Saving Money the Multicultural Family Style in Korea
Banks are a fickle sort, aren’t they? After finishing up a 2 year savings CD, we were looking into another one and I heard through the multicultural family grapevine, over which much information is passed, that there were CDs especially available for us with higher interest rates. What? Did this exist two years ago when we opened our first one? Why hadn’t the bank teller mentioned this when it was clear that a multicultural family was sitting in front of her? Questions such as this and many more were answered on a recent trip to a branch of Kookmin Bank. Yes, this type of account did exist two years ago for anyone that was wondering.
The teller probably hadn’t mentioned it, the woman behind the desk told us, because it’s a government mandated account type and the banks don’t particularly want to pay a higher interest rate if they don’t have to.
That means that you need to walk into the bank knowing what to ask for or you probably won’t get this type of account. After numerous searches on bank websites, it became clear that you’d have to search specifically for this type of savings account and were unlikely to just come across it on the bank’s main page or savings plans page. The friendly woman behind the desk also said that we could open an account at every bank that offered them if we wanted to because there was no limit on how many a multicultural family could open. As an aside, she said if she could do it she would because the interest rates are so much better. Some banks haven’t caught up with the times and make the assumption that multicultural families consist of only foreign women that have married Korean men though so, if you’re a foreign guy married to a Korean woman, they don’t have you listed as a viable candidate at some of the banks. Hopefully, that will change in the coming years.
If you’ve got some money sitting in a dusty jar or an old bank account with a low interest rate not doing much, grab it up and open one or a few of these accounts today! Information is as of 2014 and may change from year to year.
Kookmin Bank (KB) 국민은행
- Kookmin Happy Savings (국민행복적금)
- 4.5% on initial deposits and 3% added upon completion of deposits
- The 3% addition at the end is reserved for the higher monthly deposit accounts, if you choose to deposit W100,000 there will only be an additional 2% added, ask the teller for more information.
- Duration: 1 year
- Maximum monthly deposit: W100,000 ~ W500,000 per month
- Eligible: Only a foreign woman married to a Korean man is eligible for this account.
Woori Bank 우리은행
- Woori Hope Dream Savings (우리희망드림적금)
- Interest: 7.5%
- 4% on initial deposits and 3.5% added upon completion of deposits
- Duration: 1 year
- Maximum monthly deposit: ~ W300,000
- Eligible: Either the woman or man in a multicultural marriage is eligible.
Industrial Bank of Korea (IBK) 기업은행
- Love Share Savings (사랑나눔적금)
- If the duration of the account is 1 to 2 years: 3% on initial deposit and 3% added upon completion of deposits
- If the duration of the account is 2 to 3 years: 3.1% on initial deposit and 3.1% added upon completion of deposits
- Duration: 1, 2 and 3 year options
- Maximum monthly deposit: W100,000 ~ W500,000
- Eligible: Only a woman married to a Korean man is eligible for this account.
Shinhan Bank 신한은행
- New Hope Savings (새희망적금)
- 4.5% on initial deposits and 1.5% added upon completion of deposits
- If the account is closed before 3 years, there will be a lower interest rate on the amount paid out.
- Duration: 3 years
- Maximum monthly deposit: ~ W200,000
- Eligible: Only for the married immigrant in the multicultural relationship.
Korea Exchange Bank (KEB) 외환은행
- Cheerful Gift Savings (1004 나눔적금)
- duration of account 1 year: 2% on initial deposits and 3% added upon completion
- duration of account 2 years: 2.5% on initial deposits and 3% added upon completion
- duration of account 3 years: 3% on initial deposits and 3% added upon completion
- Duration: 1, 2 or 3 year options available
- Maximum monthly deposit: W100,00 ~ W300,000
- Eligible: Anyone in a multicultural family including the children can have an account opened in their name.
Documents necessary to open one of these accounts:
For the non-Korean citizen:
- Bring your ARC card
- A copy of your family register (가족증명사) which can be found at your local dong office. The copy of your family register will be used to confirm that you are in fact married to a Korean national.
- You will also need to take enough money for an initial deposit into the account.