Nerfed: Bonus$aver Drops Maximum Interest Rate to 3.68% p.a.

The very same day UOB announced the drop in rates for its popular UOB One savings account, Standard Chartered is following suit with Bonus$aver. A close alternative to the UOB One, Bonus$aver has been offering a pretty decent 4.13% to 4.88% p.a. interest rate over the past year or so. That will change from 1st May 2024.

Maximum interest is now 3.68% p.a. (down from 4.88%)

Bonus$aver requires 3 categories to reach its maximum interest rate and that’s Salary Crediting, Bill Payments, and Card Spend. Bonus interest rates across all three categories have been sliced and diced:

CategoryInterest Rate Before 1st May 2024 (p.a.)New Interest Rate (p.a.)
Base Interest0.05%0.05%
Credit Salary of ≥S$3,0002.50%2.00%
Make 3 Bill Payments of >S$50 each0.33%0.23%
Card Spend of S$500 / S$2,0001.25% / 2.00% 0.60% / 1.40%
Maximum EIR4.13% / 4.88%2.88% / 3.68%

As usual, I’m ignoring requirements that require you to buy investment or insurance products from the bank as they are almost always a bad deal. As part of the new changes, the bank is increasing the bonus interest of the Investment and Insurance categories to 2.00% p.a. each (from the current 1.50%). Make of that what you will.

Seth
Seth

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Interest is evenly applied to entire balance up to S$100,000

The good thing about Bonus$aver is that the interest rate is applied across the entire balance instead of being tiered like UOB One or OCBC 360. This means that regardless of whether you have a S$10,000 balance or a S$100,000 one, you will get the same interest throughout.

All requirements remain the same… for better or worse

There are no changes to the requirements so one needs to credit at least S$3,000 of salary, make S$500 or S$2,000 of card spend, and complete 3 bill payments of at least S$50 each.

Salary category has no known workaround, so any salary credited to the Bonus$aver needs to be from a corporate account.

Bill payments are relatively easy, though they somehow managed to cut the already low bonus rate here to 0.23% p.a.

Card spend is probably one of the trickier categories the Bonus$aver has. Just achieving the S$500 tier can get one a decent 4.13% p.a. under current rates, but will only give 2.88% p.a. after the new rates kick in. To achieve 3.68%, a S$2,000 monthly spend is required.

Not only is the quantum much higher than the typical S$500 required by OCBC 360 or UOB One, the Bonus$aver card does not give any cashback or miles on its spend. This results in pretty significant opportunity cost. Personally, I rely on things like CardUp/ipaymy to clock the spend requirement so it has worked out for me so far.

Comparisons and strategy soon

Yesterday, I positioned Bonus$aver as a viable alternative to UOB One. Silly me, because it’s obvious that other banks would follow suit pretty shortly… I just didn’t expect it to be this fast!

It seems like more changes and nerfs would soon come, so stay subscribed for updates as well strategies to deal with all these changes when the dust settles.

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