A fixed deposit account is similar to a savings account because you store your hard-earned money there to collect interest. The main advantage of fixed deposits is their higher interest rates.
Besides, they pose zero investment risks.
Of course, some people prefer putting their money into robo advisors like Syfe or StashAway.
On the downside, you have to lock your money in this deposit for a tenure varying from six months to three years. Longer terms also boast more attractive rates.
The problem is that you can easily compromise that interest if you withdraw from your deposit. This is probably why some prefer investing their money in blue-chip stocks.
Therefore, a fixed deposit account is best for long-term savings that you’re not using, such as your emergency fund. The Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation guarantees funds up to $75,000 in Singapore, so your cash is completely safe.
That said, not all deposit accounts are created equal. And you shouldn’t make any compromises; choose the best financial solution for your needs to avoid losing your hard-earned money.
Start with the guide below.
We break down ten of the best fixed deposits in Singapore, discussing their pros and cons so that you can pick the right option.
Fixed Deposit Rates in Singapore (March 2022)
Analyse the fixed rates for SGD deposits below:
|The best yearly interest rate||Tenure||Minimum amount|
|Bank of China||0.70%||36 months||NA|
|DBS / POSB||0.6% (new placements), 1.3% (for rollover of existing placements)||8 months and below, 18 months||$1,000|
|Standard Chartered||0.55%||8 months||$25,000|
The average interest rate is 0.68% p.a., though some banks go as high as 1.30% p.a. and others to 0.1% p.a.
But why would you choose a bank that boasts lower rates?
You should always judge financial products through the lens of your needs instead of that of your biases.
Some high-interest deposits may only have the three-year tenure option. That alternative affects your overall gains if you need to withdraw cash faster.
The minimum required sum may also be a problem.
Some banks in Singapore boast higher interest, but you have to deposit a minimum amount for those rates.
We’ll discuss these options below.
1. Bank of China
Bank of China’s 0.7% yearly interest comes with a 3-year term. That’s a long time, especially in the current financial landscape. Alternatively, you may need that money for a specific purpose (e.g., your dream wedding) within the next two years.
However, the shorter tenures feature lower rates: 0.45% for one year and 0.65% for two years.
CIMB offers two options: preferred banking and personal banking, both of which require a minimum deposit amount of $10,000.
The preferred banking alternative boasts:
- 9% interest for the 18-month tenure
- 85% for the 12-month term
By comparison, personal banking brings you:
- 85% interest for the 18-month tenure
- 8% for the 12-month term
Warning: Both these options require a minimum deposit of $10,000.
If you don’t have that money readily available, CIMB allows you smaller deposits up to $1,000. The tenures are more flexible in this case, varying from three to 24 months. On the downside, your interest will be just 0.3% p.a.
Citibank has lower interest rates but also offers low tenure options.
For 6-36-month tenures, Citibank boasts an “attractive” 0.1% p.a. interest but only if you deposit at least $10,000 in your account. Thus, choosing Citibank can be counterintuitive for longer terms of a least one year.
However, the 6-month plan is convenient because Citibank’s rate for fixed deposits is twice as much as a savings account’s rate.
Citibank offers other options for short-term investors.
If you want to safeguard your money for less than six months and gain reasonable interest in the meantime, you can. Citibank’s rates are 0.05-0.08% p.a. for shorter terms up to six months.
The 0.08% option is worthwhile if you don’t need the money quickly. However, the 0.05% option is arguably worse than opening a savings account because you have less liquidity.
4. DBS / POSB
DBS/POSB offers high 1.3% p.a. interest rates to existing clients. If you want to open a new fixed deposit at POSB, your interest rate will be only 0.6% p.a.
Another notable difference is that new deposits have lower tenures up to eight months. By comparison, DBS’s previous deposit options stretched for up to 18 months.
However, DBS/POSB has a unique selling point compared to other banks: you only need $1,000 to start investing.
HSBC offers two promotions valid until the end of March 2022:
- 6% p.a. for the nine-month tenure
- 4% p.a. for the three-month tenure
However, the minimum amount you have to deposit is $30,000. Thus, compared to other banks, HSBC appears to be losing. After all, it has significantly low rates and requires more money to open an account.
Their unique, game-changer selling proposition is this:
You can obtain 21.88% interest for your deposit account by acquiring their life insurance plan.
ICBC caters to those with fewer funds, as their minimum deposit amount is $500. ICBC’s interest rates are:
- 6% p.a. for the 12-month tenure
- 55% p.a. for the 9-month tenure
To get these promotions, you’ll have to apply online. Even better, the offer doesn’t have an announced end date.
On the downside, the longest tenure at ICBC is 12 months. So, if you’re a long-term investor, you will have to reevaluate your options at the end of this period. ICBC may downgrade its interest, so this bank may no longer be a convenient option.
Maybank offers better options for medium and long-term investors who have at least $10,000 to open up their deposits. The interest rates are:
- 30% p.a. for the 36-month tenure
- 95% p.a. for the 24-month tenure
- 80% p.a. for the 12-month tenure
Thus, the 36-month deposit account brings you the most overall profit with 1.3% p.a. By comparison, Bank of China’s current interest is just 0.7% p.a.
The other two options are highly competitive too. CIMB offers higher interest of up to 0.85% p.a. for the 12-month tenure, but the other banks in this review go as low as 0.1% per year. We’re looking at you, Citibank!
OCBC’s current promotion boasts 0.55% p.a. interest if you’re depositing your money for 12 months. On the downside, you’ll need a minimum of $20,000 to open your account.
By comparison, Maybank offers 0.8% per year for the same tenure and just $10,000 to start with. CIMB’s interest rates are also 0.8-0.85% p.a.
Even ICBC could be a reliable option with their 0.6% interest, especially if you only have $1,000 to start a deposit.
Even worse, you can’t use your SRS funds to open an OCBC deposit.
9. Standard Chartered
Standard Chartered has two significant offers:
- Priority banking: 0.55% p.a.
- Non-priority banking: 0.45% p.a.
Both deposit accounts stretch on eight-month tenures, and you need at least $25,000 to start saving. By contrast, DBS/POSB offers 0.6% p.a. for the same term length.
Alternatively, you can keep your money for a month longer for 0.6% at HSBC. Or you can take advantage of their life insurance promotion and obtain a 21.88% interest.
UOB’s interest rates are:
- 8% p.a. for the 15-month tenure
- 6% p.a. for the 12-month tenure
You must also deposit $20,000 to benefit from this promotion.
For the 12-month deposit option, UOB is on par with HSBC and ICBC, both offering the same interest. By comparison, Maybank is a better option with its 0.8% p.a. offer, whereas OCBC’s 12-month tenure only gets you 0.45% interest.
UOB’s unique selling point is its 15-month tenure.
Other banks in Singapore don’t have this middle option between their 12-month and 18-month tenures, which is excellent if:
- You need to withdraw your funds before 18 months but don’t want to combine two shorter-term deposits because of the extra research.
- You’re a long-term investor, but you like keeping your options open and searching for the best alternative. As such, 15 months can be a more appealing alternative than 18 or 12 months.
Which Bank In Singapore Offers The Best Fixed Deposits?
If you’re a new customer willing to invest their money in the long-term, choose Maybank. They have the highest interest at 1.30% p.a., although you’ll need at least $10,000 to start with.
If you’re a medium-term investor, consider CIMB or UOB, with their 0.8% rates for the 18 and 15-month deposits.
DBS / POSB, HSBC, and Standard Chartered are the best alternatives if you’re looking to withdraw your cash after eight or nine months. As such, their respective interest rates are currently 0.55-0.6% p.a.
Citibank is the worst alternative for medium and long-term investors but the best for very short-term ones.
So, consider your time-related needs carefully and evaluate all of your options.
What if the issue isn’t the tenure’s length but rather the minimum sum you have to deposit?
In this case, ICBC is the soundest option because you only need $500 to benefit from a 0.6% interest for the 12-month tenure. By comparison, the DBS/POSB deposit requires new clients $1,000 for the eight-month deposit with 0.6% interest.
But if you’re willing to secure your money in a deposit for up to three years and gain a 1.30% interest at Maybank, you need those $10,000. Other banks may also require $20,000-$25,000 for your initial deposits.
You should also consider other alternatives if you need financial assistance.
Investing your money in stocks, ETFs, or REITs is slightly riskier, but it brings you more gains if you build a secure portfolio. A convenient personal loan can also spare you the headache if you need quick financial assistance.
Credit 21 will help you with customised packages, low installments, and prompt service throughout your tenure.