Best Bank For NRI Accounts – 10 Best Banks

I’ve been an NRI for most parts of my life. Living abroad and with my family in India, I always had NRE and NRI accounts.

And I’ve banked with many banks all through these years. In this article, we’ll review the best banks for NRI accounts (technically called the NRE account).

Do NRIs need a bank account?

There are a few reasons why it is important for NRIs to open an NRE account:

1. To maintain foreign currency:

An NRE account allows you to maintain foreign currency in India. This is important because it can help you avoid currency fluctuations and exchange rate risk.

2. To save on taxes:

Interest earned on an NRE account is exempt from income tax in India. This can help you save on taxes if you are earning interest on your account.

3. To send money back home

An NRE account can be used to send money back home to your family or friends. This can be helpful if you are working abroad and want to send money back to India.

4. To invest in India

An NRE account can be used to invest in India. This can be helpful if you are looking to invest in Indian stocks, mutual funds, or other investment options.

There are a few key factors you should consider when choosing an NRI account, such as the type of account that best suits your needs, the fees and charges associated with the account, and the interest rate. You should also compare the features and benefits of different accounts to find the best fit for your needs.

good NRI Account Features

Some features of a good NRE bank account are:

  • The account should offer a competitive interest rate.
  • The account should have no monthly fees.
  • The account should offer a free debit card.
  • The account should offer online banking and mobile banking services.

Some of the most sought-after features in an NRE account include:

The ability to earn interest in Indian rupees:

This is one of the main reasons why people choose to open an NRE account. By keeping your money in an NRE account, you can earn interest on your deposits in Indian rupees.

The ability to repatriate funds:

Another popular feature of NRE accounts is that they allow you to repatriate your funds back to your home country.

This means that you can access your money whenever you need it, without having to worry about currency conversion rates.

The flexibility to use your account:

NRE accounts are also popular because they offer a lot of flexibility in terms of how you can use your account. For example, you can use your NRE account to make investments in India, or you can use it to manage your finances while you are living abroad.

The security of your deposits:

Finally, NRE accounts offer a high degree of security for your deposits. Since your money is held in an account in India, it is subject to Indian laws and regulations.

This means that your money is safe from any political or economic instability in your home country.

Problems faced by NRIs with Indian banks

The common problems that NRI customers face with Indian banks are:

  • Lack of knowledge about the banking system:
    Many NRIs are not aware of the banking system in India and how it works. This can lead to them facing problems when they try to open an account or transfer money.
  • Difficulty in getting documents:
    Another problem that NRIs face is that it can be difficult to get the required documents from Indian banks. This is because the banks may not have a branch in the country where the NRI lives.
  • Lack of customer service:
    NRIs also face problems with customer service at Indian banks. This is because the staff at these banks may not be trained to deal with foreign customers.
  • High fees:
    NRIs also have to pay high fees when they use Indian banks. This is because the banks charge higher fees for foreign transactions.

Related: What an NRI needs to know about 401K plans.

Types of NRI accounts

1. Non-Resident Ordinary (NRO)

NRO can be opened as a single or joint account of 2 or more NRIs who are of Indian origin and the account can be of any type like current, savings, recurrent, or fixed deposit.

This type of account is ideal for people who are traveling abroad for a few years and will return back once their work is completed. Money can be transferred to this account from another  NRO account or through remittance abroad.

The interest accumulated on the balance is taxable. This account is not repatriable except under some specific conditions. The account is exposed to fluctuations in the value of the Indian Rupee.

2. Non-Resident External (NRE)

NRE can be opened as a single or joint account of 2 or more NRIs who are of Indian origin and the account can be of any type like current, savings, recurrent, or fixed deposit.

As the NRE account is freely repatriable, you can either send money from another NRE account or through remittance from the country where you live. The interest accumulated on the balance is exempted from Income tax and wealth tax.

The account is exposed to fluctuations in the value of the Indian Rupee.

3. Foreign Currency Non Resident (FCNR)

As the money is held in foreign currency (Dollar, Pound, Yen, etc) in this type of account, it does not depend on the fluctuations in the Indian Rupee.

This type of account is best suited for people who handle transactions in foreign currency.

NRE and NRO accounts are both non-resident external accounts maintained by banks in India for the purpose of receiving deposits from and making payments on behalf of non-residents. The main difference between the two types of accounts is that NRE accounts are denominated in Indian rupees, while NRO accounts are denominated in foreign currency. NRE accounts are also subject to different rules and regulations than NRO accounts, as they are intended for use by resident Indians who wish to maintain their money in India.

Best Banks for NRI accounts

Here are the best banks for NRI accounts.

IDFC First Bank

IDFC First Bank offers a range of NRI services that are designed to meet the banking needs of NRIs.

These services include a savings account, a current account, a term deposit account, an NRE account, and an NRO account. The savings account offers a competitive interest rate and the ability to send money back to India.

The current account offers a high-interest rate and the ability to manage your finances online. The term deposit account offers a fixed interest rate for a set period of time.

The NRE account allows you to invest in Indian rupees and the NRO account allows you to hold Indian rupees in a foreign currency.

Their FD and interest rates are among the best in India and I strongly recommend you consider them when looking to start an NRI account.

IDFC Bank NRI Account Features

  • High-interest rate
  • Custom services
  • Personalized banking and attention

Create an NRI account here.

ICICI Bank NRE Account

The various types of NRI accounts offered by ICICI bank are below and the account can be opened by filling out the online form and sending the copies of the needed documents to the ICICI bank Mumbai branch.

Here is an in-depth review of ICICI bank’s NRE account.

ICICI Bank offers a wide range of NRI banking products and services to help you keep track of your finances while you are living abroad. These include:

  • A dedicated NRI customer service team to help you with any queries or problems you may have
  • The ability to open an NRI account in any of ICICI Bank’s branches in India
  • A wide range of deposit products including savings accounts, fixed deposits, and term deposits
  • Loan products such as home loans, personal loans, and car loans
  • The ability to remit money to India quickly and easily
  • A host of online banking features and services including the ability to view your account balance and transactions, transfer funds, and pay bills
  • A mobile banking app for even greater convenience

NRE Savings

  • Interest accumulated on the balance is tax-free
  • Average quarterly balance of Rs.15000
  • Both Principal and Interest are fully repatriable (tax-free)
  • The interest rate is 4% per annum and is calculated on a daily basis.

NRO Savings

  • Interest accumulated on the balance is taxable
  • Average quarterly balance of Rs.15000
  • The interest amount is repatriable
  • The interest rate is 4% per annum and is calculated on a daily basis.
  • Existing savings accounts can be easily converted to NRO savings accounts.
  • The benefit of the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA)

NRI Edge

  • Average quarterly balance of Rs.15000
  • Higher withdrawal (Rs. 1 lakh) and spending limits (Rs.2 lakh)
  • Free International Platinum Debit card
  • Travel Insurance benefits
  • Multi-city checkbook facility

Seafarer’s NRE Savings

This type of account is designed specifically for people in the marine industry.

  • Interest accumulated on the balance is tax-free
  • Average quarterly balance of Rs.15000
  • Both Principal and Interest are fully repatriable (tax-free)
  • The interest rate is 4% per annum and is calculated on a daily basis.

Student’s NRE Savings

This type of account is designed specifically for students studying abroad.

  • Interest accumulated on the balance is tax-free
  • Average quarterly balance of Rs.5000
  • Both Principal and Interest are fully repatriable (tax-free)
  • The interest rate is 4% per annum and is calculated on a daily basis.
ICICI Bank v/s IDFC Bank NRE Account
There are several key differences between HDFC Bank’s NRE account and IDFC First Bank’s NRE account.

For starters, HDFC Bank offers a higher interest rate on its NRE account than IDFC First Bank. Additionally, HDFC Bank does not require a minimum balance, while IDFC First Bank does. Finally, HDFC Bank offers a wider range of services and products, including a mobile app, online banking, and 24/7 customer support.

CitiBank’s NRE Account

CitiBank offers the NRI savings account depending on the location and it comes under USA & Canada, UK & Rest of Europe, Middle East, Asia Pacific, and Africa.

Citibank’s NRI services offer a wide range of features and benefits for customers. These include:

  • A dedicated team of Relationship Managers who are trained to understand the needs of NRIs
  • A wide range of products and services designed specifically for NRIs, including remittances, investments, savings, and loans
  • preferential pricing on a range of products and services
  • Dedicated 24/7 customer service support
  • A network of over 4,500 branches and ATMs across India

Rupee Checking account

  • Fund transfer from NRI account to any local bank account
  • Additional Debit card for the family for accessing the funds
  • The interest rate is 4% per annum and is calculated on a daily basis
  • Initial money to open the account is USD 5000 for USA & Canada (varies with other countries)
  • Provides free Platinum debit card with special privileges on travel, food, and entertainment
ICICI Bank v/s Citibank NRI Services
There are several key differences between ICICI Bank’s NRE account and Citibank’s NRE account.

For one, ICICI Bank offers a higher interest rate on its NRE account than Citibank. Additionally, ICICI Bank does not require a minimum balance, while Citibank does. Finally, ICICI Bank offers a wider range of services and products than Citibank, including online banking and mobile banking.

State Bank of India’s NRI Account

State Bank of India’s NRI services offers a number of features and benefits that are designed to meet the needs of non-resident Indians. These services include:

  • A dedicated NRI helpdesk that provides assistance with any questions or concerns that NRI customers may have
  • A wide range of NRI products and services, including savings and investment options, remittances, loans, and more
  • Competitive interest rates on NRI products and services
  • The ability to open an NRI account in any of State Bank of India’s branches across India

State Bank of India offers the following types of NRI accounts.

NRE Account

  • Interest accumulated on the balance is tax-free
  • Minimum monthly balance of Rs.1000
  • Both Principal and Interest are fully repatriable (tax-free)
  • The interest rate is 4% per annum and is calculated on a daily basis.

NRO Account

  • Interest accumulated on the balance is taxable
  • Minimum monthly balance of Rs.1000
  • Principal is repatriable under some conditions and the interest amount is subjected to tax and repatriable.
  • The interest rate is 4% per annum and is calculated on a daily basis.
  • Benefit of Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA)

SBI is located in many countries like the US, UK, Canada, Middle East, etc and it is also possible to open a local account in the country and transfer to the NRE/NRO account in India for better exchange rates and benefits.

HDFC Bank NRE Account

HDFC Bank’s NRI services offer a number of features and benefits that make it an attractive option for Indian citizens living abroad. These include:

  • A dedicated NRI Helpdesk to provide assistance with any banking queries
  • The ability to open an NRI account in either US Dollars or Indian Rupees
  • A wide range of deposit options, including fixed deposits, recurring deposits and NRE/NRO accounts
  • A comprehensive suite of online banking services
  • Attractive interest rates on deposits
  • A wide network of branches and ATMs across India

The HDFC Bank NRI services are designed to make it easy and convenient for NRIs to manage their finances, whether they are living in the US, UK, Canada, UAE or any other country.

HDFC Bank offers the following types of NRI accounts.

NRE Account

  • Interest accumulated on the balance is tax-free
  • Average Monthly balance of Rs.10,000
  • Both Principal and Interest are fully repatriable (tax free)
  • Interest rate is 4% per annum and is calculated on a daily basis.

NRO Account

  • Interest accumulated on the balance is taxable
  • Average Monthly Balance of Rs.10,000
  • The principal is repatriable under some conditions and the interest amount is subjected to tax and repatriable.
  • The interest rate is 4% per annum and is calculated on a daily basis.
  • The benefit of Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA)

It also offers current accounts and deposits for NRE and NRO types.

HDFC v/s ICICI Bank NRE Account
There are several key differences between HDFC Bank’s NRE account and ICICI Bank’s NRE account.

For starters, HDFC Bank offers a higher interest rate on its NRE account than ICICI Bank. Additionally, HDFC Bank does not require a minimum balance, while ICICI Bank does. Finally, HDFC Bank offers a wide range of features and benefits with its NRE account, while ICICI Bank’s NRE account is more basic.

Choosing the Right bank

Although many of the features offered by the banks are similar, choose the bank which has

  • Low Quarterly balance
  • Flexible and free transfer of money across various accounts
  • Good conversion rates
  • Other benefits like cards for family etc

How to open an account

Once you find the right bank for you, you need to open an NRI account.

The steps to open an NRE account are as follows:

  • Visit the website of the bank you wish to open an account with and download the necessary forms.
  • Fill out the forms and submit them along with the required documents.
  • Once your application is approved, you will be asked to choose a username and password for online banking.
  • After your account is opened, you can transfer funds from your home country into your NRE account.

Got questions? Ask in the comments.

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Mani Karthik

About the Author

Mani Karthik

Entrepreneur, Mentor & Blogger.
I help business grow & scale. Have helped 15+ companies scale in US, Middle East and India.
I share everything I learned on this blog, so that you benefit. Here’s more about me.

127 responses to “Best Bank For NRI Accounts – 10 Best Banks”
  1. Ravichandran Kaushika

    Mani Karthik Sir,

    greetings. I have been having NRE and NRO accounts with HDFC for the past 14 years and the one irritation I have is that they do not want to give me a debit card. I have been maintaining a balance of less than 50K INR.

    They want me to have a combined balance of 6 Lacs to be eligible to carry a debit card.

    I plan to maintain less than 50K combined balance (right now I am having a larger amount in my NRO account). I need a debit card that can be used in petrol bunks in India as my US based credit cards do not work.

    I also need the ability to transfer money from USA to India – right now, I can send money from my Wells Fargo account to my HDFC account.

    Summary: good customer service support, max 50K INR combined balance, debit card for both account holders, and ease of transfer from US to India.

    thank you for your service to the people like us.

    regards
    Ravichandran Kaushika

  2. Samiksha

    Hi Mani, Thanks for this blog post. Do you have a blog post guiding how tax situation will look like in the year one decides to move back to India (both in India and US)
    Also, how soon one needs to convert NRI accounts to resident account after moving back? Is there any tax liability in India on conversion of account to resident?

  3. Mani Karthik

    I use IDFC debit card and they have access to almost all domestic lounges in India.

  4. Shivakumar

    Any charges for airport Lounge access?

  5. AVIJIT BOSE

    Hi,
    Thanks for the info.
    However, I am very very bitter experience with Axis Bank. I can login to the internet banking for last 48 hrs, their 24×7 phone number from Australia is switched off, their support email ID is wrong..
    Cheers

  6. Sumit Tyagi

    Also, I just want a NRE account with the least fees & best online services. I reside in Indonesia.

  7. Mani Karthik

    In terms of customer service, I’ve found IDFC to be the best but they do not have any tie-ups to any such products. HDFC, on the other hand, has great products (specifically for NRI products and Credit Cards) and not entirely sure about a tie-up between them and Zerodha. IDFCs netbanking is butter-cut easy and probably the smoothest that any other bank I have seen. Fund transfer and netbanking with third party products like Zerodha or PayTm (or any app for that matter) are always smooth and easy without hiccups. I’ve seen tech glitches with HDFC, SBI and Axis. So while it’s not possible to say any one absolute answer, these are my inputs for you. Hope it is useful.

  8. Abhishek

    Hi Mani,

    Thanks for sharing the info. It’s surprising that nit many blogs/reviews are available of NRE banking. I’m sure you’ve been asked this multiple times before, but I will dare to ask again since I want to know if your preference has changed? Which are the best banks to open NRE account? Priority is integration with discount brokers like Zerodha, Prostocks etc. and that has good customer service. I don’t really care about other features including int rate.
    Many Thanks.

  9. Avi

    DO NOT OPEN NRE/NRO ACC WITH YES BANK

    I live in London and opened an NRE account with Yes Bank. The relationship manager (Shivani Gupta-shivani.gupta1@yesbank.in) assigned to me was very helpful in helping me out with filling the forms and document verification. Once the account was opened, she stopped responding to my requests. I even cc’ed her supervisors to complain that none of my requests is being looked into or even being acknowledged. No response from them either. This is was not expected from such a big private bank!
    I’m now in the process of closing the account (It’s been less than 10 days since I opened).
    I think Yes bank just wants to show numbers that new accounts are being opened despite the fiasco going on with its CEO and share price. They do not care about customers at all. I’m not even sure if this bank will stay solvent with all such practices and was also another reason to worry about since I realized any deposit by NRE is not insured for or guaranteed by the govt of India either. Please stay away from this bank.

  10. Abdulla

    Hello..i would like to open an NRI account ,can you give me the best feature among Federal bank & Axis bank. and which type of NRI suits me .i am in india,kerala

  11. roy

    IDFC is giving Interest @ NARI account 6 % upto 1 LAC and 7 % beyond

  12. Deepak

    Hi,

    whether YES bank i good for NRE account in current situation or i can go with some other bank. Please advice.

  13. Mani Karthik

    Thanks for sharing your experience here Muthu. I’m sure others will find it useful.

  14. Muthu Selvan

    HDFC is the worst bank I have ever dealt with in my life. They typed the wrong address when I opened the account and I called them multiple time with no response. When I went to India recently I took my documents and I tried to change my name and address since I have gotten married the incompetent bank employee took all the information and my paperwork and told me that I should receive my paper work in two weeks. Never received any paper work its been 3 months. Finally, I was told by another employee that my account is inactive and I have to send them on email. I did send email to the branch and told that it was the wrong format so they cannot activate my account. WTF?????????

    Don’t ever open account with HDFC bank worst customer service ever.

    The Branch is from Sivakasi branch in Tamil Nadu.

    The employee who took the information is Thirunavukarasu
    the other employees are Senthil Kumar
    And the great branch manager name is Poongothai

    I am just tired of this bank just want to close this account and call it a day but they won’t even help me to close the account.

  15. Aji

    Hi Mani,

    But in Cochin international airport they are not accepting visa cards only master cards

  16. Mani Karthik

    There are many Raj. I use IDFCs debit cards – they have access to most domestic and international lounges.

  17. Raj

    Hi Mani, Currently which is the best debit card in india for airport lounge access?

  18. Sri K

    My bank, SBI, really doesn’t cater to customers abroad as they barely have any customer care/contact for any questions or help. Instead, they require someone to come into the bank locally, which defeats the purpose. Any suggestions for a bank with good customer service abroad (US)? Thanks.

  19. Mani Karthik

    Forms and compliance is a must in overseas transactions with every bank – some make it faster and easier that is all. HDFC is ok, Axis is fine, SBI does things right even though they might ask for lot of documents. I think it’s got to do a lot about your relationship with the bank more than anything.

  20. New NRI

    Hi Mani,
    Which bank would you recommend to transfer funds between accounts here and UK, for example, without the need for unending forms and proofs of things? I have a savings account with HDFC & NRO/NRE with a couple of cooperative banks.
    Also, is there a bank that offers PayPal for overseas payments?
    Many thanks

  21. Nirmal Shah

    Hello Sir I am new to NRE account world.
    Looking at FD rates I am also thinking to open in IDFC bank.

    But Can I trust this bank ?
    This question is constantly popping in my mind or should I compromise with FD rates and go with some well known bank ?

  22. jaideep tilak

    Hi,

    yes bank is pretty good, if you are looking for a NRE saving account, services are good,

    SAVINGS ACCOUNTS

    Non Resident External (NRE) Savings Account and Non Resident Ordinary (NRO) Savings
    Account

     With effect from September 1, 2017 interest rate of 5% p.a. for balances upto INR 1 lakh, 6% p.a.
    for balances of INR 1 lakh upto INR 1 Crore, 6.25% p.a. is applicable for balances of INR 1
    Crore upto INR 100 Cr.

    another advantage is the bank offers credit card for an FD of 3Lacs as security, which in most of the banks is declined due to NonResident status.

    Services are quick and in the last 4 odd years since i have had my account with them, there hv been no issues at all.

    FCNR(B) Deposit interest rates p.a. effective from 26th March 2019
    Period USD GBP EURO JPY CAD AUD SGD HKD
    1 Yr to < 2 Yrs 4.00% 2.00% 0.32% 0.54% 2.95% 2.98% 2.80% 2.80%
    2 Yrs to < 3 Yrs 3.70% 2.04% 0.37% 0.54% 2.71% 2.83% 2.75% 2.95%
    3 Yrs to < 4 Yrs 3.50% 1.77% 0.46% 0.86% 2.72% 2.70% 2.30% 2.76%
    4 Yrs to < 5 Yrs 3.55% 1.82% 0.55% 0.15% 2.74% 2.85% 2.33% 2.79%
    5 Yrs only 3.55% 1.88% 0.68% 0.54% 2.76% 3.05% 2.37% 2.83%

    Non Resident External (NRE) Fixed Deposit

    NRE FIXED DEPOSITS INTEREST RATES (% p.a.)
    Period
    Rates for < INR 2 Crore (w.e.f 1 Years to <= 10 years* 7.25%
    *Special Rates

    12 Months 10 Days to 12 Months 20 Days 7.50%
    18 Months 8 Days to 18 Months 18 Days 7.85%
    36 Months 10 Days to 36 Months 20 Days 7.50%

    I hope this info helps.

  23. izzyfar

    All NRI’s dont deal with AXIS bank . I am currently chalelnging them on the collection of persona data by employee on private email. Instead of acknowledgin the breach the team elad for home loan applications at Hill Road branch Bandra West Mumbai is accusing me stating they never asked. How would i get email of an employee without him sharing. The senior management including VPs of the bank are doing it the indian way- silent treament instead of acknowledging their mistake. Also for home loan applications its better to deal with bgger banks . The credit team is very unprofessional andlacks common sense and judgement ability to think outside the box and make a qualitative decision based on flimsy grounds like statement from european bank with line items should be translated to english, address of residence in english.Mahatma GandhiRoad is in english but an indian name so would be an european name written in english script. Had to explain 5 times to different people for openign NRE and NRO and home loan application. There is no ownership and passing the buck is the name of he game with customers time being wasted, in my case 1 month and not ye decisonedrepeatedly asking same information each time its escalated. On request to clsoe the account and refund fee application for home loan due to poor service and incompetency they dotn even respond including Head of NRI Banking so you can imagine how pathetic the service is.

  24. Mani Karthik

    Thanks for your feedback Shashi. One thing I’ve noted is that each branch is different and their approach to customers also differs. Some are very good while some are not. However, there are some common issues too like you mentioned which makes it a frustrating experience.

  25. AMIT PANDEY

    Central bank of india also offers nre account. Your opinions on that?

  26. Shashi

    Axis Bank is very bad…Lot of issues…The account opening team has no connection with the processing team. Their new system to fill the online details is total shit… Passport date of issue even though you enter correctly appears incorrect once you submit… They can’t even speak to the team processing subsequently. They will wait for minimum 48 hours and then come out with the above errors. Finally after 3 attempts, they say that scanned copy is not clear.

    Nationality appears from nowhere with incorrect data… Moreover, the client has to compress the data to less than 1MB. Their own staff does not have that provision.
    They will guide the client to compress their docs in public domain…means all our info gets shared in the public domain..

    The senior person does not appear even if you escalate… Very poor service… Even though I blasted the account opening team after 3+ weeks, they are not prompt in resolving it… Seems they don’t need customers only….This is at the account opening stage itself. I got fed up and am considering to move to other bank.

  27. r. N. Sur

    Can I have a comparative pic of the different banks like SBI, ICICI, IOB, HDFC of their Interest rates & charges & the facilities across services.

  28. Mani Karthik

    It is and there are advantages and disadvantages to it. Advantage is that you could get the attention and care (and some cool products) you won’t get in other banks. Disadvantage is that they are young and some products like credit/loans are only starting out + they aren’t available everywhere.

  29. Tulasi Ram Tammu

    Hi Mani Karthik,

    Based on your information, concrened bank availability and its reputation , I narrowed down my options to IDFC, YES Bank, SBI. Deciding factors for me are considerable attention and good interest rates. Judging from your information it seems IDFC could be good choice. Could you please assist me with this. As it is a new bank, it worries me a bit.

  30. Maria

    Hi Smitha,

    Did you start with Federal Bank? I was planning to open NRE account in Federal bank. Any suggesions?

  31. Zia Huq

    Hi Stay Calm

    Do try out IDFC Bank. Mani has blogged about it and shared the link above. You can open an account online & get benefit of great interest rates on fixed deposits

  32. Mani Karthik

    Both have their own goods and bads. Try contacting them directly and ask a few questions, you’ll know the difference yourself.

  33. DR S SRIRAM

    hi sir
    Is Axis reliable for NRE accounts.
    Please suggest : Axis or Hdfc?

  34. Saj

    i would add Union National Bank & South Indian Bank who have loan facilities for NRI

  35. Amit

    I found SBI is the worst bank for NRI. I have a joint account between my father and me. When he went to India they did not let him take the money out even though he had all the legal my documents certified. Instead they told him to notarized more documents. But my father mention that he just want to transfer from the fixed to savings. But they refused. Now, I have send all the documents with the transfer all with notarized by DHL but they have not reply to my email nor do they pick up the phone. Once they hang on it and cut it off. Now, how can I get contact with the manager since there are couple original documents which he wanted and have send by DHL. I did mention please confirm me when you have received it and when will you transfer to my saving account. I never had any problems with other banks such canara, vijaya, etc. Only SBI are the worst because they have given all the money to people like Vijay Mallaya, Lalit modi etc. So, basically they do not want give any money back to NRI and want to sit and spend their money.

  36. Jenish

    Dont go for Axis, they giving worst exchange rate. Recenetly I got exchange rate 65.4 for 68.2

  37. Mani Karthik

    Smitha, both are relatively good for NRE accounts. I personally have experience with SBI and not Federal bank but I hear it is as good as SBI. Their service is not awesome but they do get the job done. There are small glitches like poor customer service etc, but from my experience this largely depends on the brand you’re with.

  38. pbc108@gmail.com

    yes you can

  39. pbc108@gmail.com

    yes i agree too i am using SBI lst 25 year NRE and NRO and FD account , yes sbi customer service very slow even you go in person in branch but trust wise its good bank , I recently open nre and nro with ICICI need to find how is their service and fees , both bank change atm acar free upto 200 INR

  40. pbc108@gmail.com

    i think for NRI accounts need PAN card only , aadhaar is not must but if available then its grate

  41. Smitha

    Hi Mani I am planning to open NRE account in federal bank/SBI.Kindly suggest me on my decision.

  42. Mani Karthik

    Jay,

    I’d suggest either Axis, HDFC or SBI > in that order.

  43. Jay

    Hi Mani Karthik , could you please suggest me which is the best bank for NRIs

  44. Mani Karthik

    You will need Aadhaar and PAN card.

  45. Sazid Imam

    Dear,

    Please let me know I am working in Saudi Arabia and I want to open an NRI account, but unfortunately I don’t have Adhar and Pan Card.

    Is it possible to open an NRI account without Adhar & Pan?

    Your urgent action in this regards is highly appreciated.

    Waiting for your positive response.

    Thanks and Best Regards

    Thanks and Best Regards

  46. Stay Calm

    Over 20 years as an NRI living in the USA I have banked with SBI, ICICI, HDFC, Citi, IDBI and Axis. Hands down by a huge stretch Axis is the worst of them call.

  47. abinas roy

    ignore kotak, i will close my account soon

  48. Mani Karthik

    I will suggest SBI and Axis. Both have good features for NRIs.

  49. Asha

    Hi mani karthick , could you please suggest me which is the best bank for NRI either govt bank or private.

  50. Mani Karthik

    Hi Ahmed,

    PAN card and Aadhaar is a must these days for whichever type of bank account you get. I suggest you talk to the branch manager, they usually have overrides that might be able to help you out.

  51. Zonayed Ahmed

    Hello Brother, thanks for such an informative post. I want to get some suggestions from you. I am currently pursuing my bachelor degree here in India. I am from Bangladesh. I have an account on SBI, but it doesn’t work properly. Some of the features(OTP, Net Banking and so on) doesn’t work and also the bank always sends us some kind of text to update our PAN card. But as we are not Indian resident, we don’t have any PAN card. And for that, they cut some fees often. We don’t even know what’s going on. I am looking for a bank which is suitable for us. Which one will be best? Thanks 🙂

  52. Mani Karthik

    I recommend Axis. If you enquire over the phone or is not locally present (at the time of application) then your chances of getting a personal loan is very less regardless of which bank you are applying it from.

  53. Bhupender Singh

    I have Canara bank NRE account last five years, but they don’t have NRE personal loan facility. I checked with Canara branch but they only offer me Housing loan.
    I want to open NRE account in another bank who can give those facilities.
    Please advise which bank better for NRE account.

  54. Which Are The Best Credit Cards for NRIs & How To Apply

    […] account This is a no-brainer but having an NRE or NRO account helps. If you have one, you are more likely to do foreign transactions and banks like that […]

  55. Srini

    AXIS Bank is really bad. Had an NRE account with Deccan Gymkhana branch, Pune. The knowledge level of the staff is worse than public sector banks. The so called Dy Manager did not know all the forms to fill for opening a Overdraft account and and for NRE account . While closing the OD and FD (NRE) , the relationship manager asked me for the FD original certificate. He did not know the bank keeps the FD cert when an OD or loan is given on that. Now it is changed even with SBI , with all going on line , no “on lien” documents, they just lock it on the system.

  56. kareena

    Totally agree, I put my application pretty much at the same time last year (Dec) and nothing has moved since then. Axis Bank should be avoided.

  57. AMRIT

    Never think of Axis bank, customer care sucks, i had open my account on September,
    still they ahve not updated my mobile number . i reminds them everyday but they ahve excuse its from main branch na ll this time im visiting India i will close this for sure.
    pathetic service. no one bothers about you being NRE and transferring good amount of money every month .

  58. Mani Karthik

    That is sad to hear Azhar. It might very well be a one off incidence I hope, if otherwise, it is bad. I’ve had good experience with them with my recommended friends. (Although I’ve noticed them to be a little aggressive)

  59. Azhar Aafreen

    Nope. Axis banks SUCKS. I’ve filled the application form on 5th Dec and the NRI acc hasn’t been created yet. The staff just won’t help. Customer care sucks as well. The guy who got the procedure completed rejects my calls/ won’t answer. This is the MG Road branch in Bangalore. Pathetic service. I don’t think a bank takes 3 weeks+ to open one account. That’s ridiculous, this isn’t stone-age. I think this bank should be avoided. They’ll do nothing but waste your time.

  60. Mani Karthik

    Not entirely sure if I’m accurate, but I’d guess Axis and ICICI.

  61. Saurabh

    Mani- whats the best bank for highest FCNR rates as well as good branch network in Tier 1 & 2 cities in india like Pune Indore etc.

  62. Syed Israr

    Hi Mani,

  63. Naga

    Hi Mani,

    I am planning to open NRi Account in Oriental Bank of Commerce.
    Do you have any idea how the service is with them?

  64. Rush

    Hi Mani,

    I have gone through this chain of discussion , I am thinking to open NRE/NRO account with HDFC.[AXIS , ICICI etc who provide good sevice] I think instead of using HDFC remitt we can use Transferwise which charge very low fess and do the transfer from Abroad country bank account to NRE of HDFC directly. This way , I can save the per transaction cost and get the good service benefit from HDFC as mentioned in above threads.

    Any one please share your thought on this.

  65. Mani Karthik

    Good call. They have very good services. Which city are you in?

  66. basha

    Hi Mani,

    I am planning to open NRE account in axis bank.Kindly suggest me on my decision.

  67. Anbu

    What about Indian bank for nri ac

  68. Anbu

    Hi …i am Anbu
    Here i ask about nri ac . .what about Indian bank for nri ac

  69. Ganesh s

    Dear friend

    I am working in kenya. I have NRE a/c SBI. Good service for nri branch only. Like chennai t nagar branch. Better you can open SBI mindum balance only 1000/-

  70. Rock

    Hi Mani,
    Can you suggest on Kotak Bank?

  71. Mani Karthik

    But how is it different from others Prasad?

  72. Prasad

    RBL is good bank to open NRE account as it offers interest rate around 7%

  73. Ansar

    Dear Mani,
    I am planning to join US Cruise as Ship Physician. I would be there for maximum of 2 contracts( one contract means 4 months at Sea and 2 months at home in India). I need to open an NRE account.
    I would like to know
    1. Whether Axis bank is a better option?
    2. I have got few loans which is getting auto debited from my HDFC salary account. If i send money from NRE account to this account, will it be taxable?
    3. If money is send to my family to their bank, will they be taxable for that?
    Kindly advice on this

  74. NReHolder

    I have been with SBI NRE for a while. As long as you send money to it and use a debit card you are ok. It is a night mare to transfer money to third parties, everytime you have to write a letter and scan and email it . Even for adding a 3rd party so you can do the transfer, it takes days to activate it since their SMS to USA doens’t work and you will not receive the OTP and have to ask branch to . The branch hours are worse, they come to work at 12pm India time which is 230AM USA and you cannot reach them after 6pm India time. So you email once a day and get a response another day and email another day etc. Everything, they scan and email Indian forms and you have to print/fill/scan/email. If all you do is send money to the account and open a fixed deposit (which again needs a signed letter/scan/email) and leave it there, its ok. For years I didn’t do any transactions except for sending money to it and it was all good. This year I tried to make transactions with it to pay for things, then I realized how bad it is to deal with them. Also, there is a new manager every few months and each person has his own rules. Same thing they did two months ago via email, the new guy won’t do and wants something else. Did I mention they asked me to fill up a 3 page kyc after I asked them to close a fixed deposit and refused to do it till I submit it. Were they sleeping all this time?

  75. John Jacob

    @Mani Karthik: Is federal bank in India any good? This is the private bank in my dad’s village and he has been urging me to open an account there.

  76. Mani Karthik

    Glad you liked it.

  77. Justin

    Hi mani i am a seafarer and having an nre ac is must I have opened one with dena bank but reading the comments I think I will witch to sbi thanks for this article it’s been very useful

  78. Ravi kumar Sharma

    Hi,
    Thanks for your post.

    I’ve been working in US for a while (4yrs) and have checking/savings with Citi (USA). I want to open NRE account so that my parents can also use money from there. My mom has an account with SBI and I have an account with HDFC bank. Could you please suggest which bank should I go with for my NRE account?

    Thanks in advance!

    ravi

  79. Mani Karthik

    Hi Nithesh,

    I hope you are moving in good terms and have good plans in India. All the best for your endeavors. What bank do you bank with currently and have you been maintaining an NRE account? If not, I suggest you get one before you move. Ideally SBI, but it really depends on your usage. Like for example, if you have a lot of online banking requirements then SBI may not be the right choice.

  80. Mani Karthik

    Hi Jagan,

    I have found SBI to be very good in terms of transparency. Most private banks have had surprises at some point or the other. You can see it from their reviews. Although most of them give attractive rates, when you read the fine print, you will notice that there are hidden charges. SBI on the other hand (not trying to sell them here) haven’t surprised me with hidden charges and always have been very upfront with charges if at all any (very rarely). I agree that they don’t have the best customer service or the best online experience, but when it comes to value of money, they are very good. I recommend starting an NRE account with them and a regular checking account with the SBI US counterpart (like SBI Cal or SBI NY depending on where you are). Then add your NRE account to it, so that you can transfer money safely. Their exchange rates are pretty good too! (in fact one of the best).

    All the best!

  81. Jagan

    Hi Mani,

    Greetings, I am looking for a good long term NRE account in India, I read your article, but not able to decide which one is better with no hidden chargers and with good online facilities. Currently I am staying in US from last 2 years.

    Is YES bank is good and secure for NRE deposits? or Do I need to refer nationalized banks than private sector banks.

    Thanks in advance.

  82. Nithesh

    Hi Mani,
    I am planning to close my business in UAE,and move to India. What would be your suggestion for NRE account to Deposit money and use it india as per my requirement in India.

  83. Mani Karthik

    Yes Ravi, that is totally fine if you are using legal third party companies. There will always be some charges involved though. Check out this article (https://manikarthik.com/blog/moneytransfer/india/) I wrote about different ways to send money to India and the charges involved.

  84. Ravi Pandit

    I have opened NRI account using Yes Bank. And I am using 3rd party like(Xendpay) for transfer my British pounds into NRE account. Is it possible to use 3rd party currency company to transfer money into NRE account…??

  85. Mani Karthik

    Hi Mahesh,

    I’m pretty sure your case might be different. Was it that you didn’t have an account with them already? Having an account helps and there are no charges for transferring money. SBI has local banks for respective places (not everywhere though) like SBI Cal for California. Take an account there and set up your NRE account in it for transfer. In such a setting, there are no charges from what I know.

  86. mahesh

    you are referring sbi for nre account .but sbi charges 30 usd for every transaction above 500 usd. if you have any idea about that .confirm and inform.they say a silly reason that all the money transaction from abroad in usd is sent to sbi newyork and it is transferred to sbi india and they charge that amount.

  87. Manivannan B

    Hi Karthik,

    I run a SME in India and now started a trading Firm at Sharjah Airport free zone. My requirement is to move the investment funds on periodic basis from here to UAE and similarly I have to move the ROI back to india. Aside as a director I too get a salary from the company. If so what sort of account should I open, with best 24×7 access to the online for transfer with short time span for transfer.

    Thanks & Regards
    Mani

  88. Mani Karthik

    Your best bet is to get an ICICI seafarer’s account Dinesh. They are the one’s who acknowledge about seafarers and offer a dedicated account for them. But it’s not easy, to open an account. They have procedures and requirements in place, which you will have to qualify. And considering they might have hidden fees etc, this might be your best option. Please let me know if you were able to take one and how the experience went. I had helped another friend who was seafarer by profession and he was able to get one in 2-3 weeks.

  89. DINESH RAJAGOPAL

    HI Mani,
    Hope you are doing fine.
    I am a seafarer by profession. At present there is a lot of hue and cry going on with regards to taxing salary earned by Seafarers though they maintain NRI status by sailing abroard over 183 days. I have been mulling options to get my salary credited either by opening an account in Dubai, Malaysia or hongkong to get rid of the problem. your views on this would help me.

  90. Mani Karthik

    Rahul, If it is best exchange rates you are looking at, then I would suggest SBI. They have online banking facilities, but they aren’t great

  91. Rahul

    Hi Mani,

    I have already a NRE account in Punjab and Sind Bank (PSB). I opened that account after compared with other banks on exchange rate basis which quite impressive. But now I got to know that they are providing limited services to customer. They don’t give debit card and online transfer facility. Bank also charged me extra amount of $20 per month as compare to my colleagues having NRE account with some other banks.

    Now I am thinking to quit this account with PSB and open NRE account with some other bank. Please guide me which bank I should go for in terms of best exchange rates of USD.

    Thanks!

    Rahul

  92. Deepak

    Hi Mani Karthik
    kindly clarify is this possible, maintaining a NRE savings account with private banks like ICICI / Doha bank(Indian branch) and applying for housing loan from SBI(due to low interest rate) by showing our NRE account statement form other banks. I know its possible for resident account holders, but in the case of NRI is that possible?

  93. sujit nair

    hey mani,

    how are you…
    do you think opening an NRI account with SBT is a good idea?

  94. Mani Karthik

    Ruchir, I recommend keeping the SBI NRE account and using your Emirates NBD or HSBC account to transfer money. You could either set it up online within your online banking system (there might be a one time fee to set it up, but it’s well worth it). Then on, you can send whatever amount you want to send online, easily. Let me know how it goes! All the best. 🙂

  95. Ruchir

    Hi Mani,

    My current employer in Dubai offers me option to open salary a/c in Emirates NBD or HSBC, I closed my Citi India NRE a/c as I need to put AED 35,000 to open Citi UAE a/c that doesn’t make sense to me. Now I have SBI NRE in India and confused whether to continue with that or to go for HSBC. Can you help? I’m planning to transfer minimum AED 12000/month.

    Thx,
    Ruchir

  96. Imran

    Hi Mani,

    thanks for your quick reply. I have seen you recommending SBI for NRE account and fortunately there is one SBI branch in muscat near my office.

    Mani, at the moment I have been sending money back home through some exchange company which is charging me some amount of money. Actually my main concern is that is it mandatory to have NRE account. And after opening NRE account I can deposit directly into that account and from there I can transfer money in INR to my home. Is it so ?

    Please help.

  97. Mani Karthik

    An NRE account with SBI sounds like a good start.

  98. Mani Karthik

    Hi Imran,

    An NRE account is necessary because you cannot make remittance from your salary account in UAE to your savings account in India. Even if you did, when you apply for a loan they need proof of NRE account to show validity of your visa status. If you don’t have an NRE account but have all your money in your savings account, it is equivalent to not having an NRI visa or job from the loan officer’s view. Your best bet is to start a NRE account (contact the local office in Saudi of your bank of choice) and start remitting money into it. The more the tenure of that account, the better your reputation and good will is.

    As for which bank to chose, to open an NRE account, please go through the details above for each bank. They are all great deals! Choose based on what features you want.

  99. Imran

    Hi Mani Karthik,

    I am living in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman since 2013. Here I have salary account. I would like to have NRE account. Which bank would be best for me as I too have in my mind like Deepak mentioned above about taking housing loan in India using my NRE account. And why it is necessary to have NRE account.

    Can you please throw some light on this ?

    thanks.

  100. Sai

    hai Mr.Mani karthik, next month i am leaving to canada. I presently have a savings account in sbi. Can you suggest which bank, type of account should i have, to transfer money from canada to india, with good exchange rates, tax free….etc

  101. Mani Karthik

    Hi Deepak,

    Different banks have different features, so there is no best bank. But at the same time, it depends on what you need. For example, SBI is good with exchange rates but their online facilities and other things are not so great. AXIS banks (and some other private banks) on the other hand offer services at your doorstep (quite literally) but they have hidden service charges. If you want convenience, go for a private bank like AXIS bank or ICICI bank, but if you want value for money and can tolerate some delays etc, then SBI is your best bet.

    All the best.

  102. Deepak

    Hi Mani Karthik,
    Recently i came to Doha/Qatar from India, in India im having SB account with ICICI and SBI, here in Doha im having a current account with Commercial bank for salary deposit, it have tie up with ICICI & HDFC bank. i am yet to open a NRE in india, in this case which bank is good in india for NRE? Also in future i would like to take housing loan in India using my NRE A/c for this purpose which bank is best in NRE housing loan?

  103. Mani Karthik

    Congrats Ruchir. SBI Dubai is your best bet. I don’t guarantee the best rates if you are doing a one time transfer, but if you are looking for a long term arrangement, they are very valuable.

    But if you are looking for ease of use and convenience, I will recommend Axis and HSBC.

  104. Ruchir Purohit

    Dear Mani,

    Shifting to Dubai next month from Africa, I hold SBI and Citi NRE a/c. What bank would you recommend in Dubai? My purpose is to transfer my salary to India with minimum cost and better exchange rate.

    Look forward to hear from you.

    Thank you!

    Ruchir

  105. Mani Karthik

    Hi Amit, Like I mentioned above in the article, ICICI’s sea farer account is a good one, I will recommend.

  106. Mani Karthik

    You have to check with each bank in your area to figure out what their exchange rates are, their features are and what facilities they provide for online transactions. As for starting an NRO account, I highly recommend it. Using your savings account for remittance purposes is not a good idea.

  107. Mani Karthik

    Yes, I think they all operate the same way. SBI Cal and SBI NY. Let me know how it goes.

  108. Mani Karthik

    I personally like SBI for their exchange rates are better than any other banks. Their online portals are terrible though, but the rates are good. Also, sometimes they require you to hold the money for 24 hours before the actual transfer. But the good point is you get the exchange rate at the time you initiated the transfer not when you actually receive it. And they don’t have any hidden charges as well.

  109. Mani Karthik

    Hi Manu,

    I would suggest converting or even starting an NRO/NRE account. Irrespective of whether the amount you are remitting is small or large, it is better to it the right way via an NRE/NRO account. You will find it useful later as well, like when applying for a loan and have to show records of remittance. A savings bank account is not intended for remittance purposes.

  110. Mani Karthik

    Hi Trevor, It is better to open an NRE account with a bank that has a branch in Doha. Savings bank account cannot be used for remittance purposes. Better yet, start a NRE account with a bank that has online banking and connect it via your local bank in Doha (Salary account etc) so that way you can automatically do the remittance from your salary account to your NRE account without even visiting the office. There might be a small fee for setting up, but there after it becomes easy.

  111. Trevor

    Hi Mani,

    I would like to open an nre account for transferring salary from doha to india. I have a corporation saving bank and citizen bank account. What do you suggest, where should I open an nre account.

  112. Amit Mankotia

    HI Mani,

    My brother is marien engineer and wanna open seafarers NRE Account please suggest which bank we opt which provides us best exchange rate. Is it
    SBI
    ICICI Bank,
    HDFC,
    yes bank,
    kodak mahindra bank

    ya some other please suggest…

  113. Jay Kiran Shah

    I have exactly the same situation. Have been banking with RBS for 8 years and the exchange rate is terribly low. Kindly recommend a bank which will give fair exchange rate. Have SBI, Axis and Yes bank on mind.

  114. Manu

    Hi Mani,

    I am on work visa and would be applying for PR by next year in Australia. Currently, I have CiTibank Australia and Citi Bank Domestic (India saving)account. Recently RBI has made few changes in their guidelines and I am facing issue transferring funds to India. Till Jan 2016 I was able to transfer the funds instantly in my India account however, now it takes 3-4 working days. I have been suggested by my CiTi India bank that I will have to convert my account into NRI account. But I am not sure if I want to do that. I don’t make major transactions and need quick transfer time. Could you please suggest if I should open NRO account or NRI account and which Bank should I go ahead with Citi or any other Bank?
    Thanks
    Manu

  115. Sandeep Parmar

    Mr.mani karthik I am seafarers and I have my NRE saving account in RBS but there exchange rates are very less campare to others bank and branches are very less in mumbai plz me best bank for opening my new NRE saving account which give best exchange rate near by my home I have thee banks
    kotak mahindra
    icici bank
    Axis bank
    plz suggest me one of them and if possible plz send me personal email and ur mobile no I am from mumbai

  116. Raju

    Thanks for the info. I Currently live in Dublin. What could be a best nre bank for me? And should I cancel my current savings bank accounts in india and open a Nro account too? …Raju

  117. Kumar

    Thank you for your inputs.
    Is SBI NY good too?.. I can also open account in SBI NY thru online. Kindly suggest.

    Thanks

  118. Mani Karthik

    I would suggest opening an SBI Cal account if you are in CA. If not, ICICI is your option. However, don’t expect best exchange rates with ICICI. SBI Cal has one of the best exchange rates from what I’ve seen. But it’s easy and fast to get transactions done with ICICI.

  119. Kumar

    Hi Mani,

    I am Kumar currently in US and I would like to send the amount to India. I have Wells Fargo account and I like to know which NRI account that I can open for transferring the amount. Kindly note from Wells Fargo, I can do direct remit to HDFC or ICICI.. Which is best in NRI among these two bank? Or should I consider other bank?
    Thanks

  120. Mani Karthik

    Hi CHaitanya,

    IMO SBI NRE Account is your best choice. You can use SBI Cal in the US to open an account (Checking or Savings) and route your US funds there. They let you transfer money to Indian SBI account with nominal fees and good exchange rates.

  121. Chaitanya

    Hello Mani,

    I am currently in US on work Visa. I am planning to invest in mutual funds through SIP. I would like to open an NRE account with an Indian bank and want to use the account for investing in mutual funds.

    Can you please recommend me which bank suits my needs best. Any help is appreciated.

  122. Mani Karthik

    Best bet is to open an NRI account in India and remit to it from his US Bank account. Of if you are getting the amount in INR, deposit it in his NRI account. And yes, taxes have to be paid.

  123. Priya

    Hello Mani,

    My brother in law stays in USA. He wants to start a business relating to advertising in India. The proceeds received will be in Indian Rupees. Which account will be suitable for him and in which bank. Will he be liable for Service tax registration in India. Kindly reply.
    Thanks in advance.

  124. Mani Karthik

    Hi Abul,

    For Seafarers ICICI has a specific NRE account. I’ve mentioned it above in the article. Please check it. I think you will find it useful.

  125. Abul

    Hey Mani Karthik,
    I’m a Seafarer, I currently have a NRE account with HSBC. I find it cumbersome with their limited branches. Can you suggest me the best bank to open a NRE account in your opinion?

  126. Mani Karthik

    Hi Kumar,

    I would suggest getting an NRI account with SBI in India and leave the savings accounts as such (no need to close it). SBI doesn’t have fancy features and their online banking is OK not speedy or anything – gets the thing done. But their exchange rates are better. If you want to transfer your salary from US to India, I would suggest getting an SBI California account opened here and add your NRI Account to it. That way each month you can transfer money to your SBI Cal account via either fund transfer or cheque and transfer that money to your NRI account in India online. It has some crazy restrictions like they will hold the money for one day (about $1000 if above it) but will give you the exchange rate of the day when you decided to sent (not when it reaches). I’ve found their technology to be a little sluggish (they are working on relaunch) but the service is good with no unnecessary frills or hidden service fees.

  127. Kumar

    Hello Mani,

    Currently am in USA for 2 years assignment

    I would like to transfer my US salary to india account for better interest rates and also have a plan to buy fixed deposits., which bank- NRI account you would prefer? How is Yes Bank?

    Also, i have a savings accounts in India , should i close those or just leave it as it is .. As i will be back to India after 2 years?

    Kindly give me your opinion and guidance , thanks for your time.

    Happy new year

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