OCBC raises interest rates on 360 savings account again, adding to banks’ competition for deposits

OCBC will increase the rate to 4.65 per cent a year from Tuesday, up from 1.85 per cent a year currently. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

SINGAPORE  - OCBC Bank will again raise the interest rates on its flagship 360 savings account, in the latest move by a lender here to capture a larger slice of the customer deposit pie.

The bank will increase the rate to 4.65 per cent a year from Tuesday, up from 1.85 per cent a year currently, on the first $100,000 in customers’ bank accounts when they credit their salary, save and spend with the bank.

The criteria in these categories will remain unchanged: Customers will need to credit their salary of at least $1,800 through Giro, increase their account balance by at least $500 monthly and spend at least $500 on certain OCBC credit cards.

OCBC said on Monday: “For many individuals, the criteria can be fulfilled by their everyday actions and, as a result, these are the three most common categories that OCBC 360 account customers currently earn bonus interest on.”

The Straits Times understands that two-thirds of OCBC 360 account holders who are eligible for credit cards already hold one of the selected cards under the criteria.

OCBC said it is also widening the pool of eligible cards for its “spend” category in the 360 account. Currently, OCBC 365 credit card holders who spend at least $500 can earn bonus interest on the account.

But from Tuesday, payments made using the OCBC Titanium Rewards credit card, OCBC 90°N Visa card and OCBC 90°N Mastercard can also be used to fulfil the $500 spending condition.

Beyond the three categories, customers who also invest and buy insurance through the bank can earn interest of 7.65 per cent a year on their first $100,000, up from 4.05 per cent a year.

This is the second time Singapore’s second-largest bank has raised interest rates this year. In September, it upped rates on the 360 account to a maximum of 4.05 per cent a year on balances of up to $100,000.

Account holders could previously earn a maximum of 2.38 per cent interest a year on balances of up to $75,000.

OCBC is among various banks in Singapore that have made similar moves in recent months amid rising global interest rates, as a result of the United States Federal Reserve’s rate hikes to tame high inflation.

In October, Standard Chartered Bank announced that it had raised the maximum interest rate on its Bonus$aver account to 4.88 per cent per annum – also its highest for the savings account – up from 2.38 per cent.

Industry observers told The Straits Times recently that besides interest rates, customers also need to consider other factors, such as the ease of access to banking services, their existing finances and the fine print in conditions to fulfil certain criteria, when choosing their main savings account.

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