DBS Multiplier Account Changes — What Are They and What Do They Mean to Me?

DBS Multiplier Account Changes — What Are They and What Do They Mean to Me?
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Many of us signed up for the DBS Multiplier Account after we saw how this high-interest savings account could help us grow our money at up to 3.8% per annum (yaaas).

All we had to do was to satisfy certain criteria, such as salary credit and making transactions in other categories. And it’s so flexible — there’s no minimum salary and no need for credit card spend to attain the maximum interest rate. Plus it also doubles-up as a multi-currency account. Read our full review here.

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Recently, with effect from 1 Feb 2020, there have been some changes to the DBS Multiplier Account.

What does this mean for DBS Multiplier Account holders? Let’s take a look at what these changes are and how they might impact us:

Change #1: Salary Credit category renamed to Income and expanded to include Dividends

Salary Credit: This mandatory category will be renamed to Income. But it’s not just cosmetic! The Income category will be expanded to include Dividends (no more under the Investment category).

What’s the change? Before 1 Feb 2020 From 1 Feb 2020 
Category renaming and classification Salary Credit Income (now comprises both Salary Credit and Dividend Credit actions)
Salary Credit Compulsory — must be credited via GIRO, with transaction reference codes ‘SAL’ or ‘PAY’ Income category now compulsory — but you can now fulfil either Salary Credit and/or Dividend Credit to qualify for this category:

  • Salary Credit — must be credited via GIRO, with transaction reference codes ‘SAL’ or ‘PAY’
  • Dividend Credit — must be credited via GIRO, from Central Depository Pte Ltd (CDP) and/or DBS Multi-Currency Settlement Account (MCSA) 
Dividend Credit Under the Investment category Now falls under the Income category

So if you’re still a student (18 years and above), a freelancer, a project-based staff, in-between jobs, or even a retiree — in short, anyone who is not earning a regular paycheck — you can still credit your dividends to qualify for this mandatory Income category.

Do note that for customers with a DBS Wealth Management Account, the dividends must be credited from Singapore Exchange (SGX) traded securities. Dividends from unit trusts, and dividends from SRS/CPF investments do not qualify.

And if you were primarily using dividends to earn the bonus interest rate in the Investment category before 1 Feb 2020, you might find your interest rate dropping significantly with this change. Never fear — there are so many other fuss-free ways to invest with DBS.

Change #2: Balance Cap for bonus interest rates — now 3 instead of 2

Depending on the number of categories you fulfil, your DBS Multiplier Account is subject to a cap on the balance eligible for the bonus interest. In theory, the more categories you can fulfil, the higher the balance cap.

Balance earning higher interest rate:

Before 1 Feb 2020 From 1 Feb 2020
Income + transactions in 1 category S$0 to S$50,000 S$0 to S$25,000 (new)
Income + transactions in 2 categories S$0 to S$50,000 S$0 to S$50,000
Income + transactions in 3 or more categories S$50,000.01 to S$100,000 S$50,000.01 to S$100,000

With this change, those with more than S$25,000 balance in their DBS Multiplier Account might need to transact in more than 1 additional category (other than Income) to maximise their bonus interest rate from 1 Feb 2020. If you weren’t aware of this previously, this could be the reason why your bonus interest amount could have fallen.

So for those with S$25,000 to S$50,000 balance in their DBS Multiplier Account, if you’ve been happily crediting just your salary and credit card spending, now’s the time to consider doing 1 more transaction category. Perhaps it’s time to refinance your home loan with DBS/POSB.

This action will ensure that you can continue earning your bonus interest on your full account balance.

(source: DBS)

  1. Income (salary and/or dividends) (Mandatory): In any personal or joint DBS/POSB deposit account.
  2. Credit Card Spend: Retail and cash advance transactions with any DBS/POSB personal credit cards.
  3. Home Loan Instalments: Monthly instalments due on disbursed DBS/POSB residential loans.
  4. Insurance: Monthly premium due on eligible regular premium (RP) policies purchased via DBS/POSB, after you have successfully opened Multiplier Account. Existing RP policies you have before that will not be counted.
  5. Investments:

(i)  DBS Invest-Saver purchased via DBS/POSB after opening your Multiplier Account (existing Invest-Saver purchased before that will not be recognised);

(ii)  Unit Trust lump-sum purchased via DBS/POSB after opening your Multiplier Account (existing unit trust lump-sum purchased before that will not be recognised);

(iii)  Online equity trades made via DBS Vickers or DBS Online Equity Trading

Some things to note:

  • The total amount transacted (including Income category) should be at least S$2,000 for you to start enjoying the bonus interest rate.
  • When you take up a policy in the Insurance category, the spend is recognised for the first 12 months only (yes, this Multiplier action has an expiry date). But if you happen to take up another eligible policy after that period, that spend in the Insurance category will be recognised for another 12 months.
  • This 12-month limit is the same for those looking to qualify for the Investment category. And if you think that you can easily terminate your existing DBS Invest-Saver and quickly make a re-purchase, think again. Your existing DBS Invest-Saver has to be terminated and fully redeemed for 6 months before the re- purchase will be recognised.
  • But there’s good news if you’re keen to qualify for the Investment category! Previously, there were only 2 ETFs, Nikko and ABN. But now, DBS has added 4 ETFs and 2 UTs. Looks like I’ll be stepping up on my investments soon.
  • Check out the full list of FAQs here.

Why it’s still worth it to get the DBS Multiplier Account

While these are major changes to the terms and conditions of the DBS Multiplier Account and will likely impact quite a number of people, there are various ways and means to circumvent them.

All in all, the DBS Multiplier Account is still a good savings account to have.

  • Reliable brand with a good track record: DBS was named “World’s Best Bank”, a first for an Asian bank
  • The changes actually benefit account holders who don’t draw a monthly salary (students, self-employed workers, retirees, etc as mentioned above)
  • There’s also no minimum income requirement (you just need to transact S$2,000 across all categories to qualify for the bonus interest). 
  • Psst… This means that it’s great for financial planning, compared to other high-yield savings accounts. Why? I won’t need to overextend myself to meet a minimum criteria (not everyone can hit S$500 spend on their credit card). Instead, I’ll be able to channel the extra cash to my investments and grow my savings. 
  • A good savings account for any age (young people who have yet to start work, retirees) and income level (there’s no minimum income requirement, plus you don’t need to have a credit card to earn the bonus interest)
  • Low risk (because it’s ultimately a savings account)

Find out more about the DBS Multiplier Account and sign up here.

What do you think about the recent changes to the DBS Multiplier account? Share your thoughts in the comments below!