If you’re gonna open a primary savings account in Singapore, you’re most likely going to go with one of the 3 local banks (DBS, UOB and OCBC). But how good is an OCBC savings account for earning interest?
Let’s look at the features of the OCBC 360 account to help you assess if it offers the best savings account interest rate. Also, check out how it fares against the competition.
The OCBC 360 account is up for another round of revision to raise the overall monthly average balance cap for bonus interest from $70,000 to $75,000. The changes will take effect on 1 October 2020.
So expect to earn bonus interest on the first $75,000 of your account balance if you do any or all of these:
- credit your salary through GIRO
- save at least $500 more from the previous month
- hit $200,000 or more in total savings
- insure with OCBC
- invest with OCBC
The last two wealth categories are new. Also, note that you’ll get a base interest of 0.05% a year on your account balance, even if you don’t fulfil the above categories.
What is the OCBC 360 account interest rate structure?
The OCBC 360 account is a savings account that starts with a low base (0.05% p.a.), but that can potentially give you higher returns.
For every month that you complete a certain action, you receive bonus interest. This makes it ideal as a primary savings account — the account where you’re performing the most transactions regularly.
Here is the OCBC 360 account’s bonus interest new structure (from 1 Oct 2020):
|Action||1st $25,000||$25,001 to $50,000||$50.001 to $75,000|
|None (base interest)||0.05% p.a.||0.05% p.a.||0.05% p.a.|
|Salary credit by GIRO (min. initial deposit $1,800)||0.4% p.a.||0.8% p.a.||1.2% p.a.|
|Increase monthly account balance (min. $500)||0.1% p.a.||0.2% p.a.||0.4% p.a.|
|Insure and/or invest with OCBC (min. amount varies depending on product)||0.4% p.a.||0.8% p.a.||1.2% p.a.|
|Maintain account balance of $200,000 & up||0.4% p.a.||0.4% p.a.||0.4% p.a.|
For comparison’s sake, here is the OCBC 360 account’s current bonus interest structure (before the new changes kick in on 1 Oct 2020):
|Action||First $35,000||$35,001 to $70,000|
|None (base interest)||0.05% p.a.||0.05% p.a.|
|Salary credit by GIRO (min. initial deposit $1,800)||0.6% p.a.||1.2% p.a.|
|Increase monthly account balance (min. $500)||0.2% p.a.||0.4% p.a.|
|Insure or invest with OCBC (min. amount varies depending on product)||0.6% p.a.||1.2% p.a.|
|Maintain account balance of $200,000 & up||0.8% p.a.||0.8% p.a.|
How to calculate the realistic interest rate on your OCBC 360 account?
Let’s say you’re just a regular salaried office worker with less than $35,000 in savings, which means your interest rates are in the lower tier. Does that mean you should give OCBC 360 account a miss?
I wouldn’t be too quick to dismiss it. The interest rates are pretty bad now, but you can still get some interest, assuming you have $25,0001 in the bank and as long as you faithfully perform the following actions each month when the new interest rate revisions kick in on 1 Oct:
- Credit your salary of at least $1,800 (0.8% p.a.)
- Keep increasing your monthly account balance by at least $500 (0.2% p.a.)
- Insure or invest in an eligible OCBC product to get interest for 12 months (0.8% p.a.)
You can expect the new interest rate to be 1.8% at least. Before the new interest rate revision, it would be 1.4% p.a. at least.
The good thing about OCBC 360 account is that none of the bonus interest actions are compulsory. In addition, the extra 0.2% p.a. for increasing your account balance each month can help motivate you to grow your savings.
The OCBC 360 account gives you higher interest if you invest, but…
To really maximise your interest rate, you also need to insure or invest with OCBC to bring your interest up.
However, it’s definitely not for small-time investors — this table of the rather hefty minimum investment amounts should give you an idea:
How to earn the bonus interest
Purchase any new eligible financial product from OCBC of at least the minimum amount as follows:
|Eligible financial products||Minimum qualifying amount|
|Regular Premium Insurance Category 1||$4,000|
|Regular Premium Insurance Category 2||$2,000|
|Single Premium Insurance||$20,000|
|Bonds and structured products||$200,000|
For a more accurate projection of interest rates, use the OCBC 360 interest rate calculator on their page.
OCBC 360 vs UOB One account
Structurally, the UOB One account is a little similar to the OCBC 360. Salary credit is not mandatory, so it’s also a good option for the self-employed, freelancers, retirees or people making passive income.
There are 3 ways to earn bonus interest:
- Spend at least $500 a month with UOB credit cards (0.25% p.a.)*
- Spend at least $500 a month with UOB credit cards + monthly salary credit of at least $2,000 (0.75% p.a.)*
- Spend at least $500 a month with UOB credit cards + 3 monthly GIRO bill payments (0.75% p.a.)*
*Based on the first $15,000.
To earn higher interest of up to 2.50% p.a., you need to first have a deposit of $75,000. Then spend at least $500 a month with UOB credit cards, AND fulfil a monthly salary credit of at least $2,000 or 3 monthly GIRO bill payments.
Consider this if you like the idea of spending with your credit cards to help you earn interest, as compared to the OCBC 360 which is better if you want to insure or invest with the bank. Read our review to find out more about the UOB One Account.
OCBC 360 vs DBS Multiplier account
For the DBS Multiplier account, you can earn higher interest through one of these ways:
- Credit your salary AND fulfil transactions in credit card spend, home loan instalments, insurance and/or investments that add up to at least $2,000 a month
- Credit your salary and make PayLah! transactions that add up to at least $500
- Make PayLah! Transactions if you’re 29 years old and below with no eligible income
Don’t qualify for any of the above? Don’t worry, you’ll still enjoy the base interest rate in your DBS Multiplier Account.
The DBS Multiplier is great if you prefer to use the account to transact in various categories such as credit card spend, home loan instalments, insurance and investments, and earn higher interest.
Note that revisions were made to the Multiplier Account on 1 August 2020, with an expanded list of eligible dividends. Interest rates have dropped though not surprising, given the bad economy. For instance, a monthly total transaction between $2,000 and $2,500 used to yield 1.4% p.a. but it’s now 0.70% p.a. You can also utilise PayLah! for your retail spending to earn 0.30% p.a. on the first $10,000 in your Multiplier Account, and combine your income and PayLah! retail spend to just $500 to earn 0.50% p.a. on the first $10,000 too.
Check out our in-depth review of the DBS Multiplier on how to get the most out of it.
OCBC 360: Of interest rates and other terms & conditions
The OCBC 360 can be your best savings account for the interest rates. Here’s what to consider for your next savings plan:
- Credit salary + Save = 1.08% p.a.
- Credit salary + Save + Insure/Invest = 1.88% p.a.
- Credit salary + Save + Insure + Invest = 2.68% pa.a
So the more you trust the bank with your moolah, the potential for higher returns is there.
Now, here’s some essential info before you sign up:
Minimum age: 18 years old
Nationality: Singaporeans, PRs, E-Pass & S-Pass holders
Initial deposit: $1,000
Minimum balance (monthly): $3,000
Fall-below fee: $2 (waived for the 1st year)
Bonus interest cap: $75,000
Click here for more information and to open an OCBC 360 account.
Do you have the OCBC 360 account? What do you think of it? Tell us in the comments!