Savings Accounts

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

best savings accounts Singapore 2018

Clara Lim

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Believe it or not, masses of Singaporeans are still using a POSB savings account and “enjoying” the standard POSB interest rates of 0.05% p.a. on their hard-earned savings.

You know what? That’s equivalent to paying hundreds of dollars every year (in inflation) just to use the services of the bank.

You really don’t need to suffer this injustice, though, because there are plenty of banks in Singapore vying for your business with more attractive interest rates on their savings accounts. These days, you can quite realistically get 1.5% to 2% p.a. (or more!) in interest.

Here’s our pick of the best savings accounts in Singapore with the best interest rates for 2018.

 

Best savings accounts in Singapore with the highest interest rates (2018)

Savings account in Singapore Realistic interest rates How to maximise interest rate
UOB One account 1.5% to 1.85% p.a. Credit card spend + salary credit OR bill payment
OCBC 360 account 1.55% to 2.45% p.a. Credit card spend + salary credit + increase monthly balance + invest $20,000
DBS Multiplier account 1.55% to 2.2% p.a. Salary credit + credit card spend + invest / home loan
POSB SAYE account 2% p.a. Save fixed amount every month + don’t touch for 2 years
HSBC Advance account 1.45% to 2.15% p.a. Salary credit (>$3,500) + remit money
Bank of China SmartSaver 2.05% to 3.2% p.a. Salary credit (>$6,000) + credit card spend + bill payment
Maybank Save Up programme 2.95% p.a. Pick 3 banking categories (loans, credit card spending, etc.)
CIMB FastSaver account 1% p.a. Stash away spare cash
Citibank MaxiGain ~0.8% to 2% p.a. Stash away spare cash + don’t touch for 1 year

If you’re wondering why I put “realistic” interest rates, you clearly haven’t been burned by the professional liars known as banks.

Banks typically advertise crazy high interest rates to lure you into opening a bank account. They’re counting on you not doing the homework, because if you did, you’d realise that the high rates only apply to, say, account balances above $500,000. Who even has that much?!

So to keep things real, I’ve projected the following savings accounts interest rates conservatively – based on what’s actually within reach for typical working adults in Singapore.

 

Best UOB savings account – UOB One account

UOB may be known for its complicated T&Cs, but surprisingly, the UOB One account is one of the simplest high interest savings accounts to use.

Pick this if you want to earn a decent interest rate without thinking too hard, because the only requirement is spending $500 a month on a UOB credit card (the UOB One card, duh).

To boost your interest, you can either credit your salary or pay 3 bills by GIRO. This is great for those without a regular paycheck – freelancers, retirees, homemakers.

UOB One interest rates:
$500 credit card spend [compulsory]: 1.5% p.a.
$500 credit card spend [compulsory] + $2,000 salary credit: 1.85% p.a.
$500 credit card spend [compulsory] + pay 3 bills by GIRO: 1.85% p.a.

Initial deposit: None

Minimum balance (monthly): $500

Bonus interest cap: $75,000

Click to read more about or open a UOB One account.

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Best OCBC savings account – OCBC 360 account

The OCBC 360 account is more complicated than the UOB One, but also more flexible in that there is no one mandatory requirement.

However, it’s best for people with lots of cash on hand. Because to really maximise your returns, you should insure or invest at least $20,000. (If not, it’s easier to earn bonus interest with the UOB One account or DBS Multiplier.)

OCBC 360 interest rates:
$2,000 salary credit + $500 credit card spend: 1.55% p.a.
$2,000 salary credit + $500 credit card spend + increase monthly balance: 1.85% p.a.
$2,000 salary credit + $500 credit card spend + increase monthly balance + investment: 2.45% p.a.

Initial deposit: $1,000

Minimum balance (monthly): $3,000 (fall-below fee waived for 1st year)

Bonus interest cap: $70,000

Click to read more about or open an OCBC 360 account.

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Best DBS savings account – DBS Multiplier account

The DBS Multiplier account gives you bonus interest for banking with DBS in multiple categories. Salary crediting is compulsory, but apart from that you can choose from credit card, investment, insurance and home loan.

I like that there’s no minimum amount for anything, though you must make sure your total transactions (including salary) add up to at least $2,000 a month. So even if you’re earning less than $2,000 a month, you can still get a decent interest rate.

DBS looks at the total amount in transactions to award interest, so the more you transact, the more interest you can get.

DBS Multiplier interest rates:
Salary credit [compulsory] + credit card spend: 1.55% to 1.9% p.a.
Salary credit [compulsory] + credit card spend + investment/home loan: 1.8% to 2.2% p.a.

Initial deposit: None

Minimum balance (daily): $3,000 (fall-below fee waived for account holders up to age 29)

Bonus interest cap: $50,000

Click to read more about or open a DBS Multiplier account. Alternatively, receive cashback instead of interest with POSB.

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Best POSB savings account – POSB SAYE account

A good supplement to the DBS Multiplier account is the POSB SAYE (Save As You Earn) account, which less of a traditional savings account and more of a tool to instil some discipline in your savings.

You need to set up a standing order to credit a fixed amount every month (anything from $50 to $3,000) from your DBS Multiplier into the SAYE account. Then resist the urge to touch it for 2 years.

POSB SAYE interest rate: 2% p.a. (if conditions are met)

Initial deposit:

Minimum balance (daily):

Bonus interest cap:

Click to read more about or open a POSB SAYE account.

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Best HSBC savings account – HSBC Advance account

Singapore expats can consider the HSBC Advance account as it’s the only savings account here with overseas remittance as a bonus interest category, letting you break the 2% p.a. ceiling.

However, the terrible thing about it is that the spending on your HSBC Advance credit card will not contribute to your interest rate.

HSBC Advance interest rates:
$3,500 salary credit [compulsory]: 1.45% p.a.
$3,500 salary credit [compulsory] + $500 remittance: 2.15% p.a.

Initial deposit: $1,000

Minimum balance: $2,000 (waived for HSBC Advance customers)

Click to read more about or open an HSBC Advance account.

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Best Bank of China savings account – BOC SmartSaver

If you’re OK with the inconvenience of banking with Bank of China, their SmartSaver account is actually a very good choice for high earners.

They offer probably the highest interest rates in Singapore for those who take home a monthly salary of at least $6,000. And the best thing is you don’t have to jump through too many hoops either.

BOC SmartSaver interest rates:
$6,000 salary credit + $500 credit card spend: 2.05% p.a.
$6,000 salary credit + $1,500 credit card spend: 2.85% p.a.
$6,000 salary credit + $1,500 credit card spend + pay 3 bills by GIRO: 3.2% p.a.

Initial deposit: $1,500

Minimum balance (monthly): $1,500

Bonus interest cap: $60,000

Click to read more about or open a Bank of China SmartSaver account.

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Best Maybank savings account – Maybank Save Up Programme

Already crediting your salary and consolidating all your credit card spending on a multiplier bank account? You can “cheat” on your primary account with Maybank if you’re on the market for bank loans.

The Maybank Save Up Programme lets you choose from 9(!) different actions to get bonus interest. These include home loan, renovation loan, car loan, education loan and life insurance, on top of the usual credit card and salary crediting categories.

Maybank Save Up interest rates: Pick 3 categories to get 2.95% p.a. It’s only worth it if you select 3 categories. Any fewer and your interest drops to less than 1% p.a., which you can get for doing nothing with CIMB.

Initial deposit: $500

Minimum balance (monthly): $1,000

Bonus interest cap: $60,000

Click to read more about or open a Maybank Save Up account.

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Best CIMB savings account – CIMB FastSaver account

Let’s say you have some “overflow” from your primary savings account and you want to keep it somewhere without having to jump through hoops. What do you do with it?

I’m a huge fan of the CIMB FastSaver Account, mainly because the entire account opening process took 10 minutes and I didn’t even have to leave my bed. With 1% interest on everything up to $50,000 and no fall-below fees, it’s almost too good to be true.

CIMB FastSaver interest rate: 1% p.a. on everything

Initial deposit: $1,000

Minimum monthly balance: None

Bonus interest cap: $50,000

Click to read more about or open a CIMB FastSaver account.

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Best Citibank savings account – Citi MaxiGain

The Citibank MaxiGain account may sound like some feminine hygiene product or dodgy protein powder, but it’s actually an even better “stash and forget” kind of savings account.

For a start, its base interest rate is pegged at 80% of the SIBOR, making it the most attractive base rate in town.

Then, you just need to make sure that each month’s lowest balance doesn’t fall below the previous month’s lowest balance. Bonus interest starts from 0.1% p.a. and rises each month by 0.1%, capped at 1.2% p.a.

Citibank MaxiGain interest rate: ~0.8% p.a. to 2% p.a.

Initial deposit: None

Minimum balance (daily): $10,000

Bonus interest cap: $150,000

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Over to you, reader. Which savings account will you go for?

 

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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.