Which Savings Accounts Offer The Best Interest Rates?
Nobody uses a savings account for the thrill of watching their money grow exponentially. And rightly so – a savings account is not an investment. It’s a place to stash your cash so you can access it immediately if you need to.
But that doesn’t mean you should settle for low interest rates. After all, the difference between a 0.50% and 2.50% interest rate on a RM10,000 balance is around RM200 a year. It’s not a life changing amount, but who wouldn’t want an extra few hundred ringgit a year?
Basic savings accounts provide returns of around 0.2% to 1.5%. The good news is that there are several savings accounts in Malaysia that offer better rates – if you are eligible. Here’s what you need to know.
Comparison of high-interest savings account
Here are the best high-yield savings account in Malaysia:
|Savings account||Maximum interest rate||How to get maximum interest rate|
|Standard Chartered Privilege$aver||4.30%||Deposit + invest + spend|
|RHB Smart Account||2.85%||Deposit + pay + spend|
|UOB ONE Account||2.65%||Deposit + pay + spend|
|UOB Stash Account||2.30%||Maintain balance between RM100,001 and RM200,000|
|OCBC 360 Account||2.15%||Deposit + pay + spend|
|Hong Leong Bank Pay&Save Account||2.25%||Deposit + pay + spend|
|Alliance SavePlus Account||2.25%||Maintain balance between RM400,001 and RM10,000,000|
Read on for more details about each savings account.
1. Standard Chartered Privilege$aver
Standard Chartered offers a generous total interest rate of 4.30% on your entire account balance (up to RM100,000), although you’ll have to jump through a few hoops.
How to earn maximum interest rate of 4.30%:
- 05% base interest rate
- 50% if you deposit RM3,000 or more
- 75% if you spend RM1,000 on your credit card
- 75% if you spend RM1,000 on your debit card
- 00% if you invest RM1,000 through Bancassurance/Bankatakaful or a unit trust regular savings plan
If you meet all the requirements, consolidating your income and expenses through Privilege$aver could be a good option. Another advantage is that the interest rate is tiered, so even if you meet some of the requirements – say, you meet the deposit and spending requirements, but choose not to invest – you could still get an attractive interest return of 2.30%.
2. RHB Smart Account
This account also awards you for making saving, spending and investing transactions, but its requirements are lower than that of Standard Chartered’s Privilege$aver.
How to earn maximum interest rate of 2.85%:
- 05% base interest rate
- 80% if you save RM2,000 monthly
- 50% if you pay three bills online monthly
- 50% if you spend a minimum of RM1,000 with your credit or debit card monthly
There’s also an additional 1% interest return if you invest a minimum of RM1,000 in eligible products per month, but the interest only applies to your investment amount, not the amount you have in your savings account.
3. UOB ONE Account
This account rewards you for saving, spending and paying your bills, but you’ll only get the best rates if you have over RM100,000 in your account.
How to earn maximum interest rate of 2.65%:
Perform any two of the following every month
- Credit a minimum of RM2,000 salary into your One Account
- Spend a minimum of RM500 in total on your UOB credit and debit cards
- Pay three bills of minimum RM50 each online or through the UOB Mighty app
- Make three direct debit payments of minimum RM50
- Deposit a minimum of RM2,000
4. UOB Stash Account
The UOB Stash Account has a simple eligibility requirement, but you’ll need to maintain a certain balance in your account.
|Balance Tier||Maximum Effective Interest Rate|
To earn the best interest rates, you’ll also have to make sure that your monthly average balance for the current month is equal to or more than the previous month’s.
How to earn maximum interest rate of 2.16%: maintain an account balance of between RM100,001 and RM200,000
5. OCBC 360 Account
The OCBC 360 Account requires you to meet certain deposit and spending conditions to get the best interest rate, although its requirements are lower than other similar savings accounts, such as the Standard Chartered Privilege$aver or the Hong Leong Bank Pay&Save Account.
How to earn maximum interest rate of 2.15%:
- 05% on your entire balance
- 70% if you deposit RM500
- 70% if you pay at least three bills online
- 70% if you spend at least RM500 on your OCBC card(s)
However, the 2.15% interest rate is only applicable on your first RM100,000 balance. Amounts beyond that will receive the base rate of 0.05%.
The OCBC 360’s relatively low requirements could make it a good choice for consolidating your necessary or everyday expenses.
6. Hong Leong Bank Pay&Save Account
The Hong Leong Bank Pay&Save Account is similar to the OCBC 360, but it has a higher deposit requirement.
How to earn maximum interest rate of 2.25%:
- 25% Savings Interest if you deposit at least RM2,000 in a single transaction monthly for three consecutive months
- 50% e-Xtra Interest if you spend at least RM500 with your debit card monthly
- 50% Bonus Interest if pay at least RM500 online on your bills, loans or credit card monthly
However, the Savings Interest is capped at RM500 per quarter, while e-Xtra Interest and Bonus Interest are capped at RM30 per month. This means that amounts beyond RM100,000 won’t receive the 2.25% interest rate.
But if you’re a stock market trader, this savings account does have a little bonus for you. You’ll get a bonus interest rate of between 0.30% and 0.90% for successful trades performed on HLeBroking, Hong Leong Bank’s stock broking platform.
7. Alliance SavePlus Account
The Alliance SavePlus Account has the most straightforward eligibility requirements on this list. The only downside is that you’ll need a hefty bank account balance to enjoy the best rates:
|Amount (RM)||Rate (% p.a.)|
|0 - 20,000||0.00|
|20,001 - 50,000||0.20|
|50,001 - 200,000||0.80|
|200,001 – 400,000||2.00|
|400,001 – 10,000,000||2.25|
How to earn maximum interest rate of 2.25%: maintain an account balance of between RM400,001 and RM10,000,000. Accounts with more than that are subject to a split-tier interest rate for the balances above RM10,000,000.
8. OCBC FRANK
This savings account allows you to split your money between a Save Pot and a Spend Pot.
How to earn maximum interest rate of 1.80%:
- 30% base interest, applicable to your daily total account balance (Save Pot + Spend Pot)
- 50% bonus interest, applicable to your daily Save Pot balance
The upside is that you don’t need to jump through hoops or save large amounts of money to get the best interest rate. But on the other hand, the bonus interest only applies to your Save Pot, which cannot be withdrawn or spent unless you move it to your Spend Pot – this feature is supposed to help you avoid impulse spending.
More low-risk ways to grow your money
Looking for more safe ways to grow your money? Consider these fixed deposit accounts or these fixed deposit alternatives. If you can afford to take a bit more risk, you can even invest your money in these low-risk investments. Just remember not to invest any money you may need to access immediately, such as your emergency fund – this belongs in a savings account.
This article was first published in 2020 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy and comprehensiveness.