforeseen cash needs. In addition, you can receive income from your emergency fund if you leave this money in a carefully reviewed savings account.

There are a number of different savings accounts with different characteristics. It is important to choose the one that has the best interest rate and availability, but today we will focus on one of the popular bank’s savings account and its features. FAB’s iSave Electronic Account, here what it is called the item we will study in this article.

  1. FAB’s iSave Electronic Account Overview

FAB, the largest bank in the UAE and one of the largest and most trusted institutions in the world, offers a wide range of tailor-made solutions, products and services to provide a personal touch.

Through its strategic offerings, it seeks to meet the banking needs of worldwide customers through its market-leading corporate and investment banking and personal banking franchises.

FAB is a really popular bank in UAE which offers really competitive services, but today we will have an in-depth talk about FAB’s savings account called iSave Electronic Account. This account requires a minimum balance of AED 0 and is an additional account for a checking or savings account. The offered interest rate on this account varies based on the average account balance and ranges from 0.50% to 3.00%. A good news about fees, there are no monthly fees, or minimum balance to keep active your account.

Also you get the convenience of online banking with no withdrawal restrictions. The FAB mobile banking apps are really very easy to navigate, have a simple interface and are understandable from the first use. These applications are available for iOS and Android gadgets. 

Moreover, FAB usually organizes prizes, and entitles you to participate in the draw and have a chance to win prizes under the First Savings Certificates program. Every 10 AED on your account balance gives you one chance in the daily, monthly and quarterly draws.

The bank offers an instant account opening via FAB Internet Banking and Mobile Banking app, the account is only available in AED and also there are no limits on the number of withdrawals.  As already mentioned the interest rate is flapping between 0.50% and 3% and is calculated on the average monthly balance and based on the “range” in which your account balance is located. This is called the “cumulative range method,” which applies rates according to different ranges. Interest is calculated on the last day of the calendar month.

The applicable interest rates are at the discretion of the Bank and are subject to change without prior notice. Interest is paid monthly based on the average monthly balance (calendar month). The Bank reserves the right at any time and at its discretion to change the basis for calculating interest. If the account is closed, interest will be paid in proportion to the average monthly balance. 

*More about the prices

There is no minimum investment requirement, but according to a file that you can find on the official website, you will have some really effective revenues if you save up to AED 50,000. The interest rate for this amount will be 0.25%. You might think what file I was talking about. When you enter the site and search for the iSave Account, you can see a small template where there are amounts and accordingly their interest rates. But in case you want to learn more about interest rates, under the template you can find an iSave calculator. This is an Excel file, which you have to download to see what the rate is for different amounts starting from AED 50000 till AED 200,000,000. 

If your funds are from AED 50,000 to AED 100,000, the interest rate will be 0.75%. For an amount AED 100,000 – AED 500,000, the investment rate is 1.50% and for an amount AED 50,0000 – AED 1,000,000, the interest rate will be again 1.50%. 

This list is very big, another thing that is very important is that in FAB (First Abu Dhabi Bank), the average account balance is AED 5,000,000, which according effective interest rate is 1.68%. And this was an amount which was mentioned in the website’s template. Now let’s conclude, for an amount of AED 500,000 the interest rate will be 1.30%, if you save AED 500,000 – AED 5,000,000 you interest rate will be 1.30%-1.68%.

Pros:

  • Low minimum balance requirement and no monthly fees.
  • You can enter a draw to win daily prizes.
  • The interest rate is enough competitive, it varies from 0.50% to 3%.
  • A very convenient mobile banking, available for iOS and Android.
  • You can apply online, and get a reply during 24 hours.
  • iSave calculator available in an Excel file, where you can approximately have an imagination.

Cons:

  • The account is only available in one currency rate: AED.
  • There are no rewards on this account.
  • You have to open a current or savings account with FAB.
  • The average account balance is AED 5,000,000, which is really a huge amount and is dedicated mainly for UAE rich people. 

*How to apply for an account?

In case you are sure you want to open a savings account in FAB, catch a quick guide how to do that. First of all what you have to do is to enter bankfab.com and click on a button called ‘Save’, then choose the iSave Account and the doors will open for you. Go down and fill in the survey, which contains questions about you such as first and last names, phone number, email address, a city you are from, you salary amount per month and your nationality. These are the main information, applying which the bank will contact you. 

Eligibility

  • 18 years of age or above
  • Salaried, self-employed and non-salaried
  • Open to UAE nationals, GCC nationals, resident expatriates and non-residents

Required documents

  • The completed account opening form
  • Copy of a valid passport/resident visa/Emirates ID (originals must also be presented)
  • Proof of income
  1. Benefits of savings accounts in UAE.

As an expat in the UAE, your biggest concern is your savings. Your relationship with banks begins almost immediately after you land in this country, and the first step is to choose between opening a checking and savings account.

A savings account is an interest-bearing account that you can use to deposit extra money that you don’t need to pay short-term bills. It usually has a higher interest rate. You can also open a savings account in foreign currencies (most often in pounds sterling and US dollars). It can also come with a passbook (or checkbook / credit card) to record any monthly transactions.

Most banks in the UAE allow residents to open a savings account. However, each bank will have its own eligibility criteria, so you will need to check with the bank you are dealing with. The minimum age to open a current account in the UAE is 18, but savings accounts can be opened for minors, but in this case, the presence of guardians is required for all banking transactions.

The relationship you have with your bank is of the utmost importance. A good relationship with the bank will ensure that you receive a higher level of trust and priority, as well as many benefits, including getting any funding you need, preferential interest rates and better terms.

Your bank can offer you either a fixed interest rate or a variable interest rate. Fixed rate savings accounts are usually more predictable than floating rate accounts because the interest rate does not change and you know what you are signing up for.

When opening a savings account in the UAE, remember that the UAE dirham is pegged to the US dollar. So the good news for UAE savers is that whenever the US Federal Reserve raises interest rates, countries with currencies pegged to the dollar, like the UAE, will follow suit.

When you deposit money into a savings account, the bank technically borrows the money and pays you interest in return. The interest rate determines how much money the bank pays you for keeping your funds on deposit. Simply put, the bank takes the money you deposit and uses it to make more money. He can invest by providing loans to other clients or investing them in other ways. Longer term savings sometimes lead to higher interest rates.

  1. It’s better to save or to invest?

Wondering if you should save or invest? The answer depends on your goals and your financial situation. This quick guide will help you understand how to grow your savings and how to best invest your money. It also covers the basics of planning your finances for short term savings and long term investments.

What is the difference between saving and investing?

Saving – is putting money aside, bit by bit. You usually save to pay for something specific, like a vacation, a home deposit, or any emergency that might arise, like a broken boiler. Saving usually means putting money into cash products such as a savings account at a bank or building society.

Investing – is taking some of your money and trying to make it grow by buying things that you think will rise in value. For example, you can invest in stocks, real estate, or fund stocks.

How to save?

  • Create an emergency fund – Everyone should do their best to create an emergency savings fund. The general rule of thumb is to set aside living expenses for three months in an Instant Savings Account. This should include rent, meals, tuition fees and any other important expenses. Your emergency fund means you have some financial security if things go wrong.
  • Keep saving – Now that you have an emergency fund, it’s a good idea to save at least 10% of your income each month (or as much as you can afford). Set yourself a savings goal and save enough to buy what you want. It could be a house bond, a wedding, or a trip. You can also start thinking about investing your money.

Are you ready to invest?

Whether this makes sense to you depends on your goals – especially whether they are long-term, short-term, or medium-term.

  • Short term goals are what you plan to do over the next five years.
  • Medium-term goals are what you plan to do in the next 5-10 years.
  • Long-term goals are those for which you will not need money for ten or more years.

For your short-term goals, the general rule is to save on deposits in cash, for example in bank accounts. In the short term, the stock market can rise or fall, and if you have been investing for less than five years, you could suffer losses.

In the medium term, cash deposits can sometimes be the best answer, but it depends on how much risk you are willing to take with your money in order to get the best return on your investment.

For longer term goals, you may want to consider investing, as inflation can seriously affect the value of saving money in the medium to long term. The stock market tends to do better in the long run than cash, providing an opportunity for more returns on any money invested over time. You can reduce the level of risk you take when investing by allocating money across different types of investments. This is called diversification.

Now you can decide if you want to invest or to save, based on the information mentioned above. 

  1. Investing as an expat: the impact of currency.

Expatriates of any nationality need to take currency management seriously, it can save you and earn you a significant amount of money, if managed properly. Conversely, poor currency management can be costly and lead to unnecessary costs, commissions and loss of income.

Currency fluctuations

A change in the exchange rate can instantly change a foreigner’s life, especially if you earn in one currency and spend in another.

Exchange rates are directly related to economic performance and are traded similarly to stocks and equities. The more attractive a currency is, the more it is in demand and the higher its value. Of course, the opposite is also true, resulting in currency devaluation.

If the base currency of their wages is the same as their home country, it is useful to save money to use when they return home, but if the value of their host country’s currency changes significantly while they are living abroad, then they may suddenly find life very expensive. … and may begin to cut their savings to maintain an acceptable quality of life.

Given that currency exchange can be both beneficial and detrimental, having control over your finances and understanding current situations can increase the likelihood of reaping the benefits of currency exchange, while lack of awareness can have serious consequences.

  1. Comparing FAB’s iSave with other UAE savings account.

If you live in UAE and you want to apply for a savings account but do not know which bank to choose, below you can find some savings account options and compare them with the one we were talking about in this article. You probably know what the two most important factors to compare the accounts are: the interest rate and the minimum investment amount.

Now let’s see which UAE savings accounts are worth your attention and choice in the future. All the mentioned bank accounts are the most famous in UAE and have competitive interests rate and other conditions, so the choice will be very hard. Let’s go!

  • ADCB Active Saver Account – This online ADCB account is another tiered account that pays 1.5 percent on balances between AED 10,000 and AED 500,000, and a maximum of 1.65 percent between AED 2 and 10 (up 1 percent). Customers also earn TouchPoints, bank loyalty bonus points, each time their balance increases by AED 1,000. Existing ADCB customers can apply for an Active Saver account through the online banking portal and set it up instantly. There is no minimum balance requirement and there is also a Sharia-compliant option available from ADCB Islamic Banking. This is another online account that lowers interest on higher balances, again to attract middle-income savers.
  • Emirates Islamic e-Savings Account – Sharia-compliant bank account offers an expected rate of return of up to 2 percent per annum on an account balance of AED 5,000 to AED 50,000. This figure is reduced to 1.3% for balances from AED 50,000 to AED 3.5 million and to 1 percent for balances up to AED 25 million. These earnings are for Dirham depositors and below for the dollar version. The e-savings account is only available online. Again, there are no minimum balance requirements and restrictions on withdrawals, although withdrawals may affect the calculation of the profit balance. While traditional multi-tier savings accounts raise interest rates as the amount you save rises, some in the UAE are doing the exact opposite, including this one. They offer lower interest rates on higher account balances, especially on many of the purely online savings accounts, as they aim to attract a large number of middle-income clients rather than a smaller number of very wealthy depositors.
  • National Bonds myPlan – here the annual return is up to 4%, just imagine how much is it. The MyPlan National Bond Program is a time deposit scheme in which depositors buy bonds for a specified period of time. National Bonds offers a range of savings options, but myPlan is a winner because of how easy it is to make your money work for you. What you do is simply say how much you want to save each month and for how long (12, 24 or 36 months), and at the end of the term you get all your money plus profit. You don’t have access to your money for the entire term, but this means that the yield is much higher than a standard savings account.

All these savings account options are really the best ones in UAE, and also have very competitive interest rates and other financial useful offers for different clients and different needs.

In the modern world, it is becoming more and more important to acquire the habit of saving.

However, keeping cash does not mean that you cannot make any profit from it. These carefully selected accounts are some of the best savings accounts in the UAE for expats and are a great choice for keeping your savings.

Let’s not forget though, that long-term, saving is a losing game compared to investing money.

There has never been a long-term period (20-30 years) where investing money has not better saving it.

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