Monday, 26 September 2016

BOC SmartSaver is the better version of the new OCBC 360 account

Ever since OCBC changed their payment terms for their 360 account, I've been moping about the reduction in interest payments I get from them each month, as the maximum capped interest is now only 3.05% and includes a lot more work to get that level of interest rate.

The UOB One was a good welcome, BUT I eventually moved back to OCBC 360 (partly out of habit) as the requirements were a little difficult for me to meet in my current lifestyle. While a $500 spending on my UOB One card, I didn't set up 3 GIRO payments (no recurring bills except my monthly telco) and felt bad about asking my HR to switch the salary crediting account after slightly over a year.

Some of the other financial bloggers have signed up with Bank of China SmartSaver, so I decided to take a look at it to see if it would be worth the effort switching.

At first glance, it does remind me a lot of the old OCBC 360, which I sorely miss. BOC SmartSaver gives the opportunity to earn up to 3.55% per annum, so for those of you who have been disappointed like I am with the reduction in your interest payments from OCBC 360, this might be another good alternative to consider.

About BOC SmartSaver account

BOC SmartSaver offers 2 types of interest payments: prevailing and bonus interests.

The prevailing interest is calculated based on your account ledger balance at the end of the day, on a tier basis i.e. the more you deposit, the higher interest rate you can earn. This is accrued daily. Took the below table from their website which illustrates the prevailing rates.

Prevailing Savings Interest Rate (SGD)
Below S$5,0000.25%
S$5,000 and above0.275%
S$20,000 and above0.35%
S$50,000 and above0.40%

Nothing too fantastic, but when you add in the bonus interest rates, here's where things get a little more exciting.


In addition to the prevailing saving interests (which are quite bleh), you can also earn bonus interest on the first $60,000 of your account balance when you meet the above criteria.
  • Spend $500 on your BOC credit card
  • Get your company HR to credit at least $2,000 into your account
  • Transact 3 bill payments 

For those of you who work part-time or on contract basis, BOC's scheme is more friendly as it also allows multiple salary credits each calendar month to accumulate your $2,000 sum. If you take 3 minutes to inform your HR department to make this switch, let them know your BOC SmartSaver account number and the bank's SWIFT code, which is BKCHSGSGXXX.

I compared their credit card offerings and frankly speaking, wasn't too impressed. Their marketing department clearly forgot about their website, because there are even expired promotions still being featured (like their previous 1-for-1 Shaw movie tickets). By comparison among similarly tagged credit cards, I still prefer OCBC's 365 credit card and the UOB One card.

However, their BOC Shop! Card looks pretty interesting. 


What I really like is the 6% cash rebate for online spending. Considering how most of us buy so many goods and services online in this age of e-commerce, this is a really attractive offer. Imagine getting $30 in rebates and an additional 1.55% for your savings account when you meet the $500 spending requirement.


After reviewing this and comparing with what I currently get from OCBC 360 and UOB One, I'm personally contemplating switching to BOC SmartSaver and using BOC Shop! Card to accumulate the $500 monthly spend, which concurrently gives me attractive rebates for the same spending. 

With their 6% rebate for online purchases, this is probably the most tempting for me as I've been spending quite a lot online (Taobao, especially, since I'm DIY-ing most of my wedding stuff) lately. I've only been receiving about $10 in rebates from my OCBC credit cards so getting $360 rebates every year on BOC Shop! sounds good.

Killing two birds with one stone never felt better! 

Have any of you tried BOC SmartSaver yet? Do let me know how your experience has been like so far before I make the switch!

With love,
Budget Babe

8 comments:

  1. Hey BB, like you I noticed this better rates at BOC but after setting up the BOC account, I realise it is not as user friendly as OCBC. For example, its online banking is restricted to desktop and laptops - no access on mobile devices. It also does not allow OTP by SMS, restricting you to a token. Website's english is also wonky. Still weighing if it is worth the switch. Their Family Card is nice though offering rebate for MRT, food and groceries.

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    Replies
    1. Are their family card discounts still the same as stated online? Cos apparently some of the other cards promo have expired and they didn't update, tsk! Do they at least pay you the interest on time?

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  2. Hey BB,

    I find the BOC SmartSaver + Shop! Card similar to the previous OCBC 360 + Frank card. Of course, since the changes to OCBC, things have never been as good.

    The BOC account does become more attractive than its competitors if your bank balance is higher and if you always hit the $500 credit card spending criteria.

    I'm planning to open one soon. Being in the FAST network is really what gives it the one-up over other Chinese banks here.

    The dated interface and the semi-decent credit cards are what is putting me off from getting down to do it though.

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    Replies
    1. Semi decent credit cards seem to be apt! Yeah when I look at this pairing it really reminded me of what I liked on OCBC. OCBC gives me pathetic returns for my $500 spending anyway.

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  3. Hi Budget Babe,
    The Shop! card no longer gives you 6% cash back. The cash back has been discontinued since August.
    FYI :)

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    Replies
    1. Wow and they didn't bother updating their website! Very dated indeed

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  4. sometimes i feel it is just marketing strategy to entice new customers to sign up. end of the day, stability and proper control/updates are more crucial for a long-term usage. just my 2-cent worth. cheers BB!! =)

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  5. Some candidates for Uob giro: iras personal tax, property tax, town council, telecom/Internet, insurance...

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