Salary account: what is it, how does it work and when is it worth it?

Salary account workers are normally exempt from fees, but have limited services. The good news is that you can opt for free salary portability to other banks.



You started working at a new company and HR asked you to open a salary account at a specific bank. But…what is this type of account? Calm! This question is more frequent than you might think.It is common for Brazilian companies to have agreements with banks to open a salary account – and this agreement normally exempts the employee from paying fees in this type of account.

The salary account has some limitations when compared to the others. On the other hand, people can choose to port their salary to another account, and even another bank of their choice.

Understand below the differences between the salary account and the checking account , their advantages, disadvantages, precautions when using and how to carry out portability.


What is the salary account?

The salary account is, as the name implies, destined to receive your remuneration. It can also be used to receive other types of earnings, such as retirement, pensions or similar.

“I receive the salary in an account, does it mean that it is a salary account?”

Not necessarily. Salaries can also be received normally in a common checking account (digital or not), and even in a savings account , depending on the company’s requirements. It is worth remembering that in other types of account fees may be charged, while the salary account usually exempts the account holder by agreements with the company.


What can you do with your salary account?

The salary account does not normally allow any other type of deposit than the company payment. In addition, only the bank-affiliated and account-related employer can make deposits into it.

In other words: if you have more than one job or, in addition to the official job, do freelance work for other companies that also make payments on your behalf, it is possible that the salary account cannot receive these amounts.

The possibility of making other common transactions (such as transfers, payments, etc.) through the salary account depends on the agreement between the employing company and the bank – so, depending on the limitations, it is sometimes more advantageous for the person to carry out the portability to a another more “free” account.

But it’s worth paying attention: many bank accounts charge fees to their account holders. Therefore, when doing portability, search for accounts without unfair fees, as most digital banks and fintechs offer.


Who can open a salary account?

Only the employer can open a salary account in his employee’s name.

“But how so? Is the account still mine?”

Yes, the account belongs to the employee, but it can only be opened with the employer’s request. It works like this:

  • The company sends a letter of recommendation, which the employee must present when opening the account;
  • In addition to this document, you must bring personal documents and proof of residence;
  • The account is opened in the employee’s name and the company has no control over it.

Salary accounts are usually opened in traditional banks, so this process often still needs to be done in person, at a branch.


What is the difference between a salary account and a checking account?

The main difference between the salary account and the checking account is that, as the salary account is part of an agreement between companies (the employer and the bank), it usually has tariff exemptions and some usage limitations. A checking account, on the other hand, has the normal functions of a bank account, but most traditional banks still charge fees for it.

So, again, it is very important to choose your checking account (or payment account ) carefully so as not to pay unfair fees.

The salary account, in general:

  • Does not issue credit card to the account holder, only debit when requested;
  • No overdraft (negative balance);
  • Does not allow non-employer deposits;
  • No entitlement to checkbook.

In addition, conventional services such as transfers, withdrawals, checking balances or statements and Pix may have monthly limits.


What precautions should I take when using the salary account?

When becoming a salary account holder at any bank, you must carefully read the contract and understand which services are included in the package, such as the amount of TEDs, DOCs or Pix . There are usually limitations, and if you exceed these limits the bank may charge you fees.


What are the benefits of a salary account?

The biggest advantage of the salary account is, of course, the absence of fees. In addition, the salary account cannot pledge in cases of legal proceedings, nor can it be blocked for the same reason, for example.

See below the main advantages of the salary account:

  • There are no maintenance fees;
  • There is no credit profile analysis to admit new clients;
  • It is an account free of attachment and blocking.


Who is the salary account worth?

This answer depends on what kind of use you make of bank accounts. If you are the type of person who makes a lot of transfers , Pix , buys a lot with a credit card or online and makes investments, having only the salary account is not suitable for you. If you necessarily need to open a salary account, consider having another account in addition to it.

Maybe your behavior is the opposite, and you only use the bank to collect salary and pay everyday expenses, this type of account may be worth it to you.

In many companies, the salary account may be the simplest option, or even the only alternative for receiving payments. In these cases, if the salary account does not suit you, it is better to opt for salary portability.

It is also important to remember that the salary account is not the only fee-free option on the market. Nubank, for example, offers a free digital checking account , with income greater than savings , Pix and unlimited transfers , with a complete app and no fine print.



What is and how to do salary portability?

The salary of portability is to automatically transfer money falling in the salary account to another you choose.

This transfer is free, and is a right for anyone. Furthermore, it does not need to be done between accounts in the same bank.

To request portability , just ask the bank of origin of your salary account, being only necessary to inform the data of your destination account.

Another detail is that the transfer of payment to the chosen bank must be made on the same day as the employer’s deposit. So, if you opt for portability, you will receive your salary on the same day as your co-workers.

Thus, salary portability is a good option for those whose salary account is not the best option, but it is mandatory to receive payment from the company.


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