Digital banks are a thing now: Trust Bank has just launched, and it’s a digital bank brought to you by a partnership between Standard Chartered and FairPrice Group. Right now, Trust Bank is offering just 3 products: a credit card, a banking account, and an insurance policy. A new bank with three products within my areas of interest, and a sign-up promo? This is going to be good.
Credit card with 21% Linkpoints on FairPrice spend – launching soon
The NTUC Link Card is exclusive for NTUC Union Members, and promises 21% savings on FairPrice Group (FPG) groceries spend, which includes FairPrice, Unity, and Cheers outlets, excluding those at Esso outlets.
The staggering 21% rate includes:
|Rate||Requirement||Linkpoint Cap||Maximum Spend|
|2.0%||FairPrice members||12,000 Linkpoints per month||$6,000 per month|
|8.5%||Monthly bonus when monthly minimum eligible spend of S$350 outside of FPG is met||5,500 Linkpoints per month||$647 per month|
|8.0%||Quarterly bonus when monthly minimum eligible spend is met for 3 consecutive months||7,500 Linkpoints per quarter||$937.50 per quarter|
|2.0%||Annual member bonus||12,000 Linkpoints per year||$6,000 per year|
A 21% earn rate looks impressive, but given the various caps and the fact that non-FPG spends only gets a minuscule 0.22% earn rate means that the overall rewards will not come close to 21%.
There is also a non-union member version called the Trust Link Card which gives up to 15% rebate:
|Rate||Requirement||Linkpoint Cap||Maximum Spend|
|7.5%||Monthly bonus when monthly minimum eligible spend of S$450 outside of FPG is met||5,500 Linkpoints per month||$733.33 per month|
|7.0%||Quarterly bonus when monthly minimum eligible spend is met for 3 consecutive months||7,500 Linkpoints per quarter||$1,071.42 per quarter|
There are no annual fees, foreign transaction fee, cash advance fee, nor card replacement fees. Trust Bank is commendable for its position on frivolous fees banks traditionally charge, and we can only hope that banks, digital or otherwise, follow suit.
The card isn’t officially launched yet, and the worthiness of the card calls for a more in-depth calculation. A more detailed review will be released soon so stay subscribed to my Telegram for updates. Update: broke down some of the numbers in a YouTube video:
Bank account with up to 1.4% p.a. rate, and debit card with 11% savings on FairPrice spend
The bank account comes with a base interest of 1.0% p.a, which seems pretty unattractive given how interest rates are these days. The rate is further boosted to 1.2% p.a. for those who make 5 purchases with the Trust debit card, and 1.4% p.a. for NTUC Union Members.
These rates are only good for the first S$50,000, with amounts above that getting a negligible 0.05% p.a. rate.
As a bank account, up to S$75,000 is insured under the Deposit Insurance Scheme, and you can also link the account to PayNow with either your number or IC.
Just like their credit card product, there are also no fees relating to account closures, minimum balance, foreign transaction fee etc.
Their debit card is a watered down version of their credit card, providing only 11% in maximum savings.
Personal Accident Insurance
Underwritten by NTUC Income, Trust Bank offers a S$8,000 personal accident plan that costs just S$0.50 per month, with the first 2 months free when you apply for their credit card. It’s unexciting, but their website
threatens promises that more “great things” are coming. I’m a sceptic when it comes to insurance products, particularly those offered by banks, so we’ll see if Trust Bank can live up to its name when it comes to distributing insurance products that are truly useful for consumers.
Despite their website’s claim of instant approval, signing up for the credit card, in my experience, locks you out of the app with a message that the application is under review. I had to delete the app and reinstall it in order to sign up for the savings account, only to discover the the app displays a “launching soon” message under the credit card. Some have reported success with the card application, with others also facing the same issue.
Signing up for the savings account and debit card gets you instant approval to immediately use the app features.
Do note that you currently can’t sign up for a credit card if you sign up for the savings account first. Personally, I’m fine with this, and will wait to see if there’d be further promos to entice existing users to sign up for the credit card.
Trust Bank’s first few products, as well as the overall look and feel of their app and website, leave me with a relatively positive feeling, even if they don’t seem to be terribly exciting in terms of features or returns. At the very least, their app and website are sleek and user-friendly, and the bank has a clear position of doing away with many annoying fees.
Banks are necessary but deeply flawed institutions, and it’s nice to see something more modern and consumer-friendly. Let’s hope this trend continues.
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