Updated: Jun 6, 2022
Fixed deposits, also known as a time deposit, is a low-risk investment that pays a fixed interest till maturity. The interest rates for fixed deposits in Singapore are not great, but it’s a great low-risk alternative to a savings account with the following key differences:
● Lock-in period: Fixed deposits require a fixed amount of money to be deposited for a fixed amount of time. Premature withdrawal might result in less interest earned.
● Higher interest: Generally, the longer your lock-in period, the more interest you earn.
● Placement amount: Fixed deposits have a predetermined amount to be deposited.
Still, fixed deposits are essentially a risk-free way to grow your money.
Summary table of fixed deposit rates in Singapore by tenure
Best Deposit Rates in Singapore
Maybank Singapore Dollar Time Deposit Promotion Rate
Promotional period: From 13 May 2022
Maybank has an attractive fixed deposit promotion. Among the fixed deposit rates, their promotional rates for 12-month and 36-month tenure fixed deposits are the highest at 1.60% and 1.80% respectively.
OCBC Fixed Deposit Rate
OCBC’s fixed deposit rate fares slightly lower compared to the rest.
Hong Leong (HL) Fixed Deposit Promotion Rate with Hong Leong Bank Debit Card
(1) Open an iSavings account with a minimum deposit of S$5,000 fresh funds.
(2) Apply for a HL Bank debit card
(3) Make 3 transactions on your HL Bank debit card. No minimum spend required.
Hong Leong’s fixed deposit promotion rate with HL bank debit card has one of the highest interest rates with a lower tenure at 1.43% for 12 months, as compared to Maybank’s fixed deposit rate of 1.3%.
Hong Leong Fixed Deposit Promotion Rate
Promotional period: Until 31 August 2022
For more flexibility in your tenure, Hong Leong’s fixed deposit promotional rate also offers competitive rates.
UOB Fixed Deposit Promotion Rate
Promotional period: 12 May 2022 to 31 May 2022
UOB’s fixed deposit rate of 0.8% with a lock-in period is lacklustre as compared to ICBC’s rate of 1.35% for 9 months. However, they are the only bank on this list that offers a 15-month fixed deposit.
Sing Investment Fixed Deposit Promotion Rate
Sing Investment’s fixed deposit rates provide variety in terms of both placement amount and tenure, and their interest rates are relatively competitive as well.
Bank of China (BOC) Fixed Deposit Rate
Promotional period: From 18 April 2022
BOC’s fixed deposit has one of the lowest minimum placement amounts of $5,000 as compared to the average of $20,000 by other banks such as OCBC, and they offer comparable interest rates as well.
They also offer the highest 1, 3, 6 & 18-month fixed deposit interest rates than any other banks on this list.
CIMB Fixed Deposit Rate
CIMB’s fixed deposit rate of 0.65% for 9 months is lower than that of BOC’s of 1.10%,
POSB/DBS Fixed Deposit Rates
POSB/DBS offers the highest fixed deposit rates for the lowest minimum placement amount. However, do note that these rates are applicable for deposits within $1,000 to $19,999 only.
ICBC Fixed Deposit Rates
ICBC’s fixed deposit has the lowest minimum placement amount at only $500, and they’re the only bank (other than BOC) that offers a tenure of a month. They offer the highest 3 and 9-month fixed deposit interest rates.
RHB Fixed Deposit Promotion Rate
RHB’s fixed deposit rate of 1.3% for 12 months is comparable to Maybank’s for the same placement amount.
Standard Chartered (SCB) Fixed Deposit Promotion Rate
Promotional period: 4 May to 31 May 2022
SCB’s fixed deposit rates only fare better than OCBC’s rate of 0.55% for 12 months.
Highest fixed deposit rates in Singapore by tenure
Maybank has the highest fixed deposit rate, but if you prefer a lower tenure and have more cash to spare, consider Hong Leong’s fixed deposit rate of 1.43% for 12 months with a minimum placement of $50,000!
Is investing in a fixed deposit worth it?
The returns on fixed deposits are low and it doesn’t beat inflation, but it helps to diversify your portfolio and it’s a guaranteed method of growing your money with fixed payouts.
Fixed deposits are shielded completely from market fluctuations unlike the stock market, which recently took a hit - S&P500 tumbled by 17% and hit its lowest level in a year. Fixed deposits are a great safeguard against volatility.
If you’re not sure whether you should be investing in a fixed deposit, find out what your risk profile is through our risk profile calculator to determine what you should be investing in!
Alternatively, if you want to determine what the best course of action is, we have a limited-time offer for a free comprehensive and personalized financial assessment worth over $200 so you can take better control of your personal finances!
Should I put my emergency cash savings in a fixed deposit?
It depends on your financial goals, liquidity needs and your risk appetite! Before you park your money in a fixed deposit, consider the following:
● Do I have enough emergency funds?: A general rule of thumb is to put aside at least 6 months' worth of expenses in your emergency fund for rainy days.
● Am I in need of liquidity?: While you are able to make withdrawals from your fixed deposits, there might be penalties or you might get a lower return on your investment. If you have high liquidity needs, you might want to consider other alternatives.
● What’s my risk appetite?: Fixed deposits are great for those with a smaller risk appetite as returns are guaranteed.
Some other alternatives to fixed deposits are:
(1) Singapore Savings Bonds
(2) Endowment Plans
(3) Savings Accounts
Fixed Deposits vs Singapore Saving Bonds (SSB)
If you require high liquidity or prefer a lower deposit rate, consider a Singapore Savings Bond!
SSBs are generally very similar to fixed deposits as they both require a fixed deposit over a fixed amount of time and are considered low-risk investments with the following differences:
If you’ve inadequate emergency funds and require high liquidity, SSBs are the way to go.
However, the earlier you withdraw your money from your SSB, the lower your interest amount will be.
If you prefer an investment with a lower lock-in period, you might prefer fixed deposits over SSBs.
Fixed Deposits vs Endowment Plans
Endowment plans are a hybrid product that offers both savings and insurance coverage. Endowment plans are similar to fixed deposits in terms of liquidity.
Withdrawals or failure to make prompt payment on the premium might result in the policy lapsing and termination fees.
If you want an investment with lower tenure, go for fixed deposits - most endowment plans have an investment horizon of 10, 15, or 20 years.
However, if you have a specific savings goal in mind such as retirement, education and legacy, you might prefer an endowment plan.
Fixed Deposits vs Savings Accounts
A savings account allows for greater flexibility as it allows you to deposit any amount of money as and when you like, but the interest rates tend to be lower than those of fixed deposits. Basic savings accounts typically offer approximately 0.05% p.a.
Savings accounts that offer higher interest rates tend to have other requirements, such as a minimum or maximum deposit, transaction or spending requirements.
When deciding between fixed deposits and savings account, you should consider your financial goals and needs
As with all investments, you should always Do Your Own Research (DYOR) before deciding which investment product is the most suitable for you!
If you’re not sure what is suitable for you, it would be smart to work with a financial advisor on this.
Contrary to their reputation for pushy sales tactics, financial advisers help new investors cut through the noise.
They can arrange your investments and build a financial plan that helps ensure you will meet your financial goals in a sustainable manner!