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Discuss about life in Singapore. Ask about cost of living, housing, travel, etiquette & lifestyle. Share experience & advice with Singaporeans & expat staying in Singapore.
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julietzhuye
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Post by julietzhuye » Fri, 19 Mar 2010 7:24 pm

HSBC is horrible, I was referred to open an HSBC account from UK HSBC, but they made my life difficult by asking so many different documents...
opened one easily at Citibank and enjoyed their service so far...

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aster
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Post by aster » Sat, 20 Mar 2010 1:06 am

HSBC is great for a corporate bank account, I can recommend it highly. Not so sure about their personal accounts though as they don't stand out in any way...

At the end of the day I would say that you definitely need multiple accounts if you live here and want to take advantage of the perks on offer. Forget all the other banks, get accounts with UOB and DBS. UOB is the #1 choice for great dining offers (today was the second day in a row that I went to the AquaMarine buffet at the Marina Mandarin Hotel for lunch and absolutely loved it). It's normally $44pp inclusive of all taxes/charges, but thanks to UOB their cardholders get a 1-for-1 offer so my wife and I had lunch there for a combined total of... $44. :) Best sushi I've had here too...

Bottom line - you need a UOB account if you live here. DBS is up next, also lots of interesting offers, probably ranks #2 in this department. I'm with them because they have the best air miles accrual card on the market.

Altogether UOB+DBS are the main banks I would go with. Yeah, Citibank tries its best and so does S&C, but neither can compete with the first two in terms of your everyday privileges here in Sing. :)

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Post by Segue » Sat, 27 Mar 2010 9:52 am

For international transfers, if you can meet the deposit requirements of the Premier Account, HSBC its positively the best route for expats. Once you are a Premier, you can become a Premier in any of your other accounts world-wide and you can see all of the accounts from one page. Transfers among them are seamless and real time, with no fees other than what they take on basis points for the exchange.

For local banking, also have another account like DBS or UOB since they have more ATMs available.

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Post by missis » Sat, 27 Mar 2010 9:57 am

But HSBC give terrible exchange rates when doing TTs etc. Often quite a spread. That said, the online thing as PP just stated is very good.

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aster
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Post by aster » Sat, 27 Mar 2010 11:11 am

It all depends on what's you're looking for, be it 1-for-1 dining specials, racking up air miles, etc...

And a lot depends on just how many accounts you're willing to open. :)

If I was pressed against the wall I would name UOB as the must-have bank/account in Sing due to their restaurant offers. Then again if you only cook at home this might not be of much use... ;)

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Post by RalphVR » Wed, 31 Mar 2010 10:03 am

Hey there..

Irrespective of what ur looking for , based on basic banking requirements, I can say UOB or DBS can be the best for you. Both hav exeptional ATM network through out the island, and branches too.

UOB: you can even deposit $5 notes (cool)
You can withdraw as less as $10.

DBS: you can deposit into the cash deposit machine a minimum of $10. (single note).
Minimum withdrawal is $20

So I personally think UOB is the best..
And regarding interest, you know all banks in sg are more or less the same... lol

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aster
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Post by aster » Wed, 31 Mar 2010 11:14 am

The problem with DBS is poor branch locations and/or utterly horrible lines to get anything done over the counter (I have NEVER, EVER stood in line for less than 30 mins.).

For branch locations I think OCBC is the best, followed by UOB and Standard Chartered.

UOB is also a good choice for ATMs as they are rarely busy, plus I believe that they have a deal with OCBC whereby customers can use each other's ATMs.

As for interest, forget thinking about it over here...

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ScoobyDoes
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Post by ScoobyDoes » Wed, 31 Mar 2010 11:49 am

I personally have UOB and HSBC....... UOB for everything local and a HSBC for everything international but I am fortunate enough to keep the Premier Account with them.

HSBC-SG really SUCKS for service. I really detest it and especially in comparison to all the good, simple, hastle free encounters I get with UOB and HSBC everywhere else outside Singapore. Okay the HSBC in Hong Kong is not brilliant either but it's fine and definately better than here.

HSBC themselves admit, though, their charges are higher, their interest in savings is lower, their T/T costs are higher and the exchange rates worse BUT IF you need to have a worldwide banking presence it's pretty good and simple but again, only if you can keep a Premier Account active. I think better than Shitibank.

Our company has HSBC as well, and that equally sucks!

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aster
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Post by aster » Wed, 31 Mar 2010 2:47 pm

Apart from being able to transfer funds between HSBC accounts in various countries, I don't think that Premier status gives anything meaningful.

DBS Treasures would be better here as you get on of the best cards on the market and you no longer have to suffer in their long queues...

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ScoobyDoes
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Post by ScoobyDoes » Wed, 31 Mar 2010 5:59 pm

aster wrote:Apart from being able to transfer funds between HSBC accounts in various countries, I don't think that Premier status gives anything meaningful.

You say that like it is meaningless.

Either way the credit card and rewards are okay as is the availability and service around much of the globe.

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Post by x9200 » Wed, 31 Mar 2010 7:04 pm

ScoobyDoes wrote:Either way the credit card and rewards are okay as is the availability and service around much of the globe.
Hsbc gold visa/mc, the only CCs I had ever problems with (a number of times) while trying to charge to it in Europe.

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aster
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Post by aster » Wed, 31 Mar 2010 7:58 pm

ScoobyDoes wrote:
aster wrote:Apart from being able to transfer funds between HSBC accounts in various countries, I don't think that Premier status gives anything meaningful.

You say that like it is meaningless.

Either way the credit card and rewards are okay as is the availability and service around much of the globe.
Well, yes, the feeling I get is that it is quite meaningless. Actually not quite, but very much so.

What are the Rewards like, how many miles can you clock up and at what ratio?

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Post by stiwi » Fri, 02 Apr 2010 2:29 pm

I think that StanChart is well understimated. Their xtrasaver account is one of the best product on the market:

- 2-5% cashback on normal debit card spending depending on your account balance (max S$300 / month).
- No monthly and fail-below fees.
- Dining privileges regardless of which SCB card you will charge a bill into (debit or credit)
- Well presented dining privileges with direct URLs to restaurants / hotels and location maps. All other banks simply cannot compare here (maybe except DBS).
- It's a must have if you are into arabic / lebanese cuisine and often hangs out on Arab Street or Holland Avenue. SCB has a lot of dining privileges there.
- Good time period promotions, like current one: 5% cashback on your Cold Storage spendings in March and April.
- free internet banking, free 1st chequebook, possibility of sending international bank wires online, free debit card.

As for the exchange rates, they all seem to offer pretty much same rates. So if you plan to exchange more than 5k€, Xe.com might be an option.

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aster
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Post by aster » Fri, 02 Apr 2010 6:03 pm

stiwi wrote:- 2-5% cashback on normal debit card spending depending on your account balance (max S$300 / month).
Hi mate, if you collect air miles then DBS is a much better option here, and will get you much more than a 5% return on the end value of your flight redemptions.

stiwi wrote:- Well presented dining privileges with direct URLs to restaurants / hotels and location maps. All other banks simply cannot compare here (maybe except DBS).
The problem is that SC's privileges are generally in the "10-15% discount" bracket. I have never seen a truly good promo offered by this bank. UOB, on the other hand, offers a fair amount of 1-for-1 promos and is considered the best bank to be with for dining privileges.

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