Best Savings Accounts in Qatar in 2021 – that will be the topic of today’s article.
Before introducing this article, if you are interested in our core services which are expat financial, insurance and mortgages, you can contact me here.
The best time to consider your financial situation is when you are moving to a new country.
Instead of just talking about the best savings accounts available in Qatar, we will also discuss the general details regarding banking, top banks in Qatar, and best banks for expats as well.
These details might come in handy, especially if you are an expat in Qatar or if you are trying to find the best account that suits your financial needs.
Banking in Qatar:
‘Qatar Central Bank’ is the monetary authority of Qatar, which handles all the financial issues. Along with that, it also happens to the bank owned by the government in Qatar.
Aspects such as implementing the monetary policies, maintaining economic stability, avoiding financial issues, etc., are effectively handled by the Qatar Central Bank.
As per the details obtained by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, there are 20 commercial banks in Qatar, out of which, 12 banks are national (including 4 Islamic banks) and 8 banks are international.
These banks operate with the help of 223 local branches located within Qatar, and the Qatar Central Bank administers all of these banks.
Currency – The currency of Qatar is the Qatari riyal (QAR), and 100 dirhams comprise one riyal. The currency denominations are as follows:
- QAR 1
- QAR 5
- QAR 10
- QAR 50
- QAR 100
- QAR 500
- 1 dirham
- 5 dirhams
- 10 dirhams
- 25 dirhams
- 50 dirhams
ATMs – There are several ATMs located all over Qatar, specifically in the primary cities and towns.
At Doha airport, individuals can withdraw Qatari riyals, Euros, US Dollars, and UAE Dirhams. There are even ATM locator apps, with the help of which, you can find ATM machines located near you.
In most cases, these machines operate 24/7, yet it cannot be guaranteed that they stay open all the time. These machines accept both national and international cards while charging a small amount of fee depending on the provider.
Bank hours – Most banks in Qatar are operational around 7:30 AM to 1:00 PM from Sunday to Thursday, while certain international banks are operational on Fridays and Saturdays as well.
The banks located in malls are more functional compared to usual branches and are open from 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM.
Opening an account – If you are moving to Qatar as an expat, you must open a local bank account regardless of your purpose of visit, whether you went to Qatar for employment or starting your own business.
Especially, the payments made to employees such as wages, bonuses, and salaries are paid into their Qatari bank accounts in the form of Qatari riyals.
The process of opening a bank account in Qatar is simple and hassle-free, and what makes it even better is that expats can open an account online before even moving into Qatar.
Nevertheless, the documentation necessary for opening an account should be provided by the individual physically, which is as follows.
- Passport copy
- Residence copy
- Work permit copy
- No objection letter obtained from the current employer along with the details related to the monthly salary
- Passport size photos (2)
Other information – The payment methods available for sending money or receiving money in Qatar are cash, checks, debit cards, credit cards, direct debits, standing orders, and online payments.
For local transfers, people can opt for internet banking/mobile banking, while a wallet service known as ‘Ooredoo Mobile Money’ is widely known as the best mode of payment.
For international money transfers, there are companies such as Monito, CurrencyFair, Moneycorp, Wise, WorldFirst, PayPal, etc.
Top Banks in Qatar 2021:
Given below are the top banks of Qatar as of 2021, including all international, national, and Islamic banks.
- Qatar National Bank (QNB)
It is the largest commercial bank of Qatar and has its headquarters located in Doha (capital city of Qatar). This bank is operational for as long as 1964 and happens to be the best bank available in Qatar.
Not only it is the best bank in Qatar, but it is also one of the largest financial institutions located in the Middle East.
QNB offers its services in more than 31 countries while having more than 1,045 branches, 4,391 ATM machines, and around 30,000 employees.
This bank’s ownership interest is in such a way that, it is half-owned by the Qatar Investment Authority, and the remaining half is owned by the members of the public.
- Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB)
Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) happens to be the largest Islamic bank located in Qatar. It was founded in the year 1982 with a paid-up capital of 25 million Qatari riyals, and the first branch was opened in 1983 while being named as the first Islamic financial institution.
Being an Islamic financial institution, the products and services offered by Qatar Islamic Bank are overseen by a Sharia board, which makes sure that the bank abides by Islamic banking principles.
QIB has around 29 branches in Qatar, one branch in Sudan, and is headquartered in Doha, Qatar.
- Commercial Bank of Qatar
Commercial Bank of Qatar is the largest private bank located in Qatar, which was set up by a businessman named ‘Hussain Alfardan’. This bank was established in the year 1975, and back then it was the first private bank in the country.
Commercial Bank of Qatar has around 28 branches, 172 ATM machines, and is headquartered in Doha, Qatar.
- Al Rayan
Masraf Al Rayan is another largest Islamic bank located in Qatar, which was incorporated in 2006.
The bank itself has 12 branches located in Qatar, however, there are 17 branches for all the three divisions of the bank namely Al Rayan Private Banking, Al Rayan Retail Banking, and Al Rayan Wholesale Banking.
- Doha Bank
Doha Bank is among the largest commercial banks located in Qatar, which was established in the year 1979. Its main divisions are Wholesale Banking, Retail Banking, International Banking, and Treasury & Investments
Instead of just having its presence in Qatar, the Doha Bank also operates in countries such as China, Japan, Singapore, UK, Canada, etc.
Doha Bank has around 23 branches located all over Qatar, while being headquartered in Doha, Qatar.
- Al Khaliji Commercial Bank
Al Khaliji does not just have its presence in Doha, but it primarily operates in the UAE, and it specifically has offices located in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, and Ras Al Khaima.
Not just in the Middle East, but the Al Khaliji Commercial Bank also maintains an office in Paris, which most people won’t expect.
There are around 9 branches and 40 ATM machines of Al Khaliji Commercial Bank within Qatar, and it is headquartered in Lusail, Qatar.
- Dukhan Bank
Previously known as ‘Barwa Bank’, the Dukhan Bank is the new generation Islamic Bank in Qatar.
This means, it may not be in the field for decades, yet it has been demonstrating its presence based on the banking services it offers to the people living in Qatar.
There is no need to specifically say that the financial services provided by Dukhan Bank abide by the Sharia rules.
- Qatar International Islamic Bank (QIIB)
The services offered by QIIB are also Sharia-compliant, and this bank was established in the year 1990 while being regulated by the Qatar Central Bank.
Qatar International Islamic Bank has around 19 branches located in Qatar and its headquarters is in Doha.
Apart from these banks, there are many foreign banks that operate within Qatar, of which some are given below:
- Arab Bank
- Mashreq Bank
- HSBC Qatar
- BNP Paribas
- United Bank ltd
Having discussed the top banks located in Qatar, now we will have a detailed look at the best savings accounts available in Qatar as of 2021.
Best Savings Accounts in Qatar 2021:
It should be duly noted that we are providing the best savings accounts available in Qatar, this list is not ranked, and all the savings accounts have been given randomly.
Why aren’t these ranked? Well, savings accounts come with different types of features such as annual fees, minimum balance requirement, interest rate, etc.
One individual might be looking for a bank account with a higher interest rate, and at the same time, another individual might be looking for a bank account that charges lower fees.
Therefore, you can clearly understand the reason why we haven’t ranked these savings accounts.
- International Bank of Qatar (“Super Savings Account”)
Offered by the International Bank of Qatar, the Super Savings Account does not have an annual fee for managing the account.
However, there is a minimum balance requirement of QAR 50,000, which is a bit more compared to most other savings accounts offered by competitor banks.
With the help of the IBQ Super Savings Account, individuals are offered great benefits such as free life insurance, availability of multiple currencies, flexible withdrawals, etc.
The free life insurance provided with this savings account is up to QAR 1,000,000, and the available currencies are QAR, GBP, USD, and EURO.
You will also be offered with a debit card that allows you to withdraw cash or make payments.
The interest rates on the Super Savings Account of the International Bank of Qatar are as follows.
- 0.15% p.a. for EURO accounts
- 0.50% p.a. for GBP accounts
- 1% p.a. for USD accounts
- 1.25% p.a. for QAR accounts
Regardless of the currency, the minimum balance that needs to be maintained is 10,000, and the required minimum balance to start earning interest is around 50,000 in the case of QAR accounts.
The minimum balance requirement stays the same for the EURO, GBP, and USD accounts, i.e., 10,000.
People having a significant amount of balance are able to obtain an accidental life insurance cover of QAR 1,000,000 and normal cover (natural death) of QAR 100,000.
People are able to withdraw their money once every month, and it won’t affect their interest. Anyhow, if they make more than one withdrawal, then they would be subject to penalties, which is rather inconvenient.
- Qatar Islamic Bank (“Saving Account”)
Like the Super Savings Account of IBQ, the Saving Account of QIB does not have an annual fee for managing the account.
The minimum balance requirement is QAR 2,000, which is usually lower compared to most other savings accounts offered by competitor banks.
People belonging to any age are able to open the Saving Account offered by Qatar Islamic Bank, while minors are required to open an account under the supervision of a legal custodian.
The documents required to open this account are:
- A form filled out at the nearest branch
- Signed signature card
- Copy of Identity (for both residents and expats)
- A copy of passport (for expats)
There is no specific minimum balance requirement for earning interest with the help of this account, and the interest is calculated on the daily average balance.
You will also be provided with the ability to withdraw money from the account any time you want, and a Free Visa Electron card.
Along with these, you will be provided with services such as free e-statement, free mobile banking services, free phone banking services, etc.
- Commercial Bank of Qatar (“Savings Account”)
The minimum balance required for the Savings Account offered by the Commercial Bank of Qatar is QAR 10,000 and there is no annual fee or account opening fee.
The minimum deposit acts in such a way that you must either be able to deposit QAR 10,000 as a one-time deposit or you should be able to have a minimum salary deposit of QAR 4,000.
The global debit of Commercial Bank of Qatar’s Savings Account allows you to make withdrawals not only in the respective bank’s ATMs located in Qatar, but it also allows you to withdraw money from other banks’ ATMs.
For withdrawing from other bank’s ATMs, you must follow the NAPS sign or you can withdraw from the ATM machines internationally when you see the Cirrus Maestro sign.
With the help of an ATM machine, you can withdraw up to QAR 10,000 when you have a Savings Account of the Commercial bank of Qatar.
This account can be opened with the help of Qatari Riyals or you can opt for opening this account with the help of some other currencies.
- Masraf Al Rayan Bank (“Saving Account”)
One of the best aspects of the Saving Account offered by the Masraf Al Rayan Bank is that there is no requirement for minimum balance and no annual fee.
If you want to open this account as a salary account, you must be able to have a salary of QAR 4,000 deposited into this account.
Additionally, this account is an Islamic account, and therefore, you can have the advantage of having an account that invests your money ethically and abides by your religious beliefs while letting you have the access to your funds without any penalties.
- Al Khaliji Commercial Bank (“Savings Account”)
The savings account of Al Khaliji Commercial Bank also comes with the benefit of having no annual fee or minimum balance requirement.
The interest rates are good and Al Khaliji bank also offers you a complimentary debit card, with the help of which, you can make transactions all over the world.
This literally means that you will be provided with access to your funds with the help of ATM machines whenever and wherever you want.
One of the major features of Al Khaliji Commercial Bank’s Savings Account is that they provide you with their phone banking service that can be accessed by you 24/7 (free of cost), which happens to be one of the phone banking services provided by banks in Qatar.
- Mashreq Basic Savings Account
The Mashreq Basic Savings Account doesn’t have a requirement for a minimum balance or does not ask you for any sort of annual management fees.
This account allows you to make banking transactions without having to pay additional costs, and the account offers you a return on your deposit.
The rate of interest offered with this account is 0.25%, which might not seem to be a highly beneficial interest rate compared to other accounts, yet most savings accounts don’t offer interest on their savings accounts.
You will also be provided with a complimentary VISA debit card, using which you can withdraw cash from more than 400,000 ATMs or you can use it over 14 million retail shops located around the world.
You can also obtain Salaam rewards on your purchases, of which, the points can be used to redeem at places where you buy flight tickets, hotel accommodations, electronic goods, dining outlets, movie tickets, etc.
- HSBC Savings Account
There are no annual account management fees or requirements for minimum account balance for maintaining an HSBC Savings Account.
With the help of an HSBC Savings Account, you would be offered accessibility to your funds while being able to earn interest on the amount deposited.
A free debit card would be provided to you, with which, you can make cash withdrawals at the HSBC ATM machines located in Qatar.
Not only that, but you can also make withdrawals or payments at the places where HSBC outlets are located all over the world.
Another major benefit of opting for the HSBC Savings Account is that individuals are offered to make use of various types of currencies, which are QAR, EURO, USD, and GBP.
The banking services are supported 24/7, which makes it easy for you to access all the necessary banking services whenever you want.
Along with these benefits, you will also be provided with some additional advantages such as phone banking, mobile banking, etc., free of cost.
The interest on the deposited amount of the HSBC savings account is calculated on a monthly basis and is paid out to the individuals on a semi-annual basis.
However, there are certain types of fees applicable on this account, which are as follows:
- Standing Instruction Setup: QAR 50
- Fees for closing the account within a year (account closure fees): QAR 50
- Insufficient funds for standing orders: QAR 100
- Account balance letter: QAR 20
- No liability certificate: QAR 20
- Clearance letter: QAR 20
- Inactivity fees (monthly): QAR 10
- Withdrawals/transactions via teller counter: QAR 10 per transaction
For the withdrawals and transactions at the teller counter, the fees of QAR 10 per transaction only apply to withdrawals of QAR 1,000 or deposits up to QAR 10,000.
These accounts are some of the best savings’ accounts offered by the banks in Qatar, which are often considered to be the best among most other types of savings accounts.
If you are an expat in Qatar, then Commercial Bank of Qatar’s Bank Account for Expats happens to be the best.
The minimum account balance required for maintaining this account is QAR 4,000 and there are no annual management fees.
This account comes with various types of benefits such as free access to Uber services, Premium mobile phone package, and many more.
However, if you want your bank account to offer your protection against the upcoming scenarios such as inflation or if you want to reach your investment goals with the help of just a savings account with a higher interest, then it’s impossible.
However, you can utilize a savings account as a part of your portfolio and make your investment portfolio diversified.
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Having said that, we strongly hope that you were able to find the relevant information provided in this article to be useful.