Technically called the Standard Chartered Bonus$aver Account, not Bonus Saver, the account name says it all — a bonus for savers. In fact, this current account is one of the higher interest rate bank accounts out there — even higher than any fixed deposit rates and certainly offers the highest interest rate of all Standard Chartered savings accounts.
I admit, the $ just reminds me of American singer Ke$ha of TiK ToK fame (the song, not the app!) before she changed the dollar sign back to ‘s’ some years back.
For ease of readability, we’ll just call it BonusSaver. Let’s see how it measures up.
How are Standard Chartered BonusSaver interest rates calculated?
Thanks to everything bad that’s happened and is STILL happening in 2020, thus affecting the economy, banks have been lowering their interest rates and Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) is no different.
One wouldn’t usually think of Standard Chartered for savings accounts — you’d usually go with one of the big three (DBS, UOB, OCBC) — but the BonusSaver is a good way to accumulate bonus interest too.
It works similarly to the OCBC 360 and DBS Multiplier accounts where you perform certain actions to earn higher bonus interest rates.
From 1 Oct 2020, there will be new changes to the Standard Chartered BonusSaver account, where the maximum interest rate you will get is up to 2.88% p.a. on the first $80,000 in your account, down from the previous 3% p.a.
Here’s a summary of the changes:
|Standard Chartered BonusSaver bonus interest rates summary|
|Action||Current interest rates||Interest rates w.e.f. 1 Oct 2020|
|None (Base rate)||0.05% p.a.||0.03% p.a.|
|Salary credit (at least $3,000 by GIRO)||0.40% p.a.||0.20% p.a.|
|Spend on SCB BonusSaver card||0.30% p.a. (min spend $500/month)
0.80% p.a. (min spend $2,000/month)
|0.28% p.a. (min spend $500/month)
0.78% p.a. (min spend $2,000/month)
|Bill payment ( 3 bills, each at least $50)||0.10% p.a.||0.10% p.a.|
|Invest with SCB||0.85% p.a.||0.90% p.a.|
|Insure with SCB||0.85% p.a.||0.90% p.a.|
With these revised rates, the total bonus interest rate that you can earn from October 2020 will be 2.88% p.a.. As you can see, Standard Chartered has lowered the earn bonus interest for the ‘easy-to-earn’ category (salary credit) and upped the rate if you insure or invest through them.
The interest rate for crediting a monthly salary (minimum $3,000), is now halved to 0.20% p.a. from 0.40% p.a..
The base interest rate has also dropped to 0.03% p.a. from 0.05% p.a.. That means even if you don’t do anything else, you’ll still earn 0.03%. Usually, this is so negligible that it doesn’t affect anything, but for the BonusSaver, the interest rate you get from card spend is tied to the base rate.
|Action: Card spend||Bonus interest rate (unchanged)||Base rate (w.e.f. 1 Oct 2020)||Total|
|Spend minimum of $500||0.25% p.a.||0.03% p.a.||0.28% p.a.|
|Spend minimum of $2,000||0.75% p.a.||0.03% p.a.||0.78% p.a.|
So previously with a base rate of 0.05% p.a., you could get up to 0.8% interest, but now it’s up to 0.78% p.a..
You also have to charge your retail spend to a Bonus$aver World credit or debit card to earn this bonus interest, as well as spend at least $2,000 to earn the 0.78% p.a. interest, which is the second highest interest rate tier that you can earn.
To earn the high bonus interest of 0.9% p.a., you’d have to do the following:
- Invest in an eligible unit trust (eg. ETF, regular savings plan) through SCB with a minimum investment amount of $30,000
- Insure: purchase a premium life insurance policy through SCB with at least an annual premium amount of $12,000
Note that for both these categories, the interest will be paid for the first 12 months only.
Who is the Standard Chartered BonusSaver account suitable for?
Looking at all the terms and conditions needed to earn all these bonus interest rates, you’d have to be a big spender who shops a lot every month, or you just have a large family to provide for.
It’s definitely for the mid-career professional leading a comfortable lifestyle but it can also be for young graduates who are on the lookout for a new insurance policy or investment, and can do it through the bank
Even if you can’t spend $2,000 monthly but you can hit all the other categories and the $500 card spend (0.28%), you can get a total of 2.38% p.a., which is still a pretty decent interest rate on deposit accounts out there.
Standard Chartered also has a calculator on its website that easily shows you how much you can earn.
That said, if you do spend at least $2,000 each month and are looking to purchase a new insurance policy or make a new investment, the Bonus$aver is one where you can unlock the maximum bonus interest rates.
There’s currently a promotion until 30 Sep 2020 where if you sign up for a BonusSaver Account online, you get a $30 cashback to your card and if you’re somehow able to deposit at least $50,000, you’ll receive an additional $188 cash back.
Standard Chartered BonusSaver vs DBS Multiplier
DBS Multiplier is one of the more popular savings accounts out there for its high interest rate — a mighty 3.8%, provided if you’re able to fulfil all the criteria of course.
The compulsory criteria that you have to fulfil is to credit some form of income (min. $2,000) to the account, which can be in the form of — Salary or Dividends.
You can earn through one of the following ways:
- Salary credit AND credit card spend, home loan, insurance and/or investments (add up to at least $2,000 a month)
- Salary credit AND spend via PayLah! on retail transactions that add up to at least $500
- Make PayLah! Transactions (no minimum spend) for those 29 years old and below with no eligible income
The SCB BonusSaver differs from DBS Multiplier as you don’t have to fulfil the $3,000 salary credit to earn bonus interest, so the DBS Multiplier is great for the folks who have a regular income and are able to transact in one or more of the other categories. Find out how to get the most out of your DBS Multiplier account.
Standard Chartered BonusSaver vs OCBC 360
The OCBC 360 savings account is also another contender where you’ve got to earn interest in a similar way. But come 1 Oct 2020, there are new interest rates and the bonus cap will be raised to $75,000 from $70,000.
Earn bonus interest by taking the following steps:
- Salary credit of at least $1,800 (0.4% p.a. and up)
- Increase monthly balance by at least $500 (0.1% p.a. and up)
- Buy insurance or invest with OCBC (0.4% p.a. and up)
What’s good about OCBC 360 is that it’s not mandatory to credit your salary and you can combine different actions to boost your base interest of 0.05% p.a., similar to BonusSaver.
Total interest rate: 0.95% p.a. for the first $25,000 in your account and more if you have more savings.
It’s more worth it to use the OCBC if you have at least $50,001 to earn more interest on the first $70,000 in your account. Find out more about OCBC 360’s new interest rate changes.
SCB BonusSaver account minimum balance & other things to know
Minimum age: 18 years old
Nationality: Singaporeans, PRs, foreigners
Initial deposit: None
Minimum balance (monthly): $3,000
Fall-below fee: $5
Early account closure fee: $30 (if account closed within 6 months)
Bonus interest cap: 3.00% p.a. on the first $80,000 in account
Multi-currency account: Supports 13 foreign currencies – EUR, USD, GBP, AUD, CAD, NZD, JPY, HKD, CHF, NOK, DKK, SEK, ZAR
You can read more about and open a Standard Chartered Bonus$aver account here.
Have you used the Standard Chartered Bonus$aver? Share your experience in the comments!