Disclaimer: Interest rates are applicable for deposits between S$1,000 and S$49,999. Interest rate and initial deposit are shown in Singapore dollars.
Please check with the provider for deposits and rates in other amounts and currencies.
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.
What type of current accounts are available in Singapore?
Rewards current accounts
Depending on which one you choose, there are various ways to earn rewards with your current account. For example, you can be rewarded for maintaining your daily balance, for the purchases you make using the issued debit card, or both.
Depending on your banking habits you could end up with a substantial number of points or rebates. Points can typically be used towards airfare or selected purchases and vouchers. Some allow you to redeem your points in the form of cash that gets put back into your account. Think about how you’d use your current account and the types of rewards you may actually use in order to compare the different offers available from banks in Singapore.
UOB One Account. Earn higher interest rates of up to 2.50% p.a on your account balance. You can also benefit from time-limited promotions and cashback.
Citibank Tap and Save Account. Enjoy 1% cash rebate on eligible purchases and competitive interest of up to 0.13% p.a.
No fee current accounts are pretty self-explanatory. They offer a range of transactional banking services without charging any monthly or annual account maintenance fees. However, some of them do incur a nominal penalty if your monthly average balance drops below a certain threshold.
OCBC Current Account. Manage your day-to-day transactions with zero monthly fees. However, the OCBC current account charges a $7.50 fall-below fee if your minimum average is lower than $3,000.
BOC Current Account. This is a statement-based chequing account with no monthly fees. Do note that a fall-below fee of S$7.50 will be charged if the monthly average balance is less than S$3,000.
UOB Current Account. Handle day-to-day finances with this fee-free statement-based chequing account. However, there’ll be a S$7.50 fall-below fee if the monthly average balance is less than S$3,000.
Online current accounts
An online current account is simply a way to manage your bank account on the Internet via a bank’s secure website, or through a mobile app. This type of account lets you perform essential banking tasks 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Online accounts often complement the services already offered by your bank, such as using an ATM to get cash or the payment of standing orders.
Maybank PremierOne Current Account. Enjoy the convenience of a checking facility and monthly account statements with 24/7 online and mobile banking.
OCBC 360 Account. Manage your account online and grow your savings with higher interest rates when you fulfil bonus earn categories.
DBS Multiplier Account. Multiply your savings with competitive interest rates if you credit your income and meet all the account criteria. Comes with 24/7 online and mobile banking.
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.
Chequing facility. The key feature of current accounts is that they come with a chequing facility. Some current accounts offer free cheque books, or even automatic cheque book delivery services. If you issue cheques frequently, it’s important to consider banks that offer free/cheap cheque books as these small costs can add up.
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.
Which are the best current accounts in Singapore?
Standard Chartered Bonus$aver.Earn a bonus interest rate of up to 3.88% p.a. on the first S$100,000 eligible deposit balance when you consolidate your spending, salary credit, bill payments and wealth needs in the Bonus$aver Account.
Maybank PremierOne Current Account. This account offers competitive interest rates, a checking facility and monthly account statements. The first cheque book is complimentary, but subsequent booklets will cost S$10 each. Do note that there’s a S$2 monthly account fee.
Citibank Step-Up account.Maximise your interest earn with this checking account when you save more each month, starting from a base rate of 0.01% p.a. and up to 0.13% p.a.
POSB current account.This current account is linked to your POSB savings account so you’ll always have a sufficient balance to clear cheques. Hence, no minimum balance is required. Do note that there’ll be a S$2 monthly account fee.
RHB Premier Plus Current Account. Earn up to 0.60% p.a. interest on your account balance. However, this account requires a high initial deposit of S$200,000.
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:
Monthly account fees. Current accounts may come with a nominal monthly account maintenance fee (such as S$5/month), but it does add up in the long run.
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.
Currency conversion fees. Multi-currency or non-SGD-denominated accounts can rack up huge costs due to currency conversion fees. So be sure to watch out for that if you make frequent monetary transactions in multiple currencies.
Card-related fees. Banks tend to offer credit or debit cards linked to your new account and these may come with annual charges. Also, the loss of a debit or credit card often comes with a price tag, depending on your bank provider.
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.
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. If so, make sure to compare the rates before choosing your ideal account.
Customer service. This point may seem insignificant, but having the means to communicate with bank account providers could help you avoid costly mistakes.
Are there any caveats to look out for?
You don’t need to worry about losing deposits of up to $75,000 thanks to the Deposits Insurance (DI) Scheme by Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation Limited (SDIC). But there are things you should avoid if you do choose to open a rewards current account.
Fees. Some of these accounts will have a monthly service fee, although that could be removed by meeting certain terms such as a monthly deposit requirement.
Foreign transaction fees. You could be subject to a fee if you make a purchase outside of Singapore, whether there is a currency conversion or not.
Overspending. Avoid making purchases in order to gain cashback/points.
Monthly deposit. Some of these accounts do have a monthly deposit requirement in order to avoid paying fees. If you are not able to make that obligation you may want to consider other types of transaction accounts such as bonus saver accounts.
How do you open a current account in Singapore?
Before signing up for a current account, check if you meet your desired provider’s eligibility requirements. You can do this by visiting your bank’s website or calling customer service.
To apply, simply follow the sign-up process on the bank’s website. Most banks will allow you to sign up for a current account online — and existing customers can usually apply directly via the bank’s internet banking platform or ATM. As for new customers, online applications typically only require you to fill up your personal details and attach relevant documents. Singaporeans and permanent residents with SingPass may also prefill their application via MyInfo.
If you need to visit a branch to apply, it’s advisable to schedule an appointment in advance to avoid long queues.
While specific eligibility criteria may vary depending on the specific bank and account you’re applying for, here are the general requirements:
Age. You must be at least 18 years of age (some banks like UOB requires you to be at least 21 years old)
Residency. Singaporean, permanent resident or foreigner with a valid visa
Initial deposit. Different account types require varying amounts for the initial deposit
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.
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
Digital banks do not have physical branches, with all transactions, account opening, card ordering and communication done completely online or through an app. They are often useful for people who travel a lot or who receive and send money in different currencies and want as little fees as possible.
To avoid paying fees on your current account, you’ll need to either lodge a certain amount per month, keep a minimum balance or comply with a number of card transactions each month. Every bank has a different offering and not all banks give you the chance to avoid fees, so make sure to understand what is offered before signing up.
Not necessarily. You can have your salary paid into another account and then transfer money over, but do remember that sometimes fees are waived if you credit your salary into your account each month.
Current accounts do not usually incur interest. To earn interest, you should open a savings account.
Yes, most banks offer online or phone banking services for all your day-to-day banking needs. However, you may still need to visit a branch for things like taking out a home loan or to withdraw cash in bulk. Digital banks do not have any physical branches so your finances are 100% managed online.
Zyane Tan is an associate editor at Finder. An experienced copywriter and content creator, Zyane enjoys writing on a wide array of subjects. When she’s not busy typing away, she’s reading and musing over a pint.
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