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What Bank Account Should You Open and Why?

What Bank Account Should You Open and Why?
What Bank Account Should You Open and Why?

With mounting inflation and an impending recession, it is now more imperative than ever to save up for a rainy day. While you’re at it, you want to make sure you’re earning the best interest rates.

A savings account is an interest-bearing deposit account that typically offers a very modest interest rate, but its safety and stability makes it a reliable option for parking some cash you might need for short-term needs. It offer flexibility in terms of liquidity that makes it ideal for building an emergency fund, or saving for a short-term goal such as going on vacation. But with the different types of accounts available, which ones should you open and for what purpose?

Read on to find out.

Types of Bank Account

There are four types of bank accounts: current, fixed deposit, savings, and multi-currency. Let’s go through what each has to offer.

Current Account

Man making online payment with card
Man making online payment with card

A current account is intended to be a transactional account, and is not meant for storing money for long periods. As this type of account is optimised for more convenient transactions, current accounts can be accessed through online banking, debit cards or ATMs. The downside of this type of account is that it accrues no interest, and typically requires you to maintain a minimum balance in the account, lest a balance fee be incurred. As such, this type of account is mainly ideal for storing funds that are used regularly.

  • To qualify for cashback, cardholder must spend a monthly minimum of S$400

  • Cashback earnings limit is S$50

  • Must be a SAFRA member (S$80 for 2-year membership)

The SAFRA DBS Debit Card is a fantastic cashback card for anyone looking for a diverse card that earns them cashback on all spending. Spending above S$400 monthly with this card qualifies you for 2% cashback on all contactless MasterCard spend, on top of 1% on online spending and 0.3% on retail. This card also has one of the highest cashback caps at S$50, providing great value for anyone looking to use a card for frequent and diverse spending

  • To qualify for cashback, cardholder must spend a monthly minimum of S$400

  • Cashback earnings limit is S$50

  • Must be a SAFRA member (S$80 for 2-year membership)

The SAFRA DBS Debit Card is a fantastic cashback card for anyone looking for a diverse card that earns them cashback on all spending. Spending above S$400 monthly with this card qualifies you for 2% cashback on all contactless MasterCard spend, on top of 1% on online spending and 0.3% on retail. This card also has one of the highest cashback caps at S$50, providing great value for anyone looking to use a card for frequent and diverse spending

Fixed Deposit

Fixed deposit accounts are a low risk way for consumers to invest. They allow consumers to earn interest on funds placed in the bank for a predetermined or fixed time. One advantage of such accounts is their ease of use: deposit your money, wait for the time period and then reclaim your funds plus interest. The interest rates for different banks will vary and determine how competitive a bank’s fixed deposit account is.

Savings Account

piggy bank on coins
piggy bank on coins

Savings accounts are generally best used for just that — savings. Savings accounts often sit in the happy middle ground between current and fixed deposit accounts. They offer a higher interest rate than current accounts, but also give you the flexibility to withdraw funds without paying a penalty.

  • Minimum Initial Deposit:

  • Minimum Average Daily Balance:

  • Fall Below Fee:

  • Max Effective Interest Rate: at balance

DBS Multiplier Interest Rate Grid

Transactions/Month

  • Salary/Dividends/SGFin Dex + transactions in 1 category

  • (up to S$25k)

  • Salary/Dividends/SGFin Dex + transactions in 2 categories

  • (up to S$50k)

  • Salary/Dividends/SGFin Dex + transactions in 3 categories

  • (S$50k-S$100k)

< S$2k

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

S$2k – below 2.5k

0.40%

0.60%

1.20%

S$2.5k – below S$5k

0.40%

0.70%

1.40%

S$5k – below S$15k

0.50%

0.80%

1.60%

S$15k – below S$30k

0.50%

1.00%

1.70%

S$30k+

0.60%

2.00%

3.00%

  • Interest Rates rewarded by specific bands of balance: Up to S$25k or S$50k & from S$50k–S$100k

  • Categories include Credit Card spend, Home Loan Instalments, Insurance and Investments

  • Salary and/or dividends must be credited to account to qualify for bonus interest

Max Effective Interest Rate:

3.00% p.a. (at S$100k balance)

Promotional rates, if any, are not included

DBS Multiplier Savings Account provides a very high EIR at up to 3% p.a. However, meeting the necessary criteria can be quite challenging, find out more here.

  • Minimum Initial Deposit:

  • Minimum Average Daily Balance:

  • Fall Below Fee:

  • Max EIR: at balance

DBS Multiplier Interest Rate Grid

Transactions/Month

  • Salary/Dividends/SGFin Dex + transactions in 1 category

  • (up to S$25k)

  • Salary/Dividends/SGFin Dex + transactions in 2 categories

  • (up to S$50k)

  • Salary/Dividends/SGFin Dex + transactions in 3 categories

  • (S$50k-S$100k)

< S$2k

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

S$2k – below 2.5k

0.40%

0.60%

1.20%

S$2.5k – below S$5k

0.40%

0.70%

1.40%

S$5k – below S$15k

0.50%

0.80%

1.60%

S$15k – below S$30k

0.50%

1.00%

1.70%

S$30k+

0.60%

2.00%

3.00%

  • Interest Rates rewarded by specific bands of balance: Up to S$25k or S$50k & from S$50k–S$100k

  • Categories include Credit Card spend, Home Loan Instalments, Insurance and Investments

  • Salary and/or dividends must be credited to account to qualify for bonus interest

Max Effective Interest Rate:

3.00% p.a. (at S$100k balance)

Promotional rates, if any, are not included

DBS Multiplier Savings Account provides a very high EIR at up to 3% p.a. However, meeting the necessary criteria can be quite challenging, find out more here.

Multi-Currency Account

picture of dollar notes in different currencies
picture of dollar notes in different currencies

A multi-currency account’s function is quite self-explanatory. It allows the owner of the account to store different currencies under a unified account number. The primary advantage of this account type is convenience — using a multi-currency account greatly streamlines the process of managing fees over borders, whether you’re a business or an individual. The disadvantage comes from the transaction and annual maintenance fees of such an account.

How Do I Decide What Account(s) To Open?

Business vs Individual

It’s no surprise that businesses will have vastly different needs from their bank accounts compared to individuals. However, both would generally appreciate the value of current and savings accounts. Whilst storing the bulk of your money as either an individual or a business in a savings account will greatly increase the money you will gain from interest rates, only being able to draw money from your account twice or thrice a month is generally not tenable, and the ease in making transactions that a current account affords is often a necessity. As such, both businesses and individuals usually benefit from having both a current and savings account.

What Is the Goal of Your Account?

What you intend for this new bank account to do for you when you deposit your funds is an important consideration. For instance, if you intend to store your funds for a period and have no foreseeable need to use these funds, a Fixed Deposit account may be ideal. Because these different types of bank accounts have such distinct uses and purposes, if you have a goal in mind with opening a bank account, determining which type of account to open is often much easier.

Who Should Open a Multi-Currency Account?

picture of world map with currency scattered around
picture of world map with currency scattered around

Though the function of a multi-currency account is self-explanatory in many ways, it can still be confusing if you should open such an account, or if you make enough international transactions to make such an account worthwhile. For businesses operating in multiple countries, a multi-currency account is a no-brainer, not only for the convenience of consolidating payments from anywhere in the world to one account, but also because it allows you to make the most of conversion rates between currencies. Otherwise, for businesses and individuals alike, there are several use cases which would justify a multi-currency account.

  • Sending & receiving international payments

  • Employing freelancers from overseas

  • Sending money to friends & family from different countries

  • Working with international clients

Should I Open Savings Accounts in Multiple Banks?

In short, yes. Let’s go over some advantages to opening multiple savings accounts in multiple banks.

Finding the Best Interest Yields

man managing his finances on laptop and phone
man managing his finances on laptop and phone

Having multiple savings accounts with different banks can be a short-term investment strategy. As the interest rates of banks change over time, the bank that offers the most competitive interest rates may change. Having savings accounts in multiple banks is one way to potentially earn higher interest rates. As rates change, the money between these accounts can be moved accordingly to get the highest yields.

  • Minimum Initial Deposit:

  • Minimum Average Daily Balance:

  • Fall Below Fee:

  • Max Effective Interest Rate: at balance

Rate Type

Details & Requirements

Interest Rate

Base Rate

No Requirements; applied to entire balance

0.01% p.a.

Credit/Debit Spend Bonus

  • Spend monthly on a Bonus$aver card

  • (Bonus added to base rate)

+0.20% p.a. w/ S$500-S$1.99k spend

+0.40% p.a. w/ S$2k+ spend

Salary Credit Bonus

  • Credit S$3k+/month salary

  • (Bonus added to base rate)

+0.10% p.a. on 1st S$100k

Product Bonus

  • Invest with or buy insurance from Standard Charted

  • (Bonus added to base rate)

+0.90% p.a. on 1st S$100k

GIRO Bill-Pay Bonus

  • Make 3+ online bill payments via GIRO

  • (Bonus added to base rate)

+0.07% p.a. on first S$100k

Max Effective Interest Rate:

2.38% p.a. (at S$100k balance)

Promotional rates, if any, are not included

Standard Chartered Bonus$aver Account is the best option on the market for affluent individuals, allowing consumers to earn up to 2.38% p.a. interest. However, to achieve the criteria for that interest rate, a S$80 000 balance is required. Alongside that, it’s minimum salary requirements, high card spend requirement and requirement to buy a financial product for a boost makes this an account inaccessible to some.

Learn About Other Standard Chartered Products

  • Minimum Initial Deposit:

  • Minimum Average Daily Balance:

  • Fall Below Fee:

  • Max Effective Interest Rate: at balance

Rate Type

Details & Requirements

Interest Rate

Base Rate

No Requirements; applied to entire balance

0.01% p.a.

Credit/Debit Spend Bonus

  • Spend monthly on a Bonus$aver card

  • (Bonus added to base rate)

+0.20% p.a. w/ S$500-S$1.99k spend

+0.40% p.a. w/ S$2k+ spend

Salary Credit Bonus

  • Credit S$3k+/month salary

  • (Bonus added to base rate)

+0.10% p.a. on 1st S$100k

Product Bonus

  • Invest with or buy insurance from Standard Charted

  • (Bonus added to base rate)

+0.90% p.a. on 1st S$100k

GIRO Bill-Pay Bonus

  • Make 3+ online bill payments via GIRO

  • (Bonus added to base rate)

+0.07% p.a. on first S$100k

Max Effective Interest Rate:

2.38% p.a. (at S$100k balance)

Promotional rates, if any, are not included

Standard Chartered Bonus$aver Account is the best option on the market for affluent individuals, allowing consumers to earn up to 2.38% p.a. interest. However, to achieve the criteria for that interest rate, a S$80 000 balance is required. Alongside that, it’s minimum salary requirements, high card spend requirement and requirement to buy a financial product for a boost makes this an account inaccessible to some.

Learn About Other Standard Chartered Products

Making Use of Bonuses

A strategy that banks often use for attracting new customers is offering bonuses for opening new accounts with them. To earn this bonus, you typically have to open an account with the bank and maintain a balance for a period of time. These bonuses can be quite significant, so often it’s worth putting in the effort if you have the funds to spare.

Insuring Your Money

Having your savings spread between multiple savings accounts is also a way to insure your money. In Singapore, the deposit insurance scheme insures S$75,000 of your funds per bank, with all full banks and finance companies in Singapore being members of this scheme. As such, splitting your savings between multiple banks in different savings accounts allows you to insure a large amount of funds.

Conclusion

Though selecting what type of bank account you should open can be difficult, having a clear goal on what you intend to do with a new bank account can usually bring clarity about what bank account you need. Click to find out more about savings and fixed deposit accounts.

Read More

The article What Bank Account Should You Open and Why? originally appeared on ValueChampion.

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