If you’re looking for a day-to-day savings account that will give you more returns than just 0.05% p.a., there are plenty of options available in Singapore. The problem is, most of them require you to jump through hoops, and you ain’t no circus animal.
Surprisingly, the UOB One account is one of the few that won’t give you a headache, even if you have a severe maths allergy. It has a very simple structure and easy-to-attain bonus interest — minimal calculations needed.
Apart from being relatively fuss-free, what else does the UOB One account have to offer? Let’s have a look.
Note: This article reflects the latest UOB One account interest rate changes, as of 1 Nov 2020.
What are the UOB One account interest rates?
The UOB One account is like the OCBC 360 and DBS Multiplier — an account that lets you earn bonus interest as long as you perform certain actions every month.
- Credit card spend (at least $500, on UOB One Card, UOB Lady’s Card or UOB YOLO Card)
- Credit card spend ($500) + salary credit (at least $2,000)
- Credit card spend + bill payments (at least 3 GIRO debit transactions)
The question is, how much is the interest? Here’s the breakdown of the UOB One account interest rates as of 1 Nov 2020:
|Account balance||Credit card spend||Credit card spend + salary credit OR bill payments|
|First $15,000||0.25% p.a.||0.5% p.a.|
|$15,001 to $30,000||0.25% p.a.||0.55% p.a.|
|$30,001 to $45,000||0.25% p.a.||0.65% p.a.|
|$45,001 to $60,000||0.25% p.a.||0.8% p.a.|
|$60,001 to $75,000||0.25% p.a.||2.5% p.a.|
|Above $75,000||0.05% p.a.||0.05% p.a.|
You can also use the handy UOB One account + UOB One card calculator here.
There’s a bonus interest cap of $75,000, after which you can only get the base 0.05% p.a. interest. Fair enough — most people wouldn’t be keeping more than that amount in cash anyway, unless you’re about to make a massive purchase.
Who is the UOB One account suitable for?
Go for it if you hate maths. Compared to many other similar savings accounts in Singapore, the UOB One account is one of the least complicated.
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 (0.25% p.a.)
- Credit card spend + salary credit (0.5% p.a. and up)
- Credit card spend + 3 GIRO payments (0.5% p.a. and up)
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 0.25% p.a. but that’s better than the basic 0.05% p.a.
Credit card spend + salary credit: Conventional salaried workers should have no problem at all arranging a recurring salary credit (min. $2,000) and monthly spending on your credit card (min. $500) to hit 0.25% p.a. even if your account balance is less than $15,000.
You can hit the next level of interest of 0.85% p.a. once your account balance is more than $15,000, so that’s an incentive for you to save more.
Credit card spend + GIRO payments: Those who don’t have a regular salary will also find it pretty easy to attain the 0.75% p.a. interest even when their account balances are less than $15,000). That’s good news for freelancers, part-timers, retirees, landlords, etc.
You just need to swap the salary credit to GIRO bill payments (min. 3 payments a month). And bills are one thing we’re definitely not short of in Singapore.
UOB One account + UOB One card = true luv?
Wah, I love how 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! Duh.
Not only do you perform the bare minimum to get bonus interest on your UOB One account, you get extra cash rebates on top of it.
Alternatively, opt for the UOB YOLO Card. It’s a better option if you spend mostly on dining, entertainment and Grab as you can get up to 8% cash back.
Finally, you can also opt for the (women-only) UOB Lady’s Card to get rewards points in your choice of spending category.
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 require salary crediting in order to earn bonus interest.
You start with 0.05% base interest and then earn extra interest depending on what actions you complete that month. Let’s look at the bonus interest for the lowest tier of savings (your first $25,000):
|OCBC 360 action||Bonus interest|
|Salary credit (min. $1,800)||0.4% p.a.|
|Increase account balance (min. $500)||0.1% p.a.|
|Selected insurance (min. $2,000 annual premium)||0.4% p.a.|
|Selected investments (min. $20,000)||0.4% p.a.|
The OCBC 360 account is better for salaried workers as you get 0.45% p.a. on your savings just for salary crediting (no minimum credit card spend). Conversely, you’d need to hit both salary credit and $500 credit card spend to get 0.5% with UOB One.
But! The UOB One account is the definite winner for non-salaried workers assuming you have no problem hitting the credit card spending + bill payment requirements.
With the OCBC 360, it’s going to be tricky to earn bonus interest without salary credit. Basically your only recourse is to buy OCBC’s investment or insurance products, and we wouldn’t recommend making such big decisions just for bonus interest.
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.
Crediting your income is a compulsory criteria for you to earn bonus interest. Then, you need to perform 1 to 3 extra transactions to earn bonus interest.
The lowest-hanging fruit are credit card spending and home loan instalments. Here’s a quick look at the interest you can get with these actions.
|Total monthly transaction||Income + credit card (capped at $25,000)||Income + credit card + home loan (capped at $50,000)|
|$2,000 to $2,500||0.7% p.a.||1.3% p.a.|
|$2,500 to $5,000||0.9% p.a.||1.5% p.a.|
|$5,000 to $15,000||1.1% p.a.||1.8% p.a.|
|$15,000 to $30,000||1.2% p.a.||1.9% p.a.|
|$30,000 onwards||1.3% p.a.||2.8% p.a.|
At the moment, the DBS Multiplier is better for salaried workers. You can earn higher interest of 0.7% p.a. and up with salary credit + credit card spending (no minimum!).
If you care to refinance your home loan with DBS, then it’s a no-brainer as you’ll be getting extra interest on top of potentially saving on your mortgage payments.
However, if you’re a freelancer, self-employed person, retiree, etc. it is much easier to stick with the UOB One account.
UOB account opening — some important things to know
In all fairness, the UOB One account is a pretty good choice. It may not give you the highest interest rate EVER, but it’s about as “no strings attached” as such savings accounts get.
So if you’re decided to open this UOB savings account, here are some things to know before you do it:
Minimum age: 18 years old
Nationality: Singaporeans, PRs, E-Pass, S-Pass & Dependent Pass holders
Initial deposit: None
Minimum balance (monthly): $1,000
Fall-below fee: $5
Bonus interest cap: $75,000
You can read more about and open a UOB One account here.
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