Banks like to put nasty conditions like high minimum balances and fall below fees on their accounts to force people to keep more money with them, and at the same time make a bit of cash out of errant customers.
In the past, we might have been willing to put up with these terms in exchange for high interest rates….
But now that most savings accounts interest rates range from a low 0.05% to 3.6%, it might be time to look for savings accounts with no minimum balance — and thus maximum liquidity (and no fall below fees!).
1. Best Savings Account with No Minimum Balance
Most savings accounts with attractive interest rates will come with a $1,000 to $3,000 minimum monthly balance. If you spent too much and end up with $999 in your account, you do get charged a $2 to $5 fall below fee.
So, if you won’t have $1,000+ lying around daily, opt for a savings account with no minimum balance. This way, it’s simpler for you (less worries).
Here are the savings accounts with no minimum balance in Singapore. Take note that we didn’t include multi-currency accounts in the list.
|Savings Account (No Minimum Balance)||Interest Rate||Minimum Balance|
|Citibank Basic Banking Account (below $2,000 salary)||–||$0|
|Citi MaxiGain Savings Account||0.01%||$0|
|Citi Tap and Save Account||0.01%||$0|
|Citi Step Up Account||0.01%||$0|
|Citi MaxiSave Account||0.01%||$0|
|Standard Chartered JumpStart Account (age 26)||2.00%||$0|
|Standard Chartered SuperSalary Account||0.01%||$0|
|Standard Chartered Basic Bank Account||–||$0|
|OCBC FRANK (age 26)||0.1%||$0|
|DBS Cashback Bonus Account||0.3%||$0|
|DBS eMySavings Account||0.05%||$0|
|DBS Save As You Serve (NS)||0.4%||$0|
|DBS Savings Account for Fresh Grads (age 29)||0.9%||$0|
|Maybank Saveup Account (age 25)||0.25%||$0|
|RHB High Yield Savings Plus Account||1.2%||$0|
Looking for your super old school POSB passbook account? It’s not in this list because it actually comes with a minimum balance. If you’re not in the habit of checking your bank statement and transactions a couple of times per month, now is the time to check if you’ve been continually charged a $2 fall below fee!
2. Citibank Savings Accounts
Of all the international and local banks in Singapore, Citibank has the most savings account options with no minimum balance.
Here are the 5 Citibank savings accounts you can choose from:
- Citibank Basic Banking Account (below $2,000 salary)
- Citi MaxiGain Savings Account
- Citi MaxiSave Account
- Citi Tap and Save Account
- Citi Step Up Account
What’s the difference between these savings accounts?
For one, the Citibank Basic Banking Account suits lower income individuals with monthly salary below $2,000. With this basic savings account, you get all the usual ATM card, monthly statements, ibanking etc. services. You don’t need to meet any minimum balance, and likewise don’t need to pay any fall below fee. You do, however, need to pay $2 every month as an account maintenance fee. After all, you do need to pay the people who make your ibanking, ATM card services run smoothly.
The Citi MaxiGain Savings Account is an upgrade from the previous basic savings account. On top of all the banking services, you’ll get to earn interest on the money you saved in this MaxiGain savings account as well. This Citi MaxiGain savings account is a pretty cool account that tries to encourage you to increase your savings monthly.
Base interest rate: 0.01% (no minimum balance)
Bonus interest rate: 0.025% to 0.3% (increases monthly if your savings account balance increases every month, over 12 months)
Citibank also has a Citi Step Up Account which is… a more complicated version of the MaxiGain savings account. You get 2 different types of interest:
Base interest: 0.01% (on your average daily balance, which is daily balance divided by number of days in the month)
Bonus Step Up interest: 0.01% to 0.13% (increases monthly if your monthly minimum balance – lowest amount of the month – increases every month, over 12 months)
Essentially, you have 2 balances to watch monthly. Given the complexity of the account, the measly interest may not be worth it. Yet, if you’re up to the challenge, go for it.
The Citi Tap and Save account is an upgrade of the Citi Step Up Account. You get the same Step Up interest programme plus a 1% rebate on your debit card spending.
Citibank’s MaxiSave Account, on the other hand, is a savings account that gives you all the usual ATM card, and ibanking services – plus a debit card. Interest rate is 0.01% across the board.
3. Standard Chartered Savings Accounts
Standard Chartered Bank also offers 3 savings accounts with no minimum balance. They are namely:
- Standard Chartered JumpStart Account (up to age 26)
- Standard Chartered SuperSalary Account
- Standard Chartered Basic Bank Account
The Standard Chartered JumpStart Account is open to young adults aged 18 to 26 only. If age is on your side, this account is a pretty good one as it gives you 0.5% p.a. on your account balance (under $20,000) without needing any effort on your part.
The account also comes with a free debit card that gives you 1% cashback on all eligible spending.
Even with a salary that is far from super, it’s still easy to qualify for the Standard Chartered SuperSalary Account, since there is no minimum initial deposit and the minimum balance is a grand total of $0.
The account pays out a not-so-super base interest rate of 0.01%. New customers can also earn bonus interest rate of 0.27% during the first 8 months after opening the account.
As there’s no minimum balance and fall below fee, you can consider using the account for 8 months to enjoy the 0.01% base + bonus interest, and then traitorously switch to a different account after that. This is only worth it if you have quite a bit of cash on hand, though.
The account also entitles you to a Standard Chartered CashBack debit card, which lets you earn 1% on eligible spending.
Finally, there’s the old school Standard Chartered Basic Bank Account which gives you a passbook, initial account opening $20 deposit, no minimum balance, and no fall below fee.
4. OCBC Savings Accounts
OCBC only has one account with no minimum balance, and that is the OCBC FRANK Account which targets the young and presumably broke, which is probably why they’ve decided not to charge any fall-below fees… but only if you are up to age 26 years old.
Otherwise, for committing the crime of being old, you get charged $2 if your balance falls below $1,000.
On the bright side, the account’s interest rates are not that horrid compared to other savings accounts of this type. You get 0.1% a year on your first $25,000 and $0.2% on your next $25,000. Any amounts above $50,000 will earn 0.05%.
Another perk is that the OCBC FRANK debit card that comes with shopping discounts such as:
- Omnidesk: 8% off (min. spend $450)
- Warehouse Hotel: 15% off rates
- Hook Coffee: 10% off
- Prism+: 8% off
- Pomelo: 30% off (new customers)
- Love Bonito: 10% off
5. DBS Savings Accounts
Local bank POSB and DBS’ basic savings accounts (those old passbook accounts?) surprisingly come with minimum balances of $500 or $1,000. If you’ve drained the account and left it aside to die a slow death, beware! You may have been charged $2 fall below fees monthly.
There are only 4 POSB/ DBS savings accounts with no minimum balance and no fall below fee. They are:
- DBS eMySavings Account 0.05%
- DBS Cashback Bonus Account 0.3%
- DBS Save As You Serve (NS) 0.4%
- DBS Savings Account for Fresh Grads (up to age 29) 0.9%
Amongst all the no minimum balance savings accounts, POSB and DBS have got the highest interest rates, ranging from 0.05% to 0.9%.
DBS eMySavings is an extra savings account you can open to force yourself to save money. You open this extra account, set your desired monthly savings amount (e.g. $300), and set the transfer date. On D-Day, the bank automatically transfers $300 from your usual POSB/ DBS account into this extra savings account. As your savings accumulate, you get 0.05% to 0.25% in interest (only if you don’t withdraw any money from this extra account).
New to the world of savings account and would like to “practice” and gain confidence before diving into higher-stake savings accounts? DBS Cashback Bonus Account was designed to be a practice ground for beginners. You get 0.3% cashback for $2,500 salary credit, 0.3% cashback for credit card spend, along with home loan, insurance, and investments.
NSFs will be familiar with the DBS Save As You Serve savings programme, which is really a DBS Multiplier account with NSF perks. Under the DBS Save As Your Serve programme, you won’t have to deal with minimum balance, or fall below fees. Credit your NSF salary to this savings account, spend $100 per month on PayLah!, and you get 0.55% interest on your first $10,000 savings.
However, once you’re out of NS, you’ll be subject to the high requirements of the DBS Multiplier account!
The highest interest in this category of savings accounts must be the DBS Savings Account for Fresh Grads and Young Adults programme (up to age 29) with 0.9% interest. Again, it’s a DBS Multiplier account with young adult perks.
Credit salary to this account (min. $2,500)
Spend $200 a month on DBS/POSB credit card
Do note that after you hit 29 years old, you’ll be smacked with the full requirements of the DBS Multiplier account.
6. Maybank Savings Accounts
There’s only one savings account with no minimum balance or fall below fee at Maybank. It’s the Maybank SaveUp Account for young adults up to age 25.
The SaveUp account itself doesn’t offer you any bonus interest. Instead, you’ll need to join the SaveUp programme which gives you a base 0.25% interest.
If you credit your salary via GIRO monthly (min. $2,000), and spend $500 on your Maybank Platinum Visa or Horizon Visa card, you get another 0.7%.
That brings you to 0.95% in interest.
However, once you hit your 25th birthday, your Maybank SaveUp Account will be subject to a minimum average daily balance of $1,000, and $2 fall below fee.
7. RHB Savings Accounts
Malaysian banks CIMB and RHB used to be known for their savings accounts with straightforward and high interest rates. However, most of these attractive savings accounts come with minimum balance and fall below fees.
The only savings account with no minimum balance is the RHB High Yield Savings Plus Account which gives you a base 1.2% interest (on your first $50,000).
Although you don’t get slapped with minimum balance and fall below fees, there is a $1,000 initial deposit when opening the account. Otherwise, you just need to be a Singaporean, PR, foreigner with employment pass or work permit, and need to be at least 16 years old. That’s all. Easy!
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