A guide to Maybank multi-currency accounts in Singapore

Wise
15.02.19
4 minute read

Whether you’re a traveller, an international business owner or work abroad and need to make frequent international payments, a multi-currency account is designed to help make it easier to manage several currencies within a single account. With this facility, you are not subject to uncertain currency conversion rates when making a foreign currency transfer. Even better, you can stock up on a particular currency when the rate is favourable.

To help you decide which foreign currency account is best for you, have a look at this article that explores the fees and features of the Maybank foreign currency accounts in Singapore, and also a new alternative, the Wise borderless account.

The borderless account offered by Wise helps you manage as many as 40+ currencies in one single account, and allows you to transfer funds easily and affordably at the real exchange rate.

What are the benefits and features of having a Maybank multi-currency account?

The Maybank Foreign Currency Current Account³ allows you receive and make payments in the original currency. You can make cross currency funds transfer via your online banking, in any of the following currencies: US dollar, euro, Great Britain pound, Australian dollar, Chinese Renminbi, Japanese Yen, Swiss franc, New Zealand, Canadian and Hong Kong dollar.

The interest rates you may get when you save with this account, range from 0.6% per annum for US Dollars, to 1% for Australian and New Zealand Dollars. You may want to check with the bank to obtain the latest offers.

If you maintain a USD current account, you’ll also be issued a cheque book too.

If you’re a regular traveller, these benefits are extremely useful so you don’t need to keep swapping between Singapore Dollars and other currencies.

Furthermore, you can save money on expensive foreign conversion fees each time. For investors looking to invest in a small set of major currencies, may also be useful as you can earn some interest even when your foreign currencies are kept in the account while waiting for the right time to sell.

If the account needs to comply with the Islamic banking requirements, you can also consider the Maybank Foreign Currency Current Account-i¹. As such, you can enjoy discretionary bonuses in the form of hibah.

If you also need a card linked with your foreign currency account, than you need to know that Maybank doesn’t have a credit or debit card that allows you to pay in different currencies.

Eligibility and requirements to open a multi-currency account in Maybank¹'³

You will need to be at least 18 years old or older to open a Maybank Foreign Currency Current Account, and bank in at least US$1,000 as an initial deposit.

Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents need to bring their NRIC down to a Maybank branch to open a multi-currency account.

If you’re a foreigner, you will need to bring along your passport, your immigration pass (e.g. employment pass or student pass), and some proof of mailing address like a utility or telecom bill, or a bank statement from another bank.

Wise borderless account - a transparent alternative

If you need a solution that supports more currencies and doesn’t charge exorbitant fees to send your money worldwide, consider the Wise borderless account. It's free to open and there is no minimum initial deposit to get started.

For all overseas transfers, you convert your money at the real exchange rate, and will only need to pay 0.3% to 3% to convert your funds, depending on the currencies.

The fees and exchange rates are always transparent and available on the website before you make a transfer. You can compare the rates you get from your bank with the mid-market rate to ensure you’re getting the best deal by using this useful comparison tool.

With the Wise borderless account, you can manage 40+ currencies and receive funds in British Pound, EUR, Australian, US and New Zealand Dollar.

It's also worth mentioning that Wise is a licensed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore as a remittance agency, so your money is in safe and reliable hands.

How to apply for a Wise borderless account

It’s easy to open a Wise account. First, create an account online and you’ll be prompted to fund your account. You can do so by a bank transfer to a local bank account owned by Wise, which doesn’t add fees. Otherwise, you can also use your credit or debit card to send money over to fund it.

If you need more information, check out the Help Center or drop a message.

Comparing Maybank and Wise multi-currency accounts

To help you decide whether a Maybank Foreign Currency Current Account or a Wise borderless account is what you need, the following table summarises the differences for easy comparison.

Maybank Foreign Currency Current Account³ Maybank Foreign Currency Current Account-i² Wise borderless account
Initial deposit US$1,000 US$1,000 S$0
Minimum deposit US$1,000 US$1,000 S$0
Fall-below fee US$5 US$5 N.A.
Early account closure within 6 months US$20 US$20 N.A.
Remittance fees (outgoing) Online banking - 0.125% + possible processing fee (TT only) + possible commision in lieu of exchange ² Online banking - 0.125% + possible processing fee (TT only) + possible commision in lieu of exchange ² A small fixed fee, that differs per currency.
Exchange rate Bank-offered rate Bank-offered rate Live mid-market rate
Currencies supported 9 including SGD 9 including SGD 4o+

While banks may offer a minimal interest rate to entice you to keep your money with them, you’ll probably spend more than that when doing a telegraphic transfer, or even paying a fee when your bank balance falls below the minimum deposit amount or within the early closure period.

That's why it’s well worth investing time to look at options you get from different banks and account providers.

Sources used for this article:

  1. Fees and features of Maybank Foreign Currency Current Account-i (February 6th, 2019)
  2. Remittances fees for both foreign currency accounts. (February 6th, 2019)
  3. Fees and features of Maybank Foreign Currency Current Account (February 6th, 2019)

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.

Wise is the smart, new way to send money abroad.

Find out more

Tips, news and updates for your location