What a way to start June: Singlife announced a decrease in returns for its popular Singlife Account, and this was quickly followed by Etiqa announcing rate cuts to its similarly popular Dash EasyEarn policy, and top-ups made to Elastiq policies.
Summary of changes
(Before 1st July 2021)
(1st July 2021 onwards)
|Singlife Account||1.5% p.a. (first $10,000)|
1% p.a. (subsequent $90,000)
|1% p.a. (first $10,000)|
0.5% p.a. (subsequent $90,000)
|Elastiq||1.8% p.a. (initial premium)|
1.5% p.a. (top-up amounts)
|1.8% p.a. (initial premium)|
1.2% p.a. (top-up amounts)
|Dash EasyEarn||2% p.a. (accounts opened before 25th Sept 2020)|
1.8% p.a. (accounts opened from 25th Sept 2020 onwards)
|1.2% p.a. (accounts over a year old)|
Changes to Singlife Account
Drop in rates
For those keeping track, this has been the third drop in crediting rate within about 8 months, the last time being in January 2021 and October 2020. From 1st July 2021, the base rate for the first $10,000 of savings would be 1% p.a, a very different number from its initial, handsome rate of 2.5% p.a. For the subsequent $90,000, this is the first time the rate is changing; it is going from the 1% p.a. it has always been to 0.5% p.a.
The Save, Spend, Earn campaign continues to give additional 0.5% p.a. when you spend at least $500 a month using the Singlife Visa debit card. This is only on the first $10,000, and it is simply too little interest to give up rewards on $500 of spend. Intrepid members of the Telegram group have found creative ways to meet this spend requirement, and I would recommend you do a search if you are keen on such tricks.
Singlife is introducing a new way to earn another 0.5% p.a. bonus return, and they are promoting their Singlife Grow policies. More details will follow on 1st July, and again this bonus return is for the first $10,000 of the Singlife Account.
Reopened for applications
As companies are wont to do, Singlife tries to spin this positively: they are reopening for new applications! Given the now relatively poor returns and added hoops to get additional return, I’m guessing people would likely be less than enthused about signing up for Singlife Account now. The Singlife Account used to be everything popular bank accounts then were not: high returns, and no multiple conditions to fulfil for a decent rate. Things have come full circle, it seems.
Changes to Etiqa policies
Elastiq was such a gem when it was available, and its value is more obvious now than ever before. The rates on top-up (i.e. money that you add to your policy after the initial premium) are not guaranteed, and they have decreased previously from 1.8% to 1.5%. This is now further reduced to 1.2% from 1st July 2021 onwards. The 1.8% p.a. rate on your initial premium, however, is fixed for three years from the policy start date.
In my review of Elastiq, I mentioned this:
Even if you don’t feel like 1.80% pa is an attractive rate now, it’s not too bad an idea to set aside some money in this to lock in the rate for the next three years in the event interest rates continue to plummet.
Essentially, there is very little downside to putting your savings here. If interest rates increase, you can pull out your savings. If not, you have locked in a interest rate you can enjoy for the next three years.
It’s pompous to quote oneself, but the situation warrants it: I’m definitely glad I put my emergency savings in Elastiq. These are funds I will likely not touch, and getting 1.8% guaranteed for another 2 more years feels really nice, especially when rates free-fall the way they have been for the past year.
Dash EasyEarn’s rate is similarly going to be revised to 1.2% p.a. Not everyone has received this email, however, and I believe it’s because Dash EasyEarn provides a guaranteed 1.5% p.a. plus 0.3% p.a. bonus in the first year. It appears that accounts that are more than a year old from 1st July 2021 will see the revised rate of 1.2% p.a.
Gigantiq still holds at 1.8% p.a, and it’s interesting how its rate has not been reduced yet. All Gigantiq accounts should be under a year old at this point, and the 1.8% p.a. rate consists of 1% p.a. guaranteed for a year, with 0.8% p.a. as a non-guaranteed bonus. Etiqa has seemingly opted not to tweak the 0.8% p.a. rate for now. Regardless, it is an eventuality, but unlike its siblings, perhaps it has been spared the cut for at least a month or two.
With the interest rate environment the way it is, it’s probably going to be a while before similar products get good again. You may consider the Bonus$aver promo which would tide one over for a couple of months: getting $238 cashback setting aside $50,000 of savings for less than 2 months is a really great deal, after which you can decide where else to place your savings. You have until the end of June 2021 for this promo.
The silver lining is that such low interest rates would push people to finally invest, and that may end up being much better financially for them. Check out things like Syfe if you want something fuss-free, or moomoo if you want to invest on your own. There is also at least one single-premium endowment policy hitting the marketing in about a month or so, so subscribe to my Telegram if you want to stay updated on such matters.
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