Opening a BDO savings account is as easy as buying a new phone.
All you need to do is go to the nearest branch, present the requirements, sign a few documents, and call it a day.
And yet, people still make a lot of excuses why they haven’t opened one yet.
In the latest Financial Inclusion Survey done by the Central Bank, it is revealed that three-fourths of Filipinos still have no bank accounts1.
Surprisingly, aside from not having enough funds, respondents also mentioned lack of requirements (18%), lack of knowledge in opening an account (9%), and lack of awareness (8%) as the reasons why they’re still not saving for a rainy day through a savings account.
Let this guide teach you the basic requirements and procedures for opening a BDO savings account to stop you from making the same excuses.
Table of Contents
- Why Open a BDO Savings Account?
- Current Account vs. Savings Account: What’s the Difference?
- Benefits of Opening a Savings Account
- BDO Savings Account Requirements
How To Open a BDO Savings Account: A Step-by-Step Guide
- 1. Decide on the Type of BDO Savings Account You Want To Open
- 2. Fill Out the Online Application Form
- 3. Visit the Nearest BDO Branch
- 4. Proceed to the “New Account” Station and Submit All the Requirements
- 5. Wait for Your BDO Savings Account To Be Activated
- 6. Access Your Savings Account Through BDO Online Banking
- Tips and Warnings
Frequently Asked Questions
- 1. What is the Minimum Initial Deposit?
- 2. What is the Monthly Average Daily Balance (MADB)?
- 3. What is the Minimum Balance to Earn Interest?
- 4. I want my kids to have their own bank accounts. How can I open a BDO Junior Savers?
- 5. How can I open BDO savings account if I’m an OFW?
- 6. Can I open a BDO savings account in the Philippines if I’m a foreigner?
- 7. How can I open a BDO Joint Savings account?
- 8. What are the BDO bank code and SWIFT code?
Why Open a BDO Savings Account?
One word: Convenience.
Almost every town, city, and shopping mall in the country has a BDO branch.
As a matter of fact, BDO is owned by SM Group, that’s why you’ll always see a BDO branch in almost any SM mall you go to. This gives BDO the competitive advantage of having weekend banking and longer banking hours than other banks located outside SM malls.
As of March 31, 20212, BDO has 1, 478 branches and more than 4,400 ATMs and electronic channels nationwide3 ready to meet its customers’ various banking needs. Furthermore, BDO has 18 international offices in Asia, North America, Europe, and the Middle East.
In terms of overall performance, BDO isn’t trailing behind either.
BDO Unibank Inc. has consistently won the “Best Bank in the Philippines” award by FinanceAsia4 for several years now due to its “strong business franchise, low-cost funding, quality assets, and extensive distribution network.”
Current Account vs. Savings Account: What’s the Difference?
Whether you’re withdrawing or depositing money into the bank, you’ll always be required to fill out a form to complete the transaction.
On this form, the first question usually asked is the type of account you have–Savings or Current.
Before this, the naive, younger version of myself would usually check the box corresponding to the “Current” account without any idea what it meant. It was only later that I realized that I have a savings account!
Let’s briefly discuss the difference between these two deposit accounts to avoid confusion.
- A type of deposit account ideal for those with regular income. It’s used to save money to meet short- or long-term financial goals like financing a wedding, buying a car, saving for an emergency fund, and other future purchases.
- Interest rates range from 0.10% to 1.75%.
- It has a maximum limit on the number of transactions the account holder can carry out in a month.
- Lower minimum balance/initial deposit.
- Also known as a checking account, this type of deposit account is intended for frequent or regular financial transactions like paying bills, loans, tuition, and rent. Suitable for businesses, firms, companies, organizations, and public enterprises.
- It doesn’t earn interest due to its fluidity.
- No maximum limit on the number of transactions that the user can carry out.
- Higher minimum balance/initial deposit.
Benefits of Opening a Savings Account
The following are some of the perks of getting your own savings account in the Philippines:
- Having a savings account allows your money to grow in the bank every year. The interest rate may vary depending on the bank you’re enrolled in.
- It takes less money to open a savings account.
- It requires a lower maintenance balance. If you open a BDO ATM account, for example, you can keep the account active with just ₱2,000.
- Enjoy convenient and quick banking transactions with the new BDO Pay mobile app. This e-wallet is linked to your savings account; therefore, you can manage your deposits, pay bills, send money, pay via QR, and shop online. Additionally, BDO Pay does not require an initial deposit and maintaining balance, so you can easily use the application5.
Of course, with all advantages also come a few disadvantages:
- The interest rate is lower compared to what you can potentially earn from other financial products like stocks and mutual funds. Even Pag IBIG Fund offers its account holders a relatively higher interest rate.
- Most Philippine banks put a limit on the number of daily transactions you can carry out and the amount of money you can withdraw per transaction.
- In the case of BDO, you will be charged ₱100 for over-the-counter withdrawals regardless if their ATMs are functional or not. They also charge absurd fees for literally every transaction you can think of. For instance, you’ll be charged a deposit fee of at least ₱50 if you’re depositing money in a branch other than the branch where you opened your BDO account.
BDO Savings Account Requirements
Before going to the BDO branch, make sure you already have all the following requirements:
1. At Least 2 Valid IDs (Original and Photocopy)
According to BDO6, the following IDs are considered valid and can be presented by applicants who are opening a new BDO savings account:
- Philippine Passport. A foreign passport is also accepted as long as it has English characters/translations and the holder has a residential address in the Philippines.
- Voter’s ID
- Philippine Postal ID
- Driver’s License issued by the Land Transportation Office (LTO)
- Professional Regulations Commission (PRC) License/ID
- Tax Identification Number (TIN) ID
- New Social Security System (SSS) ID
- Government Service and Insurance System (GSIS) e-Card
- Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) ID
- Senior Citizen ID/Card
- School ID (for minors)
- Philhealth card
- Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) ID
- BDO is strict with its “no valid ID, no application” policy. You should bring at least 2 of the valid IDs above so long as they’re still within their validity periods. There’s no such thing as a primary and secondary ID. If you bring a passport, for example, you’ll still be asked to provide an extra ID even though the passport has long been considered a primary one.
- It is recommended that you open a BDO savings account at a branch closer to your location or place of residence.
2. Minimum Initial Deposit
The table below shows the minimum initial deposit required for each type of savings account.
|Type of BDO Savings Account||Minimum Initial Deposit|
|Peso Passbook Savings (with or without ATM)||₱5,000|
|Peso ATM Debit Card (without passbook)||₱2,000|
|Optimum Savings||₱30,000 (Personal) and ₱50,000 (Business)|
|Prime Savers Dollar||$200|
|Direct Deposit Dollar||$0|
|Australian Dollar Savings Account||$500|
|Canadian Dollar Savings Account||$1,000|
|Chinese Yuan Savings Account||¥2,500|
|Euro Savings Account||€500|
|Great Britain Pound Savings Account||£500|
|Hongkong Dollar Savings Account||$500|
|Singapore Dollar Savings Account||$500|
|Yen Savings Account||¥50,000|
|Peso Time Deposit||₱1,000|
|Premium Flexi Earner||₱10,000|
|Dollar Time Deposit||$1,000|
|Dollar PRS (Philippine Retirement Authority)Time Deposit||as advised by PRA|
|Two-Year Dollar Time Deposit||$50,000|
|Three-Year Dollar Time Deposit||$50,000|
|Five-Year Dollar Time Deposit||$50,000|
How To Open a BDO Savings Account: A Step-by-Step Guide
Now that you know the basics, let me walk you through every step needed to open a BDO savings account in the Philippines.
1. Decide on the Type of BDO Savings Account You Want To Open
BDO offers a wide range of savings accounts to suit your particular needs.
You can open an account in peso or any other currency.
In general, there are BDO savings accounts that you can choose from depending on your financial goal:
a. BDO Passbook Savings
The Peso Passbook Savings can be availed with or without an ATM. If you choose the no-ATM option, you won’t be tempted to splurge on unnecessary stuff. This makes the passbook savings account an ideal choice for those who want to save money to achieve short- or long-term financial goals.
Whereas Peso Passbook Savings ensures all your financial transactions are safely recorded in a bank-issued notebook or passbook, an ATM/debit card makes you more vulnerable to identity theft and other fraudulent activities.
If safety is a great concern, choose a passbook savings account and consider having an ATM only if you’re ready to handle the risks.
- With or without ATM.
- Minimum Initial Deposit: ₱5,000
- Minimum MADB (Monthly Average Daily Balance) Requirement: ₱10,000
- Minimum Balance to Earn Interest: ₱10,000
- Gross Interest Rate Per Annum: 0.0625%7
b. BDO ATM Savings
A bank account you can carry anywhere you go, the BDO ATM Savings enables you to receive payments, pay bills, withdraw cash, transfer funds, shop online, and experience a host of other conveniences made possible by the BDO online banking facility.
Choose this account if you prefer to spend money without the need to bring cash.
- Without passbook.
- Minimum Initial Deposit: ₱2,000
- Minimum MADB (Monthly Average Daily Balance) Requirement: ₱2,000
- Minimum Balance to Earn Interest: ₱5,000
- Gross Interest Rate Per Annum: 0.125%
c. BDO Optimum Savings
Optimum Savings offers the highest interest rates among BDO savings accounts and ideal for entrepreneurs who want the highest return for their money or anyone with long-term financial goals but don’t want to be tied down with a time deposit account.
In addition to its high-interest rates, Optimum Savings also allows you to debit or withdraw money from your account for free up to three times a month.
- Minimum Initial Deposit: ₱30,000 (Personal); ₱50,000 (Business)
- Minimum MADB (Monthly Average Daily Balance) Requirement: ₱30,000 (Personal); ₱50,000 (Business)
- Minimum Balance to Earn Interest: ₱30,000 (Personal); ₱50,000 (Business)
- Gross Interest Rate Per Annum: Please call or visit your preferred BDO Branch for the latest interest rates.
d. BDO Junior Savers
A vital tool to teach financial literacy to youngsters 12 years old and below, the BDO Junior Savers is every responsible parent’s dream come true.
By giving your kids their savings accounts at an early age, you’re instilling in them the value of saving money and handling it well.
- Passbook for kids below 12 years old.
- ATM/BDO EMV Debit Card available to children aged 7 to 12 years old upon request.
- Transfer money from an existing BDO account to the child’s Junior Savers via online banking or Easy Saver.
- Minimum Initial Deposit: ₱100
- Minimum MADB (Monthly Average Daily Balance) Requirement: ₱100
- Minimum Balance to Earn Interest: ₱2,000
- Interest rate (per annum): 0.25%8
e. BDO Dollar Savings
This is the best savings account to keep your US dollars and earn interest in the same currency. It also comes with a passbook.
- Minimum Initial Deposit: USD 200
- Minimum MADB (Monthly Average Daily Balance) Requirement: USD 500
- Minimum Balance to Earn Interest: USD 500
f. BDO Prime Savers Dollar
Intended for senior citizens (60 years old and up), a Prime Savers Dollar account offers perks like special forex rates and access to priority lanes during bank transactions.
- Minimum Initial Deposit: USD 200
- Minimum MADB (Monthly Average Daily Balance) Requirement: USD 200
- Minimum Balance to Earn Interest: USD 500
- Gross Interest Rate Per Annum: 0.05%
2. Fill Out the Online Application Form
All applicants are now required to fill out an application form online before they proceed to the nearest BDO branch. Here’s how to do it:
- Go to the official BDO website.
- Under Personal on the left side of the page, select Accounts.
- Under the section Open a BDO account now, you can select whether you want to open an account online or in-branch.
- If you opt to open an account online, select Apply Online. Read the terms and conditions, answer the given math problem, tick the two checkboxes below, and select I agree.
- You’ll be asked whether you’re opening a BDO account for the first time or an existing BDO customer with or without an online banking account. Select whichever applies to you. Click Next.
- Fill out the online application form with your personal details. At this point, you’ll also be able to choose your appointment schedule and the specific branch where you’ll do the transaction.
- Once complete, you can proceed to your preferred BDO branch to submit the requirements and complete the application process.
If you prefer to open an account at a BDO branch, you have to download, print, and fill out the required personal account form and submit them to the nearest BDO branch together with other requirements and the initial required deposit amount.
3. Visit the Nearest BDO Branch
Ideally, you should open a savings account at a BDO branch near you.
You can use the BDO branch locator to find out if there are branches near you.
For most branches, banking hours are from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM9. They are open from Monday to Friday, but some operate on Saturdays. Here is the list of BDO branches that are also open every Saturday until 4 PM.
BDO branches that are open on weekends (including Sundays) are those located inside SM malls. Their banking hours are until 4:00 PM.
4. Proceed to the “New Account” Station and Submit All the Requirements
There is no need to fill out another form upon arrival at your preferred branch because you already completed the online application form (see step #3).
You will be asked to provide three identical signature specimens.
No need to submit ID pictures because most BDO branches already have their own cameras for image capturing.
After submitting the requirements, including the initial deposit, the bank officer will inform you when your account will be activated and when you can return to claim the passbook, ATM, or both.
5. Wait for Your BDO Savings Account To Be Activated
Account activation usually takes at least 1 to 2 days from the date of application.
On the other hand, the passbook and ATM are issued after 5 to 7 banking days.
Once you’ve been issued the ATM card, follow the steps below to activate it:
- Go to any BDO ATM and insert your new card.
- Select “Other Services.”
- Choose “PIN Change” and enter the 6-digit PIN (Personal Identification Number) provided to you.
- Enter your preferred PIN.
- Re-enter your desired PIN.
- Wait for the message “New PIN has been generated.” Don’t forget to keep the transaction receipt.
If you have any questions concerning account activation, please call BDO Customer Contact Center at 631-8000 or visit the BDO branch where you opened your savings account.
6. Access Your Savings Account Through BDO Online Banking
After your BDO savings account is activated, you can now also access your BDO online banking. As you can remember, you already enrolled in online banking via the online application form you accomplished earlier.
Although it’s optional, getting into online banking can give you access to a lot of features that can benefit you in the long run.
The following are some of the transactions you can do via BDO online banking:
Tips and Warnings
- According to a BDO customer service agent I interviewed, BDO no longer requires proof of billing (e.g., water bills, MERALCO bills, credit card bills, etc.). As part of their protocol, applicants may be asked instead to provide vital personal information, including their employment background or source/s of income. The two valid IDs and the initial deposit should be enough to open a BDO savings account.
- There’s no need to bring 2 x 2 or 1 x 1 ID pictures. BDO is already equipped with cameras for image capturing.
- Read the fine print before choosing the BDO savings account to open. For example, while a Passbook account can be converted to an ATM account, the same is not true for the contrary (i.e., you can’t convert a BDO ATM Savings to a BDO Passbook Savings).
Frequently Asked Questions
- Lucas, D. (2018). Three-fourths of Filipinos still have no bank accounts, says BSP. Retrieved 4 January 2021, from https://business.inquirer.net/253836/three-fourths-of-filipinos-still-no-bank-accounts-says-bsp-bsp-survey-finance-banking-account-indicator
- Market Reach (BDO). (2021). [PDF]. Retrieved from https://www.bdo.com.ph/sites/default/files/pdf/Market%20Reach.pdf
- BDO Frequently Asked Questions. (2020). [PDF]. Retrieved from https://www.bdo.com.ph/sites/default/files/pdf/BDO_FAQ_Website_FINAL.pdf
- Gatdula, D. (2013). FinanceAsia cites BDO as Best Bank in Phl. Retrieved 4 January 2021, from https://www.philstar.com/business/2013/07/16/974041/71jOicX2xtoLh8wg.99
- BDO launches e-wallet. (2022). Retrieved 27 July 2022, from https://malaya.com.ph/news_business/bdo-launches-e-wallet/
- How to Open an Account at A BDO Branch. Retrieved 26 November 2021, from https://www.bdo.com.ph/personal/accounts/how-to-open-an-account
- Passbook Savings. Retrieved 26 November 2021, from https://www.bdo.com.ph/personal/accounts/peso-savings-account/passbook-savings
- Junior Savers Account. Retrieved 26 November 2021, from https://www.home.uat.bdo.com.ph/personal/accounts/peso-savings-account/junior-savers
- Branch and Mobile Machine Schedules. (2021). Retrieved 26 November 2021, from https://www.bdo.com.ph/covid-updates