Summary of Changes to the OCBC 360 Account - Effective 01 April 2017

The OCBC 360 Account is a dream account that every young adult should have. When it was first launched in Singapore back in 2014, it offered the best interest rate on any savings plan that was available at that time. Ever since then, the OCBC 360 Account has been given a refresh and other banks have started launching competing products (e.g. UOB One Account) which in my opinion, are inferior of OCBC's longstanding savings account. There are a number of changes to the OCBC 360 Account that will be effective from 01 April 2017 so make sure you read though them thoroughly before deciding whether the product is still a good fit for your spending habits and banking goals.

Click HERE to find out more about the changes to the OCBC 360 Account in 2017!

Changes to OCBC 360 Account from 01 April 2017 | Photo Credit: OCBC

Changes to OCBC 360 Account from 01 April 2017 | Photo Credit: OCBC

There will be no changes to the base interest (0.05% p.a.) that you will earn on your entire account balance. However, there will be some upcoming changes to the bonus interest that you can earn from certain banking activities. 

Salary Bonus - POSITIVE Change

New Bonus Interest: Up to S$840 per Year (1.20% p.a. up to S$70,000 balance)
Old Bonus Interest: Up to S$720 per Year (1.20% p.a. up to S$60,000 balance)

You will now be able to earn more bonus interest by simply crediting your Salary into your OCBC 360 Account. If you are an existing user and you have more than S$60,000 in your account, you will see an increase on the amount of annual bonus interest paid out from this aspect - account holders will now be able to earn 1.2% p.a. bonus interest on up to S$70,000 balance (instead of just S$60,000).

(Bill) Payment Bonus - NEGATIVE Change

New Bonus Interest: Up to S$210 per Year (0.3% p.a. up to S$70,000)
Old Bonus Interest: Up to S$300 per Year (0.5% p.a. up to S$60,000)

The bonus interest for paying 3 bills per month is dropping from 0.5% p.a. to 0.3% p.a. but that being said, the applicable interest will be extended to the first S$70,000 instead of just S$60,000 where it is currently at. There is also an added condition that the total amount of the 3 bills paid online or through GIRO need to add up to at least S$150 (this is a new condition that wasn't part of the existing OCBC 360 Account but I doubt this is going to matter much to most people). In general, this is a negative change in the OCBC 360 account as you will now earn lesser interest from bill payment (down from S$300 to S$210 per year). 

Changes to OCBC 360 Account from 01 April 2017 | Photo Credit: OCBC

Changes to OCBC 360 Account from 01 April 2017 | Photo Credit: OCBC

Spend Bonus - NEGATIVE Change

New Bonus Interest: Up to S$210 per Year (0.3% p.a. up to S$70,000)
Old Bonus Interest: Up to S$300 per Year (0.5% p.a. up to S$60,000)

There are no changes to the amount you have to spend (S$500 per month) in order to trigger the Spend Bonus on the OCBC 360 Account but the annual bonus interest rate has fallen from 0.5% p.a. to 0.3% p.a - in general, this is a negative change in the OCBC 360 account as you will now earn lesser interest from spending on eligible OCBC credit cards (down from S$300  to S$210 per year). 

Wealth and Investment Bonus - POSITIVE Change

New Bonus Interest: Up to S$840 per Year (1.2% p.a. up to S$70,000)
Old Bonus Interest: Up to S$600 per Year (1.0% p.a. up to S$60,000)

I do not suppose most young adults would benefit from the change in wealth and investment bonus but you will now be able to earn up to 1.2% p.a. (up from 1.0% p.a.) on the first S$70,000 account balance (up from S$60,000). If you are currently investing in an endowment insurance fund that does not meet the minimum requirement for the triggering the bonus, the new changes may have you earning an additional 0.6% p.a. instead of nothing where it currently stands - for more information, please refer to the upcoming changes to the OCBC 360 account.

Changes to OCBC 360 Account from 01 April 2017 | Photo Credit: OCBC

Changes to OCBC 360 Account from 01 April 2017 | Photo Credit: OCBC

(NEW) Save Bonus - (POSITIVE Change)

New Bonus Interest: Up to S$700 per Year (Minimum Account Balance Requirement of S$200,000)
Old Bonus Interest: N/A

There used to be little incentive in putting anything more than S$60,000 into the OCBC 360 Account but that's going to change with the implementation of a new save bonus. With a minimum account balance of S$200,000, you will be able to earn 1% p.a. bonus interest on the first S$70,000 in your account - this is an additional S$700 of bonus interest each year but it does require you to 'park' S$200,000 in this account. 

(REMOVED) Incremental Bonus - (NEGATIVE Change)

New Bonus Interest: N/A
Old Bonus Interest: 1% p.a. on incremental account balance (up to S$1,000,000)

You used to be able to earn 1% on the incremental account balance in your OCBC 360 Account. Meaning to say, if you saved S$2,000 exactly each month, you will be eligible to earn an additional S$20 per year - which isn't much but there was a loophole where you could potentially transfer large sums of money in and out of the account on alternate months to game the system. 

Scenario: S$200,000 Account Balance
OCBC 360 Account New
(from 01 April 2017)
Current
(before 01 April 2017)
Salary Bonus $840.00 $720.00
Payment Bonus $210.00 $300.00
Spend Bonus $210.00 $300.00
Wealth and Investment Bonus $840.00 $720.00
Save Bonus $700.00 $0.00
Incremental Bonus $0.00 $700.00
TOTAL $2,800.00 $2,740.00

SUMMARY

It is difficult to say whether or not the upcoming changes to the OCBC 360 Account are good or bad since it really depends on how much money you have parked in the account and which ones of the bonus categories you fulfill. For the sake of an example and comparison, assume you have a S$200,000 account balance - these upcoming changes are still looking pretty good for you as you still benefit from a higher annual interest rate (in absolute dollars) altogether. If you have questions on how the Incremental Bonus for the current OCBC 360 Account is calculated, drop me an email and I will be happy to explain it to you.