Savings Accounts

Your Savings Account Sucks, Here Are Some That Don’t – 2019 Edition

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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 2019.

 

Best savings accounts in Singapore with the highest interest rates (2019)

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
POSB SAYE account 2% p.a. Save fixed amount every month + don’t touch for 2 years
Standard Chartered BonusSaver account 1.1% to 2.13% p.a. Salary credit (>$3,000) + credit card spend + bill payment
Bank of China SmartSaver 1.45% to 3.4% p.a. Salary credit (>$6,000) + credit card spend + bill payment
Maybank Save Up programme 2.94% p.a. Pick 3 banking categories (loans, credit card spending, etc.)
Citi MaxiGain Savings Account 1.2% to ~2.5% p.a Stash away at least $15,000 ($70,000 for higher interest) + don’t touch for 1 year
CIMB FastSaver account 1% p.a. to 1.5% p.a. Stash away spare cash (any amount)

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.

$500 creditcard spendPay 3 billsvia GIRO1.5% p.a.1.85% p.a.MAXIMISING YOURUOB ONE ACCOUNT

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): $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.

Because of its tiered interest system, it’s best for people with lots of cash on hand. That’s because you earn lower interest on the first $35,000, while balances from $35,001 to $70,000 get a higher interest rate. To really maximise your returns, you should insure or invest at least $20,000 as well.

If you don’t have that much cash on hand and/or aren’t willing to commit that much, it’s easier to earn bonus interest with the UOB One account or DBS Multiplier.)

Savings-Accounts_4_OCBC-360

OCBC 360 interest rates (for first $35,000):
$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. Below are the rates for total transactions up to $15,000.

Salary creditCredit cardspendInvestmentsand/orhome loan1.8% p.a. —2.2% p.a.MAXIMISING YOURDBS MULTIPLIERACCOUNT

DBS Multiplier interest rates (for first $50,000):
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.

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’re that well-off.

Initial deposit: None

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

Bonus interest cap: $50,000 (or $100,000 if you transact in at least 4 categories)

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.

Consistentdepositswithoutwithdrawalfor 2 years2% p.a.MAXIMISING YOURPOSB SAYE ACCOUNT

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 UOB One accounts, the Standard Chartered BonusSaver account also gives you extra interest for crediting your salary and using their credit cards.

This accounts starts with 0.1% p.a. as the base rate, much higher than the usual 0.05% p.a. Credit your salary (minimum $3,000) and you get an extra 1% p.a. Then spend $500 on StanChart cards to get an extra 0.78% p.a. (or 1.78%, if you spend $2,000 and up that month).

$500 creditcard spendSalary credit$3,0002.13% p.a.Pay 3 billsvia GIROMAXIMISING YOURSTANDARD CHARTEREDBONUSSAVER ACCOUNT

Standard Chartered interest rates:
$3,000 salary credit: 1.1% p.a.
$3,000 salary credit + $500 credit card spending: 1.88% p.a.
$3,000 salary credit + $500 credit card spending + pay 3 bills by GIRO (min. $50): 2.13% p.a.

Initial deposit: $3,000

Minimum balance (daily): $3,000

Bonus interest cap: $100,000

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.

Assuming the base interest rate is 0.25% p.a., what you can get realistically is as follows.

Salary credit$6,000$1,500 creditcard spend3.4% p.a.Pay 3 billsvia GIROMAXIMISING YOURBOC SMARTSAVERACCOUNT

BOC SmartSaver interest rates:
$6,000 salary credit: 1.45% p.a.
$6,000 salary credit + $500 credit card spend:
2.25% p.a.
$6,000 salary credit + $1,500 credit card spend: 3.05% p.a.
$6,000 salary credit + $1,500 credit card spend + pay 3 bills by GIRO (min. $30): 3.4% 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? 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 (!) different actions to get bonus interest. These include home loans, renovation loans, car loans, education loans, insurance, investments, and credit card spending.

I personally don’t think this is worth the trouble unless you really satisfy 3 categories among the above – for example, if you’re already servicing a home loan and renovation loan from Maybank, and also happen to be spending $500 a month on one of their credit cards. Any fewer than 3, and your interest drops to around 1% p.a., which you can get for doing nothing with CIMB.

(FYI, if you have at least $50,000 in savings, you can become a Maybank Privilege customer and get preferential rates on the Save Up Programme.)

$500 creditcard spendPay 2 loansi.e. Home loan /renovation loan2.94% p.a.MAXIMISING YOURMAYBANK SAVE UPPROGRAMME

Maybank Save Up interest rates: Pick 3 categories to get 2.94% p.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 – as long as you have at least $70,000 to stash away. 

Another attractive benefit is that having $70,000 in your Citi MaxiGain account entitles you to Citi Priority benefits, which includes perks such as preferential rates, birthday deals and one-for-one deals. This means that it has one of the lowest barriers to priority banking.

The MaxiGain’s base interest rate is pegged at 70% of the 1-month SIBOR, an interbank interest rate that fluctuates daily. That sounds rather scary, but the fact is that SIBOR is currently on the riseThe current published 1-month SIBOR is about 1.76%, so that means if you open the account now, you can expect about 1.232% p.a. interest.

Then, just leave the money in there and let time do its work. Bonus interest automatically climbs each month, starting from 0.1% p.a. and capped at 1.2% p.a. This is provided that your balance in the month does not fall below the previous month.

Assuming that SIBOR is currently 1.85%, so you’ll be getting up to (70% of 1.85%) + 1.2 = 2.495% p.a. by the last month of a year.

If you do not deposit $70,000, but only put in a minimum deposit of $15,000, you will still be able to earn 1.2% p.a. bonus interest (0.1% every month stacked up).

Stash andforget for1 year adeposit of1.2% p.a. —2.5% p.a.$70,000MAXIMISING YOURCITI MAXIGAINSAVINGS ACCOUNT

Citi MaxiGain interest rate: 1.2% p.a. to ~2.5% p.a.

Initial deposit: None

Minimum balance: $15,000

Bonus interest cap: $150,000

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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?

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.

First $50,000depositedDeposits on$50,001 —$75,0001% p.a.1.5% p.a.MAXIMISING YOURCIMB FASTSAVERACCOUNT

CIMB FastSaver interest rate: 1% p.a. on first $50,000 / 1.5% p.a. on $50,001 to $75,000

Initial deposit: $1,000

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

Bonus interest cap: $75,000

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

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

 

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The Best Fixed Deposit Accounts in Singapore

Singapore Savings Bond Review (2019) – Interest Rates & Buying Guide

The Best Debit Cards in Singapore 2019

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