by SUKI LOR | This article was first published in The Sunday Times on 2 August 2015
OCBC 360 Account holder Ken Lim, with his wife Inez Chen and their seven-month-old son Lim Zhijie, enjoys more benefits with OCBC. PHOTO CREDIT: TED CHEN
WELCOMING a bundle of joy into the family has led to a spike in financial commitments for Mr Ken Lim, 35, leading him to reassess his priorities.
Thankfully, his path as a first-time dad has been made easier by the OCBC 360 Account he opened early last year after working out that he could easily qualify for the various tiers of bonus interest rates available.
Apart from the more attractive savings rate, the 360 Account also comes linked to a suite of services and products that are in sync with his evolving lifestyle and spending.
After his baby arrived last December, getting more bang for his buck through the 360 Account became even more important.
Recurring monthly expenses have doubled in the dual income household, including those for milk and hiring a maid. And he has had to load up on a lot more groceries.
For Mr Lim, one account led to another with the bank, and the acquisition of four OCBC credit cards.
"After I opened the 360 Account, I also opened a Supplementary Retirement Scheme account. Recently, after my baby was born, I opened a Child Development Account," says the manager in the oil and gas industry.
The Child Development Account is a special savings account under the national Baby Bonus Scheme where savings are matched dollar-for-dollar by the Government, subject to certain limits.
MR KEN LIM | OCBC 360 Account holder
To qualify for the higher yields available from his 360 Account for balances of up to $60,000, Mr Lim got his company to credit his monthly pay to the account. This earns him 1.2 per cent interest a year.
"After opening the 360 Account, I started looking at the credit cards issued by OCBC and I realised they are either equivalent or better than the cards I had. I actually get more cash rebates from the OCBC cards," he says.
An extra 0.5 per cent interest is given for 360 Account holders who charge at least $500 to their OCBC cards a month.
Mr Lim started by getting the Robinsons and Frank cards at the same time, the former for baby-related items at the department store, and the latter for online purchases (especially of baby clothes) that come with a 6 per cent rebate, subject to conditions.
He subsequently applied for an OCBC NTUC Plus! Card to cover his supermarket purchases at NTUC FairPrice, followed by the 365 Credit Card.
While Mr Lim initially secured the 365 card for the petrol discounts, he was glad to find out later that as an OCBC Child Development Account holder, he can get a 3 per cent rebate on all the medical expenses for his baby that he charges to the card.
The 360 Account also offers an additional annual 0.5 per cent interest rate if money from the account is used to pay at least three bills online or through Giro. Again, Mr Lim, who says he has at least 20 bills to pay a month, easily meets this criterion.
He shared his findings with his wife, and she opened a 360 Account as well. Mr Lim�s satisfaction with its benefits prompted him to spread the word.
"It�s like killing two birds with one stone. The interest rate is the best in the market. There�s a wide range of other products tied to OCBC one can benefit from. Previously when I was with different banks, I sometimes forgot to pay my bill or it was a hassle. So now with everything done through one account, it saves time and it�s convenient for me," he says.
Mulling over getting an endowment policy for his son, he thinks it will make sense to buy the product from the bank as he will then qualify for a Wealth Bonus interest of 1 per cent per year for 12 months on his 360 Account balance, and get a shopping voucher.
As his relationship with the bank deepened, Mr Lim has uncovered more and more OCBC products and services that are useful to him.
"Even when my spending pattern changed as my family size grew, I was always able to find a product from OCBC that could suit the shift in my spending pattern," he says.
These tables offer an example of how Mr Lim earns up to S$1,950 in interest from his OCBC 360 Account and S$1,680 in credit card rebates a year.
|Types of interest||Maximum interest
earned per year*
|Salary Credit Bonus Interest (Credit salary of at least S$2,000)||S$720|
|Payment Bonus Interest (Pay any 3 bills online)||S$300|
|Credit Card Spend Bonus Interest (Spend at least S$500 on OCBC Credit Cards)||S$300|
|Wealth Bonus Interest
(Buy any eligible financial product, for example, an
endowment plan of at least S$8,000 annual premium
for his son)
*Interest is calculated based on an account balance of S$60,000 and insured up to S$50,000 by Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation (SDIC). Terms and conditions apply.
Source: The Sunday Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Permission required for reproduction.
|OCBC Credit Card||Cash rebates per year|
|365 Credit Card||S$960**|
|Frank Credit Card||S$720***|
**365 Credit Card cashback is capped at S$80 per month.
***Frank Credit Card online spending rebate is capped at S$60 per month.