Standard Chartered multi-currency accounts in Singapore: Your 2021 guide

Elle Kasser

Standard Chartered is over 150 years old, and the high profile sponsor of the Singapore marathon. Depending on your needs and preferences, you can open a Standard Chartered account to save in foreign currencies, or to spend and transact easily in person and online - no matter where in the world you are.

This guide walks through the multi-currency account options from Standard Chartered Singapore. We’ll also touch on the Wise multi-currency account as a smart alternative for people looking for a flexible option with no monthly fees or minimum balance to worry about. Let’s get started.

Open a Wise account in minutes 📖

Wise for sending money

📝Table of contents:

Which multi-currency accounts does Standard Chartered offer?

Standard Chartered has a range of different multi- and foreign-currency account products. Some are more suited to daily use, others are intended for saving - from flexible access savings accounts to time deposits where you’ll get a better rate of interest in exchange for locking away your funds for a specified tenure.

It pays to think about how you’ll want to use your new multi-currency account (MCA) before you start to research options. Check out the fees for transactions you know you’ll make regularly, and the availability of features like linked bank cards or chequing facilities. This roundup gives you all you need to know about the key MCA products available from Standard Chartered Singapore.


Bonus$aver account

Standard Chartered offers the Bonus$aver account with multi-currency options as a flexible account which lets you earn interest on your savings while also making convenient withdrawals for day to day life.¹

This account gives a variable interest rate depending on how you use it. Have your salary credited to the account, spend using your card, and pay your bills online for a chance to earn a better rate. To achieve the highest available interest tier you’ll also need to choose Standard Chartered insurance and investment products.

Enable the multi-currency option on the account to buy the foreign currencies you need and spend them conveniently when you travel. This can be cheaper than paying foreign transaction fees, especially those applied to credit card purchases and withdrawals. Learn more about the Standard Chartered foreign transaction fee here.

Standard Chartered previously offered a USD High account which came with checking facilities. This account is no longer being advertised by the bank - making the Bonus$aver a potential alternative for customers who want to save and spend in US dollars.


Bonus$aver account features

  • Get linked bonus saver card and cheque book for payments and withdrawals
  • Earn bonus saver interest rate - up to 2.38% - depending on how you use your account
  • Access multiple currencies with $0 overseas transaction fees

Bonus$aver account fees

Service Bonus$aver account fee²
Account opening fee Free
Fall below or service fee SGD5/month if balance falls below SGD3,000
Cost to get cards and cheque book Credit card - SGD214/year, waived for 2 yearsDebit card - SGD20/yearCheque books - SGD10 each
Local ATM withdrawal fee Free at Standard Chartered ATMs, and ATMs in the same network, including Maybank and Citibank
Overseas ATM withdrawal fee 2% of withdrawal value - SGD5 to SGD60 For USD withdrawals the 2% charge will run from USD5 to USD60
Currencies available 14 currencies available - SGD, USD, GBP, EUR, HKD, AUD, NZD, CHF, JPY, CAD, NOK, SEK, DKK, ZAR
Currency exchange costs Currency exchange at competitive FX rates
Foreign transaction fee 3.5% fee when you spend currencies you don’t hold using your card Free to spend currencies you hold³
Cost to send and receive international payments Sending international payments online - 1/16th commission + 1/16th in lieu of exchange (total SGD15 - SGD135) Sending international payments in person - 1/8th commission + 1/8th in lieu of exchange (total SGD30 - SGD170) Receiving international payments - SGD10 fee if the deposit is in the same currency as the account
Early closure fee SGD30

FCY$aver Account

If you’re looking to save in foreign currencies, the FCY$aver account may be the top pick for you⁴. You’ll be able to start with a relatively low minimum deposit, and can still make withdrawals from your account as required - unlike with time deposit accounts.

There are fall below fees if you fail to maintain the minimum balance required by currency, though. It’s also worth noting that at the time of research, the prevailing foreign currency interest rate is 0.00%.

FCY$aver Account features

  • Save from the equivalent of USD2,000 upwards
  • Apply online easily
  • Manage your money using online banking, by phone, or in person

FCY$aver Account fees

Service FCY$aver account fee²
Account opening fee Free
Minimum deposit USD2,000 or equivalent
Fall below fee Set by currency - USD5/month for example
Local ATM withdrawal fee Free at Standard Chartered ATMs, and ATMs in the same network, including Maybank and Citibank
Overseas ATM withdrawal fee 2% of withdrawal value - SGD5 to SGD60 For USD withdrawals the 2% charge will run from USD5 to USD60
Currencies available 9 currencies available - USD, GBP, EUR, HKD, AUD, NZD, CHF, JPY, CAD
Currency exchange costs Currency exchange at competitive FX rates
Foreign transaction fee 3.5% fee when you spend currencies you don’t hold using your card Free to spend currencies you hold
Cost to send and receive international payments Sending international payments online - 1/16th commission + 1/16th in lieu of exchange (total SGD15 - SGD135) Sending international payments in person - 1/8th commission + 1/8th in lieu of exchange (total SGD30 - SGD170) Receiving international payments - SGD10 fee if the deposit is in the same currency as the account
Early closure fee SGD20

USD$aver Account

Standard Chartered offers the USD$aver Account as a simple way to save and spend in US dollars⁵. This might be handy if you shop online with international retailers, for example, or if you need to make regular payments in US dollars.

It’s worth noting that this account has a high minimum deposit of USD10,000 with fall below fees if you fail to maintain this balance. This makes it a product suited to committed savers rather than people who want to manage their money more flexibly.

USD$aver Account features

  • Earn up to 2% cashback when you spend from this account with your linked debit card
  • No lock in period - access your money when you need it
  • Cut the costs of spending in USD when you shop online or travel

USD$aver Account fees

Service USD$aver account fee
Account opening fee Free
Minimum deposit USD10,000
Fall below fee USD10/month
Interest Up to 0.2%pa
Currencies available USD

Foreign Currency Time Deposit account

If you have funds in a foreign currency and you’re willing to lock them away for a fixed period, a time deposit account might be for you. These accounts are designed for saving only - you won’t be able to carry out day to day transactions or make withdrawals. Here’s what you need to know about the Standard Chartered time deposit account options.⁶


Foreign Currency Time Deposit features

  • Save in any of 9 foreign currencies
  • Earn interest on your savings over the tenure
  • Moderate minimum balance set by currency

Foreign Currency Time Deposit fees

Service Foreign currency time deposit account fee
Account opening fee Free
Minimum deposit Set by currency - USD5,000 or GBP5,000 for example
Interest Up to 0.3%pa
Currencies available 9 currencies available - USD, GBP, EUR, HKD, AUD, NZD, CNF, CAD, CNH
Early closure fee SGD25 plus penalties

Wise multi-currency account - a worthy alternative

If you’re looking for a smart way to hold and spend a range of foreign currencies, check out the Wise multi-currency account. You’ll be able to send, receive and transact in over 50 currencies, and manage your money using the intuitive Wise app.

Best of all, currency conversion with Wise always uses the real mid-market exchange rate with no markup or margin. There’s just a low, transparent fee, which can represent a significant saving compared to traditional banks.

Wise-card

Open your Wise account online to receive your linked debit card for spending and making ATM withdrawals all over the world. No monthly fees or minimum balance requirements - just simple, global access to your money. It couldn’t be easier.

Join over 10 million people and businesses already using Wise 🎉
Open your account for free

People celebrating Wise


Standard Chartered exchange rates

Standard Chartered offers currency exchange through its LiveFX platform⁷. You’ll be able to log in via online banking to see current exchange rates, place currency orders and catch up with news and data about foreign exchange.

When you’ve checked the rate on offer from Standard Chartered for your specific currency transaction, compare it to the mid-market exchange rate which you’ll find on Google. If there’s a difference this may be because Standard Chartered has added a markup or margin to the rate being used. This is an extra fee, but it can be quite tricky to spot.

For easy online currency transactions, get the real mid-market exchange rate every time with the Wise multi-currency account. Switch between currencies whenever you need to with Wise, and get the best available exchange rate, with low, transparent fees. That can work out up to 7x cheaper than using a regular bank.


Comparing Standard Chartered and Wise multi-currency accounts

Wondering which account type might work for you? Standard Chartered offers a range of different foreign currency account solutions which can cater to a variety of customer needs. If you’re looking to save or open a time deposit account for example, one of the accounts highlighted above may be a good option. However, if you’re looking for a low fee account for global foreign currency transactions on a day to day basis, it’s worth looking at the Wise multi-currency account as a comparison.

Here’s how the two providers measure up.

Service Wise multi-currency account fee⁸ Standard Chartered multi-currency account fee
Account opening Free Free
Fall below fee/service fee Not applicable Fall below or regular fees may apply depending on the account type
Available currencies 50+ Up tp 14
International ATM withdrawal costs First 2 withdrawals a month, to the value of SGD350 are free 1.75% fee applies after that 2% of withdrawal value - SGD5 to SGD60 Withdrawals are not possible from all account types
Cost to send an international payment Low, transparent fee Online - 1/16th commission + 1/16th in lieu of exchange (total SGD15 - SGD135) In person - 1/8th commission + 1/8th in lieu of exchange (total SGD30 - SGD170)
Cost to receive an international payment Free to receive payments SGD10 fee if the deposit is in the same currency as the account
Exchange rate The real mid-market exchange rate with no markup Standard Chartered rate which may include a markup

Choosing the right multi-currency account can make it easier to manage your money across currencies. Whether you’re an expat, studying overseas, or wanting to send regular foreign currency payments to loved ones abroad, the right MCA can cut your costs and be much more convenient than using your SGD account.

Check out the options available from Standard Chartered, alongside alternatives like the Wise multi-currency account to find the perfect fit for your needs.


Sources:
  1. https://www.sc.com/sg/save/current-accounts/bonussaver/
  2. https://av.sc.com/sg/content/docs/sg-scb-pricing-guide.pdf
  3. https://www.sc.com/sg/save/mca/
  4. https://www.sc.com/sg/save/savings-accounts/fcysaver/
  5. https://www.sc.com/sg/save/savings-accounts/usdsaver/
  6. https://www.sc.com/sg/save/time-deposits/foreign-currency-time-deposits/
  7. https://www.sc.com/sg/wealth/investment/livefx/
  8. https://wise.com/sg/multi-currency-account/pricing

Sources checked on 24th June 2021


Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

Money without borders

Find out more

Tips, news and updates for your location