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Choosing the Best Savings Account for NRIs: NRE vs NRO Accounts

Updated on January 08, 2024 11:40 am
ICICI NRI Banking

For Indians moving abroad, you will have a multitude of choices you will need to make. One of the most pivotal decisions you will need to make revolves around selecting the right bank account to manage finances. It can get very overwhelming. Rest easy, we are here to help make that decision as easy as possible. 

India’s banking system offers two types of accounts tailored for Non-Resident Indians

(NRIs): Non-Resident External (NRE Account) and Non-Resident Ordinary (NRO Account). Understanding the nuances and similarities between these accounts is vital to making an informed decision.

What is an NRE Account?

An NRE account is a savings account allowing NRIs to deposit foreign income earned outside India. A significant advantage is the repatriation of both the principal amount and the interest earned, facilitating easy transfer of funds to your overseas account without restrictions.

Additionally, interest earned on NRE accounts remains tax-free in India, providing NRIs with an efficient means to save and grow their foreign income. However, funds in this account must be maintained in Indian National Rupees (INR).

How Does an NRO Account Differ? 

In contrast, an NRO account is designed for managing income earned within India, like rental income, dividends, or pension. While NRO accounts also offer repatriation benefits, they come with limitations. The transfer of funds from an NRO account to an NRI account is capped at $1 million per financial year, requiring a certificate from a chartered accountant affirming tax compliance, including TDS rates, deductions, and DTAA applicability.

Interest earned on an NRO account’s balance is taxable under Indian tax laws, with funds also maintained in Indian Rupees.  

Choosing Between NRE and NRO Accounts

The choice between an NRE and NRO account should align with your income source and repatriation needs. An NRE account suits foreign-earned income and easy repatriation, while an NRO savings account is best for Indian-sourced earnings, allowing limited repatriation after tax deductions.                                                     

Benefits of NRE and NRO Accounts:

1. Access for Family Members: Both NRE and NRO accounts offer easy access for family members in India. Banks like ICICI Bank NRI Services provide a mandate Holder card and a chequebook to the customer’s family members for convenient access.

2. Interest Rates: Interest rates on both account types are similar, varying slightly among banks. Checking prevailing rates before deciding is prudent.  

Explore ICICI Bank NRI Services

Open an NRE or NRO Account with ICICI Bank for lucrative features like Dedicated Relationship Manager, Family Banking services, attractive interest rates and more.

Making the Right Choice  

Selecting between NRE and NRO accounts requires careful evaluation of your financial circumstances. Each offers distinct benefits catering to different needs. Consider income sources, tax obligations, repatriation needs, and family access before deciding. Consulting with bank representatives can provide clarity and guide you toward the optimal decision for your financial situation and goals.

To compare the top NRE and NRO accounts–including ICICI NRI–to find the best one for you, visit the NRE Account Compare Page or the NRO Account Compare Page.   

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You may have to pay a fee for the replacement card.Pros and Cons of PaycardsProsA win-win situation for unbanked employees and their employers.Green alternative to paper checks.Immediate payment to employees.No hassle of cashing a paycheck.No monthly or maintenance fees.Added security when assessing their funds (paycards require a PIN).Employees can report to the issuer if funds are used unauthorized.Paycards can be reloaded during each payday, saving money on issuing paper checks.Added efficiency for the employer as the employer would not have to physically present or mail paychecks to unbanked employees.ConsEmployees may incur fees for several reasons. Be aware of such potential fees.Employers have certain responsibilities to educate employees about the usage of paycards.Limited range of services and flexibility in managing your funds compared to bank accounts and other prepaid cards.The best paycards programs are easy to set up, have lower fees, quick access to funds, and provide a range of benefits such as cashback and discounts. We have made a list of popular paycards providers for businesses:Wisely Paycard by ADPOnline portal and mobile appCompatible with Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google PayZero cost sign upNo hidden feesNo credit checkNo overdraft feeZero cost direct deposit of pay and other sources of income (including government benefits)Accepted wherever Visa is acceptedKeep track of spending and account balances 24/7 on the appGet cash back at major retailersSurcharge-free ATM withdrawalsFDIC insuredSecurity features include instant card lock, purchase protection, and travel alert notificationsRapid PaycardDirect Deposit onto rapid paycardLoad funds from approved checks with Ingo Money mobile appsNo fee for cashing paycheck24/7 account access with rapid! Access mobile appNo credit checkCan be used at ATMs, merchants worldwide, wherever Debit Mastercard or Visa debit cards are acceptedPay bills and make purchasesBook airline and hotel reservations onlineEarn interest on savings accountGet cash back rewardsFDIC insuredMoney protected with Zero Fraud LiabilityKittrell PaycardNo fees to use (there are fees for certain situations)Fee-free ATM network with MoneyPassWebsite and Kittreall AppGet real-time alerts and push notificationsCash back at point-of-sale terminals2-way texting to manage your card and accountCompatible with Apple Wallet, Google Pay, Samsung PayEasy portability (Get direct deposit of stimulus checks, tax refund, benefits)Freeze or unfreeze card on-demandSkylight PaycardZero sign up feeNo credit checkNo minimum balance Personalized your card with a family photo or unique imageManage money anywhere on Mobile AppDirect deposit your government benefits, tax refundsUse anywhere where Visa Debit & Debit Mastercard are acceptedFDIC insuredZero liability protectionPay bills onlineEarn interest on savings accountEarn cash back with Payback RewardsSend money to or receive money from friends and family with Netspend cardsSet text alerts about transactionsRefer a friend and boost your card balanceSkylight overdraft limit is $100 & 3 times/ monthConclusionOverall, paycards can be convenient and cost-effective for employees and employees when compared to paychecks or for those employees with no bank account. And the paycard fees are becoming more transparent and competitive.While paycards can be challenging at times, especially when you are employed in multiple jobs and have a separate paycard with each employer, your funds are scattered in multiple cards so it becomes difficult to manage your finances. Some may prefer to put all their money in one place, like a checking account.However, if you can't open a bank account, a paycard is a great option to get paid. Read the fine prints before signing up for a paycard and know the potential fees that come with it.

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