[Ultimate Guide] Best savings accounts in Malaysia

Yumiko Kijima
17.07.20
8 minute read

There are a wide variety of savings accounts available from some of Malaysia’s major banks. This guide will walk through the features and benefits of some of the most popular to help you find the right one for your needs. We’ll look at:

We’ll also briefly touch on how Wise can help you to cut costs when making international transfers, so you have more money left to save.


Sending money abroad? Wise is up to 7x cheaper than banks

If you're an expat in Malaysia, or need to send money abroad regularly for any reason, it’s worth seeking out the best international transfer provider for your needs.

Example: Sending 5,000 MYR to a EUR account in Europe

Banks/providers Transfer fee Exchange rate (1MYR = EUR) Recipient gets
tw-logo-my Wise 29.29MYR Real exchange rate (0.206440) 1,026.15EUR Send money
maybank-logo-my Maybank 10MYR Exchange rate Maybank decides (0.203077) 1,013.35EUR ▼-12.80EUR
public-bank-logo-my Public Bank 32MYR Exchange rate Public Bank decides (0.202854) 1,007.78EUR ▼-18.37EUR

Fees and exchange rates correct at time of research 14 July 2020, 08:30GMT+2

Banks add a markup - an extra fee - to the exchange rates they offer, which can push up the overall price of an international payment and mean your recipient gets less.

Wise, on the other hand, charges a transparent fee and uses the mid-market exchange rate with no markup. Thats why, in this case above, the total cost is actually cheaper with Wise.

Get Wise now💡


Best savings accounts in Malaysia 2020

Let’s take a look at some of the key features of savings products from Malaysia’s biggest banks. There’s more detail about each account, coming right up.

Savings account Interest rate Minimum deposit
maybank-logo-my Maybank2u Savers Up to 0.75% 250MYR minimum balance - you’ll need 2,000MYR to start earning interest
ocbc-bank-logo-my OCBC 360 Account Up to 2.45% 500MYR
ambank-logo-my AmBank True Savers account Up to 0.75% 20MYR
uob-logo-my UOB Stash account Up to 2.25% 20MYR
rhb-bank-logo RHB Bonus Saver Account Up to 1.5% 500MYR
alliance-logo-my Alliance SavePlus Account Up to 2.5% Hold 10,000MYR or more to avoid paying fees
public-bank-logo-my PB MySalary Savings Account Up to 1.5% 20MYR
affin-bank-logo-my Affin eSaver-i Up to 2.25% hibah 250MYR

1. Maybank2u Savers

You can apply for a Maybank2U saving account online, and manage your money on the go.²

  • Tiered interest from a minimum balance of 2,000MYR
  • Linked debit card for easy spending and cash withdrawals
  • Access to over 2,800 MayBank ATMs, and international ATMs through the PLUS network
  • Open your account online and manage your money online, via phone banking, or using the Maybank app for convenience

There’s a relatively low minimum balance of 250MYR which you’ll need to hold in your account at all times. However, it’s worth noting that interest is only paid on amounts over 2,000MYR, making this a better account for people planning on holding larger balances. There are also fees for transactions made in person, rather than online, which you’ll want to check out before you choose this account.

Balance in your account Interest rate
Up to 2,000MYR 0%
2,000 - 50,000MYR 0.6%
Over 50,000MYR 0.75%

2. OCBC 360 Account

The OCBC 360 savings account is designed to encourage customers to use more of OCBC’s products and services, in return for a higher interest rate. You’ll be able to earn more interest the more you use the account, which can lead to a great overall rate. ³

  • Earn up to 2.45% interest depending on how you use your account - applied up to the maximum of a 100,000MYR balance
  • 500MYR minimum deposit
  • OCBC has some branches which are open Saturdays for convenient banking on your day off

OCBC’s 360 Account is not the same as some other account products which give interest simply according to the balance held. Instead, you’re rewarded for using your account more frequently. Here’s how it works.

Action Interest rate
Base rate interest, applied on your entire balance 0.05%
Deposit at least 500MYR every month Additional 0.8%
Pay at least 3 bills online every month Additional 0.8%
Spend at least 500MYR using your OCBC card every month Additional 0.8%

3. AmBank TRUE Savers account

AmBank offers a full range of account products - the TRUE accounts include saving, current and Shariah compliant accounts to suit a broad range of customers.⁴

  • Minimum deposit of 20MYR
  • Comes with a linked TRUE current account and card
  • PIDM insured up to 250,000MYR for each account holder

Get unlimited AmBank ATM withdrawals, and no transaction fees for online fund transfers, with the AmBank TRUE saving account. Interest is tiered so you’ll earn more the higher your balance is. If you’re 18 or over, you can apply online and have a member of the team call you back to talk through your options.

Balance in your account Interest rate⁵
Up to 5,000MYR 0.25%
Over 5,000MYR 0.75%

4. UOB Stash account

The UOB Stash account lets you grow your money with bonus interest based on how much you pay into the account month to month.

  • Earn up to 2.25% interest on your monthly deposits in the account, subject to fulfilling certain conditions (promotional interest levels may change over time, check the latest online)
  • Tiered interest depending on your balance and how it grows over time

You’ll only earn a relatively low interest on the balance you hold in your account at first. At the time of research this is 0.05% for the first 25,000MYR, and 1.05% for the next 25,000MYR. However, you stand to earn more on the money you pay into the account in any given month thanks to bonus interest which is set according to the balance and the promotional interest amounts being given at the time.

It’s worth noting that UOB operates different promotional interest tiers at different times. The campaign featured below is running through July 2020 but may be subject to review with different interest tiers implemented after that.⁶⁻⁸

Balance in your account Interest rate
First 25,000MYR 0.05%
Next 25,000MYR 1.05%
Next 50,000MYR 2.55%
Next 100,000MYR 3.05%
Above 200,000MYR 1.60%
Bonus interest on the amount paid in during the month Up to 50,000MYR - 1.25%50,000MYR and above - 2.25%

Bonus interest may change over time - correct at time of research, 14th July 2020

5. RHB Bonus Saver Account

RHB has a good selection of account products including specialist savings accounts for kids, and accounts which can be opened and managed online. Here we’ll look at the Bonus Saver account which has an interesting mechanism for increasing the interest earning potential over time.⁹

  • Minimum deposit of 500MYR, with a potential interest rate of 1.5% if you pay in 500MYR every month
  • Minimum age 18, you can open joint accounts as well as individual accounts
  • PIDM protected to 250,000MYR per depositor

The Bonus Saver account pays more interest every month as long as you deposit 500MYR into the account, so the more you use the account, the higher interest level you can achieve.

Balance in your account Interest rate
Month 1 - base rate 0.2%
Every month for up to 12 months, if you pay 500MYR minimum into the account Interest rises by 0.1% a month, to a maximum of 1.4%
Bonus interest after 12 consecutive months paying in 500MYR minimum Additional 0.1% interest, to take the total to 1.5% interest

6. Alliance SavePlus Account

You should be able to get your Alliance SavePlus account open in just 15 minutes, online or in a branch. Save more to earn a higher level of interest, although you’ll need to pay transaction fees if your balance falls below 10,000MYR.¹º

  • Tiered interest so you earn a higher amount the more you save
  • Open online or in a branch, and manage your money easily on the go
  • Free MEPS withdrawals, transfers and debit card

Tiered interest is available on all balances from 20,000MYR. It’s worth noting, however, that there is a fee waiver which only applies to balances of over 10,000MYR. If you have a lower amount in your account you could get hit by unexpected charges. Check out the full terms and conditions if you’re considering this account.

Balance in your account Interest rate
Up to 20,000MYR 0%
20,001 - 50,000MYR 0.45%
50,001 - 200,000MYR 1.05%
200,000MYR and over 2.5%

7. PB MySalary Savings Account

PB accounts are PIDM protected, and allow customers to manage their money online, in branches or using ATMs. There’s a low minimum deposit which makes this an accessible account for many customers.¹¹

  • Low minimum deposit of 20MYR
  • Interest paid on all balances, with increasing rates based on a higher amount held
  • Opportunities to earn extra bonus interest depending on how you use your account

The basic interest amounts are detailed below, and grow based on the amount held in the account. However, you might also be able to get an extra 1% interest if you pay at least 3 bills every month through your account.

Balance in your account Interest rate¹²
Up to 5,000MYR 0.4%
Next 25,000MYR 0.6%
Next 50,000MYR 0.8%
Next 100,000MYR 1.0%
Next 200,000MYR 1.3%
Thereafter 1.5%

8. Affin eSaver-i

Shariah compliant account offering tiered hibah payments which vary according to the balance held.¹³

  • Shariah compliant account, which can be opened online for convenience
  • Minimum balance of only 250MYR
  • PIDM protected

Open your account and manage your money online for convenience, knowing your balance is PIDM protected up to 250,000MYR per depositor.

Balance in your account Hibah¹⁴
Up to 2,000MYR 0%
2,000 - 49,999MYR 2%
50,000MYP and above 2.25%

What to consider when choosing your savings account

When you’re choosing a savings account there are a few things you’ll want to think about. There are the basic questions of fees and interest rates available - including:

  • Interest rates available
  • Minimum deposit required
  • Transaction fees

You’ll also want to take a look at how interest is calculated, to see if any specific account works better for your needs. Some pay more interest the more you use an account for example. Other accounts may not start to pay interest until you hit a certain minimum balance. The account product which is best for you will depend on how you plan on using your account in the first place.

It’s also worth thinking about how you’ll manage your account. If you prefer to do your banking face to face, pick an account with a bank which has a branch close to you - and make sure you won’t pay a penalty fee for over the counter transactions. If you prefer online banking, test out your chosen bank’s online and mobile banking options to make sure they’re convenient and intuitive to use.

Choosing the right saving account for your needs can take a bit of research. There are many products out there which will suit different customer types. It’s well worth thinking about how you’ll use your account to make sure you find one which cuts fees for the transactions you’re making frequently - and may even give you bonus interest.

If you’re likely to need to make international payments, don’t forget, your bank is not always the best option. Check out specialist cross border payments using the mid market exchange rate with Wise instead.

Join over 11 million people
who get the real exchange rate🌏

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Sources

  1. Wise | Compare exchange rates
  2. Maybank2u Savers | Maybank Malaysia
  3. High Interest Savings Accounts | OCBC 360 Account
  4. AmBank | Savings Accounts
  5. AmBank | Fees and Rates - TRUE Savers Account-i
  6. Terms and Conditions | UOBM “Stash Up with Bonus Interest Promotion”
  7. Earning more comes easy with UOB Stash Account
  8. High Interest Savings Account - UOB Stash Malaysia
  9. RHB | Personal Savings
  10. Alliance SavePlus Account
  11. PB MySalary Savings Account
  12. Savings and Current Accounts Interest Rates
  13. AffinIslamic - Affin eSaver-i
  14. Rates for Current Account-i and Saving Account-i

This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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