In the run up to the Women’s Day on March 8, banks, retail companies, e-tailers and even builders will try to grab your attention. Buy one get one offers, freebies, discounts on diamonds, will be galore.
Before you grab these special offers with both hands, won’t you like to know if they are really special? Do they really offer value for your purse? In the first series, let me begin by telling you about the financial products: the home loans and the savings accounts for Women.
A) The Special Home Loan Rates
Since 2013, few big banks and housing finance companies have been offering lower home loan rates to women borrowers. Expect more such offers this time around as well.
To the best of my knowledge, only two banks are offering lower interest rates for women.
State Bank of India’s Her Ghar Loan offers women borrowers a rate of 10.10%, as against 10.15% to its other borrowers.
For a loan of upto Rs 75 lakh, ICICI Bank offers 10.10% to women which is just 0.0.5% less than 10.15-10.25% to salaried borrowers.
To avail of these rates woman borrower should be the main applicant to the loan and she should be either owner or co-owner in the property being financed.
I did a quick comparison of the EMIs. So if we assume a loan of Rs 50 lakh for 20 years and a 2% processing fees, the EMI would come out to…
|Equated Monthly Installment (EMI)||EMI Savings in a|
|Women||Other borrowers||Month||Loan Tenure|
*Floating interest rates as bank offers fixed and floating rates on home loans. EMI calculations: BankBazaar.com’s EMI calculator
The amount we end up saving, around Rs 170 per EMI, as compared to a normal home loan rate, will just buy us funky ear-ring or a nailpaint.
Gruhini Tip: A small saving doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take these loans. But just like you would check the size, color, warranty etc of a phone or a tablet you buy online, you ought to do the same for your financial transactions too.
B) Special Savings Account for Women
Leading private sector banks offer exclusive savings account for women. But exclusivity is just on paper. To avail a zero balance account facility, you need to maintain a fixed deposit or a recurring deposit. None of them offer any special savings rate etc, but they do encourage you to loosen your purse strings. For instance HDFC Bank offers lower rates on auto two wheeler or personal loans or discount on locker rents, Kotak Bank offers free movie tickets if you spend a certain amount on your debit card.
|Women’s Savings Account: Are they really different?|
|Savings Account Name||Unique Feature (as compared to regular savings account)||Minimum Balance Required/Non maintenance charge applicable||Daily Cash Withdrawal Limit/Daily Debit Card Shopping Limit|
|ICICI Bank : Advantage Woman Savings Account||Unlimited cash withdrawals in any ATM network. A zero bal account if a Rs 2000 recurring deposit is maintained||Rs 10000, /YES||Rs 50000/Rs 1 lakh|
|HDFC Bank: Women’s Savings Account||Special discount on interest rates and processing fees on two wheeler/auto and personal loans, cashback offers, unlimited cash withdrawal limit, Accidental hospital/death cover: Rs 1 lakh/Rs10 lakh||Rs 10000 (metros), Rs 5000 (non-metro) /YES||Rs 25000/1.25 lakh|
|Axis Women’s Savings Account||No unlimited cash withdrawal option.||Rs 10000 (metros), Rs 5000 (non-metro) /YES||Rs 40000/Rs 1 lakh|
|Kotak Silk – The Savings Programme for Women||Cash back/free movie tickets on special debit card, discount on locker rentals, Unlimited cash withdrawal option||Rs 10000-Rs50000 depending on the kind of account/YES||Rs 75000/Rs 1 lakh|
|Yes Bank Grace Savings Account||unlimited cash withdrawal. Cash back offers, 25% discount on lockers, first yr demat charges waived off.One zero balnace child savings account||Rs 10000, Zero balance if FD of Rs 50000 or Rs 3000 RD is maintained/YES||R 25000/Rs 25000|
|IDBI Super Shakti Account Women’s Account||10 free transactions at other bank ATMs. Free zero bal account for 2 kids, discount on locker fee and demat fees if avrg bal is maintained.||Rs 5000 in Tier A cities, Rs 2500 in Tier B Cities.||Rs 40000/Rs 40000|
|*data is based on information given on respective banks’ website.|
Well, the only reason I would go any of these accounts is because of no limits on ATM withdrawal from any bank network. Yes it does matter now as banks charge a fee for more than 5 ATM transactions in a month. Except for Axis Bank IDBI bank, all the banks mentioned in the table offer unlimited ATM withdrawal in any bank network.
Gruhini Tip: If you earn a salary, a premium savings account (offered by all the banks mentioned above) will give more flexibility and options to manage your savings. Women’s account makes sense if you withdraw or spend money frequently.