Top 3 Savings Accounts in Hong Kong (2020)
Hong Kong has quite a few good savings accounts, although the rates they offer aren’t that high compared to other countries. This is due to Hong Kong’s Government having a relatively low interest rate on the bonds they deploy, partially due to low inflation partially due to the currency being pegged to US dollars. This makes banks not have as much to pass down to you.
Due to this while there’s some decent accounts that we’ll go over below we’d still say if you have substantial sums of money, more than a few months of your living expenses, then you should consider investing it into real estate or stocks/equities/gold/silver rather than in a savings account, as in the long-term they would preserve your wealth better than a savings account. We’d still say holding 3-6months of your living expenses in a savings account is a good idea for the vast majority of people.
Our Top Choice: HK Public Bank's Term Deposit Account
This is our favorite savings account option due to it’s high interest rate for Hong Kong Dollars ($HKD) and it not being exposed to international risks such as 0% interest rates in Europe/America that other banks in Hong Kong often have exposure to.
There’s no real downside to this account other than HK Public Bank having a severely outdated online interface that makes opening and managing this account more difficult than at some other HK banks. This isn’t a big issue in our view as you can get them to automatically renew the term deposits every time a term expires, making managing the account effortless on your part.
Overall unless you don’t want to hold Hong Kong Dollars and prefer to save in another currency, such as Mainland Chinese RMB or Australian Dollars, then we’d definitely go with this account. You can see the current rates the account offers on this page of their website for each term contract, but currently you can easily safely get 1.5% to 2% per year from the term deposits.
You must go into a physical location to open this account currently — hopefully they update their online interface soon and allow online signups in the future.
Best for Foreign Currency: Standard Charter's Time Deposit Account
If you want to keep non-HKD in your savings account then this account offers the best rates for most foreign currencies, particularly AUD/NZD/RMB. Their USD rates aren’t any better than some other Hong Kong banks, but since the $HKD is tethered to the US Dollar there’s no real reason to save in USD vs HKD in our opinion.
They offer around 0.5% and 1.8% for most foreign currencies, which isn’t all that great, but is far better than other Hong Kong banks such as HSBC which offers 0.01% on foreign currency deposits for most of their accounts.
You can check current rates on this page of their website. We would say this account isn’t right for most people as it requires large (100,000 HKD) amounts of money to open, and generally saving in a currency that your living expenses aren’t required to be paid in isn’t a good idea for most people. Because of this we’d say for most Hong Kong residents we’d recommend $HKD savings accounts like HK Public Bank’s term deposit account.
An Overall Decent Account: Citi Bank's Time Deposit Account
If for some reason you do not like Hong Kong Public Bank then Citi Bank is the next best choice for Deposits in Hong Kong Dollars.
Citi Bank’s Term Deposits offer about 0.1% to 0.3% per year less than HK public bank’s term deposit account, so they offer around 1% to 1.9% or so for regular term deposit lengths. So it’s not a big loss banking with citi instead of HK public bank. If you’re interested in getting a credit card, particularly a travel credit card, or will travel internationally often and need to take out cash from ATM’s, then banking with Citi might be a better option for you as it makes getting credit cards easier and Citi has ATM’s abroad that allow you to withdraw without paying extra ATM fees.
Likewise with the other accounts mentioned in this article you must go into a physical location to open an account in most circumstances. I’d still recommend checking Citi’s HK website as sometimes they have promotions or allow you to open accounts through their mobile app.