When it comes to earning interest on your money in the bank, self-employed people often get the worse end of the stick. Why? Because we don’t have any salary credited into our bank account!
Perhaps you’ve seen the attractive high interest rates advertised for DBS multiplier, UOB One or OCBC 360, and thought of signing up for an account – only to find out that you need to credit your salary to hit the higher tiers! What a bummer…
For most banks that offer higher tier interest rates on savings accounts, this is almost always a factor that affects your tier of interest.
Today we analyse several high interest bank account offerings by the top banks in Singapore to see which offers the best fit for self-employed people.
By the end of this read, I hope you’ll be able to confidently answer these questions, tailoring your banking strategy to your unique financial goals and situation.
Scenarios for Comparison of Bank Accounts
For comparison of each bank account we will consider the following scenarios so that you can see which one better suits your needs.
- Scenario 1 – $100,000 bank balance with salary credited
- Scenario 2 – $100,000 bank balance with no salary credited
- Scenario 3 – $30,000 bank balance with salary credited
- Scenario 4 – $30,000 bank balance with no salary credited
UOB One Savings Account
The UOB One Savings Account operates on a tiered interest system based on the Account Monthly Average Balance (MAB) and certain transactions. The interest rates range from 0.05% to 7.80% based on the transactions and balance maintained. The three main types of transactions include:
- Spending a minimum of S$500 (calendar month) on eligible UOB Card
- Spending a minimum of S$500 (calendar month) on eligible UOB Card and making 3 GIRO debit transactions
- Spending a minimum of S$500 on an eligible UOB Card and crediting your Salary via GIRO
To unlock the 7.8% interest rate, you’ll need to meet certain criteria, including maintaining a balance between $75,000 to $100,000 and fulfilling all the requirements mentioned above.
Scenario 1 – $100,000 bank balance with salary credited
If you have $100,000 in your account and meet the qualifying spend, 3 giro transactions and credit your salary, you can earn and effective rate of 5.0% interest p.a. on your money which is top tier interest for just leaving your money there.
Scenario 2 – $100,000 bank balance with no salary credited
The ability to crediting your salary does affect the interest rate tiers pretty significantly, however if you are unable to fulfil this criteria you still get 2.26% p.a. effective interest rate on your $100,000. This is assuming you manage to hit the qualifying spend of $500 per month and 3 giro transactions.
Scenario 3 – $30,000 bank balance with salary credited
Fulfilll the the qualifying spend of $500 per month and 3 giro transactions and you’ll receive an interest rate of 3.85% on your $30,000.
Scenario 4 – $30,000 bank balance with no salary credited
Fulfilll the the qualifying spend of $500 per month and 3 giro transactions and you’ll receive an interest rate of 2.50% on your $30,000.
Who Benefits the Most from the UOB One Account?
If you’re in search of a straightforward, no-fuss bonus interest, then the UOB One account could be your ideal companion. It provides the easiest path to achieving maximum bonus interest.
And if you’re someone with multiple savings accounts with your salary credited to a different bank, the UOB One account proves to be a great supplementary account.
OCBC 360 Account
The OCBC 360 account operates similarly to UOB, but it has more categories, or shall we say, more hoops to jump through to unlock the maximum bonus interest. The categories include:
- Salary: Credit your Salary of at least S$1,800 into the 360 Account.
- Save: Increase your account’s average daily balance in the current month by at least S$500 from the previous month’s average daily balance.
- Spend: Charge at least S$500 to your OCBC 365, OCBC NXT, OCBC 90°N or OCBC Titanium Rewards Credit Card.
- Insure: Purchase an eligible insurance product from OCBC.
- Invest: Purchase an eligible investment product from OCBC.
- Grow: Maintain an average daily balance of at least S$200,000.
Who Benefits the Most from the OCBC 360 Account?
The OCBC 360 is a suitable choice if you have diverse banking needs, given its wide array of independent categories. However for self-employed persons, it may be harder to hit higher rates due to the salary crediting requirements.
Unless you have alot more than $100,000 that you wish to spread across multiple banks to maximize the interest earned, it might be better to opt for UOB One instead.
DBS Multiplier Account
If you refer to the table above, you’ll see that it doesn’t matter if you manage to hit the amounts on the eligbile transactions, you will still need to credit salary into your account in order to be eligible for the higher interest rates.
Unfortunately based on this requirement, DBS multiplier is by far the worst bank account for self-employed persons or freelancers to earn interest on their savings.
Which Has The Highest Interest Rates for Self-Employed?
UOB One definitely comes out on top in comparison with the other banks for having the best interest rates. OCBC 360 is also a good alternative, albeit with abit more requirements to meet. In contrast for DBS Multiplier, if you are self-employed with no salary credited you may be stuck with a measely rate of 0.5% interest p.a.
Maximizing Interest Rate Benefits From Multiple Bank Accounts at Once
If you have a lot of cash lying around, it may also make sense for you to open multiple bank accounts in order to effectively utilize the higher interest rates.
This is because most of the bank accounts have a limit cap on the capital which they apply the preferred interest rates to (for example UOB One only applies high interest rates up to $100,000).
Thus if you have $150,000 lying around right now, it might make sense to put $100,000 in UOB One and the remaining $50,000 into OCBC 360 to maximize your interest earned.
All 3 banks offer high-interest savings accounts that cater to different individual circumstances. At the time of writing, UOB One has the most agressive interest rates in the market and is also the best choice for people who are uable to meet the salary crediting requirements.
Do not that the banks do revise their rates from time to time, so be sure to check out any new changes so as to reassess your financial options!