Reader:

Understand that you have UOB One Card.

Recently, a UOB Personal Banker approaches me regarding the other usage of One Card to earn higher interest in the One Account.

Instead of spending $500, one can just save that $500 through a Prudential savings plan. This $500 will be deducted from the One Card every month for five years. After which, the total amount deducted will be locked for another 10 years.

At the end of the 15 years, one can earn an effective interest per annum of about 3.13%. The principal is guaranteed.

In this way, one does not need to force spend every month to reach the $500 target in order to earn a higher interest on the One Account. Through this method, one can also earn higher interest as this $500 is “spent” on the savings plan, by utilising the One Card.

What do you think of this? Appreciate if you can talk to yourself…

AK:
I will avoid an insurance cum savings (which is really insurance cum investment) product. I always say buy term and invest the rest. Instinctively, I would say ‘no’ to this offer.

I believe that 3.13% per annum is the potential interest rate and not guaranteed. I do not know if you would be disappointed 15 years later if you only get back your capital then (if Prudential does not go bust).

If you have trouble spending $500 on your UOB ONE Card each month, it might be better to simply forgo the UOB ONE Account. Forget it.

Doing this, you would be forgoing an additional interest income of about $800 a year (assuming you have $50,000 in the savings account which would have earned a bonus 1.6% in interest with a monthly spend of $500) but it gives you greater financial flexibility and a chance to build a bigger war chest for the next bear market.

This article originally appeared on AK’s blog.