Banking,  PERSONAL FINANCE

UnionBank’s Personal Savings Account: Yay or Nay?

UnionBank’s Personal Savings account offers no maintaining balance to start with. But is opening an account really worth it? Let’s find it out after laying both the advantages and disadvantages of opening one.

Unionbank's personal savings account
UnionBank’s Personal Savings Account

A few weeks ago, a co-worker got his new ATM from Unionbank. It is a Personal Savings Account with No Maintaining balance. He made an account on Unionbank’s mobile app and the ATM was then delivered right at our company’s doorstep after a week.

I was pretty surprised after knowing that Unionbank is offering an account with no maintaining balance. As far as I remember, Unionbank’s savings account has a minimum maintaining balance of 100,000 thousand pesos after asking it from a branch nearby.

I was quite intrigued so I tried enrolling an account in Unionbank’s mobile app myself. Before expressing my personal judgment whether or not it’s a wise idea to open in Unionbank’s Personal Savings Account with no maintaining balance, let me just lay down both the perks and the downsides. I highly encourage you to weigh these things out before opening an account.

Tip: UnionBank has a GetGo Debit Account that converts your GetGo points into FREE FLIGHTS! Apparently, it’s also the easiest way to create an account with UnionBank. You can even get your debit card within 10 minutes!

But is it worth opening an account for that? Hint: I find it not the wisest decision to make. READ MY FULL REVIEW HERE.

Table of Contents

My Personal Experience with Unionbank

I have no account in Unionbank but I personally do financial transactions with them. It’s the only bank which offers 100% rebate for Coins.ph cash-ins (You can cash-in in Coins.ph even if you don’t have a UB account).

Aside from that, Unionbank widely accepts financial transactions locally and globally. Having a Unionbank account is indeed a great advantage especially for someone who do most financial transactions online.

I tried opening an account months ago but as I said earlier, their minimum maintaining balance for both the ATM and passbook is 100,000 Pesos! Normally, the monthly maintaining balance for Philippine banks is just 2,000 Pesos.

Update: Unionbank changed the maintaining balance for their Individual Regular Savings Accounts from P100,000 down to P10,000. This is effective starting July 15, 2019.



READ MORE: How Much Does it Cost to Open A Bank Account in the Philippines?


Advantages:

1. No maintaining balance.

Most Philippine banks require 2,000 pesos maintaining balance. If you can’t maintain such amount on a monthly basis, your account will be deducted with 300 pesos. So if you find it hard to sustain such amount in other banks, UB’s Personal Savings Account with no maintaining balance is definitely for you.

2. UnionBank Online lets you open an account without the hassle of showing up in their branches physically.

You just have to download their app and follow the verification process. This will definitely save you a lot of time and effort! I even completed mine in less than 15 minutes.

3. Receive your physical ATM card 5-10 banking days after completing your account verification.

Unionbank will deliver it to the address you indicated during your online application.

4. Send and receive money to other local banks.

You can receive money by the end of the day for FREE via PESOnet. You can also make instant transactions for 10 PHP via Instapay. Other banks charge 50 pesos or more for this type of transaction.

5. Buy prepaid load (Globe, Smart, and Sun).

It offers no rebates but you can utilize it in case of emergency.

6. Pay bills with no charge.

If you’re an investor like me, you will surely appreciate UB. Unionbank also supports online cash-ins to investing platforms such as AAA Securities, Abra, Coins.ph, COL Financial, PAMI, and Philstocks.

7. Lock/unlock, set limits and transaction controls.

As far as I know, UB is the first online banking app that has this function. This will surely give you more control over your financial transactions.

Amazed, aren’t you? Well, here’s more:

8. Schedule branch visits in the app.

As I have observed, UB has lesser queues compared to other local banks. Still, UB provides additional convenience by letting you book any physical transactions ahead of time. You can select your desired transactions on the app (cash deposit, check deposit, and cash withdrawal) and do paperless transactions as you visit their branch on your booked date.

9. Schedule recurring transfers and payments.

Miss payments no more for you can already automate transactions within the app. I find this very useful for investors as well. If you are someone who wants to automate your investment allocation to your investment accounts, you’ll surely love UB!

10. Deposit checks by simply taking a photo of it using the phone app.

Imagine the convenience it provides for check holders! This feature is limited to UBP checks for now though.

11. Speedy App and User-friendly interface.

UB app is definitely a user experience-wise! I am not even surprised why UB received countless recognition for being one of the best online banking apps in the Philippines. I have online banking apps in BDO, BPI, and Metrobank so I can really see the difference. Though I am not so sure if some issues will arise as UB users increase. But up to this point, I haven’t faced a single problem with UB’s app.

12. Has very detailed FAQs.

One of the things that I noticed with UB’s app is its countless tabs to navigate. If you’re a first-timer, you’ll probably be confused with what tab to tap first. But what amazed me the most is they have provided FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) for every section. This ensures that you won’t get lost, so make sure to read their FAQs!

And so on.

The list goes on but I just highlighted the ones that give UnionBank an edge over other local banks. But as promised, I’ll express the downsides of having this particular account with UBP.

Let’s take a look at UnionBank’s mobile banking app:

Disadvantages:

1. Has an annual card fee of 350 Pesos.

At first, I had second thoughts of applying an account after knowing that this particular one has a card fee. You are not required to have a maintaining balance but you are obliged to pay for this one. Otherwise, your account will be closed.

2. Requires bigger mobile data than other online banking apps.

A week after downloading UB, I noticed that it demands more data usage than the other online banking apps I have. Its app also requires bigger app storage (80 MB). Around 5 times more than the usual Philippine online banking apps.

3. Lower interest rate.

If you are just after the interest rates you can get from your savings, you might just be disappointed. UB’s personal savings account only gives 0.10% annual interest that is subjected to a 20% tax. (Are you surprised? most banks only offer 0.25-1% annual interest). You will only receive such interest if your account reaches a minimum of 10,000 pesos.

Unionbank’s Personal Savings Account with No Maintaining Balance: Yay or Nay?

I would not encourage you to open an account if your sole purpose of having one is to SAVE.

Here’s why:

  • You have to pay for an annual card fee of 350 pesos.
  • The annual interest rate is 0.10% less 20% tax (minimum amount to earn interest is 10,000 pesos).

I actually did the computation and in order for you to break even the 350 pesos annual card fee with the interest, you have to deposit at least 437,500 Pesos. Let such amount park in your account to be legible for the 0.10% (less 20% tax) annual interest.

Now, think about that. You may not be required to have an account maintaining balance but you are actually paying more for the annual card fee than the interest you are earning.

But if you have some businesses or investments which greatly require bank transactions, you’d surely love this UB’s personal savings account for its:

  • Cheap bank transaction fees compared to other local banks.
  • Amazing app functionalities.
  • Wide acceptance of payment transactions both locally and globally.

If you’re like me who find that the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages, then give UB a try! PHP 350 annual card fee is minimal compared to the convenience and perks UB’s personal savings account with no maintaining balance gives.

To wrap everything up, Unionbank’s Personal Savings Account with No Maintaining Balance is YAY for business owners/ investors but NAY for SAVERS.

How to Apply for UnionBank’s Personal Savings Account?

Now that you’re settled to open a personal account with UB, just follow the following steps:

Step 1. Download UnionBank’s app.


Step 2. Select Open an Account and click Personal Savings.


Step 3. Prepare valid a valid ID for scanning and verification process.

  • UB accepts the following:
    • Passport
    • Driver’s License
    • SSS ID
    • PRC ID
    • Postal ID
    • UMID


Step 4. Proceed with the verification process. Complete your profile and contact details to verify your account.


Step 5. Input your signature. UB app will provide an electronic signature feature.


Step 6. Input the card details you want to reflect on your physical ATM card. You can just input your complete name on it by the way.


Step 7. Put the address where you want your physical ATM card to be delivered.


Step 8. Review and submit your application.

Here’s a quick look at the application process:

Sheila is a civil engineer by profession but has switched careers to become a copywriter. She loves making sales through stories that are relatable to the average person. She's also a sucker for memes and thinks she’s the funniest person in the world (even though she knows that’s not true). Her favorite drink is Kopiko Brown coffee, but she'll also take tea or beer if it's offered.

77 Comments

  • Jethro

    Thanks for creating an entry about this new card from UnionBank. I’m actually thinking of opening one until I saw this and read its content. Now, I am convinced that I do not need to open an account as you already laid out here some of the advantages and disadvantages of having one.

    Thanks! 🙂

      • chrissy

        Thanks for the comprehensive review. I would like to confirm if you by any chance already did transactions with your UB online account without your physical ATM card? And have you already received your card?

        • Sheila

          Yes, it will be automatically deducted from your account. But if you don’t have enough balance to cover up the annual fee, your account will not be automatically closed. Instead, you will be deducted the next time you fund your account.

      • Wilbert

        Hello…recently i opened an personal savings online and I had just put 25k as an “estimated monthly transaction” im just worried what if the estimated monthly transaction will go beyond 25k does my account will still be able to received funds? Is it ok if the transaction montly exceeded 25k?..thank you

        • Sheila

          Hi Wilbert, it doesn’t matter. It’s for the bank’s KYC (Know your customer) protocols. You can still deposit beyond that amount. Hope this helps 🙂

      • Pinay Teenvestor

        Hi KJ! I opened an account in ING recently but haven’t tried transacting yet. Also, I’m trying to weigh out if CIMB (another all-digital bank) is better than ING since it offers free insurance. I’ll write a review for this soon 🙂

        Anyway, thanks for dropping by KJ!

        Keep safe! 🙂

    • Rui

      Hi! Is it really an annual fee for the card or just a one-time payment? Kinda weird for an annual fee for a debit /atm card but i guess thats what you pay for for their services

  • Mich

    Thanks for the insight. I had a debit card issued by my last employer that I got before end of 2018 and last used may 2019 when I resigned. And I found it was still in my cabinet and I was wondering if I could keep the card for online transactions. Now that we are caught in pandemic I am trying to rely on online transactions with the help of gcash. I figured out that the debit card I received from my employer was a peso savings account (upon enrolling it on UB mobile app) and since it ate up the remaining residual peso savings since I left my card inactive after may 2019. I checked their website if the card had renewal fee but to no avail. And I can’t rely on my EPS BPI debit card to enroll on gcash to do online transactions. So now I know that UB’s atm is not favorable for savings thanks to your article

    • Pinay Teenvestor

      Hi Mich! Thank you for dropping by!

      Actually you can try ING or CIMB. Those are All-digital PH banks especially good for savings. They actually offer around 4% annual interest. And the best thing is you can do all the transactions online inculding the application process and customer service. I tried ING myself.

      Will make a post for this soon.

  • Bella

    Hello. Does the no maintaining balance apply to payroll accounts that are automatically converted into a Regular Savings Account? Thanks

    • Pinay Teenvestor

      Hi Bella!

      I don’t think it applies to that situation. Personal Savings Account is different from the Regular Savings Account. Regular Savings has a maintaining balance of P10,000 right now. So if you have converted it to regular savings, then you are required to maintain that amount. But you can talk to UB about that. You can reach them out through [email protected]

      • Fin

        Hi! I also applied for a savings account but I received an email that asks me to complete my application. When I clicked the button, it says there that my account isn’t ready yet. How can I complete my application then? Any idea? Thanks!

  • Erick

    Hi. I just want to ask, could you terminate the account before reaching 1 year to stop being charged of the fee? Also, can it be linked to your gcash? Planning to use UB as a bank account for Shopee sales. Thanks

    • Sheila

      Hi Erick,

      I actually asked UB about this when I got UB’s GetGo account. The teller said that if you have zero balance at the time your account reached 1 yr for this particular account, you don’t have to worry as you will not be charged with anything (they don’t have anything to deduct on your account :’>). Your account will not be closed either. But as soon as you will cash in on that account after a year, an annual fee will be automatically deducted. So if you don’t want to further use this particular account, just withdraw all your savings before one year.

      And yes, you can link your UB account to GCASH. Just make sure to have your UB account linked to the UB app first.

        • Sheila

          Hi Jhel,

          As far as I remember my account was verified a day after submitting my KYC docs. UB will let you know through email. I just suggest waiting for the verification first. Anyway, you can start transacting online as soon as it is verified, even if you haven’t received the physical debit card yet.

          Sheila

    • Sheila

      Hi Emi,

      I really love what you’re thinking. Such a clever idea 🙂 Although I’m not really sure about this but you can try. I will have to try this din since my account will be a year old this Sept. 😀

      Sheila

    • Kate

      Hi Shiela!

      Nice content! I would like to ask few questions because I am planning to have an account in union bank too.

      If not using my account for a year is the only way to close my account, will it be hard for me to create another one (a different one) if I decide to use union bank again? Cause I read in one of the comments here that they will deduct you once you use or deposited in your account again after being inactive for a year so I‘m afraid I will not consider that option. Just maybe, if I want to use union bank again, wouldn’t it be hard to create another one because I guess I’ll be using the same information I used in my first account?

      Second is, do you have any information regarding transfer fees or charges like if I will be receiving money from other banks and if I will be sending money to other banks too? Even transferring money to gcash, will they charge you for that?

      • Sheila

        Hi there Kate!

        I am not sure if you can make new personal savings account in UB while you still have an existing account. Most probably, it will conflict with their system. But I am sure you can apply for another UB account as long as it’s not personal savings. For example, I applied for UB’s Get Go account months after applying for the personal savings account.

        For the second question, there are NO transaction fees as long as you’re doing it online. You can also do FREE cashins in most online apps, including GCash using your online UB app.

  • E.A Antonio

    I just made this request for physical card and Now, I read this review particularly on Card Fee which PHP 350/ Year. I don’t have yet any balance in my UB Personal Saving. I would like to know If I can terminate or permanently close my Account due to this Card Fee and other concern? Thank you, more power.

    • Sheila

      Hi E.A, that I’m not so sure if you can terminate or permanently close your account. But you can choose not to use it. It will close on its own once the account will experience dormancy.

  • Malou

    Hi! This is questions is already off topic. Do you happen to know if i can open a joint account online (with UB or any other local banks)? My husband is currently outside the country and wed like to open a joint account. Is it possible to open one without him physically present during the application?

      • Nico Rafael

        Hi, Good day!

        The annual card fee is only charged if you order a physical card right? Is it wise to save money in the UB app without worrying the annual card fee since you didn’t order their physical card?

        Thank you

        • Sheila

          Hi Nico, the account automatically comes with the physical card so there’s no way to dodge the annual fee for this one. The card will be delivered to your address. If your goal is to save online, I suggest using digital banking apps.

      • Ricky

        I just called them and the annual fee is chargeable wether or not you have a debit card. How convenient is that. I don’t intend to use this as primary account anyway, hence I will be transferring the money I transferred into the new account once it reflects and I won’t be using it again. Good riddance.

  • negative

    Hi. I never had a bank account and im planning to get one, just for the purpose of transfering my earnings through paypal, which sadly is not that much and consistent on a per month basis. Would it be viable to just open the account for this purpose?

    • Sheila

      Hi yes! I am using this account as well to transfer my Paypal earnings to the bank. If you’re from PH, you can also use GCash since it allows you to make a transfer from Paypal directly to GCash.

      • August rabe

        Good day po. I would like to ask on how can i closed my acc before reaching a year, because it says if i didn’t pay the 350 pesos card fee annually it will be deducted once i cashing in again. How about if i’m not going to use my acc temporarily because of other circumstances. That is why i just wanted to know kung paano ko maaavoid na macharge ng 350 pesos card fee deduction by closing my acc. Another thing is, would it be possible to open it again once it is already closed? Thank you po

    • Marivic

      Hi! Ask ko lang kung meron yung physical card na exp date and security code? Yun kasi need ko kaya gusto ko mag open ng acct dito sa UB. Thank you 😊😊

  • Rafael

    I recently open personal savings account in Union Bank, but if I’m not mistaken, you will only get a charge (for 350 pesos) if your balance/deposit money is less than 10,000? Correct me if I’m wrong.

    So if you have to maintain this amount or more, I guess the annual fee is waived too.

  • Anon001

    I’ve also considered getting a UB account coz I have a coins.ph and I heard the fees are minimal. I’ve had to convert (already painful to look at) and cash out a few times and I would have appreciated lower fees.

    Now I’m not sure anymore whether it’s worth the annual fee since I don’t really do a lot of transactions anyway. What do you think about using coins.ph for loading business? Is it worth getting a UB account just for that? I’d prefer making putting the peso back in rather than having to regularly convert BTC.

  • Totie

    Hi, good article! I also use UB for Coins.ph cash-in for the 100% rebate. Any suggestion now that they don’t offer it anymore? Thanks!

    • Sheila

      Hi Totie! I am still using UB for its fast and cheap cashin fee compared to other methods. But if you have Metrobank online, you can do your cashin through that since it has zero transaction fees.

  • Komatsu

    Hi, thanks for this some of my question had been cleared out. But I also wanna ask narin sana kasi I Recently got an offer from us home base din so dito lang ako sa pinas but I don’t know how long will it take since monthly contract naman sya, will it be fine if i use my personal saving account number for them to direct my sallary? Will it be automatically converted to peso?

    • Sheila

      Hi Komatsu,

      I am using my UB account din for freelancing gigs but I haven’t experienced getting dollars directly to the account. Mostly galing sa paypal yung pera then I’ll just convert USD to peso in paypal then transfer na sa UB.

  • Roxane

    OMG! So happy po for this review.
    Hope you could review Regular Savings of Unionbank as well.

    Take care always, Ms. Pinayteenvestor!

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