The economy hasn’t been doing well so far in 2020, and is likely to stay that way for the forseeable future. As a result, almost every bank has obliterated the interest rates on their high-interest savings accounts, turning them into mediocre rates at best.
Obviously, this is bad news for anyone who is trying to save money.
Accounts such as DBS Multiplier, UOB One and OCBC 360 have all butchered their interest rates.
Earlier this month, Standard Chartered announced that the Jumpstart account (aka the best savings account for students) will have it’s interest rate revised from 2% to 1% p.a. with effect from 1 July 2020.
Oh the tragedy…
While it may seem like there is nowhere else to turn to for interest rates above 2%, there is still one account left standing for both students and adults – The Singlife Account.
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. This post was written with the sole intention of helping people with their personal finance.
THE SINGLIFE ACCOUNT
Singlife is, in essence, an insurance company. They are licensed by MAS and protected by SDIC, so they are 100% legit.
There are 3 main aspects of The Singlife Account: insurance savings plan, Singlife debit card and insurance benefits.
Insurance Savings Plan
The Singlife Account offers the following interest rates:
|Account Balance||Interest Rate|
|First $10k||2.5% p.a.|
|Next $90k||1% p.a.|
Note: A min. initial transfer of $500 is required to create the account, and a min. balance of $100 is required to earn interest.
Yes, you saw it right – The Singlife Account offers a whopping 2.5% interest on the first $10k balance you have in the account.
The best part is that it is completely no-frills. No fees; no criteria to meet. Just leave your money in the account and you can start earning the 2.5% interest.
This is the highest interest rate that you can earn in any account for doing nothing. If a bank offers interest rates >2% on their savings account, you probably have to (1) credit your salary, (2) spend with their credit card, (3) buy insurance from them and (4) invest with them.
That’s more than most people do with a bank, especially if you’re a student. A no-frills high-interest account is hard to come by now, and 2.5% is amazing especially given the current economic situation.
Singlife Debit Card
The Singlife Account also comes with a complimentary Singlife Visa debit card.
The main benefits of the card are:
- No annual fees
- No FX fees
No, the list didn’t get cut short – these are all the “benefits” to the card.
While debit cards are often lacking in terms of rewards/benefits, but this is by far one of the most lackluster cards out there.
Although having no FX fees is nice, there are other cards that also offer this feature while offering other rewards for your spending.
To find out what are the best debit cards in Singapore, check out this post!
The Singlife Account comes with 2 complimentary insurance benefits: life insurance coverage and retrenchment benefits. I’ll skim over these since most students (hopefully) won’t have to use them.
Upon death, the life insurance coverage pays out 100% of your account balance and depending on which is lower, an additional $50k or 5% (1% if you are > 60 years old) of your account balance.
If you get retrenched and remain unemployed for at least 4 months, you will receive 3 months of retrenchment benefit. This will be equal to your average monthly spending on the Singlife debit card for the 6 months prior to your retrenchment.
Note: If you don’t have the Singlife debit card or you don’t spend with it, you won’t get any retrenchment benefit even if you qualify for it.
Not A Savings Account
You may have noticed that in my post about savings accounts, I didn’t mention The Singlife Account – because it is not a savings account.
Instead, The Singlife Account is an insurance savings plan that behaves almost exactly like a savings account.
You earn interest on your deposits, you can spend from it by linking it to a debit card and you can withdraw or deposit funds via FAST transfer with another bank account.
However, since it is not a bank account, there are no ATMs from which you can directly withdraw cash. You have to transfer funds from The Singlife Account to a separate bank account and withdraw cash from that bank’s ATM.
I opened my Singlife Account about 2 months ago and dumped $10k in it to earn interest – and I’d recommend everyone to do the same.
2.5% is probably one of the best interest rates you’ll find anywhere, and the only criteria to meet is to have $100 deposited.
Personally, I don’t use their debit card and I wouldn’t recommend anyone to. The only benefit it brings is the potential for a retrenchment benefit – which you will only qualify for if you are unemployed for 4 months.
As a student, this doesn’t concern me. But even if I had a job, I’d rather use a card that gives me cashback/points every month because it’s more consistent and reliable.
- Highest no-frills interest rate of 2.5%
- Complimentary life insurance and retrenchment benefits
- Easy to apply & set-up (all via the Singlife mobile app)
- No rewards for debit card spending
- Cannot directly withdraw cash
All in all, The Singlife Account is a great place for students to dump their savings as it offers better rates than other alternatives.
If you’re a working adult who is able to get >1% interest with accounts such as DBS Multipler/UOB One, then just leave $10k in your Singlife Account and have the rest of your savings elsewhere.
Of course, there’s no guarantee that The Singlife Account will maintain it’s 2.5% interest for much longer. Best to make use of it while it’s still around!
But maybe skip on the debit card – use another card that offers cashback/points so that you get the most out of your spending, while also getting the most out of your savings.
Download the Singlife mobile app and register for an account to start earning higher interest today.