Upon receiving my first full-time employment contract, I:
- Underlined the “salary earned” figure
- Framed it up
- Drew up an excel sheet of all the possible places I could now afford plane tickets to
After the initial excitement flipping through Lonely Planets, I thought:
“Where can I park this money that will work these dollars to take me even further?”
The obvious beginning point was my savings account.
Earning over 3% on your savings accounts – say wut?
Several banks have in recent times launched savings accounts that let you earn over 3% p.a., contingent on your doing certain things such as crediting salaries, or making GIRO payments.
Over 3%. That’s mind-blowing.
I spent 20+ years in my childhood POSB savings account earning me 0.05%. Whoopee do.
To put that into perspective, with $10,000 in my account I would have earned in a year:
0.05% = $5
That’s barely enough for a 6 piece chicken nuggets from McDs.
3% = $300
That’s enough for over 450 nuggets*.
Have yourself an adult ball pit replaced by chicken nuggets. You earned it.
(22 x 20 piece sets at $13.30)
After much shopping around, I finally settled on Bank of China’s SmartSaver account.
Why BoC’s SmartSaver account? Coz I’m really more of a LazySaver.
I wanted an account that would reward me for things I was already doing, namely paying bills, crediting my salary and credit card spend.
BoC lets you hit the higher interest rates without requiring insuring or investing with the bank.
These to me were thus realistic interest rates that I could hit and were the basis of my comparisons for what could give me the highest rates based on my current lifestyle.
I wouldn’t have to change a thing after the initial set up.
I’ve never even heard of BoC. Are you sure it’s legit, Sonia?
Frankly, neither had I until I started my research.
I think that gives me some authority in the following review.
What BoC has got going for it:
- One of the best interest rates
- Great customer service when you call in
- I’ve never been declined a fee waiver
But still, expect a really crappy user experience in the following:
- I still don’t know what ATMs I can use
- The credit card doesn’t support pay wave, so I’m constantly saying “you need to insert it” to frustrated cashiers (which sounds like I’m making a dirty joke)
- Electronic statements only got enabled for credit cards last month… but not banking
- Standing instructions for recurring payments, unless via GIRO, can’t be set up (a feature from DBS I use a lot)
- Don’t even get me started on the UX of the app and digital platform….
Despite lagging in many digital features offered by DBS and OCBC, overall I would still say BoC’s worth it.
Because I’m a GreedySaver, I have two savings accounts.
One with DBS (ATMs everywhere! Weee) and one with BoC to have the best of both worlds.
If you aren’t already earning at least +1% on your savings account
Please read these articles by people much smarter than I which do a great comparison of the various options you have available:
A quick summary of BOC SmartSaver interest rates:
$2,000 – < $6,000 salary credit: 1.05% p.a.
$6,000 salary credit: 1.45% p.a. (additional 0.4% from previous)
$6,000 salary credit + $500 credit card spend: 2.25% p.a.
$6,000 salary credit + $1,500 credit card spend: 3.05% p.a.
$6,000 salary credit + $1,500 credit card spend + pay 3 bills by GIRO: 3.4% p.a.
Initial deposit: $1,500
Minimum balance (monthly): $1,500
Bonus interest cap: $60,000
Apply for one here:
Let me know which bank you’ve been saving with in the comments!
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