Several banks in Singapore offer their own version of the high interest savings account that comes attached with conditions. Be it salary crediting, bill payments, investments or credit card usage; these banks are banking on the revenues generated from their other products to offset the cost of the high interest given to depositors. In this article, I will be talking about the Maybank SaveUp Account.
The Maybank SaveUp Account has two components – the bonus interest which can be up to 2.75% p.a. as well as the base interest which ranges from 0.1875% to 0.3125% pa. depending on the account balance. Do note that for this deposit product, you can earn the bonus interest only until you reach a balance of S$60,000. Anything beyond this will earn you just the base interest.
Now, you might ask – how do I earn the bonus interest? What I like about the Maybank SaveUp Account is that it’s one of the few of similarly styled products within Singapore’s banking industry that allows you to earn the maximum bonus interest rate without requiring you to do investments or insurance. Investments are not everyone’s cup of tea and given the limitation of the investments qualified for the bonus interest to just mutual funds, it may not necessarily make sense to load up on such investments just to qualify for a higher interest on one’s savings account.
The Maybank SaveUp Account has a couple of tiers for bonus interest:
- If you sign up for one product or service, you get 0.3% pa
- If you sign up for two products or services, you get 0.8% pa
- If you sign up for three or more products or services, you get 2.75% pa
The products or services you can sign up for are the following:
- Credit cards: a minimum of S$500 spend in either the Maybank Horizon Visa Signature Card or the Maybank Visa Platinum Card. If you opt to spend in the latter, you get around 3.33% cash rebates as well on the card spend.
- GIRO: Minimum total transaction size of S$300
- Salary: Minimum S$2,000 monthly salary credited via GIRO
- Education Loan: Minimum S$10,000
- Hire Purchase Loan: Minimum $35,000
- Home Loan: Minimum S$200,000
- Insurance: Minimum Annual Premium of S$5,000
- Renovation Loan: Minimum S$10,000
- Unit Trust: Minimum lump sum of S$30,000 for 12 months of bonus interest or recurring investment of S$300
As can be seen above, the 3 products/services can be easily achieved by most by opting for the first three detailed in the list – credit card, salary and GIRO. Look ma, no investment purchases required! Because of this, I believe the Maybank Saveup Account is the most worthwhile of the “high interest” conditional accounts being offered by banks in Singapore. If you look at the maximum interest rate that you can earn which is 3% pa. (3.0073% pa if you’re nitpicking) on its own, it is not the highest out there. But then it does not require you to sign up for any investments which is a plus.
How to do GIRO bill payments?
While GIRO payments can be done to pay for things such as taxes, utility bills, etc – not many people know that you can also use GIRO to pay for other banks’ credit cards. It may take a bit of effort at first in setting it up but most credit card issuing banks in Singapore have forms that allow you to set up GIRO with them. I have here the links to Citi, DBS and UOB credit cards for example.
|Product||Maximum Interest||Conditions for Maximum Interest||Maximum Balance That Can Earn High Interest|
|Citi MaxiGain||2% p.a.||Balance must stay the same over previous month or keep increasing||S$ 150,000|
|OCBC 360||3.05% p.a.||Salary credit, bill payment, credit card spend, purchase of investment or insurance products||S$ 70,000|
|UOB One Account||2.43% p.a.||Credit card spend and either salary credit or bill payment||S$ 50,000|
|Standard Chartered BonusSaver||3.88% p.a.||Card spend, bill payment, salary credit, investment / insurance||S$ 100,000|
|Bank of China Smart Saver||3.55% p.a.||Card spend, bill payment, salary credit||S$60,000|
Just by looking at the table, you can easily strike off most products except for the Standard Chartered BonusSaver and the Bank of China Smart Saver. However, the Standard Chartered BonusSaver requires mutual fund investments to qualify for the highest bonus tier so based on my assumption that making regular mutual fund investments may be difficult for most, I can safely strike off this product as well.
That leaves us finally with the Bank of China Smart Saver. Between this and the Maybank SaveUp Account, which is better? Looking at the Bank of China Smart Saver, you can also skirt the investments criterion in order to earn the high interest. The requirement is mostly similar to the Maybank account, with the high interest achieved via a combination of salary credit, credit card usage and bill payment. However, if you dissect the product features, the Bank of China Smart Saver actually has pretty high thresholds for the card usage – at S$1,500 or above per month otherwise you earn 0.80% pa less. Also, the salary credit comes in two tiers. For those who earn less than S$6,000 per month, you get 0.40% pa less.
Bottom Line: The Maybank SaveUp Account is probably the best among the high earning conditional savings accounts out there today except if you earn S$6,000 or more per month AND spend S$1,500 or more per month with credit cards – in which case, you’re better off with the BOC Smart Saver.