DBS has revamped its Multiplier Account yet again, In the latest set of changes in 2017, DBS has essentially lowered the transaction tiers needed to get the high interest. In the past, the DBS Multiplier Account was notable for being the only contingent high interest savings account in Singapore to offer the higher interest via total monthly transaction size for the categories of salary credit, card spend, investments, insurance and loans. The new DBS Multiplier is therefore more accessible in the sense that minimum transaction size is now only S$2,000 to earn the higher interest. But how does it now compare versus its peers in the contingent high interest savings account space such as the OCBC 360, Maybank Saveup or Citibank Maxigain? Let us take a closer look.
These are the categories recognized by the DBS Multiplier Account:
- Salary credit (required)
- Credit card spend (optional)
- Home loans
- Investments (Unit Trust, Crediting of Dividends, Online Trading thru DBS Vickers)
No minimum quantum in each category
There are some nuances with how DBS Multiplier Account recognizes these categories. While they are mostly similar to the contingent high interest savings accounts offered by other banks, the Investment category does not specify a minimum investment amount. This means that even if you purchase the minimum investment amount in a unit trust, you can qualify in this category for the purpose of earning higher interest for the DBS Multiplier. But do take note, you get to enjoy the high interest only for 1 month. This is unlike the competing offers by other banks where you get to enjoy the high interest for the next 6 or 12 months for each transaction (that has a minimum investment quantum). On the bright side, what’s good here is that even online trading with DBS Vickers is considered for the purpose of “investment.”
|Total Eligible Transactions Per Month||Salary credit + transaction in 1 category||Salary credit + tranasaction in 2 categories|
|< S$2,000||0.05% pa||0.05% pa|
|S$2,000 to S$2,500||1.55% pa||1.80% pa|
|S$2,500 to 5,000||1.85% pa||2.00% pa|
|S$5,000 to S$15,000||1.90% pa||2.20% pa|
|S$15,000 to S$30,000||2.00% pa||2.30% pa|
|S$30,000 and above||2.08% pa||3.50% pa|
If you are the type who holds one of the “high interest account” elsewhere but only qualify with 2 or 3 categories like salary, bill payment or card spend; the DBS Multiplier Account can potentially work in your favor. This account does not give any additional interest for bill payment but the good thing about it is that you can mix and match in as few as just 2 categories to earn higher interest. For instance, you can use just your salary plus any small spend in a DBS credit card (even a S$1 spend) to qualify for at least 1.55% pa. This beats the OCBC 360 by a bit, where a similar setup will earn you 1.50% pa. assuming you earn less than S$2,500. It gets more interesting the higher up you are in the transaction scale. Someone who earns more than S$2,500 can get at least 1.85% pa by fulfilling at least 2 categories, beating the interest that OCBC 360 provides even with fulfillment of 3 categories.
Here’s a table summarizing the interest you can get with competing products:
|Product||Maximum Interest||Conditions for Maximum Interest||Maximum Balance That Can Earn High Interest|
|Citi MaxiGain||2% p.a.||Balance must stay the same over previous month or keep increasing||S$ 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|
Who the DBS Multiplier Might Suit:
- People who earn at least S$2,500 a month and have some credit card expenditures (but is below the S$500 per month required by competing products).
- People who invest in equities through online trading and switch between cash and stocks regularly. The DBS Multiplier Account recognizes online trading transactions and offers a relatively higher interest for the cash you have that’s not deployed in equities at a given point in time.
- People who purchase investments and/or insurance but in small quantities. DBS Multiplier is more suitable for hitting the higher interest tier as it does not require a minimum purchase amount for these products.
- People who have a high salary (S$30,000+ per month) or those who can breach the S$30,000 mark per month through a combination of salary credit, card spend and investments like online trading – you can get up to 3.50% pa this way but do note this high interest is capped at S$50,000. If you are someone earning or transacting S$30,000 per month, chances are you’ll have much more than just S$50,000 in your account. This would likely render the DBS Multiplier Account’s interest to be negligible to such a profile.
Where the DBS Multiplier Account May Not Be Ideal:
- If you spend at least S$500 in credit cards, make bill payments (thru GIRO) of at least S$300 and earn a salary of at least S3,000 but not overly high like S$30,000 per month; the Maybank Saveup Account offers a higher interest at 3% pa whereas you’ll max out somewhere between 2%pa to 2.3% pa with the DBS Multiplier Acount.
- Same salary and card spend or bill payment profile such as the above and you take out a housing loan – again the Maybank Saveup will give you a higher interest at 3% pa.
Other Things to Note:
- The high interest for the DBS Multiplier Account is capped at the first S$50,000 of your balance.
- Minimum balance is S$3,000. If your monthly balance falls below this, there is a fee of S$5.
- Early closure of S$30 if you close your account within 6 months.
DBS is notable for NOT including bill payment – something easy to fulfill for most – as a category to achieve the higher interest.
Then again, the good thing about this product is that there are fewer categories to meet in order to achieve the higher interest.
The individual categories are also relatively easier to fulfill as there is no minimum required size to fulfill for things like card spend or investments. As long as sufficient salary credit is made each month, you can just take your pick among the extra 1 or 2 category/categories that apply to you.
That being said, the DBS Multiplier is not necessarily the highest earning among the contingent high interest savings accounts out there. Unless you have a total transaction size of S$30,000 or more per month across the categories which I think is not achievable for most people, best interest you can get is 2.30% pa. With competing products such as the Maybank Saveup, you can get around 3% pa provided you can fulfill three of Maybank’s categories (easiest to fulfill are salary credit, bill payment through GIRO and credit card spend of at least S$500 per month). Alternatively, for those who don’t want to juggle between the categories, there is the Citibank Maxigain Account which earns you up to 2% pa (assuming 1 month SIBOR remains at ~1% pa) which is slightly better for those with lower transaction sizes. No conditions required with the Citibank account except that your account balance doesn’t decrease month-on-month.
Overall, the DBS Multiplier Account is a decent addition into the contingent high interest savings accounts space. As the latest one to be revamped, DBS recognizes where the unmet needs are and fulfills those gaps through this product.
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