DBS Multiplier Account Review — Should You Switch Savings Account in 2022?

dbs multiplier account review

Remember the ads for the DBS Multiplier account? You know, the one with bunnies multiplying? That’s supposed to suggest how fast your money can grow in this high interest savings account.

In January 2021, DBS announced some huge interest rate cuts, which immediately rendered the very popular advertisement untrue. If you’ve been holding out for the bunnies to start multiplying again, the day is here. DBS has announced hikes in the interest rates for its Multiplier account. Just how good has it gotten?

We’ll give you the lowdown on the latest interest rates and T&Cs. All your DBS Multiplier Account questions answered and more below. 

DBS logo
High Interest Rates
Base Interest Rate p.a.
0.05%
Max. Interest Rate p.a.
3.8%
Min. Balance
S$3,000

Contents

      1. DBS Multiplier account interest rates
      2. Calculating DBS Multiplier interest rates
      3. DBS Multiplier account PayLah option
      4. DBS Multiplier income category
      5. DBS Multiplier credit card category
      6. DBS Multiplier home loan category
      7. DBS Multiplier invest & insure categories
      8. DBS Multiplier account’s bonus interest cap
      9. DBS Multiplier vs UOB One account
      10. DBS Multiplier vs OCBC 360 account
      11. DBS Multiplier terms & conditions
      12. Conclusion

1. DBS Multiplier account interest rates

Here are the interest rates you can get on the DBS Multiplier account, as of 1 June 2022: 

Total eligible transactions per month Bonus interest with the DBS Multiplier account 
Income + 1 category (capped at first $25,000)  Income + 2 categories (capped at first $50,000)  Income + 3 categories (capped at next $50,000)
<2,000 0.05% 0.05%  0.05% 
≥$2,000 to <$2,500 0.9% 1.2% 2%
≥$2,500 to <$5,000 0.9% 1.3% 2.2%
≥$5,000 to <$15,000 1% 1.4% 2.4%
≥$15,000 to <$30,000 1% 1.5% 2.5%
≥$30,000  1.1% 2.5% 3.5% 

2. How are DBS Multiplier interest rates calculated?

The DBS Multiplier account starts with a very low base interest rate of 0.05% p.a. To earn the highest bonus interest, you need to fulfil  transactions in 3 categories.

Requirement 1: Income credit (compulsory)

Requirement 2: Select 1 or more of the below transactions

  • Spending on DBS/POSB credit cards
  • Getting a home loan from DBS/POSB
  • Investing with DBS/POSB (first 12 months only)
  • Buying insurance from DBS/POSB (first 12 months only)

DBS totals up the transaction amount each month to decide on how much interest to give you that month. Although there’s no minimum amount for each action, the total transactions need to be at least $2,000 to qualify for bonus interest.

You can work out how much interest you qualify for by fiddling around with the DBS Multiplier interest rate calculator here.

3. DBS Multiplier interest rates for PayLah option

There’s another way to earn bonus interest with the DBS Multiplier if you can’t hit the $2,000 minimum: the DBS Paylah method.

Total transactions per month Up to first $10,000 in DBS Multiplier Account
Income + PayLah PayLah only (up to age 29)
>$0 to <$500 0.05% 0.4%
≥$500 0.55%

As you can see, to earn 0.55% with the income + PayLah method, you only need to hit $500 a month in transactions. But with the DBS Multiplier’s usual income + 1 category route, you’d need to hit $2,000 for the same returns.

Note that only PayLah retail transactions count towards your total transactions, i.e. payments to merchants or bill payments. Transferring money to your friends and family is NOT counted as an eligible transaction.

For those aged 29 or younger, with no eligible income, you can get 0.4% p.a. straight away by paying through PayLah and there’s no minimum amount to hit (yay!). Ah, the joys of youth.

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4. DBS Multiplier income category: What counts as “income”?

There are two ways to tick off the “income” box: either salary creditdividends or connecting SGFinDex to DBS NAV Planner.

Salary credit: This is the conventional way — make sure your salary is credited via GIRO, with reference code SAL or PAY. It can be credited to any of your DBS/POSB savings accounts, including joint accounts.

Dividends: Selected investment dividends also count as “income” (but only in the month that they come in). They can come from any of the following:

  • Central Depository Pte Ltd (CDP)
  • DBS Vickers Securities
  • DBS Online Equity Trading
  • DBS Unit Trusts
  • DBS Online Funds Investing
  • DBS Invest-Saver

To qualify, the dividends must be credited into your DBS/POSB bank account, DBS Wealth Management account, DBS SRS account, or CPF Investment Account.

Connecting SGFinDex to DBS NAV Planner: Connect and share financial information from your other banks and government accounts (CPF, HDB, and IRAS) with SGFinDex. For this to count, you have to also request for information retrieval of the linked accounts through DBS NAV Planner monthly.

Tip: If you’re already crediting your salary to another similar bank account, you can “cheat” by using your investment dividends to earn extra interest with the PayLah method above (dividends + PayLah = at least $500).

5. DBS Multiplier credit card category: Which card is best?

Although not compulsory, it’s a very good idea to use a DBS/POSB credit card to bump up your bonus interest tier. 

Unlike other savings accounts which require you to spend at least $500, there’s no minimum with DBS. Just remember to swipe it at least once a month.

Here are some DBS/POSB credit cards you can consider using:

POSB logo
Online Promo
Earn Cash Rebates that Never Expire
Cash rebates on Online Food Delivery
Up to 10%
Cash Rebates on Groceries from Sheng Siong & RedMart
Up to 5%
Fuel Savings at SPC
Up to 20.1% + 2%
DBS logo
Online Promo
Earn Miles That Never Expire
Local Spend
S$1 = 1.3 Miles
Overseas Spend (made in foreign currency)
S$1 = 2.2 Miles
On Travel Spend at Expedia & Kaligo
S$1 = Up to 10 Miles
DBS logo
Online & Visa Contactless Spend
Cashback on Contactless & Online Spend
Up to 5%
Min. Spend
S$600
Cash Back Cap per month
Up to S$75
DBS logo
on Online Purchases
S$5 = 10 DBS Points (equivalent to 4 Miles per S$1)
on Overseas Purchases
S$5 = 3 DBS Points (equivalent to 1.2 Miles per S$1)
on all Other Purchases
S$5 = 1 DBS Point (equivalent to 0.4 Miles per S$1)

6. DBS Multiplier home loan category: Is it a good idea?

We wouldn’t usually recommend jumping through hoops for bonus interest, even more so at a time when the bank home loan rates are soaring due to inflation.

Typically, bank mortgage interest rates tend to be lower than the HDB loan rates. For example, at one point DBS current offered a bank home loan interest rate that was as low as 1.5% for HDBs. However, that was a thing of the past. Looking at the DBS home loan packages currently, at 2.75%, DBS 2-year or 3-year fixed rate home loans’ are more expensive than HDB loan‘s 2.6% fixed interest rate.

0.15% might not seem like a lot at face value but if you’re borrowing $400,000, you’ll actually be paying $60,000 extra. The bonus interest you will earn with your Multiplier account probably won’t be able to make up for the difference. So, you’ll still likely be on the losing end if you opt for a DBS home loan to hit higher bonus interest rate categories in your DBS Multiplier account.

We’d suggest skipping this step until the DBS home loan rates gain back its competitive edge against HDB home loans.

7. DBS Multiplier invest & insure categories: Worth it or not?

Another way to temporarily unlock bonus interest on your DBS Multiplier is by investing and/or buying insurance.

For investments, you have the following options. They need to be NEW purchases made after opening your DBS Multiplier account:

For insurance, only selected regular premium insurance policies qualify. Again, they need to be NEW purchases. Refer to the DBS Multiplier website for the full list of eligible policies, which include:

  • Cancer insurance
  • Critical illness insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Endowment plans
  • Retirement annuities
  • Single premium policies

These might be worth buying if you’re looking to get insured anyway, but bear in mind you can only get 12 months of bonus interest even though the commitment may be much longer.

8. What is the DBS Multiplier account’s bonus interest cap?

As you may have noticed, there is a “balance cap” for each tier you unlock.

DBS Multiplier account bonus interest cap
Income + PayLah / PayLah only $10,000 
Income + 1 category $25,000 
Income + 2 categories $50,000 
Income + 3 categories $100,000 

That means that as your savings grow, it gets increasingly difficult to earn bonus interest.

Once your account balance goes up to $50,001 to $100,000, you can only earn bonus interest on your full balance if you meet the following condition: income crediting + 3 additional transaction categories = 4 actions in total.

In other words, unless you are one hardcore DBS otaku, you’ll probably want to keep the excess in another account.

9. DBS Multiplier vs UOB One account — which is better?

The DBS Multiplier account’s major rival is the UOB One account.

Let’s see how the two fair against each other. With the DBS Multiplier account, you can attain up to 0.55% p.a. interest by crediting your salary and spending at least $500 via DBS PayLah!. On the other hand, when you credit your salary and spend at least $5oo on an eligible UOB card, you’ll earn 0.5% p.a. with the UOB One account.

Considering DBS Multiplier’s recent interest rate hikes, DBS Multiplier does offer a higher attainable interest rate compared to the UOB One account without having to jump through too many hoops.

Besides the savings accounts’ interest rates, you can also consider whether the T&Cs are a good fit for you.

  • Credit card spending: It’s compulsory to spend at least $500 a month on a UOB credit card to earn bonus interest. The DBS Multiplier account has no minimum spend.
  • Income crediting: Unlike the DBS Multiplier, income is not a requirement for the UOB One account. If you don’t draw a regular salary or monthly dividends, you can just pay 3 bills by GIRO every month and you can qualify for bonus interest.
  • Account balance: UOB’s minimum balance is $1,000. DBS’s minimum balance is higher than UOB’s at $3,000.

Verdict: Go for the UOB One account if you don’t have a regular salary/dividends. It’s easier to meet the requirements. Otherwise, opt for DBS’s Multiplier account.

UOB logo
Base Interest Rate p.a.
0.05%
Max. Interest Rate p.a.
2.5%
Min. Balance
S$1,000

10. DBS Multiplier vs OCBC 360 account — which is better?

The OCBC 360 account is also similar to the DBS Multiplier, but there’s no one transaction requirement. Instead, you just pick from salary credit, insurance, investment, and/or increasing your monthly balance.

  • Income crediting: Unlike the DBS Multiplier, you do not need salary credit to earn bonus interest on your OCBC 360 (although it helps a lot).
  • Motivates saving: OCBC gives you an extra 0.1% every month you increase your savings by $500 or more. There’s no such mechanic for DBS Multiplier.
  • Difficult to unlock higher tier: Apart from salary credit and saving more, it’s tougher to unlock higher interest with the OCBC 360 account. You need to insure/invest in selected products to do so.

Verdict: Salaried folks will find it easier to earn bonus interest with the DBS Multiplier account, but if you need motivation to grow your emergency fund, go for the OCBC 360.

OCBC logo
Base Interest Rate p.a.
0.05%
Max. Interest Rate p.a.
4.40%
Min. Balance
S$3,000

11. DBS Multiplier account minimum balance & other things to know

Here are a few essential bits of information to bear in mind:

  • Minimum age: 18 years old
  • Nationality: Singaporeans, PRs, foreigners
  • Initial deposit: None
  • Minimum balance (daily): $3,000
  • Fall-below fee: $5 (waived for account holders up to age 29)
  • Bonus interest cap: $25,000, $50,000 or $100,000, depending of which tier of interest you qualify for
  • Multi-currency account: Supports AUD, CAD, CNH, EUR, HKD, JPY, NZD, NOK, GBP, SEK, THB, USD

DBS logo
High Interest Rates
Base Interest Rate p.a.
0.05%
Max. Interest Rate p.a.
3.8%
Min. Balance
S$3,000

12. Conclusion: Should you switch from the DBS Multiplier account?

To conclude, the DBS Multiplier account’s recent interest rate hikes offer very attractive rates that are amongst the highest when compared across the board with other savings accounts. It’s definitely a good choice if you have a regular income and even more so if you can hit at least $2,000 in credit card spend.

If you’re a salaried worker who takes care of your family’s monthly expenditure, it should be fairly easy for you to attain 0.9% p.a. in interest. Besides the attractive interest rates, the other main benefits of the DBS Multiplier account are:

  • Easy to earn interest with salary credit + credit card spend
  • No minimum spend for credit card, so you’re not forced to spend beyond your means
  • Get bonus interest with DBS home loan — something you can’t do with UOB or OCBC

I’d also recommend it to gig workers, freelancers or even trainees who are not earning much. As long as you hit at least $500, it’s possible to earn 0.55% p.a. by using PayLah in addition to your income.

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