Review: Standard Chartered Bonus$aver
In the spirit of good personal finance, I decided to do regular reviews of financial products that I come across and find to be interesting.
What caught my eye today was this advertisement on Bonus$aver by Standard Chartered plastered everywhere in shopping malls that screamed “1.88% p.a. on your savings!”. That is indeed an eye catching message considering how local banks give only about 0.05% per annum. I went to the nearest Standard Chartered Bank, took one of their pamplets and decided to evaluate it.
Bonus$aver – Terms & Conditions
- 1.88% per annum applicable only to the 1st S$25,000; subsequent amounts revert back to prevailing interest rates (I could not quite find what this rate is, but I reckon it will be a low percentage similar to other local banks).
- You need to charge a minimum of S$500 to any linked credit / debit card each month.
- Bonus interest will be credited on a monthly basis.
The catch is that you would need to spend $500 each month, but I am currently using my UOB OneCard to maximise my cash rebates. For those who are not familiar with UOB OneCard, it has an interesting system that rewards you with $30/$80/$150 per quarter if you consistently spend $300/$800/$1500 in each month of that quarter. The difficult thing is to consistently hit the minimum amount else you would lose your rebate altogether. For example, if you spend $1800, $900, then $790 in 3 consecutive months, you would only be getting $30 rebate in that quarter instead of $150 or $80. Divide the rebate as a percentage of your expenditure, and you will get 3.33% which is huge. When you look at the rebates on an annual basis, you would be getting anything ranging from $120 ($30 x 4 quarters) to $600 ($150 x 4 quarters).
If you do the math for Bonus$aver, 1.88% on $25,000 would be about $470 ($39.17 per month). Lets assume the $39.17 amount each month is a cash rebate for spending $500 each month, that would mean you are getting 7.8% rebate which is way higher than what you can find anywhere else in the market.
Thus comparing both StandChart’s Bonus$aver vs UOB’s OneCard, Bonus$aver would seem to be the better option. But before you decide to drop your UOB OneCard altogether, first consider how you might use both cards together to maximise your rebates. Perhaps you can charge up to $500 on your StandChart’s credit card first, then charge the rest on UOB OneCard?
What do you think of the above review, and how would you evaluate Standard Chartered’s Bonus$aver differently?
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