When I shared on Facebook why OCBC 360 has gone from the top to the bottom of my list of “jumping through hoops” savings accounts, a reader suggested Standard Chartered Bank’s Bonus Saver as an alternative.
Coincidentally, my sister started a Bonus Saver account recently and I did look at it before junking it.
Please take note that I junked it because it didn’t suit me. I will share who it is good for later.
The headline interest rate is always attractive: Up to 3.88% per annum!
How to get this?
OK, start jumping through hoops.
Base interest rate (for the first $200,000 in the account) is 0.1%.
Spend $2,000 on an SCB credit card each month to get 1.78%.
Alamak! Now, I am already struggling with spending $500 with the UOB One Card. How like that?
What if I spend only $500 a month? OK, I will get 0.78% per annum. A big difference.
Monthly salary crediting gets an extra 1% per annum. I don’t meet this requirement, of course.
Invest or insure with SCB to get an extra 0.75% per annum. What do you think I will say to this?
Pay 3 bills via Giro or online banking each month to get an extra 0.25% per annum. This, I can do.
Bonus interest will apply to the first $100,000 in the account only.
So, let’s see. What is the interest rate from SCB Bonus Saver for me?
0.1% + 0.78% + 0.25% = 1.13%.
This is after jumping through two hoops.
OK, quite clearly, if I must jump through hoops to get a higher interest rate on my savings, SCB Bonus Saver beats OCBC 360 which would give me a miserable 0.6% per annum.
However, if your circumstances are like mine, UOB ONE account is still the number one choice. An interest rate of 2.43% beats the competition flat. Unfortunately, it is for the first $50,000 in the account only.
Now, most people my age are not retired like me. So, let us see what they will get if they have a salary to credit monthly:
SCB Bonus Saver: 2.13%
OCBC 360: 1.8%
UOB ONE account: 2.43%
Alamak. I am not a UOB shareholder. How like that?
I am a shareholder of the Giamsiap (stingy in Hokkien) bank and, of course, another Giamsiap bank which didn’t even get a mention here. Maybe, the moral of the story is to invest in Giamsiap banks.
Aiyoh! Bad AK! Bad AK!
For who does the SCB Bonus Saver make sense?
If we have much more than $50,000 in savings and if we have a monthly salary to credit, it could make sense to migrate to SCB Bonus Saver because of the much higher cap at $100,000.
Lower interest rate compared to UOB ONE but SCB Bonus Saver will pay more interest income in absolute dollar terms then.