Top 3 Best Savings Accounts in Indonesia (2020)
Indonesia has many good quality banks that offer good interest rates, but only a few that are available throughout all of Indonesia. We’ll only be including the best accounts that you can open in most areas of Indonesia.
Indonesia has a generally great interest rate that is, if you have a good size savings, earns interest higher than the inflation rate, which makes Indonesia really a great place to have a large savings in — despite this we would say after you have about 38 juta/million we’d say you should look into investing in real estate or stocks/equities as in the longer-term they’re likely to make you more money — although we’d still say to continue building your savings up as well.
The first 38 Juta/Million we’d keep in a savings account, particularly a term-deposit account, to ensure we always have enough money to pay bills and eat if we lost our job, our vehicle broke, or something bad happened to one of us — as it’d still make us money and preserve our wealth quite nicely.
We’ll be covering Time/Fixed deposits as well as traditional savings accounts — the difference is with Time/Fixed deposits you earn interest at a higher rate if you lock the money up in the account for the time period. Due to interest rate fluctuations and liquidity reasons we’d only use 1 or 3 month term deposits and not lock up our money up longer-term — that way if we need to tap into our savings for our living expenses we can quickly and without penalty.
Our Personal Choice: Bank BRI's Time Deposit Account
This would be our choice for saving in Indonesia — it has a great interest rate of around 4.75% all the way up to 5.5% depending on how much you have in the account and how long you have it deposited for. This is one of the best interest rates in all of Indonesia with only a couple small local banks offering rates as good as these — however due to Bank BRI having locations throughout all of Indonesia, even smaller cities, we prefer them to the smaller regional banks.
There are downsides to this account though — namely that you MUST have at least 5 Juta/Million Rupiah to open the account or 10 Juta/Million Rupiah if you do so at a physical branch/location. This is quite a substantial sum to many people who haven’t saved before, and to achieve the initial deposit requirement it may take a few months (or longer if low-income) of saving in your normal bank account to reach the minimum of the account. None the less — we’d attempt to save up for this account rather than using their normal non-term savings account as it has significantly lower-yield at only 0.75% per year, or about 2% less than the inflation rate in Indonesia.
You can open this account online or in person at any BRI branch location, although they have a lower deposit minimum if you open it online. Regardless of your decision make sure you check the account page on their website to confirm you have all the required documents to open this account. Foreigners/Migrant-Workers can open this account, as well as of course Indonesian Citizens.
Best For Non-Rupiah Savings: Mandiri USD Term Deposit Account
Personally we’d avoid saving in US dollars as we do not trust the dollar and think the Indonesian Rupiah is a safer currency in the long-term, especially as someone who spends in Rupiah rather than USD. But we wanted to cover which account would be best if you do in fact want to save in US dollars instead of Rupiah — and that would be this account.
It offers 0.8% or so on USD deposits, which is quite good, better than essentially all banks in Indonesia and most around the world. However if the US dollar declines, as we at Greenery Financial suspect, then this interest won’t make much of a difference.
Overall we’d only use this account if you have a business that earns and spends primarily in USD, however even then we’d be wary. But hey, it’s your money — it’s your choice — if you want to save in USD then this would be your best option in terms of a real savings account.
This account now offers saving in other foreign currencies such as Singapore dollars (SGD) which we would say is a sensible choice for some Indonesians and would be much safer than US dollars if you want to save in a currency other than Rupiah.
Best for Low-Networth Individuals: Mandiri Traditional Savings Account
This account offers the best interest rate of traditional savings accounts in Indonesia, but that’s still not saying much — it only yields about 0.75% per year and requires 100,000 Rupiah deposit (or $10 USD) per month. If you don’t have the capital (money) to open a term deposit account we’d say this is your best bet — just make sure you will be able to deposit 100,000 Rupiah a month, as if you don’t they may penalize you!
Overall we don’t see this account as very beneficial unless you simply need to be more or less forced to save every month (100,000 Rupiah), as the interest rate it provides just isn’t good enough to justify keeping your money in it verses your normal bank account in our opinion — even though it’s interest rate is higher than most traditional savings accounts in Indonesia.