Fixed Deposits

The Best Fixed Deposit Accounts in Singapore (2018)

The best Fixed Deposit Accounts in Singapore

Clara Lim

0 Comments

9
Shares

Fixed deposit or time deposit accounts are basically investments that earn you interest over a fixed tenure. 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 them. Fixed deposits are an extremely low risk way to grow your money.

 

Highest fixed deposit interest rates in Singapore 2018

Most banks have standard fixed deposit interest rates but as a rule of thumb, it is not worth it to open a fixed deposit unless there’s a good promotion going on. So I looked at promotional interest rates for SGD time deposits on the market.

Bank/financial institution Min. deposit amount Tenure Promotional interest rate
CIMB $20,000 12 months 1.8% p.a. (online only, expires 31 Jul)
Maybank $30,000 12 months 1.75% p.a.
State Bank of India $50,000 24 months 1.75% p.a. (expires 31 Jul)
Hong Leong Bank $100,000 24 months 1.7% p.a. (expires 31 Aug)
CIMB $20,000 6 months 1.65% p.a. (online only, expires 31 Jul)
State Bank of India $10,000 24 months 1.65% p.a. (expires 31 Jul)
State Bank of India $50,000 12 months 1.65% p.a. (expires 31 Jul) 
Sing Investments & Finance $50,000 20 months 1.65% p.a.
Sing Investments & Finance $50,000 12 months 1.6% p.a.
State Bank of India $10,000 12 months 1.55% p.a. (expires 31 Jul)
ICBC $20,000 12 months 1.53% p.a. (via e-banking)
State Bank of India $50,000 6 months 1.5% p.a. (expires 31 Jul)
State Bank of India $10,000 6 months 1.4% p.a. (expires 31 Jul)
CIMB $20,000 3 months 1.4% p.a. (online only, expires 31 Jul)
UOB $20,000 10 months 1.4% p.a. (expires 31 Jul)
HSBC (Advance) $30,000 12 months 1.35% p.a. (expires 31 Jul)
OCBC $20,000 12 months 1.35% p.a.
Bank of China $50,000 6 months 1.25% p.a. (expires 10 Jul)
HSBC (Advance) $30,000 6 months 1.25% p.a. (expires 31 Jul)
Standard Chartered $25,000 12 months 1.3% p.a. (expires 31 Jul)
Standard Chartered $25,000 6 months 1.2% p.a. (expires 31 Jul)

Disclaimer 1: I’ve ignored the crazy-high deposit amounts that banks use to inflate their interest rates because I know how disappointing it is to click on an advert for “1.8% p.a. fixed deposit” only to realise it’s for $1m deposits and up.

Disclaimer 2: Also, some banks have higher interest rates for foreign currencies (RMB, USD usually) but most regular Singaporeans don’t have huge sums of those lying around, so I’ll focus on the SGD ones here.

Disclaimer 3: Note that some of these expire in July and are refreshed monthly. Although some do not have a specified expiry date, the bank can change the rates anytime.

It’s a tad overwhelming, so I’ll split this into tiers based on the deposit amount in the following sections.

 

Best fixed deposit interest rates for $10,000 deposit

Bank/financial institution Min. deposit amount Tenure Promotional interest rate
State Bank of India $10,000 24 months 1.65% p.a. (expires 31 Jul)
State Bank of India $10,000 12 months 1.55% p.a. (expires 31 Jul)

Usually, you’ll need at least $20,000 lying around in order to benefit from decent promotional interest rates. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the current promotional rates for State Bank of India are really good for relatively low $10,000 deposits. For a 12-month tenure, the rate is decent at 1.55% p.a. Lock it in for 1 more year and you get 0.1% more.

If you don’t have enough for that, just stick to a good savings account. Don’t blur blur go and open a DBS fixed deposit account because they really don’t have the best rates!

 

Best fixed deposit interest rates for $20,000 or $30,000 deposit

Bank/financial institution Min. deposit amount Tenure Promotional interest rate
CIMB $20,000 12 months 1.8% p.a. (online only, expires 31 Jul)
Maybank $30,000 12 months 1.75% p.a.
CIMB $20,000 6 months 1.65% p.a. (online only, expires 31 Jul)
ICBC $20,000 12 months 1.53% p.a. (via e-banking)
CIMB $20,000 3 months 1.4% p.a. (online only, expires 31 Jul)
UOB $20,000 10 months 1.4% p.a. (expires 31 Jul)

With CIMB’s newly launched online application for fixed deposits, the Malaysian bank has rolled out an impressive promotion offering 1.8% p.a. interest for those who deposit at least $20,000 for 12 months. This knocks out all the competition with the relatively low deposit amount and tenure period.

Maybank has upped their game to offer a competitive 1.75% p.a. interest rate, but still loses out because it requires a minimum $30,000 deposit.

If you want a shorter commitment, you can also put your $20,000 with CIMB for 6 months to score the 1.65% p.a. interest rate. It’s actually the next best rate for this sum. ICBC is comes in next with 1.53% p.a., but do note that this rate only applies if you apply via their e-banking portal.

For those who prefer local banks, UOB offers a decent 1.4% p.a. for 10 months.

 

Best fixed deposit interest rates for $50,000 deposit and up

Bank/financial institution Min. deposit amount Tenure Promotional interest rate
CIMB $20,000 12 months 1.8% p.a. (online only, expires 31 Jul)
Maybank $30,000 12 months 1.75% p.a.
State Bank of India $50,000 24 months 1.75% p.a. (expires 31 Jul)
Hong Leong Bank $100,000 24 months 1.7% p.a. (expires 31 Aug)
State Bank of India $50,000 12 months 1.65% p.a. (expires 31 Jul) 
Sing Investments & Finance $50,000 20 months 1.65% p.a.
Sing Investments & Finance $50,000 12 months 1.6% p.a.
State Bank of India $50,000 6 months 1.5% p.a. (expires 31 Jul)
Bank of China $50,000 6 months 1.25% p.a. (expires 10 Jul)

With $50,000, the best rates are still CIMB (1.8% p.a., 12 months) and Maybank (1.75% p.a., 12 months). Their minimum deposit requirements are $20,000 and $30,000 respectively, so if you have $50,000 on hand, you more than qualify.

State Bank of India matches Maybank’s 1.75% p.a., but with a longer tenure (24 months) and higher minimum deposit ($50,000).  Hong Leong has a decent 1.7% p.a. rate, but you’ll need to be ballin’ with at least $100,000 to qualify. Do note that both of these rates are for 2-year tenures and although there’s a very low risk of losing your principal, SDIC insures your deposits only up to $50,000.

Of course, banks are notoriously fickle about their interest rates, so remember to compare and find the best interest rates for fixed deposit accounts before you commit.
Here’s a quick and dirty summary of what you need to know about fixed deposits.

 

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

Once an attractive alternative to that pathetic 0.05% p.a. interest on savings accounts, fixed deposits – like so many ageing Channel 8 starlets – are fading from collective memory. Today, every bank in Singapore is competing for your dollar with high interest savings accounts, so it’s actually possible to earn 2% or 3% p.a. on your savings. What a time to be alive!

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

Fixed deposit Savings account
Tenure As low as 1 month, 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 $50,000 by Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation (SDIC)

 

Fixed Deposits vs Savings Accounts

 

Fixed deposit vs Singapore Savings Bonds – which is better?

In an earlier article, we compared the Singapore Savings Bonds to fixed deposits.

Back then, the expected interest rates for the Singapore Savings Bonds were far better than any of the current interest rates offered by banks. But this has changed quite rapidly as banks have upped their game recently and started offering WAY better fixed deposit interest rates.

However, compared to fixed deposits, Singapore Savings Bonds also have higher liquidity. You will not be penalised if you withdraw from the Singapore Savings Bonds.

Of course, unlike the Singapore Savings Bonds, you are able to open a fixed deposit account at any time. Also, there is a cap of $100,000 you can put into Singapore Savings Bonds. There is generally no cap for fixed deposits.

Fixed Deposits vs Singapore Savings Bonds

Related articles

What Every Singaporean Needs to Know About Fixed Deposit Accounts

Singapore Savings Bonds: Is It Better Than When It First Launched in 2015?

Your Savings Account Sucks, Here Are Some That Don’t – 2018 Edition

Would you consider parking your money in a fixed deposit account? Why or why not?

Keep updated with all the news!

Tags: ,

Clara Lim

I used to be MoneyDumb. I hung out at H&M every day and thought that a $50 lunch set was a good deal. These days, I spend my time researching the crap out of life and trying to maximise utility on micro-decisions. I'm not sure if that's an improvement.