Types of NRI Bank Accounts [NRI Banking 101]

In this article, we’re exploring the different types of NRI bank accounts available.

But, if you’re looking for a more detailed (and actionable) look at NRI banking, click here and access our free guide on NRI bank account opening right now.

Feel free to use the table of contents to jump ahead to the sections most relevant to you.

Table of Contents

  1. Types of NRI Bank Accounts
  2. Bank Account Types for Non-Resident Indians
  3. How to Know Which Banks Accept NRIs
  4. Frequently Asked Questions
  5. Ready to Explore Your Options?

Types of NRI Bank Accounts

The types of NRI bank accounts that are available include the Non-Resident Ordinary Account (NRO), the Non-Resident External Account (NRE), and the Foreign Currency Non-Resident Account (FCNR). Additionally, both the NRO and NRE accounts offer both savings and fixed deposit options, while the FCNR account only offers fixed deposits.

Bank Account Types for Non-Resident Indians

In this section, we’ll take a closer look at each of the three types of NRI accounts to help you decide which option is best for your needs.

But first, it’s important to consider what exactly is an NRI account. So, before diving into the specific options, let’s clarify what a traditional NRI account really is…

Traditional NRI Account

A traditional Non-Resident Indian or NRI account refers to a bank account that is opened by a non-resident Indian in India. Not surprisingly, given India’s international diaspora, there are a number of Indian financial institutions that offer a range of accounts, products, and services that cater to non-residents.

The three accounts referenced above (NRO, NRE, FCNR) are available from a number of financial institutions operating in India, including both domestic and international banks. As always, the specific benefits offered by each bank vary, as do the account opening requirements. So, it’s important to carefully consider all of the variables before deciding which bank is best for your needs.

Now, let’s take a closer look at the specific accounts available:

NRI Savings Account

Non-resident Indians can choose from either an NRO or NRE savings account.

NRO Savings Account

NRO savings accounts refer to either a rupee or foreign currency savings account that can be opened by non-residents in India. The NRO account limits the amount that an account holder can withdraw and repatriate away from India to a maximum of USD 1mm per financial year.

NRE Savings Account

NRE savings accounts refer to rupee-denominated savings accounts that can be opened by non-resident Indians in India. The interest earned on these accounts is generally considered tax-free. Uniquely, there is no limit on the amount that can be deposited in an NRE savings account each year.

Fixed Deposit Account

Non-resident Indians can choose from either an NRO, NRE, or FCNR fixed deposit account.

NRO Fixed Deposit Account

NRO fixed deposit accounts do not allow for repatriation, instead only the earned interest can be repatriated whenever the account holder decides to close the account.

NRE Fixed Deposit Account

NRE fixed deposit accounts allow account holders to repatriate both the principal and the earned interest whenever they wish to close the account.

FCNR Fixed Deposit Account

Not surprisingly, an FCNR fixed deposit account allows the account holder to hold foreign currency earned abroad in an interest-bearing account in India.

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How to Know Which Banks Accept NRIs

The easiest way to know which banks accept NRIs is to review the banks that offer NRI specific products and services. That said, in most cases, you’ll find that any major bank you might be considering opening accounts with, does offer NRI bank accounts to non-residents.

In fact, in many cases, these banks will offer attractive deposit rates in order to attract non-resident clients to open accounts.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are three of the most common questions that we receive from people into the types of NRI bank accounts. If you have further questions you would like answered, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us directly.

Which Account Is Best For NRI?

To determine which account is best for NRI clients, the following variables need to be considered: do you wish to hold rupees or foreign currency, do you care about repatriating the deposit out of India, and do you want the highest interest rate possible? The answers to these questions will decide which account is best for an NRI client.

What Type of Account Is NRO?

NRO is a non-resident Indian bank account that allows non-residents to hold both rupees and foreign currency, either in savings or a fixed deposit account. However, there are limitations on NRO accounts, as only USD 1mm can be repatriated each year.

Which Account Is Better NRE or NRO?

To determine which account is better between the NRE and NRO, you need to consider whether you want the option to repatriate the principal at a later date and if you prefer to hold rupees or foreign currency. Your answers to these two questions will determine which of these two accounts are best for your needs.

Ready to Explore Your Options?

If you would like assistance navigating your banking options at home or abroad, we can help.

You can access GlobalBanks IQ, our international banking intelligence platform, in just a few clicks. Unlock our bank database, individual bank profiles, account opening strategies and reports, banker scripts, and more.

But, if you want a 100% personal account opening service, consider GlobalBanks Insider. Insider taps into our team’s expertise and provides direct banker introductions.

Of course, if you have any questions, please contact us directly.

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