Best Savings Account in Singapore: A Definitive Guide [2021]
Singapore Financial Planners Log

Complete Guide to the Best Savings Account in Singapore

savings account singapore

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Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Everyone knows how important having a savings account is for your financial stability. It helps you manage how your cash flow is spent and what kind of goals you need to set up for yourself in the future.

For most of you, your parents most likely opened a savings account for you when you were young. Some people use this savings account for the rest of their life for all kinds of expenditures, while others open up multiple accounts.

Before we delve into savings accounts Singapore banks provide, let’s see what actually is a savings account.

What is a Savings Account?

A savings account is a bank account at any retail bank.

You put your savings into the bank account, and the bank will pay you some interest from the money you have deposited.

Some banks may require the account holder to have a minimum balance amount, regular deposits, or a fixed period before making any withdrawals.

Advantages of a Savings Account

  • Your money is safe and secure with the bank with virtually no risks
  • You have easy access to withdraw your money at any time, even if there are changes in interest rates
  • You earn additional income from the profits generated by the funds deposited in your savings account.
  • You can set up automatic fund transfers from other sources into your savings account without doing them manually every time.
  • Banks allow you to debit payments from your savings account for all sorts of payments and bills automatically. This kind of debit helps you pay and sort out your financial planning without incurring late fees and fines from utility or telecom companies.

 

Disadvantages of a Savings Account

  • Low interests rates – probably the lowest form of interests you’ll ever earn. Some accounts offer you tiered rates, but many are unlikely to hit higher tiers.
  • Fall below fees – you’ll incur these fees if you don’t meet the minimum sums for these accounts.
  • Complexity – due to the tiering systems, you’ll have things you need to do monthly just to hit that tier for the month.

 

What are the best savings account Singapore has for you?

DBS Bank at 0.4% to 1.60%

Best for – Fresh graduates, young adults, and salaried people.

Some of the features of opening a savings account with DBS bank are:

  • You will earn 0.4% to 1.60% per annum from the money you deposit into your account.
  • No salary credit or credit card spend requirement is required to open savings accounts
  • If you are under 29 years of age, there’s more good news for you. You will not need any minimum balance to maintain in your account.

Requiring to keep a minimum balance in your account can be quite a hassle sometimes. You may unknowingly withdraw your minimum balance, and the bank levies an extra fine on you to maintain the required minimum balance.

If you have a DBS multiplier account, your savings will also grow at a faster rate. However, the multiplier account doesn’t have a cheque facility and asks for a minimal amount of overseas fund transfers with no charges on foreign exchange.

In the multiplier account, a customer earns more from his/her account by spending at least $500 via PayLah!

For customers who are above 29 years of age, they need to fulfil the income criteria of $10,000 to earn a minimum 0.05% bonus interest in a year.

For more information, check out these simple informative tables provided by the DBS bank for its customers on how they can earn interest bonus from their savings.

dbs savings account

 

UOB at 0.25% to 0.5%

Best for – Non-salaried people, retirees, homemakers, and freelancers.

The UOB One Account helps those who do not have a fixed salary to have a higher percentage of interest than any other banks.

The bank provides you with a credit card where you earn 0.25% from the first $500 you spend from your account.

The bank also offers you a higher percentage of interest earnings if you credit your salary into your UOB One Account or transactions from GIRO.

If you credit your salary or GIRO into your UOB One Account, you will earn 2.50% per annum from your savings account. Also, you need to make at least a minimum of 3 GIRO debit transactions from your savings account to any Billing Organization in a month.

For more information, check out this table comparing the interest earned with credit card spending and spending from card and salary credit or GIRO provided by the UOB bank.

uob savings account

Also, check out this post for financial planning for freelancers and the self-employed.

OCBC Bank at 0.35% to 2.38%

Best for – Increasing your savings through salary credit, investment, and insurance.

OCBC provides its customers with a unique 360 Account which is considered as one of the best savings accounts Singapore has to offer. The initial deposit for opening a 360 account is $1,000, and the minimum daily balance every month is $3,000.

The bank also helps you to earn more interest as you save by calculating your EIR from the first $75,000. EIR is your Effective Interest Rate where you get returns from your savings. For more information on EIR, click here.

Here is how you earn EIR from the $75,000:

  • Crediting your salary and saving it will earn you an EIR of 0.98% per year.
  • With your salary, savings, and an added insurance or investment, you will earn an EIR of 1.68%.
  • If you credit your salary, save it, insure and invest, then you will earn a maximum EIR of 2.38% per annum.

 

Maybank at 0.48% to 2.93%

Best for – Increasing your savings and saving up on withdrawing loans.

Maybank Save Up is a unique initiative to help its customers earn more interest as you save more money.

The features of opening a Save Up account are

  • Their base rates are more than most of the brands in the market, increasing up to 3.0% in a year.
  • You will easily unlock more bonus rates by crediting your salary and using Maybank products.
  • These Maybank products can be insurance, investments, credit cards, loans, trusts, etc.
  • In a year, your interest rate grows if you use the bank’s products more frequently.
  • It is regarded as the best savings accounts Singapore has to offer for those who want to obtaining loans and earn interests through savings.

 

As mentioned above, to increase your interest, you need to use only the products offered by the bank. These products are

  • Salary credit with a minimum of $2,000 per month or GIRO (General Interbank Recurring Order) with a minimum of $300 per month.
  • Spend at least $500 in a month on a credit card.
  • Home loan of at least $200,000.
  • Renovation loan of at least $10,000.
  • Education loan of at least $10,000.
  • A car loan of at least $35,000.
  • Etiqa life insurance of at least $5,000.
  • Structured Deposits of at least $30,000.

 

From the products mentioned above, if you use three or more products provided by the bank, your base rate increases to 2.75%, and higher as you use more products.

As long as you have already credited your salary and used a credit card, you will have only one more product left.

Opening a Maybank Save Up account is often the preferred option for Singaporeans who are planning to withdraw loans.

Click here to know more about the Maybank Save Up Programme.

Standard Chartered Bank at 0.03% to 2.8%

Good for – People who intend to spend a lot

The Standard Chartered Bank has introduced a new savings accounts for Singapore citizens called the SCB Bonus Saver. It may not be the best savings account for you if you do not spend much, but it is the ideal savings account for those who spend a considerable amount of money every month.

Here is a simple chart for you:

standard chartered savings account

In this chart, the steps to increase your interests are

  • If you save $100,000 in your account, you will earn an interest of 0.78% if you spend a minimum of $500 monthly.

 

In the case where you spend an amount of at least $2,000 per month, then you will earn a bonus interest of 1.78% per annum.

  • If you credit your salary into your SCB Bonus Saver, your interest increases another 1%.
  • If you invest in an insurance policy from Standard Chartered or through another policy with a minimum of $12,000 from Standard Chartered, or $30,000 from another policy, your interest gets an additional 0.75%.
  • If you pay at least 3 or more bills from GIRO (General Interbank Recurring Order) through your Bonus Saver, you will add another 0.25% into your current interest per year.

 

So, in total, if you can spend accordingly from the steps offered by the SCB Bonus Saver, your total earnings from interest with a minimum of $100,000 from your account will come up to 3.88% yearly.

Your interest will be increased by 0.2% if you deposit $200,000 rather than $100,000. With the SCB Bonus Saver, you will make more money by spending more money.

To know more information about Bonus Saver savings account, click here.

 

Bank of China at 0.7% to 1.4%

Best for – High-Income earners and those who can spend more

Bank of China is another bank that provides good savings accounts to its customers. Many Singaporeans are not familiar with the bank’s policy and benefits but it also one of the best savings accounts in Singapore.

Bank of China offers a savings account called the BOC Smart Saver programme.

The main features of this savings account are:

  • You are eligible for opening an account if you are and above 18 years old with a minimum balance of $1,500.
  • If you credit your salary between $2,000 to $5,900, you will earn a bonus of 0.30% per annum. If you credit your salary with an amount above $6,000, you will earn a bonus of 0.50% per annum.
  • If you spend an amount between $500 to $1,499 every month from the credit card the bank provides you, you will earn a bonus of 0.30% per annum. If you spend over $1,500, you will earn a bonus of 0.50% per annum.
  • If you pay at least $30 through your Smart Saver savings account each month for your GIRO bills, you will earn a bonus of 0.35% per year.
  • If you purchase a wealth bonus product that the bank offers you, like their insurance policies of around $150,000 in a year, you will earn a bonus of 1.50% per annum.
  • After you purchase one of their wealth bonus products, you can earn a bonus of 0.40% per annum if you can fulfil any one of the conditions they set for their customers.
    It can be from card spend bonus, salary crediting bonus, or payment bonus conditions added to your extra savings bonus, provided your account balance prevails above an amount of $1,000,000.

 

For more details, click here to read the full instructions, criteria and conditions.

Conclusion

Having a savings account should help you to:

  • Have financial stability and independence over the long term.
  • Help you spend wisely on a monthly budget.
  • Insure yourself and boost savings in the long run.
  • Invest wisely in the products that will benefit your savings.
  • Save some money for rainy days like repairs, medical expenses, or treating yourself to a holiday.

 

The list above illustrates that these savings accounts are not only for young adults and the employed, but also for freelancers and retirees who are looking for an excellent way to save their earnings and earn in the process from the interest that accumulates on their money.

Realistically, most Singaporeans will not be able to qualify for the highest interest rates these banks offer. If you’re looking for an account that provides easy access to your money while still growing your savings, a savings account is probably for you.

However, a savings account is not something that you should park your money on if you’re looking for long-term growth. That’s because they encourage spending to earn higher interests.

If you’re looking for a simple option to purely grow your money, an investment plan, regular savings plan, or a robo advisor could be your best bet.

We hope that this post will help you in understanding and choosing the best savings account for yourself. Should you require any financial advice, engage a financial advisor so that you don’t make the wrong decisions.

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