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Best Savings Account For Salary Crediting Only (For A Minimalist Banking Lifestyle)

MariBank offers one of the highest savings interest rates with lowest barrier currently.


Typically, for our first bank savings account, we tend to select one that has minimal opening barriers, such as a minimum initial deposit, minimum balance fees, or other conditions to earn interest on the savings. However, these plain vanilla bank savings accounts tend to also come with a low base interest rate of 0.05% per annum (p.a.), which is hardly sufficient to track inflation – and maintain the purchasing power of our savings in the long run.

As we accumulate more savings and personal finance knowledge, we will also come across high-interest savings accounts. While we can potentially earn an attractive return on our cash savings, these tend to require us to jump through many hoops, such as credit card spending, buying investments or insurance products, or fulfilling other conditions, to qualify for the higher bonus interest.

Alternatively, we can take advantage of bank savings accounts that offer a higher bonus interest rate for simply crediting our salary each month. It’s perfect for working adults, as we need to credit our salary into a bank account anyway. These low-frills bank savings accounts not only offer a higher interest rate than the base rate but also allow us to enjoy a minimalist banking lifestyle (i.e., not worry about constantly having to meet different conditions to maximise the bonus interest rate each month).

We split the different bank savings accounts in two ways: (1) accounts with high interest without any salary crediting requirement, and (2) accounts with at least a salary crediting requirement.

Banks Without Salary Crediting Requirement

These bank savings accounts offer a higher base interest rate without requiring us to fulfil any conditions, including salary crediting.

GXS Bank

GXS is a digital bank backed by Grab Holdings and Singtel that began offering selective services in August 2022. It seeks to offer more banking services to the unbanked and underserved segments, such as entrepreneurs, gig economy workers, and early-jobbers.

With a GXS main savings account, we can have up to 8 personalised savings pockets. These act like fixed deposit accounts that we can transfer funds into regularly for our specific financial goals, like a vacation fund, saving for our renovations or even to build up our retirement pot each month while we wait to invest it. These savings pockets offer a higher interest rate than the main savings account. In total, we can deposit up to $75,000 with one GXS account, earning us the following interest rates:

  • Main Savings Account: 2.38% p.a.
    • Savings Pockets: 2.68% p.a
  • Maximum Deposit: $75,000

Read Also: Best Savings Accounts In Singapore – If You Don’t Want To Keep Jumping Through Hoops

MariBank

MariBank, owned by Singapore tech giant Sea Group, is the latest of the three digital banks in Singapore that began offering their services to the public in March 2023. It aims to be more deeply integrated into Singapore’s digital economy, especially among young consumers and SMEs, through its three platforms: Shopee, Garena, and SeaMoney.

With a MariBank savings account, the interest will be credited daily, similar to the other digital banks, and the interest can be tracked on the mobile app. Additionally, with a MariBank savings account, we can also seamlessly make payment on the Shopee e-commerce platform. Currently, the deposit limit for a MariBank account is set at $100,000, earning the following interest rates:

  • Savings Account: 2.50% p.a. (promotional rate of 2.7% p.a. valid from 1 Jul 2024 till 31 Dec 2024)
  • Maximum Deposit: $100,000

Read Also: Guide To Using The Mari Savings Account – And How You Can Earn 2.88% Interest Without Salary Crediting Or Any Minimum Spending

Trust Bank

Trust Bank is a digital bank that is backed by Standard Chartered Bank and FairPrice Group. On top of the banking services, Trust Bank also leverages its large ecosystem of potentially 1 million customers to offer attractive discounts of up to 21% when its users shop at FairPrice Group.

An NTUC union member who makes at least 5 monthly card transactions worth at least $30 each month, may qualify to earn the highest interest rate of up to 3.5% p.a. while non-NTUC members can earn 3.0% p.a. on a total deposit amount of up to $500,000. This is the highest deposit balance among the three digital banks. Any amount above the first $500,000 earns the base interest rate of 0.05% p.a.

  • Savings Account: 1.25% p.a. base interest rate +0.75% p.a. interest rate for salary crediting (and up to 3.5% p.a. with other interest rate bonuses)
    • Minimum Salary Crediting: $1,500
  • Maximum Deposit: Enjoy bonus interest rate on up to first $500,000

Read Also: [2023 Edition] Best Savings Accounts for Working Adults in Singapore

Banks With Salary Crediting Requirement

Next, we look at the high-interest savings accounts that offer the highest interest for simply crediting our monthly salary into the account.

OCBC 360

OCBC 360 is a popular high-interest savings account that rewards account holders with a higher tiered interest rate the more conditions that are met. While there are different conditions to fulfil, from credit card spending to buying insurance to investing in eligible products, we focus on the interest rates earned for salary crediting:

  • Interest Rate: First $75,000 @ 2.00% p.a., and next $25,000 @ 4.00% p.a.
    • Effective Interest Rate: 2.50% p.a. for $100,000 in savings
  • Minimum Salary Crediting: $1,800
  • Maximum Deposit: Enjoy bonus interest rate on up to first $100,000

Bank of China SmartSaver

Bank of China (BOC) SmartSaver is a savings plan that rewards account holders with bonus interest upon fulfilling the required criteria. The maximum bonus interest rate on the account is earned on the first $100,000 in deposits, while the balances above $100,000 to $1,000,000 are capped up to 1.00% p.a. You can potentially earn a much higher interest rate if you fulfil other conditions such as buying an insurance plan (up to 2.4% bonus interest), spending on its credit card (between 0.5% and 0.8% bonus interest) and completing 3 bill payments of at least S$30 each month (up to 0.9% bonus interest)

  • Interest Rate: 1.90% p.a. (for salary crediting of $2,000 – $6,000) and 2.50% p.a. (for salary credit $6,000 and above)
  • Minimum Salary Crediting: $2,000
  • Maximum Deposit: Enjoy bonus interest on up to first $100,00 in savings (remaining balances up to $1 million will only earn a maximum of 1.00% interest)

Standard Chartered Bonus$aver

Standard Chartered Bonus$aver comprises a Bonus$aver account, which is a Current Account that gives one of the highest interest rates, and a Bonus$aver World MasterCard debit/credit card that may be linked to the Bonus$aver account. Similarly, Standard Chartered Bonus$aver also rewards its savers with bonus interest for making other eligible transactions, including spending (up to 1.45% bonus interest), making at least 3 bill payments (up to 0.23% bonus interest), investments (up to 2.0% bonus interest), and insurance (up to 2.0% bonus interest).

  • Interest Rate: 2.00%
  • Minimum Salary Credit: $3,000
  • Maximum Deposit: Enjoy bonus interest rate on up to first $100,000

Read Also: 11 Joints Savings Account To Open With Your Spouse Or Parents

Maybank Save Up

The Maybank Save Up account is another high-interest savings account that rewards bonus interest on top of the base interest rate of 0.25% p.a. when you take up between 1 and 3 products out of up to 9 products and services. The bonus interest rate is earned on the first $75,000.

  • Effective Interest Rate: 0.78% (First $100,000 @ 0.55% p.a.; next $25,000 @ 1.00% p.a.; next $25,000 @ 1.50% p.a.)
  • Minimum Salary Credit: $4,000
  • Maximum Deposit: Enjoy bonus interest rate on up to first $150,000

Read Also: 5 Reasons A High Interest Savings Account May Not Always Make Sense For Everyone

Best Savings Account For Salary Crediting

Bank (Account) Base Interest for Salary Crediting Only (Effective Interest Rate) Minimum Salary Credit Deposit Limit that Earns Bonus Interest
GXS 2.38% – 2.68% Nil $75,000
MariBank  2.70% Nil $100,000
Trust Bank 2.00% $1,500 $500,000
OCBC (360) 2.50% $1,800 $100,000
Bank Of China (SmartSaver) 1.90% – 2.50% $2,000 $100,000
(remaining up to $1 million earn a cap of 1.00% interest rate)
Standard Chartered (Bonus$aver) 2.00% $3,000 $100,000
Maybank (Save Up) 0.78% $4,000 $150,000

 

Among the different bank savings accounts, the three digital banks—GXS, Trust Bank, and MariBank—offer some of the highest interest rates. GXS and MariBank do not have any minimum salary credit requirements, meaning we can enjoy these rates regardless of the level of our income – and we do not even have to get our HR to change our salary crediting to a different bank.

The highest interest rate is offered by MariBank at 2.70% p.a. (promotional interest rate effective till 31 December 2024), while Trust Bank offers the highest maximum deposit limit at $500,000.

For the other bank savings accounts that require salary crediting, The OCBC 360 account offers the highest rate at 2.50%. However, it requires us to make a minimum $1,800 monthly salary credit. Alternatively, the Bank of China SmartSaver accounts offers an interest rate of between 1.90% to 2.50% p.a. as well, and requires a minimum salary credit of bewteen $2,000 and $6,000 respectively. In addition, additional funds beyond the first $100,000 in our BOC SmartSaver account can continue to earn 1.00% interest rather than the nominal 0.05% interest rate that the rest of the savings accounts typically offer.

When choosing a bank savings account to maximise the interest earned on our deposits, including our monthly salary, we should not only consider the interest rates but also the maximum deposit limit on which the higher interest can be earned. Furthermore, certain bank accounts, like Trust Bank, may even offer additional benefits beyond the savings account, like discounts when shopping with their merchant partners (NTUC FairPrice Group). It’s important to consider these factors in totality when choosing a bank account to maximise our savings.

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