Below-Maintaining-Balance Penalties Incurred by Many Bank Depositors

Penalties for falling below the maintaining balance requirement is the most common concern written about by bank account owners commenting on our blogs.

There have been account owners who have seen their savings reduced by 600 pesos or 900 pesos or 1,200 pesos for failing to see on time that their account balances have fallen below the required balance.

There’s even one OFW whose account balance was reduced by 4,500 pesos! That’s 300 pesos x 15 months of falling below the required balance. This OFW did not know that the bank account’s maintaining balance requirement has increased. Two other OFWs lost 1,800 pesos and 3,500 pesos to this kind of penalty.

What Are the Common Reasons Why Account Owners Suffer This Penalty?

. The account owner does not know there’s such a thing as maintaining balance.
. The account owner knows there’s a maintaining balance requirement but is not able to maintain the
required balance.
. The account owner knows his maintaining balance requirement but does not know there was an increase in the amount required.***

Why Is There a Maintaining Balance Requirement?
This is to share in the cost of maintaining one’s accounts in the banks’ systems. Why won’t the banks shoulder this cost? Banks will say they are in business to make profits.

In the US, what they have is a bank maintenance fee. Account owners pay a monthly fee to maintain their accounts. If they don’t like to pay this fee, then they should maintain a certain balance in their account. It’s the same cost concept.

This Is Why Zero-Maintaining Balance Accounts Have Become Popular
As people become familiar with maintaining-balance penalties, banks accounts like the following have become popular:
   BDO Kabayan peso and dollar savings account
   BPI Easy Saver savings account
   Metrobank OFW peso and dollar savings account

   BPInoy savings account
   PNB OFW peso and dollar savings account
   Other banks’ OFW saving accounts

Here are Common Bank Account Products, Maintaining Balance Requirements and Below-Maintaining Balance Penalties:

Bank Account Product Maintaining Balance   Below-Maintaining-
Required Balance Penalty
Per Month*
BDO Kabayan Peso 0**
BDO Kabayan Dollar 0**
BDO Peso Passbook 10,000 300
BDO Peso ATM 2,000 300
BDO Power Teens 2,000 300
BDO Optimum Peso 30,000 300
BDO Prime Savers 2,000 300
BDO Dollar Savings $500 $5
BPI Express Teller 3,000 300
BPI Easy Saver 0***
BPI Passbook Savings 10,000 300
BPI Jumpstart Savings 1,000 300
BPI Express Dollar $500 $5
BPI Express Teller 1,000 250
Family Savings
BPI Passbook 10,000 250
Family Savings
BPI Easy Saver 0***
BPI Jumpstart 500 250
Family Savings 500
BPI Dollar Passbook $500 $5
Family Savings
BPI Express Teller 500 250
Direct Savings
BPI BPInoy Savings 0****
Metrobank Debit/ATM 2,000 300
Metrobank Passbook Savings 10,000 300
Metrobank Dollar Savings $500 $10
Metrobank Fun Savers 500 300
Metrobank OFW Peso Savings 0**
Metrobank OFW Dollar 0**
Landbank   ATM Peso 500 200
Landbank Regular Passbook 10,000 200
PNB Superteller ATM Peso   3,000 300
PNB Debit 3,000 300
PNB Passbook Savings 10,000 350


 *  Penalty is imposed at the end of the 2nd consecutive month your account fell below the required maintaining balance

**  OFW accounts have no maintaining balance requirement, but you need to send money from abroad to your account at least once in 12 months.

      After 12 months of no foreign remittance, your account is converted into a regular account, and you’ll need to comply with the maintaining-balance requirement.  If you fail to comply, and your account balance is not enough to pay the 300-peso penalty, your account will automatically close.

*** BPI Easy Saver has no maintaining balance requirement, but you pay 5 pesos for every ATM withdrawal and ATM balance inquiry.

****BPInoy Savings Account has no maintaining balance requirement, but you need to send money to your account at least once every 3 months.



Add a Comment
  1. Good Day.

    I just want to ask if my account is still on a below maintaining balance for almost 6 months, do I need to pay all the charges for 6 months before ko magamit siya again.

    Thank you for your time and asking your assistance for this matter .

    1. Hi Meljen, if your account is already closed, you can reactivate it if it’s BPI or any other bank that allows reactivation, and yes, you will pay all the monthly penalties before it is reactivated. But if it’s BDO, and your account is already closed, BDO does not allow reactivation – it allows opening a new account.

  2. What if my bank account is not yet closed, I tried putting on an amount of 4000 and it stayed for a month there, BPI have not deducted any penalties yet, I have to zero it again today, the maintaining balance should be 3000 but for more than six months, I zeroed it before putting the said 4000

    1. Hi Yce, when you said your 4k deposit stayed for a month, did you mean it stayed through the end of the month and the first day of the next month? They usually deduct penalties on the last business day or the first business day of the next month. It’s great if BPI did not deduct anything even if your account was zero for 6 months. I asked a BPI officer before about this, and she said they do deduct penalties when there’s a new deposit after having been temporarily closed because of zero balance. But maybe they’ve changed their policy, I’m not sure. There’s a BPI Kaya maintenance-free account if you like.

  3. What if i withdraw all of maintaining balance at metrobank atm to zero, is that mean my account is already close? Or i can still have it as long as i pay the 300 peso penalty

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