NRE vs NRO Account – Know the Difference

In the world of banking and finance, individuals often come across various types of accounts designed to meet their specific needs. When it comes to managing finances for Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), two popular options are the NRE (Non-Residential External) account and the NRO (Non-Residential Ordinary) account. These accounts offer distinct features and benefits, catering to different financial requirements. In this blog, we will explore the differences between NRE and NRO accounts, their key features, and how to choose between them. So, let’s dive in!

What is NRE Account?

The NRE account, short for Non-Residential External account, is a type of bank account that allows NRIs to hold and manage their foreign income in Indian rupees. It is freely repatriable, meaning that the funds in the account can be transferred back to the foreign country without any restrictions. The account can be held in the form of savings, current, fixed deposit, or recurring deposit.

What is NRO Account?

On the other hand, the NRO account, which stands for Non-Residential Ordinary account, is also designed for NRIs. It is primarily used to manage income earned in India, such as rent, dividends, and pensions. Unlike the NRE account, the NRO account has restrictions on repatriation, which means that the account holder cannot freely transfer the money back to the foreign country. However, it offers several benefits and is a valuable account for NRIs to manage their Indian income.

Difference Between NRE and NRO Accounts

While both NRE and NRO accounts cater to the banking needs of NRIs, there are significant differences between them. Let’s compare them in the following aspects:

1. Repatriation

One of the significant differences between NRE and NRO accounts is the repatriation of funds. NRE accounts allow complete repatriation of both principal and interest earned, making it an ideal choice for NRIs who want to move their foreign income freely. On the other hand, NRO accounts restrict repatriation, allowing only a limited amount to be repatriated per year, subject to certain conditions.

2. Source of Funds

NRE accounts are meant explicitly for holding foreign income earned outside India. It suits NRIs who want to maintain their foreign earnings in India. In contrast, NRO accounts are designed to manage income earned within India, such as rental income, dividends, or any other income from Indian sources.

3. Taxation

NRE accounts are tax-free in India, meaning that the interest earned on NRE deposits is not subject to Indian income tax. However, the interest earned on NRO accounts is taxable in India as per the prevailing income tax laws.

4. Joint Account Holding

NRIs can hold NRE accounts jointly with other NRIs or residents of India. On the other hand, NRO accounts can be held jointly with other NRIs or residents, including close relatives.

5. Purpose of Deposits

NRE accounts can be used for all types of deposits. In contrast, NRO accounts are typically used for fixed and savings deposits.

NRE vs NRO Account

When deciding between NRE and NRO accounts, it is crucial to consider your financial requirements and goals. NRE accounts are suitable for repatriating foreign income, whereas NRO accounts are ideal for managing income earned in India. If you have both types of income, consider maintaining both accounts for better financial management.

NRE FD AccountNRO FD Account
PurposeTo park foreign income earned by NRIsTo manage income earned in India by NRIs
EligibilityNRIs and PIOsNRIs, PIOs, and foreign nationals residing in India
Repatriability of FundsFully repatriable without any restrictionsPartially repatriable up to USD 1 million per financial year, subject to specific requirements and approvals
CurrencyIndian Rupees (INR)Indian Rupees (INR)
TaxationInterest earned is exempt from Indian income taxInterest earned is subject to Indian income tax
Joint HoldingCan be held jointly with another NRINRI or a resident Indian
Interest RatesGenerally higher rates compared to NRO FD accountsCompetitive rates based on market conditions
Transactions AllowedFunds can be freely used for investments and repatriationPrimarily intended for local expenses with limitations on repatriation
Mode of OperationCan be operated as term deposit accountsCan be operated as fixed deposit accounts
Please note that the table above provides a comparison between NRE FD (Fixed Deposit) Account and NRO FD Account.

How to Choose between NRE and NRO FDs?

When deciding between NRE and NRO FDs, consider the following factors:

  • Repatriation Needs: If you have a significant need for repatriating funds to your foreign country, NRE FDs would be a better choice due to their repatriability.
  • Tax Implications: Evaluate the tax implications of NRE and NRO FDs based on your specific circumstances and consult with a tax advisor if needed.
  • Investment Goals: Determine your investment goals and the tenure of the FDs to align them with your financial objectives.
  • Interest Rates: Compare different banks’ interest rates for NRE and NRO FDs to maximise your returns.


In conclusion, NRE and NRO accounts are essential financial tools for NRIs to manage their income and savings in India. Their choice depends on individual circumstances, repatriation needs, tax considerations, and investment goals. Understanding the key differences between NRE and NRO accounts will help NRIs make informed decisions based on their specific requirements.


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