Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Opening a Bank Account in SAMBA Bank

SAMBA Bank is offering very basic features as far as type of bank account is concerned. Only one bank account is offered and it is current account. All the facilities which are available to almost all bank accounts are available on this account. However, there is an option to deposit your money through internet banking but the offered rates are very negligible. It is 0.76% per annum if you make a fixed deposit for one year with the amount of SR 20,000/-. It means you can only get SR 152 after one year of deposit of SR 20,000/-. There is another feature offered by SAMBA Bank which I like the most is credit card without ANNUAL FEE. It is the only bank in Saudi Arabia which is providing this kind of credit card. If you know any other bank, please let me know about it.

Credit Cards offered by the SAMBA Bank are competitive to the market. If you ask me about the two best credit card providers of the Saudi Arabia, SAMBA Bank is one of them.
  1. They are offering good reward programs. Their reward program offers you one point for every 100 SAR spent through the credit card. You can redeem these points into SAR 100 when the points reached to 100. It means you are getting actually 1% discount upon all the purchases made through the SAMBA Bank Credit Card.
  2. Apart from this general reward program, they offer you consumer based credit cards. SAMBA Bank offers Sony, Jarir, Fursaan and Panda Credit card. If you take Sony Credit Card, you will get 2 reward points for every SR 100 spent on Sony Outlets. Same is the case with other credit cards.
  3. Just like other credit cards, you can withdraw up to 50% of the credit limit. However there are charges of 3.5% or SR 75, whichever is higher for each transaction. If you withdraw it through ATM, you can maximum withdraw SAR 5,000/- and will have to pay SR 175 as charges.
  4. They are offering 30% interest rate upon the delayed payment and you have to make payment of at least 5% of due amount every month.
  5. There is another feature, SAMBA 0% Taqseet program. This is really a very good feature available only on the purchases made from the designated stores. This program available on all the SAMBA Islamic Credit cards. In this program, if you purchase above a certain amount from the designated stores of SAMBA Bank and communicate SAMBA Bank through helpline, they can give you option to pay the amount in 6 to 24 months installments. This is completely free of charge without any interest. Detail of designated stores is available on this website. SAMBA BANK
  6. SAMBA Panda credit card by the SAMBA Bank does not require you to pay any annual fee for the first year. Exemption of annual fee for the subsequent year is available if your purchases from the credit card exceed SR 8,000/- in previous year.

Customer Service: Saudi American Bank is a good bank as far as its customer services in the branch are concerned. However, their phone banking is not as good. Even if you select English language, they don’t talk to you in English. They ask you to redial the number to talk to other representative in English. Once I had to call 4 times to talk to some representative who could speak Basic English.

Requirements to Open Account in SAMBA Bank

  1. Letter of Introduction. Sample Letter of Introduction to open bank account in Saudi Arabia is available in this link.
  2. Copy of Iqama
  3. Copy of Passport

My Personal Suggestion is to open account in this bank only if you want to get SAMBA Panda Credit Card with zero annual fee. If you want to get benefited from the SAMBA 0% Taqseet Program, NCB offers the same type of program but they have large number of designated stores.

Comment 1 – Opening a Bank Account in Saudi Arabia: I have an account here in SABB and someone from the bank came to my office today for the Credit Card. I need a cheapest card with least annual fees. Which Credit Card do you suggest? Also please if you can describe the process of any purchase made on my CC and convert it into 6 months or 12 months installments. How much would be the interest rate, as I can’t find any clear description on their website.
Answer by Steve: I personally researched about it 6 months ago and went for SAMBA Panda Card. They do not charge any annual fee. Please check details in this link “Opening Bank Account in SAMBA Bank”

Comment 2 – Opening a Bank Account in Saudi Arabia: Please elaborate: "open account in this bank only if you want to get SAMBA Panda Credit Card with zero annual fee" how we can avail this?
Answer by Steve: Open account, transfer your salary in it and apply for samba panda card and KHALLAS!
Visitor: I already have samba panda card as well as the account. Transfer of the salary, however, is limited to the banks specified by the company.
Answer by Steve: So do you want to get "Zero Annual Fee" feature? Just spend more than SR 8,000 in one year through this card to get this feature.
Visitor: Yeah, this is what I am targeting for. Although the sales rep said it will be 3/4K but officially it is 8k)
Answer by Steve: You know about Sales Reps, they were not even aware of this feature when I went to them. I read it on the website of SAMBA Bank. Even website is not properly updated.

Related Articles
  1. Activate Abshir (MOI) Account through SAMBA Bank Internet Banking
  2. Reactivate Frozen Bank Account in Saudi Arabia
  3. Procedure to withdraw money from Frozen Bank Account on New Iqama

Banks in Saudi Arabia
  1. AlRajhi Bank
  2. Al Bilad Bank
  3. Alinma Bank
  4. Arab National Bank
  5. National Commercial Bank
  6. Riyadh Bank
  7. Saudi American Bank (SAMBA)
  8. Saudi Hollandi Bank
  9. Saudi British Bank (SABB)


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