Standard Chartered Bonus$aver: What Are The Changes in Oct 2020?
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Standard Chartered Bonus$aver: What Are The Changes in Oct 2020?

Kenneth Fong
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After OCBC 360 updated their interest rates for their high-interest savings account

Guess who else is part of what looks like the beginnings of YET another interest-rate revision spree?

Yep…

standard chartered logo

There will be changes made to the Standard Chartered BonusSaver savings account come 1 October 2020.


TL;DR: Changes to Standard Chartered BonusSaver from 1 October 2020

The highest bonus interest rate will drop to up to 2.88% p.a. on the first $80,000 of your eligible deposit balance.

(This is down from up to 3.00% p.a. on the first $80,000 of your eligible deposit balance)

The amount of bonus interest which you can earn under the various categories will be hit too.

All bonus interest for the various categories will be below 0.90% p.a. come 1 October 2020.

The only silver lining?

The Invest and Insure categories attract higher interest now, increasing from 0.85% p.a. each to 0.90% p.a. each.

(insert artwork)

Revision of Interest Rates for Standard Chartered BonusSaver From 1 October 2020

RequirementsBefore 1 April 2020From 1 April 2020From 1 July 2020From 1 October 2020Changes in 2020
Prevailing0.10% p.a.0.05% p.a.0.05% p.a.0.03% p.a.-0.07% p.a.
Card Spend
(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 0.80% p.a
(min spend $2,000 monthly)
Up to 0.78% p.a.
(min spend $2,000 monthly)
-1.10% p.a.
Up to 0.88% p.a.
(min spend $500 monthly)
Up to 0.50% p.a.
(min spend $500 monthly)
Up to 0.30% p.a.
(min spend $500 monthly)
Up to 0.28% p.a.
(min spend $500 monthly)
-0.60% p.a.
Salary Credit1.00% p.a.1.00% p.a.0.40% p.a.0.20% p.a.-0.80% p.a.
Bill Payments0.25% p.a.0.15% p.a.0.10% p.a.0.10% p.a.-0.15% p.a.
Invest0.75% p.a.1.28% p.a.0.85% p.a.0.90% p.a.+1.05% p.a.

Invest and Insure split into 2 separate categories since 1 July 2020
Insure0.85% p.a.0.90% p.a.
Total On First $100,000 Eligible Deposit Balance (prior to 1 July 2020)3.88% p.a.3.88% p.a.3.00% p.a.

Note: Changed to total on first $80,000 eligible deposit balance
2.88% p.a.
on first $80,000 eligible deposit balance
-1.00% p.a.

Total eligible balance lowered by $20,000

Here’s a quick recap for Standard Chartered BonusSaver’s interest rate requirements:

Card Spend: Spend between $500 to $2,000 to get 0.28% bonus interest OR spend $2,000 and above to get 0.78% bonus interest

Note: Card Spend includes Prevailing Interest

Salary Credit: Credit salary of at least $3,000 via GIRO to enjoy 0.20% bonus interest

Bill Payment: Pay 3 bills of at least $50 each to enjoy 0.10% bonus interest

Invest: Buy an eligible insurance policy with a minimum annual premium of $12,000 to enjoy 0.90% bonus interest

Insure: Buy at least $30,000 worth of unit trusts to enjoy 0.90% bonus interest


All the Changes to Standard Chartered BonusSaver in 2020

This is the third time this year that Standard Chartered is making changes to the interest rates of their Standard Chartered BonusSaver savings account.

Here are the changes at a glance:

Prevailing Interest: A decrease of 0.07% p.a.

Card Spend: A decrease of 0.60% p.a. if you spend between $500 and $2,000, and a decrease of 1.10% p.a. if you spend more than $2,000 a month

Salary Credit: A decrease of 0.80% p.a.

Bill Payments: A decrease of 0.15% p.a.

Invest: Separated from the Insure category, with an overall increase of 1.05% p.a. when both are combined

Total Bonus: A decrease of 1.00% p.a. with the total eligible balance lowered by $20,000 to $80,000

Pros of October 2020 Update: How Does It Affect Standard Chartered BonusSaver Account Holders?

As compared to the July 2020 update, this revision further nerfs the bonus interest from up to 3.00% p.a. to up to 2.88% p.a. that the average BonusSave account holder can get.

It doesn’t help that the bonus interest rates you can earn on:

  • Card Spend
  • Salary Credit
  • Bill Payment
  • Invest
  • Insure

are ALL below 0.9% p.a after the October 2020 Update.

But at least, the bonus interest on Card Spend has been kept steady (yay to ordering food delivery and shopping online)…

while the bonus interests for Invest and Insure categories have increased (however, there are some cons to them).

Cons of October 2020 Update: How Does It Affect Standard Chartered BonusSaver Account Holders?

Salary Credit

This is the BIGGEST blow to BonusSaver account holders.

For 2020, you’re going to see a decrease of 0.80% p.a. bonus interest.

FYI: that’s an 80% cut!

Bill Payment

Whether we’re stuck at home.

Or are free to roam again.

We all still have to pay bills for stuff like our SIM Only mobile planbroadband plan or electricity bill.

Thankfully, after a decrease of 0.15% p.a. bonus interest in the Bill Payment category — implemented on 1 April 2020.

There’ll be no changes on 1 October 2020.

Invest and Insure

Once again, this category gets a bump in bonus interest earned.

And it has also been split into 2 separate categories since 1 July 2020 so you can potentially earn more.

HOWEVER.

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.

So…

Unfortunately, this category is pretty much dead to me.

Total Bonus Interest

To top it off.

Standard Chartered has revised downwards the total bonus interest rate to up to 2.88% p.a. from up to 3.00% p.a.

Krusty Krew Walking Away in Disbelief
Source: SpongeBob SquarePants | Giphy

Is it Still Worth Opening a Standard Chartered BonusSaver Account After 1 October 2020?

TBH, I used to 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).

But now that it’s dropped to $80,000.

I’ll probably have to transfer any amount above that into a better savings account to earn more interest.

Or invest it.

.

.

.

Now, let’s run some hypotheticals.

Assuming you spend at least $2,000 a month.

Earn at least $3,000 a month.

(read: this is NOT ideal salary allocation)

And maintain a daily average balance of $80,000.

You’re looking at a bonus interest rate of 0.98% p.a. (or $784 interest earned) without having to:

  • pay bills using a Standard Chartered card
  • take a home loan
  • buy insurance
  • make any investments

That’s erm… kind of decent?

At least higher than leaving it in your kid’s savings account and earning a paltry 0.05% p.a.

Or the recent Singapore Savings Bonds

SSB interest rate

But if you manage to drop your spending down to at least $500 a month instead, because you’re a financially responsible human being.

That drops your bonus interest rate to a miserly 0.48% p.a.

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.

About Kenneth Fong
Owner of a 4-room HDB BTO and married to a financial clutz. Probably the closest to an adult you can find on the Seedly team.
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