8 Feb - 14 min read
(Last update: 8 February 2021)
It’s no secret that all of us would love for our savings to earn more money over time. Fixed deposits aren’t as liquid as savings accounts in the event you need immediate cash, but savings accounts basically give no interest these days… right?
As it turns out, there are several savings accounts in Malaysia that offer high interest rates – some with over 4% p.a.! Of course, there are certain conditions that need to be met to “unlock” the high interest, but there are also some savings accounts that easily offer more than several times the interest of a basic savings account.
Here are some of the best high interest savings accounts in Malaysia.
Interest rate: Tiered, up to 4.75% p.a.
At present, the Standard Chartered Privilege$aver savings account offers the highest interest rate on a savings account, provided the account holder fulfils certain conditions. There are three conditions (Save, Spend, and Invest) required to increase the interest from the base 0.05% p.a. (as of 1 February 2021).
First, you need to deposit at least RM3,000 in fresh funds every month to unlock an additional 0.9% p.a. interest via the Save requirement. On top of that, you can earn up to 1.8% p.a. interest when you fulfil the Spend requirement: 0.9% p.a. when you spend at least RM1,000 with your Standard Chartered credit card, and another 0.9% p.a. when you perform at least five retail transactions on your debit card. Finally, unlock another 2% p.a. for up to three months when you tap into the Invest requirement. You can do so by investing a minimum of RM30,000 in unit trust, or purchase an insurance policy with a minimum of RM30,000 annual premium.
Do note as well that the Standard Chartered Privilege$aver account has set a cap on the amount of interest that can be earned via the three bonus categories. For each category, bonus interest will be credited on up to RM100,000 of your monthly average balance (MAB). In the case of the Spend category, both credit and debit card spend are also allocated its own separate MAB cap of RM100,000.
At 4.75% p.a., you’ll be earning a pretty good chunk of interest each month. A good way to hit the save requirement for a 0.9% p.a. interest is to use this account as your salary deposit account – you just need to inform your HR department for this. It’s also not a stretch to spend with StanChart’s credit and debit cards. For credit cards, in particular, the JustOne Platinum and Liverpool FC Cashback credit cards yield cashback as you spend, so you could be stacking quite a bit of money every month!
For some added context, this latest earning structure for the Privilege$aver campaign was an update that was rolled out in the beginning of February 2021, allowing you to potentially earn more interest than before. Prior to the February 2021 update, you were only able to earn a maximum of 4.6% p.a. interest.
Interest rate: Tiered, up to 2.85%
RHB Smart Account works very similarly to Standard Chartered Privilege$aver as you’ll need to carry out three transactions (Save, Pay, and Spend) to increase the interest from the base 0.05% p.a. to a maximum 2.85% p.a..
Under the Save category, you can earn a bonus 1.80% p.a. when you deposit RM2,000 in fresh funds into your Smart Account each month. Following that, you can earn 0.5% p.a. under the Pay category when you pay at least 3 bills online or through RHB’s mobile banking app. Lastly, receive another 0.5% p.a. through the Spend category by spending a minimum of RM1,000 in retail purchases with your RHB credit or debit cards. In total, this gives you a pretty good return of 2.85% p.a. interest.
There is actually another 1.0% p.a. interest that you can earn by investing a minimum of RM1,000 in eligible RHB financial products (Invest category). These include products such as non-EPF investment, private retirement schemes (PRS), and unit trust funds. If you do carry out this transaction as well, then you’ll qualify for a total of 3.85% p.a..
Note, though, that the bonus interest earned under the Save, Pay, and Spend categories will only be applicable to your account balance of up to RM100,000. The 1.0% p.a. interest earned through the Invest category, on the other hand, is awarded as a flat rate on the investment amount.
Interest rate: Tiered, up to 2.30% p.a.
The UOB Stash is a more straightforward savings account that offers bonus interest when you maintain or increase your account balance every month, bringing its total interest up from a base rate of 0.05% p.a.. Its highest 2.30% p.a. interest tier is unlocked when your total account balance is above RM100,000.
Note, though, that UOB Stash stops offering bonus interest when your account balance exceeds RM200,000; you will only earn an increased base rate of 1.60% p.a.. As a result, UOB Stash’s best rate of 2.30% p.a. is applicable only when your account balance ranges between RM100,000 to RM200,000. If your account balance goes beyond RM200,000, the effective interest rate (EIR) will begin to decrease. For instance, if you have RM250,000 in your account, you only earn an EIR of 2.16% p.a. instead of the 2.30% p.a. applicable for account balances between RM100,000 to RM200,000.
Meanwhile, those who are looking to deposit an amount of between RM50,000 to RM100,000 may want to switch over to the UOB InvestPro account instead. Previously known as the UOB eAccount, UOB InvestPro offers a higher rate of 1.70% p.a. for account balances in this range (compared to UOB Stash’s lesser yield of 0.55% p.a. to 1.55% p.a.).
The UOB InvestPro account is also offering fee waivers for selected transactions. You’ll be able to enjoy fee waivers for interbank GIRO transactions performed via online banking. Additionally, if you maintain an account balance of RM5,000 each month, you can earn up to four fee waivers for MEPS withdrawals.
Interest rate: Tiered, up to 2.25% p.a.
The Hong Leong Bank Pay&Save is yet another savings account that requires you to carry out certain activities each month in order to qualify for interest. However, while the Privilege$aver, RHB Smart Account, and OCBC 360 do offer a minimal base rate, the Pay&Save’s interest rates are wholly dependent on the three required actions.
Pay&Save offers a Savings Interest of 1.25% p.a. if you deposit RM2,000 in one sum monthly into your account, 0.50% p.a. e-Xtra Interest for a minimum of RM500 in eligible payments, and 0.50% p.a. Debit Card Interest when you spend at least RM500 in retail transactions using your Hong Leong debit card.
There is actually an extra step that can earn you up to another 0.90% p.a. interest, but this is only applicable if you trade in shares. The 0.90% p.a. tier is available when you trade a monthly amount of more than RM100,000. Otherwise, you’ll be earning a bonus interest of between 0.30% to 0.70% p.a. via share trading.
If you are considering getting the Pay&Save account, do make sure that you’re familiar with the terms and conditions beforehand. For example, you can only be eligible for the Savings Interest when you deposit RM2,000 for three months consecutively. Moreover, the e-Xtra Interest and Debit Card Interest are each capped at RM30 per month – so you will reach this interest cap if your account balance is about RM71,990 and above. Similar to the conditions set by Privilege$aver and OCBC 360, there are also interest earning caps on amount balances above RM100,000.
The Pay&Save account also has a Syariah-compliant equivalent in the form of Pay&Save Account-i.
Interest rate: Tiered, up to 2.25% p.a.
If you’re looking to “park” a large sum of cash and earn the most interest with the least hassle, the Alliance SavePlus account is one of the top choices. The only requirement to unlock the 2.25% p.a. interest is to maintain account balances above RM350,000.
Even though it is technically classified as a current account, there really isn’t that much difference between the Alliance SavePlus account and other savings accounts in this list. Plus, if you maintain an account balance of above RM10,000 every month, you will also enjoy waivers for the following transactions: MEPS withdrawals, interbank funds transfers, interbank GIRO, and even the debit card annual fee.
Interest rate: Tiered, up to 2.15% p.a.
Like the StanChart Privilege$aver and RHB Smart Account, the OCBC 360 account offers bonus interest when you perform certain transactions with your OCBC online banking account as well as OCBC credit or debit cards. The base interest is also set at 0.05% p.a., but the three additional transactions (Deposit, Pay, and Spend) yield a bonus interest of 0.70% p.a. each, offering up to 2.15% p.a. altogether.
First, you simply need to deposit a minimum of RM500 every month into the OCBC 360 account to earn a 0.70% p.a. bonus interest. An additional 0.70% p.a. will be given when you pay at least three bills with your OCBC online banking facility in a month. This includes credit card bills, loans, as well as JomPay bill payments! Finally, a further 0.70% p.a. interest will be credited when you spend at least RM500 on your OCBC credit or debit card, bringing the total interest to 2.15% p.a. for that month.
Looking at the conditions, it actually isn’t too difficult to hit the 2.15% p.a. interest. Enabling JomPay bill payments makes it easy to hit the three transactions required. You can also earn additional cashback for that RM500 spend for credit/debit cards via the OCBC 365 credit card, which offers 1% cashback for the first RM1,000 charged. Just note that multiple bill payments to the same biller in a single month will count as one transaction for the OCBC 360 account. Moreover, the 2.15% p.a. interest is only applicable on the first RM100,000 of your balance.
OCBC also has a Syariah-compliant variant with the same benefits, known as the OCBC Al-Amin 360, with a similar profit rate.
Interest rate: Tiered, up to 2.15% p.a.
UOB also has the One Account that allows you to earn up to 2.15% p.a. interest if you’re willing to take some additional steps to earn bonus interest, which raises the base rate from 0.10% p.a..
The maximum interest rate of 2.15% p.a. is unlocked if your account has a balance of between RM50,000 and RM100,000, and you carry out two selected transactions. Firstly, you need to spend a monthly minimum of RM500 with your UOB debit or credit card. Secondly, you can choose to either pay 3 bills online (minimum RM50 each bill) or deposit a minimum of RM2,000 into your account in a single transaction each month.
Meanwhile, if your account balance is less than RM50,000, you can earn a maximum of 1.65% p.a. by carrying out the two transactions specified.
Interestingly, the UOB One Account stops offering bonus interest when your account balance exceeds RM100,000, although its base rate hikes up from 0.10% p.a. to 1.65% p.a.. The effective interest rate that you can earn when you reach this range of account balance also decreases; for instance, if you maintained a balance account of RM125,000, you will only get an effective interest rate of 2.05% p.a. (as compared to 2.15% p.a. if you had a balance of RM50,000 to RM100,000).
Profit rate: Up to 1.80% p.a.
Previously known as the nuon Account, the OCBC FRANK Account is a savings account that was recently introduced as part of a new digital banking initiative by OCBC. The account allows you to split your funds into two sections, the Spend Pot and the Save Pot. The Spend Pot works like an ordinary savings account which you can withdraw funds from, whereas the Save Pot comes with a higher interest rate and is designed to encourage saving.
The Spend Pot earns you 0.30% p.a. in interest whereas money in your Save Pot earns you 1.80% p.a.. Money in your Save Pot has to be moved back to your Spend Pot before you can use it for withdrawals, payment, and so on, which can easily be done via the OCBC mobile banking app. There is no lock-in period or withdrawal penalty for the Save Pot.
Moreover, the OCBC FRANK Account’s debit card has a very valuable offering for overseas transactions: there are 0% bank mark-ups for foreign transactions or online spend in foreign currencies using the OCBC FRANK Debit Card.
Interest rate: Tiered, up to 1.65% p.a.
The AmBank eFlex is another account that lets you earn bonus interest to increase the base rate by maintaining your balance account above a certain threshold. The eFlex account starts out by giving you a base rate of 0.5% p.a. interest for your balance account of any amount. However, if you are able to maintain your balance at a minimum of RM10,000, then you’ll earn a bonus interest of 1.15% p.a.. In other words, you’ll get a total of 1.65% p.a. interest.
Note that you can only apply for the AmBank eFlex account via the AmOnline Mobile app as it is an online-exclusive product.
Interest rate: Tiered, up to 1.50% p.a.
This savings account rewards those who save regularly every month. The RHB Bonus Saver requires you to maintain a monthly incremental balance of RM500 every month for 12 months consecutively to gradually unlock (and retain!) a base interest rate of 1.40% p.a. thereafter. In other words, you will need to increase your monthly average balance by at least RM500 every month – for 12 months – in order to unlock the 1.40% p.a. interest.
To begin, the account will start you off with a base rate of 0.2% p.a., but you will also be awarded a bonus interest for every month that you are able to maintain the required incremental balance. And even better, this bonus interest will gradually increase if you are able to maintain the required balance for a total of 12 months.
For instance, you will get a total rate of 0.30% p.a. (0.20% base rate + 0.10% bonus rate) for the first month, and if you are able to maintain it in the second month, then your total interest rate will be increased to 0.40% p.a. (0.20% base rate + 0.20% bonus rate). This continues all the way until you hit 1.40% in your 12th month. And if you continue to have a monthly incremental balance of RM500 every month after the first 12 months, you’ll earn an additional 0.10% p.a. interest for a 1.50% p.a. total.
The RHB Bonus Saver account did offer a more rewarding return of 2.75% p.a. prior to the May 2020 overnight policy rate (OPR) cut in comparison to the 1.50% p.a. offered now. However, it is still a good choice suited for those who are still building up their funds when compared to the UOB InvestPro and Stash accounts or the Alliance SavePlus account – all of which reward those who deposit large sums of money.
Profit rate: 1.40% p.a.
A lesser-known alternative is the MBSB Cash Rich Savings Account-i, which offers a solid rate of 1.40% p.a. for ALL balances. There are literally no other requirements, conditions, or tiers. This make it a great choice for those without the huge funds to meet minimum balance requirements or those who don’t fancy having to fulfil monthly spend or deposit requirements to qualify for higher interest.
As a full-fledged Islamic bank, all MBSB accounts are Syariah-compliant.
All savings account listed here are insured by PIDM for up to RM250,000, which means that in the event the bank goes bankrupt, your savings account with that bank is insured and can be claimed up to RM250,000.
In addition, there are a few other savings accounts with competitive interest rates that are not listed here. We omitted these as the requirements to unlock those rates are complicated – the ones mentioned here are straight forward, and the requirements are clearly spelled out. But if you do find a savings account with better rates than those listed here, let us know!