Hong Leong Mach‘s ‘Third Way’ reviewed – a new way to shop?

Hong Leong Mach has introduced the 'Third Way' of shopping: the Money Box and the Dream Jar. They promise these new savings accounts will help you reach your goals in double-quick time - is that really true? We put them to the test..

Since its launch in mid-2012, Hong Leong Mach has been introduced some interesting products such as the Hong Leong Mach Visa. We recently came across another new product from Mach, the Third Way of shopping. This is basically a combination of Mach’s Money Box and Dream Jar savings accounts that provides a novel way to save up for things you want.                           

Just like everyone out there, I have things that I want but due to other commitments, practicality or just plain inertia when it comes to savings; many of us, myself included, don’t often get to achieve the little dreams we set out to. Whether it’s an iPhone 5 or a trip to Paris, the Dream Jar and Third Way offer a new way to save and shop.

What is the Third Way of Shopping?

The concept is simple. You want something that costs a lot but you don’t have the cash. You think of turning to your credit card but don’t want the pain of debt hanging over you.

The Third Way makes you save for it.

You start by picking a ‘goal’ from the list of deals on the Third Way site. Then you set the timeline within which you’d like to achieve it, open a Money Box account and a Dream Jar account and start saving. The Money Box is a current account without the chequebook service which will auto-debit fixed amounts to your Dream Jar account as agreed based on the timeline for achieving your goal. Not only will you receive a 2% (p.a.) interest on the amount in your accounts, but you’ll also receive a RM2 for every RM500 reached as a cash incentive to hit your target.

The Mechanics

Here’s a short list of what you need to know:

  • To start a Dream Jar account, you will have to open a Money Box current account. The Money Box account requires a minimum RM200 deposit to start and you then get to choose between a 1.8% p.a. interest rate or free Interbank Giro transactions (up to 15 a month with a minimum remaining balance of RM1000 at all times).
  • Once you have a Money Box account, open a Dream Jar account for each goal (you can open up to five Dream Jar accounts).
  • Set the timeline of your goal from 6-18 months.
  • Start with a deposit as low as RM50 into your Dream Jar account. Subsequent set amounts will be calculated and auto-debited from your Money Box into your Dream Jar account.
  • Save and reach your goal.
  • Example of calculations: To own a Samsung Galaxy S4: RRP RM2249, chosen savings over 12 months = RM2249/12, or RM187.42 per month. This amount will be auto-debited from your Money Box account into your Dream Jar account every month.
  • Each Dream Jar account balance will earn 2% p.a. in interest.

Is it just another savings account?

The auto-debiting, planned fixed amounts and incentive features of the Dream Jar account are definitely an interesting way to automate your savings habit. There are many savings and FD accounts in the market with better interest rates but none of them offer the extra ‘nudge’. If you are keen to start saving up rather than buying on credit then you may want to consider it. However, even with the auto-debiting you will still need to stay disciplined to reach your goals and enjoy the rewards.


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