Standard Chartered Bonus$aver: What Are The Changes in April 2020?
If you’ve been following the news, Singapore banks announced a potential revenue impact of 1 to 2 per cent from the COVID-19 outbreak in February 2020.
To make matters worse, the U.S. Federal Rate cuts have cast even more uncertainty over the future of the banking sector.
Naturally, the banks are doing whatever they can to stay afloat and it’s no surprise that they’re on an interest-rate revision spree.
And Standard Chartered is no exception.
If you’re currently on the Standard Chartered JumpStart Account…
The bank has yet to announce any changes… yet.
But if you ask me, it’s unlikely that they’ll make any revisions to that account.
Since it’s targeted at young customers who are between 18 and 26 (read: prospective clients when they graduate from school and start working).
So if the banks are slashing interest rates, it’s the high-interest savings accounts which they’ll gun for first.
Yep, you guessed right.
There will be changes made to the Standard Chartered BonusSaver savings account.
TL;DR: Changes to Standard Chartered BonusSaver from 1 April 2020
Your BonusSaver will continue to earn the highest bonus interest rate of up to 3.88% p.a. on the first $100,000 of your eligible deposit balance.
However, the amount of bonus interest which you can earn under the various categories will be affected.
Basically, transactions clocked under the Invest/ Insure category will see an increase in bonus interest rates.
While bonus interest rates for transactions under the Card Spend and Bill Payment will be decreased.
Oh, the BonusSaver will also have a multicurrency feature that will give you more mileage for your savings soon.
Revision of Interest Rates for Standard Chartered BonusSaver Account
|Requirements||Interest Rates before 1 April 2020||Interest Rates from 1 April 2020||Changes|
|Prevailing||0.10%||0.05% p.a.||-0.05% p.a.|
(inclusive of Prevailing)
|Up to 1.88% p.a.|
(min spend $2,000 monthly)
|Up to 1.50% p.a.|
(min spend $2,000 monthly)
|Up to 0.88% p.a.|
(min spend $500 monthly)
|Up to 0.50% p.a.
(min spend $500 monthly)
|Salary Credit||1.00% p.a.||1.00% p.a.||No Change|
|Bill Payments||0.25% p.a.||0.10% p.a.||-0.15% p.a.|
|Invest / Insure||0.75% p.a.||1.28% p.a.||+0.53% p.a.|
|Total On First $100,000 Eligible Deposit Balance||3.88% p.a.||3.88% p.a.||No Change|
Here’s a quick recap for Standard Chartered BonusSaver’s interest rate requirements:
Card Spend: Spend between $500 to $2,000 to get 0.50% bonus interest OR spend $2,000 and above to get 1.50% bonus interest
Note: Card Spend includes Prevailing Interest
Salary Credit: Credit salary of at least $3,000 via GIRO to enjoy 1.00% bonus interest
Bill Payment: Pay 3 bills of at least $50 each to enjoy 0.10% bonus interest
Invest/Insure: Spend at least $12,000 on insurance premiums annually OR buy at least $30,000 worth of unit trusts to enjoy 1.28% bonus interest
Pros of April 2020 Update: How Does It Affect Current Standard Chartered BonusSaver Account Holders?
You’ll notice that it’s not so much a revision of interest rates as you can still continue to earn the highest bonus interest rate of up to 3.88% p.a.
Rather, the biggest change comes in how much interest you can earn under the various categories:
- Card Spend
- Salary Credit
- Bill Payment
So I guess… Yay?
Cons of April 2020 Update: How Does It Affect Current Standard Chartered BonusSaver Account Holders?
If you opened the BonusSaver account and didn’t care about fulfilling any of the categories.
You’d still earn the prevailing interest of 0.10% p.a.
Which is kinda decent.
But after 1 April 2020, that has been reduced to what most banks would give: a paltry 0.05% p.a.
Given the current situation that we’re in right now.
It’s likely that consumers will spend lesser because we’re all encouraged to stay home.
Therefore, it (kind of) makes sense to decrease the amount of bonus interest you can earn via the Card Spend category.
But then again, my staying at home doesn’t mean that I’m going to stop ordering food delivery or shopping online…
So a decrease of 0.38% p.a. bonus interest in the Card Spend category isn’t exactly doing me a favour.
I mean, I still have to eat and buy groceries online right?
When it comes to bills, it’s unlikely that I’m going to pay lower or lesser bills in the future.
And my electricity bill is definitely going to be higher (even after switching to an Open Electricity Market retailer) since I’m working from home now…
So a decrease of 0.15% p.a. bonus interest in the Bill Payment category sucks.
Now, let’s look at the category which gets a bump in bonus interest earned.
While I appreciate Standard Chartered’s sentiment of wanting to help us “invest better for the future”.
It is unlikely that I will be buying at least $30,000 worth of unit trusts every year.
Perhaps if they opened it up to transactions clocked under the Standard Chartered Trading Account as well.
Then this might make sense for investors who are already actively using their online brokerage since it has one of the lowest fees in the market.
Also, while I’m adequately protected right now, I don’t spend $12,000 annually on insurance premiums either.
Ultimately, even though Standard Chartered gave this category a hefty bump in bonus interest earned.
But unfortunately, this category is pretty much dead to me.
New Multi-Currency Feature Coming Soon
Although a bit late to the whole multi-currency card game, Standard Chartered is jumping on the bandwagon with this soon-to-be-announced offering.
This new feature will allow you to access balances in up to 13 different foreign currencies (alongside your Singapore dollars) in your BonusSaver account.
I’ll update this article again when they’ve officially rolled out this feature.
Is it Still Worth Opening a Standard Chartered BonusSaver Account After 1 April 2020?
TBH, I like the high balance cap of $100,000 which is eligible for the bonus interest.
Note: for most savings accounts, the amount of bonus interest you can earn drops drastically once your balance goes past $75,000 (the sum insured by Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation).
So assuming I spend at least $2,000 a month.
Earn at least $3,000 a month.
And maintain a daily average balance of $100,000.
I’m looking at an interest rate of 2.60% p.a. (or $2,600 interest earned) without having to:
- take a home loan
- buy insurance
- make any investments
And that’s pretty decent.
But if you don’t earn that much (maybe you’re still a student or a fresh graduate).
And you don’t spend that much because you’re a financially responsible human being.
Then there’re probably other high-interest savings accounts which can do the same (or better) for you.
Don’t believe me?
Try our FREE Savings Account Calculator and see for yourself.