- Domestic cash withdrawal. Withdrawals from your bank’s ATMs are free. Some banks in Singapore also allow cross withdrawals from partner banks, such as UOB and OCBC, but look out for a nominal charge. At the time of writing (21 January 2022), fees are waived when withdrawing between UOB and OCBC ATMs. As for DBS and POSB, you can withdraw cash between their ATMs without incurring any extra fees.
- Overseas cash withdrawal. It’s no secret using an overseas ATM is expensive. $5 for access to the international Mastercard, Cirrus or Visa Plus ATM networks. Withdrawals and balance enquiries can be charged differently. The local ATM operator may also charge a fee.
- ATM card replacement fee. If you misplaced your ATM card, it’ll typically cost $5 to replace it.
- Cheque clearance fee. Check if you’ll be charged any fee for cheque processing, which usually waived for at least the first 30 cheques each month. Any additional cheque clearance may cost a nominal fee such as S$0.75 per cheque.
- Cheque book issuance and replenishment. Depending on your account type, you may be eligible for free cheque books (e.g. UOB provides 2 free cheque books upon account opening) or charged around $10 to $25 per book.
- Stop cheque payment. A fee usually applies if you wish to cancel a personal cheque. For example, OCBC charges a stop payment fee of $30 if reported at a branch, or $15 if reported via phone or online banking. Stop cheque payments for foreign currency accounts varies and typically charged in the account’s primary currency.
- Cheque image retrieval fee. If you need to retrieve a cheque image (e.g. between one to three years ago), it’s possible to do so at a fee between $20 to $50.
- Marked cheque. To mark a cheque means that you get your funds on the same day, but this will cost between $40 to $100. It’ll cost less to mark a cheque from the same bank.
- Returned cheque. A $40 fee is usually charged if the cheque is returned due to insufficient funds or post-dating.
- Loss of cheque book. You may be charged around $20-50 to report a loss and replace your cheque book.
- Cashier’s order. Also known as banker’s cheque, this is a cheque that allows funds to be withdrawn immediately from the payer’s account and held in the bank’s own account. So it is issued to the recipient under the bank’s name instead of the payer’s, which is more reliable and secure for big ticket purchase. Cashier’s orders usually cost around $5.
- Closure fee. Although it’s free to close your transaction account, check if you may incur a closure fee. Usually, when you close an account within 3-6 months of opening, you’ll be charged at least $30 for early account closure.
Cash and coin services
- Coin deposit. You’ll need to pay a fee when you deposit coins at a bank. DBS charges $1.80 per 100 pieces or part thereof for over-the-counter coin deposit. Alternatively, you can deposit them at one of its coin deposit machines, which will cost $0.015 per piece.
- Coin exchange or withdrawal. Similar to coin deposit, coin exchange or withdrawal is chargeable at around $1.50 to $1.80 per $50 charged/withdrawn or part thereof.
- Cash deposit bags. Fees are usually waived for the first $20,000 to $30,000 deposited daily. After which, a small percentage (0.03% for subsequent amount at DBS) or fee ($10 for subsequent $10,000 at OCBC) will be charge.
- Cash advance. The fee for using a credit cash advance facility. Can be a percentage based fee (typically 5-6%) or capped at a maximum fee ($15 for most banks in Singapore) as well as ongoing interest charges.
- Demand draft. Similar to a cashier’s order, a demand draft is a written order for the bank to issue a cheque on your behalf to an overseas recipient. It is normally denominated in a foreign currency. The cost of this service is typically the same as an overseas telegraphic transfer.
- Document retrieval. You may retrieve both digital and printed copies for documents such as unit trust application forms, standing instruction image retrieval etc. HSBC offers this service at $100 per copy.
- Fall-below fee. Most banks charge this administrative fee when your balance falls below the account’s Minimum Average Daily Balance (MADB). Depending on your account type, you may have to maintain a MADB of at least $500 to $1,500 in your account to avoid incurring a penalty.
- FAST (Fast and Secure Transfer). This electronic funds transfer service allows users to transfer Singapore dollars between accounts of the 24 participating banks in Singapore almost immediately, on a 24/7 basis, for free. If you’re conducting a FAST payment for commercial purposes, you may incur a small fee.
- Foreign currency conversion fee. Some banks call this an overseas or foreign transaction fee, it’s a 3.25% fee, approximate, when you spend in foreign currency. This fee can be charged when you transact outside Singapore, even if the transaction is in Singapore dollars. The currency conversion fee comes partly from Mastercard or Visa and the debit or credit card issuer.
- Foreign currency notes. A commission applies when you buy and sell foreign currency online or at a bank branch. While you can find fee waivers for online orders, foreign currency transactions at a branch will almost always attract a commission. For example, Citibank imposes a 1.5% to 3% withdrawal fee (minimum S$10) for non foreign exchange related transactions, depending on the currency. OCBC similarly charge a 1% fee. This commission is in addition to whatever margin the bank applies to the exchange rate.
- Foreign exchange rate margin. Banks add a margin to the foreign exchange rate when you send money overseas or buy foreign currency. This margin can be as much as 3% – 5% over the interbank rate.
Short for General Interbank Recurring Order, GIRO is an arrangement with your bank to make payments directly to a billing organisation for any outstanding bills. There’s usually no fees and charges for setting up or terminating a GIRO arrangement with your bank.
- Returned GIRO fee. Some billing organisations may impose charges for unsuccessful GIRO payment. For example, OCBC, UOB and Citibank charge $10 per transaction for returned GIRO.
- GIRO standing instruction. It usually cost $10 per application for a standing instruction via GIRO.
- Amendment/cancellation. Making changes or cancelling a GIRO may result in a $5 to $10 fee. However, you can do this for free with UOB.
- Inward-remittance. Refers to incoming payments, usually from abroad. Banks typically charge $10 or more per transaction, depending on your account type.
- Late payment fee. Applies to credit cards, overdrafts and other credit products. A fee is charged when you miss the minimum payment date.
- MEPS (MAS Electronic Payment System). An SGD-only online inter-bank payment and real-time gross settlement system in Singapore. HSBC charges $10 for MEPS transfer through internet banking.
- Monthly payment. Not really a fee but a charge, the monthly payment applies to credit and mortgage products and is an ongoing cost.
- Overdraft fee & interest. This is a charge for adding an overdraft facility to your transaction account. This charge can be a monthly service fee or an overdraft establishment fee or both. For example HSBC charge a minimum interest of $10 per month and an interest on the balance in excess of credit limit.
- PayNow. A peer-to-peer fund transfer service that allows you to transfer funds from one bank account to another in Singapore by entering your recipient’s mobile number or Singapore NRIC/FIN. This service is free for retail customers and fees are currently waived for corporate customers (until 31 December 2021).
- Processing fees. Loans or credit facilities such as personal loans, line of credit and overdraft accounts all come with processing fees. This may also be known as establishment or administrative fees.
Free debit, credit and travel card replacement is a feature of some accounts.
- Debit card replacement fee. Somewhere in the $15 range, it’s different for some debit card providers, the debit card replacement fee can be higher if you’re ordering a card from overseas. You can get this fee waived if it’s stolen and you can produce a police report.
- Overseas emergency card replacement. You may be required to pay an emergency overseas debit or credit card replacement fee. Some institutions provide this as a free service while others charge, for example Suncorp Bank charge $50 for emergency overseas card replacement.
- Security token replacement fee. Some institutions work use security tokens to authorise international payments, sometimes the first token be issued free of charge and additional tokens come at cost. Police Bank charge $20 each time.
- Redraw fees. Banks may charge when you redraw on your home loan extra repayments.
- Standing instructions. You can set up a standing instruction to transfer funds (whether its Telegraphic Transfer/MEPS/GIRO/Bank Draft/Cashier’s Order) from your bank account to another account on a regular basis. You’ll normally have to pay a small set-up fee to begin a standing order, or amendment fee if you wish to make changes to it.
- Safe deposit box fees. Banks offer safe deposit boxes for your valuable documents or jewellery, but take note of its annual fee, key deposit, lost key charges and more.
- Statement retrieval. If you need to retrieve a printed copy of your past account statement (e.g. between one to three years or older), you may do so by contacting your bank or sending in an online request. This service may take a few days to complete and fees range between $20 to $50 per copy/month.
- Service fee. Usually charged every month, the service fee is an account keeping fee to own a bank account or similar product. Financial institutions may waive this fee for juniors, students, seniors or upon meeting deposit or balance requirements. This includes accounts maintenance fees for lines of credit, personal loans, term deposits, mortgages, offset accounts and some deposit products such as cash management accounts.
- Staff-assisted transactions. Accessing your account at a bank branch is likely to be more expensive than online transactions.
Overseas telegraphic transfers.
The fees for sending money to a bank account in another country. You’ll pay more to send money overseas from a bank branch than online. Processing fees from the receiving bank can also apply. Looking at DBS bank’s overseas telegraphic transfer fees:
- Commission: 1/8% (minimum $10, maximum $120)
- Cable charges: $25 (at branch) or $20 (online)
- Amendments: $30 per transaction, plus any agent bank charges
- Cancellations/Stop payments: $35 per transaction, plus any agent bank charges
- Tracer: $20 per transaction, plus any agent bank charges
If you’re looking to send money overseas, you can get a far better deal using a non-bank provider.
- Telegrahic transfer. Banks usually charge a percentage-based commission and cable charge ranging from $20 to $30 per telegraphic transfer. Fees may be waived or subsidised if you transfer to accounts within the same bank group. For example, Citibank offers free instant transfer to its overseas branches via Citibank Global Transfer (CGT).
- Trace fee. It’ll cost around $20 to trace and confirm the status of your transfer.
- Amendments/cancellations. This service is conducted on a best effort basis and not-guaranteed as it’ll depend on the status of the transfer. Usually cost between $20 to $30.
You may be required to pay a fee for telephone banking transactions, but most institutions offer services via phone banking free of charge.
- Waivers. While not a fee, waivers come in all shapes and sizes. You can get a waiver on a particular product if you’re a customer of the bank. Everyday bank fees like overdrawn fees, ATM fees and monthly fees can be avoided by being savvy about your choice of bank account. There are even accounts that give you cash back when you spend. Compare bank accounts to find one suited to your banking habits to avoid paying unnecessary fees.