UOB One Account Review: High Yield Savings Up to 7.8%

10 March 2024

With the recent hike in GST to 9% in Singapore, the emphasis on savvy financial management and effective saving strategies has never been more acute. And in this current climate where every dollar counts, the search for a savings account that not only safeguards but also grows your hard-earned money is paramount. 

Enter the UOB One Account, a day-to-day savings solution that stands out from the crowd. Promising significantly more than the traditional interest rate of a meagre 0.05% per annum (p.a.), this account is designed to maximize returns on your savings effortlessly. 

So, what's the rave about this savings account?

What is the UOB One Account?

The UOB One Account positions itself as more than just a conventional savings account. 

For one, it's engineered for those seeking to elevate their saving game without the complications often associated with typical high-yield accounts. In addition, this account distinguishes itself with a promise of up to 7.8% p.a. interest rates, setting a new benchmark for everyday savings. 

The allure of the UOB One Account also lies in its straightforwardness, coupled with the flexibility it offers through its spending and saving requirements. But that’s not all. Features such as easy online access via the dedicated UOB TMRW app, a minimal initial deposit of S$1,000, and additional perks, such as 10% cashback on groceries and more, make it an attractive option for savvy savers.

Understanding the interest rate structure of the UOB One Account

Navigating the UOB One Account's interest rate landscape is refreshingly straightforward, making it an ideal choice even for those who shy away from complex financial calculations. 

While it does boast potential interest rates as lofty as the aforementioned 7.8% p.a. on the first S$100,000 in your account, it is contingent upon fulfilling a couple of simple monthly activities.

The crux of earning these attractive rates lies in the following:

  1. A minimum expenditure of S$500 using eligible UOB credit or debit cards*.
  2. Complementing this spend with either three GIRO/PayNow debit transactions or a salary credit of at least S$1,600.
*Eligible cards span across the UOB spectrum, including the UOB One Card, UOB Lady's Card variants, UOB EVOL Credit Card, and various UOB debit cards, such as UOB One Debit Visa Card, UOB One Debit Mastercard, UOB Lady's Debit Card, and UOB Mighty FX Debit Card.

What further sets the UOB One Account apart is its inclusive approach to bonus interest qualification. 

Here's a simplified breakdown of how your savings could grow based on the account balance and meeting the specified conditions:

Account BalanceSpend on Eligible UOB Card+3 GIRO/PayNow Debit Transactions+Salary Credit
First S$30,0000.65%2.50%3.85%
Next S$30,0000.65%3.00%3.90%
Next S$15,0000.65%4.00%4.85%
Next S$25,0000.65%0.05%7.80%
Above S$100,0000.05%0.05%0.05%

Source: UOB

Comparing UOB One Account with Fixed Deposits

Comparing the UOB One Account in Singapore with fixed deposits reveals two distinct options for individuals looking to optimize their savings. The UOB One Account is marketed as more than just a typical savings account, offering simplicity and the potential for high-interest rates. With advertised rates of up to 7.8% p.a., it aims to redefine everyday savings without the complexity often found in high-yield accounts. However, to qualify for the maximum interest rates, customers must meet monthly requirements.

On the other hand, fixed deposits offer a more traditional approach, providing a stable interest rate (with the highest up to 3.45% offered by Bank of China's 3-months tenure) for a predetermined period without the need for ongoing activities. Investors should consider their savings goals and financial preferences when deciding between the potential returns of the UOB One Account and the stability of fixed deposit rates.

Apart from the conventional fixed deposits offered by banks, investors in Singapore have access to innovative cash management solutions such as StashAway Simple Guaranteed. This product presents a unique blend of liquidity, competitive returns, and ease of management, catering to the evolving needs of investors in the financial landscape.

One standout feature of StashAway Simple Guaranteed is its flexibility in deposit amounts. Unlike some traditional accounts, it doesn't impose minimum or maximum deposit requirements, allowing investors to tailor their investments according to their specific financial goals and capacities. This level of flexibility enhances accessibility and accommodates a diverse range of investor preferences and needs.

StashAway Simple Guaranteed Interest Rates (Mar 2024):

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

Comparing UOB One Account with DBS Multiplier Account & OCBC 360 Account

The UOB One Account provides a straightforward approach, emphasizing simplicity and the potential for high-interest rates of up to 7.8% p.a. However, achieving these rates requires meeting monthly spending and transaction criteria.

In contrast, the OCBC 360 Account offers a multi-tiered rewards system. Customers can earn up to 4.65% p.a. on their first S$100,000 by crediting their salary, saving, and spending. Additionally, an extra 3.00% p.a. can be earned through insurance and investment. This amounts to a total potential interest rate of 7.65% p.a. Customers need to fulfill specific requirements for each category to qualify for the respective interest rates.

Similarly, the DBS Multiplier Account rewards customers for their entire banking relationship with DBS. Interest rates range from 1.8% to 4.1% p.a. depending on various factors such as salary crediting, transaction types, and investments. Customers can earn higher interest rates by transacting in multiple categories, with the potential to reach a maximum of 4.1% p.a.

Maximizing returns with your UOB One Account

To truly harness the potential of the UOB One Account, savvy financial manoeuvres are key. 

For example, those earning a salary can consider directing their monthly income into the UOB One Account to fulfil one part of the criteria. Concurrently, leveraging GIRO transactions for regular bill payments can not only simplify your financial management but also ensure you're consistently hitting the interest rate sweet spots.

Consider the tangible benefits with this example:

For those with $100,000 stashed away, fulfilling the straightforward criteria of a minimum monthly card spend of S$500 and salary credit of S$1,600 can unlock earnings of approximately S$5,203 annually. This substantial sum could effortlessly cover recurring expenses, illustrating just how rewarding smart account management with UOB One can be.

Eligibility criteria for opening a UOB One Account

Now, are you wondering if you're eligible to open a UOB One Account? 

Ensure you meet the requirements for this high-yield savings opportunity:

  • Age Requirement: You must be 18 years old or older.
  • Minimum Initial Deposit: A starting deposit of S$1,000 is required to open a UOB One Account.
  • Monthly Average Balance: To keep your account running smoothly, maintain at least S$1,000 as your monthly average balance. Falling below this threshold will incur a S$5 fee, although this is waived for the first six months for accounts initiated online.
  • Early Account Closure Fee: Deciding to close your account within six months of opening will result in a S$30 fee.

Opening a UOB One Account

If you have your heart set on opening a UOB One Account and unlocking its potential for higher savings returns, here's how you can get started:

For New and Existing UOB Customers:

  1. Digital Application via MyInfo: Utilise your Singpass to swiftly apply through MyInfo. This convenient route is open to both new UOB customers and those already banking with UOB, including joint account applications.
  2. Personal Internet Banking: Existing UOB customers can also apply through their personal Internet banking portal, ensuring a smooth transition for those already familiar with UOB's digital banking environment.
  3. Card and PIN: If you're an existing customer aiming for a single account application, your credit or debit card number, along with its PIN, can be your key to a swift application process.

For Foreigners and U.S. Persons:

  1. Branch Visit: If you're living in Singapore on an Employment Pass, S Pass, or Dependent Pass, or if you're a U.S. person, a visit to any UOB branch is your first step. Make sure to bring along:
  • Your passport for identification.
  • A document proving your residential address in Singapore.
  • Relevant pass (Employment Pass, S Pass, or Dependent Pass)

Limitations of the UOB One Account

While the allure of the UOB One Account might be compelling with its attractive benefits, it's important to recognise its inherent limitations, as is the case with any financial product. 

For starters, the account's interest rate strategy sees a sharp decline to a mere 0.05% p.a. for any portion of your balance exceeding S$100,000. This means that for substantial savings, the benefits plateau, limiting the rewards for growing your balance beyond this point.

Also, while including recurring insurance payments in the monthly card spend is convenient for streamlining financial chores, potential account holders should be mindful of excluded transactions. For instance, payments towards remittances, hospital bills, and EZ-link top-ups do not contribute towards meeting the minimum spend requirement.

A simpler way to saving

So, what are the other cash management alternatives to consider to ensure you stay on track to achieve your financial goals

With the aim to offer straightforward and efficient savings strategies, StashAway Simple Cash presents a trio of products tailored to meet the needs of modern savers: Simple, Simple Plus, and Simple Guaranteed. Each of these products is designed with the fundamental principles of low risk, high yields, and seamless account management, offering a refreshing alternative to traditional savings accounts. 

Choosing the right account for your financial future

As you navigate the landscape of savings and short-term investment options, it's crucial to align your choices with your financial goals and lifestyle needs. 

Whether you're drawn to the UOB One Account for its competitive interest rates and cashback rewards or prefer the straightforward, high-yield opportunities offered by StashAway's Simple, Simple Plus, and Simple Guaranteed, the key is to make an informed decision based on unbiased comparisons. Consider not just the potential returns but also the ease of management, risk level, and how each account fits into your broader financial strategy. 

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