This article was originally published on 31 March 2020 and updated to include the latest information. Additional reporting by Jorinda Hsu.
Launched in November 2019, the Singlife Account touts itself as “a smarter, simpler way to manage your savings”.
The Singlife Account delivers a return of 1.5% per annum (p.a.) on the first $10,000 deposited without any lock-in period and 1.0% p.a. on the next S$90,000. This interest rate of 1.5% per annum (as of 29 Jan 2021) is a reduction from the previous 2.0% and 2.5%, and a reflection of the falling interest rate environment. However, it is possible to still enjoy up to 2.0% p.a for the first $10,000 under the “Save, Spend, Earn Campaign” whereby user have to spend a minimum monthly sum of $500 on the Singlife Debit Card.
A minimum deposit of $500 is required upon account opening, and a minimum balance of $100 needs to be maintained to enjoy the benefits of the Singlife Account. Returns are not guaranteed and subject to future changes.
As of 15 December 2020, new Singlife Account sign-ups are put on a waitlist due to the positive response and Singlife-Aviva merger. Existing Singlife Account holders can still continue to use their accounts.
Readers considering using the Singlife Account would undoubtedly be interested to know the differences between the Singlife Account and other high-interest accounts. We examine it below.
Singlife Account Is NOT A Bank Account
The first point you should know about the Singlife Account is that it is not a bank savings account.
Instead, it is an insurance savings plan that is capital guaranteed, with the value in the Singlife Account protected up to specified limits by the Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation.
The account comes with services and features that are typically offered by banks, such as access to balance via the Singlife app and an optional Singlife Debit Card for local and international transactions with no annual and foreign exchange fees. Do note that having the Singlife Debit Card would allow account holders to earn the extra 0.5% p.a on their first 1.5% p.a if they use Singlife Debit Card under the “Save, Spend, Earn Campaign”.
There are no points or cash rebates from using the Singlife Debit Card, but each card transaction will count towards the retrenchment benefit (we will get to that shortly). In addition, while cash withdrawals via the debit card are currently unavailable, account holders can make withdrawals via FAST transfer to their own personal bank account.
As an insurance savings plan, the Singlife Account also comes with a life insurance coverage of up to 105% of the deposit in the event of death or terminal illness. The policy is automatically renewed every year subject to conditions and exclusions, and it will be terminated once the benefit is paid.
|In an event of death or terminal illness||Benefit|
|Before the policy anniversary on which life assured’s age last birthday is 61||Sum of:
– deposit; and
– 5% of deposit or $50,000, whichever is lower
|On or after the policy anniversary on which life assured’s age last birthday is 61||Sum of:
– deposit; and
– 1% of deposit or $50,000, whichever is lower
In addition to the insurance coverage, the Singlife Account comes with a retrenchment benefit.
As long the account holder is retrenched after the first six months from the account opening and remains unemployed for at least 4 months, the account holder will receive the benefit for a period of three months, subject to terms and conditions.
The benefit amount is based on the average monthly Singlife Debit Card transaction made over the six months right before the date of retrenchment, capped at $10,000.
How Singlife Account’s Interest Compares With Other Accounts
The Singlife Account offers a return of up to 1.5% on the first $10,000 (or 2.5% with “Earn, Save, Spend Campaign”), and 1% for the next $90,000. No returns will be paid for on amounts above $100,000.
While the returns on the Singlife Account are not guaranteed, it is worthy to note that the interest rates offered by banks on their high-interest accounts may be subjected to revision as well.
Here’s a comparison of Singlife Account’s interest rates with three popular high-interest rate accounts.
|Accounts||Rate (P.A.)||Terms and Conditions|
|Singlife Account||Up to 1.5%||– Initial deposit of $500
– Maintain a minimum balance of $100 to earn returns
– First $10,000 receives 1.5% p.a. (or 2.0% p.a. with “Earn, Save, Spend Campaign”)
– Next $90,000 receives 1% p.a.
– No interest above $100,000
|CIMB FastSaver Account||Up to 0.3%||– Initial deposit and minimum balance of $1,000 to earn interest
– First $75,000 receives 0.3% p.a.
– Above $75,000 receives 0.15% p.a.
|UOB Stash Account||Up to 1%||– Initial deposit and minimum balance of $1,000 to avoid fall-below-fee of $2
– First $10,000 receives 0.05% p.a.
– Next $30,000 receives 0.30% p.a.
– Next $30,000 receives 0.60% p.a.
– Next $30,000 receives 1.00% p.a.
– $100,000 and above receives 0.05% p.a.
To illustrate the returns one will receive from each account, here’s an example based on a deposit of $100,000 for a year, excluding promotional rates.
Out of the three accounts, Singlife Account will yield a return of $1,050, while UOB Stash Account yields $575, followed by CIMB FastSaver’s $262.5.
While Singlife Account does not pay any interest on amounts above $100,000, trailing behind the other savings account in terms of returns, the availability of a debit card and the relatively high returns (for amounts less than $100,000) as compared to the other two high-interest accounts make a good option for anyone intending to keep their emergency fund or spare cash, without incurring penalties for withdrawals.
Signing Up For The Singlife Account
To sign up for a Singlife Account, you will first be required download the Singlife App and register your details using SingPass MyInfo.
After confirming the details, you can proceed to make a minimum initial deposit of $500 via FAST transfer from any bank account into the Singlife Account, and to make a request for the debit card to be mailed to you within 9 to 12 business days.
Do note that as of 15 December 2020, new Singlife Account sign-ups are put on a waitlist. More information will be sent across to interested account holders closer to the reopening date.