Getting almost 3% pa on $70,000 savings


Accounts that give higher interest upon fulfilling certain criteria such as salary crediting, credit card spending, investing etc. have been around for some time, and most of them hover around 2 to 2.5% pa.

To get closer to 3%, one typically needs to do atypical activities such as buying insurance or investment products, many of which come with hefty commissions and fees which isn’t a worthwhile exchange for higher interest on your savings. I would say that you should never buy any financial product from a bank unless you know what you’re doing.

Here’s a strategy to get close to 3% pa interest without having to buy any products from a bank.

What you’ll need:

  • OCBC 360 account
  • UOB One account (or any other high interest account like DBS Multiplier, Maybank iSavvy etc.)

Park $75,000 in an UOB One account, with 3 GIRO arrangements set up. Quite easily achievable as each credit card you link to it counts as one, so all you need is a few cards, insurance premiums, bills etc. Clocking $500 on UOB cards isn’t difficult too considering how it has one of the better cashback cards right now in the market. This gives you 2.44% pa interest.

At the end of each calendar month, transfer $70,000 to the OCBC 360 account. This fulfils both the Boost and Step-up bonuses. All you have to do next is to credit your salary of at least $2,000 to this account, and then spend $500 on an OCBC card if you can. Not too difficult as they have pretty decent miles cards. This gives you:

  • Base rate (0.05% pa)
  • Boost bonus (1% pa)
  • Step-up bonus (0.45% pa)
  • Salary bonus (1.6% pa)
  • Spend (0.45% pa)

A handsome 3.55% pa interest rate on every alternate month, which, coupled with the 2.44% pa from UOB One, gives you a blended 2.99% pa interest on $70,000 of savings ($5,000 would be left in your UOB One, which works to pay off the GIRO).

Is the 0.45% pa on top of the 2.44% given by UOB One worth the trouble? Going by my calculations, it’s an additional $30 per month you can get by performing a FAST transfer once a month. I’m sure some high SESers would disagree, but that’s very little work for $30.

In fact, what if one has two OCBC 360 accounts you can alternate between? That’s a solid 3.55% pa interest every month! However, each person can only have one 360 account… a limitation I’m sure more intrepid individuals would be able to creatively find their way around 😉

7 thoughts on “Getting almost 3% pa on $70,000 savings

    1. Generally just after the last day is over. Do take note different banks have different value dates (eg. if you transfer on a weekend, they will only count interest on the next business working day).

  1. Lets say husband and wife both setup a OCBC account. 1st month, husband has the $75k in his account while the wife maintain the minimum amount in hers. Then just after the last day of the month is over, husband transfer $75k to wife. Husband received the 1% boost and 0.45% setup bonus, while wife did not. On 2nd month, wife repeat what the husband did on his 1st month. So on 2nd month, Wife received the 1% boost and 0.45% setup bonus, while Husband did not. As such, the interest is received in alternate months. Did I understand correctly?

    1. Yes. If it’s just $75,000 across two accounts you’ll get the higher interest on this amount if you alternate. My experience with OCBC is that you can keep $0 without fall below fee

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