Your Savings Account Sucks, Here Are Some That Don’t – 2020 Edition

Best savings accounts with high interest rates in Singapore

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 many banks in Singapore vying for your business with more attractive interest rates on their savings accounts. These days, you can quite realistically get above 0.5% p.a. (or more) in interest, even as many banks revise their interest rates due to the current economic climate.

Here’s our pick of the top savings accounts in Singapore with the best interest rates for 2020. 

Best savings accounts in Singapore with the highest interest rates (2020) 

Savings account in Singapore Realistic interest rates How to maximise interest rate
UOB One account 0.25% to 0.75% p.a. Credit card spend + salary credit OR 3 GIRO bill payments 
OCBC 360 account 0.4% to 1.2% p.a.

(salary credit only)

Salary credit + increase monthly balance + invest + insure + grow account balance
DBS Multiplier account 0.7% to 2% p.a.

(salary credit + 1 or more eligible transactions)

Salary credit + credit card spend, home loan, investment or insurance
POSB SAYE account 2% p.a. Salary credit + don’t touch for 2 years
Standard Chartered BonusSaver account 2.38% p.a.

(invest + insure + salary credit + bill payment + card spend of $500)

Invest + insure + salary credit + bill payment + card spend of $2,000
Bank of China SmartSaver 2.95% p.a. Insure + credit card spend + salary credit + bill payment
Maybank Save Up programme 0.3% to 2.75% p.a. Pick 1, 2 or 3 eligible products/services
Citi MaxiGain Savings Account 0.05% to 0.60% p.a Stash away at least $75,000 
CIMB FastSaver account 0.5% to 0.8% p.a Stash away spare cash (any amount)

If you’re wondering why I put “realistic” interest rates, it’s because banks typically advertise 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.

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 savings accounts with high interest rates 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.

UOB logo

N/A

Base Interest p.a.
0.05%
Max. Interest Rate p.a.
2.5%
Min. Initial Deposit
S$500
N/A

Since 1 August 2020, UOB has revised its interest rates downwards to reflect the terrible economic times we’re going through.

The good news is that they’re not revising their requirements to earn bonus interest, so you don’t have to change your habits in order to grasp at whatever interest there is left to earn. In fact, they’ve expanded the range of credit cards you can use to meet the compulsory minimum spending requirement.

Pick this account if you want to earn an okay interest rate without thinking too hard, because the only requirement is spending at least $500 a month on a UOB credit card. The following UOB credit cards can be used to satisfy the UOB One account’s spending requirements: UOB One Card, UOB Lady’s Card+, UOB YOLO, UOB One Debit Mastercard or Visa Card, and Mighty FX Debit Card.

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

The interest rate rises with every additional $15,000 in your UOB One account. So you can actually even earn up to 2.5% when you hit $75,000.

UOB One interest rates (based on first $15,000):

$500 credit card spend: 0.25% p.a.

$500 credit card spend + $2,000 salary credit: 0.75% p.a.

$500 credit card spend + pay 3 bills by GIRO: 0.75% p.a.

Initial deposit: $1,000

Minimum balance (monthly): $1,000

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.

OCBC logo

N/A

Online Promo
Base Interest p.a.
0.05%
Max. Interest Rate p.a.
4.40%
Min. Initial Deposit
S$1,000
N/A
Online Promo: Get S$100 FairPrice e-voucher! Valid till 31 Oct 2020.

OCBC 360’s interest rates will be revised from 1 October 2020, with 5 ways to earn higher interest beyond the base interest of 0.05% per year on your entire account balance:

  • salary credit (at least $1,800)
  • increased monthly savings (at least $500) 
  • insurance with OCBS
  • investment with OCBC
  • grow account balance (at least $200,000)

If you focus on salary credit only, you will earn 0.4% interest on the first $25,000, followed by 0.8% on the next $25,000, and then 1.2% on another $25,000.

To really maximise your returns, you should insure or invest with eligible products as well. The minimum insurance premium or investment amounts vary depending on the product.

The minimum amount ranges from $4,000 in insurance premiums to $20,000 worth of investment in structured deposits, unit trusts and single premium insurance. If you wish to invest in bonds and structured products to meet this requirement, you need to put in at least $200,000.

OCBC 360 interest rates:

salary credit + increased monthly savings: 1.08% p.a.

salary credit + increased monthly savings + insurance/investment: 1.88% p.a.

salary credit +increased monthly savings + insurance + investment: 2.68% p.a.

Initial deposit: $1,000

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

Bonus interest cap: $75,000

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 (eg. credit card spend, investment, insurance, home loan and PayLah! transactions).

It works in 3 ways:

  • Salary credit + credit card spend, home loan, investment and/or insurance
  • Salary credit + PayLah! transactions of $500
  • PayLah! transactions (if you’re 29 years old or below with no eligible income)
DBS logo

N/A

High Interest Rate
Base Interest Rate (Per Annum)
0.05%
Max. Interest Rate (Per Annum)
3.8%
Min. Initial Deposit
S$3,000
N/A

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

If you base your calculations on a total monthly transaction of $2,000, and focus on salary credit + credit card spend, home loan, investment and/or insurance, you will earn 0.7% interest on the first $25,000, followed by 1.3% on the next $50,000, and then 2% on another $50,000.

With the DBS Multiplier, you can even earn 0.30% to 0.05% p.a. on your first $10,000 of your savings.

DBS Multiplier interest rates:

Total eligible transactions per month Bonus interest with the DBS Multiplier account
First $50,000 Next $50,000
Income credit + 1 category (balance capped at $25,000) Income credit + 2 categories (balance capped at $50,000) Income credit + 3 categories
Below $2,000 0.05% p.a. 0.05% p.a. 0.05% p.a.
$2,000 to $2,499 0.70% p.a. 1.30% p.a. 2.0% p.a.
$2,500 to $4,999 0.90% p.a. 1.50% p.a. 2.2% p.a.
$5,000 to $14,999 1.10% p.a. 1.80% p.a. 2.4% p.a.

DBS Multiplier PayLah! interest rates

Total transactions per month Up to first $10,000 in DBS Multiplier Account
Income + PayLah! PayLah! (29yo and below)
$0 to $499 0.05% p.a. 0.30% p.a.
$500 and above 0.50% p.a.

You can technically earn more interest if you transact more than $15,000 a month, but, uh, you probably wouldn’t be reading this if you were that well-off.

Initial deposit: $1,000

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

Bonus interest cap: $25,000 (or up to $100,000 if you transact in more categories)

Click to read more about or open a DBS Multiplier account

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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.

Savings-Accounts_6_POSB-SAYE

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 StanChart savings account — Standard Chartered BonusSaver account

Similar to the DBS Multiplier and OCBC 360 accounts, the Standard Chartered BonusSaver account also gives you extra interest for crediting your salary and using their credit cards.

Standard Chartered logo

N/A

Online Promo
Base Interest p.a.
0.03%
Max. Interest Rate p.a.
2.88%
Min. Salary
S$3,000
N/A
Online Promo: Get up to S$218 Cashback to Card! Valid till 30 Sep 2020.

From 1 October 2020, check out Standard Chartered’s latest update to its terms and conditions.

The maximum interest rate you will get is up to 2.88% p.a. on the first $80,000 in your account. The base interest rate has dropped to 0.03% p.a. though it doesn’t affect anything. But for the BonusSaver, the interest rate you get from card spend is tied to the base rate. So with the revised base rate, you could get up to 0.78% p.a.

Charge your retail spend to a Bonus$aver World credit or debit card to earn this bonus interest, and spend at least $2,000 to earn the 0.78% p.a. interest.

Standard Chartered interest rates (from 1 October 2020):

$3,000 salary credit: 0.20% p.a.

Spend on SCB BonusSaver card: 0.28% p.a. (min spend $500/month) or 0.78% p.a. (min spend $2,o00/month)

Bill payments (3 bills, each at least $50): 0.10% p.a. (unchanged)

Invest with SCB: 0.9% p.a.

Insure with SCB: 0.9% p.a.

Card spend Bonus interest rate (unchanged) Base rate (w.e.f. 1 Oct 2020) Total
Spend minimum of $500 0.25% p.a. 0.03% p.a. 0.28% p.a.
Spend minimum of $2,000 0.75% p.a. 0.03% p.a. 0.78% p.a.

Initial deposit: $3,000

Minimum balance (daily): $3,000

Bonus interest cap: 3.00% p.a. on the first $80,000 in account

Click to read more about or open a Standard Chartered BonusSaver 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.

You can get 2.95% p.a. after adding the base interest rate (0.15% p.a. for savings above $20,000) to the interest rates earned from insurance (1.5%), card spend (0.5%), salary (0.5%), bill payment (0.3%).

BOC SmartSaver bonus interests

  • Purchase of eligible insurance products to meet the minimum amount: 1.50% p.a. (for 12 months)
  • Monthly spending on your Debit or Credit Cards: 0.30% p.a. ($500 to $1,500) / 0.50% p.a. ($1,500 and above)
  • Salary credit: 0.30% p.a. ($2,000 to $6,000) / 0.50% p.a. ($6,000 and above)
  • 3 bill payments of at least $30 each: 0.30% p.a. 
  • Extra savings: 0.40% p.a. (if you’ve $80,000 in savings and meet requirements for salary credit, card spend or bill payments)

Initial deposit: $1,500

Minimum balance (monthly): $1,500

Bonus interest cap: $80,000 

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? It’s possible to “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 (!) products and services to get bonus interest. These include bill payment or crediting salary, credit card spending, home loans, car loans, insurance and investments.

While it sounds like there’s a lot you can do to earn bonus interest, in reality only 3 actions let you earn bonus interest for the whole year, namely — invest (in unit trusts), insure (regular premium insurance) and borrow (for home loans, car loans, renovation loans and education loans). 

Investing $30,000 in structured deposits earns you 3 months’ worth of interest, and all the other actions will get you a measly one month.

I personally don’t think this is worth the trouble unless you go for goods or services that give you 12 months’ worth of interest — for example, if you’re already servicing a home loan and car loan from Maybank. Any fewer than 2, and your interest drops from 0.8% p.a. to 0.3% p.a.

Maybank Save Up interest rates:

Earn a base interest of up to 0.3125% p.a. and choose 1 of the following:

  • 1 product/service (0.3% p.a. )
  • 2 products/services (0.8% p.a.
  • 3 products/services (2.75% p.a.)
Maybank logo

N/A

Base Interest p.a.
0.1875%
Max. Interest Rate p.a.
3.0625%
Min. Initial Deposit (Singaporeans)
S$500
N/A

Initial deposit: $500

Minimum balance (monthly): $1,000

Bonus interest cap: $50,000

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

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Best Citibank savings account — Citi MaxiGain Savings Account

The Citi MaxiGain Savings Account is a powerful “stash and forget” kind of savings account. Another attractive benefit is that having $70,000 in your Citi MaxiGain account entitles you to Citi Priority benefits such as preferential rates and personalised services. This means that it has one of the lowest barriers to priority banking.

Citibank logo

N/A

Priority Relationship Services
Base Interest p.a.
0.01%
Max. Interest Rate p.a.
0.61%
Min. Initial Deposit
S$10,000
N/A

From 1 October 2020, the Citi MaxiGain will be rolling out new terms and conditions. A base interest rate of 0.01% p.a. will be paid on the entire MaxiGain account balance. No minimum balance is required to earn base interest. Note that the maximum interest rate has gone down from 0.70% p.a. to 0.61% p.a.

Your balances capped at $70,000 will earn bonus interest at a rate that steps up each month, starting from 0.05% p.a. to a maximum of 0.60% p.a.

Citi MaxiGain bonus interest rate: from 0.05% p.a. to 0.60% p.a

Initial deposit: $10,000

Minimum balance:

Bonus interest cap: $70,000

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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?

CIMB FastSaver used to be one of the most attractive and straightforward high interest accounts ever, paying out 1% interest on everything up to $50,000. Alas, all good things come to an end.

Since 15 July 2020, you can earn 0.5% interest on everything up to $50,000. The good news is that they still don’t charge any fall-below fees, so using the account is still as fuss-free as ever.

CIMB FastSaver interest rate: 0.5% p.a. on first $50,000 / 0.8% p.a. on the next $25,000 / 1.5% p.a. on the next $25,000 / 0.4% p.a. above $100,000

Initial deposit: $1,000

Minimum monthly balance: $1,000 (in order to earn interest)

Bonus interest cap: $75,000

Click to read more about the CIMB FastSaver account.

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

 

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