Savings Accounts

Your Savings Account Sucks, Here Are Some That Don’t – 2018 Edition

best savings accounts Singapore 2018

Clara Lim

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It’s not often that a writer rejoices at having to update an article so soon, but within the short 9 months since last’s year’s round-up of non-crappy savings accounts, banks in Singapore have upped their savings accounts game once more. Hooray!

Here’s our pick of the best savings accounts and multiplier accounts with the best interest rates for 2018.

Savings account Interest rates Pick this if you…
DBS Multiplier Account 1.55% to 3.5% p.a. Have a salary (ideally $2,000 and up)

Own and use a DBS credit card

Don’t mind getting insurance, investments or home loan with DBS

UOB One Account 1% to 2.43% p.a. Spend $500 a month on UOB credit card

Don’t have a regular salary but have at least 3 bills to pay

OCBC 360 Account 1.25% to 4.05% p.a. Have a salary (min. $2,000)

Plan to insure or invest with OCBC

Standard Chartered Bonus$aver 1.1% to 3.88% p.a. Have a salary (min. $3,000)

Regularly spend $500 on credit card and $150 on bills

Plan to save more than $50,000

BOC SmartSaver Up to 3.55% p.a.

 

High income (ideally $6,000 and up)

High monthly expenditure (ideally $1,500 and up)

Maybank SaveUp Programme 1.05% to 3% p.a. Plan to bank with or take loans from Maybank
CIMB FastSaver 1% p.a. Have extra cash (any amount up to $50,000) lying around
UOB Stash Account 0.65% to 0.83% p.a. Have over $50,000 (up to $100,000) to deposit

Don’t plan to withdraw funds from this account

Citibank MaxiGain ~0.8% to 2% p.a. Have over $10,000 (up to $150,000) to deposit

Don’t plan to withdraw funds from this account for at least 1 year

Don’t mind a fluctuating interest rate based on SIBOR

 

 

Best multiplier savings accounts 2018

Love them or hate them, multiplier savings accounts – yes, those that basically force you to perform XYZ actions – seem to be here to stay.

But pick the right multiplier account and you can easily get bonus interest for doing stuff you would ordinarily do anyway. How much? These days, you’re looking at 1.5% p.a. at minimum – even 2%.

Here are the best multiplier savings accounts on the market:

 

DBS Multiplier Account

The DBS Multiplier Account is one of the most popular savings accounts around (yup, the one with the “bunnies” ad campaign), for good reason. You get generous bonus interest for banking with DBS in multiple categories – with NO minimum spend! However, the total transactions (including your salary) must add up to $2,000/month.

Initial deposit:

None

Minimum monthly balance:

$3,000

How it works:

1. Credit your salary (mandatory)
2. Pick 1 or more of the following transaction categories: credit card spend, home loan, insurance, investments
3. DBS looks at the number of categories and total transaction amount to calculate your interest
4. The higher the total amount, the more interest you get

Bonus interest rates:

Salary credit + 1 transaction category: 1.55% to 2.08% p.a.
Salary credit + 2 transaction categories: 1.8% to 3.5% p.a.

Bonus interest cap:

$50,000

Pick this if:

  • You have a regular salary of $2,000 and above
  • You don’t want to be restricted by minimum spend requirements
  • You have or plan to get insurance, investments or a home loan with DBS

 

UOB One Account

The UOB One Account looks attractive, but note that the advertised maximum interest rates of 2% and 3.33% ONLY apply to the 30,001st dollar onwards in your account. The maximum effective interest rates are lower. Sneaky, sneaky UOB.

Initial deposit:

None

Minimum monthly balance:

$500

How it works:

1. Spend $500 a month on a UOB credit card (mandatory)
2. Either (a) credit your salary of min. $2,000 OR (b) pay 3 bills by GIRO
3. Your interest rate is tiered according to your account balance. Generally, the higher your account balance (up to $50,000) the higher the interest rate.

Bonus interest rates:

$500 credit card spend: 1% to 1.6% p.a.
$500 credit card spend + salary credit OR pay 3 bills: 1.5% to 2.43%

Bonus interest cap:

$50,000

Pick this if:

  • You DON’T have a regular salary but have bills to pay
  • You’ll definitely spend $500 a month on a UOB credit card

 

OCBC 360 Account

OCBC’s 360 multiplier account is a little more complicated than the other local banks, but also more flexible in that there is no one mandatory requirement – you can pick and choose the elements to suit you. Also, the account balance cap is higher.

Initial deposit:

$1,000

Minimum monthly balance:

$3,000

How it works:

1. Start with base interest of 0.05% p.a.
2. Choose any combination of the following:
(a) Credit your salary (min. $2,000) for additional 1.2%
(b) Spend $500 on OCBC credit cards for additional 0.3%
(c) Pay 3 bills by GIRO (min. $150) for additional 0.3%
(d) Invest or insure with OCBC for additional 0.6% or 1.2%

Bonus interest rates:

Salary credit only: 1.25% p.a.
Salary credit + transactions (credit card spend AND/OR bill payment): 1.55% to 1.85% p.a.
Additional bonus for insurance or investment: +0.6% OR +1.2%

Bonus interest cap:

$70,000

Pick this if:

 

Standard Chartered Bonus$aver Account

Like the OCBC 360, StanChart’s Bonus$aver Account starts with a base interest rate, after which you can pick and choose how you want to add on bonus interest. The primary benefit is that you can realistically break the 2% p.a. ceiling, given the relatively lax requirements ($500 credit card spend + $150 bills).

Initial deposit:

None

Minimum monthly balance:

$3,000

How it works:

1. Start with base interest of 0.1% p.a.
2. Choose any combination of the following:
(a) Credit your salary (min. $3,000) for additional 1%
(b) Spend $500 on credit card for additional 0.78% or $2,000 for 1.78%
(c) Pay 3 bills (min. $50 each) for additional 0.25%
(d) Invest or insure with SCB for additional 0.75%

Bonus interest rates:

Salary credit only: 1.1% p.a.
Salary credit + $500 credit card spend: 1.88% p.a.
Salary credit + $500 credit card spend + $150 bill payment: 2.13%
Combination of all transactions: max 3.88%

Bonus interest cap:

$100,000

Pick this if:

  • Your salary is $3,000 and above
  • You plan to save more than $50,000 (thus bursting the caps of many other multiplier accounts)
  • You regularly spend $500 on your credit card and $150 on bills

 

BOC SmartSaver

If you’re OK with the inconvenience of banking with Bank of China, BOC SmartSaver is a really good choice for high earners and spenders.

Initial deposit:

$1,500

Minimum monthly balance:

$1,500

How it works:

1. Get base interest on your BOC Multi-Currency Savings account, varies depending on balance
2. Choose any combination of the following:
(a) Credit your salary $2,000 to $6,000 for additional 0.8% or >$6,000 for additional 1.2%
(b) Spend $500 to $1,500 on credit card for additional 0.8% or >$1,500 for additional 1.6%
(c) Pay 3 bills (min. $30 each) for additional 0.35%

Bonus interest rates:

Combination of all transactions: max 3.55%

Bonus interest cap:

$60,000

Pick this if:

Your salary is above $6,000
You regularly spend $1,500 and up on your credit cards

 

Maybank Save Up Programme

Already crediting your salary and consolidating all your credit card spending on a multiplier bank account? You can “cheat” on your multiplier account with the Maybank Save Up Programme because it lets you pick from 9 different kinds of multiplier actions to get higher interest rates. For example, if you’re planning to take out a home loan and a renovation loan from Maybank, you can get bonus interest on your savings.

Initial deposit:

$500

Minimum monthly balance:

$1,000

How it works:

1. Start with base interest of 0.1875% (first $3,000) to 0.25% p.a. (next $47,000)
2. Choose either 2 or 3 of any of these Maybank products:
(a) Spend $500 on Maybank Platinum Visa Card and Horizon Visa Signature Card
(b) GIRO payment of $300
(c) Credit your salary (min. $2,000)
(b) Education loan (min. $10,000)
(e) Hire purchase loan (min. $35,000)
(f) Home loan (min. $200,000)
(g) Renovation loan (min. $10,000)
(h) Buy life insurance with Etiqa (min. $5,000 annual premium)
(i) Unit trust investment (min. $30,000 investment or $300 monthly)

Bonus interest rates:

2 of the above transactions: 1.05% p.a.
3 of the above transactions: 3% p.a.

Bonus interest cap:

$60,000

Pick this if:

  • You’re already tied to another multiplier account
  • You plan to take out some of Maybank’s loans

 

Best stash-and-forget savings accounts 2018

Suppose you have a bunch of money you want to stash somewhere and that you don’t intend to use anytime soon – for example, your emergency fund, or the overflow from your multiplier account.

You could open another multiplier account, but those usually come with a lot of strings attached. Or you could put it in a fixed deposit account, but that means you’ll have to lock it up for a year or more.

These days, the more viable third alternative is a high-interest savings account that offers a good flat or starting interest rate without needing you to take any specific action.

Here are 3 of the best savings accounts to look into:

 

CIMB FastSaver Account

I’m a huge fan of the CIMB FastSaver Account, mainly because the entire account opening process took 10 minutes and I didn’t even have to leave my bed. With 1% interest on everything up to $50,000 and no fall-below fees, it’s almost too good to be true.

Initial deposit:

$1,000

Minimum monthly balance:

None

Bonus interest rate:

1% p.a. on everything

Bonus interest cap:

$50,000

Pick this if:

  • You’re lazy
  • You’re willing to do your banking online – it’s rather inconvenient to withdraw cash

 

UOB Stash Account

Similar to the CIMB FastSaver, the freshly launched UOB Stash Account is another no-frills savings account that lets you get “up to 1%” on your account balance. But UOB is being naughty again with their tiered interest system. We’re publishing their actual effective interest rates instead.

Initial deposit:

$1,000

Minimum monthly balance:

$1,000

How it works:

1. Deposit and maintain a minimum balance of $10,000
2. Make sure each month’s average balance doesn’t fall below the previous month’s average balance – top up as necessary

Bonus interest rate:

0.65% p.a. for $10,000 – $50,000
0.83% p.a. for $50,001 – $100,000

Bonus interest cap:

$100,000

Pick this if:

  • You have more than $50,000 on hand
  • You don’t plan to touch this money
  • You appreciate the convenience of banking with UOB

 

Citibank MaxiGain Savings Account

The Citibank MaxiGain sounds like some feminine hygiene product or dodgy protein powder. That’s unfortunate, because it’s actually a very interesting savings account. And if you had to compare it to some prosaic object, it’s more like a slow cooker.

For a start, its base interest rate is pegged at 80% of the SIBOR, making it the most attractive base rate in town. Then, without requiring any specific action on your part, the total interest rate slowly inches up to 2% on its own. It’s slightly different from the UOB Stash, but basically, it works best when you don’t touch it.

Initial deposit:

None

Minimum daily balance:

$10,000

How it works:

1. Start with base interest: 80% of SIBOR – assume this to be 0.8% p.a.
2. Make sure each month’s lowest balance doesn’t fall below the previous month’s lowest balance – top up as necessary
3. Bonus interest starts from 0.1% p.a. and rises each month by 0.1% (max. 1.2% p.a.)

Bonus interest rates:

~0.8% p.a. (base interest) + additional 0.1% to 1.2% p.a. (bonus) = 0.8% to 2%

Bonus interest cap:

$150,000

Pick this if:

  • You have $10,000 or more on hand
  • You don’t plan to touch this money for at least a year

 

Over to you, reader. Which savings account will you go for?

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Clara Lim

I used to be MoneyDumb. I hung out at H&M every day and thought that a $50 lunch set was a good deal. These days, I spend my time researching the crap out of life and trying to maximise utility on micro-decisions. I'm not sure if that's an improvement.