Savings accounts

Find out which savings account could be best for you.

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Savings accounts are a fundamental part of your financial life. They’re used for setting aside money for future expenditure or simply to create a rainy day fund. Choosing the best savings account not only brings you closer to your financial goals but could even help you grow this nest egg of cash.

Read on to find out more about savings accounts in Singapore, including their features and fees.

How do savings accounts in Singapore work?

A savings account is an account in which you store money that you don’t intend to use for daily expenses. This account receives interest from your bank provider. Interest rates for savings accounts in Singapore tend to range from 0.2 to 3.8%.

Once you deposit your money into a savings account in Singapore, it may or may not be locked-in. Locked-in savings accounts do not allow you to reap interest rate benefits if you withdraw your savings before a stipulated date. Besides this, there is a range of savings accounts in Singapore, including multiplier accounts, joint-savings accounts and multi-currency savings accounts. Each of these accounts come with different eligibility requirements and perks, so be sure to choose the right type that suits your banking needs.

What features come with savings accounts in Singapore?

The features offered by savings accounts in Singapore will differ across providers and account types. However, you can generally expect the following:

  • Online banking options
  • Mobile payments
  • Reward schemes
  • Preferential interest rates

What fees are charged with savings accounts?

Opening a savings account in Singapore is usually free, but be wary of incurring the following costs while holding a savings account:

  • Monthly fees. This is the fee that the bank charges for running the account. Most banks offering savings accounts in Singapore do not charge such fees, but you may experience this with multi-currency savings accounts.
  • Currency conversion fees. If you’re looking to transact in and out of a multi-currency savings account, you might rack up currency conversion costs.
  • Fall-below fees. You may be charge a small fee when your balance dips below the account’s average daily minimum.
  • Application fees. Although most savings accounts in Singapore don’t charge any registration or debit card delivery fees, do check the fine print to see if these apply.

Compare a range of savings accounts in Singapore

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Minimum Initial Deposit Fall below monthly fees Minimum annual interest rate Maximum annual interest rate
POSB SAYE Account
POSB SAYE Account
S$0
S$0
0.05% p.a.
0.2% p.a.
SC JumpStart Account
S$0
S$0
0%
1% p.a.
CIMB StarSaver (Savings)-i Account
CIMB StarSaver (Savings)-i Account
S$1,000
S$0
0.4% p.a.
0.7% p.a.
UOB Stash Account
UOB Stash Account
S$1,000
S$2
0.05% p.a.
1% p.a.
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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.

How will I know which savings account is best for me?

The savings account best for you is one that perfectly suits your banking needs. Here are some factors to consider before making a decision:

  • Interest rates. Savings accounts in Singapore offer a variety of interest rates, especially when comparing regular savings accounts to multiplier accounts. If you fulfil the conditions required by the bank and want to grow your cash with high-yield rates, a multiplier account might be best for you. Alternatively, if you’re a parent looking to open a savings account for your child to withdraw an allowance from, then interest rates might not be a priority.
  • Access to cash. If you rely on cash for day-to-day transactions, you’d probably favour savings accounts in Singapore from providers with multiple ATMs across the island.
  • Fees. Hidden costs can eat away at your savings. Watch out for monthly fees, fall-below fees and conditions that lead to the withholding of interest rate payments.
  • Ease of online access. Having reliable access to your finances is essential. If you want the ability to monitor your finances around-the-clock, you should choose a savings account that comes with intuitive online banking solutions.

Advertised interest rate vs average effective interest rate?

Many of us hold the misconception that the interest rates we end up paying on a loan are the exact interest rates as advertised by the provider. This is often far from the truth.

Interest rates quoted by providers are usually the advertised interest rate. This calculation only includes the interest payable on the amount you’ve borrowed. In reality, you’re more likely to end up paying the effective interest rate (EIR), which further includes fees for administration and application processing. Effective interest rates are thus a more accurate gauge of how much you could end up paying on a loan.

The effective interest rate on a loan is found alongside the advertised interest rate, in accordance with regulations by the Code of Advertising Practice for Banks. If you cannot locate the effective interest rate, this could mean that it does not differ from the advertised interest rate. Always clarify with your provider as an added measure of precaution.

Compare the best savings accounts in Singapore

High yield accounts

If your ideal savings account is one that can grow your savings quickly, you might want to consider the following providers.

  • UOB One account. Earn up to 2.50% p.a. interest rates with a minimum credit card expenditure, salary credit amount or bill payment using your account.
  • OCBC 360 account. By meeting minimum criteria in card expenditure, salary crediting, or monthly investments, you may earn interest of up to 2.15% p.a.
  • DBS Multiplier account. Earn interest from 0.3% to 3.8% p.a. when you meet certain criteria such as crediting your salary or spending on your credit card.

Fee-free savings accounts

Want a savings account that doesn’t eat away at your nest egg? Try these fee-free savings accounts.

  • CIMB StarSaver Account. This combined checking and savings account offers interest rates of up to 0.7% p.a. It has S$0 monthly fees and S$0 fall-below fees. However, do take note of its minimum balance requirement of SS1,000.
  • POSB Savings Account. It offers an interest rate of 0.05%, without lock-ins or monthly fees.
  • SCB Bonus$aver Account. A high-interest savings account to help you earn more from your deposits. Pay S$0 monthly fees and enjoy bonus yields up to 3%.

Specialised savings accounts

The best savings account in Singapore may just be one that best suits your income profile. Here are some common, specialised savings accounts you may wish to consider.

  • POSB Save As You Serve. If you’re a member of the Singapore Armed Forces, this programme is just for you. Get 2% p.a. as long as you save a fixed amount every month and maintain no withdrawals.
  • UOB Lady’s Savings Account. A savings account that comes with complimentary female malignant cancer coverage up to S$200,000, health checks and discounted medical benefits.
  • CIMB FastSaver-i Account. CIMB FastSaver-i is Singapore’s first Shariah-compliant online savings account which gives you the convenience of opening your account online instantly. You can also earn interest of up to 1.50% p.a. with no fall below fees. CIMB FastSaver-i uses the Shariah concept of Murabahah (mark-up) to facilitate the deposit-taking activity from you to the bank.

*Information provided are accurate as of 18 September 2020.

Types of savings accounts

Savings accounts in Singapore generally have one of the following structures:

Type of savingsHighlights
Basic accountsA no-frills, entry-level bank account that allows you to deposit and withdraw funds, all while earning interest.
Multi-product accounts>These high interest savings accounts offer bonus interest rates for customers who have loans, insurance or investments with the same bank. Typically, these accounts also requires you to credit your salary to the account.
Incentivised growth accountsThese bonus saver accounts incentivise you to save by fulfilling required conditions, which may include depositing a minimum amount of money per month and increasing your month-to-month balance. You may also be rewarded when you don’t make any withdrawals for a specific period.

While complex savings account typically yield more interest compared to basic savings accounts, do understand that such accounts can be challenging to navigate. Before you choose a savings account, make sure that its features and requirements are suited to your banking habits.

How to compare the best savings accounts in Singapore

In order to compare savings accounts and finding out which could be the best for you, you’ll have to consider the following.

  • Interest rates. Interest rates offered by savings accounts in Singapore range from less than 1% to over 3% p.a. If you’re looking for higher interest rates, then a multiplier account may be the best savings account in Singapore for you.
  • Fees. Hidden costs can eat away at your savings. Watch out for monthly fees, fall-below fees and early closure fees that could significantly affect your savings. If such costs are a concern to you, then a fee-free savings account may be worth considering.
  • Ease of online access. Having reliable access to your finances is essential. If you want the ability to monitor your finances around-the-clock, you should choose a savings account that comes with intuitive online banking solutions.
  • Specific needs. If you have specific banking preference, such as a desire to use cheque books, or has a specific profile, such as being a foreign expatriate and working in Singapore, the best savings account in Singapore could be one that perfectly meets these needs.

How do you open a savings account in Singapore?

Opening a savings account in Singapore is convenient and fast. First, make sure that you have the required documents for signing up. These may vary across providers but you’d typically need to submit:

  • Singaporeans and permanent residents. ID and the latest copy of a proof of residence (e.g. local utility bill, local telecommunication bill, local bank statement)
  • Foreigners working in Singapore. Passport, Employment Pass, proof of residence (e.g. IPA issued by MOM, Work Permit issued by MOM)
  • Foreigners studying in Singapore. Passport, matriculation or student card approved by the ICA, or proof of residence (e.g. utility bill, telecommunication bill, bank statement)

The sign-up process may also differ across banks, with some allowing for full online-based applications and others requiring a visit to your local bank branch. Moreover, you should expect to provide more detailed documents when applying for high-yield savings accounts. For example, you may need to provide investment balances, salary slips or CPF balances in order to prove that you meet the minimum requirements of high-yield multiplier accounts.

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