This article is written in collaboration with Standard Chartered Bank (Singapore) Limited. All views expressed in the article are the independent opinions of DollarsAndSense.sg
One of the most important banking products that we need is a good deposit account. We use it to save up for big ticket expenses, make regular withdrawals from the ATM, pay our bills and even just to cash in our pay cheques from our employers each month.
For many of us, there is a tendency to stick with deposit accounts for a long time. In many instances, we may even still be using our first savings account. While such an approach reduces the hassle of having to switch deposit accounts, it may not give us the best outcomes in the long run.
That’s because interest rates given on deposit accounts can vary significantly in Singapore, many from as low as 0.05% per annum, to others that offer as high as 3.88% per annum.
Standard Chartered Bonus$aver Account – A Deposit Account That Could Give You High Interest Rates
The Standard Chartered Bonus$aver account is an example of a deposit account that might be suitable for working adults.
The Bonus$aver account offers an attractive interest rate of up to 3.88% per annum on your first S$100,000 deposit balances. To earn the interest, Bonu$aver account holders need to consolidate their spending and saving needs with the Bonus$aver account. The more activities they complete, the higher the interest they earn.
You can read our previous article to get a better understanding of how you can maximise the interest earned on the Standard Chartered Bonus$aver account.
How Much Of The Bonus$aver Interest Can You Realistically Unlock?
Does the Bonus$aver account makes sense for you? To determine that, let’s take a closer look at each of the activities that unlocks bonus interest payments.
# 1 Card Spend (up to 1.88% inclusive of prevailing interest)
|Card Spend||Bonus Interest Earned|
|S$500 or less||0.1% or 0.2% (prevailing interest)|
|S$500 to S$1,999||Up to 0.88% (inclusive of prevailing interest)|
|S$2,000 or more||Up to 1.88% (inclusive of prevailing interest)|
|Prevailing interest is provided on your entire deposit balance.
0.1% p.a. for deposit balance below S$200,000.
0.2% for deposit balance above S$200,000
Pros: You need to be spending at least S$500 each month on your Bonus$aver cards to earn up to 0.88% p.a. interest payment. Going a step further, if you are spending S$2,000 or more each month, the Bonus$aver will reward you with a payout of up to 1.88% p.a. on your first S$100,000 deposit balances.
Cons: Do take the time to understand what qualifies as eligible spending from Standard Chartered’s website. For instance, things like EZ-link top-ups, AXS payments or other kinds of bill payments do not add to the eligible card spend.
Another caveat is that you need to be using Bonus$aver cards for the spend to qualify. You can work around this by switching from your current credit cards to Bonus$aver cards, and see if the bonus interest is more than what your existing cards offer.
# 2 Salary Credit (1%)
|Minimum Salary Credit||Bonus Interest Earned|
Pros: This is a pretty straightforward benefit: If your take-home salary is S$3,000 or more, you will receive the bonus interest of 1% p.a.
Cons: Conversely, if your take-home salary is lower than S$3,000 each month, you will not be able to earn the bonus interest here. However, since this is just one component of the total interest you can earn, if you meet the other Bonus$aver bonus interest criteria, you might still come out ahead.
# 3 Invest Or Insure
Pros: If you invest in an eligible unit trust (minimum subscription sum: S$30,000) or purchase an eligible insurance policy (minimum annual premium: S$12,000) through Standard Chartered, you will earn an bonus interest rate of 0.75% p.a.
Cons: As you enter different phases in life, you should review your insurance and investment needs. You can buy it through Standard Chartered and make use of the opportunity to earn bonus interest. However, you should not buy an insurance policy or invest just because you want to earn the bonus interest.
# 4 Bill Payment (0.25%)
Pros: Simply pay three bills of at least S$50 each to earn the bonus 0.25% p.a. This can include your handphone bill, credit card bill and your utility bill.
Cons: You need to check out this List of Merchants to see whether your existing bills qualify for bonus interest. Eligible merchants include telcos like Singtel, Starhub and M1, insurance companies, as well as government agencies like IRAS and LTA.
(up to 1.88%)
|Good for those who are able to hit a minimum spending of S$2,000 each month. Useful also for those who spend more than S$500.||To consider if you are unable to achieve a card spend of S$500 each month.|
|Good for those with take-home salary of at least S$3,000.||Less attractive for those who have a take-home salary lower than S$3,000.|
|Invest Or Insure
|If you buy an eligible insurance or investment product through Standard Chartered, you will earn this bonus interest.||Even if you do not buy insurance or investment frequently, you should re-evaluate your investments and insurance plans on a regular basis.|
|If you are already working and have bills (e.g. credit card bills, mobile phone bills, utility bills), you are likely to achieve this easily.||If you are not paying any bills, you will not be able to earn the interest.|
Exactly How Much Interest Can You Earn Each Month?
The Bonus$aver account can provide very high interest for those who are able to meet the various criteria and have a sizeable deposit in their account.
Here’s a possible scenario on how much interest you can earn each month.
Marcus is 30 year-old manager with a young family. He earns S$7,500 each month and has a take-home salary of S$6,300. He spends about S$2,000 each month on his Bonus$aver cards. In addition, Marcus has invested S$30,000 recently in unit trusts through Standard Chartered, and regularly pays three bills each month. He currently has S$100,000 in his Bonus$aver account.
You can see from the calculation above that Marcus will receive approximately S$329.53 each month (illustration above is based on a month with 31 days), just for meeting the four criteria mentioned above. This equates to S$3,888 in a year.
Imagine that, being able to withdraw S$329 each month from the ATM, for free, just by keeping your deposits in the Bonus$aver account and meeting the criteria.
Even if Marcus doesn’t invest or insure in eligible products, he can still stand to earn a tidy S$265.83 each month just by meeting the other three criteria.
Is The Bonus$aver Account Suitable For You?
To sum it up, we think that the Bonus$aver account is the account you should be going for if you 1) have a take-home salary of S$3,000 or more, 2) spend at least S$500 each month on your card, and 3) have three bills (minimum S$50 each) to pay each month.
As a bonus, if you insure or invest in an eligible product through Standard Chartered, you will earn an extra 0.75%. In our honest opinion, this is just icing on the cake and the account is pretty attractive as it is, even without the extra 0.75%.
Lastly, the Bonus$aver account also allows account holders to earn bonus interest up to the first S$100,000 of their deposit balances. This is a high cap as compared to other deposit accounts that may cap your bonus interest earned to just the first S$50,000, S$60,000 or S$70,000. This gives you greater incentive to save up to a higher level, and to earn interest on your deposits.
To find out how much you are able to earn through the Bonus$aver account, and whether it makes sense for you to use the account you can try out their interactive widget calculator on the Standard Chartered website.
Deposit Insurance Scheme:
Singapore dollar deposits of non-bank depositors are insured by the Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation, for up to S$50,000 in aggregate per depositor per Scheme member by law. Foreign currency deposits, dual currency investments, structured deposits and other investment products are not insured.