BOC SmartSaver review
Earn bonus interest rates with income credit, card spend, payments and more.
The BOC SmartSaver is a savings plan offered by the Bank of China (BOC) Singapore, designed for its Multi-Currency Savings (MCS) account holders to earn bonus interest when they meet certain requirements such as card spend and income credit.
Find out if the BOC SmartSaver plan is ideal for you before applying for the MCS account.
Fall below monthly fees
Maximum annual interest rate
How does BOC SmartSaver work?
The BOC SmartSaver plan offers a straightforward bonus interest structure for the MCS account balance up to $80,000. Any balance over $80,000 will only earn the prevailing interest rate unless you meet the requirements for the ‘extra savings bonus interest’ category.
As long as you have at least $1,500 in your MCS account, you’ll be able to unlock bonus interest rates if you fulfill any amount of these five categories:
- Wealth. Commit to any eligible insurance product to unlock the Wealth bonus interest at 1.50% p.a. for 12 consecutive months. Only applicable to the first $80,000 of your account balance.
- Card spend. Reap up to 0.5% p.a. in bonus interest when you spend on your BOC debit or credit cards. A minimum spend of $500 is required
- Salary. Earn bonus interest when you credit a monthly salary of at least $2,000 via GIRO.
- Payment. Complete at least 3 bill payments (minimum $30 each) through GIRO or Internet/mobile banking bill payment function to earn a bonus interest of 0.3% p.a.
- Extra savings. Earn an additional 0.4% p.a. interest on account balance between $80,000 to $1 million when you fulfill at least one of these categories – card spend, salary crediting or payment bonus interest.
What is the BOC Multi-Currency Savings (MCS) account?
The BOC Multi-Currency Savings (MCS) account is a statement-based consolidated account that allows you to hold both the Singapore dollar and nine foreign currencies. With this account, you can convert between currencies conveniently, view each currency transaction at a glance and manage your finances with ease.
BOC SmartSaver bonus interest structure
The following bonus interest rates are accurate as of 15 October 2020 and are subject to change:
Your entire account balance, including the first $80,000, will also accrue prevailing interest rates based on the size of your account balance:
|Account balance||Base interest rate (p.a.)|
|$20,000 to $100,000|
|$100,000 and above|
*All information provided are accurate as of 15 October 2020.
- Higher interest rates. Gain higher interest rates on your MCS account balance by simply fulfilling any number of the five bonus categories available.
- Multiple bonus interest categories. Depending on your financial habits, you have the option to fulfill any amount of all these bonus interest categories: credit your salary, pay your bills, spend on your BOC debit or credit card, insure in an eligible BOC Wealth product or increase the size of your account balance.
- Minimal fees. The account doesn’t charge any opening, monthly and maintenance fees. However, a $3 fall-below fee will apply if the average daily balance of your MCS account falls below $1,500.
- Higher than the average prevailing interest rate. While DBS and OCBC only offer a base interest rate of 0.05% p.a., BOC offers 0.1% to 0.2% p.a. depending on the size of your account balance.
- Base interest rate is applied to the entire account balance. You’ll earn prevailing interest rate on top of any bonus interest you’re entitled to. This means you may earn up to 3% p.a on the first S$80,000 of your account balance and up to 0.60% p.a. for account balance over S$80,000 (capped at a maximum of S$1 million).
Pros and cons
The BOC SmartSaver plan has a number of upsides, as well as caveats to look out for, so make sure you’re aware of them before applying.
- High interest rates. The prevailing base interest rates for BOC savings accounts ranges from 0.1% to 0.2% p.a. depending on the size of your account balance, which is generally higher than other savings accounts in the market.
- Easy to unlock bonus interest. As long as you meet a minimum monthly spending of S$500 and credit your salary of at least S$2,000, you’ll be able to unlock the bonus interest rates.
- Earn extra interest for large balances. BOC account holders with large balances stand to benefit from the Extra Savings bonus (0.40% p.a.), whereas other banks tend to offer lower rates for large account balances (typically range from S$80,000 to S$1 million).
- 12-month limit on eligible insurance products. Signing up for an eligible financial product from BOC will only fulfill the Wealth bonus interest category for the first year. After that it’ll no longer be valid to unlock this bonus, unless you commit to a new product.
- No bonus interest for any additional balance over $80,000. With the exception of the ‘extra savings interest’ category, all other bonus interest categories will only apply to the first $80,000 of your account balance.
- Fall-below fee. You’ll need to maintain a minimum average daily balance of $1,500 in your MCS account for an automatic waiver of the $3 monthly fall-below fee.
How to sign up
To be enrolled in the BOC SmartSaver plan, you’ll first need to have a BOC MCS (Multi-Currency Savings) account. If you don’t have a BOC MCS account, simply apply online or in-person at your nearest BOC branch. Before applying, you should make sure that you meet the eligibility criteria and have the required documents on hand.
Note that the BOC MCS account requires an initial deposit of $1,500.
To apply for a BOC SmartSaver Account, you must be:
- A Singaporean, Singapore PR or foreigner with a valid visa.
- At least 18 years old.
If you’re a new BOC customer, you should have the following documents on hand to speed up your application:
- Singaporeans and permanent residents:
- Front and back photocopy of your NRIC/passport
- Proof of residential address (if it’s different from the one in your NRIC)
- Valid passport
- Proof of employment/study or visit pass
- Proof of residential address: e.g. utility bills, telco bills, bank statements or letters from government bodies dated within the last 3 months.
Since 1 August 2020, Bank of China has lowered both its base and bonus interest rates. However, this reduction in interest is also prevalent in other bonus saver accounts in Singapore, such as the DBS Multiplier and OCBC 360 account due to the coronavirus outbreak.
However, BOC made up for the interest cut by raising the cap on bonus interest from S$60,000 to S$80,000, which means that those with a larger account balance can now earn more interest on an additional $20,000.
As for its bonus interest structure, the BOC SmartSaver is comparatively more straightforward that its competitors. MCS account holders can earn additional interest by fulfilling the requirements for a range of bonus interest categories, which includes relatively simple transactions such as income credit, card spend (even debit card transactions) and bill payments. Also, none of the categories is mandatory, which provides the flexibility for account holders to fulfill as many of the criteria according to their financial habits.
Before you apply for the BOC SmartSaver, make sure to compare other high interest savings accounts to find one that suits your needs.
Compare with other savings accounts
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