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DBS vs. CitiBank: Opening accounts vs. ease of use

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Re: DBS vs. CitiBank: Opening accounts vs. ease of use

Post by Wd40 » Tue, 06 Jan 2015 11:14 pm

DBS allows up to 100k SGD online transfer in one shot and it is immediate. The maximum I have transferred 72K SGD, one shot to India.

 



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Re: DBS vs. CitiBank: Opening accounts vs. ease of use

Post by aster » Wed, 07 Jan 2015 3:05 pm

michellell wrote:So I closed my account with Citi a month ago. I opened an account with DBS (which was super easy), and they have a multi-currency account that allow you to keep US$, S$ and other currencies. I'm happy not having to deal with Citi Singapore. Hope this helps.
Ditto that.

I have several accounts here and Citi is by far the WORST I have dealt with. I sometimes wonder whether they are licensed to operate a circus in Singapore because it appears that is their core business.

If you need an international setup with easy (in fact instant and free) transfers between accounts, decent FX rates and having the same status for all accounts/locations, I think HSBC is your best option.

With Citi, even if you get Gold it counts for nothing for all your other global accounts with them. With HSBC if you are Premier anywhere... you get the same status everywhere.

As for local accounts, I think DBS will be great with its new multi-currency account (HSBC has one too) and good rates for currency conversions. Plus their website is very useful and everything can be done online (Citi is once again rock bottom in this regard - you cannot even change something simple like your residential/mailing address via internet banking...).

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Re: DBS vs. CitiBank: Opening accounts vs. ease of use

Post by zzm9980 » Wed, 07 Jan 2015 9:32 pm

Dert42 wrote: also people mentioned it, CitiBank ATMs are rare.
I can understand other gripes the other gripes, but not the ATM one. You can use Citi, HSBC, SCB, Maybank, or ANZ ATMs. They're all on the same transaction-fee-free network in Singapore. Plus Citi themselves have ATMs in every single MRT station.

For the fee limit on daily transfers, that is only a limit from Citi US outbound to anywhere else. It's a US legal thing, not just a random policy to hose people. There is also a hit on the exchange rate when you move the money, but as curiousgeorge said it really matters what amounts you're moving. Frequent small transactions are cheaper through citi, large transations cheaper through a normal wire.

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Re: DBS vs. CitiBank: Opening accounts vs. ease of use

Post by zzm9980 » Wed, 07 Jan 2015 9:34 pm

Wd40 wrote:DBS allows up to 100k SGD online transfer in one shot and it is immediate. The maximum I have transferred 72K SGD, one shot to India.
Only immediate to certain countries. I know they have DBSIndia, DBSIndonesia, and DBSHongKong transfers. Maybe other countries, but that is all I recall seeing. And I've never done India,but Indonesia and HK both take a few hours. DBS releases the money in about an hour (if before 3pm on a business day) but it's still up to the receiving bank to decide when to credit it.

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Re: DBS vs. CitiBank: Opening accounts vs. ease of use

Post by zzm9980 » Wed, 07 Jan 2015 9:37 pm

aster wrote:
michellell wrote:So I closed my account with Citi a month ago. I opened an account with DBS (which was super easy), and they have a multi-currency account that allow you to keep US$, S$ and other currencies. I'm happy not having to deal with Citi Singapore. Hope this helps.
Ditto that.

I have several accounts here and Citi is by far the WORST I have dealt with. I sometimes wonder whether they are licensed to operate a circus in Singapore because it appears that is their core business.

If you need an international setup with easy (in fact instant and free) transfers between accounts, decent FX rates and having the same status for all accounts/locations, I think HSBC is your best option.

With Citi, even if you get Gold it counts for nothing for all your other global accounts with them. With HSBC if you are Premier anywhere... you get the same status everywhere.

As for local accounts, I think DBS will be great with its new multi-currency account (HSBC has one too) and good rates for currency conversions. Plus their website is very useful and everything can be done online (Citi is once again rock bottom in this regard - you cannot even change something simple like your residential/mailing address via internet banking...).

And how much does HSBC require you to keep with them to have Premier? Somewhere like $200k? IMO if you have that much available to sit in low-earning bank accounts but you're worried about the fees on xfering money, you're missing the forest for the trees...

You can change your phone number and address online, I've done it multiple times myself. You have to send a secure message through Citi's Message Center, and pick the option "Update Contact Details". Send them the message and it's done in a day or so.

The worst bank by far for online usage is ANZ, where you can't even pay your credit card or see recent transactions.

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Re: DBS vs. CitiBank: Opening accounts vs. ease of use

Post by aster » Wed, 07 Jan 2015 10:12 pm

zzm9980 wrote:And how much does HSBC require you to keep with them to have Premier? Somewhere like $200k? IMO if you have that much available to sit in low-earning bank accounts but you're worried about the fees on xfering money, you're missing the forest for the trees...

You can change your phone number and address online, I've done it multiple times myself. You have to send a secure message through Citi's Message Center, and pick the option "Update Contact Details". Send them the message and it's done in a day or so.

The worst bank by far for online usage is ANZ, where you can't even pay your credit card or see recent transactions.
That's besides the point. The point is that Citi Gold status only applies in the country where you hold your funds. Everywhere else you have no status, just a basic account. With HSBC once you are Premier in one country they give you that status for all other account you have with them around the world.

HSBC = global bank. Citi = local circus.

I'm not worried about transfer costs, but with HSBC it's very useful to make immediate transfers between your global accounts. The funds are moved across instantly (and for free).

As for keeping funds with them, they don't have to be in some checking account. It's a relationship balance, so any investments or even loans will count. You technically have the option to pay for this status if it's worth $50/mth to you, so options galore.

ANZ might have a worse web site, I haven't seen it so I cannot comment. But Citi is still the dumps, regardless of how much ANZ could possibly be. I would stay away from Citi at all costs as there is simply no reason to torture oneself by having anything to do with them...

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Re: DBS vs. CitiBank: Opening accounts vs. ease of use

Post by Wd40 » Wed, 07 Jan 2015 11:38 pm

zzm9980 wrote:
Wd40 wrote:DBS allows up to 100k SGD online transfer in one shot and it is immediate. The maximum I have transferred 72K SGD, one shot to India.
Only immediate to certain countries. I know they have DBSIndia, DBSIndonesia, and DBSHongKong transfers. Maybe other countries, but that is all I recall seeing. And I've never done India,but Indonesia and HK both take a few hours. DBS releases the money in about an hour (if before 3pm on a business day) but it's still up to the receiving bank to decide when to credit it.
You are right, for some reason, I thought the India, Indonesia, HK and Philippines remittance channels are same as the rest of the countries and that since they are the most popular countries for remittance, there is a seperate section of the site to cater to them. But I am wrong, for the rest of the countries, it says next day transfer in most cases and 100K SGD limit.

So DBS is truely Asian bank, eh ? :) May be its got to do with the fact that they have branches in these countries? I dont know about other countries, but they have branches in India.

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Re: DBS vs. CitiBank: Opening accounts vs. ease of use

Post by Strong Eagle » Wed, 07 Jan 2015 11:57 pm

zzm9980 wrote:
Dert42 wrote: also people mentioned it, CitiBank ATMs are rare.
I can understand other gripes the other gripes, but not the ATM one. You can use Citi, HSBC, SCB, Maybank, or ANZ ATMs. They're all on the same transaction-fee-free network in Singapore. Plus Citi themselves have ATMs in every single MRT station.

For the fee limit on daily transfers, that is only a limit from Citi US outbound to anywhere else. It's a US legal thing, not just a random policy to hose people. There is also a hit on the exchange rate when you move the money, but as curiousgeorge said it really matters what amounts you're moving. Frequent small transactions are cheaper through citi, large transations cheaper through a normal wire.
A lot of the Citi ATM's are no longer part of this network. Not all but quite a few. Like at the airport, for example... quite irksome.

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Re: DBS vs. CitiBank: Opening accounts vs. ease of use

Post by zzm9980 » Thu, 08 Jan 2015 8:36 am

Strong Eagle wrote: A lot of the Citi ATM's are no longer part of this network. Not all but quite a few. Like at the airport, for example... quite irksome.
Strange, but I've never noticed this as I tend to do it the other way. Using my citi card in someone else's ATM.

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Re: DBS vs. CitiBank: Opening accounts vs. ease of use

Post by zzm9980 » Thu, 08 Jan 2015 8:41 am

aster wrote:
zzm9980 wrote:And how much does HSBC require you to keep with them to have Premier? Somewhere like $200k? IMO if you have that much available to sit in low-earning bank accounts but you're worried about the fees on xfering money, you're missing the forest for the trees...

You can change your phone number and address online, I've done it multiple times myself. You have to send a secure message through Citi's Message Center, and pick the option "Update Contact Details". Send them the message and it's done in a day or so.

The worst bank by far for online usage is ANZ, where you can't even pay your credit card or see recent transactions.
That's besides the point. The point is that Citi Gold status only applies in the country where you hold your funds. Everywhere else you have no status, just a basic account. With HSBC once you are Premier in one country they give you that status for all other account you have with them around the world.

HSBC = global bank. Citi = local circus.

I'm not worried about transfer costs, but with HSBC it's very useful to make immediate transfers between your global accounts. The funds are moved across instantly (and for free).
And now what you're saying is besides the point, as you don't need CitiGold status to have access to those immediate transfers the way HSBC requires it. It only has limitations from Citi US -> Citi ROTW, and I suspect HSBC may have similar things since it is US Treasury/Big Brother "Everyone is a terrorist or tax dodge" regulations that require them to do this.

HSBC Premier sounds a bit easier then the way you describe it if that is available to you. Unfortunately to us Americans (of which myself, and the OP both are), that isn't an option. They'll probably only give us basic standard savings and checking accounts.

Last, at least my personal reason for being a Citi-fanboy is still the ATM diversity. They're in a lot more countries in Asia (and a lot more of them in each) than HSBC, which is really important for me while traveling. I actually did used to use HSBC when I was still in the US living here and always had a hard time finding their ATMs wherever I went.

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Re: DBS vs. CitiBank: Opening accounts vs. ease of use

Post by Strong Eagle » Thu, 08 Jan 2015 10:08 am

zzm9980 wrote:
Strong Eagle wrote: A lot of the Citi ATM's are no longer part of this network. Not all but quite a few. Like at the airport, for example... quite irksome.
Strange, but I've never noticed this as I tend to do it the other way. Using my citi card in someone else's ATM.
Pissed me off royally... flew out of T2 all the time... Citi ATM was the only available ATM in T2 for a Stanchart customer like me. Stopped working... if I wanted cash I needed to buzz over to new T3 in order to get an ATM.

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Re: DBS vs. CitiBank: Opening accounts vs. ease of use

Post by aster » Thu, 08 Jan 2015 11:39 am

zzm9980 wrote:And now what you're saying is besides the point...
The point was that if you are going to maintain a global network of accounts with a single financial institution then it helps if they give you that status/benefits throughout. HSBC does this, Citi doesn't.

Not sure about US transfers, closed down my US accounts over 15+ years ago and haven't had a need for one since.
zzm9980 wrote:They're in a lot more countries in Asia (and a lot more of them in each) than HSBC, which is really important for me while traveling...
Couldn't care less what ATM I use. You realise your card will work in other machines, right? There might be the odd $3.50 fee charged, hardly worth stressing over.

Unless the point you are making is that the system can work like crap in some countries, making even something as simple as a cash withdrawal a major problem. In this case I would agree with you that being able to head to the nearest branch for an emergency cash withdrawal from the ATM there would be useful.

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Re: DBS vs. CitiBank: Opening accounts vs. ease of use

Post by Strong Eagle » Thu, 08 Jan 2015 11:47 am

aster wrote:Couldn't care less what ATM I use. You realise your card will work in other machines, right? There might be the odd $3.50 fee charged, hardly worth stressing over
In Singapore this is totally incorrect. Your ATM card will only work in your bank's ATM or the network that is associated with it. Contrast this to American banks. Contrast this to doing withdrawals in Malaysia and elsewhere where both your card and the machine are tagged with 'Cirrus' and some such.

You can stick you DBS/POSB ATM card into a Stanchart ATM all day and you won't get shit.

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Re: DBS vs. CitiBank: Opening accounts vs. ease of use

Post by aster » Thu, 08 Jan 2015 3:45 pm

Strong Eagle wrote:
aster wrote:Couldn't care less what ATM I use. You realise your card will work in other machines, right? There might be the odd $3.50 fee charged, hardly worth stressing over
In Singapore this is totally incorrect. Your ATM card will only work in your bank's ATM or the network that is associated with it. Contrast this to American banks. Contrast this to doing withdrawals in Malaysia and elsewhere where both your card and the machine are tagged with 'Cirrus' and some such.

You can stick you DBS/POSB ATM card into a Stanchart ATM all day and you won't get shit.
That part of the discussion was focused on zzm9980's assertion that he sees a lot more of his ATMs in other Asian countries when travelling.

In Singapore as you mentioned all ATM networks are "ring-fenced" for locals. A tourist can use all ATMs and it doesn't make a difference which one because the exchange rate even will be identical for all banks (unless one chooses to get ripped off by letting the bank decide the conversion rate on the spot), but locals can only use their own bank's ATMs/ATM network.

In the case of a DBS/POSB account holder I don't think they'll stress too much when it comes to finding their own machines. Of course the line in front of the ATM might be an entirely different story... :)

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Re: DBS vs. CitiBank: Opening accounts vs. ease of use

Post by zzm9980 » Thu, 08 Jan 2015 4:32 pm

aster wrote:
Strong Eagle wrote:
aster wrote:Couldn't care less what ATM I use. You realise your card will work in other machines, right? There might be the odd $3.50 fee charged, hardly worth stressing over
In Singapore this is totally incorrect. Your ATM card will only work in your bank's ATM or the network that is associated with it. Contrast this to American banks. Contrast this to doing withdrawals in Malaysia and elsewhere where both your card and the machine are tagged with 'Cirrus' and some such.

You can stick you DBS/POSB ATM card into a Stanchart ATM all day and you won't get shit.
That part of the discussion was focused on zzm9980's assertion that he sees a lot more of his ATMs in other Asian countries when travelling.

In Singapore as you mentioned all ATM networks are "ring-fenced" for locals. A tourist can use all ATMs and it doesn't make a difference which one because the exchange rate even will be identical for all banks (unless one chooses to get ripped off by letting the bank decide the conversion rate on the spot), but locals can only use their own bank's ATMs/ATM network.

In the case of a DBS/POSB account holder I don't think they'll stress too much when it comes to finding their own machines. Of course the line in front of the ATM might be an entirely different story... :)
$3.50+ extortionairy exchange rates. And actually like Singapore, many places like Vietnam have plenty of ATMs not on a common network like Cirrus.

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