7 Best Fixed Deposit Rates in Singapore (May 2021) — DBS, CIMB & More

7 Best Fixed Deposit Rates in Singapore (May 2021) — DBS, CIMB & More

Fixed deposit (sometimes called time deposit) accounts are low-risk investments that earn you interest over a fixed commitment period. You don’t need to do anything to earn this interest, just park your money with a bank. Think of it like mold on a piece of bread. Just leave it out in the open and mold will grow — FREE! — on your bread for you.

Seriously, though, fixed deposits are great if you have a substantial amount of money lying around and you don’t want to risk investing it. Fixed deposits are an extremely low risk way to grow your money.

Best fixed deposit rates in Singapore (May 2021)

We’ve picked the highest fixed deposit rates for SGD in attainable deposit amounts (i.e. $50,000 and below). Note that these promotional rates change monthly and the bank can change the rates anytime.

Bank/financial institution Min. deposit amount Tenure Interest rates
CIMB $10,000 24 months 0.7% p.a.
Hong Leong Finance $20,000 36 months 0.65% p.a.
DBS  $1,000  8 months 0.6% p.a.
ICBC $500 12 months 0.6% p.a.
Maybank $1,000 36 months 0.6% p.a.
UOB $20,000 10 months 0.45% p.a.
RHB $20,000 12 months 0.4% p.a. 
OCBC $20,000 12 months 0.35% p.a.
Standard Chartered $25,000 8 months 0.35% p.a.
HSBC $30,000 12 months 0.35% p.a.

In “normal”, non-Covid-19 times, promotional fixed deposit rates can go up to 1.8% to 2% p.a. However, with the current sluggish economy, fixed deposit interest rates remain low — although they might still be better than savings accounts.

CIMB fixed deposit rates (May 2021)

CIMB fixed deposit rate
Interest rate 0.7% p.a.
Deposit amount Min. $10,000 
Tenure 24 months

Malaysian bank CIMB tops the fixed deposit chart for the month with their 0.7% p.a. promotion. This promo is for deposits of at least $10,000. However, to enjoy this rate, you need to lock it up for 2 whole years.

If you have an existing fixed deposit account with CIMB, you can renew it at 0.6% p.a. for 18 months.

Hong Leong Finance fixed deposit rates (May 2021)

Hong Leong Finance fixed deposit rate
Interest rate 0.65% p.a.
Deposit amount Min. $20,000 
Tenure 36 months

Apart from the big banks like DBS, UOB and OCBC, the fixed deposit aficionado should also look at non-bank financial institutions like Hong Leong Finance as they also offer promotions. They may not be quite as risk-free as banks, though.

This month, Hong Leong is offering 0.65% for 36 months, 0.6% p.a. for 24 months, or 0.45% for 13 months, but it also requires a significant sum of $20,000.

Before you lock up that much in a fixed deposit, make sure you have sufficient emergency funds first.

DBS fixed deposit rates (May 2021)

DBS fixed deposit rate
Interest rate 0.6% p.a.
Deposit amount $1,000 to $19,999
Tenure 8 months

The current highest DBS fixed deposit rate of 1.3% p.a. is considered sky-high by today’s standards. However, it’s only available for those with existing DBS fixed deposits and are due for renewal. 

If you’re opening a new fixed deposit account, the highest you can go is 0.6% p.a. for 8 monthsThe only consolations are that the lock-in period is relatively short, and the minimum of $1,000 is quite a manageable amount.

DBS logo

Total Interest Earned

S$40

Total Interest Earned
Min. Deposit
S$1,000
Tenure
1 to 60 months
Interest Rate (p.a.)
0.6%
Total Interest Earned
S$40

ICBC fixed deposit rates (May 2021)

ICBC fixed deposit rate
Interest rate 0.6% p.a.
Deposit amount Min. $500 
Tenure 12 months

It used to be that you needed at least $20,000 lying around in order to benefit from the higher promotional interest rates. However, now that the general rates have gone down, suddenly the lower-commitment options are a lot more competitive.

All the above fixed deposits have pretty low barriers to entry, but Chinese bank ICBC takes the cake by requiring just a $500 minimum deposit.

You get an okay-ish 0.6% p.a. (if you apply for this fixed deposit online) with a commitment period of 12 months.

Maybank fixed deposit rates (May 2021)

Maybank fixed deposit rate
Interest rate 0.6% p.a.
Deposit amount Min. $1,000 
Tenure 36 months

In March, you can earn 0.6% p.a. with Maybank’s Singapore Dollar Time Deposit. Unfortunately you have to leave it in for 36 months (3 whole years!) to earn that measly 0.6% p.a.

If you don’t want to commit for the time it takes to build a BTO flat, there are shorter commitment fixed deposits like 0.5% for 24 months or 0.4% for 18 months.

Maybank logo

Total Interest Earned

S$615

Total Interest Earned
Min. Deposit
S$1,000
Tenure
1 to 36 months
Interest Rate (p.a.)
2.05%
Total Interest Earned
S$615

UOB fixed deposit rates (May 2021)

UOB fixed deposit rate
Interest rate 0.45% p.a.
Deposit amount Min. $20,000 
Tenure 10 months

Right now, local bank UOB is offering only 0.45% p.a. on their 10-month fixed deposits. The saving grace is that the lock-in period is relatively short.

Note that if you have an UOB fixed deposit that’s maturing this month, UOB will auto-renew your account at the current “promotional” rate. You might want to check and update your standing instructions.

UOB logo

Total Interest Earned

S$37.50

Total Interest Earned
Min. Deposit
S$5,000
Tenure
1 to 36 months
Interest Rate (p.a.)
0.45%
Total Interest Earned
S$37.50

RHB fixed deposit rates (May 2021)

RHB fixed deposit rate
Interest rate 0.4% p.a.
Deposit amount Min. $20,000 
Tenure 12 months

If you have $20,000 to spare, another fixed deposit promo to consider is with Malaysian bank RHB.

RHB logo

Total Interest Earned

S$90

Total Interest Earned
Min. Deposit
S$1,000
Tenure
1 to 36 months
Interest Rate (p.a.)
0.45%
Total Interest Earned
S$90

What about HSBC, Standard Chartered and OCBC fixed deposits?

The rest of the banks — OCBCStandard Chartered and HSBC — are offering even poorer deals on their fixed deposits, which is hardly worth your time.

In fact, you can get 0.3% p.a. on your savings with no lock-in just by opening a regular CIMB FastSaver account.

Of course, banks are notoriously fickle about their interest rates, and all these could easily change next month. For the latest promotional rates, remember to bookmark this page and our MoneySmart fixed deposit comparison page before you commit.

Plus, here’s a quick and easy summary of what you need to know about fixed deposits.

Fixed deposit vs savings account — what’s the difference?

Once an attractive alternative to the 0.05% p.a. interest on savings accounts, fixed deposits are fading from collective memory. Today, every bank in Singapore is competing for your dollar with high interest savings accounts, which may actually offer better returns.

Here are the differences between fixed deposits and savings accounts at a glance:

Fixed deposit Savings account
Tenure As low as 3 months, but go for at least 12 months for better rates None
Interest rate The longer the tenure, the better the interest rate Usually the same regardless of tenure
Amount to deposit Fixed amount, usually at least $10,000 Smaller initial deposit and minimum monthly balance ($500 to $3,000)
Currency SGD by default, but some banks offer higher interest rates for foreign currency SGD by default. There are a few multi-currency accounts, but no difference in interest rate
Can you withdraw? Contrary to popular belief, yes, but you lose the interest Yes, no impact on interest, but don’t fall below the minimum balance
Interest payments Quarterly or annually Monthly
Risk level Virtually risk-free, insured up to $75,000 by Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation (SDIC)

Fixed deposit vs Singapore Savings Bonds (SSB) — which is better?

In an earlier article, we compared the Singapore Savings Bonds to fixed deposits. There are a few key distinctions between these virtually risk-free investment vehicles.

First, interest rates. Believe it or not, fixed deposit interest rates are actually higher than SSBs. The March 2021 issue of SSBs offers a measly 0.35% p.a. interest average return after the first 2 years… and you thought the fixed deposit interest rates were low.

Next, entry point. It takes just $500 to invest in Singapore Savings Bonds, which is lower than the $1,000 or more for most fixed deposits. That said, ICBC fixed deposits only require $500 to start. (On the flip side, there’s a cap of $200,000 you can put into Singapore Savings Bonds. There’s no cap for fixed deposits.)

Finally, tenure. Fixed deposits are shorter term investments. After the lock-in period is over, you should shop around again for another place to park your money.

With SSBs, however, the interest rate climbs every year, so the longer you keep the money in there (up to a maximum of 10 years) the more you get. At the same time, SSBs have higher liquidity than fixed deposits. You will not be penalised if you withdraw your money at any point. You do have to pay a $2 transaction fee each time you buy or redeem a bond, though.

Know anyone who likes to park their cash in fixed deposits? Share this article with them.