Pokemon Go is a mobile game that has recently taken the world by storm. If you still don’t know what Pokemon is, it’s a game about catching and training adorable creatures, ultimately evolving them into stronger versions of themselves. Well, except for Ash’s Pikachu, who hasn’t evolved at all in almost 1000 episodes of the Pokemon animated series.
Standard Chartered’s Bonus$aver account was one of the first current accounts with higher interest rates. However in recent years, it started trailing behind as other banks launched new savings accounts that offered higher interest rates.
Not one to bow down to competition, the Bonus$aver account has recently undergone an evolution of its own, and has now emerged as one of the best savings accounts in Singapore once again. One can say that the new Bonus$aver is a Gyarados while the old Bonus$aver is a Magikarp.
How significant are the changes to the Bonus$aver account?
I think a table best explains it:
|Transaction details||Old Bonus$aver||New Bonus$aver (as at 1 July 2016)|
|Prevailing interest||0.1% p.a. (account balance of less than $200,000)
0.2% p.a. (account balance of $200,000 or more)
|0.1% p.a. (account balance of less than $200,000)
0.2% p.a. (account balance of $200,000 or more)
|Bonus Interest – Based on Card Spend
|Spend at least $500 on your Bonus$aver Credit or Debit Card each month||Up to 1.78% p.a.
|Up to 0.78% p.a.
|Spend at least $2,000 on your Bonus$aver Credit or Debit Card each month||N/A||Up to 1.78% p.a.|
|Bonus Interest – Based on Salary Credit||Credit your salary of at least $3,000 into your Bonus$aver account via GIRO from your employer||N/A||1.00% p.a.|
|Bonus Interest – Based on Bill Payments||Make at least 3 eligible bill payments, each a minimum sum of $50, in a month via Standard Chartered’s Online Banking platform or via GIRO||N/A||0.25% p.a.|
|Bonus Interest – Based on Insurance/Investment||Either:
(a) purchase eligible insurance policy with minimum annual premium of $12,000
(b) subscribe for an eligible unit trust with a minimum sum of S$30,000
|N/A||0.75% p.a. (paid for a consecutive period of 12 months)|
|Total Interest||Up to 1.88% p.a. (on first $25,000)||Up to 3.88% p.a. (on first $100,000)|
What’s immediately obvious is that the total interest you can earn for a Bonus$aver account is significantly higher than before. Not only do you now earn bonus interest up to your first $100,000 (compared to $25,000 previously), you can now also earn more interest i.e. up to 3.88% p.a. interest per year. This interest rate is one of the highest at this point in time.
Hmm, well, I have some questions about the changes …
Sure, let’s take a look at each of these changes – there are 4 of them altogether.
1. Card Spend – minimum spending requirement has changed
The Bonus$aver account was one of the first to reward you with higher interest of 1.88% p.a. (base interest + bonus interest) for spending on your Bonus$aver credit or debit card. That much has not changed with the new account. What has changed is how much you need to spend per month to earn that 1.88% interest each year.
With the new Bonus$aver account, you now need to spend at least $2,000 each month to earn 1.88% interest per year, compared to the $500 minimum spend of the old Bonus$aver account. Don’t worry if you don’t meet the $2,000 spending requirement. You can still earn interest at 0.88% per year if you spend at least $500.
But if you still want to earn 1.88% interest a year like before, it’s now easy with three new ways (which we will explain below) to earn bonus interest. You don’t have to do them all, but as long as you meet any one of these categories, you will earn the respective bonus interest provided.
2. Salary Credit – first new way to earn bonus interest
They always say that if it’s too good to be true, it probably is. Well, that saying doesn’t apply here because all you need to do to earn 1.00% p.a. bonus interest with your Bonus$aver account is to ensure that your salary is credited into that account each month. That’s all!
Your monthly salary needs to be credited via GIRO directly from your employer and needs to be at least $3,000 nett. Your HR department should be able to handle this.
3. Bill Payment – second new way to earn bonus interest
If you thought crediting your salary was easy, this is even easier. We all have to pay bills, whether it’s recurring bills like payments for utilities, telecommunication services or even to your condominium management or HDB town council, or one-off payments like taxes, or for hospitals or charities.
Now, if you make at least three eligible payments of at least $50 each month via Standard Chartered’s Online Banking platform or via GIRO, you can earn 0.25% p.a. bonus interest with your Bonus$aver account.
4. Insure/Invest – third new way to earn bonus interest
This last new way to earn bonus interest may not be for everyone, but if you are thinking of investing or buying an insurance policy, you can also take the opportunity to earn an additional 0.75% p.a. bonus interest on your Bonus$aver account.
Either (a) sign up for a regular premium life insurance policy with a minimum annual premium of $12,000 or (b) subscribe for an eligible unit trust with a minimum subscription sum of S$30,000 with Standard Chartered, and you will earn bonus interest of 0.75% p.a. bonus interest for the next 12 months from your sign up of the insurance policy or subscription of the eligible unit trust.
So who would benefit the most from the new Bonus$aver account?
Clearly, to maximise the amount of interest you can earn, you would want to put in as much money into the account as possible. The new Bonus$aver now earns bonus interest on the first $100,000 in the account. That’s a significant amount.
With the old Bonus$aver account, you would earn only up to 1.88% p.a. interest on the first $25,000 in your account. If you had $100,000 in the account, and met the $500 card spend requirement each month, you would only have gotten up to $545 in interest after one year.
With the new Bonus$aver account, assuming you have $100,000 in the account and met the $500 card spend requirement, you would be eligible for up to 0.88% p.a bonus interest. That’s up to $880 in interest after one year! That’s 1.5 times as much as you could’ve earned with the old Bonus$aver account.
Now imagine if you meet the $2,000 card spend, salary credit, bill payment and investment/insurance requirements each month. You would be eligible for up to $3,880 in interest after one year.
So the more you deposit into the new Bonus$aver account, up to the first $100,000 in the account, the more you stand to earn in interest.
Receive an exclusive gift worth up to S$529 when you successfully apply for a Bonus$aver account and Bonus$aver credit card online by 31 October 2016. What’s more, you can also receive chance(s) to win the MasterCard Experience Package to the 59th GRAMMY Awards® or other attractive prizes with eligible retail spend on your Bonus$aver World MasterCard® Credit/Debit Card and/or eligible deposit in your Bonus$aver account.
Terms and conditions apply; visit Standard Chartered’s Bonus$aver webpage to find out more and sign up now.
What do you think of the new Bonus$aver account? Will you be signing up for it? We want to hear from you.
This article was produced in conjunction with Standard Chartered Bank (Singapore) Limited. For the most updated information on the Bonus$aver account, please click here. All information provided is on an “as is” basis and for informational purposes only, not intended for trading purposes or advice. Standard Chartered and Moneysmart are not liable for any informational errors, incompleteness, or delays, or for any actions taken in reliance on information contained herein.
This article is for information purposes only. It is not an offer, recommendation, or solicitation to anyone to enter into any investment transaction. It has not been prepared for any particular person or class of persons and does not constitute and should not be construed as investment advice nor an investment recommendation. It has been prepared without regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs of any particular person. You should seek advice from a financial adviser on the suitability of an investment or financial product for you, taking into account these factors before making a commitment to invest in an investment or financial product. Standard Chartered and Moneysmart are not liable for any informational errors, incompleteness, or delays, or for any actions taken in reliance on information contained herein.
Buying a life insurance policy is a long-term commitment. Early termination of the life policy usually involves high cost and the surrender value payable may be less than the total premiums paid.
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Deposit Insurance Scheme
Singapore dollar deposits of non-bank depositors are insured by the Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation, for up to S$50,000 in aggregate per depositor per Scheme member by law. Foreign currency deposits, dual currency investments, structured deposits and other investment products are not insured.