Savers rejoice! Competition is heating up among the banks globally ever since the US Fed started hiking interest rates.
For Singaporeans, many of us are used to the high yield savings accounts provided by the three major local banks DBS, OCBC and UOB as well as British counterpart Stanchart’s Bonussaver. But these accounts all require customers to jump through hoops to accumulate the higher interest, such as through salary crediting, spending and insuring.
It’s not typically a problem for most, but for gig workers, remote workers, homemakers, students and joint account holders who are sharing an account besides their personal savings, it means that they are disadvantaged. But fret not, after combing through the various offerings, here’s what I found.
Fastsaver pays 1.1% for the first $25,000 (minimum $1,000). If you can spend $300 a month using CIMB’s credit card, the interest on the first $10,000 goes to 1.8%. Otherwise, 1.1% is a decent rate for simply parking liquid funds there. If you can put in $75,000, the effective rate should be around 1.53-4%.
|FastSaver Balance Tiers (From 1 September 2022)||FastSaver Only Interest Rate^|
Comparable to CIMB is RHB’s high yield savings that comes at 1.2% interest for the first $50,000. What’s more, from September to November, RHB is giving an extra 3% on incremental funds. For example, if you’ve $50,000 in September and add an additional $10,000 in October, you’ll get 3% on the fresh funds.
|Deposit Balance Amount||New Interest Rates (not including bonus 3%)|
|First S$50,000||1.20% p.a.|
|Next S$25,000||1.30% p.a.|
|Next S$25,000||1.40% p.a.|
|Above S$100,000||1.50% p.a.|
Fairprice and Stanchart’s Trust Bank gives 1% base interest. If you make five transactions through the service’s credit card, you get a bonus 0.2%. Thus, if the Trust Bank card isn’t your primary card for expenditures, you’d need to consciously make an effort to spend on it.
Otherwise, simply opening up an account with a referral link will get you a $10 Fairprice voucher and other perks like Kopitiam breakfast voucher. If you make an expenditure on your Trust card, you’ll also get another $25 NTUC voucher. Here’s a referral code to use: 9922TYV3
Backed by Singtel and Grab, this new digital bank says it targets “gig economy workers, self-employed entrepreneurs and early-jobbers.” The bank account features something called ‘Pockets’ to customize label specific goals for your savings. Each Pocket earns 1.58% interest per annum accrued daily, according to the Business Times.
Adding to this list of Malaysian and digital banks is yet another one from our friendly neighbour: Hong Leong Bank. Their iSavings account is offering a promotional rate of 0.88% interest for balances of $50,000 and under.
If you’ve a fatter balance, you’ll get 2.08% for funds for funds above $50,000. Note that there’s a minimum average daily balance of $5,000.
|Daily Balance||Prevailing Rates (p.a.)||Bonus Rates (p.a.)||Promotional Rates (p.a.)|
|Next S$150,000 and above||0.30%||1.78%||2.08%|
Warning: some hoops here.
Capping this list is May Bank, the iSAVvy Savings Plus Account is offering a bonus interest of 1.56% p.a. on any increase in the average daily balance (ADB) of the account. What this means is that if there’s monthly increase for six months consistently, the bank will pay an interest on the 7th month.
If there’s a deduction in the account or no increase in ADB for any one of the months, you will miss the interest paid out for that six-month period. Hence, maintaining this bank account requires some effort to optimize it. There’s also a minimum $500 balance required.
As a final note, these are promotional rates that the bank can adjust at their discretion. Also, there’s a fee charged for closing the account prematurely (usually within six months). But, if at any point you need your funds, you can just zero your account instead of closing it. That’s the beauty of a savings account as opposed to fixed deposits or other financial products.