Note: This article has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness
With the average savings interest rates offered by Singapore banks hovering at 0.2%, we need to take a look at how we can make our money work harder for us. Other than looking at long term investments to protect and grow our nest egg, it is essential that we set aside a certain percentage of cash for liquidity so that we can tap on it during rainy days or for our emergency needs. In this article, I am going to introduce some of the ways to maximise our cash that is not used for long term investments, at the same time providing us liquidity.
Introducing the Singlife account, the insurance savings plan that offers up to 2.5% per annum (returns are non-guaranteed), with no lock in period and comes with a free Visa Debit card. To get things started, you only need to fund the account minimum SGD $500 and keep the value above SGD $100 to enjoy the benefits. There is also no fall below fee. The Singlife Account is also insured under SDIC (Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation) up to SGD $100,000.
One can sign up for an account via their Singlife app which took me about 10 minutes to get things started. Fund transfer is done via FAST which means funds are reflected almost immediately in your Singlife account.
Due to overwhelming support for the Singlife referral programs, Singlife has ended its referral program benefits.
Edit as of July 2021:
Beginning 1 July 2021, the Singlife Account’s base crediting rates will be revised to 1.0% p.a. on the first S$10,000 and 0.5% p.a. return on the next S$90,000.
All customers will have the opportunity to earn up to 1.0% p.a. bonus return on the first S$10,000 from 1 July 2021 by participating in one or both of the following:
The “Save, Spend, Earn” campaign to enjoy an additional 0.5% p.a. return. To qualify for this campaign, spend at least S$500 on your Singlife Visa debit card. (Terms apply. Read more about the “Save, Spend, Earn” here); and
The “Grow 0.5% p.a. Bonus Return” campaign to enjoy an additional 0.5% p.a. return. Simply sign up for a Grow policy and fund a minimum of S$1,000 to qualify for this campaign. (Terms apply. Find out more on 1 July 2021. In the meantime, read more about Grow here https://singlife.com/grow/).
One thing to note, the insurance cover from Singlife may not be as comprehensive as the other offers on the market. I personally use this for the higher savings rates and complement it with my own insurance.
– Elastiq >> Note: Elastiq is fully subscribed.
Elastiq is a universal life plan offered by local insurance company Etiqa. With a minimum sum of SGD $5000, one is able to enjoy a guaranteed interest at 1.8% per annum for the first three years, with a minimum holding period of 90 days.
Edit July 2021:
Elastiq’s revised crediting rate is guaranteed 1.80% pa for the first 3 years and 1.2% p.a for top ups.
Thereafter, the crediting rate will be determined by Elastiq based on the prevailing rate. In an environment of low interest rates offered by banks’ savings accounts, Elastiq’s interest rate is considered generous. As a reward for not having any partial withdrawal from your Elastiq account for the past three years, Elastiq offers a non-guaranteed loyalty bonus equivalent to 0.3% of the average monthly account value for the past 36 policy months and at every subsequent 3 policy year interval (6th, 9th, 12th, 15th, 18th Policy year and so on).
Anyone who is a Singapore Resident or holding valid documents to prove your residence status in Singapore, between the age of 17 and 75 is eligible to purchase one Elastiq policy.
The first payment can be done via FAST transfer, PayNow or Direct Debit from a bank account which will activate your policy. Subsequent top-ups in multiples of SGD $500, minimum sum of $500, can only be done via TiqConnect, an individual login portal where you have an overall view of the policies you have with Etiqa. If you find performing adhoc top ups is a hassle, there is an option to set recurring top ups. Please do not make the same mistake as yours truly where
I performed a FAST transfer using the method as the initial top up. Apparently Elastiq does not recognise that transaction and I had to follow up with Elastiq to get my top up reflected in my account.
Partial withdrawal in your Elastiq account may be performed after 90 days in multiples of SGD $500. Full surrender of the policy is also possible though I must highlight the fact that you are not eligible to re-purchase an Elastiq policy within the same tranche once you have surrendered your policy. There are no withdrawal charges although there is a SGD $5 service fee if your account value falls below SGD $5000.
– Gigantiq >> Note: Gigantiq is fully subscribed. Leave your contact details at sign up page for future notifications.
Gigantiq comes at a slightly higher rate of return at 2% p.a (1% guaranteed and 1% p.a bonus for the first year). This 2% p.a return rate only applies to the first SGD$10,000 in the first year. Any amount after that will be 1% p.a. The maximum that you can deposit in Gigantiq is SGD$200,000.
There is a minimum account balance of SGD$50, of which the penalty charge is SGD$50 if the account balance falls below.
While there are no withdrawal restrictions, there is a $0.50 service fee for Direct Credit to POSB or DBS.
Edit July 2021:
Gigantiq’s revised crediting rate is 1.8% p.a. on first S$10,000 for first year
Sign up using my Etiqa Referral Code: R184228
Referral rewards vary for various products. Kindly refer to their website for more details on Etiqa’s referral program.
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