The Top 5 Bank Accounts for Expats in Singapore
Moving to a new country like Singapore can be daunting, especially when it comes to finances. One of the first things you’ll need to do is set up a bank account. But with so many different banks to choose from, it can be hard to know where to start.
That’s why we’ve put together this guide to the best bank accounts in Singapore for expats in 2023. We’ve considered factors such as fees, interest rates, and customer service to help you find the perfect account for your needs.
Before we can begin, you can read about the best banks for expats in Singapore and why you should consider setting up two accounts (one international and one local) here.
Now that’s out of the way, let’s dive in to the best bank accounts for expats in Singapore.
DBS Expat Programme
DBS Bank is one of the largest and most reputable banks in Singapore. Its Expat Programme is specifically designed to cater to the needs of expatriates. The program offers a multi-currency account, providing a convenient and cost-effective solution for those who need to manage money in different currencies.
The account also includes wealth management services, 24/7 online and mobile banking, and a dedicated personal banker for advice and assistance. It also offers DBS remit, which allows same-day overseas fund transfers at zero fees to selected countries.
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HSBC Expat Account
HSBC is an international bank with a significant presence in Singapore. The HSBC Expat Account is ideal for expats who have international banking needs.
This account offers multi-currency options, allowing account holders to manage their finances in various currencies, including SGD, USD, EUR, and more. Other benefits include easy and fast international transfers, a global view of all your HSBC accounts, and access to financial advice.
Additionally, HSBC offers premier benefits such as global travel insurance and a priority hotline for banking queries and support.
Citibank International Personal Bank Account (IPB)
Citibank’s IPB account is designed for non-residents and expats, offering a suite of services tailored to meet the financial needs of international clients. The account provides access to over ten currencies, online banking services, global transfers with zero or reduced charges, and dedicated relationship managers.
The Citibank Global Wallet also allows account holders to switch currencies instantly on their debit card, making it useful for international transactions and travel.
Standard Chartered Bonus$Saver Account
While not explicitly for expats, the Bonus$Saver account is incredibly attractive due to its high-interest savings program. Users earn bonus interest when they perform certain transactions, like card spending, bill payments, and salary credit.
It’s a multi-currency account, and there’s also an option to invest in mutual funds directly from the account. Standard Chartered also provides an excellent online banking platform and comprehensive financial advisory services.
OCBC Global Savings Account
OCBC Bank offers an account designed with the global citizen in mind. The Global Savings Account provides customers with the flexibility to save and transact in multiple currencies. It also offers preferential forex rates, 24/7 mobile and online banking services, and easy global funds transfers.
An additional feature of this account is the ability to link a Mighty FX card that can hold up to 8 foreign currencies, making it beneficial for those who frequently travel or make transactions in different currencies.
Can a Foreigner Open a Bank Account in Singapore?
Yes, a foreigner can open a bank account in Singapore. However, the specific requirements for opening an account vary from bank to bank. In general, you will need to provide the following documents:
- A valid passport
- Proof of residence in Singapore (such as a utility bill or rental agreement)
- Proof of employment or income (such as a letter from your employer or a recent bank statement)
- Some banks may also require you to open a minimum deposit or maintain a minimum balance in your account.
What are the Best Savings Bank Accounts for Expats in Singapore?
Here are the 5 top-rated savings bank accounts for expats in Singapore:
- DBS Multiplier Account: This account offers a high interest rate and a variety of features, such as cashback on credit card spending and discounts on travel and entertainment.
- OCBC 360 Account: This account offers a competitive interest rate and a range of features, such as free ATM withdrawals and online bill payments.
- UOB One Account: This account offers a high interest rate and a variety of features, such as cashback on credit card spending and discounts on dining and shopping.
- Maybank SaveUp Account: This account offers a competitive interest rate and a range of features, such as free ATM withdrawals and online bill payments.
- CIMB FastSaver Account: This account offers a high interest rate and a variety of features, such as free ATM withdrawals and online bill payments.
These accounts are all offered by reputable banks with a good track record of customer service. They offer a variety of features that can be beneficial for expats, such as high interest rates, free ATM withdrawals, and online bill payments.
When choosing a savings bank account, it is important to consider your individual needs and requirements. Some factors to consider include the interest rate, fees, features, and customer service.
How to Choose the Best Bank Account for Expats in Singapore
Here are some tips on how to choose the best bank account for expats in Singapore:
- Consider your individual needs: What are your most important requirements for a bank account? Do you need a high interest rate? Do you need free ATM withdrawals? Do you need a variety of features?
- Compare different banks and accounts: There are many different banks and accounts available, so it is important to compare them before you make a decision. You can use online comparison tools to compare different accounts side-by-side.
- Read the fine print: Before you open an account, be sure to read the terms and conditions carefully. This will help you understand the fees and other charges that may apply.
- Talk to a banker: If you are still unsure about which account is right for you, talk to a banker. They can help you compare different accounts and find the one that best meets your needs.
Here are some additional factors to consider when choosing a bank account for expats in Singapore:
- The interest rate: This is the amount of interest you will earn on your savings.
- The fees: Some banks charge fees for things like ATM withdrawals, online banking, and foreign currency transactions.
- The features: Some accounts offer features like cashback on credit card spending, discounts on travel and entertainment, and access to a global ATM network.
- The customer service: This is how easy it is to get in touch with the bank if you have a problem.
Once you have considered these factors, you can start comparing different banks and accounts. There are many online comparison tools that can help you do this. Once you have found a few accounts that you are interested in, you can contact the banks to get more information.
It is important to remember that your needs may change over time. So, it is a good idea to choose an account that is flexible and that offers a variety of features. This way, you can be sure that your account will meet your needs even if they change.
Thinking About Buying a Home in Australia from Singapore?
Odin Mortgage can help you buy a home in Australia from Singapore. We are a mortgage broker that specializes in helping expats buy property in Australia. We have a team of experienced mortgage brokers who can help you understand the Australian property market and find the right mortgage for your needs.
Odin Mortgage can help you with the following:
- Understand the Australian property market: They can help you understand the different types of properties available in Australia, the different areas to buy in, and the current market conditions.
- Find the right mortgage for your needs: They can help you compare different mortgage products and find the one that best suits your financial situation.
- Apply for a mortgage: They can help you prepare the necessary paperwork and submit your application to the lender.
- Track your application: They can track your application and keep you updated on its progress.
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Frequently asked questions
The bank account you should open in Singapore depends on your personal and financial needs. If you’re an expat dealing with multiple currencies and require a robust international banking infrastructure, consider opening an account with DBS, HSBC, or Citibank.
For those looking for high-interest savings, the Standard Chartered Bonus$Saver Account can be an excellent choice. However, always ensure to read the fine print and understand all terms and conditions before opening any account.
Yes, expats can open a bank account in Singapore. Banks like DBS, HSBC, and Citibank offer specific accounts tailored to meet the needs of expatriates.
Generally, you’ll need your passport, proof of residence (which can be a utility bill or lease agreement), and sometimes a letter from your employer or a valid work permit. Note that requirements might vary between banks, so it’s advisable to check with the specific bank for the most accurate information.