Top 5 Savings Accounts in Nigeria (2020)
While there’s tons of banks in Nigeria that offer savings accounts only a handful of them have good interest rates that beat inflation and are transparent about their rates, fees, and other important features of the accounts. Most of the good savings accounts are digital-only and don’t have physical locations.
We’ll only be covering accounts I would personally consider using — and I believe to be relatively trustworthy and safe to use. I say this as personally I do not trust all banks and their solvency, and I wouldn’t want anyone to lose their savings because of the incompetence of a badly ran bank even if it means a slightly higher interest rate or more convenient locations throughout Nigeria.
My Overall Favorite and Personal Choice: PiggyVest's Flex Naria Account
This would be — and is — my personal choice for my savings in Nigeria currently. The reason for this is it has a fantastic 10% or so interest rate per year while at the same time not having any fees whatsoever. On paper 10% may seem lower than a couple other banks we’ll cover here, however in reality the extra 1-2% the other accounts give don’t make up for the fees they charge which are often up to a 5% fee when you withdraw outside the set withdrawal days.
Other than the interest rate we prefer this account as it’s by the most well-trusted and established online bank in Nigeria and not only is in great financial condition but they also have insurance that would cover your deposits with them in case the bank ever fell on rough times.
If you do not want to hold Naria you can also open this account and hold US dollars in it and earn 6% a year — however this is not something we’d personally do as we believe the US dollar is riskier than the Nigerian Naria. But it’s your decision.
You can open up either of these accounts on their website or through the piggyvest app on the google play store or apple store. Make sure you apply for a “Flex” account though, as their other accounts limit withdrawals to certain days or time-frames and/or charge fees. The others are good for longer term investing/saving, but we’d always choose the ability to get our money any time we want over getting a fraction more in interest per year.
Best Traditional Savings Account: Zenith Bank's Savings Account
As most of the accounts we cover are online-only I wanted to include a traditional bank, as I know some people still aren’t comfortable using digital banking. If you are comfortable with it and have a smart phone I’d go with one of the other accounts mentioned in the article — but if you don’t want to bank digitally then Zenith Bank is probably the best choice for you as they have the most physical locations of any bank throughout Nigeria.
Due to paying for the operating expenses of physical locations they only charge around 4% per year on deposits, which isn’t very good and doesn’t beat inflation, however it’s better than some other smaller banks in Nigeria, so it’s not as bad as it looks. It’s just the other accounts we’ve found are phenomenal.
Overall if you don’t like banking online or are interested in potentially getting a home loan (mortgage) or something of the sort in the near future it might be a good idea to choose Zenith bank, however otherwise we’d opt for one of the other banks in this article.
Highest Yielding Saving Account: KudaBank's Mobile Savings
This would probably be where we’d bank if not for Pennywise as Kudabank offers the highest interest rate of any insured/secure bank in Nigeria that we believe to be legitimate and financially healthy. The interest rate comes in at between 10% ->15% depending on long the deposit is for and how much Naria you have in the account and no fees whatsoever. Even for withdrawing funds early.
Truthfully if we didn’t already bank with Piggyvest we might go with KudaBank, as they’re about as good — a little higher yielding at the cost of slower customer service. Kudabank also lacks some investment options that Piggyvest has, however due to their slightly higher yield it’s not a big deal.
Overall I wouldn’t fault anyone for choosing this account — I’d say it’s one of the absolute best in all of Nigeria. You can apply for the account on their website by clicking here, or simply download the Kudabank app and register in their app.
Best Sharia Compliant (Halal) Account: Jaiz Bank's Mudarabah Savings
There’s not many good Islamic Banks in Nigeria, but there are a few. This is one of the biggest most trustworthy ones, and from what I’ve heard the shared-profits come in at around 3-8% per year on average so it’s in-line with average traditional banks in Nigeria — but instead of it being from interest fees it’s from investments the bank makes with the deposits they’re entrusted with.
If you’re a Muslim who wants a Shari’a Compliant account by an Islamic bank or even if you aren’t but just want a more ethical and non-predatory bank to share in the profits of your savings then this would be my first choice.
You can view more information on Jaiz Bank’s website, but generally you have to go into a physical location to open the account.
Best for Customer Service: Cowrywise's Savings/Investment Account
While we consider Cowrywise’s investment options (mutual funds) to be garbage with way too many fees, their savings account is fantastic and their customer-service has always been top-notch and best in the industry in our experience. They also have the best mobile banking features and technology which is another great thing about banking with Cowrywise.
The interest rate they offer varies, generally you can expect around 8% -> 11% per year from this account and it doesn’t have any early withdrawal penalties like most online banks in Nigeria. They require you to “lock up” your money for 3 months, however you can withdraw it during this time. The only downside to doing this is you won’t get interest for that period, but it won’t cost you any fees otherwise.
You have to apply for this account online, as Cowrywise is an online-only bank that doesn’t have physical locations. You can do so through this link that goes to their website, or you can simply download their app on the google play or apple app store for free and signup through it.