Top 4 Savings Accounts in Vietnam (2020)
Vietnam has many banks, however most of them are government-owned to some extent and thus have very little differences between the services they offer. Because of this most accounts offered are quite similar, with some just having slight benefits to them or different account minimums.
Truthfully as long as you don’t use HSBC any of the accounts by the large vietnamese banks will do just fine if you use their term-deposit accounts. I would say most savings should be kept in 1-month term deposits and then some in 6month deposits to earn a little more interest on what you wouldn’t need in case of an emergency, however I wouldn’t lock up my money longer than this due to the potential for inflation and interest rates to rise over the longer-term.
Overall Best Account: Agribank's Term Deposit Account
This account has the highest interest rate of any relatively safe bank in Vietnam as far as we could find, and has locations throughout the entire country. They offer only 0.2% rate for non-term deposits, which is still double what all other banks seem to provide, however for locking your money up for only 1 month at a time in their term deposit account you get a great 4.3% interest rate that beats out other banks — and beats the inflation rate by a good margin.
They also offer longer-term deposits than a month, which would be a good choice to increase your profits/yield from the account — if you’re interested in longer term savings/deposits make sure to read the bottom part of this article for best-practices when locking up your money longer-term in these deposits.
This account is our favorite not only because the locations being throughout the whole country, but they also offer the best interest rates and most importantly — you can open an account with as little as 1 million VND (About $45 USD). Not all foreigners are able to get this account though, but all Vietnamese citizens can easily get an account with Agribank.
Best Account for Foreigners: VietComBank's Term Deposit Account
This account offers nearly the same rates at the above option at only 0.1% less on all of their rates, however they’re significantly more foreigner-friendly and more transparent, being a publicly traded company rather than government-owned and specifically listing the requirements for foreigners to open each of their accounts online.
For Vietnamese nationals there’s no real advantage to this account unless you just prefer a public company to a government one, however it’s an overall great option for anyone and would still be my second choice to Agribank’s Deposit Account. The only unique thing for Vietnamese Nationals would be they offer 0.5% interest on weekly deposits, which is better than Agribank’s daily rate by 0.3%, however I would say just locking in on a monthly basis is a better choice for just about everyone.
You can check out VietCom’s Deposit account on this page of their website.
An Overall OK Choice: BIDV's Term Deposit Account
I don’t really see a reason to go with this one above the other two as their rate on 1 month deposits is horrible so you’d have to go out to multiple months — and even then you’ll get 0.2-0.5% less per year on your month compared to the above two accounts we already mentioned.
However their rates are generally still better than all other reputable banks in Vietnam, so maybe you know something I don’t or already bank with BIDV and simply would like to have your savings account with the same people. A fraction of a percent isn’t anything to stress about anyway — so if you prefer BIDV for some reason I wouldn’t fault you for opening an account with them — just don’t do so if quick access to your funds is a must to you as the 1-month and less lock-in periods have very low interest rates.
They have many savings accounts, so make sure you apply to this one as it has the best rates and has the least fees. If you want the page in English simply change the flag at the top of their website and it’ll translate the page for you.
The Only Other Bank I'd Use: HSBC's Time Deposit Account
I wouldn’t recommend this bank to people as their interest rates are pitiful, however if you’re interested in getting their credit cards or mortgage offerings it could be worth having a savings account with them first so they’re more willing to trust you and approve you for the credit card or mortgage you may want to get in the future.
Other than for that reason, I’d avoid them as their rates are significantly less than the other banks mentioned here that are Vietnamese Companies and don’t have as much exposure/risk to other countries economies. So if you plan to get a mortgage or credit card with HSBC then you might want to apply for an account with HSBC.
Best Practices for Using Term Deposit Accounts:
Make Sure when using these accounts you don’t just try to maximize your return, as if you lock in for 36 months (3 years) you’ll get a few percent more per year on average, but if you need the money you’ll be in big-trouble.
Because of this we would say for most people keeping about 6 months in expenses in 1 month terms is best, then anything above that you keep in 6 month term-deposits. We wouldn’t personally go further out than 6 months, and definitely not longer than 12 months, as we prefer to limit our risks to inflation and have increased liquidity (access to our money) in the event than we need it to pay for our living expenses or decide that we want to invest in real estate or something that’d require us to take money out of our savings.