Disclaimer: At MoneySmart.sg, we strive to keep our information accurate and up to date. This information may be different than what you see when you visit a financial institution, service provider or specific product’s site. All financial products and services are presented without warranty. Additionally, this site may be compensated through third party advertisers. However, the results of our comparison tools which are not marked as sponsored are always based on objective analysis first.
Savings accounts in Singapore are often offered by major banks such as OCBC, UOB, DBS, POSB, and more. Most savings accounts will offer you a base interest rate that changes with current Singapore Inter-Bank Offer Rate (SIBOR) and Singapore Dollar Swap Offered Rate (SOR) rates. Due to COVID-19, most banks have updated their savings account base interest rates several times in 2020.
Thinking about Investing during the Circuit Breaker to grow your money? Find the best online brokerage firm that suits your needs and start investing today.
|Savings Account||Base Interest Rate (Oct 2020)||Bonus Interest Rates (Oct 2020)|
|DBS Multiplier Account||0.05%||3.80%|
|POSB Multiplier Account||0.05%||3.80%|
|Standard Chartered Bonus Saver Account||0.03%||2.88%|
|OCBC 360 Account||0.05%||4.40%|
|Maybank iSavvy Savings Account||0.30%||6.00% (interest on interest)|
|CIMB StarSaver Savings Account||0.40%||0.20% (promotional until 31 Dec 2020)|
|Citi MaxiGain Savings Account||0.01%||0.60%|
|UOB One Account||0.25%||0.85%|
|RHB High Yield Savings Plus Account||0.80%||2.70%|
Now that you are familiar with a savings account, you will soon find yourself wondering: Which is better? What is the difference between a savings, current, and multi-currency account?
A savings account is meant for you to hold your funds for a short period of time so you can easily retrieve them where necessary, such as a trip to the doctor’s, buying a new refrigerator, or booking vacations. For the time you deposit your funds into a savings account, you will want your funds to be earning interest. Banks do offer a base interest rate that generates interest on your account balance, such as 0.05% per annum for the OCBC 360 Account (as of 1 October 2020), or 0.03% per annum for the Standard Chartered Bonus Saver Account (as of 1 October 2020). Savings accounts also do offer bonus interest rates if you fulfil extra criteria, for instance. The DBS Multiplier Account awards bonus interest rates totaling up to 3.80% if you also fulfil your DBS or POSB credit card spend, home loan, investments, and insurance expenditure.
A current account is your everyday account where your disposable income is held, and you frequently charge lifestyle transactions to. If you use a debit card, your card will most likely be tagged to a current account. You do not want to deposit large amounts of funds into a current account for they do not offer interest rates. Current accounts may also come with minimum balance fees.
So, savings and current accounts in Singapore mostly hold your funds in Singapore dollars. What if you are a student who is studying the US, you are based in Singapore but have family in Melbourne, or a frequent flyer who shuttles between Singapore, Shanghai, and London? You will frequently transact between Singapore and foreign currencies. A multi-currency account may suit you. Multi-currency accounts allows you to hold both Singapore dollars and one (or more) designated currencies in your account. So, when you receive a payment from your fellow college friend in Australian dollars, you will not need to pay transaction fees to have that sum converted to Singapore dollars. Instead, you will be able to store those Australian dollars directly in your account and spend it on your next cup of coffee in Melbourne.
A high yield savings account works in similar ways to conventional savings accounts – you deposit a sum of money into the account, and leave it to generate interest. The difference between a high yield savings account and a normal savings account is found in the interest rate – high yield savings accounts often offer you higher interest rates with no fall below fees, such as a base interest rate of 0.80% per annum for the RHB High Yield Savings Plus Account versus 0.01% per annum for the OCBC 360 savings account. While this definitely sounds like an attractive offer, do note that high yield savings accounts may come with different terms and conditions that restrict the number of withdrawals you can make, require initial deposits, and maintain specified minimum average daily balances.
If you are a Singapore citizen applying for a savings account, you can do it online via Singpass MyInfo. This way, you will not need to scan, and collate all the necessary documents. If you are a foreigner working or studying in Singapore, you will often need to provide your passport, employment pass, and proof of residence in Singapore (such as a bill, employment letter, school’s letter etc.).
To apply for a savings account in Singapore, you generally need to be at least 18 years old, a Singapore citizen, permanent resident, or a foreigner with necessary documents to prove your residence in Singapore. Most savings accounts do not require an initial deposit nor charge monthly account fees. However, most savings accounts do have a minimum balance requirement of S$1,000 or S$3,000 – meaning your savings account must have above S$1,000 or S$3,000 daily. If your balance dips below the minimum balance stated by your bank, you will be charged either a S$2 or S$5 fall below fee.
Once you have successfully applied for a savings account, you should be automatically directed to create an internet banking (or iBanking) account through your bank’s website. Most of the daily banking needs you will have can be found on your bank’s internet banking portal – checking transaction history, current balance, interest accrual, etc. If you do have any special requests such as withdrawals, transfers, or if you are looking to close your savings account, you may still be required to fill in a physical form and bring it to a branch that is closest to you.
|Savings Account||Minimum Balance||Fall Below Fee|
|DBS Multiplier Account||S$3,000||S$5|
|POSB Multiplier Account||S$3,000||S$5|
|Standard Chartered Bonus Saver Account||S$3,000||S$5|
|OCBC 360 Account||S$1,000||S$2|
|Maybank iSavvy Savings Account||S$500||S$2|
|CIMB StarSaver Savings Account||S$1,000 (to earn interest)||N/A|
|Citi MaxiGain Savings Account||N/A||S$15 (if total relationship balance with Citibank falls below S$15,000)|
|UOB One Account||S$1,000||S$5|
|RHB High Yield Savings Plus Account||N/A||N/A|
If you are looking for a savings account for your child or yourself, a student, there are some things to take note of: most savings accounts in Singapore do require a minimum daily balance. If you fall below the daily minimum balance, a fall below fee of S$2 or S$5 will be automatically deducted from your account. For a student with no or minimal income, this may prove to be a problem. For students, you may want to look at accounts with no or low minimum balance or fall below fees, such as the Maybank iSavvy Savings Account with a S$500 minimum balance and S$2 fall below fee, or the CIMB FastSaver or StarSaver with a S$1,000 minimum balance and no fall below fees. Take note that you have to consider the fall below fee, for some accounts with no minimum balance such as the Citi MaxiGain may require you to have a total banking relationship of S$15,000 with them before the fall below fee is waived.
Planning and setting aside money for your child’s future? There are several children’s savings accounts with no fall below fees, higher interest rates, and no minimum age in Singapore: POSB ePOSBKids, HSBC Premier Lite Savings, UOB Junior Savers, OCBC Mighty Savers, CIMB Junior Savers, Citibank Junior Savings, Maybank Youngstarz Savings, and the Standard Chartered eSaver Kids accounts.