Everything You Need to Know About the OCBC 360 Account

27 March 2024

The OCBC 360 account is one of Singapore’s most popular high-yield savings accounts, promising users up to 4.65% p.a. interest on the first S$100,000 of their deposits. Going up to an impressive 7.65% p.a. if certain milestones are met, such as crediting your salary, saving, investing and insuring with OCBC. 

As enticing as those numbers are, how easy is it to earn the stated interest rates, and how do you know if the OCBC 360 account is the right choice for your financial aspirations? Let’s take a closer look and find out.

Overview of the OCBC 360 Account

The OCBC 360 savings account is essentially a regular bank account but sets itself apart by offering higher interest rates as rewards for routine banking transactions like crediting your salary, saving money and spending on your credit card. It is designed to encourage customers to use OCBC for their banking needs. 

There are other financial instruments like fixed deposit accounts which may offer similar interest rates to grow your money, but these often come with a caveat of parking your money with the bank for a set amount of time. 

For example, while the OCBC fixed deposit account offers an interest rate of 2.7% for depositing S$30,000 for 6 months, you cannot withdraw your money during that time. In contrast, the OCBC 360 account offers an interest rate of 2.5% just for crediting your salary with the potential to grow up to 7.65% if all milestones are met, plus the flexibility to withdraw your funds at any time.

If you're looking for good interest rates and need to use your money anytime, the OCBC 360 account could be a good fit. But how exactly do these interest rates work, and how can you get the most out of them? 

Understanding OCBC 360’s Interest Rate Structure

At the base level, the OCBC 360 account offers an interest rate of 0.05% a year on your entire account balance. This number can be increased by transacting with OCBC in a few categories: 

  • Salary: Credit a monthly salary of at least S$1,800 through GIRO
  • Save: Increase your average daily balance by S$500 each month 
  • Spend: Charge at least S$500 to selected OCBC credit cards each month
  • Insure: Purchase an eligible insurance product from OCBC
  • Invest: Buy an eligible investment product from OCBC
  • Grow: Maintain an average daily balance of at least S$200,000 

The interest rates associated with the categories are as follows:

  • Salary: 2% on first S$75,000, 4% on next S$25,000
  • Save: 1.20% on first S$75,000, 2.40% on next S$25,000 
  • Spend: 0.60% on first S$100,000
  • Insure: 1.20% on first S$75,000, 2.40% on next S$25,000 
  • Invest: 1.20% on first S$75,000, 2.40% on next S$25,000 
  • Grow: Additional 2.40% on first S$100,000

If you find multiple tiers of interest rates and hoops to jump through confusing, you’re not alone. What if there was a simpler alternative, somewhere you can just park your cash and earn?

For those exploring straightforward investment options, StashAway Simple Guaranteed emerges as a notable choice. Its defining feature is the assurance of competitive returns without the complexities typically associated with investment products. This accessibility is further enhanced by its lack of deposit minimums or maximums, allowing investors to contribute amounts that align with their financial capabilities and goals. This makes StashAway Simple Guaranteed a versatile and user-friendly option for those looking to manage their investments with ease.

StashAway Simple Guaranteed Interest Rates:

TenureInterest rate per annum
1 month3.5%
3 months3.75%
6 months3.6%
12 months3.5%

Maximizing Returns on Your OCBC 360 Account

To get the most out of your OCBC 360 account, it’s crucial to understand and actively track each category to ensure you meet the criteria to boost your interest rate. Here are practical tips and strategies for maximum returns:

Credit Your Salary: Speak to your HR department to ensure your monthly salary of at least S$1,800 is credited through GIRO to your OCBC 360 account. 

Increase Savings Regularly: Aim to grow your account balance by at least S$500 each month by setting aside a portion of your income.

Use OCBC Credit Cards: Apply and consolidate your spending on an OCBC credit card to hit the minimum spend of S$500 monthly. 

Consider OCBC’s Insurance and Investment Products: If it aligns with your financial goals, look into OCBC’s insurance and investments to tap into higher interest tiers. Be mindful to choose products that suit your long-term objectives and risk tolerance.

Here’s what your effective interest rate (EIR) would look like for meeting two or more of the above categories:

  • Salary + Save: You will earn a maximum EIR of 4.05% a year.
  • Salary + Save + Spend: You will earn a maximum EIR of 4.65% a year.
  • Salary + Save + Spend + Insure / Invest: You will earn a maximum EIR of 6.15% a year.
  • Salary + Save + Spend + Insure + Invest: You will earn a maximum EIR of 7.65% a year.

It is feasible to consistently meet the targets in 3 categories: salary, save and spend. By crediting your salary via GIRO into your OCBC 360 account, increasing your savings by S$500, and spending at least S$500 on an OCBC credit card each month, you can earn a maximum EIR of 4.65% a year. If you choose to buy insurance and investment products from OCBC, that number can go to 7.65%

Limitations of the OCBC 360 Account

While achieving OCBC 360’s advertised high interest rate of 7.65% a year seems straightforward, the savings account comes with its set of limitations that might not be immediately apparent. Here’s a closer look at some of these constraints:

Tracking Multiple Categories: Keeping up with the various categories to earn bonus interest can be cumbersome and time-consuming. Additionally, if you fail to track one or more categories, you may forfeit the interest for that period.

Average Daily Balance Requirement: The OCBC 360 account requires the owner to maintain a minimum monthly balance of S$3,000 else a S$2 fall below fee applies, which can be limiting for some users. 

Minimum Qualifying Amount for Insurance Products: To qualify for additional interest through insurance, you must purchase policies with a minimum amount of S$2,000 for protection/legacy insurance or S$4,000 for endowment/retirement insurance. This requirement may lock you into a plan with higher premiums or one that does not align with your coverage needs.

Minimum Qualifying Amount for Investment Products: To qualify for additional interest in the investment category, you must purchase at least S$20,000 of investment products from OCBC. This high threshold can be a significant barrier for many users. Plus, it also introduces market risks and potential fees, which can offset the additional interest earned. 

Time-Limited Interest Rate Increase: While the prospect of earning up to 7.65% interest per annum sounds appealing, achieving this rate involves purchasing specific insurance and investment products with high qualifying amounts. Furthermore, the bonus interest is only applicable only for the first 12 months post-purchase.

Optimising Larger Sums: For OCBC 360 accounts holding over S$100,000, only the initial S$100,000 benefits from the higher interest rates. If you have more than S$100,000, consider putting the excess in short-term investment options like StashAway Simple, which might yield overall higher returns.

How to Open an OCBC 360 Account

Opening an OCBC 360 account is a straightforward process, that can be done online or by visiting any OCBC bank branch. Here's what you need to know to get started:

Eligibility Requirements

Minimum Age: 

You must be at least 18 years old to open an account.

Documents Required:

  • For Singaporeans and Singapore PRs: NRIC and an image of your signature.
  • For Foreigners: Passport and a valid pass (such as Employment Pass, S-Pass, or Student Pass).

Additional Documents:

You will also need to provide one of the following documents as proof of your residential address:

  • Phone bill
  • Half-yearly CPF statement
  • Any bank statement

Deposit Requirements:

  • Initial Deposit: An initial deposit of S$1,000 is required to open your account.
  • Minimum Average Daily Balance: You need to maintain an average daily balance of S$3,000 to avoid the monthly fall-below fee of S$2.

Step-by-Step Guide to Opening an OCBC 360 Account

1. Choose Your Application Method: Choose whether you'd like to apply online for convenience or in person at an OCBC branch for a more guided experience.

2. Gather Your Documents: Prepare all the necessary documents based on your residency status.

3. Complete the Application: If applying online, fill out the application form on OCBC's website. In-branch, a bank representative will assist you with the paperwork.

4. Submit Your Initial Deposit: Make your initial deposit of S$1,000. This can usually be done through a transfer from another bank account or in cash at a branch.

5. Await Account Activation: Once your application is processed and your initial deposit is received, your OCBC 360 account will be activated. You'll receive confirmation and can start managing your account online or through the OCBC mobile app.

Is the OCBC 360 Account Right for You?

The OCBC 360 account is an appealing option for those looking to maximise their returns with a realistic potential interest rate of 4.65% p.a. for crediting salary, saving and spending. Additionally, customers who wish to purchase insurance and investment products from OCBC can increase their interest rate earnings to 7.65% p.a, but only for the first 12 months.

Is the OCBC 360 account right for you? That depends on your willingness to actively manage your banking transactions and fulfil the account’s criteria. For those looking for a less demanding, simpler approach, a hassle-free alternative like StashAway Simple Guaranteed might be more suitable. Ultimately, the choice lies in your preference for managing your finances and how engaged you want to be in tracking your banking activities. 

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