Unlike a savings account, a current account mostly caters to businessmen and professionals alike. In a savings account, you can earn interest on your savings with certain limitations. For instance, if you have a DBS ATM card in Singapore, you can withdraw up to S$5,000 in a day. In a current account however, you can write cheques against your deposit and withdraw as much as you want. This account does not limit the number of transactions per day. Current accounts can prove to be quiet helpful as it separates your personal finance from your business finance. It is best suited to pay creditors using cheques.
Holistic View on the Features of a Current Account
- Businesses and companies who carry out large number of transactions can open a current account.
- You can earn daily interest on your deposit.
- Some banks do not charge any fall-below fees.
- There is no fixed period to hold this account.
- If you have sufficient amount in your account, there will not be any limit on the cash you can withdraw.
- Funds transfer can be possible through online and mobile banking.
- E-statements will be sent to your registered email ID.
- You can get free chequebooks.
- You can pay your creditors via cheques, pay orders, or demand drafts.
- You can hold an account in Singapore dollar as well as in foreign currencies.
- Overdraft facility is also available with most banks.
Types of Current Accounts
There are 3 types of current accounts offered in Singapore:
- Singapore Dollar Current Account: This account gives you the benefits of mobile banking, internet banking, credit/debit cards, and e-statements. To transfer funds, you can set up standing instructions or top up funds using GIRO. You can even get a free chequebook with this account.
- Foreign Currency Current Account: This account is offered in foreign currencies like EUR, USD, AUD, NZD, GBP, HKD, JPY, and CHF. If you hold a USD current account, you will receive a free chequebook with some banks. However, you need to place a minimum amount in each currency.
- Islamic Current Account: The Islamic Current Account is Shariah compliant, which means the account is based on the Shariah principle of Murabahah (mark-up). The Singapore Deposit Insurance Scheme protects your savings up to S$50,000 by law.
Comparison of Interest Rates of Current Accounts in Singapore
The table below shows the interest rates of each current account and its minimum deposit:
|Account name||Interest rates||Minimum deposit||Other benefits|
|HSBC Singapore Dollar Current Account||NA||S$2,000||Get a free chequebook. Receive a debit card with a range of benefits. Get access to phone banking and internet banking services.|
|HSBC Foreign Currency Current Account||NA||US$5,000 or equivalent||Choose from 7 foreign currencies. Free chequebooks for US current account holders. Receive monthly statements.|
|CIMB StarSaver Account||0.8% p.a.||S$5,000||Get access to CIMB Clicks internet banking and mobile banking services. Enjoy zero fall-below fees. No service charge on overseas cash withdrawals from PLUS ATMs.|
|CIMB Foreign Currency Current Account||NA||S$1,000 (USD, EUR, GBP, and AUD) S$500,000 (JPY)||Choose from 5 foreign currencies to pay, trade, invest, or receive funds. Unlimited free chequebooks for US current account holders. Opt for e-statements and get your monthly account fee waived.|
|CIMB StarSaver-i Account||0.8% p.a.||S$5,000||Accrue profit daily and receive it at the end of the month. Top up your account through GIRO, funds transfer, cheques, or in-branch deposits. Get access to CIMB Clicks internet banking and mobile banking services.|
|UOB Current Account (SGD)||NA||S$1,000||Get an annual fee waiver on your UOB Debit Card for 3 years. Enjoy access to UniAlerts through phone or mail. Transfer funds from any UOB account to this current account via GIRO.|
|UOB Global Currency Account||0.05% p.a. to 0.3% p.a.||USD: 1,000 units GBP: 650 units EUR: 900 units AUD/CAD: 1,700 units NZD: 2,000 units HKD: 7,800 units JPY: 150,000 CHF: 1,500 CNH: 5,000||Choose from 10 different foreign currencies. Current account holders with USD currency will enjoy a 3-day cheque clearing system. Access to overdraft facilities against your deposit.|
|Maybank PremierOne Account||0.1875% p.a. to 0.25% p.a.||S$1,000||Enjoy zero cash withdrawal charges at all Maybank and atm5 ATMs in the country. Use your Maybank Platinum Debit Card to pay at FlashPay and NETS points. 24/7 access to mobile and internet banking.|
|Maybank Foreign Currency Current Account||0.60% p.a. (USD) 1% p.a. (AUD and NZD)||US$1,000 or equivalent||Free chequebooks for US current account holders. Deposit or withdraw in cash, telegraphic transfers, or demand drafts. Get access to the fund transfer facility via online banking.|
|OCBC Current Account||NA||S$1,000||Transfer funds via GIRO, online, or standing instructions. View and sort out your balances through online banking. Use chequebooks to trasact.|
|OCBC USD Current Account||NA||US$1,000||Enjoy transacting in US dollars via cheque or bank transfers. As an existing OCBC current account customer, you can open the account in 1 day. Get access to paper and e-statements.|
|POSB Current Account||NA||NA||Link your current account to your savings account for automatic top-ups. Receive 1 free chequebook. Get access to paper and e-statements every month.|
|Bank of China Current Account||NA||S$1,000 or equivalent||Choose from 11 different currencies, including SGD. Get access to overdraft facilities. Can be opened as a single or joint account.|
|Standard Chartered Bonus$aver||Up to 3.88% p.a.||Not available||Get your first chequebook for free. Send and receive funds via PayNow. Get cash at more than 300 participating merchants via the mobile banking app, powered by soCash.|
|Standard Chartered SuperSalary||0.20% p.a.||NA||Earn this interest rate on top of the regular Super Time Deposit rates. Earn 1% cashback on qualifying Mastercard spend using your SuperSalary Debit Card. Send and receive funds via PayNow.|
|Standard Chartered USD High Account||NA||NA||Earn 2% cashback on qualifying Mastercard debit card spends. Deposit in USD and get a waiver on the commission. Enjoy zero fall-below fee.|
Fees and Charges Applicable on Current Accounts
The table below shows the fees and charges you can incur once you open a current account with any bank in Singapore:
|Monthly account fee||Up to S$2|
|Fall-below fee||Up to S$8.50|
|Chequebook fee||Free up to 2 chequebooks. Thereafter, up to S$15 each|
|Account closure fee||Up to S$30|
|Excess limit charge||SGD Prime Rate + 5% or up to S$20, whichever is higher|
Note: The charges mentioned in the table are approximations. Actual charges may vary depending on the bank and account you choose.
How to Apply for a Current Account
There are 4 ways to apply for a current account in Singapore:
- Phone banking: If you have an account with any bank, you can call the hotline number and talk to the representative about the application process.
- Request for a call back: Visit the bank’s website and leave your details by filling up the online form. The bank will get in touch with you with information about the current account.
- Visit the nearest branch: You can choose to visit your bank’s branch and talk to a representative directly. If you are carrying the relevant documents, then you ask the executive to initiate the application process.
- Internet banking: If you are an existing customer of the bank, you can apply through your internet banking account.
What are the Eligibility Requirements to Open an Account?
To open a current account in Singapore, you must be:
- A Singaporean, Permanent Resident of Singapore, or a foreigner with relevant documents.
- Between the ages of 18 years and 65 years.
- Income documents:
- Salaried employees: Most recent payslips.
- Commission-based employees: Payslips from the last 3 months or most recent Income Tax NOA or 6 months’ CPF Contribution History Statements.
- Self-employed individuals: Last 2 years’ Income Tax NOA.
- Employment pass.
- Any of the following documents:
- Utility bills for the last 3 months.
- Bank statements for the last 3 months.
- Letter from your current employer certifying your employment.
- Government-issued documents stating your address.
- Phone bills.
- Rental agreement.
- Income documents: Latest payslips or Income Tax NOA.
How to Choose the Right Current Account
If you are wondering which bank to choose for a current account, then here are some points to keep in mind:
- Check for monthly fee: Some banks will charge up to S$2 as a monthly account fee, while others will not. You can get a monthly fee waiver if you maintain the minimum balance. But, the monthly fee is not too high to pay. Hence, you can decide whether you want an account with or without this fee.
- Check for minimum balance requirement: Many banks do not have a minimum balance requirement. This means you can keep small amounts as well, without getting charged with a fall-below fee. In this way, the amount will not remain locked and you can spend it at any time.
- Check the interest rate: Some banks like Standard Chartered Bank offer interest on the current account balance, whereas banks like HSBC, CIMB, and UOB offer non-interest bearing current accounts. However, the interest rates offered for a current account are lower than a savings account. Hence, visit a compare website to check out the interest rates and know how to maximise your deposit.
- Check for mobile or online access: Not all banks will have a branch near you. So, it is imperative to find out whether your bank gives access to internet and mobile banking. Through these services, you can view and sort your balances conveniently without needing to head to a branch.
- Check for overdraft costs: One of the highest fees is the overdraft cost. This means if you spend more than what you have in your account, you will incur heavy charges. Hence, look for a current account that offers an overdraft up to an agreed limit, without any fees.
- Check for promotions: Several banks run promotions to attract customers. Be sure to read the terms and conditions attached to these promotions. Some deals can give you cash incentive, while others can offer a high interest on your deposit for a period of time.
Current accounts are ideal for business purposes and can be opened as single or joint accounts. Compare all the facets of the account before determining the right account for you.