The 3 Best Savings Accounts in Pakistan (2020)
There’s not many banks in Pakistan that offer savings accounts and only a few of them have good interest rates that beat inflation and are transparent about their rates, fees, and other important features of the accounts.
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 Pakistan.
My Favorite Savings Account Overall: Standard Charter's Basic Saver Account
This is the absolute best choice in my opinion for a Pakistani Savings account as they’re a well-trusted bank with branches/locations throughout all big cities in pakistan, as well as have locations globally which make getting money abroad (if you travel abroad) very easy and affordable.
More importantly — they offer an interest rate significantly above inflation on average. Currently the interest rate they offer is around 11%, which is a few percent above the average inflation rate in Pakistan currently — which makes money in this account grow not only in monetary terms, but in real value terms, meaning you’ll be able to buy quite a bit more after having your money sit in this account.
Having a savings account with them also helps you be able to get loans to buy property or other things, get a credit-card, and open a brokerage account to invest in Pakistani and International companies for relatively reasonable prices (compared to the competition). You can apply for this account on their website, or of course at a local location near you.
Best Islamic Savings Account: HBL's Islamic PLS-Account
If you want to stick to Shari’a savings principles, often referred to as “Islamic banking principles,” then this would definitely be your best option. They don’t offer a set interest rate, as that’s not compatible with Shari’a banking practices, however from what we’ve heard from people the return/gift is generally between 3 and 8% annually, which is similar to most islamic savings accounts.
In other words it’s quite a bit below the rate of inflation, which to me makes simply buying gold/silver/land more appealing, but it’s up to you to do what you want with your money. I would not recommend other Islamic savings accounts from Pakistani banks due to their financial status and lack of locations.
Before opening this account make sure to familiarize yourself with the fees they charge, as they charge for just about everything. I decided to still include this account, as it’s still a better choice than the other Shari’a compliant accounts from Pakistani banks.
Best Rural Savings Account: National Savings (Government) Account
This account used to be troubling to me, however with recent improvements in Pakistan I do believe this government ran/sponsored account would be safe to use — and it has a pretty great interest rate that is right-at the inflation rate (around 8%) and historically has remained around the inflation rate in Pakistan.
I’d still prefer Standard Charter, however if you live in a rural area that doesn’t have one of their locations this is a good option as well since you can deposit and withdraw from multiple government buildings including post offices. This presents some issues of course, however I feel with the increasing stability in Pakistan I wouldn’t be particularly avoidant of going to such a place or being willing to deposit into the government’s hands directly.
Unfortunately you can’t open this account online, or manage it whatsoever digitally at this time, so everything has to be done at a government facility (NSC’s or PPO’s in particular). This account carries a little extra risk in the sense of if the situation in Pakistan ever worsens it may become difficult to access the funds, but overall I do not consider this a probable event so I would be comfortable putting my money in this account if I didn’t use the Standard Charter’s account I mentioned above.