Back then, you had to have at least five figures to open a savings account at your neighborhood bank. Hence, those who couldn't afford settled with piggy banks where their money wasn't exactly safe from being spent.

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Good thing these institutions realized the feasibility of lowering the initial placement amount and fashioned cheap banking policies. Suddenly, people don't have an excuse to stow away for emergencies and situations in which they need extra cash.

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Here are the most economical choices that require only three figures. 

(Click each entry for additional information.)

EastWest Bank Basic Savings

Open an account for the price of a one-piece chicken meal

The domestic bank offers a savings plan with a ridiculously low initial deposit and maintaining balance: P100, and we're not talking about a kid's account. Your earnings (interest rate of 0.125% per annum), which begin at the 500-peso balance, is documented through an electronic statement and evidenced by a debit card. Funds are accessible over-the-counter, via ATM, EastWest Online, and Visa merchants worldwide.

BPI Kaya Savings

Open an account for the price of your regular Grab/Uber trip

Double the account opening value for the first option (P200) and get double the interest (0.25%), once you reach a daily balance of P2,000. While the oldest bank in the country doesn't require a maintaining balance, it charges every time you withdraw in any BPI Express Teller ATM (P5), over-the-counter (P100) and "other customer-initiated debits," not to mention a Debit Card fee (P150).


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China Bank Savings Easi-Save Passbook

Open an account for the price of a department store wallet

The first privately owned local commercial bank may be relatively steep (P500) as compared to previous entries, but so is the interest rate of .5% per annum. Recorded in an Easi-Save Passbook, this policy needs a one-thousand peso minimum maintaining balance to grow. There is also an ATM variation called Easi-Save Basic that has zero initial deposit and zero minimum balance (.5% p.a.). For just P100, applicants will be issued a personalized card right away.

RCBC Savings Bank Basic Savings

Open an account for how much your water bill is after moving out

Same initial placement as the one above but lower interest (.25%)—credited monthly to the account—and higher average daily balance (P25,000) to start reaping the benefits. Manage your cash reserve via RCBC Savings Bank, Bancnet, ExpressNet, Megalink ATM machines, RCBC Online Banking. The deal is rather flexible, though, when it comes to currencies: available in dollar, yen, and euro.


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This story originally appeared on

* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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