UOB One Account to Cut Interest Rate from 7.8% to 6%—Which Savings Accounts Will Earn You More?

uob-one-savings-account-review

They say that what goes up must come down, and the UOB One account’s 7.8% interest rates are no exception.

Since late 2022, the UOB One savings account has been giving us a generous 7.8% p.a. interest on its highest tier if you credit your salary to the account and spend on your UOB credit card. That’s a high interest rate for relatively low effort, making the account (understandably) a popular choice.

But as of 1 May 2024, interest rates on UOB’s flagship savings account are taking a hit. The new highest tier interest rate you’ll get with the UOB One account is 6% p.a., and you’re going to need to put in at least $125,000 into the account first before you can enjoy this rate.

Is the UOB One savings account still worth your time and money? Who should use the UOB One account? And which savings accounts will earn you more than the UOB One account after it slashes its rates? Let’s find out.

 

UOB Savings Account Review (2024)

  1. What are the new UOB One account interest rates?
  2. What are the UOB One account’s bonus interest requirements?
  3. UOB One Account effective interest rates
  4. UOB One account minimum balance, fall below fee & more
  5. Who is the UOB One account suitable for?
  6. Is the UOB One card the best for the UOB One account?
  7. OCBC 360 vs UOB One account—which is better?
  8. UOB One vs DBS Multiplier account—which is better?
  9. Are more banks going to cut their savings accounts’ interest rates?

 

1. UOB One account: What are the NEW interest rates?

uob-one-account-lower-interest-rates-may-1
Image: UOB

Here are the major changes to the UOB One account’s interest rates from 1 May 2024:

  1. The highest maximum interest rate will drop from 7.8% p.a.. (on your next $25,000 after the first $75,000) to 6% p.a.. (on your next $25,000 after the first $125,000).
  2. The maximum effective interest rate will decrease from 5% p.a. (on $100,000) to 4% p.a. (on $150,000). The EIR is the actual return you earn on your deposits over a year, taking into account the effect of compounding interest.
  3. The bonus interest cap will increase from $100,000 to $150,000. That means the maximum interest you can earn each year, in absolute terms, increases from $5,000 to $6,000.

Should I continue to use the UOB One account?

YES: Just because the UOB One account is lowering interest rates doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll lose out. If you have more than $100,000 in savings, the revised interest rate structure of the UOB One Account will benefit you. Because of the increase in its bonus interest cap, you’ll earn bonus interest on your first $150,000 instead of first $100,000. Most banks don’t give bonus interest on sums above $100,000.

If you max out the interest on your first $150,000, you’ll earn a maximum interest of $6,000 a year with the UOB One account from 1 May 2024, up from the current maximum of $5,000 a year. These are calculated with the EIRs of 4% p.a. (on $150,000) and 5% p.a. (on $100,000) respectively.

MAYBE NOT: However, if you have $100,000 or less, you’ll earn higher interest with other savings accounts. For example, the OCBC 360 Account will reward you with an EIR of 4.65% p.a. on your first $100,000 when you credit your salary to the account, save at least $500 a month, and spend at least $500 a month on an OCBC credit card. Read my full comparison of the 2 accounts below, or check out MoneySmart’s review of savings accounts in Singapore to find out which one is the best for you.

Additionally, don’t forget the opportunity cost of investing a fat chunk of money in a savings account. While I did say that you can earn a higher maximum interest with the UOB One account from 1 May 2024, that’s assuming you park $150,000 in there for a whole year to collect it. There’s a lot more you could do in a year with $150,000—heck, you can even start investing with just $1,000!

 

2. UOB One Account salary and spending requirements

UOB logo
Base Interest Rate p.a.
0.05%
Max. Interest Rate p.a.
2.5%
Min. Balance
S$1,000

Like any other savings account, you need to perform certain actions every month to hit the maximum interest rates on the UOB One account. The good news is that these requirements aren’t going to change from 1 May 2024, so you can just keep doing what you’re doing!

With the UOB One Account, you have 3 options, all of which include spending on a UOB card:

  • Minimum $500 credit or debit card spend (see list of eligible cards below)
  • Credit card spend ($500) + 3 GIRO debit transactions
  • Credit card spend ($500) + salary credit (min. $1,600)
Eligible UOB credit cards Eligible UOB debit cards
UOB One Card
UOB Lady’s Card (all card types)
UOB EVOL Credit Card
UOB One Debit Visa Card
UOB One Debit Mastercard
UOB Lady’s Debit Card
UOB Mighty FX Debit Card

According to the UOB One Account bonus interest FAQs, recurring insurance payments actually count towards your monthly minimum credit/debit card spend. Neat! This is a category often excluded. However, the usual exclusions like remittances, hospital bills, and EZ-link payments remain exclusions. See the FAQs (Q4) for the full list.

Realistically, not all of us are going to be able to meet all 3 requirements. (You can use the handy UOB One account + UOB One card calculator to calculate how much interest you can earn.) But remember, the main draw of the UOB One account is that you can get the highest tier interest rates even if you only hit 2 categories! The best 2 categories to hit are salary crediting and credit card spending. Here’s a recap of how much you’ll earn:

S$500 spend per month on eligible UOB Card + credit salary via GIRO/PayNow
Account balance Interest rates until 30 Apr 2024 Interest rates from 1 May 2024
First $30,000 3.85% 3.00%
Next $30,000 3.90% 3.00%
Next $15,000 4.85% 3.00%
Next $25,000 7.80% 4.50%
Next $25,000 0.05% 4.50%
Next $25,000 0.05% 6.0%
Above $150,000 0.05% 0.05%

 

3. UOB One Account effective interest rates

Let’s go even deeper into the current bonus interest rates. You’ll notice that the highest 7.8% p.a. (from now till 30 Apr) and 6% p.a. (from 1 May) rates only apply to $25,000. So while these high numbers are extremely enticing, to think it applies to the full pot of gold you put into your UOB One Account would be a gross error.

This is where the concept of effective interest rates (EIR) comes in very useful. EIR refers to the actual return on your savings, taking into account things like the tiered bonus interest rates I mentioned in the preceding paragraph and compound interest. Compound interest is the addition of interest to the principal sum of a loan or deposit, where the interest that has been added also earns interest. For example, if you had $10,000 and earn $10 interest, you’re next earning interest on $10,010 instead of just $10,000.

But let’s save you from the complicated math and return to the EIR of the UOB One Account. Here’s what you’ll really earn from it:

UOB One Account Effective Interest Rate (EIR) before 1 May 2024
Account Balance S$500/month credit card spend S$500/month credit card spend + 3 GIRO debit transactions S$500/month credit card spend + credit salary via GIRO/PayNow
$30,000 0.65% 2.50% 3.85%
$60,000 0.65% 2.75% 3.88%
$75,000 0.65% 3.00% 4.07%
$100,000 0.50% 2.26% 5.00%

So if you put in $100,000 and fulfil the credit card spend and salary criteria, you’ll currently earn 5%—that’s $5,000 a year or about $417 a month. This is a really good deal if you are already spending $500 a month on a UOB credit card (or are happy to start) and can easily credit your salary to your UOB One Account via GIRO or PayNow. To put things into perspective, the highest fixed deposit rates right now don’t even come close to 4%, and most fall below 3.5%. The UOB One Account can give you 5% interest and still keep your money liquid, unlike fixed deposits or T-bills, for that matter.


ALSO READFixed Deposit Alternatives in Singapore—5 Easy, Low-Risk Investments


There’s a cap of $100,000 on which you can get bonus interest. Simply, this means that you can only get bonus interest rates on the first $100,000 you put into your UOB One Account. Beyond that, you’ll only get the base 0.05% p.a. interest—for now, until this cap increases to $150,00 from 1 May 2024.

From 1 May 2024, these are the new EIRs that will apply to the UOB One account:

UOB One Account Effective Interest Rates (EIR) from 1 May 2024
Account Balance S$500/month credit card spend S$500/month credit card spend + 3 GIRO debit transactions S$500/month credit card spend + credit salary via GIRO/PayNow
$30,000 0.65% 2.00% 3.00%
$60,000 0.65% 2.00% 3.00%
$75,000 0.65% 2.00% 3.00%
$100,000 0.50% 2.25% 3.38%
$125,000 0.41% 2.40% 3.60%
$150,000 0.35% 2.01% 4.00%

To make the most of the UOB One account from 1 May 2024, you’d need to put in $150,00, spend $500 a month on an eligible UOB credit card, and credit your salary to the account. Once you fulfil these requirements, you’ll earn 4% interest each year on $150,000, or $6,000 a year.

The hardest part is probably having $150,000 in the first place. If you don’t have $150,000, other savings accounts may be able to give you higher interest.

 

4. UOB One account minimum balance, fall below fee & more

The UOB One account is about as “no strings attached” as such savings accounts get. Here are some of the basic things to note about the UOB One account:

Minimum age: 18 years old

Nationality: Singaporeans, PRs, E-Pass, S-Pass & Dependent Pass holders

Initial deposit: $1,000

Minimum balance (monthly): $1,000

Fall-below fee: $5 if monthly average balance is less than $1,000 (This fee is waived for 6 months for accounts opened online)

Early account closure fee: $30 (If account is closed within 6 months from opening)

Bonus interest cap: $100,000

 

5. Who is the UOB One account suitable for?

The answer is simple. Go for it if you hate maths and want to keep your life simple. Compared to many other similar savings accounts in Singapore, the UOB One account is one of the least complicated. It doesn’t even involve insurance and investment which are categories most other banks have as a requirement to earn higher bonus interest rates.

With the UOB One account, there’s no need to tally up 12 different types of bonus interest. You just need to figure out which camp you’re in:

  • Credit card spend only (EIR = 0.65% p.a. for first $75,000)
  • Credit card spend + 3 GIRO debit transactions (EIR = 3.00% p.a. for first $75,000)
  • Credit card spend + salary credit of min. $1,600 (EIR =5.00% p.a. for first $100,000)

Credit card only: Are you a freewheeling millennial raking in money from your YouTube channel while living under your parents’ roof? Not many savings accounts will reward you for bumming around, so the UOB One account is not a bad choice.

If you can spend at least $500 on a UOB credit card, that is. Sure, you’ll only earn 0.65% p.a. interest but that’s better than the basic 0.05% p.a..

Credit card spend + GIRO payments: Don’t have a regular salary? You’ll still be able to get an EIR of 3% p.a. if you make at least 3 GIRO bill payments per month. And bills are one thing we’re definitely not short of in Singapore. So that’s good news for freelancers, part-timers, retirees, landlords, etc.

Credit card spend + salary credit: Conventional salaried workers should have no problem at all arranging a recurring salary credit (min. $1,600) and monthly spending on your credit card (min. $500) to hit the EIR of 5%% p.a. even if your account balance is less than $15,000.

But what about the lower interest rates from 1 May 2024?

From 1 May 2024, the UOB One Account is dropping its maximum interest rate to 6% p.a.., bringing its EIR down to 4% p.a.. So is it still worth it?

If you want a fuss-free savings account, the UOB One is still a great option because you don’t have to jump through hoops like insurance/investments products, home loans and the like to hit the bonus interest requirements.

Furthermore, if you have over $100,000 stashed away in a savings account, the UOB One account will earn you bonus interest on the first $150,000 instead of just the first $100,000 that most other accounts cap the bonus interest base sum at.

However, if you have $100,000 or less, accounts like the OCBC 360 account will earn you higher interest than the UOB One account from 1 May 2024. Read my full comparison below.

 

6. Which UOB credit card should you use with your UOB One account?

I love the way UOB spoon feeds their customers by giving their signature bank account and credit card the same name. 

Regardless of which bonus interest tier you’re on, the minimum requirement is to spend $500 a month on a UOB credit card. The best credit card for this purpose is… drumroll…. the UOB One card! If you couldn’t already tell, the clue is in the name. 

Not only do you perform the bare minimum to get bonus interest on your UOB One account, you get extra cash rebates of up to 10% (up to 15% for new UOB Credit Cardmembers) on top of it. There is a minimum spend of $500, but hey—that’s the same minimum spend for the UOB One Account. See what I mean about spoon feeding?

UOB logo
MoneySmart Exclusive
AMAZING APRIL PROMOTION
Cashback on McDonald's, DFI Retail Group, Grab, Shopee, SP and more
Up to 10%
Cashback Cap per quarter
Up to S$500
Min. Spend per month
S$500
MoneySmart Exclusive:

[Amazing April Promotion | CASH BONUS]
Stand a chance to get an Apple 11-inch iPad Pro, 128GB (worth S$1,272.30) when you apply through MoneySmart! The first 6 successful applicants who submit the claim form at 2pm or 9pm can also receive a S$88 Cash Bonus via PayNow! T&Cs apply.
 
PLUS get S$350 Cash Credit from UOB when you are the first 200 new-to-UOB customers who successfully apply for an eligible UOB Credit Card and spend a min. of S$1,000 per month, for 2 consecutive months from the card approval date. T&Cs apply.

Valid until 14 Apr 2024

Alternatively, opt for the UOB EVOL Card. It’s a better option if you spend mostly on dining, shopping and Grab as you can get up to 8% cash back in those categories. However, do note it has a minimum spend of $600/month.

UOB logo
MoneySmart Exclusive
AMAZING APRIL PROMOTION
on Online and Mobile Contactless spend
8% Cashback
Cash Back Cap per month
Up to S$60
Min. Spend per month
S$600
MoneySmart Exclusive:

[Amazing April Promotion | CASH BONUS]
Stand a chance to get an Apple 11-inch iPad Pro, 128GB (worth S$1,272.30) when you apply through MoneySmart! The first 6 successful applicants who submit the claim form at 2pm or 9pm can also receive a S$88 Cash Bonus via PayNow! T&Cs apply.
 
Get S$350 Cash Credit from UOB when you are the first 200 new-to-UOB customers who successfully apply for an eligible UOB Credit Card and spend a min. of S$1,000 per month, for 2 consecutive months from the card approval date. T&Cs apply.

Valid until 14 Apr 2024

Finally, you can also opt for the UOB Lady’s Card to get rewards points in your choice of spending category. The categories are beauty and wellness, fashion, travel, family (including groceries), entertainment, and transport. With the UOB Lady’s Card, you earn rewards in UNI$ which you’ll have to convert later.

UOB logo
MoneySmart Exclusive
AMAZING APRIL PROMOTION
Base Earn Rate
S$5 = 1X UNI$ (or 2 miles)
Category of Choice
S$5 = Up to 25X UNI$ (equivalent to 10 miles per S$1)
Min. Spend
S$0
MoneySmart Exclusive:

[Amazing April Promotion | CASH BONUS]
Stand a chance to get an Apple 11-inch iPad Pro, 128GB (worth S$1,272.30) when you apply through MoneySmart! The first 6 successful applicants who submit the claim form at 2pm or 9pm can also receive a S$88 Cash Bonus via PayNow! T&Cs apply.
 
PLUS get S$350 Cash Credit from UOB when you are the first 200 new-to-UOB customers who successfully apply for an eligible UOB Credit Card and spend a min. of S$1,000 per month, for 2 consecutive months from the card approval date. T&Cs apply.

Valid until 14 Apr 2024

If you prefer a more direct cashback mechanic, the UOB One Card and the UOB EVOL Card would be better options.

 

7. OCBC 360 vs UOB One account—which is better?

The UOB One account’s “rival” is the OCBC 360 account, which is quite similar in that it also doesn’t come with salary crediting as a pre-requisite in order to earn bonus interest. Its highest interest rate tier is 7.65%, which is pretty competitive compared to the UOB One Account.

OCBC logo
Base Interest Rate p.a.
0.05%
Max. Interest Rate p.a.
4.40%
Min. Balance
S$3,000

You start with the same 0.05% base interest and then earn extra interest depending on what actions you complete that month. Here’s a breakdown of the tiered bonus interest rates and the EIR you’ll earn on the first $100,000, on top of 0.05% base interest:

OCBC 360 action Bonus interest on first $75,000 Bonus interest on next $25,000 EIR
Salary credit (min. $1,800) 2.0% p.a. 4.0% p.a. 2.5% p.a.
Increase account balance (save min. $500 monthly) 1.2% p.a. 2.4% p.a. 1.5% p.a.
Credit card spend (min. $500) 0.6% p.a. 0.6% p.a. 0.6% p.a.
Selected insurance (min. $2,000 annual premium) 1.2% p.a. 2.4% p.a. 1.5% p.a.
Selected investments (min. $20,000) 1.2% p.a. 2.4% p.a. 1.5% p.a.
Maintain $200,000 in your account 2.4% p.a. 2.4% p.a. 2.4% p.a.

So which account is better? It depends on which requirements you’re going to fulfil.

Credit card spending only: If you can’t or don’t want to credit your salary to the account and all you do is spend on your credit card, the OCBC 360 account edges out the UOB One account. You’ll get an EIR of 0.65% p.a. instead of 0.5%.

Credit card spending + bill payments: At its current interest rates, the UOB One account is the winner—it’ll give you an EIR of 2.26% p.a. on your first $100,000 for meeting these 2 criteria. The OCBC 360 account doesn’t reward you for paying bills, so you’ll only get 0.65% interest from your credit card spending.

Credit salary + save $500 each month: The OCBC 360 account rewards you with an additional 1.5% p.a. for saving money. Together with the base interest and bonus interest from crediting your salary, that comes up to an EIR of 4.05% a year. Comparatively, the UOB One account will only earn you bonus interest for crediting your salary if you also spend on your credit card.

Credit salary + credit card spending: You’ll get an EIR of 3.15% with the OCBC 360 account compared to 5% with the UOB One account on your first $100,000. This drops to 3.38% for the UOB One account from 1 May 2024, but that’s still higher than the OCBC 360 account.

Credit salary + credit card spending + save: However, if you’re already crediting your salary into your OCBC 360 account, chances are you’re also going to be able to save at least $500 of that salary each month. OCBC will reward you with an additional 1.5% p.a. bonus interest for that, nudging the EIR for the OCBC 360 account up to 4.65% p.a.. That will beat out the UOB One account from 1 May 2024 onwards.

You might also have noticed that the OCBC 360 account gives you 2.40% bonus interest for maintaining at least $200,000 in the account. But if you take a closer look, you’ll realise that this 2.40% applies to only the first $100,000 of your account balance. That means $100,000 is going to sit there idle! There’s a ton more you could do to invest $100,000, so I don’t recommend stashing away $200,000 just to earn 2.6% interest on half of it.

 

8. UOB One vs DBS Multiplier account—which is better?

The DBS Multiplier account is certainly a viable alternative to UOB One if you’re a salaried worker. 

DBS logo
High Interest Rates
Base Interest Rate p.a.
0.05%
Max. Interest Rate p.a.
3.8%
Min. Balance
S$3,000

While the UOB One Account mandates you spend on your credit card to earn bonus interest, DBS makes crediting your income a compulsory criteria to earn bonus interest. Then, you need to perform 1 to 3 extra transactions in any of the following categories to earn bonus interest:

  1. DBS credit card spending or PayLah! spending
  2. Home loan instalment
  3. Insurance
  4. Investments

Here’s a quick look at the interest you can get with these actions.

Total monthly transactions Income + 1 category Income + 2 categories Income + 3 categories
First $50,000 First $100,000 First $100,000
$500 to $14,999 1.80% 2.10% 2.40%
$15,000 to $29,999 1.90% 2.20% 2.50%
$30,000 and up 2.20% 3.00% 4.10%

If you ask me, the lowest-hanging fruit are credit card/PayLah! spending and home loan instalments, although the latter is by no means low-hanging fruit in general amongst all the savings accounts out there.

If you only credit your salary and spend on a credit card, go with UOB One. The DBS Multiplier earns you 1.8% to 2.20% on your first $50,000. Comparatively, the UOB One account would earn you an EIR of 3.87% on your first $50,000 (or 3% p.a. after 1 May 2024).

Planning to refinance your home loan with DBS? Then the DBS Multiplier makes sense for you as you’ll be getting extra interest on top of potentially saving on your mortgage payments. Transact at least $500 a month to get 2.10% interest, or $30,000 and above to get 3% interest. Since the UOB One account doesn’t reward you any bonus interest for home loan instalments, the DBS Multiplier is a better choice in this case.

Are you a freelancer, self-employed person, retiree, or in a position where you can’t credit your salary to your bank account? Stick with the UOB One account. DBS is not going to give you bonus interest if you don’t credit your income to them.

Already made up your mind on opening up a UOB One account? You can read more about and open a UOB One account here.

 

9. Are more banks going to cut their savings accounts’ interest rates?

UOB was the first bank in Singapore to announce they’re lowering their interest rates, but they won’t be the last.

Since UOB’s news, Standard Chartered has also announced that they’ll be lowering their interest rates on their Bonus$aver Account, Wealth $aver Account and USD$aver accounts from 1 May 2024. Their Bonus$aver savings account’s maximum interest rate is down to 7.68% p.a. from 7.88% p.a..

While Standard Chartered hasn’t announced a huge decrease, we can probably expect more banks to revise their interest rates downwards in the next few months. This is due to expectations for the US Federal Reserve to lower their rates in the current market environment.

If/when the banks announce rate changes, you can be sure we’ll cover what they mean to you here on MoneySmart. Stay tuned!

 

Know anyone who has or is thinking of getting the UOB One account? Share this article with them!


vanessa-nah-profile-pictureAbout the author

Vanessa Nah is a personal finance content writer who pens articles on the ins and outs of savings accounts, the T&Cs of credit cards, and the ups and downs of alternative investments. She’s a researcher at heart and leaves no stone unturned when it comes to breaking down complex finance concepts and making them easy to understand for the everyday Singaporean. When Vanessa’s not debunking finance myths or sniffing out the best deals, you’ll find her attending dance classes, fingerpicking a guitar, or (most impawtently) fulfilling her life mission to make her one-eyed cat the most spoiled and loved kitty in the world.