Review: UOB One Account Increases Effective Interest Rates up to 5% P.A.

OCBC 360 had its time in the sun as an account with one of the highest interest rates given by a major bank, but UOB has decided to take over this mantle. From 1st December 2022, UOB has revised UOB One Account’s interest rates upwards to offer as much as 5% p.a. effective interest rate. Thanks to Vin from the group chat for sharing this!

UOB is also having an account opening promo, plus sign-up offers for their credit cards, and you can read about that in the Sign-up promos section.

Details and requirements

UOB One Account allows you to complete 3 sets of requirements:

  • Spend min. S$500 on an eligible card
  • Spend min. S$500 on an eligible card + make 3 GIRO debit transactions
  • Spend min. S$500 on an eligible card + credit salary via GIRO
Account Monthly Average Balance (MAB)Spend min. S$500 (calendar month) on eligible UOB Card
Spend min. S$500 (calendar month) on eligible UOB Card AND make 3 GIRO debit transactionsSpend min. S$500 on eligible UOB Card AND credit your salary via GIRO
First S$30,0000.65%2.50%3.85%
Next S$30,0000.65%3.00%3.90%
Next S$15,0000.65%4.00%4.85%
Next S$25,0000.05%0.05%7.80%
Above S$100,0000.05%0.05%0.05%
Table: UOB One website

As far as conditions and hoops go for banking accounts, these are relatively simple requirements which should attract people who want something more fuss-free.

Seth
Seth

Tap here for a bunch of places to put savings for higher returns!

Spend requirement has strong cards to pick from

Spending S$500 is the common criterion for the three different set of conditions, and you must do so on an eligible UOB Card which the bank defines as the following:

  • UOB One Card
  • UOB Lady’s Card (all card types)
  • UOB EVOL Card
  • UOB One Debit Visa Card
  • UOB One Debit Mastercard
  • UOB Lady’s Debit Card
  • UOB Mighty FX Debit Card

If you’re a guy and into miles, you’re out of luck here, unfortunately, because the only miles card present in this list is the UOB Lady’s Card which is strictly for women. Lady miles chasers should be very happy that their UOB Lady’s card not only unlocks the UOB One’s account high interest rates, but also get a top-tier 4 miles per dollar earn rate.

Cashback users, on the other hand, should be pleased that there are two compelling cashback options to pick from. UOB One Card gives 3.33% cashback on a S$500 monthly spend if you maintain the spend for at least 3 months consecutively. This satisfies the account’s S$500 minimum spend as well, and you could also do S$1,000 or S$2,000 per month for the same 3.33% earn rate.

Optimisers may want to use the UOB EVOL which can give a significantly higher 6.67% effective cashback rate. UOB EVOL has a minimum spend of S$600, just a tad above UOB One Account’s S$500 requirement, and achieving that can add as much as S$40 of cashback on top of the account interest rates.

Just meeting the spend requirement, however, gives a paltry 0.65% p.a. interest, so I wonder why this was even an option. You should be meeting the salary requirement which needs you to credit at least S$1,600 of salary to the account for much higher interest. In lieu of salary crediting, you can also make 3 GIRO transactions a month, although the interest rate is lower.

Effective interest rate

UOB One tends to be very “top-heavy” on the interest, with higher balances getting more interest. The final $25,000 of a $100,000 balance, for instance, gets a high 7.80% p.a. which they display in big stylised fonts for their marketing.

I have written an article on how to calculate your effective interest rate, but here’s a table of a few balances for quick reference:

Account Monthly Average Balance (MAB)Spend + GIROSpend + Salary
$25,0002.50% p.a.3.85% p.a.
$50,0002.70% p.a.3.87% p.a.
$75,0003.00% p.a.4.07% p.a.
$100,0002.26% p.a.5.00% p.a.

Comparison with OCBC 360

If you credit your salary, you’d get very good rates from UOB One. For balances $75,000 and below, UOB One edges OCBC 360 out not only in interest, but also having simpler requirements. At $100,000, UOB One offers a nice and round 5.00% p.a. which beats OCBC 360’s 4.65% p.a. This is as of 1st December 2022, and things may change rapidly; banks have been making revisions really frequently these days so stay subscribed to the Telegram to be informed of such changes.

Still, OCBC 360 account could prove more suitable for people without much credit card spend each month. $500 may not be a big amount of expenditure for most, but I think there are still significant number of people who either struggle or do not want to put $500 of spend on credit cards due to their spending habits.

Sign-up promos

As usual, UOB’s promos tend to reward only the fastest few hundred people who successfully sign up for their products. Personally, I am opening an account and shall take any sign-up reward as a nice bonus. The salary crediting does not seem to have a limit, so you can walk away with at least S$50 of sign–up gift.

Update: as pointed out by Mt in the Telegram group, there is an excellent promo now for putting in fresh funds.

You can also consider applying for UOB cards to go with your UOB One account. The same first # applicants mechanic apply for December 2022’s promo, so you may want to try your luck if you are reading this in early December.

UOB One Account

Until 28th February 2023

ActivityReward
First 200 to apply for a UOB savings account online, deposit fresh funds and sign up for salary crediting.S$118 cash
Tap here to fill form and credit at least S$1,600 salary within 2 months from submission of form$50 cash
Deposit and earmark:
S$50,000,
S$100,000, or
S$200,000. Tap here for details
S$388, S$888, or S$1,888
All three rewards can stack
For quick reference only. Refer to its terms and conditions.

Get as much as 5% p.a. effective interest on $100,000 balance!

Conclusion

With strong rates and fairly straightforward requirements, UOB One is now a contender for funds yet again, and very competitive against OCBC 360. It’s time for DBS to make its move.

The good:

  • High interest rate of up to 5% p.a.
  • Relatively simple requirements to meet
  • Great credit cards to pick from

The bad:

  • Spend of S$500 is a must each month
  • Miles cards are only limited to ladies

The ugly:

  • Somebody needs to tell UOB that first # promos are annoying

Keep up to date on the best cashback/mile cards, financial products, attractive deals, and more tips to maximise your financial wellbeing by subscribing to my Telegram channel.

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