Every spending situation is unique. SingSaver assembles the ‘Best For‘ list, so you can decide what’s best for you.
Here’s everything you need to know about fixed deposits in Singapore, from the best fixed deposit rates, how fixed deposits work and whether they’re the best place to stash your cash.
Fixed deposits (also known as time deposits) earn you guaranteed interest for the money you deposit in the bank over a specified duration. The money in the fixed deposit will earn interest during this fixed period of time, with interest paid out at regular intervals, often quarterly or annually.
While you can withdraw your money from fixed deposits, if you withdraw before the tenure is up, you will earn less interest or no interest at all.
Fixed deposit rates differ monthly, depending on when you open the fixed deposit account, and the interest rate you earn would depend on your deposit amount and tenure. Tenures can range from one month to four years, with more attractive interest rates being given to longer tenures of two to three years.
A low-risk investment type, fixed deposits are practically risk-free, making them a great place to store your emergency funds. But if you’re in any doubt, you’ll be glad to know that your deposits are insured by the Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation (SDIC), for up to S$75,000.
Here’s what you need to know about fixed deposits in Singapore:
- Best fixed deposit rates
- Pros and cons of using fixed deposits
- Fixed deposits vs Singapore Savings Bonds (SSBs)
- Fixed deposits vs savings accounts
- FAQs about fixed deposits in Singapore
Best fixed deposit rates in Singapore (September 2021)
Here are the best fixed deposit rates for Singapore Dollar deposits.
|Best interest rate available (p.a.)||Tenure||Minimum deposit amount|
|Bank of China||0.70%||36 months||NA|
|Citibank||0.1%||6 – 36 months||S$10,000|
|DBS / POSB||0.6% (new placements)|
1.3% (for rollover of existing placements)
|8 months and below|
|Hong Leong Finance||0.65%||36 months||S$20,000|
|Standard Chartered||0.45%||8 months||S$25,000|
Looking at the summary of the fixed deposit rates on offer, you’ll see that 0.4% to 0.6% p.a. appears to be the average you can expect in the current interest rate climate. Some of these promotional rates also require you to put in a substantial minimum deposit amount in order to be eligible.
Here’s a closer look at the fixed deposit rates each of the individual providers have to offer.
Bank of China fixed deposit (September 2021)
|Interest rate||0.7% p.a.||0.65 % p.a.|
|Tenure||36 months||24 months|
|Minimum deposit amount||S$10,000||S$10,000|
Bank of China is offering a 0.7% p.a. interest rate for fixed deposits with a 36-month tenure. While this is higher than the average offered by most banks, three years is a long period of time to have your money locked in a fixed deposit. Shorter tenures of 24 months or 12 months will reap 0.65% p.a. or 0.5% p.a. respectively.
The fixed deposit interest rates for BOC are updated every few months and the rates above are based on the board rates listed on 30 March 2021.
CIMB fixed deposit (September 2021)
|Preferred banking||Personal banking|
|Interest rate||0.8% p.a.||0.75% p.a.|
|Tenure||24 months||24 months|
|Minimum deposit amount||S$10,000||S$10,000|
Preferred banking: CIMB is currently offering the highest fixed deposit interest rates around — 0.8% p.a. for fixed deposits with tenures of 24 months from now till 30 September 2021. This requires a minimum deposit amount of S$10,000. If you’re looking for a shorter tenure of 12 months, you’ll enjoy 0.7% p.a. instead.
Personal banking: Get 0.75% p.a. for fixed deposits with tenures of 24 months, again with a minimum deposit amount of S$10,000. A shorter tenure of 12 months, will give you 0.65% p.a. instead.
If you don’t have S$10,000 on hand, you can deposit a minimum of S$1,000 to enjoy 0.3% p.a. for tenures from 3 to 24 months.
Citibank fixed deposit (September 2021)
|Interest rate||0.1% p.a.||Up to 0.08 % p.a.|
|Tenure||6 – 36 months||Less than 6 months|
|Minimum deposit amount||S$10,000||S$10,000|
For tenures between 6 to 36 months, Citibank offers a 0.1% p.a. fixed deposit rate. This low interest rate only gets lower for tenures less than six months, dropping to 0.08% p.a. and even 0.05% p.a.
With such low rates, you could be better off keeping your cash in any savings account with base rates of 0.05% p.a. and greater liquidity compared to fixed deposits.
DBS / POSB fixed deposit (September 2021)
|New placement||Rollover of existing placements|
|Interest rate||0.6% p.a.||1.3% p.a.|
|Tenure||8 months||18 months|
|Minimum deposit amount||S$1,000||S$1,000|
Offering the highest fixed deposit rates around at up to 1.3% p.a. However, only those with an existing fixed deposit with DBS/POSB can enjoy these higher rates as tenures of nine months and above are only applicable to rollover of existing placements with the same tenure.
For applicants of new placements, DBS/POSB is only accepting placements for tenures eight months and below. This means that the highest fixed deposit rate you’ll be able to enjoy is 0.6% p.a.
Hong Leong Finance fixed deposit (September 2021)
|Interest rate||0.65% p.a.||0.60% p.a.||0.40% p.a.|
|Tenure||36 months||24 months||12 months|
|Minimum deposit amount||S$20,000||S$20,000||S$20,000|
Hong Leong Finance typically offers promotional fixed deposit rates that change monthly. This month, for a 36-month fixed deposit tenure, you can receive 0.65% p.a. in interest. For shorter tenures of 24 months and 12 months, you’ll receive 0.60% p.a. and 0.40% p.a. instead.
However, do keep in mind that the minimum deposit amount is relatively high at S$20,000.
HSBC fixed deposit (September 2021)
|Interest rate||0.4% p.a.||Up to 1% p.a., if you perform an FX conversion|
|Tenure||9 months||7 months|
|Minimum deposit amount||S$30,000||S$30,000|
HSBC is currently offering a promotional fixed deposit rate of 0.4% p.a., for a fixed deposit with a 9-month tenure. This requires a high minimum deposit amount of S$30,000. On top of that, you’ll also get to enjoy a preferential rate of up to 16.88% p.a. from now till 30 September 2021 on your 3-month time deposit when you buy an insurance.
Promotion aside, you can also enjoy up to 1% p.a. on a 7-month deposit when you perform a foreign currency (FX) conversion. This requires you to convert one of the designated foreign currencies into Singapore dollars in order to be eligible.
ICBC fixed deposit (September 2021)
|Interest rate||0.6% p.a.||0.55% p.a.|
|Tenure||12 months||9 months|
|Minimum deposit amount||S$500||S$500|
ICBC offers the lowest minimum deposit requirements for their fixed deposits, at just S$500. By applying online via e-banking, you can receive 0.6% p.a. for a fixed deposit with a one-year tenure. This promotion is available from now till further notice.
With ICBC, 12 months is the longest tenure they have to offer. Upon renewal of your fixed deposit when it reaches the end of the tenure, the prevailing e-banking promotional rate for fixed deposits will automatically apply.
Maybank fixed deposit (September 2021)
|Interest rate||0.6% p.a.||0.5% p.a.|
|Tenure||36 months||24 months|
|Minimum deposit amount||S$1,000||S$1,000|
For fixed deposits with Maybank, you will enjoy the same rates for the same tenure, regardless of your deposit amount. The highest available fixed deposit rate offered is 0.6% p.a. for tenures of 36 months. The shorter your fixed deposit tenure, the lower the interest rate offered by Maybank.
OCBC fixed deposit (September 2021)
|Interest rate||0.4% p.a.|
|Minimum deposit amount||S$20,000|
OCBC is currently offering a promotional 0.4% p.a. interest rate for fixed deposits with a 12-month tenure. However, this requires a minimum deposit of S$20,000.
It is also not available for placements made using Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS) funds.
RHB fixed deposit (September 2021)
|Interest rate||0.60% p.a.|
0.68% p.a. (RHB Premier)
|Minimum deposit amount||S$20,000|
Similarly, RHB is also having a promotional rate of up to 0.68% p.a. interest rate for fixed deposits with a 12-month tenure till 30 September 2021. This requires a minimum deposit of S$20,000 and you have to be a RHB Premier customer. Otherwise, you can enjoy a promotional rate of up to 0.60% p.a..
Standard Chartered fixed deposit (September 2021)
|Priority banking preferential rate||Promotional rate|
|Interest rate||0.45% p.a.||0.35% p.a.|
|Tenure||8 months||8 months|
|Minimum deposit amount||S$25,000||S$25,000|
Priority banking clients of Standard Chartered enjoy a higher interest rate of 0.45% for their fixed deposits with an 8-month tenure. Non-priority banking clients only receive 0.35% p.a. interest for their deposits.
Regardless of whether you’re a priority banking client, you will need to deposit a minimum of S$25,000. If you’re looking for tenures longer than eight months, Standard Chartered only offers tenures of nine months and above to existing time deposits that are on auto-rollover.
UOB fixed deposit (September 2021)
|Interest rate||0.5% p.a.|
|Minimum deposit amount||S$20,000|
For the month of September, UOB’s promotional fixed deposit rate is 0.5% p.a. for a 10-month tenure, with a minimum deposit amount of S$20,000. This is one of the shortest fixed deposit tenures available that still offers promotional interest rates.
So, which bank is best for fixed deposits in Singapore?
For new placements, CIMB offers the highest fixed deposit rate of 0.8% for those with a personal banking account. However, this fixed deposit has a 24-month tenure and also requires a minimum of S$10,000. BOC also offers 0.7% p.a., but with a higher maturity period of 36 months.
What are the pros and cons of using fixed deposits?
Before you go hunting for the best fixed deposit rate in Singapore, do keep in mind both the benefits and pitfalls of keeping your money in fixed deposits.
|Pros of fixed deposits||Cons of fixed deposits|
|No limit to maximum amount||Relatively low interest rate|
|Enforced discipline to help you keep this money untouched for a large expense, such as a wedding or future downpayment for HDB||Low liquidity. You lock in your money for a fixed amount of time, until the fixed deposit reaches maturity. If you withdraw the money, you risk losing out on any interest earned and might even have to pay a penalty.|
|Gives guaranteed returns as long as you keep your funds in the account||Minimum deposit amount required, sometimes requiring larger amounts to earn higher interest|
|Flexibility in deciding on the fixed deposit tenure||You cannot make top-ups to a fixed deposit account; you can only open a new fixed deposit account for your new funds|
|Does not require you to jump through hoops to earn the interest|
Fixed deposits aside, other low risk products you can consider include: Singapore Savings Bonds, fixed-income products, savings accounts, endowment plans, insurance savings plans and cash management accounts.
However, with low risk also comes low returns.
If you’re looking to grow your wealth, you can instead consider investing in a globally diversified portfolio offered by robo-advisors, or do it yourself by purchasing securities using a brokerage account.
Fixed deposits vs Singapore Savings Bonds (SSBs): Which is better?
Another popular low-risk investment product you can find in Singapore is the Singapore Savings Bonds (SSB).
|Fixed deposits||Singapore Savings Bonds|
|Interest rates (September 2021)||Average of 0.1% – 0.8% p.a.||1.39% p.a. (Average returns over 10 years) |
Note: Returns differs with every month’s issuance
|Tenure/duration||3 to 36 months||Up to 10 years, with higher interest earned in the later years|
|Minimum deposit amount||S$1,000 or even S$10,000 and more for higher rates||S$500|
|Maximum deposit amount||No limit. Higher amounts tend to earn higher interest.||S$200,000 per individual|
|Liquidity / Can you withdraw?||Low liquidity – can be withdrawn, but early withdrawal could result in losing any interest earned||High – can be withdrawn anytime. However, you will not enjoy the higher interest rates earned in the later years.|
Both fixed deposits and SSBs require you to invest a fixed amount of cash, for a predetermined period of time in order to earn returns. For fixed deposits, the tenure can range from one month to three years. For SSBs, you earn higher interest only in the later years — this encourages applicants to hold on to their SSBs for the entire ten-year duration.
What is it: SSBs are a type of Singapore Government Securities (SGS) issued and backed by the Singapore government. At issuance, interest rates for the entire 10-year term are fixed and locked in for each issue. This interest rate differs with every month’s issue and is fixed based on the average SGS yields the month before.
SSBs allow you to earn step-up interest on your savings. The interest rate starts low, increasing every year until Year 10. The longer you hold onto your SSB, the more interest you receive. Interest is paid every six months and will be automatically credited into the bank account that is linked to your CDP Securities account.
Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS) investors can also use their SRS funds to invest in SSBs.
Read more about fixed income products such as SSBs.
Current SSB rates:
Like fixed deposits, the interest returns for SSBs will differ each month.
|Pros of Singapore Savings Bonds (SSBs)||Cons of Singapore Savings Bonds (SSBs)|
|Risk-free, fully backed by the government of Singapore.||Low interest rates, with higher interest rates only earned towards the end of the 10 years|
|Low minimum amount of S$500 required||Up to S$200,000 per individual|
|High liquidity. You can withdraw your money at any time, with no penalties. You will, however, lose out on the higher interest rates in the later years.||SSB interest rates change every month for every issuance|
|Can use your SRS funds to purchase SSBs||Transaction fee of S$2 charged for each application and redemption request|
However, the current low interest rates have made both savings types less attractive, with insurance savings plans and cash management accounts growing in popularity by offering higher rates of returns.
Fixed deposits vs savings accounts: Which to choose?
Besides fixed deposits and SSBs, you can also consider savings accounts to keep your cash liquid. These savings accounts can earn an interest rate of up to 3% p.a. However, many of these accounts require you to jump through hoops to earn the higher interest rates.
|Fixed deposits||Savings accounts|
|Interest rates (September 2021)||Average of 0.1% – 0.8% p.a.||0.4% to 3% p.a.|
|Tenure/duration||3 to 36 months||None|
|Min. deposit amount||S$1,000 or even S$10,000 and more for higher rates||Some savings accounts require a min. S$1,000 initial deposit; others do not impose a minimum. |
S$1,000 to S$3,000 daily average balance required to avoid fall-below fee.
|Maximum deposit amount||No limit. Higher amounts tend to earn higher interest.||No cap. High interest rates do not necessarily apply to all savings amounts.|
|Liquidity||Low – can be withdrawn, but early withdrawal could result in losing interest earned||High – can be withdrawn anytime|
What is it: Savings accounts allow you to earn interest on the money you keep in the account. With yields of up to 4% p.a., how much interest you earn depends on the conditions of the savings account.
Some savings accounts, such as the CIMB FastSaver, do not set any conditions to earn interest, apart from you keeping your money in the account. Other accounts, such as the DBS Multiplier, OCBC 360 and UOB One, make you work for your money. These high-yield savings accounts have ‘level-up criteria’ such as crediting your salary, spending on one of the bank’s credit cards, start investing, take up a loan and more to earn higher interest rates.
Current rates: Savings accounts have more unpredictability. Over the past year, the interest rates of savings accounts have seen downward revisions. Unlike fixed deposits or SSBs where the interest rate you earn over the months and years is set in stone from the start, savings accounts can see changes on short notice.
Here’s an overview of the interest rates you can potentially get with the various banks in Singapore.
|Savings account||Maximum interest rate possible|
|Bank of China Smart$aver||Up to 3.00% p.a. on the first S$80,000|
|CIMB FastSaver||Up to 1.00% p.a for first S$10,000 (if yuo’re holding both FastSaver and Visa Signature)|
|Citi MaxiGain Savings Account||Up to 0.61% p.a|
|Citi Wealth First Account||Up to 2.80% p.a.|
|DBS Multiplier||Up to 3.00% p.a.|
|Maybank SaveUp Account||Up to 3.00% p.a. on the first S$50,000|
|OCBC 360||Up to 2.38% p.a.|
|RHB High Yield Savings Account||Up to 0.50% p.a.|
|Standard Chartered Bonus$aver||Up to 2.38% p.a. on the first S$80,000|
|Standard Chartered JumpStart||Up to 0.40% p.a. for account balances up to S$20,000|
|UOB One||Up to 2.50% p.a|
Again, do keep in mind that many of these savings accounts have multiple criteria in order for you to earn higher interest.
|Pros of savings accounts||Cons of savings accounts|
|Higher interest rates than fixed deposits and SSBs||Have to jump through hoops to earn higher interest|
|High liquidity. Money can be put in and taken out anytime.||Interest rates subject to change anytime, although banks tend to give a few weeks notice before the change|
|No minimum period required to earn interest. You earn interest every day the money is in the account.||Could incur fall-below fees or early account closure fees|
Frequently Asked Questions about fixed deposits
How can I get the maximum returns from a fixed deposit?
Fixed deposit interest rates are dependent on the tenure of the fixed deposit. To get the highest possible interest rate on offer, you’ll have to look at the tenure the bank is offering and whether you’re comfortable with that tenure for your fixed deposit.
Promotional fixed deposit interest rates could also have higher minimum deposits required, such as S$10,000 or S$20,000. You’ll need to be willing to deposit that amount for that specific tenure in order to enjoy those interest rates.
Can I withdraw my fixed deposit before the tenure is up?
Yes, you can withdraw your fixed deposit before the tenure is up. However, you will likely lose any interest returns that you have earned. Other terms and conditions may also apply depending on the bank policies.
Can I top up a fixed deposit account?
Unlike a savings account, you can’t top up your fixed deposit. When you open a fixed deposit account, the sum of money you put into the account stays there until the end of the fixed deposit tenure.
If you want to put more money into a fixed deposit, what you can do instead is open another fixed deposit account. Keep in mind that the interest rates for the new fixed deposit account could differ based on the bank’s current promotion.
What are the requirements to open a fixed deposit account?
If you are an existing account holder, you will have to log in to the bank’s internet banking platform to open a fixed deposit. If you do not have an existing account with the bank, you might be required to open an account. This would require the following:
- Front and back of your NRIC (for Singaporeans / PRs)
- Passport and Employment Pass (for foreigners)
- Proof of residential address
How do I apply for a fixed deposit account?
You can apply for a fixed deposit with any bank in Singapore. Upon application, you will have to transfer your funds into the fixed deposit account to start earning interest on your money.
Do keep in mind that promotional fixed deposit rates typically also require your deposits to be ‘fresh funds’. This means that it can’t be money you’re transferring from a savings account (with the same bank) to the fixed deposit.
Are fixed deposits taxable in Singapore?
No, the interest received from deposits with approved banks or licensed finance companies in Singapore is not taxable.
Can foreigners open fixed deposits in Singapore?
Yes. If you are a foreigner, you will need your passport, proof of address, and an Employment Pass/Dependent Pass/S Pass/Student Pass or Long-Term Visit Pass, whichever is applicable.
Can I open a fixed deposit using foreign currency?
Yes, besides Singapore dollar deposits, you can also put your foreign currencies in fixed deposits. Many banks offer fixed deposits for common foreign currencies like the US dollar, Australian dollar, Euro, and British pound sterling. You might even find higher fixed deposit interest rates for foreign currency deposits!
Check the fine print for terms and conditions related to conversion fees or auto-renewal clauses and remember to shop around for the best promotional rate before locking in your savings.
Why should I open a fixed deposit account?
Fixed deposit interest rates are generally low and promotional rates often come with a higher minimum deposit requirement.
However, there are situations when opening a fixed deposit account could be an attractive option:
- You’re sitting on a considerable amount of cash that is earning a meagre 0.05% p.a. in an ordinary savings account.
- You want a virtually risk-free investment option. Even if something happens to the bank, your deposits and interest earned are still protected (up to S$75,000 thanks to the SDIC).
- You want regular cash flow. Interest payments are paid out regularly at quarterly or annual intervals.
- You need liquidity in your investments. A partial or full withdrawal of fixed deposits can be done at any time so your cash remains liquid. However, you might lose out on any interest to be paid if the money is withdrawn before the fixed deposit reaches full maturity.
Other low-risk, low-returns products include:
- Singapore Savings Bonds
- Fixed-income products
- Savings accounts
- Endowment plans
- Insurance savings plans
- Cash management accounts
If you’re looking to truly grow your money, look away from fixed deposits and towards investing. One way to start is with a robo-advisor that offers a well-diversified portfolio tailored to your investment goals and risk appetite.
When’s the best time to open a fixed deposit account?
Fixed deposit interest rates are highly dependent on the current interest rate environment. In today’s low interest rate environment, you can expect fixed deposits to have lower interest rates, similar to how savings accounts have also been lowering the interest you can earn in the account.
So unless you’re sitting on a mountain of idle cash, it’s best to wait for an attractive promotional rate from the bank before committing (banks typically change their rates monthly). In general, such interest rates can range from 0.6% – 1.5% p.a., but higher interest rates could also come with higher minimum deposit requirements.
As with all financial decisions, you should also consider the opportunity costs. In the case of fixed deposits, consider that the money could have been invested in higher yield investment products, or spent on some form of appreciating asset.
Remember, once your money is deposited, it is locked in until the fixed deposit hits maturity (unless you’re willing to forgo any interest you’ve earned by withdrawing early).
SingSaver’s Exclusive Offer: Get S$265 worth of Bitcoin when you sign up for a credit card. The first 2,000 applicants get an extra S$100 worth of Bitcoin. Valid till 10 October 2021. T&Cs apply.
Read these next:
Investment Guide: SingSaver’s One-Stop Investment Shop
Best Cash Management Accounts In Singapore To Soup Up Your Savings
Best Robo Advisors To Auto-Pilot Your Investments In Singapore
Regular Savings Plan (RSP): What They Are And The Best Ones To Invest In
Best Brokerage Accounts To Start Your Investment Journey In Singapore
By Ching Sue Mae
A flat white, an adventure-filled travel and a good workout is her fuel. This Manchester United fan enjoys sharing knowledge on personal finance while chasing the dream of financial independence.