Saturday, September 6, 2014

Best Bank to Open NRI Savings Account India - HDFC vs Kotak vs YES Bank

Recently I was doing some research to open an NRI Savings account in India, and given their is  so many banks, both public and private sector are providing NRI services, I thought to do some quick checks on the best NRI savings account I can get this moment. One of my friends suggested me to open your NRI Savings account in HDFC bank, other suggested that he has an account in Kotak Mahindra and very happy with their services especially rather offered on their remittance service click2Remit.

My third friend suggested me to go for YES bank, a relatively new bank but with better services and, more importantly, better interest rate. Seems YES bank is offering highest interest rate on NRI Savings account, they are offering rate of @ 7% p.a.* for balance more than Rs. 1 lakh & 6% p.a. for balance up to Rs. 1 lakh, compared to 4% per annum from both Kotak and HDFC. Good thing is that interest for all rupee savings accounts will be calculated on the daily closing balances maintained in the account, and this is true for all three banks.

So by chance if you keep more than 1 lakh in your NRI savings account, YES Bank is the best one for you. You can get much higher interest rate compared to Kotak Mahindra or HDFC. Apart from this deciding factor, let's see couple of other unique features provided by NRI savings account of these three Major bank.




What is NRI Savings Account

There are two kinds of NRI savings account, NRE (Non Resident External) and NRO (Not resident Ordinary). There are a lot of difference between NRE and NRO accounts, and you need to decide which account you want to open, depending on the money you are going to put in. For example, NRE Savings Account lets you transfer your earnings to India conveniently with complete security.

You can repatriate the funds held in the account along with the interest earned at any point in time and you don't even have to pay tax on the interest amount. On the other hand, NRO Savings account will allow you to keep your Indian earnings from rent, fixed deposit interest, dividends and other sources. Money keep in NRO accounts are not tax-free, see here to learn more about benefits of NRO accounts here.


But, both of these allow you to can stay in complete control of your hard-earned income abroad. In this article, we will compare NRE Savings account from Kotak Mahindra, HDFC and YES Bank in India. Just to be informed all are private banks, and I like them because of their services and support. Just to keep in mind, all NRE bank account has following features


Money is kept in rupees, so when you transfer money from abroad, it's converted into rupee at the prevailing exchange rate, that's why it's better to transfer money, when you are getting higher rates, rather than transferring small amounts regular basis.

  1. You can only fund your NRE saving account from foreign currency, means you cannot deposit rupee directly into NRE saving account.
  2. Funds held in this account and interest thereof is fully repatriable, which means you transfer it bank to abroad without any hassle.
  3. NRE Savings Accounts are exempted from tax in India, so both money kept in account and interest earned are tax-free.
  4. Most of the banks provides international debit card and internet banking facility for NRE savings account.
  5. Most of the banks provide our online bill payments facility to Pay your bills online anytime at your convenience. This is very useful if you are paying telephone and electricity bills of your parents staying in India. Online convenience is big plus.
  6. Interest earned on NRE savings account is also exempted from wealth tax. 
  7. You can transfer fund from your NRE account to other resident saving account or NRO accounts.
  8. Most banks allows you to open NRE, NRO fixed deposits and FCNR fixed deposit from your money kept in NRE saving account. If you have access to net-banking and online account then this process is fully accessible. It takes usually two to three days to open your NRE fixed deposits. 




YES Bank NRE Savings Account

Yes, Bank is a relatively new bank in India but has a strong presence among NRIs. I have a couple of friends how has both NRE and NRO savings accounts with Yes bank, and they are very happy with services and support. Here is main features of NRE Savings account from Yes bank

  • Personalized cheque books
  • Mandate facility for your loved ones in India with a Domestic Debit card to access your account while you are away.
  • Easy account funding through our alliances with correspondent banks worldwide
  • NRO & NRE Savings account balances are grouped allowing you the flexibility to maintain balances in either of accounts, but grouping facility is solely for the purpose of calculation of Average Quarterly Balance; all other product features remain the same as per product variant. Which means, if you have both NRE and NRO savings account in YES bank, you don't need to worry about average quarterly balance in each account. Combined sum of both accounts can be used to maintain average quarterly balance. 
  • Yes bank allows an enhanced spending limit and cash withdrawal limit depending on the account variant availed.
  • Yes bank's inter-city banking facility allows you to bank at any of our branches during your visit to India. This is really convenient because if you home town doesn't have YES bank branch, you can visit them on your transit stay at any metro e.g. Mumbai or Chennai.




HDFC bank NRE Savings Account

Which is the best NRI Savings account in IndiaHDFC is one of reputed Indian bank, after ICICI and SBI, and their services and support are good quality. Unfortunately, HDFC bank doesn't offer interest rates compared to YES bank, but it offers some good features and given its accessibility you can also consider opening an NRE account in this bank. HDFC has very good online banking site and their customer support is also great. More importantly, HDFC banks have more branches compared to Kotak and Yes Bank, and it's more likely that you have a branch of HDFC bank in your city then Yes bank or Kotak Mahindra bank. Since nowadays every branch of the same bank is connected via intra-bank networking, you can go to any branch and more often than not you can perform transactions, check balance, update address, telephone or mobile number, add nomination and can do several other tasks. Of course, you can do most of them online and some of them offline by downloading form and courier to respective branch, sometimes it's quick to visit a branch. This accessibility is actually main reason why some one wants to open their NRE account on banks like HDFC, ICICI and SBI bank.


  • HDFC banks allow you to Invest in Mutual Funds by linking your NRE Savings Account to Investment Savings Account.
  • HDFC bank assigns personal relationship managers, Kotak also does the same. Time and time their relationship manager will give you call and explain new features and products. They will also suggest you invest in Stocks, given current Modi wave and huge interest by FII in India. You can discuss them your investments plans and they can help you on that as well. 
  • HDFC bank allows you to transfer your funds freely to any place outside India (other banks also do).
  • HDFC bank gives you an international debit card along with your NRE savings account, which you can use to do shopping worldwide.
  • Another good feature of HDFC bank account is that it allows you Appoint a mandate to operate your account on behalf of you. A mandate is an authorization given to a person to operate your account. You can give mandate to your father, mother, brother, sister or anyone who you can trust for your financial matters. 
  • You can directly remit the amount to HDFC bank from your overseas bank account, or you can use remittance services like money2India to transfer fund to your NRE savings account.
  • HDFC bank provides a sweep-in facility, which allows you to link NRE Fixed Deposit to NRE Savings Account to take care of deficits if any without losing out on the interest.
  • Average quarterly balance in HDFC bank is 10,000 for urban banks and 5,000 for non-urban.



Kotak Mahindra NRE Saving Account

Kotak is another private bank which is growing fast in India and concentrating on a lucrative market. They have a simple process to open NRE saving account and assigns personal relationship manager to help you with remittance and investment. They also have their own remittance service called click2Remit, which provides very good rates if you let them know that you are transferring money of more than USD 10,000 or same. Here are some of the more useful features of Kotak NRE savings account :

  • 2 Way Sweep provides a dual opportunity to earn higher interest and manage cash flow at the same time.
  • Kotak bank provides Easy and Economical Remittances into India by Cheque or Wire Transfer or Click2Remit.
  • Preferential exchange rate for transaction above USD 10,000/- or equivalent.
  • Kotak bank also gives you Global Debit Card when you open NRE account with them. This allows access to your bank account any-time, anywhere on all VISA ATMs and at merchant locations both in India and abroad. You can withdraw dollars from this account in any VISA enabled ATM in the world e.g USA, UK or anywhere else.
  • Kotak bank's relationship manager provides personalized investment advisory customized to risk return.
  • Low Average Quarterly Balance of Rs. 10,000/- only.
  • You can also transfer money from your Kotak NRE account to any other NRO accounts, or any other bank resident saving account. 


So apart from couple of features more or NRE savings account from HDFC, Yes Bank and Kotak is same. For me interest rate and customer support is foremost important and YES bank score well on them. HDFC is not bad either because of their wide range. You can open NRE fixed deposit, can invest in mutual funds using your NRE savings account, which is great. Kotak has excellent remittance services and they provide Preferential Forex rate for transaction above USD 10,000/- or equivalent, which can be crucial and equal to interest earned in a quarter. In short, YES bank NRE account is best for interest rate point of view, Kotak NRE account is based upon exchange rate point of view and HDFC bank NRE account is best upon investment point of view.

94 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I agree ICICI gives very poor conversion rate

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    2. Every Bank say that money in NRE account is freely repatriable.. but do anyone know what is the process to do that.. can it be done online?
      SBI online says it can be done online but it there is a manual intervention required by home branch and it does not happen. It happeded with me twice. SO please ask about the repatriation process and if it can be relied upon !!

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    3. Yes bank is the worst. They made me fill all the forms multiple times, picked those up via DHL but then never opened my account. I have written to them multiple times but no response. Worst customer service ever. I would not recommend anyone to go to them.

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  2. pls contact me to open NRI account in India through online from any country..

    i will help u out with complete assistance and free courier pick up facility.
    regards,
    ranjith
    8886713883

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Rajnith: For which bank NRI account will open?

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    2. I am in Qatar working as a mechanical engineer and want to open NRE account please help me how to open account

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    3. Hi Anis, request you please share me your emailID. Actually I need some info.

      mine is htc.javac@gmail.com

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  3. HDFC Bank shows poor customer service post account opened.

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    Replies
    1. Good thing is they are quick to open account and deliver interent id and pin which is very important for an NRI to operate its account. I also got my international debit card within 2 weaks and now a dedicated relationship manager contact me every now and then, especially when NRE, NRO or FCNR fixed deposit interest rates changes. He is also helpful related to remittance related queries.

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    2. I have also experienced very poor response from HDFC bank after opening account. Now looking out to moving my accounts to a different bank with better customer service

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    3. HDFC is comparatively poor in customer service. They charges are extremely high. But compared to PSU banks like Canara Bank, and ICICI they are better. I bank with them for long but got rid of them to Axis Bank. Better and peaceful.

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    4. Yes Bank is good. As you aware their Interest rates is high compare to other Banks. Also their service is very good. I had opened NRE account and got ATM card and other related documents within 7 working days

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    5. I had account with HDFC and the worst thing about HDFC is that they won't do any account change over phone or courier or email. They need physical presence for almost anything. e.g. if you want to update you mobile number or address, they will ask you to visit a site and submit form in person - no exception..

      I have NRE/NRO account with SBI, which I am going to close on my next visit just because they don't provide any service. You don't exist for them if it goes beyond automatic process. On couple of occasions I initiated the process to repatriate my fund from NRE to my overseas account. It never happened. I logged complained, called branch, zonal officers etc.. nothing happened. After more than a month i had to transfer fund from NRE to NRO and then to some other bank to transfer fund overseas. Only good thing about SBI is the interest rate (7%) but you will get same rate at ICICI or other nationalised bank. I would not recommend anyone going to nationalised bank. they are just a bunch of bludgers and ignorant old people hiding behind computer. If computer can't do their job, they will blame anything but won't do anything to help you.

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    6. I had this amazing experience with HDFC bank, pun intended!
      I had to transfer money from my nro to my nre account. I provided my proper tax returns, CA certificate and other required forms...and guess what, the bank wanted to me provide "documentary proof" of each and every single transaction in and out of my nro account...dude, seriously?? Even after I've provided this information to the government??? To my surprise, they wanted documentary proof of me giving money to my friend and him giving it back...I could do nothing but laugh about their idiotic and unnecessary red-tape and moved on to a different bank. To sum it up, if you've an NRE/NRO account in HDFC, be prepared to not being able to move your own money from one account to another even after providing government standard documentation. Stay away!

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  4. No to Yes Bank, after 2 months of account opening, they are still not giving me the PIN for my NRE & NRO account.This PIN is required for internet banking as well so i am not able to do internet banking as well. On repeated reminders no response. Very poor service

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  5. The best is State Bank. Minimum deposit requirement is low.
    The basic options to transfer payments, Utility Bill payments, other extras such as auto debit and online Fixed deposit system is all available.
    The customer service response is poor though. For everything they will tell please contact your home branch "once these are sorted, all facilities shouldn't be a problem.) But the point is an NRI is always out of the country. We cant physically go there(btw when you call them that's what they would say)

    But yes, I would say SBI is the best to park your funds.

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  6. SBI IS the worst, for every transaction they need scanned copies and applications and then u followup with the branch if they received it! they don't reply your emails and internet banking does not work most of the time. they always have this excuse 'sorry there is a technical issue right now please do transaction later' so if there is any emergency or deadline of payment you can never reply on SBI.

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  7. HDFC needs you to provide a NRE chq or DD to open account which is a big inconvenience, SBI & other nationalized banks have british raj formalities like attestation of this and that another major inconvenience. Kotak while offering 6% interest on home account provides only 4 % on NRE which is a big let down though they have less paper work. Like the author I am also thinking of Yes bank primarily because of interest rate - customer service I dont know need to wait and watch. However I can transfer account opening funds online to account after the account is open which is a big ease.

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    Replies
    1. Even in ICICI bank one needs attestation when applying for NRI a/c from out side..

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  8. I observed from above comments that every bank has poor customer service after opening the account. I am the NRI customer of Yes Bank and they also have poor customer service. They do not reply of your emails on time. Even some of the branches do not have full information about NRE accounts. I am stuck with them because of interest rates. If somebody wants better interest rates and have patience to get reply then Yes Bank is right choice.

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  9. I have just received an email from icici to say that all outward remittance from nre/nro ac will be charged rs500 per transactio from 21Sep15. Is this the same with other banks?
    Can you share your experience and advise please. Thanks

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  10. I will vote for Kotak. Although I haven't used HDFC, I am sure that I will never ever look for another bank because Kotak takes care of most of my banking needs. The Jifi account is very handy…

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  11. State Bank of India (SBI) is the Worst. Now i am slowing understanding why it is so tough banking with State banks. All i asked them for visa purpose is a bank balance letter mentioning my name, account number, till date balance in Indian rupees and equivalent in US dollars, and the bank manager says it is not possible to give letter mentioning in US dollars. I am surprised, as i already took this letter from ICICI bank earlier.

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    Replies
    1. yes they con't mention in US dollars, the reason simple your money in rupee and it always fluctuates for dollars.

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  12. Yes banks sucks when it comes to service side ! Being an NRI ...it is taking more than 20 days to update my mobile number..

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    Replies
    1. I'm not able to login to yesbank netbanking and yesbank guys couldn't fix the issue from more than a month. They're still trying to fix. Very bad production support team.

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  13. I understand that YES bank offers better interest rate. What if we open FD with ICICI/HDFC...then interest rates are almost same what YES bank offers. Any comments ?

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    Replies
    1. True, but at the same time.. you have to keep your money in fixed deposit or auto fixed deposit. In case you miss it in Yes bank you will be getting good interest rate in Yes bank. It depends how busy you are :-)

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  14. HI everyone if u want to open an NRI account whether NRE/NRO with best interest rates and docs picked up from your base country without any charges call up here...or just send a whats up message..
    7567095951

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  15. Looks every bank has some sort of issues to deal with, during my last visit to India, I opened NRE account with Bank Of Baroda, I have had such a surprise to know how these guys get recruited, clearing bank examinations are really hard and required great extent of logical ability but these employees (including manager) are good for nothing - no knowledge, not even efficient enough to feed contact details... these guys will never change, customer care is full of shit people, 12th pass, third class graduates - customer care reps, neither they understand your problem nor they ever resolve, its one luck if your getting good service or else where ever you open NRE/NRO account, ready to deal with bunch of bullshits.

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  16. Citi bank is a nightmare to handle. Opening a deposit account took months and they are now talking all bulshits. I am a very old customer of citi bank and now tired of stupid officers, I am going to close all of my accounts with them.

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    Replies
    1. Yes i am old customer of Citi Bank. They are worst and i always wanted to get out but with lack of time,i am still stuck with them. Never open new accounts with them

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  17. IMHO, Kotak is good. Their Website, responses through both telephonic and email from Personal relationship manager are good.

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  18. Thinking of opening a NRI saving account. Getting confused between YES Bank, HDFC, ICICI and Kotak.

    By going through this post and other reviews, all these banks are more or less same in offering except YES Bank in the case of interest rate.

    I am based in Singapore and I am looking best online experience, quick response in case for any follow up and least paper work/mailing documents.

    YES Bank is good for interest rate but thinking that whether customer support is good or not. Also they do not have bank near to my home town in India.

    YES Bank representative showed more interest for getting me convinced for opening NRE Saving Account. Kotak click to call is not working on their website, I needed to call them and they told me that team will call me back but no call called me yet. HDFC representative response was good and professional and he did not try hard for convincing me. ICICI response was OK OK and I did not feel that they care much about new customers.

    I feel safe with SBI but it's almost impossible to get my work done with them. Customer support is almost to none.

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    Replies
    1. I have good experience with their customer support service. For satisfying a sales person I owned a salary account with Kotak 5 years ago, later I thought to move away from SBI who was my actual salary account holder. I already had an account with Kotak hence I linked my salary account, there are lots of benifits and we used to get lots of features in first place on online banking immediately after govt announces. I never looked later, its been 4 years now I am with them and I have opened Kotak NRE and NRO account as well, service is good.

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  19. Nobody talks about USD conversion rates, service charges etc. Most of the services offered (online / mobile banking etc where no human intervention is required)are same and works ok. But the difference lies in how they DO NOT TELL YOU HOW THEY EARN THEIR PROFIT OUT OF YOU by either innocuously hiding them (not disclosing them) or putting them in an unnoticeable place or print.
    Imagine the Market USD Rate today is 66.8 (USD to INR. Assume one bank is converting your USD @ 66.2 and another @ 65.5. For every $5000/- you will get Rs 3,31,000/- from first bank @ Rs 3,28,000/- from second bank, a difference of Rs 3000/-. Calculate your annual remittance volume to see how much you will loose with second bank. Request somebody check these on date, compare and publish the same.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you transfer money from remittance services such as remit2india.com, they provide you the exact INR amount that will get deposited. I don't understand your comment where in you mention about differing conversion rates while depositing money into the NRE account? Is that the case when you use other transfer methods such as wire transfer?

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    2. Hi Sachin, which one offers best conversion rates? Wire transfer service by Banks or Remittance service like remit2india?
      I work in dubai and any recommendations will be helpful.
      Thanks

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  20. HDFC NRI service is worst. They take almost 3 months to open NRE or NRO account.

    The guys working there are not competent. They make you go round and round and keeping asking about some missing documents.

    Its horrible.

    NEVER Go with HDFC bank NRi services if you want to save your time.

    Its Worst.

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    Replies
    1. 100% Agree, HDFC NRE service Sucks.

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    2. HDFC...worst bank for NRIs to open an account...period.

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  21. Yes bank has the worst customer service. I asked them to link a DEMAT account with my NRE and they took almost 5 months and still making excuses. Finally I asked them to f**k off and now I am planning to go for some other bank

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  22. I am using KOTAK bank's NRI services since last 2 years. Do not see any issues with their service.

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  23. I was using SBI nri mumbai dedicated branch with good customer support on phone call with the relationship manager since 2010 though my hometown in India is Amritsar.Recently I 've to deposit some USD in cash at Amritsar branch bjt the officials gave the excuse for Non home branch rules for heavy amount.I tried all the other banks for new account.Kotak was far away from my home for cash transactions(deposits etc.)HDFC people didn't know anything.IDBI didn't has sweep in facility.Standard chartered had low Forex rates.I didn't tried Axis but transfered my account to SBI main branch at amritsar which has a NRI desk.After one week i.e.today I came to know that my auto FD was not made on depoits.So I went to the branch only to find out that I was caught in the middle of workers who made me puzzled by sending from one desk to other lnly to bypass their reslonsibility & I've to stand in long queues for my turn.I think that for all you guys,open yoir accounts in some specialized NRI branch of SBI where tjey are promptly replying to your phone calls & emails from abroad.No issues for me at all during last 5 yearswith SBI NRI branch,Nariman point,MUMBAI.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I absolutely agree with you. We have had the same acct at SBI-Pedder Rd., Mumbai for almost 50 yrs but the service is in the gutter now. The branch does not even provide tel nos where you can contact the branch. Their business cards list all invalid/bogus numbers and even the SBI Website does not have their correct nos! There is an e-mail address, but half the time they claim to have not recvd yr mail even though there are no non-delivery errors reported. If you are very very very lucky you might just get a response from them, that too, a one line answer!
      You are right that they no longer have the right people. Once I asked for a debit note for tax deduction on interest and the bank staff told me to get it from the tax department!!! Then another staff member added that the system in India is different!

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  24. I have SBI NRI Branch Chennai. All good people left. SBI not deploying right people at their NRI brnaches. Many of the staff don't know the rules and regulations, very inexperienced and customers are under the staff's mercy. Forex is also a cumbersome process. we have to write each bill number in the format. The staffs are not aware of their salary is derived from customer's deposits. NRI visiting India wants to achieve many tasks in less duration (i.e. within his allotted holidays), but Indian working style is passing the buck and don't understand the urgency of NRI.

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  25. Folks,
    This is ridiculous, we have great banks but their customer services are terrible. It is in the culture and attitude of workers. My wife had similar support issues with the Axis bank. After reading all of this I am lost if I should even open an account with these banks... I hope work culture improves.

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  26. HDFC Bank have poorest customer service for account opened. I have struggled six month for opening NRE saving account and every time when ever you call they will tell you different story/ Lie at the end i give up and open NRE saving account within a month in Ferdral Bank Ltd. HDFC bank workers at Patna branch are not even capable to open an account and they will fool you. So in my opinion HDFC service sucksssssssssssssss.

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    Replies
    1. I second this. Its the worst bank ever

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  27. a very good informative article, thanks Javin paul.

    All in all, i think Kotak is having the last laugh :), so i am considering Kotak.

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  28. Which one is best banking for NRE ?

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    Replies
    1. Well I don't know which is the best, I am looking for that myself. But don't go to SBI because they really have ZERO customer service. Everything is OK when you are in India, but once you leave you will have to deal with all the BS. They rarely ever respond to your e-mails, and when they do, it is vague and incomplete. If you are lucky, the branch may have a working tel number so you can call and speak to someone. But most probably the number on their visiting cards will have bogus/invalid numbers so customers can't call and DISTURB them.

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  29. Good article and review section. But I am confused which bank is the best one in NRE ?

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    Replies
    1. It depends on the local branch/city as in the same Bank some branches the staff are good and knowledgable and in others they are useless.
      My experience is good with HDFC, Kotak and State Bank of India in Andheri (West),Mumbai.

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    2. Nationalised banks will be cost effective while private bank will provide comparatively better service. You won't get both at the same place.. if want a balance.. go for ICICI, KOTAK or YES

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  30. After reading this article and all the comments, Go for Kotak :)-

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  31. Still Confused, can anyone please suggest for CITI bank.

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    Replies
    1. I would recommend HDFC or Kotak instead of Citi Bank

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    2. I have been with Citi NRE/ NRO (NRO closed due to inactivity) for about 10 years, Citi bank has been fantastic experience by far compared to all the comments above. The only reason i am going to open my new NRO account with Kotak is min balance is only 10 K, Citi has changed to 40K now.

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  32. From the above comments it seems that it depends on the branch where your open your account. Hence, one should visit Kotak, HDFC and Yes bank in your locality and then decide on the Bank.
    I have an account with both Kotak and HDFC their services are good. However, I prefer to have more transactions with HDFC as other family members also have accounts with the same branch and it is easier to update information such as KYC etc in one go.
    However, one have to be very careful with charges as lot of hidden charges can be debited by these private banks in the form of annual debit card charges, ledger charges, minimum balance charges, etc.
    They also mislead and cross sell insurance and mutual fund products assuring you high return which is not guaranteed in writing.

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  33. CITI will kill you with Service charges , and the worst exchange rate . i closed my Citibank NRI account.
    only good thing is i could move money fast from my US CItibank checking account , but like i said gives you the worst exchange rate

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  34. I am wondering why no one talked about ICICI. I am having an NRE account in ICICI since last 8-9 years and didn't really face any big issues. Though I must say that I didn't avail much services and did everything online myself. I am now thinking of opening another account in Yes bank because of the better interest rates.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Unknown, which ban k are you using now and are you happy. we also like to move from bank we have now HDFC and no happy to many issues everytime special when you aboard and trying to use the net banking not easy :(

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    2. Hello your ICICI Bank NRE account holder for 8-9 years , how is the ICICI Ban Exchange rates are , my experience ICICI Bank gives very poor Conversion rate and also they charge some kind of TAX for every transaction.

      I will say no to ICICI due to Poor excahnge rate


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    3. As I said in my other replies.. what I like most about ICICI is that they a trackable process for almost everything.. it can take longer but it does happen. Everything can be done online/phone/courier/email. you don't need to go to home branch. i have been banking with ICICI for very long time, both as local and OCI. I did not have any major issue. Not saying that they are perfect but it is a good balance between cost-effectiveness and quality of service.

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  35. I seen all comments but not clear which one is best, can you please advise which bank is is good for me..

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    Replies
    1. Citibank seems the best bank and ICICI seems the worst bank, but if you go with my advice, HDFC is the best bank to open NRE account.

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  36. I have account with ICICI and Yes bank both. I like Yes bank due to good interest rate and good service. I read all the above comment but it can happen with any other bank, like updating cell ph no / address... I never had any issues with Yes bank.

    One problem with Yes bank is : If you are doing NEFT transfer with new person then you have to wait for 24 hr for first limited transaction and full transaction you can do it after 48 hr ( not remember exactly )

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    Replies
    1. @Depeek, that's the serious limitation because more often than not you want to do immediate transaction. I understand putting some limit on such transaction for safety purpose but at-least you should be allowed to transfer 50K up front.

      Also on bank safety perspective I think ICICI much bigger and safe bank than YESBANK, don't you agree?

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  37. If you are a Singapore based NRI then DBS bank is also a good option to open NRE account. Best part of DBS is that you can open your NRE account right in Singapore without any hassle. Just fill a contact form in their website and their representative will call you. Only drawback of DBS is that interest rate on its saving and NRE fixed deposit is lower than Indian banks like HDFC, YESBANK, KOTAK, or ICICI

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  38. No mobile banking in Yes Bank for NRIs .

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  39. Yeah. DBS is a good bank but with lower interest rates. SBI, i have heard offers the best exchange rate but setting up th einternet account is a pain. They have some weird rules alike only viewing status and then apply online for full transaction status etc. I don't understand why can't they have a simple process on activating online account. And they also need an India number for online complaints. Are the NRIs not supposed to be abroad? Good bank but really silly policies. Some of them!!

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  40. I have ICICI NRE account for the last 12 years, all is well until a month ago. I have also opened NRO account. I have inherited some amount, and I wanted to transfer to my NRE account. The transfer should be from NRO to NRE and then to my choice of bank in Singapore. The RBI rule says, I need to get Form 15CA/CB from Income Tax, and apply for Transfer. i did it, and also provided all supporting documents, such as registration deeds, etc. IT has issued the 15CA/CB in a week's time. ICICI Bank is asking additional documents almost every day for the last 3 weeks. I am not sure what ICICI bank's NRI Services team in Mumbai thinks by delaying too long. If Income Tax has cleared the funds for transfer, what is the problem with ICICI bank. I am not sure. As of today, the transfer is still pending.

    So, if anyone wants to do outward transfer to overseas from ICICI, please be careful about their worst services. ICICI is running parallel Tax regime. If my doubts are correct, NRI Services team is full of ex-Income Tax guys, and they think still they are working for government, instead of a private bank.

    Please provide your experiences with other banks for outward transfer from NRO. Thanks,

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    Replies
    1. The situation is same for every bank. This is where you get caught. Most of the NRI send money to India but I do it both ways. Since most of the staff and people are not familiar.. it causes more problem. On top of that there are many formalities and manual intervention required, which makes it worse. I suppose, no matter which bank you go... outwardly repatriation would be painfull. I have similar experience from SBi even though I already had funds in my NRE account.

      Delete
    2. I think you have seen real life for both way transferring. have you ever used SBI global International Card to withdraw funds in USA, if so were their any charges ?

      Delete
  41. Iam confused about the banks
    Which bank is best hdfc or sbi

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    Replies
    1. SBI is more secure but HDFC is way better in service both in branches and online.

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  42. I am a customer of HDFC bank. I feel that at early stages the bank considers you important but slowly as u become older with HDFC they start taking u for granted I felt same with HDFC sion branch. Their personal bankers become overconfident and don't value customers taking them for granted. Also HDFC seems supporting them by constantly delaying or ignoring the behaviour of their employees.

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  43. I have account NRE account with ICICI, HDFC, SBI,and recently opened in Kotak Mahindra, SBI with zero customer service if u got any problem lake a long long time, HDFC has lot of hidden charges, ICICI is good but exchange rate is not very impressive, I will suggest to go with Kotak Mahindra very supportive staffs, good exchange rate, good service 2 years got a pleasant experience

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  44. I am attempting to open an account with ICICI bank.
    They emailed me that the 'Kit' for net banking is dispatched... but I never received it.
    So I emailed to customer service asking for details and after a few days(!) I got replay saying "As per our telephonic conversation, your query has been resolved" but I never got a phone call from ICICI bank related to this... spooky.
    I would stay away from ICICI I think.

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  45. Don't go for HDFC bank. Never ever.
    I opened it in Kotak...

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  46. Never go for hdfc bank.worst customer service.and lot hidden charges.yes bank is best.u get good interest rate.

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  47. Never go for HDFC bank. It has the worst customer service. Specially Kamlesh Kuvar and Vijay Pal. They never reply to the emails. I am unable to open a NRE account since last 2 months

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  48. Can anyone share their experience with RBL?
    They offer the highest interest rate for NRE savings and FD accounts.
    Any experience with international debit cards? ie hidden charges and fees.

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  49. Looks like no one can answer which bank is right and everyone agrees all the banks have bad customer service. All of them are right all customer services are bad. So if customer service is bad then what should we do? We have to understand how the customer service works then the issue is solved. Customer service has different levels, basic level, supervisor, manager etc, this is based on the level of experience a person has. When ever you call a customer service you are connected to a basic level person who has very limited knowledge. The biggest problem with all customer service is this basic level person, if you cross this person your work is done. What is the problem with this guy? He is trained to talk to the customers very politely, inspite of not solving your issue he will say "is there anything else I can do for you Sir" this is the most irritating thing that can happen to anyone.
    The most important problem with these basic level guys of all customer services is that they are not trained/taught to take help or opinion from their seniors/supervisors/manager if they dont know or if they cannot solve your issue. They behave like they know everything, because of this when you call them you reach a dead end or a hopeless situation. Is this dead end? No there is solution to your problem. Then how can we get it? Simple, talk to these basic guys politely, dont shout at them, dont loose your cool, otherwise you cannot cross them, at the end if your issue is not solved, they will ask is there anything else they can do then say "will you please transfer this call to your supervisor/higher up". If you have respected them the call will pass higher up, if you fight with them or shout then your call is put on hold for long time, then you disconnect in frustration and again you call back angrily ending up not with the same basic guy but another basic guy (Hurdle) and you have to start the cycle again. If you cross this guy to the next level and he also is not able to solve the issue raise it to next level. Its not only the banking sector, its every sectors customer service problem.
    This is the art of handling customer service, learn it then it will be comfortable, keep the ego aside. These days most of the sectors dont have direct contact with the customer you have to go through the customer care service, so better learn it. Dont keep jumping from one bank to another its of no use. Initial account opening customer service is very good so you get trapped.
    I learnt this art hard way, I bank with ICICI and it works. Hope it helps you.
    What is important when choosing a bank is how often or quickly do they make changes from the feed back given by the customers. Always make a complaint or give a feed back that will help them to make changes. With ICICI I have seen changes happening, I may have not got the service at that time but with many customers complaining the same issue they make changes.

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    Replies
    1. I have banked with Standard chartered, ICICI, HDFC, SBI. So far ICICI is the only one which update and monitor their processes. I have been banking with ICICI for almost 15 years now and if you have a ticket number for you issue and you provide the information they need, it gets addressed.

      HDFC is too right and do no adapt to make it easy for users.

      All the nationalised banks are hopeless - they believe they are doing us a favour by opening an account, just because they offer a bit better interest rate.

      Standard chartered is good but their presence is the issue.

      Delete
  50. Hello guys,

    I am moving abroad this month, as per all the comments above & the research I've done, I got 2 banks which is good for opening a NRE/NRO account which is Kotak Mahindra & Axis Bank. I interacted with the bank to get more knowledge and their services & I won't say it was a pleasant or excellent experience but sort of good overview. In my view once we open the NRE/NRO account with any of these banks, we should simply finish our task with transferring our funds in rupee online and confirm the same with our family members in India to go and check the balance from nearby ATM. We can handover the ATM to our parents or wife for withdrawal of funds of monthly expenses. As I understand, for every transfer or any transaction we make online or via banks/atm's we got notified via SMS so why to contact customer support.

    I won't comment anything about YES bank because I haven't made any enquiry & it's not near to my residence location. About HDFC, yes the customer service executives just keep on transferring the call saying 'the appropriate department will assist you' & there is long beep for more than 15 to 20 mins.

    Also we can get the email of our account statement by default so that we can keep it for our reference.

    Guys, pls correct me if I am wrong with my opinion.

    Thank you.

    Your replies will be more helpful & more suggestions are welcome.

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  51. Don't go with Kotak Mahindra. Their customer service has degraded drastically in the last 6 months. Seems like they have too many customers. I have a NRI account in Kotak since last 4 years and I am now looking for new bank.

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  52. I didn't get a chance to go through all the comments.

    But my advice to new NRI looking for NRI account, please don't go for Kotak bank.
    I opened NRI account 7 months back and I raised a request to update my address 140 days back. I didn't get proper response.

    I tried through all available channels (Relationship manager, NRI Services mail box, senior customer care executive) and I am not able to get the address updated in my account.

    All the communications stopped the moment I sent my documents.
    There no one ready to help you or hear your concern.

    If you are ready to wait for upto six months for all things, then this is the right bank for you.

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  53. Well, I'm writing this while remaining on-line, while the next available HDFC representative attends to me shortly (32 min so far) to have them open a account after finishing all the paper work. Decided to go with them thinking the process will be seamless. Guess, I'm wrong.

    Any pleasant experiences lately?

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  54. never open a HDFC NRI Account. Its the worst. No support once you have opened the account. Very difficult to deal with this bank

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  55. My Experience with Yes Bank has been amazing so far. I live in California US, would like to share my experience with Yes Bank, i chose them after a lot of analysis of other banks. It might be helpful for someone to decide

    -- Opening a account is very simple, fill some forms, self attest a few documents ...they arranged a DHL pickup right from my door step
    -- They have a skype/whatsapp face to face call, they will ask you to show the originals of the self attested documents you sent.
    -- Debit card, Cheque book, Online access details are couriered to you separately via two different couriers ..and ATM pins will be couriered again separately ...entire account opening happened within a weeks time

    Online access can be setup like in 5 mins and you can start funding your account.

    Minimum balance is 10,000 INR per account [ NRE/NRO] and they dont ask for this until your account is setup with online access

    You can setup FD online and their website is amazing and covers everything, example ..you can change your ATM debit PIN online. I have contacted YES bank now for atleast few time just to verify if everything is fine :) cos everything looked too good to be true initially but i found them helpful not very knowledgeable as for every question they put you on hold and cross check with someone :) .. but surely helpful.

    I would recommend YES Bank based on the comments/issues i am reading above about other banks and on my experience with YES

    The part i didnt like :-
    The NRO debit card is a Rupay card and not VISA/MasterCard ...so you can not use it outside India ..As a NRI i think its completely useless.

    FYI : My first choice for NRE account was SBI, applied 3 months before YES bank application still waiting and have given up now that it can not happen unless i am in India :( ... I will still go ahead and try that in my next visit to India.

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