Most savings accounts in Singapore offer paltry returns. However, that doesn’t mean you should short-change yourself. We’ve looked around and found Singapore’s best savings accounts and deposit promotions. Keep checking back as we continually update this article throughout the year.
Last updated on 23 July 2015
1. OCBC 360 Account – Up to 3.25% per year
OCBC has been putting their depositors through quite the emotional rollercoaster. After announcing back in April/May that the interest rate offered on the 360 Account has been dropped from 3.05% to 2.% (which drew a lot of flak from existing account holders), the bank is now dangling an even more attractive rate of 3.25%. That’s 0.2% higher than the starting interest rate.
Sounds like a good deal, isn’t it? Let’s get down to the fine print.
Some of the terms and conditions remain largely unchanged. For the first S$60,000 in your 360 Account, you can earn the following interest rates if you fulfill the corresponding criteria:
- Pay any three bills using OCBC’s online banking system or through GIRO – 0.5% interest
- Charge a minimum of S$500 to any of the bank’s credit cards you own – 0.5% interest
- Credit your salary of at least S$2,000 to the account – 1.2% interest (0.2% more bonus interest than before)
Achieving all three objectives every month scores you 2.2% interest on your account balance, on top of the base 0.05% annual interest, which brings the total interest rate to 2.25%. The applicable sum has also been bumped up from the original S$50,000 to the first S$60,000 in your account balance.
You can also earn additional interest through two new categories:
OCBC has clearly introduced this category to entice consumers into insuring or investing with them. If you buy an eligible financial product from OCBC, you can earn an additional 1% interest on the first S$60,000 in your 360 Account. These eligible financial products include endowment plans with an annual premium of at least S$8,000, and unit trusts or structured deposits of at least S$40,000.
This is good news if you’re already holding an eligible product, or intending to purchase one from OCBC. Otherwise, we’d suggest foregoing this and looking to the second new category.
Under the “Save Bonus”, you earn another 1% interest if you save and grow your account balance. Note that this interest is only applicable on your incremental balance between the current month and the previous month.
At 3.25% interest rate, the OCBC 360 Account is now back at the top of the competition. But with all these changes, you’ll notice that it’s getting harder than ever to achieve a high interest rate. If you are unable to qualify for either of the two new categories, you may wish to check out the other banks’ offerings instead.
2. UOB One Account – Up to 2.43% per year
Despite being a newcomer, the UOB One Account is already looking like a strong contender as one of the best savings accounts in town. The newly-introduced UOB One Account looks like a really good deal for big spenders who are already using the UOB One Credit Card and UOB Direct Visa Debit Card. If you charge at least S$500 each month to either of these two cards, you can effectively earn up to 1.6% annual interest for the first $50,000 you deposit into your UOB One account.
To further sweeten the deal for loyal customers, UOB is bumping the effective interest rate up to 2.43% per annum if you fulfill either of these two criteria, in addition to charging a minimum of S$500 to your UOB One Card or UOB Direct Visa Debit Card:
- Credit your monthly salary, which needs to be at least S$2,000, to the account; or
- Perform 3 GIRO debit transactions every month
Now the only question to ask yourself is, do you spend S$500 consistently every month? If so, it’s pretty clear where you should be headed. Otherwise, continue your search for another option.
3. DBS Multiplier Programme – Up to 2.08% per year
If you’re someone who does a lot of banking – home loans, investment dividends, salary, etc. – with DBS (at least S$7,500 worth of business), then we highly recommend that you sign up for the DBS Multiplier Programme. It offers a starting interest rate of 1.08% per year and goes up to an annual maximum rate of 2.08% for any monthly business exceeding S$20,000. There is also no lock-in period.
4. UOB Singapore Dollar Fixed Deposit – 1.5% per year
For the month of July, UOB has released a Singapore Dollar Fixed Deposit promotion that is offering 1.5% interest rate per year. All you need to do is to ensure that you deposit a minimum of S$20,000 in fresh funds. The promotion runs from 1 July to 31 July 2015.
If you have a lot more funds to spare, consider CIMB, which is offering a 1.7% promotional rate for 12-month FD deposits between $55k to <$100k, and 1.8% for 12-month FD deposits between $100k to <$1 million. More details on the current promotional FD rates across different banks can be found here.
5. SCB e$aver Account Promotion – Up to 1.4% per year
The folks at Standard Chartered have extended the bonus interest promotion for their e$aver accounts and it’s quite a doozy. From now until 31 May 2015, you can earn a bonus interest of 1.15% on top of their tiered prevailing interest rates, which range from 0.1% to 0.25% depending on your deposit balance. If you open an e$saver account now, you can effectively earn up to 1.4% on your money, so long as you’ve deposited fresh funds compared to your average daily balance in March. The interest rate is applicable up to S$1 million, and we love how there’s no lock-in period and no minimum sum too.
6. OCBC Bonus Savings+ Account – Up to 2.35% a year
You might be wondering why we’re not ranking the OCBC Bonus Savings+ account higher in the list with that attractive interest rate. It’s mainly because there are a lot of conditions attached to it – one, in particular, requires you to deposit fresh funds of S$10,000 every third month in the calendar year – and that the maximum effective interest rate is only 1.18% per annum. Here’s the official copy from OCBC’s website:
All funds in the Bonus+ Savings Account enjoy a monthly base interest of 0.05% p.a. If no withdrawals are made, the interest rate will be 0.60% p.a. for 2 months and 1.15% p.a. for the third month. If no withdrawals are made in the quarter and there is minimum $10,000 fresh funds deposit, the interest rate will be 2.35% p.a. for the third month. The maximum effective interest rate for the account will be 1.18% p.a.
Other Notable Savings Accounts
If you prefer not to jump through so many hoops, we’ve listed two great options that also offer decent returns for barely any effort.
CIMB StarSaver (Savings) Account
We reckon this is still one of the best and most efficient savings accounts in Singapore that you should park your money in if you’re too busy to monitor the developments in the scene or not familiar with savings and investments (in which case, you should definitely sign up for a DrWealth account!). CIMB offers 0.8% interest per annum, accrued daily and compounded monthly, as long as you deposit a minimum of S$100 each month into the account. Anything lesser than S$100 and you get 0.5% on your money instead for that month. Can’t maintain the upkeep? You can also place periodic lump sum deposits that will be automatically converted into equal portions over a year by the bank.
Maybank iSAVvy Savings Plus Account
This account is great for disciplined savers as the bank rewards them with a bonus interest of 1.56% per annum every six months, as long as the average daily balance increases month on month. That’s on top of the base interest rate that ranges between 0.1875% and 0.38% per year, depending on how much money you have inside. If you have the iron will to not dip into your savings to splurge on a holiday or purchase a big-ticket item, this Maybank account is for you.
Now that you’ve found the best savings accounts to suit your needs, sign up for a free account with us and let us help you keep track of your personal finances. We have a wealth of services that cater to everyone, from the everyday man to the experienced investor.