When I draw money from ATMs or open a new bank account, there's the choice of either "savings" or "current" account.

What's the difference between these two account types?

  • "Current" as non-english-speaking countries call these accounts convey the meaning of "flow" as in "cash flow" and not the meaning of "actual" that the word current can have in english. – Mindwin Dec 2 '16 at 11:58

"Current" is another word for Checking, as it is called in the US.

Savings account is an interest-bearing account with certain limitations. For example, in the US you cannot withdraw money from it more than 6 times a month. Here is the explanation why.

Current account is a "general-use" account on which you can write checks, use ATM/Debit cards and have unlimited transactions. It can also have negative balance (if your bank agrees to let you overdraft, they usually charge huge fees for that though). Checking accounts can have interest as well, but they usually don't, and if they do - it's much lower than the savings account interest.

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  • No, it says "current account". Here's an example – Fitri Jun 19 '11 at 8:23
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    @Fitri - this is a checking account. Probably in Singapore that's how they call it, but the idea is the same. What I said (specifically regarding the Savings account regulations) is specific to the US, but generally the difference is "interest bearing and savings oriented" versus "transactional-oriented day-to-day usage". – littleadv Jun 19 '11 at 8:44
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    Asia most of the countries call checking account as a current account. They mean one and the same. – Dheer Jun 19 '11 at 14:33
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    Much of the world outside the US calls their checking account their 'current account'. – DJClayworth Jan 28 '13 at 14:54
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    There's no limit on withdrawals for "savings" accounts in Singapore. Probably the only difference is ability to write cheques and fall-below fees. – Pacerier Nov 27 '13 at 15:28

Typically 'current' means the account from which you do your day-to-day banking (also called 'checking') and 'savings' is an interest earning account, from which you might occasionally take money.

However...you can actually attach these labels (for ATM purposes) to any account you want. They don't have to be your actual checking or savings accounts. I have 'current' attached to my personal account and 'savings' on the account I hold jointly with my wife. They are just labels you attach to different accounts.

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