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Going to Study, Work or Invest in the US? Here’s Why You Should Be Looking at the DBS Multi-Currency Account Now

MoneySmart logo MoneySmart 10/8/2018 Mark Cheng
Golden Gate Bridge over a body of water: dbs multi-currency account © Provided by Catapult Ventures Pte Ltd dbs multi-currency account This post was written in collaboration with DBS. While we are financially compensated by them, we nonetheless strive to maintain our editorial integrity and review products with the same objective lens. We are committed to providing the best recommendations and advice in order for you to make personal financial decisions with confidence. You can view our Editorial Guidelines here. These days, getting access to different currencies is hardly as complicated as it used to be. For the average Singaporean, changing your Singapore dollars into a different currency used to involve checking rates daily before making a decision to rush down to your preferred money changer to make sure you got what you thought was going to be the best rate possible. This is why we previously wrote about why it makes a lot of sense to open a Multi-Currency Account, and DBS is now having a deal for USD deposits with their DBS Multi-Currency Account, which is great for different groups of people travelling to the US or transacting in USD even more. We’ll get to that later, but what exactly is on offer?  

The DBS Multi-Currency Account (MCA) USD Deposits Promo

Enjoy 2.5% p.a. interest on USD deposits in your MCA from 1 Sept – 31 Dec 2018 - all you need to do is deposit fresh funds of min. US$10,000 (max US$1,000,000) into your MCA and register before 31 Aug 2018, then maintain it for the duration of the promo.   You’ll also receive a S$25 FX Rebate if you choose to convert the fresh funds from SGD to USD. Sounds simple enough right? But what would you do with the deposited funds? Here are a few situations:  

1. Storing money at an ideal rate for those travelling to US for work or study

For many of us, changing money when we’re going overseas, be it for work or play, tends to be a rather last minute affair. You are then at the mercy of foreign exchange rates at the point of changing currencies. With the DBS MCA, you not only get to exchange foreign currency at your own preferred rates, but even receive FX Alerts when your rates are met, so you don’t have to watch exchange rates like a hawk and let DBS do it for you instead. With a little planning, you can get even more with the current DBS MCA promotion. For parents whose kids might be heading off to start university soon in the US, or for Singaporeans going to the US for a short work stint, this is definitely a good way to earn a little more without even really having to do anything. The DBS MCA also gives you the added benefit of staying safer by not having to carry around a lot of cash on you, and simultaneously avoiding overseas ATM fees because you can transact directly in USD with your linked DBS Visa Debit Card, without having to withdraw cash.  

2. Remitting money overseas, especially if you’re a US expat

For expats working in Singapore, this current promotion is great for those who need to remit USD overseas. This is where good planning is necessary. You not only benefit from exchanging money at your desired rate, but earn even more at the same time with the 2.5% p.a. interest. Plus, when you do transfer after the 4 months, you’ll get to enjoy same-day transfers at S$0 when doing so online with DBS Remit!  

3. Shopping online on US websites

This is one use case where the core benefit of the DBS MCA is a huge factor. The DBS MCA doesn’t incur any conversion fees or extra charges that you would typically incur should you just pay for your online purchases normally with a regular credit card. These two key fees that can add up quite a bit are:
  • Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) fees: This happens on many popular e-commerce sites when transactions in foreign currencies are converted to SGD for payment by the site itself.
  • Double conversion fees: This typically happens on sites where payment goes through two rounds of currency conversion e.g. Transaction in British Pounds gets converted by the bank to USD first as a universal standard for all foreign currency transactions and then subsequently converts it to SGD.
  • Processing fees: On top of the fees incurred from currency conversion, you also incur charges from payment platforms such as Visa, Mastercard and Amex.
All these fees can add up to a significant amount that you would be paying for no good reason whatsoever if you hadn’t used the MCA to pay for your purchases.  

4. Investing in the US market

When it comes to investing, some people aren’t aware that double conversion might happen as well. The best part is that the DBS MCA can be paired with a DBS Vickers account to make trading in foreign markets a seamless process. The pairing allows you to perform Foreign Currency Cash Upfront Trades in 7 overseas markets, including the US, which means that you trade at a lower commission rate. This pairing also makes keeping track of multiple accounts for different currencies much easier, especially when it comes to investing. You also don’t suffer an unnecessary dent in your earnings because of unfavourable rates from DCC.  

What else do I need to know about the DBS MCA?

Including USD, you can buy and save 12 foreign currencies at your preferred rate 24/7, and also enjoy 5% cashback on all foreign currency spend – online or overseas – with your linked DBS Visa Debit Card. And if you sign up for the DBS MCA online, you will receive a S$20 cash gift. Regardless of whether you are in Singapore or travelling overseas, the ease of buying and saving in foreign currencies makes this pretty much a no brainer. And you’d have to agree that being able to earn 2.5% p.a. on your USD deposits from Sept – Dec 2018 certainly makes the deal that much sweeter. Terms and Conditions apply. Insured up to S$50k by SDIC. The post Going to Study, Work or Invest in the US? Here's Why You Should Be Looking at the DBS Multi-Currency Account Now appeared first on the MoneySmart blog.

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