“My savings account suck, What are the better options”
This article was written for the typical working adult with a few years in the workforce and now looking to re-consider if he/she is on the correct savings accounts.
A Typical Working Adult Scenario
- Earn more than $2,000, credited salary to account
- Spend a minimum of $600 a month on a credit card (for paying bills and daily expenses e.g F&B, Online)
- Account balance varies accordingly from $10,000 to $80,000 (we will elaborate more in the chart below)
- Not paying for home via bank loan (relying on CPF payments)
For completeness sake, we are going to compare the four main popular savings accounts in Singapore which are commonly applied based on the salary and spending above. We are NOT comparing the promotional deals for accounts that are usually for a shorter term.
Seedly editor’s note: We do not get any commissions from any of these recommendations. You will start to realize also that very often, the best products do not give any perks (thus consumers discover them via blog posts like this rather than comparison sites) Updated to September 2017
OCBC vs UOB vs BOC vs DBS
We compared across all these players and found that there is a consistent trend – They usually come with added interest percentage if you use their cards, hence, we detail the following four combinations:
|1||OCBC360 Account||OCBC365 Card|
|2||UOBONE Account||UOBONE Card|
|3||BOC Smart Saver||BOC Family Card|
|4||DBS Multiplier Account||DBS VISA Debit Card|
For DBS, they do not have an account that is targeted at existing working adults with savings already but is more focused on first-time working adults below age 30 (BYOB account).
Therefore, for the sake of this comparison, we decided to omit it, also due to the nature of complicated interest percentage crediting to only certain accounts and for them to further complicate it with PayLah! as well.
Also, we compared the DBS Multiplier here to show how it really pales in comparison to the other savings accounts when you do not have more than $7,500 in transactions in a month (debit and credit).
Most often, it is best to get the DBS Multiplier if you have a DBS Home loan to clear.
Potential yearly interest + card rebate
Recommended strategy – consider BOC (Smart Saver + Family Card)
- Most likely you would have graduated or started working with a DBS or POSB savings account from when you were younger
- We feel that it is not wise to keep your savings in that account as you would not be spending over $7,000 a month for home loans, card spending etc.
- Thus, the best option would be BOC Smart Saver and Family Card where you get the most effective yearly interest in a short amount of time
Limitations of the BOC combination
- Not a very modern online and mobile banking interface
- Very few other value-added services (e.g investment brokerages, insurance)
- Fewer retail outlets and cash withdrawal point, etc.
Hence, some users may still choose to start and stick with the OCBC360 or UOBONE accounts as the difference in interest amounts do not differ significantly from the lower balance amounts. (from $10,000 to $30,000)
TL;DR: Presenting the winners
|Category||Winner||Realistic Interest (p.a)||Reason|
|Best for below $10,000||OCBC360/DBS||1.5%||Stick to Debit cards and Rebates and save more money|
|Best for $10,000 to $30,000||BOC Smart Saver||1.9%||Clean and easy to understand|
|Best for $40,000 to $60,000||BOC Smart Saver||~2.5%||The interest are layered into tiers hence makes this a step up|
|Best for beyond $70,000||BOC Smart Saver||~3%||There is additional bonus interest that kicks in that makes it more like a fixed deposit rates|
|Best for fresh graduates (starting with zero)||DBS BYOB||~3%||Do note that there are many other conditions associated with this and the balance you are not able to touch it|
Important things to note:
- Take note that the above chart heavily depends on the monthly spending on the relevant card (Rebates); we detail more for cashback cards here.
- If you are spending with different cards for miles etc, numbers will definitely be affected
- Regarding Salary GIRO credit, do check with your HR manager in your company whether it is under the transaction code: SALARY
- Fun fact: There is no free lunch in the world, the banks are competing for our business to get more data on your salary and spending numbers to potentially up-sell you and hope you buy other banking products in the future (eg. loans, mortgages etc.)
In addition, if you are keen to ask questions or discuss more on savings accounts and card deals, please do join Seedly’s open Facebook Group where you can learn from fellow folks residing in Singapore who are all learning together.
Example: Calculation of interest at $20,000 balance
You can see below in this screenshot where I have calculated all the respective interest rates with an example of a $20,000 bank balance. The important numbers are highlighted in yellow.