(Last update: 3 June 2020)
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 5% 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 10 times the interest of a basic savings account.
Here are some of the best high interest savings accounts in Malaysia.
Standard Chartered Privilege$aver
Interest rate: Tiered, up to 5.60% p.a.
The Standard Chartered Privilege$aver savings account offers the highest interest rate on a savings account, provided the account holder fulfils certain conditions. There are three conditions required to increase the interest from the base 0.10% p.a..
First, you need to deposit at least RM3,000 in fresh funds every month to unlock an additional 2% p.a. interest. A further 1.50% p.a. interest will be credited when you spend at least RM1,000 with your Standard Chartered credit card. Finally, unlock another 2% p.a. when you purchase any regular monthly investment or insurance policy from StanChart with a minimum payment of RM1,000.
At 5.60% p.a., you’ll be earning a huge chunk of interest each month. A good way to hit a minimum of 2.5% 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 cards; its 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!
Do note that in February, Standard Chartered tweaked the Privilege$aver account slightly to add a cap on the amount of interest earned. Under the Spend requirement, bonus interest will be credited on up to RM100,000 of your monthly average balance (MAB). Meanwhile, under Invest/Insure, you can earn bonus interest on up to RM20,000 of your MAB, unless you spend more than RM6,000 a month on investment or insurance, which will then get you bonus interest on up to RM100,000 of your MAB.
Interest rate: Tiered, up to 2.75% p.a.
Like the StanChart Privilege Saver, 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 low at 0.05% p.a., but the three additional transactions (Deposit, Pay, and Spend) yield a bonus interest of 0.90% p.a. each, offering up to 2.75% p.a. altogether.
First, you simply need to deposit a minimum of RM500 every month into the OCBC 360 account to earn a 0.90% p.a. bonus interest. An additional 0.90% 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 0.90% p.a. interest will be credited when you spend at least RM500 on your OCBC credit or debit card, bringing the total interest to 2.75% p.a. for that month.
Looking at the conditions, it actually isn’t too difficult to hit the 2.75% 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 2.75% 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.
Hong Leong Bank Pay&Save Account
Interest rate: Tiered, up to 2.50% p.a. (effective 12 May 2020)
Like the Standard Chartered Privilege$aver and OCBC 360 Account, the Hong Leong Bank Pay&Save is a savings account that requires you to carry out certain activities each month in order to qualify for interest. However, while the Privilege$aver and OCBC 360 do offer a minimal base rate, the Pay&Save’s interest rates are wholly dependent on the three required actions.
Pay&Save offers a Savings Interest of 1.50% p.a. if you deposit RM2,000 in one sum monthly into your account, 0.50% p.a. e-Xtra Interest for a minimum of RM500 in eligible payments, and 0.50% p.a. Debit Card Interest when you spend at least RM500 in retail transactions using your Hong Leong debit card.
There is actually an extra step that can earn you up to another 0.90% p.a. interest, but this is only applicable if you trade in shares. The 0.90% p.a. tier is only available when you trade a monthly amount of more than RM100,000. Otherwise, you’ll be earning a bonus interest of between 0.30% to 0.70% p.a. via share trading.
If you are considering getting the Pay&Save account, do make sure that you’re familiar with the terms and conditions beforehand. For example, you can only be eligible for the Savings Interest when you deposit RM2,000 for three months consecutively. Moreover, the e-Xtra Interest and Debit Card Interest are each capped at RM30 per month – so you will reach this interest cap if your account balance is about RM71,990 and above. Similar to the conditions set by Privilege$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.
Alliance SavePlus Account
Interest rate: Tiered, up to 2.50% 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 the top choice. The only requirement to unlock the 2.50% p.a. interest is to maintain account balances above RM200,000.
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.
UOB InvestPro Account
Interest rate: Tiered, up to 2.00% p.a.
Formerly known as the UOB eAccount, the UOB InvestPro account is another straightforward savings account that offers higher interest rates without requiring you to perform any other transactions. Its highest 2.00% p.a. interest tier is only unlocked when your total account balance is above RM50,000.
Similar to Alliance SavePlus Account, 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 both over the counter and via online banking. Additionally, if you maintain an account balance of RM10,000 each month, you can earn up to four fee waivers for MEPS withdrawals.
That said, if you’re looking to deposit an amount ranging between RM100,000 to RM200,000, it would be a better idea to opt for the UOB Stash account instead. UOB Stash offers bonus interest when you maintain or increase your account balance every month, but it does not have as good a yield as UOB InvestPro for amounts ranging between RM50,000 to RM100,000 (UOB Stash only offers between 0.73% to 1.79%). However, once your balance accounts fall within the range of RM100,000 to RM200,000, you can earn a high interest of 2.57% p.a. with UOB Stash.
RHB Bonus Saver
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 unlock (and retain!) a base interest rate of 1.40% p.a. thereafter. 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.
MBSB Cash Rich Savings Account-i
Profit rate: 1.65% p.a.
A lesser-known alternative is the MBSB Cash Rich Savings Account-i, which offers 1.65% p.a. for ALL balances. The returns offered are decent when you consider that there are literally no other requirements, conditions, or tiers needed to unlock this interest rate. 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.
OCBC nuon Account
Profit rate: Up to 1.80% p.a.
Launched at the end of 2018, the nuon Account by OCBC is a savings account that 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 nuon 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 nuon Debit Card.
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 spelt out. But if you do find a savings account with better rates than those listed here, let us know!