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Best current accounts in Singapore
Find out about the features and fees, plus a roundup of current accounts available in Singapore.
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Issue cheques and manage your day-to-day transactions all in one place with a current account. While they all offer an easy way to transact, know that not all current accounts are created equal.
In this guide we will take you through how current accounts work, what fees to look out for and which account is most suited to your banking needs.
What's in this guide?
How do current accounts work?
A current account is a type of transactional account you use to manage your money day-to-day. You can receive your salary or wages into the account and spend money using your linked debit card or cheques. The main purpose of a current account is to use it as a mode of payment – through a linked debit card, online banking, money transfer to other accounts and more.
Current accounts differ from savings and deposit accounts because they aren’t used for long-term savings and investments. They are often regarded as non-interest bearing accounts.
However, a traditional current account is not the only option to consider. If you’re tech-savvy, prefer complete control of your finances directly from your mobile devices and don’t require physical cheques, you can also consider a digital bank.
Compare a range of current accounts in Singapore
What features come with the best current accounts in Singapore?
Current accounts in Singapore are often relatively similar, but each has its own features depending on the bank. Some of the features that you can find include:
- Overdraft facility. You can usually add an overdraft facility to your current account in Singapore which allows you to spend over the amount available in your account. You will need to pay interest on this amount.
- Choice of debit card. Most banks give you a choice of debit card to attach to your account. Debit cards can come with a host of great features, including cashback and rebates, multicurrency support, free memberships and more.
- Reward schemes. Reward schemes are often seen with credit cards, but they are now becoming more common with current accounts. If you choose a current account with a reward scheme you can benefit from exclusive deals and discounts and cashback on bills, purchases and mortgage payments.
- Preferential interest rates. Some banks will offer better interest rates for home and personal loans to customers that have their current account with them. This is beneficial if you are considering taking out a loan at some point in the future.
- Mobile payments. If you are keen to use Apple Pay, Google Pay or Fitbit Pay, some banks allow you to set this up using your current account.
- Joint accounts. You’re able to share your account with another person if you want to.
What are common current account fees?
Knowing the common fees you might incur is the first step in avoiding them. Here’s what to look out for:
- Fall below fee. Most banks charge a fall-below fee if you’re unable to maintain the balance above the required minimum. For example, DBS, OCBC, HSBC and UOB current accounts charge a fall-below fee of $7.50 if you can’t maintain at least $3,000 daily average in the account.
- Overseas ATM withdrawal fee. Every time you take money out at the ATM you can be charged depending on your bank. Some banks include ATM withdrawals for free, while others charge somewhere between $5 and $10.
- Cheque book fee. Cheque books are generally chargeable at $10 per book, but some banks such as POSB and Standard Chartered Bank waive the charges for the first cheque book issued upon account opening.
- Paper statement fee.The cost if you opt to receive a printed copy of your statement in the mail.
- Early account closure fee. You’d typically incur a $30 to $50 fee if you decide to close your current account within a short period after opening it, which is generally less than 6 months.
These fees are typical for current accounts in Singapore, however they vary from bank to bank. So make sure to look up on and compare all the fees that may be charged before applying.
How do I compare current accounts?
There’s a lot to consider when choosing a current account.
- Options for accessing your cash. Get your cash over-the-counter, online or from an ATM. Online banking allows you to view your account, make payments, deposits and transfers right from your computer. Many banks offer mobile apps, making online banking even more convenient. If you prefer to bank in person, see if your bank has a physical presence.
- Minimum deposits. Check if the account has a minimum opening deposit or if you need to meet a minimum ongoing balance to avoid fees.
- What are the monthly fees and charges? Compare the fees that various banks charge. Some banks will charge if you don’t maintain a minimum balance, while others charge for overseas ATMs, foreign transactions, overdrafts, checks, money transfers and more.
- Debit card. If your bank issues a debit card, see if it’s backed by a major credit card provider like Visa or Mastercard. This will allow you to make purchases in stores and online. Also, see how easy it is to freeze your account and get a replacement if you lose yours.
- Signup bonus. Some banks reward you right off the bat by offering a signup bonus or other incentive, most often with the requirement that you deposit a minimum amount and keep it in the account for a period of time. Don’t get an account just because of a freebie — look into all of the other features first.
- International transactions. Larger banks with an international or regional presence can provide you with certain services if you travel overseas, including cash withdrawals at ATMs from partner banks. Check the fees for international money transfers, overseas purchases and currency conversion when looking at different current accounts.
- Earning capabilities. Some current accounts earn cashback bonuses or even interest.
How do you open a current account in Singapore?
To open a current account in Singapore, you’ll need to first decide on the bank that offers an account you need and visit its nearest branch. Alternatively, you may also make an appointment before heading down to avoid long queues.
You’ll need to bring the following with you:
- Identification. For Singaporeans and permanent residents, make sure to bring along your NRIC. For foreigners, you’ll need to bring your passport as well as your Employment Pass (EP), S-Pass or Student Pass.
- Proof of residential address. Your latest utility bill, account statement or letter from any government bodies.
You also need to meet the following eligibility criteria to apply:
- Be at least 18 years old (some banks like UOB requires you to be at least 21 years old)
- Be living in Singapore
Do note that the documentation and eligibility information we’ve provided is only meant as a general guide. Before proceeding to open a current account at your chosen bank, make sure to check their eligibility criteria and know what are the exact documents required.
Frequently asked questions
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