These days, saving up in Singapore is all about knowing how to jump through hoops to get the most interest.
You might even have caught yourself buying nonsensical things to hit minimum spend so that you can get more interest on your savings account. You don’t need us to tell you that that’s not a wise thing to do.
If you just want a savings account that gives you good returns without extra actions and requirements, CIMB FastSaver might be your answer. Let’s see how it works.
Note: This article reflects the latest CIMB FastSaver interest rate changes, as of 1 January 2022.
How does the CIMB FastSaver Account work?
|CIMB FastSaver account|
|Interest rate (first $10,000)||0.3%|
|Interest rate (next $65,000)||0.3%|
|Interest rate (next $75,000)||0.15%|
|Nationality||Singaporeans, PRs, Foreigners|
|Minimum monthly balance||$1,000 (to earn interest)|
|Bonus interest cap||$75,000|
To save using the CIMB FastSaver account, you just need a minimum deposit of $1,000. That’s it.
Interest is paid out depending on how much you have in your CIMB FastSaver account. There’s no fall-below fee if your account balance falls below $1,000, but you need at least $1,000 to earn interest.
Previously, we loved the CIMB FastSaver as it gave us 1% p.a. in interest for doing nothing, which was already 0.95% more than a basic savings account.
But all good things must come to an end. The CIMB FastSaver interest rate is now 0.3% for the first $10,000 in your account. Sigh.
That sucks. But does the CIMB FastSaver have any redeeming qualities?
Although the CIMB FastSaver’s 0.3% p.a. is peanuts, it’s still a good deal more than most banks will give you for depositing your savings. Typically, you’d only get 0.05% p.a. with other bank accounts.
Pretty much all other savings accounts that offer bonus interest require either a salary credit, a minimum credit card spend, a growing balance, a high amount of minimum monthly balance, or a combination of these actions.
So CIMB FastSaver is still one of the few options paying out some interest for doing nothing at all.
The only requirement is maintaining a minimum $1,000 deposit, which is pretty easy. There’s also no fall-below fee, which is reassuring.
Who should choose the CIMB FastSaver account?
Let’s say you have a DBS Multiplier account and have set up salary crediting and regularly use a DBS credit card. You managed to unlock an average interest rate of 0.4% p.a. on your savings.
But once your savings hit $25,000, that bonus interest will be capped. You will need to add another transaction type (e.g. home loan payments or buying insurance) in order to increase your interest rate and raise the cap to $50,000.
What if you don’t want to?
Then anything above $25,000 yield more interest, so maybe you can consider a low-hanging fruit like the CIMB FastSaver and park some of your funds in there to earn 0.3% p.a. without having to keep track of any requirements.
As a bonus, you don’t need to deal with boring banking tasks like making sure you hit minimum spending requirements and what-not.
Potential pitfalls of the CIMB FastSaver account
Oh yeah, if it’s your first time using CIMB, here’s one major downside so you don’t get a rude shock: CIMB ‘Clicks’ Internet banking is not as user-friendly and intuitive as those of the other banks.
And of course, you don’t get any extra interest for multiplier-type actions (e.g. spending on CIMB credit card or crediting salary) so please don’t waste those actions on the CIMB FastSaver. It’s more of a “stash-and-forget” type of savings account.
For multiplier-type accounts, you should look elsewhere on MoneySmart: Your Savings Account Sucks, Here Are Some That Don’t.
CIMB FastSaver vs UOB Stash — which is better?
Ok, since CIMB FastSaver is a stash type account, how does it stack up with others? Let’s compare it with another stash account in the market: UOB Stash Savings Account.
The UOB Stash has also revised its terms as of Nov 2020, and now you can earn the following interest rates:
|UOB Stash account||Interest rates|
Not great, huh?
The UOB Stash account requirements for earning interest are also more tedious than that of the CIMB FastSaver. You have to keep at least $10,000 in your account, and maintain your previous month’s Monthly Average Balance (MAB).
CIMB FastSaver vs Citibank MaxiGain — which is better?
Another account that doesn’t require regular maintenance is the Citi MaxiGain Savings Account.
As with the UOB Stash account, you’ll need to maintain at least the same amount or more in your Citi MaxiGain account month after month.
You start with a base interest of 0.01%. Every month that you fulfil the above requirement, you get an extra 0.025% p.a. in bonus interest: 0.025%, 0.05%, 0.0755% and so on, up to a max of 0.3% p.a. This bonus interest is applicable to up to $70,000 of savings.
How to open a CIMB FastSaver account
If you like saving money to be brainless, then stick to the CIMB FastSaver as it’s simply easier to meet the requirements.
Setting up a CIMB FastSaver account is also super easy. Just fill out the CIMB FastSaver Online Application form on the CIMB website.
Upon submission, a CIMB FastSaver account number will be issued instantly. All you need to do is to activate the account by transferring a minimum of $1,000 from another bank account of yours via Internet banking and voila! It’s finished! It literally takes minutes and you can even do it from the comfort of your bed.
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