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.
What are the UOB One interest rates like?
The UOB One account is like the OCBC 360 and DBS Multiplier – an account that lets you earn pretty decent interest as long as you perform certain actions:
- Spend at least $500/month on UOB credit cards
- Credit salary of at least $2,000 OR pay 3 bills by GIRO
The question is, how much is the interest?
According to UOB, the newly improved (as of Aug 2018, for National Day, of course) UOB One account offers “up to 3.88% p.a.” interest. Here, just look at this screengrab from the UOB One account website:
LOL, typical UOB marketing tactics. (Check out their 1 million $1 deals campaign… dunno how 12 deals can suddenly become 1 million. So bad it’s good.)
If you’re done laughing at the $1 tissue deal, here’s the breakdown of UOB One’s interest rates:
|Account balance||Credit card spend||Credit card spend + salary credit (or bill payments)|
|First $15,000||1.5% p.a.||1.85% p.a.|
|$15,001 to $30,000||1.5% p.a.||2% p.a.|
|$30,001 to $45,000||1.5% p.a.||2.15% p.a.|
|$45,001 to $60,000||1.5% p.a.||2.3% p.a.|
|$60,001 to $75,000||1.5% p.a.||3.88% 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 (1.5% p.a.)
- Credit card spend + salary credit (1.85% p.a. and up)
- Credit card spend + bill payments (1.85% 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?
The UOB One account makes it very easy to attain a decent 1.5% p.a. return on your savings. You just need to spend $500 each month on your credit card. That’s it. No fuss at all.
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 a respectable 1.85% p.a.
You also can earn a bit more interest once your account balance is more than $15,000, so that’s an incentive for you to save more.
Credit card spend + bill payments: Those who don’t have a regular salary will also find it pretty easy to attain the 1.85% p.a. interest. That’s good news for freelancers, Grab drivers, retirees, landlords, etc.
You just need to swap the salary credit to 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.
Whether you’re on the 1.5% or 1.85% tier, the minimum requirement is to spend $500 a month on a UOB credit card. The best credit card is the UOB One card lah, duh.
- Up to 5% cash rebate on all spend for spend above S$2,000/month per quarter (up to 3.33% cash rebate for spend of $500 or $1,000 monthly)
- Up to 10% additional SMART$ rebate with UOB SMART$ Rebate Programme
The best way to utilise the UOB One card is to spend exactly $500 a month on it. Do so for 3 months consecutively, and you get a $50 rebate at the end of the quarter.
So, not only do you perform the bare minimum to get bonus interest on your UOB One account, you get an extra 3.33% rebate on top of it.
Alternatively, spend $1,000 or $2,000 a month consistently on this card and you’ll get either $100 or $300 in quarterly payouts. I personally wouldn’t spend more than the bare minimum, because there’s no extra interest for it.
You’re not limited to the UOB One card though. Others to consider are:
- 16%* cash rebate on weekend Dining & Entertainment**; 3% cashback on weekday Dining & Entertainment
- 3% cash rebate on Online Travel^ and fashion
- Minimum spend: S$600. Cashback cap: S$60/month
- 1 year principal card fee waiver; no annual fees for first supplementary card
- Base rate: 0.3% cashback if minimum spend of S$600 is not met
UOB YOLO Card: A better option if you spend mostly on dining, entertainment and Grabbing. You get 8% cashback on weekends and 3% on weekdays with a minimum spend of $600.
- Enjoy 2% rebate at Metro, World of Sports and Winter Time
- Enjoy 3% rebate at bYSI, ColorWash, Crocodile, DHL, and Sephora
- Enjoy 5% rebate at Tissot
UOB Preferred Platinum Card: Not UOB’s sexiest card, but in my opinion an extremely good card for earning miles. You can earn 4 miles per $1 on online spending and offline Visa PayWave. That’s pretty much everything, and there’s no minimum spend too.
Read this review of UOB credit cards for more, including the UOB PRVI Miles Card and UOB Lady’s Card.
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.
However, while the UOB One interest structure is pretty straightforward, the OCBC 360 is a lot more complex.
On top of the base 0.05% p.a. interest, you earn bonus interest on the first $70,000 account balance when you perform these actions:
- Salary credit of at least $2,000 (1.2% p.a. and up)
- Spend min. $500 on OCBC credit cards (0.3% p.a. and up)
- Increase monthly balance (0.3% p.a. and up, plus 1% p.a. on any increment)
- Insurance or invest with OCBC (0.6% p.a. and up)
So to hit 1.85% p.a. interest, you need to credit salary, spend on credit cards, AND increase your monthly balance. That’s an extra step compared to the UOB One account.
However, the redeeming factor about the OCBC 360 is that spending on credit cards is not a mandatory action for earning bonus interest. You can pick and choose from other categories.
Another edge that OCBC 360 has over the UOB One is that it bumps up your interest if you invest/insure, whereas you don’t get a cent from UOB. However, getting that bonus interest is a big commitment – at least $20,000 for an investment.
Winner: UOB One account (unless you’re interested in investments)
UOB One vs DBS Multiplier account – which is better?
The DBS Multiplier account is aimed at regular office workers, and you definitely need a regular paycheck to get bonus interest. So if you’re a freelancer, self-employed person, retiree, etc., this one is out.
However, if you’re getting a regular paycheck, both the DBS Multiplier and UOB One accounts are legit options.
Just like the OCBC 360, the DBS Multiplier account lets you earn bonus interest by choosing from a wide range of “actions”:
- Salary credit via GIRO
- Spending on DBS/POSB credit cards
- Investing with or crediting your investment dividends to your DBS/POSB account
- Buying insurance from DBS/POSB
- Getting a home loan from DBS/POSB
I like that there’s no minimum for all these transactions. DBS simply looks at the total amount in transactions each month and awards the interest accordingly.
The UOB One account may be simple and its bonus interest easy to attain, but the drawback is that it doesn’t reward you for doing more than the bare minimum.
So, it makes financial sense to go with DBS Multiplier if you:
- Draw a regular salary of much more than $2,000
- Plan to invest or buy insurance with DBS/POSB
- Are looking for a home loan and don’t mind DBS/POSB
- Already spend a lot more than $500 a month on your credit cards
The more you earn/spend each month, the higher your interest rate.
With the DBS Multiplier, it’s relatively easy to push your interest beyond 2% p.a. Whereas with UOB One, you’re pretty much stuck at 1.85% p.a., unless you plan to save a whole lot of cash.
Winner: DBS Multiplier 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): $500
Fall-below fee: $2
Bonus interest cap: $75,000
You can read more about and open a UOB One account here.
Do you have the UOB One account? What do you think of it? Tell us in the comments!
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Tags: Savings Accounts