It was always a matter of when and not if, and we now have an answer: from 1st November 2020, Singlife will reduce the handsome 2.5% p.a. rate it’s been giving to a less impressive 2% p.a. on the first $10,000 of the account. The remaining $90,000 in the account continues to receive 1% p.a. which remains unchanged.
While a 20% drop in interest stings somewhat, the quantum of $10,000 was always a little low to begin with. Previously, 2.5% pa on $10,000 would generate about $20.83 in interest per month. It will now be around $16.67.
Spend and earn?
In tandem with the change, Singlife is also allowing policyholders to continue earning 2.5% pa on the first $10,000 by spending at least $500 on the Singlife Visa Debit Card, and this too will start on the 1st November.
While getting an extra 0.5% pa interest is pretty good, the absolute increase in interest is around $4.16. Spending $500 on a 5% cashback card gives you $25, so it’s not difficult to see why putting spend on the Debit Card which doesn’t earn cashback or miles isn’t such a good idea. It’s quite amusing how Singlife tries to aggrandise their offering by… comparing it to a 0.5% cashback card.
Some in the Telegram group have started exploring some more creative ways of meeting this spend. It could perhaps be viable to use the Debit Card to top up one’s Dash, then use that to top up Grab, before spending it on things that other cashback cards can’t get rewards for like insurance premiums or bills.
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Personally, I’m pretty ambivalent with the change. 0.5% p.a. on $10,000 is $4.16 a month, and I wouldn’t lose sleep over that. Excess funds beyond $10,000 are going to be channeled to my Elastiq plan which currently still gives a pretty decent 1.80%, and a bulk of my reserves have gotten the 1.80% p.a. guaranteed rate.
People who didn’t listen to me previously to open an Elastiq (or its close sibling eSave Advance) – tsk tsk you people – would still find Singlife Account useful. 2% on the first $10,000 and 1% on the remaining $90,000 without any conditions to meet is still pretty decent. Amongst all the insurance savings accounts, Singlife Account is also one of the most similar to banks since there is no fee for withdrawal. Sign up now and get $10! Remember to order and activate their free Debit Card to get the $10.
The closest alternative is Etiqa’s Gigantiq, which is currently only available to existing Tiq users. It provides 2% p.a. guaranteed on the first $10,000 for the first year, and 1% p.a. for balances above $10,000 until $200,000. Seems a little better than Singlife Account, if not for the fact that withdrawals cost 70 cents each time (50 cents if you’re withdrawing to a DBS/POSB account). Subscribe to my Telegram to know when it is launched to the public, and a little birdie tells me there might be sign up goodies then.
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