This is not a sponsored post nor an affiliate post. I will be writing in the next few weeks or months about my reviews on certain products and services that I personally use. Please be aware that this is my personal experience and might differ from yours. I’ve decided to do a CIMB Bank Philippines Review because it’s one of the banks that I frequently use in the last six months.
Who and What is CIMB Bank
They are one of the (as of the time of writing) fully-digital banks in the Philippines. It was launched in the Philippines last December 2018 but I got to know them only in the last quarter of 2019.
I first encountered CIMB when I click on GSave on my GCash app.
Last year, I was looking for more ways to conveniently bank and at the same time, I was looking for banks that give better interest than the traditional banks that we have here.
CIMB Bank Philippines is owned by CIMB Group which has its roots in Malaysia. It was founded in 1974 and has been growing and expanding in recent years. It has a presence in multiple countries around Asia. Click here if you want to know more about the CIMB Group.
Since its launched last 2018, it has now become the most awarded digital bank in the Philippines. They have received 8 awards including Asian Banker’s Best Digital Bank, Global Finance’s Best Digital Consumer Bank, and International Finance’s Fastest Growing Digital Bank Award.
Advantages of Having a CIMB Bank Account
I have been using CIMB for the last six months and I find it very easy and convenient to use. Here are some of the advantages of having a CIMB Bank Philippines Account.
Convenience in the Palm of Your Hands
It is fully mobile and fully digital. That means that you can access your account, review recent transactions, open accounts, make transfers, and even make a personal loan using your mobile phone. You can also report a lost card, ask for a replacement card, change card pin, block the card, and restrict card usage and set withdrawal limits via the app.
Interest Rate is Higher than Most Banks
The interest rate is up to 4% per annum for balances deposited into the UpSave account with no maintaining balance required. The interest fee for Fast/Fast Plus Account is 0.75% per annum. Please be advised that there’s an update though on the interest of Upsave accounts on the CIMB website.
Effective June 1 to July 31, 2020, the 4% p.a. interest rate will be enjoyed by UpSave and GSave account holders with a balance of at least PHP 100,000. The base interest rate is now at 3% p.a. interest rate for UpSave account holders and 3.1% p.a. for GSave account holders effective June 1, 2020.
Free Life Insurance
If you maintain a daily balance of P100,000 and up, you will be eligible to get free life insurance of up to 2x coverage of the average daily balance (average daily balance of the past three calendar months prior to Insured’s demise) of the depositor, up to a maximum limit of P2million.
Easy to Use
The app is so easy to use. It’s very minimalist and simple. You’ll find it easy to look for all the links to the transactions that you need to do. I have applied for additional accounts using the app.
All online transfers to and from my CIMB account were also done using the app.
However, I have not tried though buying a load since I use a postpaid phone and I have not tried making a loan nor paying bills since I do that using my credit card.
Safe to Use
CIMB is a member of the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC) And as a member of PDIC, the maximum deposit insurance for each depositor is P500,000 which is the same for all PDIC member banks in the Philippines. CIMB Bank Philippines Inc. is also regulated by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
The CIMB App on your mobile phone is also protected by password and you can also set to use the fingerprint option to make it more secure.
Easy to Deposit Money
I often make my deposits via 7-11 but you can also make a deposit via Dragonpay (SM Malls, Robinsons Malls, LBC, M. Lhuillier, Cebuana Lhuillier, and other local banks) or you can make an interbank transfer via Dragonpay.
Easy to Withdraw Money
I highly suggest that you get the Fast Plus Account so you can avail of the ATM card. You can use this card to easily withdraw to any ATM machine with the Visa card logo. There’s also no fee for cash withdrawal and balance inquiry at CIMB Bank Philippines ATM, overseas CIMB Bank ATM, ATM under VISA network, ATM under the BancNet network.
This benefit is the main reason why I opened a CIMB account. I know that this is subject to change but I hope this is one of the benefits that they will keep for the years to come.
Easy to Transfer Money
I buy a lot from online shopping sites and I often make payments to online sellers via bank transfers. I have done this numerous times via the app and I’ve transferred money to BDO, BPI, and Metrobank. At first, it was a confusing process because there are steps that you need to follow that they will send via email. But I got used to it on my second, third, and succeeding transfers.
Responsive Customer Service
I had an issue with my GSave Account which was technically my first CIMB account. The prepaid sim where it was registered was deactivated after prolonged inactivity. Mainly because I was using my postpaid and forgot that my GCash was connected to that prepaid sim. So I called their Customer Service Hotline.
As of now, it was still the one and only call I’ve made with them and I got a fast response and the situation was explained to me clearly.
Detailed and Helpful Self-help Page
I’ve worked in the customer service industry both BPOs and ROHQs for the longest time. And one of the priorities of all companies that I’ve worked for is to improve and continuously update our Self-help page.
Why? Because having a detailed and helpful Self-help page will speed up the service delivery process to all customers. And this is what CIMB has done.
Before you contact their customer service team over the phone or via email, check first if your concern can be answered by the Self-help (FAQ) page. This will help you save your time as well.
Disadvantages of Having a CIMB Account
I don’t see any glaring disadvantages of having a CIMB account yet. However, there are certain things that they can improve on in the future:
Online Interbank Money Transfer Process
Although I find it easy now, the process may confuse first-time users. To be clear, this is not a disadvantage but rather a slight inconvenience for first-time users. I got the hang of it and I do not mind it anymore.
Money Transfer Timeline
If you transfer money from your CIMB Account to another bank, the transfers placed after 1:15 PM using the PESONet option will be settled the next banking day.
In case you use the Dragonpay option, the transfers placed after 12 PM will be settled on the next banking day. If the transfer is made on a Friday after 2:00 PM or on a weekend, the transaction will be reflected on the following Monday.
Since I buy a lot of things online, I also make payments on Fridays, and on weekends, I just inform the seller that my payment will reflect on Monday.
I closely monitor this and I ask for confirmation from sellers to inform me once they have received my payment. So far, I have not encountered an issue yet when it comes to transferring on Fridays and weekends.
I’m sure that this will change in the future as technology advances and banking policies locally and globally gets updated.
Online 7-11 System is Sometimes Down
As I’ve mentioned above, I often do my deposits via 7-11, however, there were certain times wherein their system is down.
That means I have to look for another 7-11 store or try it some other time. However, please note that this is not the only way to deposit to CIMB.
How to Maximize the Use of Your CIMB Bank Account
Open a Fast Plus and Upsave Account
Open a Fast Plus Account so you can get the ATM Visa card and then open an Upsave Account so you can have the 4% interest and free insurance if you maintain P100,00 average daily balance.
What I do is I deposit my money to Upsave Account and then whenever I need to withdraw, I will just transfer the amount that I will withdraw to my Fast Plus account,
This way, I get to earn high interest and at the same time, I get to save some money by not paying the withdrawal fee. Neat huh!
Open Multiple Upsave Accounts
Yes, you can open multiple Upsave Accounts (as of the time of writing) and the process for opening the succeeding accounts is faster since you already have an existing Upsave Account.
This way, I can easily manage my funds in one app and since it’s an Upsave Account, both funds are eligible for the 4% interest.
Use Your CIMB ATM Visa Card When You Travel Abroad
Since it’s a Visa card, you can use it to shop overseas and to avoid paying bank fees. The withdrawal fee using CIMB card is free.
However, please take note that sometimes, the banks where you’ll be withdrawing from charges a fee. I have not tried this yet and will update this post once I travel abroad.
Take Advantage of Promos
Since they are relatively still a new bank in the Philippines. They have promotions from time to time to attract more customers.
I have recently received a text message from CIMB regarding a personal loan promo that will run from April 7 to May 31, 2020. They were offering a 12-month fixed-term loan with zero interest. Yes, zero interest! The minimum loan amount is P30,000 and the maximum loan amount is P50,000.
Even though there’s no interest, there is a 5% processing fee and the government required Documentary Stamp Tax that will be both deducted upfront.
According to the text, this promo is only for selected individuals who have received the text. Maybe, I was considered since I have been using CIMB for six months now and I have been saving my money in the Upsave account.
I don’t need this loan for now and I hope that they will have this promo again late this year or next year (in case I need it).
How to Keep Your CIMB Account Safe
Keep your Phone and Your ATM Card Safe
Since this is a fully digital and mobile banking system, you have to keep your phone safe to avoid the possibility of having your account compromised.
If you have lost your phone/ATM card or if it has been stolen, call them right away to report it by just dialing #CIMB (#2462) using any other available mobile phone just to ensure that your account has not been used and also, so they can walk you through on how to set up your CIMB account on another device.
CIMB has a one device policy which means only one account is tagged to a particular device. This adds another layer of security to your account.
Keep your Password and Pin Secured
Just like any other online bank accesses that we all have, we should keep our password and pin secured at all times. Frequently updating your password and pin is recommended but not required.
Again, since CIMB has a one device policy, anyone who has access to your login information will have a hard time accessing your account.
Having said that, this means that you also have to secure the password of your email account linked to your CIMB account at all times.
Be Aware of Ongoing Banking Scams
Fraudsters and scammers are becoming more creative as the years go by.
I was just watching the local news a few days ago on how a group of hackers was able to gain access to the bank accounts and steal the money of some unfortunate individuals because of phishing emails. They imitated the emails of the banks and got the details of the unsuspecting victims.
Please always remember that your banks will not ask for your account security details. Do not give it to anyone.
Awareness is the key to avoiding scams like this. Keep yourself informed by checking the news and by doing a quick Google search about this kind of activity from time to time.
Monitor Your Transactions
Login to your CIMB app and check your transactions from time to time. This will alert you right away if in case there’s a transaction that you did not make.
Contact CIMB Customer Service as soon as possible if you notice a possible fraudulent transaction.
Before You Sign up for a CIMB Bank Philippines Account
Before you sign up for any CIMB Bank Philippines Account, make sure to read the terms and conditions, product descriptions, and the fine prints to ensure that you are fully informed and you’re fully aware of the product that you will get.
Here are the links to various CIMB products that you might find helpful.
- CIMB Bank Philippines Homepage
- GSave Account
- Fast/Fast Plus Account
- Upsave Account
- FAQ and Contact Page
Do you also have a CIMB Bank Philippines Account? Feel free to share your tips and recommendations in the comment section below.