OCBC 360 Account: An Amazing Product?!

Once upon a time, there were about 6 or 7 local banks in Singapore. But after the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997 and MAS’s commitment in 1999 to liberalize foreign access to Singapore’s domestic banking market, the local banks started merging with each other to consolidate their balance sheets. Finally, we are now left with the 3 local stalwarts: DBS, OCBC and UOB. 

With the influx of foreign banks like Standard Chartered (of the Manhattan Card, X Saver accounts, Bonus Saver accounts fame) and continuing competition from local banks like DBS (with recent products like the POSB Invest Saver and POSB HDB loan), OCBC is really feeling the intense competition.

Other than purchasing Wing Hang Bank to gain headway into the HK and China market, OCBC has retaliated by launching a seemingly irresistible product less than a week ago. Yeah, I am talking about the OCBC 360 Account.

Besides the 0.05% interest on the first $200,000 of balances, the OCBC 360 Account also promises an additional 3% of interest a year on the first $50,000 of your balances, 1% for each of the 3 conditions illustrated below:

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1. Crediting your salary every month

Yes, it’s that simple. If you earn at least $2,000 and your salary is credited through GIRO, it’s really time to inform your HR to credit your salary to this new OCBC 360 account instead. Just a one-time request to get significantly higher interest from your account balances.

Assuming you maintain a balance of $50,000, that’s an additional $500 a year and $41 a month.

2. Pay any 3 bills every month

This account comes with an online banking service and you would just need to pay 3 of your unique bills online with this account every month. GIRO arrangements would qualify too. For most of us, this requirement isn’t really difficult since we will almost definitely have credit card, utilities and telco bills.

Assuming you maintain a balance of $50,000, that’s an additional $500 a year and $41 a month.

3. Spend at least S$400 on your OCBC Credit Cards every month.

Yes, it’s not just one credit card. Obviously, they have to be under your name. Some useful OCBC cards include the FRANK card, the Best Card (tie-up with Best Denki) and the Robinsons Visa Platinum Card.

As a couple, we think that $400 is not too demanding. Some restaurant visits, a few purchases at departmental stores and supermarkets should easily meet this target. Even if you’re just a $100 short, it could make sense to spend that money since you’re getting a 40% discount on that purchase. NTUC vouchers?

Assuming you maintain a balance of $50,000, that’s an additional $500 a year and $41 a month.

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The 15 HWW couple strategy

Since my conservative wife carries quite a big balance on her POSB account and we do not have $50,000 each in cash, we will likely be opening one account under her name.

As the interest is accounted for every month, this 360 account could start with a low balance for the first month as we try to see if we can fulfil the 3 conditions. (We haven’t talked to anyone from OCBC and 3.05% for a deposit does sound too good to be true?) Once we really can easily meet the 3 or even 2 of them, it’s likely that I will transfer a big part of my cash buffer to see if we can accumulate $50,000 to take the maximum advantage. Stayed tuned for an update.

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If you’re interested in this AMAZING (I rarely use this word unless I feel that it is really so) product, you can learn more about it here.

Additional Disclaimer: For your information, I am not writing this article because I am getting a fee from OCBC. I just think that it appears to be a great product. In fact, I haven’t talked to anyone from the bank about this product yet so if some of what I wrote is erroneous, would be great if you could drop a comment and correct me. Otherwise, we will be dropping by another friendly neighbourhood banker next week. =p

 

***Addendum: OCBC has since changed its terms and conditions and its bonus interest structure. Please refer to this new post for my latest evaluation on this product. 

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    27 thoughts on “OCBC 360 Account: An Amazing Product?!

    1. Small-Time Investor

      Hi 15HWW

      Doesn’t the requirement at pt 3 (Spend at least S$400 on your OCBC Credit Cards every month.) overwrite the interest earned ? All 3 pts as illustrated earns you $123 ( $41 x 3 ) but the S$400 spendings per month would wipe out the earnings , that is not included with the bills expense at pt 2 too. Adding up to the earnings per year for 3 pts ( $500 x 3 =$1500 ) , but pt 3 ($400 x 12 =$4800 spendings . )

      I feel pt 1 and 2 would be a more approachable way imho. Do enlighten.

      1. Jeremy

        Hi Small-Time Investor,

        The thing is it can be any form of expenses. Example- telco bills, dining, online purchase. I’m sure more or less at this stage of working life, everyone should have some bills to pay here n there.

        Unless you may be a super saver kind of person, then I guess it may be not easy to hit that target.

        I’m just saying at a point of a generic normalworking adult. Thus the spending should be able to be quantified.

    2. Musicwhiz

      I’ve signed up for the OCBC 360 account and spoken to the banker at length and also clarified many queries. Suffice to say it’s better for everyone to read their detailed FAQ on what qualifies and what does not, and the requirements are not difficult to achieve, though I admit it is tedious and a hassle. I have had to fill up GIRO forms to change my billing arrangements which will take 4-6 weeks; and I also had to apply for a new credit card in order to start using it (I chose FRANK).

      On the comment that the spending of $400 “wipes out” the interest, I disagree. Assuming the $400 is an amount you’d spend anyway (but using other credit cards), then this is essential spending and therefore whatever interest you are getting is incremental. Therefore the additional funds are sort of a bonus.

      Another good thing about this account (as opposed to the DBS Multiplier Account which offers “only” up to 2.08%) is that you can choose to earn some or all of the bonus interest, as it is split into three distinct categories. Honestly, even 1.05% (one of the criteria) is already better than what the best savings account (CIMB Starsaver – 0.8% or 0.9% depending on when you opened it) can offer. Even though it is on the first $50,000, it is still a significant addition every month. The rest of the cash in excess of $50,000 can be stashed in CIMB; and oh yes this includes the interest earned as well as it will only compound at base 0.05%.

      Hope this clears up some doubts. I have yet to see this account “in action” as it is a new product launched just a week+ ago. The bonus interest is supposed to be reflected in the e-statement on OCBC’s Internet Banking portal and credited on the 7th day of the following month.

      Let’s wait and see if this works out. It will probably require 1-2 months before the full benefits kick in (if at all).

      Regards

      1. My 15 HWW Post author

        Hi Musicwhiz,

        Thanks for the detailed comment and your help in replying a previous comment. The comparison with other products in the market really helps to show that OCBC 360 appears to be a better deal.

        Even though we haven’t talked to OCBC or signed up, I guess a 3.05% on a savings account is worth the one-time hassle.

        Let’s hope the benefits kick in for you soon. (I guess it should, since you signed up? =)

      2. Jasmine Ye

        Hi 15HWW!

        Thanks for the post! This card seems awesome and most likely I’ll sign up since I have the OCBC 360 account too.

        Hi Musicwhiz,

        Thanks for recommending me to open up the OCBC 360 account! Looking forward to next week to receive the bonus interests. Whoohoo! 🙂

        Cheers,
        Jasmine

    3. Jack Low

      The biggest concern is whether OCBC will take us for a ride by changing the rates one year later.

      Remember standard chartered started with 1.88% when they first came and now reduced to a miserable rate? But then again we didn’t have to go through the hassle of asking HR to do extra work.

      Let’s hope it won’t happen.

      1. My 15 HWW Post author

        Hi Jack,

        To be honest, I would be surprised if they maintain the rates for more than a few years. They are just banking on inertia when you are already a customer. But I guess even a couple of years of additional interest might be worth the hassle?

      1. My 15 HWW Post author

        Hi Hyde,

        Thanks for the clarification. But I was just wondering whether there’s any material differences if it is a current account instead of a savings account?

    4. Hyde

      Don’t think there is a $2/month charge. But HR will usually ask if the account you want to deposit your salary into is savings or current. You can actually get a chequebook with the account, but its optional.

    5. Wee

      Hi,

      Wish to clarify on item 3. Spend at least S$400 on your OCBC Credit Cards, what if I can only spend >S$400 for certain month, will I still able to earn $41 for that particular month? Or it has to be general agreement that you must spend S$400 for all months?

      Assuming I maintain a balance of $50,000.

      1. My 15 HWW Post author

        Hi,

        It would seem that you are right. However, I would urge you to check with an OCBC representative just to be sure. =)

    6. Jim Huang

      I just opened one of these accounts and was informed that bills paid for joint-OCBC cards (NTUC Plus and Best Denki) won’t count towards point 3. Signed up for FRANK too.

      FYI all:)

    7. YP

      Hi think you meant $500 a year OR (NOT and) $41 a month? We have opened the account as well as DBS multiplier. Multiplier worked for us. Waiting to see how OCBC pans out.

      1. My 15 HWW Post author

        Hi YP,

        Yup. I meant $500 a year and which is equivalent to ~$41 a month. Let’s hope the promotion is on for at least a couple of years.

    8. gnooliew

      FRANK card doesn’t seem like a good card for day to day use to hit the $400 limit for 360 account if you don’t drive. Other than online purchases and flashpay ATU, only 0.5% cash rebate. Maybe those that give the OCBC$ are better for normal purchases.

    9. PIB

      I have gotten my first 2% interest with the OCBC 360 account. Its a great deal. Unfortunately, as I am currently not employed at the moment, I am unable to get the full 3%. I used to go for the spend $500 to get 1.88% interest on 25k deal with SCB but now, I will use up 400$ with OCBC instead to capture the 1% deal.

      1. My 15 HWW Post author

        Hi PIB,

        Good that you have already benefited from this product. There has been some issues with my wife’s application so we are not seeing anything yet. But your comment is going to make us hurry up to resolve the isues and kickstart our account. =)

        1. PIB

          You should also apply for the OCBC card if you have not already done so (Can get extra 1%, i sound kiasu right?). You can just walk in to the robinsons departmental store and just sign up.

          I think they have some freebies associated with the sign up too! It usually takes a while for the ocbc card to arrive, so you might want to do it while waiting for your OCBC 360 account to be approved.

          My gf got a free luggage bag as a gift when she signed up for the credit card. The condition for the free luggage bag is that she needs to do 1 transaction on 2 of her cards by a certain date (That was what I remembered, my memory may fail me. Old man liao.). Do take note of the details when you sign up!

          Hope this helps!

          1. My 15 HWW Post author

            Hi PIB,

            Thanks for your advice!

            What I had meant was that there’s been some problems with the setting up of the 360 Account. ie. the ATM card and internet token etc. Need to be able to pay the bills online to qualify for the 1%, right?

            Will ward away the procrastination monster and get this done sooner than later!

    10. Yian

      Hi
      for 3payments criteria. Can i confirm the following:
      can i do GIRO and pay say handphone bills, town council bills and GIRO them to my OCBC cr card? will that qualify?

      or it has to be to my OCBC 360 current account?

      if it can be charged to OCBC Cr card, can these 3 transactions form part of the $400 criteria?

      thank you

      1. My 15 HWW Post author

        Hi Yian,

        I am probably not in a position to confirm anything for you. But like what PIB has mentioned, those GIRO payments would only help you to qualify for an extra 1%. Even 2% is pretty good if you can’t hit the $400 criteria from your shopping or dining. =)

    11. PIB

      From what I understand, the 3 payments have to be giro-ed / paid through the internet banking and it has to be from the 360 OCBC current account.

      I currently giro my iras tax bill and my property tax bill and pay off other bank’s credit card to fulfill the 3 payments criteria.

    12. Sam Tan

      Hi,

      I have opened OCBC 360 for a few months and I have earned the full 3%

      Had these strategies that work for me:
      1. Consolidate all my bills on a OCBC card. I subscribe a NTUC plus card. Paid for my expenses and gf expenses during dating and managed to exceed 500

      The tricky part is abt when the payment dates qualifies for this bonus as u credit now but pay later . Just checked with their customer care; as long as bill indicates it’s spent within this month, it’s fine as there’s paper to back u up

      2. Pay my hp bill using pay any bill

      3. Pay a separate bill like a conservancy fee using another credit card to maximize discount

      4. Sometimes I am Abit kiasu and will find some unique bills to pay so I can get that additional 1%

      5. The salary part; I admit to my HR, I’m shameless and I need to earn that 1%. The honesty paid off for me

      The bonus shd be in ur account about 8-10 days and I always monitor to ensure they come

      There is deposit insurance to protect ur money against bank run

      The likely possible tie in period is about 6 months for 2k if based on my understanding then. But not much concern if u are saving with excess cash.

      Hope this helps 🙂

      1. My 15 HWW Post author

        Hi Sam,

        Thanks for sharing your experience with this product and glad you are enjoying the interest rate! I have been enjoying it too for quite a few months already!