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Introducing Citi Interest Booster Account: Is This A High Interest Savings Account You Need?

Extra interest for your birthday month


With rising prices and inflation, finding a good high interest savings account is even more important if we don’t want to let our savings sit idle and erode our purchasing power.

With most Singaporeans having a personal saving rate of about 37.5%, finding a suitable high interest savings account is an important tool in our financial arsenal. Thankfully, there are many options available to us with the latest offering being Citibank’s Citi Interest Booster Account.

With so many high interest savings accounts available, is the Citi Interest Booster Account a savings account you need?

Read Also: [2022 Edition] Best Savings Accounts for Working Adults in Singapore

Citi Interest Booster Account Offers Up To 2.8% p.a. Interest (If You Meet All The Criteria And Only During Your Birthday Month)

Similar to other high interest savings account, Citi Interest Booster Account allows you to earn higher interest rates when you meet different criteria for various categories on a monthly basis:

Source: Citibank

The base interest rate you can earn (without fulfilling any of the bonus interest categories) is 0.3% p.a. on the first $50,000 balance. While the maximum interest you can earn is up to 2.8% p.a., this includes the birthday bonus interest which only happens for one month out of a year, meaning you would be earning less than 2.8% p.a. most of the time. Again, the bonus interest is capped at the first $50,000 balance.

One benefit of Citi Interest Booster Account is that the bonus interest categories are discrete from each other. This means that you don’t have to meet the criteria in multiple categories to earn the bonus interest. Even if you only meet the criteria for Spend, you would receive the bonus 0.2% p.a. interest for a total interest of 0.5% p.a.

It may be hard for most people to realistically achieve the high interest rate of 2.7% p.a. (or 2.8% p.a. during your birthday month). For instance, the Invest bonus category requires you to perform 3 qualifying investment transactions or more. This includes a minimum of $1,000 investment funds purchase, minimum of $1,000 forex conversion, or minimum of $5,000 stock purchases. This means a minimum of $3,000 in eligible investments to earn the bonus interest of 0.6%.

The bonus interest for Mortgage and Insure also only last for 12 months. For most people, it is unlikely we would reprice our mortgage or take up another regular premium insurance policy so soon after one year. This could make it difficult to earn the bonus interest for these categories beyond the first year.

As for the Save category, the bonus interest of 0.2% is only on the incremental balance from the previous month. This means that if your starting balance is $10,000 and you meet the criteria of the save bonus interest category by increasing your account balance by $1,500, you would only earn the bonus interest of 0.2% on the $1,500 instead of your full account balance of $11,500.

Assuming you are planning to take up a home loan and insurance policy with Citibank and meet the minimum card spending of $500, you could earn an interest rate of 1.9% p.a. without much additional effort for the first 12 months.

Read Also: Beginners’ Guide To Fixed Deposits In Singapore

Citi Interest Booster Is Part Of Citibank’s New Citi Plus

Known for its focus on wealth management, Citibank has introduced the Citi Interest Booster Account as part of its new wealth solution: Citi Plus.

Citi Plus is a digital-only offering for the emerging affluent that includes the Citi Interest Booster and a digital wealth platform that helps them to manage money, build wealth and achieve financial goals. The app includes financial wellness modules and articles to improve financial knowledge and a financial goal-tracking tool.

Additionally, Citi Plus customers enjoy 2% cash back, compared to the regular 1.6% cash back, on their Citi Cash Back+ Mastercard if they are the primary account holder of a Citi Interest Booster Account.

While Citi Plus does have a minimum monthly Total Relationship Balance of $15,000 usually, the $15 account service fee is waived until 31 December 2023. This means that you have a chance to enjoy the benefits of Citi Plus and the Citi Interest Booster Account without incurring any additional fees until the end of next year.

Existing Citi Wealth First Customers Can Choose To Transfer To Citi Plus

Existing Citibank customers may already be already holding a Citi Wealth First Account which is a similar high interest savings account.

Unlike Citi Plus which is targeted at the emerging affluent, Citi Wealth First is available for the various wealth tiers that Citibank serves. This includes Citibanking, Citi Priority, Citigold and Citigold Private Client customers. Thus, the bonus interest criteria for Citi Plus are easier to meet compared to Citi Wealth First.

The differences between the two accounts include:

Citi Plus/ Interest Booster Account Citi Wealth First Account
Base Interest Rate 0.3% p.a. 0.01% p.a.
Spend 0.2% p.a. bonus interest for minimum $500 eligible spending on Citi Cash Back + Mastercard/ Citibank Debit Mastercard 0.2% p.a. bonus interest for minimum $250 eligible spending on eligible Citibank Debit Cards
Invest 0.6% p.a. bonus interest for 3 qualifying investment transactions 0.8% p.a. bonus interest for 12 months for $50,000 in investment transactions (including purchase of Unit Trust, Structured Notes and Bonds)
Insure 0.6% p.a. bonus interest for 12 months for new regular premium insurance policy with min. annual premium of $5,000 0.8% p.a. bonus interest for 12 months for new single premium insurance policy with total premiums of at least  $50,000
Mortgage 0.8% p.a. bonus interest for 12 months for taking up a min. home loan of $500,000 0.8% p.a. bonus interest for 12 months for taking up a min. home loan of $500,000
Save 0.2% p.a. bonus interest on incremental balance from previous month for increasing account balance by $1,500 0.2% p.a. bonus interest on incremental balance from previous month for increasing account balance by $3,000

 

Existing Citibank customers can choose to transfer to Citi Plus, but they will no longer enjoy bonus interest on their Citi Wealth First Account after the conversion to Citi Plus. However, for ongoing Protect, Invest and Borrow bonus interests, they will be paid until the end of the 12-month period.

Read Also: Guide To Private Banking In Singapore: Here’s How Much You Need To Earn Or Have To Open An Account

 

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