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Best Foreign Currency Fixed Deposit Accounts In Singapore

US dollar fixed deposits offer an attractive above-4% p.a. interest rate.


Foreign currency fixed deposits are the latest investment products that are in hot demand due to the strong local Singapore dollar. This comes as a result of the Federal Reserve’s action to raise interest rates to combat the runaway inflation.

In turn, banks in Singapore are enticing local depositors with attractive interest rates on the major foreign currencies such as the US Dollar (USD), Euro Dollar (EUR), British Pound Sterling (GBP), and Australian Dollar (AUD).

Here are the best foreign currency fixed deposit accounts for investors who wish to take advantage of the favourable exchange rate to earn higher interest rates.

What Are Foreign Currency Fixed Deposit Accounts?

Foreign currency fixed deposit accounts function similarly to SGD dollar fixed deposits, as they provide guaranteed interest on deposited funds for a predetermined period with a bank. The only difference is that instead of the Singapore dollar, you would need to purchase and hold your funds in one of the major foreign currencies offered by the bank.

The interest rate on foreign currency deposits offered by local banks may take reference to the respective country’s borrowing rate. For example, the interest rates on US dollar fixed deposits offered by local banks have been rising steadily since 2022. This is in correlation to the US Fed’s action to raise its Fed Fund rates from a range of 0%–0.25% (in 2022) to 5.25%–5.50% (in May 2024).

Typically, the larger the investment amount and the longer the duration of the fixed deposit, the higher the interest rates will be.

Nevertheless, most banks would allow you to open a foreign currency fixed deposit with a minimum initial deposit of at least 5,000 to 10,000 units of the base currency that you intend to deposit.

Which Bank Offers The Best US Dollar (USD) Currency Fixed Deposit Rates In Singapore

To determine the best USD currency fixed deposit rate, we looked at the highest board and promotional interest rates that the banks offer over a 12-month period for the minimum deposit.

Bank Highest Interest Rate (%)* Minimum Deposit Available Tenure
Bank of East Asia 4.59 USD $10,000 (1 week), 1, 2, 3, 6, 12-months
ICBC 4.55 USD $20,000/ USD $500 – E-banking (1 week), 1, 3, 6, 12-months
CIMB 4.80 USD $10,000 1, 3, 6, 12-months
DBS 4.10 (SGD $5,000 equivalent) 1, 2, 3, 6, 12-months
UOB 4.15 USD $5,000 (1, 2-weeks), 1, 2, 3, 6, 12-months
OCBC 4.12 USD $5,000 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12-months
Maybank 4.70# USD $10,000 1, 2, 3, 6-months
State Bank of India 4.50 USD $5,000 1, 2, 3, 6, 12, 18, 24-months
HL Bank 4.65 USD $50,000 1, 3, 6, 12-months
RHB 5.00 USD $5,000 6, 12-months
Standard Chartered 4.25 USD $5,000 (1, 2-weeks), 1, 2, 3, 6, 12-months

#Based on the longest available tenure of 6 months.
*Rates are accurate as of 9 May 2024

The best USD fixed deposit rate for a 12-month period is offered by RHB at 5.00% p.a. for a minimum deposit of USD$5,000. Alternatively, you could invest for a short tenure of between 1 and 6 months with CIMB for a minimum investment amount of USD $10,000 and receive 5.00% p.a.

Among the banks, ICBC has the lowest minimum deposit requirement of USD $500 if you deposit via E-banking. You could receive up to 4.85% p.a. for a lock in period of 3 or 6 months.

Which Bank Offers The Best Euro (EUR) Currency Fixed Deposit Rates

To determine the best EUR currency fixed deposit rate, we looked at the highest board and promotional interest rates that the banks offer over a 12-month period for the minimum deposit.

Bank Highest Interest Rate (%)* Minimum Deposit Available Tenure
Bank of East Asia 3.01 USD $10,000 (1 week), 1, 2, 3, 6, 12-months
DBS 1.72 (SGD $5,000 equivalent) 1, 2, 3, 6, 12-months
Maybank 2.95# EUR $10,000 1, 2, 3, 6-months
RHB 3.25 EUR $5,000 6, 12-months
Standard Chartered 2.17 EUR $5,000 (1, 2-weeks), 1, 2, 3, 6, 12-months

#Based on the longest available tenure of 6 months.
*Rates are accurate as of 9 May 2024

 

The best EUR fixed deposit rate is offered by Bank of East Asia (BEA) at 3.01% p.a. for a lock in period of 12 months and a minimum deposit of USD $10,000.

Alternatively, DBS allows you to invest for a lower amount, equivalent to S$5,000, though the interest is only 1.72% for a 12-month tenure.

Which Bank Offers The Best British Pound (GBP) Currency Fixed Deposit Rates

To determine the best GBP currency fixed deposit rate, we looked at the highest board and promotional interest rates that the banks offer over a 12-month period for the minimum deposit.

Bank Highest Interest Rate (%)* Minimum Deposit Available Tenure
Bank of East Asia 4.75 USD $10,000 (1 week), 1, 2, 3, 6, 12-months
CIMB 4.80 GBP 10,000 1, 3, 6, 12-months
DBS 2.99 (SGD $5,000 equivalent) 1, 2, 3, 6, 12-months
UOB 3.51# GBP 5,000 (1, 2-weeks), 1, 2, 3, 6 months
OCBC 3.57 GBP 5,000 1, 2, 3, 6,12-months
Maybank 4.55# GBP 10,000 1, 2, 3, 6-months
State Bank of India 2.30 GBP 1,000 3, 6, 12-months
HL Bank 4.38 GBP 50,000 1, 3, 6, 12-months
RHB 4.80 GBP 5,000 6, 12-months
Standard Chartered 3.89 GBP 5,000 (1, 2-weeks), 1, 2, 3, 6, 12-months

#Based on the longest available tenure of 6 months.
*Rates are accurate as of 9 May 2024

 

CIMB and RHB offer the best GBP fixed deposit rate at 4.80% for a minimum deposit period of 12 months. Among the two banks, RHB has a lower minimum deposit requirement of £5,000, while CIMB requires a deposit of at least £10,000.

Among the banks, the State Bank of India  allow you to open a GBP fixed deposit for a minimum deposit of GBP 1,000. The highest interest rates are offered on their 12-month tenor at 2.30% p.a.

Which Bank Offers The Best Australian Dollar (AUD) Currency Fixed Deposit Rates

To determine the best AUD currency fixed deposit rate, we looked at the highest board and promotional interest rates that the banks offer over a 12-month period for the minimum deposit.

Bank Highest Interest Rate (%)* Minimum Deposit Available Tenure
Bank of East Asia 4.37 USD $10,000 (1 week), 1, 2, 3, 6, 12-months
CIMB 4.00 AUD$10,000 1, 3, 6, 12-months
DBS 2.40 (SGD$5,000 equivalent) 1, 2, 3, 6, 12-months
UOB 2.42 AUD5,000 (1, 2-weeks), 1, 2, 3, 6, 12-months
OCBC 2.66 AUD5,000 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12-months
Maybank 3.55# AUD$10,000 1, 2, 3, 6-months
State Bank of India 3.00 AUD$1,000 3, 6, 12-months
HL Bank 3.86 AUD$50,000 1, 3, 6, 12-months
RHB 4.10 AUD$5,000 6, 12-months
Standard Chartered 3.34 AUD$5,000 (1, 2-weeks), 1, 2, 3, 6, 12-months

#Based on the longest available tenure of 6 months.
*Rates are accurate as of 9 May 2024

 

The best AUD fixed deposit rate is offered by Bank of East Asia (BEA) at 4.37% p.a. for a lock in period of 12 months and a minimum deposit of US$10,000. Alternatively, you could also invest a minimum of AUD 5,000 for a period of 12 months to receive 4.10% p.a. with RHB.

Another option that you can consider is the State Bank of India, if you have a lower investment amount of at least AUD $1,000. It offers 3.00% p.a. for a 12-month tenor.

What Else To Consider Before Investing In Foreign Currency Fixed Deposits

When investing in foreign currency fixed deposits, it is best to use funds that we won’t need for the immediate term, as they would be locked in for a fixed period. Should there be a need to make a premature withdrawal before its maturity, we may incur a penalty fee, plus we may not earn any interest for the period held.

Also, we need to consider the exchange rate risks when converting the foreign currency back to our local currency after the fixed deposit matures. For instance, if our local currency strengthened against the foreign currency, it would amount to an exchange rate loss, which would negate the interest earned. Alternatively, we could also gain from our investment, if the foreign currency strengthens against our local currency at the time of conversion.

Lastly, it’s important to also note that foreign currency fixed deposits like dual currency investments, structured deposits and other investment products are not insured by the Singapore Deposits Insurance Corporation (SDIC).

Therefore, we should not simply be attracted to any investment based on its potential returns but also consider the potential risks involved.

This article was first published on 18 May 2023 and was updated to reflect the latest interest rates.

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