If my memory did not fail me, our savings, spending and investment habits took a significant change when Standard Chartered Bank (“SCB”) launched its Bonus Saver program back in 2012 with a straightforward 1.88% interest on the first S$25,000 in your current account when you spend S$500 monthly. Since then, all the major banks in Singapore has launched their own programs, including OCBC‘s 360 Account, UOB‘s ONE Account and Bank of China‘s (“BOC”) SmartSaver account, amongst others.
Of course, there are many other programs out in the market, such as DBS‘ Multiplier Account and Citibank‘s InterestPlus Savings Account, which frankly does not give us the best returns on our monies.
Comparing the Top 4 Savings Product
In comparing the products offered by the banks, am taking a couple of assumptions here, where (1) our monthly salary averages below S$6,000, (2) we make at least 3 Giro payments of minimum of S$50 each, and (3) spend S$500-600 monthly on our credit cards. Of course, we are not taking into account the additional interest given for investment products as these are really just good-to-have, but we ain’t going to be swayed by them.
The clear winner in this category is BOC’s SmartSaver based on an actual returns of 2.85% p.a.. Although this is capped at the first S$60,000.
In absolute terms, SCB’s BonusSaver wins on this front as their meagre actual returns of 2.13% is based off a larger maximum savings cap of S$100,000.
Pros and Cons of each Savings Product
OCBC 360 Account
– Credit Card spend can be on an OCBC Credit Cards, so you can pick which card fits you best. I do recommend OCBC 365 for cash rebates, and OCBC Titanium Rewards if you are a miles-chaser. For the latter, you can earn 4 miles per dollar (mpd) for all local, overseas and online spend on shopping.
– Arguable one of the best online banking platforms for users.
– The lowest in payout in actual quantum, and beating SCB by just a mere 0.03% in returns. Not impressive.
UOB One Account
– The flexibility of either salary crediting or 3 Giro Payments makes earning the higher interest much easier.
– Reliable and user-friendly online banking platform.
– UOB does not waive annual fees for its credit cards, or at least they do not entertain such requests well.
– The additional S$200 (4 x S$50) rebates on the UOB One credit card comes only with 3 consecutive monthly spends.
– Not all credit cards are included for this, so do check which selected credit cards are included.
SCB BonusSaver Account
– If your card spending exceeds S$2,000, the interest on credit card spends increases from 0.78% to an impressive 1.78%.
– The 3 Bill Payments can be online payments via SCB’s online banking as well. GIRO payments are such a hassle to set up at times.
– The BonusSaver Credit Card does not give you any other benefits.
BOC SmartSaver Account
– Despite already being the program with the best returns, if your salary is above S$6,000 and you typically spend more than S$1,600 a month, the payout improves from 2.85% to a whopping 3.55%. This puts BOC ahead of SCB’s absolute returns, with an annual returns of S$2,130.
– BOC has a suite of impressive credit cards, including perhaps the best cash rebates card in town now, the BOC Family Card. And if you are miles chaser, you must have already heard raving reviews of their newly launch BOC Elite Miles World Mastercard which gives you 2mpd for local spend and 5mpd for overseas spend with no minimum or maximum cap.
– Frankly, have not used BOC’s products since. To start a brand new relationship with a bank not known for having the best online banking platform, there is some risk here.
It is obvious BOC’s SmartSaver Account pays the most amongst the existing Savings Accounts programs across the banks we have compared, although the higher interest is capped at a low savings quantum of just S$60,000.
In fact, if your liquid assets is above S$60,000, you can consider a combination of program to maximise returns. One way will be to make use of UOB’s One Account and route both your monthly S$500 Credit Card spend and 3 GIRO Payments through it, enjoying 2.70% payout on your first S$75,000. Move all your excess funds to OCBC, and route your salary through to OCBC’s 360 Account and enjoy the best salary credit payoff of 1.20% p.a.. There are other combination to enjoy maximum returns, but that’s for another article.
To add, am personally using OCBC 360 Account, and am tempted to consider a change of bank very soon.
P.S. Let us know your thoughts by commenting below or dropping us a note.
Ranted by The Rantee