Choosing A Savings Account
Are you still using that same savings account you’ve had since your parents helped you open one since you were a child? Now that you are an adult and earning your own keep, perhaps it’s time to take another look at your existing savings account and ask if you can have something better. While you may think that savings accounts do not have much difference between each other, you can be surprised that small differences can actually add up substantially and affect your savings and how you save in the long run. Here’s a look at some factors you should consider when choosing a savings account.
Most people focus on the interest rates that savings accounts pay out, but they can be very little since most banks here do not pay out any substantial interest rates(around an average of 0.15 %). But we still do our job to highlight some that are worth your time to look into.
CIMB Fastsaver – unlike other banks that require you to fulfil a number of criteria to get higher interest, the CIMB Fastsaver lets you earn 1% interest rate on your entire account balance if you maintain a minimum of $1,000 in your account balance. This 1% interest is only applicable for an amount up to $50,000, which effectively gives you $500 a year on the full sum!
This account is the single one account that gives you such a good rate without any monthly requirements. However, if you are willing to make a few transactions and track them a little, you can earn a bit more extra cash per year with the next few accounts we will show you.
Higher Interest Rates With Conditional Fulfilment
These accounts typically pay you higher interest rates, on the condition that you have multiple banking relationships with the bank. You may need to do a bit of tracking of your transactions but it’s a small barrier to getting a higher interest earn rate.
OCBC 360 Account – the base interest for this account is at 0.05%, but if you fulfil some conditions set by the bank, you get to earn bonus interest.
- Credit your salary of at least $2,000 per month into the account earns you 1.2% interest p.a
- Pay any 3 bills online or through Giro and earn an extra 0.5%
- Spend at least $500 on any OCBC credit card and get extra 0.5%
- Increase your account balance from the previous month’s balance to receive another 1%
- Insure or invest with OCBC and get 1% bonus interest
If you are diligent enough to fulfil these conditions are at least the first 3, you stand to earn at least 2.25% per year!
UOB One Account – The UOB One account works on the similar premise as the OCBC account, except that it comes with a tiered interest rate. To earn the maximum interest of 3.33% per year, you need to spend at least $500 on your UOB One card or selected UOB card, and credit your salary of at least $2,000 a month of pay 3 bills monthly via GIRO.
Some savings account charge a fee for not meeting their minimum balance requirements in their account. These charges can be as high as $2 to $5 per month, so do take note of this when you select an account.
Depending on whether you are using your account just for savings or whether you want to use it as an account where you might make frequent withdrawals, you should consider if the bank has a branch or at least a number of ATMs around where you live and work. The last thing you want is to open an account with a bank that makes withdrawing cash inconvenient for you. Local banks tend to have a great network of ATMs around the island, but the same can’t be said of some of the foreign banks here.