frugal

Alternatives after the banks’ interest rates cut (Dec 2020)

By now, I am sure you have read through many articles talking about the recent bank interest rate cuts, whether it is from Seedly or from other bloggers or from Reddit/Hardwarezone. This article is just a brief breakdown of the recent changes that happened to the popular bank accounts as well as potential alternatives you can look for.

What happened?

Banks aggressively cut their interest rates again. 

Standard Chartered

My favourite Standard Chartered Jumpstart account cut their interest rates from 1% to 0.4%. I will still be using their debit card for the 1% rebate. However, I honestly do not see much appeal in putting my money in there considering that their ATM locations are not as common as DBS or OCBC and there are many better alternatives for my cash.

DBS

DBS Multiplier’s interest rate has also been cut significantly. For most Singaporeans, you will probably be earning less than 1% of interest, probably 0.8%. (Unless you have an existing home loan with DBS, then it will be more)

CIMB

Last but not least, the old darling of the FI Community, CIMB Fastsaver, has also cut their interest rates. For the first $50k, from 0.5% to 0.3%.

What can you do?

Well, like what my sergeants say in camp, just suck thumb. Move on, find better alternatives and realise the need of putting your money in somewhere riskier so you can get better returns.

Here are some potential alternatives.

Singlife

The favourite in the community. Unfortunately, Singlife has officially halted signups as of 15 December 2020. To all the folks that signed up before, don’t celebrate too early. I don’t see the 2% rates lasting forever as well.

Okay, what are the real alternatives?

GIGANTIQ

I previously wrote an article about GIGANTIQ. Its 1.8% interest rate for the first $10k still holds. I would say it is as close to Singlife as it gets. No lock up period is always a welcome benefit.

Sign up through PolicyPal here. (Only 20 spots left for the latest promotion!)

POSB SAYE

Surprisingly, this account is not mentioned much. I would guess this is because it locks up your cash. So your cash does not really act like cash anymore. However, it offers 2% on your monthly savings for the first two years.

What’s the catch?

You don’t really have the flexibility to withdraw. You have to keep your money inside for the two-year duration. Nevertheless, it’s still nice to have a bank which offers a 2% interest rate.

Stashaway Simple

Stashaway’s 1.4% returns remain attractive for it’s no minimum and no lock up period.

Endowus Cash Smart Enhanced

Endowus offers a slightly higher return from 1.5% to 1.7%. It is great if you already are using their platform. The catch is that you need $10k to start. However, if you have other portfolios with them, it will probably work out fine.

My views on cash right now

I still have a very pessimistic view on cash. If you do not see yourself spending the cash in the near future, put it in a place to earn higher returns, not lose out to inflation.

Outside of my emergency fund, I keep just enough cash for monthly expenses. I would estimate slightly less than 5% of my portfolio.

What am I doing with the cash?

I put my emergency funds in Singlife, which is sufficient for me. I would say the next best choice would be GIGANTIQ. If you use the roboadvisors, using their cash management solutions would not be a bad idea as well.

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