Which Is Better GSave Or UpSave?

More and more people are getting into digital banks these days because of their high-interest savings accounts. These are accounts that yield twenty times more per year than what traditional savings banks offer. Two of the most popular ones are GSave and UpSave. These accounts are almost identical as they are both products of CIMB Bank. But if you can only choose one, which of them do you think is better?

In general, GSave is better than UpSave. It has a higher interest rate at 2.6% compared to UpSave’s 2.5%. GSave is also easier to manage as it can be accessed by both the GCash and CIMB Bank apps. Similar to UpSave, GSave now also gives free life insurance based on your Average Daily Balance (ADB) starting from Php 5,000 to Php 250,000. The reason why some people still choose UpSave over GSave is because they feel more secure using CIMB Bank’s app than GCash.

Read on to learn more about the uses and the differences between UpSave and GSave.

Girl thinking while holding a blue plastic card.

What are GSave and UpSave?

To put it simply, GSave and UpSave are considered to be high-interest savings accounts. If you are unsure what a savings account is, it is an interest-bearing account offered by banks where you can deposit your money for safekeeping. It is a better alternative than putting your money in the cabinet, piggy bank, safety vault, or even under your bed. This way, you not only minimize the risk of your cash getting stolen, lost, or destroyed, but you also allow it to earn interest.

GSave and UpSave are called “high-interest” because they are giving at least 2.5% per year to their depositors. This is a huge difference compared to the average of 0.0675% from regular savings accounts traditional banks offer. To put this in perspective, here is how much you will earn, on average, if you let an amount of Php 30,000 sit in both accounts for a year:

  • GSave or UpSave = Php 750 (Before tax)
  • Regular savings account = P20.25

It’s like getting an instant coffee from one bank versus three Starbucks frappés from the other. If you wonder how digital banks can offer so much, it is because they have less overhead expenses than traditional banks. They do not need to pay too much in rent and wages as they can operate remotely and employ fewer people. As a result, they have the flexibility to give higher percentages to attract more customers.

But the deeper concern here is inflation. Our country’s inflation rate as of this writing is at 8%. If you’re unsure what this means, it simply means we all are losing money at this rate each year. To counter this you need to find a way to make your savings earn at least 8% or more. Money in a regular savings account will lose its value faster than GSave and UpSave. I wrote an entire article about this topic. Check it out here: Why It’s Smart To Save With GCash Today

What is the difference between UpSave and GSave?

Interest (p.a.)2.6%2.5%
Initial depositNoneNone
Minimum balance requiredNoneNone
Covered by PDICYesYes
Free life insurance Yes (up to Php 250,000)Yes (up to Php 250,000)
X-factorIt can be accessed by both GCash and CIMB Bank apps.Users feel more secure.
A comparison table for GSave and UpSave.

As mentioned earlier, GSave and UpSave are almost identical. GSave is the product of GCash and CIMB Bank’s partnership, while UpSave is solely CIMB’s. The most visible difference between accounts, however, is the interest rate and their x-factors. GCash offers 2.6% and can be accessed by both the GCash and CIMB Bank apps. While UpSave, on the other hand, gives 2.5% and is deemed as the “safer” option.


When you think about it, does the 0.1% really make any difference? Perhaps, if we are talking about millions of pesos. But let us see the actual gap when we let an amount of Php 30,000 stay with GSave and UpSave for 12 months.

Interest rate formula

  • Nominal Interest Amount
    = ((Average daily balance * No. of days in the month)/360) * interest rate
  • Withholding Tax Amount
    = ((Average daily balance * No. of days in the month)/360) * interest rate * withholding tax
  • Net Interest Amount
    = Nominal Interest Amount – Withholding Tax Amount
Average daily balancePhp 30,000Php 30,000
Days in the month30 days30 days
Interest rate2.6%2.5%
Withholding tax20%20%
Nominal interest amountPhp 65Php 62.50
Withholding tax amountPhp 13Php 12.50
Net interest amountPhp 52Php 50
Interests earned in 12 months (w/o compounding)Php 624Php 600

On the surface, we can see that GSave’s 0.1% advantage will have a monthly difference of Php 2, or Php 24 a year, for a Php 30,000 savings. This is a conservative computation as we did not consider compound interest in the equation. Compound interest in simple terms is an interest that earns more interest.


It is actually up to the users if they consider GSave’s feature of being able to be accessed by two apps as an advantage. Some will see these as two ways to manage their accounts. And others will view them as two doors where hackers can come in and steal their money. It’s convenience on one side and a security concern on the other. But overall, many users felt safer with CIMB Bank than GCash because there were fewer security issues reported.

Yet, it does not mean GCash isn’t secure. See GCash’s safety information here.

Additional differences between UpSave and GSave

Here are other more subtle differences between the two accounts.

Eligibility criteria

Both GSave and UpSave have the following requirements to open an account:

  • For individuals only.
  • Are at least 18 years old.
  • Must be a Filipino citizen.
  • Own a valid government ID.
  • Must have a Philippine mailing address and mobile number.

But there is an additional requirement for GSave:

  • Are fully verified GCash user.

GSave needs to be upgraded

Tap the Piggy Bank icon in the GCash app to activate your GSave account when you have already met all the qualifications mentioned above. Your GSave is only valid for 12 months and can only hold up to Php 50,000 initially. No more deposits or further transactions can be made upon reaching the threshold. To remove these limitations, you will need to upgrade your account by linking and verifying it via the CIMB Bank app.

Can I have both UpSave and GSave?

You can open an account with both UpSave and GSave. I had. But since they are virtually the same, it might be more practical to focus your savings on GSave to capitalize on the additional 0.1% interest. There are no significant differences between the two accounts, especially if you are using the CIMB Bank app to access your GSave instead of GCash. CIMB’s app generally has better options in cashing in and transferring money at fewer, or even no, service fees.

Can I transfer from GSave to UpSave?

If you have both accounts, the best way to transfer money from GSave to UpSave is through the CIMB Bank app. Here’s how:

  • Log in to the CIMB Bank app.
  • Tap transfer.
  • Then, to my own CIMB account.
  • Select your GSave account as From.
  • Then select your UpSave account as To.
  • Enter the amount to transfer.
  • Add a description (optional).
  • Hit next and verify.

You can also use this process to transfer money to other CIMB Bank accounts.

Closing thoughts

Overall, you can’t go wrong when choosing between GSave and UpSave. If you find the additional 0.1% valuable, then go for GSave. If you feel more secure with UpSave, then go for UpSave. Nevertheless, in terms of saving, these two are far better options than what traditional banks offer us today.

Yet, good as they are, the reality is even GSave and UpSave do not have enough firepower to beat inflation. With this I encourage you to explore investing in stocks, bonds, or mutual funds. You can check out GInvest for this purpose instead. But don’t do it without proper study. Do your homework first before investing in these accounts to minimize your risk of losing money. If you want to know how I exactly approach my investments, check out this 5-hour on-demand video course on The Lazy Investor Way:

Man with hat lying on the beach looking at his tablet.
(Click image to preview the course)

The Lazy Investor Way is for people who want to have a more simplified approach to their investments.

Do UpSave and GSave accounts expire? Based on both of their terms and conditions, accounts with no financial transaction for at least twenty-four (24) months shall be classified as dormant. Dormant accounts cannot function unless reactivated. By the 61st month (after 5 years), CIMB Bank will start charging a monthly dormant fee of Php 30 from the account.

What is my UpSave/GSave life insurance coverage? You are covered by the amount you have maintained in your account for the past three (3) months – starting at Php 5,000 up to Php 250,000. If your average daily balance for the past three months is Php 10,000, then that is your insurance coverage. If your account is less than three months old, your coverage would be 100% of your current balance divided by 3.

How to deposit into CIMB UpSave and GSave accounts? There are several options for doing this. You can use the in-app cash-in feature and choose whether to deposit via over-the-counter or bank transfer. Another way is to use your other bank’s apps to transfer money to your UpSave or GCash account (if available). You can see your account number inside the CIMB Bank app. Please be informed, however, that many of these options charge service fees.

Is there an UpSave debit card? Unfortunately, debit cards are not available on UpSave. The workaround for this is to open another account at CIMB Bank called Fast Plus. There, you can get a free VISA payWave debit card when you accumulate a balance of Php 100,000 – or when you upgrade your GSave account. You can simply transfer funds from your UpSave to Fast Plus account whenever you need to withdraw or shop using a card.

What is the difference between UpSave and Fast Plus? In general, the difference is that UpSave offers a higher interest rate (2.5% p.a.) but does not have a debit card. Fast Plus, in contrast, has a debit card but gives a lower interest rate (0.75% p.a.).

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Jed Chan

Jed Chan is the principal creator of TheLearningDadBlog.com, a website dedicated to providing helpful resources on fatherhood. He is a passionate learner who would normally immerse himself in topics of his interest. Jed carefully studied the subjects of finance, e-business, and parenting before becoming a full-time stay-at-home dad.

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