Savings Accounts

Your Savings Account Sucks, Here Are Some That Don’t – 2017 Edition

Peter Lin 0 Comments

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It’s 2017, and there are still people who have keypads on their mobile phones. But you know what? Maybe they have good reasons for it – like they don’t want to be slapped with a ridiculous phone bill charging hundreds of dollars for data. What no one should have a good reason for, is keeping all your hard-earned money in a savings account that gives you the equivalent of canned drinks and junk food – practically no value.

So we’ve decided to consolidate all the popular savings options into one post, and hopefully, this list will help you decide which is best for you:

 

Local banks’ basic savings accounts

Banks like OCBC, DBS/POSB and UOB typically are the most convenient for Singaporeans. They have ATMs in almost every public location, which means you have the opportunity to withdraw cash without too much trouble (once you get used to the queues). Having a lot of bank branches across the island also makes it easy for urgent transactions to be done over the counter, without having to commute all the way into town.

Unfortunately, having the largest market share also means that they tend to be less generous with their interest. After all, convenience has a price.

 

OCBC Bonus+ Account

Initial Deposit Minimum Monthly Balance Interest Rate Notes
$10,000 $3,000
  • 0.05% p.a. for your entire account balance (base interest)
  • Extra 0.75% p.a. for months with no withdrawals
  • MAX: 0.80% p.a. per year

Pick this if:

  • You have $10,000 on hand but think you can earn more than a fixed-deposit account
  • You don’t intend to make withdrawals from this account, but want the liquidity of a savings account

 

Local banks’ bonus interest savings accounts

These have become much more popular over the past couple of years, as banks recognise the need to generously reward customer loyalty in this very competitive industry. These step-up savings accounts conveniently make it difficult for customers to bank with two local banks if they want to maximise their interest.

 

UOB ONE Account

Initial Deposit Minimum Monthly Balance Interest Rate Notes
NIL $3,000
  • 0.05% p.a. with total monthly banking of under $7,500 (base interest)
  • 1.00% p.a./1.50% p.a. on first $10,000
  • 1.50% p.a./2.00% p.a. on next $20,000
  • 2.00% p.a./3.33% p.a. on next $50,000
  • Interest rates depend on monthly banking criteria
  • Interest rates only applicable to first $50,000
  • MAX: 2.43% p.a. per year
Total monthly banking criteria:

  • Credit Card spending of at least $500
  • Salary crediting of at least $2,000 OR at least 3 bills paid via GIRO

Pick this if:

  • You have exactly $50,000 on hand
  • You prefer simpler, low-frills criteria

If you are interested in the UOB ONE Account, you can apply here.

 

DBS Multiplier Programme

Initial Deposit Minimum Monthly Balance Interest Rate Notes
NIL $3,000
  • 0.05% p.a. with total monthly banking of under $7,500 (base interest)
  • 1.08% p.a./1.68% p.a. with total monthly banking of $7,500
  • 1.20% p.a./1.88% p.a. with total monthly banking of $10,000 to $12,500
  • 1.48% p.a./2.08% p.a. with totally monthly banking of $12,500 to $15,000
  • 1.68% p.a./2.28% p.a. with total monthly banking of $15,000 to % p.a.20,000
  • 2.08% p.a./2.68% p.a. with total monthly banking of $20,000 and above
  • Interest rates depend on the number of categories you transact in
  • Interest rates only applicable to first $50,000
Total monthly banking includes:

  • Crediting of salary to ANY POSB/DBS account
  • Crediting of dividends to any POSB/DBS account
  • Credit card spending
  • Home loan installment

Pick this if:

  • You experience a high in-flow and/or out-flow of cash each month
  • You have a home loan with DBS, as well as other banking relationships

If you are interested in the DBS Multiplier Programme, you can apply here.

 

OCBC 360 Deposit Account

Initial Deposit Minimum Monthly Balance Interest Rate Notes
$1,000 $3,000
  • 0.05% p.a. for your entire account balance (base interest)
  • extra 1.2% p.a. when you credit your salary every month-end (minimum $2,000)
  • extra 0.3% p.a. when you pay 3 bills using OCBC Online Banking or GIRO totalling at least $150
  • extra 0.3% p.a. when you spend at least $500 on OCBC credit cards in a month
  • extra 0.6% p.a. or 1.2% p.a. when you invest or insure with OCBC
  • MAX: 3.05% p.a. (on first $70,000)

Pick this if:

  • You’re an employee and your take home pay is at least $2,000
  • You prefer to use OCBC credit cards, as well as other banking relationships

If you are interested in the OCBC 360 Account, you can apply here.

 

Foreign banks’ basic savings accounts

Because they are trying to break into a very competitive market, foreign banks tend to be more generous with their interest rates and promotions. Here are some of the more popular ones:

CIMB StarSaver (Savings) Account

Initial Deposit Minimum Monthly Balance Interest Rate Notes
$1,000 $1,000 0.8% p.a. Current promos:

  • Complimentary Sompo “My Gadget Guard” personal electronics insurance policy for one device (promotion ends 31 August 2017)
  • Deposit $1,000 and get an additional cash credit of $10
  • Deposit $5,000 and get an additional cash credit of $30
  • CIMB Million Dollar Draw – Stand to win $1 million dollars if you maintain a minimum of S$20,000 month-end deposit balance.

Pick this if:

  • You want a flat interest rate with no criteria
  • You don’t want to pay fall-below fees
  • You want more chances to win a million dollars just by logging into their internet banking system – CIMB Clicks – each month

If you are interested in the CIMB StarSaver Savings Account, you can apply here.

 

CIMB FastSaver Account

Initial Deposit Minimum Monthly Balance Interest Rate Notes
$1,000 $1,000 1.0% p.a. for first $50,000

0.6% p.a. for amounts above $50,000

  • Grab20 Promo: Get $20 worth of Grab codes for first 1,000 new-to-bank customers when you apply with a $5,000 initial deposit. (Till 30 June 2017)
  • $5 charge for over-the-counter withdrawals

Pick this if:

  • You really, really like banking online – you can open this account online anywhere at any time and get your account number instantly
  • You want a flat interest rate with no criteria
  • You don’t want to pay fall-below fees

If you are interested in the CIMB FastSaver Account, you can apply here.

 

Maybank iSAVvy Account

Initial Deposit Minimum Monthly Balance Interest Rate Notes
$500 $500
  • 0.1875% p.a. for balance below $5,000
  • 0.32% p.a. for balance $5,000 to $50,000
  • 0.40% p.a. for balance $50,000 to $100,000
  • 0.45% p.a. for balance $100,000 to $200,000
  • 0.50% p.a. for balances of $200,000 and above
The higher interest rates are due to a special interest-on-interest feature that pays out every 6 months.

 

Pick this if:

  • You have at least $50,000 on hand that you’re not planning to spend – current interest rate promotion offer 1.08% p.a. for amounts above $50,000 and 1.20% p.a. for amounts above $120,000. Promotion ends 31st August 2017.

 

Foreign banks’ bonus interest savings accounts

Foreign banks have also tried to come up with innovative ways to attract more customers. In fact, it was arguably Standard Chartered Bank that came up with the first bonus interest savings account, aptly called the Bonus$aver Account

 

Standard Chartered Bonus$aver Account

Initial Deposit Minimum Monthly Balance Interest Rate Notes
$3,000 $3,000
  • 0.1% p.a. on balances under $200,000
  • 0.2% p.a. on $200,000 and above
  • extra 0.78% p.a./1.78% p.a. if $500/$2,000 is spent on Bonus$aver Credit or Debit card card per month
  • extra 1.00% p.a. if monthly salary of $3,000 is credited to the account
  • extra 0.75% p.a. if you pay for an eligible investment or insurance product
  • extra 0.25% p.a. if you make at least 3 bill payments of at least $50 each via GIRO or Online Banking
  • MAX: 3.88% p.a. (on first $100,000)

Pick this if:

  • You spend a lot with Bonus$aver Credit or Debit Cards
  • Your salary is $3,000 and above
  • You have at least $60,000 or more in your bank account

 

Maybank Save Up programme

Initial Deposit Minimum Monthly Balance Interest Rate Notes
$500 $1,000
  • 0.1875% p.a. – 0.3125% p.a. base interest, depending on account balance
  • bonus 0.3% p.a. if you use 1 eligible Maybank product or service
  • bonus 0.8% p.a. if you use 2 eligible Maybank products or services
  • bonus 2.75% p.a. if you use 3 or more eligible Maybank products or services
  • MAX: 3.00% p.a. (on first $60,000)
Eligible Maybank products or services:

  • Spend $500 a month on Maybank Platinum Visa Card or Horizon Visa Signature Card
  • At least 3 GIRO bill payments totalling $300 each month
  • Credit monthly salary of $2,000 or more
  • New education loan of at least $10,000
  • New hire-purchase loan of at least $35,000
  • New home loan of at least $200,000
  • New renovation loan of at least $10,000
  • Life insurance with Etiqa with minimum policy of $5,000 a year
  • Unit trust investment of $30,000 a year or $300 monthly.

Pick this if:

  • You use Maybank for one or more of your loans

If you are interested in the Maybank Save Up Programme, you can apply here.

 

BOC SmartSaver

Initial Deposit Minimum Monthly Balance Interest Rate Notes
$1,500 $1,500
  • 0.275% p.a. – 0.475% p.a. base interest, depending on account balance
  • extra 0.8% p.a./1.6% p.a. when you spend on BOC Debit/Credit Cards each month
  • extra 0.8% p.a./1.2% p.a. when you credit your salary each month
  • extra 0.35% p.a. when you make at least 3 bill payments via GIRO or Internet Banking
  • MAX: 3.55% p.a. (on first $60,000)

Pick this if:

  • You have a really high salary
  • You spend a lot on a BOC Debit/Credit Card
  • Your main priority is to earn as much interest as possible, no matter how inconvenient

 

Want to know the latest information on savings accounts in Singapore? Compare them and find out which is the best Savings Accounts in Singapore.

 

Which savings account are you using now? Let us know in the comments!

 

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Peter Lin

I am the poster boy for reinventing one's self. I've been a broadcast journalist, technical writer, banking customer service officer and a Catholic friar. My life experiences have made me the most cynical idealist you'll ever meet, which is why I'm also the co-founder of a local pop culture website. I believe ignorance is not bliss, and that money is the root of all evil only if you allow it to be.

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