Thursday, April 30, 2015

New OCBC 360 Account Review!

One of my more successful post with non-regular readers was actually my review of the OCBC 360 account when it first came out and the comparison between similar accounts by DBS and SCB.

I'm sure many have heard of the rumours beforehand that it is close to impossible for OCBC to keep up these levels of interest rates indefinitely. I've all along felt that a change and revamp by them would be coming soon, and I smelt that it would very similar to Citibank's Interest Plus account.

Today though, the news of the new conditions of the account are out!

The new account changes did come with some good news that I did not expect!
  • Account balance eligible for the bonus interest increased from $50,000 to $60,000
  • Salary crediting bonus increased from 1% to 1.2%
  • Interest on account balance increase

There were the bad news that we already know:
  • 3 GIRO transaction bonus dropped from 1% to 0.5%
  • Credit Card spending bonus dropped from 1% to 0.5%
  • Credit Card spending bonus criteria increased from $400 to $500

And finally there is the ugly that we have been preparing for
  • "Insure" or "Invest" to get bonus interest of 1%

To cut through all the crap, the OCBC 360 account is now only good for getting you a 2.25% interest on your account balance of up to $60,000.

It's been a while since I've actively seeked out competitors and sniff out their offerings, but I am quite sure that this 2.25% is still one of the top products around, if not the top product itself.

Personally, I thought that they would split the bonus interest and link it to a home loan, but I knew that it would definitely be linked to "insurance" or "investments".

Full details of the "wealth bonus" can be found here, but I broke it down (caution, possible human error)

First off, let me say that I think that this is absolutely retarded. I believe that insurance should be insurance, investments should be investments and when you mix the two, you get a half-fuck version of both things which are half as good but twice the price. 

My personal pet peeve is when people try and label and call something which is an insurance as an "investment". Especially anyone in the financial industry. Especially people on the frontlines that advise customers what to buy. Especially when their customers don't know what they are buying. There is a special place in hell for these people.

I am a firm disbeliever of whole life insurance. In Singapore, where there is no estate tax, it makes absolutely zero sense to have whole life insurance. Ask an insurance agent who works in any other country in the world. If your country has no estate tax, they would never. ever. recommend whole life insurance. Unless of course they have *their* best interests at heart, and not yours. I read a 400 page book all about and exclusively about life insurance. I will rip your face off and feed it to you if you come here and talk shit to me. Especially. If. You. Are. An. Agent.

Insuring yourself yearly with $2,000 worth of premiums is extremely excessive. I don't think I pay more than $50 a month and I already feel that I am over-insured. I have no house, no car, no liabilities, no dependents. What about you? My yearly premiums are less than $600. Trying to hit the term insurance target of $2,000 might probably only make sense if you are buying insurance for your family members as well. However, in all honestly? Not practical.

No further comment on whole life insurance.

I think endowment plans are like shitty fixed deposits that are locked up for years. On the bright side, you get insurance. If you want to get the endowment plan, get it and never read anything more about personal finance, because you will live to regret it.

If you think you can combine insurance and investments and get an outcome which is better than getting each individually (along with paying commissions and admin fees), you need urgent medical help regarding your mental sanity.

I just spoke to someone from OCBC, the normal sales charge for unit trust is 5%, which is day-light robbery, but they normally go to 3%. I guess this is the standard rate for most banks. Private banking customers usually get a lower rate, but I highly doubt it is less than 1.5%. Phillip does 0.75% or 0% by the way.

If you invest $40,000 in unit trust within a month, you will get the bonus 1% interest for the next 12 months. When I read it, it looked like it was $40,000 per month to get that 1% interest for that 1 month, but I guess what I read was wrong. Either that or what the lady told me was wrong. It doesn't really matter, the sales charge is already the dealer breaker. An additional $900 in sales charges is not offset by the extra $600 gained from the 1%

In summary, the OCBC 360 got nerfed, but it is still a good account. To repeat myself, the OCBC 360 account is now only good for getting you a 2.25% interest on your account balance of up to $60,000.

I would not even think about the insurance or investment products to get the 1% bonus and I will advise all my family and friends not to even bother about it.



  1. Thanks for such detailed analysis! They were trying to attract customers to switch to them for salary crediting. Now maybe that goal is more or less realized. They see the tremd stablize. So time to adjust. Typical ocbc.

    1. Hi Richard,

      Yes I would think so. Good for the bank and its shareholders, maybe not so good for us customers, haha!

      Still though, the account is much better than the current alternatives.


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