CIMB vs DBS – Which Time Deposit Earns You The Better Interest Rate?


Fixed deposit accounts are finance shoulders you can always lean on when you need them even though they may not be the most inflation-proof form of investment. They are the detox diet plans of the investment world, but they aren’t too appetizing for ambitious portfolios.

Most Singaporean fixed deposit accounts, AKA time deposits, have a three-year lock-in period. Although you do not enjoy much liquidity or grand returns via interest rates in FDs, they are a highly stable form of investment that offers more attractive interest rates than typical savings accounts.

It is a lot more secure than pumping in your money in stocks as FD rates are fixed and immune from market fluctuations, and you do not have to exercise constant vigilance regarding the health of your investment. The average fixed deposit interest rates in the current Singaporean market are hovering close to the 1.15% mark.

Singapore banks have stepped up their competition for more FD investors as the economy finally sees an upward trend in interest rates after an extensive era of remarkably low rates. Banks have become eager to lock-in deposits in anticipation of a rise in the cost of borrowing funds due to the competition from yuan deposits and tapering of quantitative easing by the US Federal Reserve.

Just like any investment, picking the right FD entails a fair bit of research and analysis on your end too in order to get the best benefits from them. For your consideration, here is a head-to-head comparison of 2 popular fixed deposit schemes in Singapore that cater well to investors with all kinds of requirements:

CIMB Time Deposit

This account lets you save a fixed amount of money in Singapore Dollars (S$) for a fixed period at a fixed interest rate. With a minimum deposit amount of merely S$1,000, the CIMB time deposit scheme offers some of the most competitive interest rates available in the market.

Apart from this, it also provides a host of tenors to choose from that can range between 1-24 months. However, the minimum deposit required to qualify for 1-month and 2-month tenors is S$5,000. As you can see below, the interest rates climb steadily throughout all tenors so that investors can make targeted withdrawals whenever they deem necessary instead of holding out for growth through tedious lock-in periods.



 (S$1,000 – S$99,999; Above S$100,000)

1 month

0.10%; 0.10%

2 months

0.12%; 0.15%

3 months

0.15%; 0.23%

6 months

0.25%; 0.40%

9 months

0.30%; 0.50%

12 months

0.30%; 0.50%

24 months

0.875%; 0.90%

For Singaporeans with hungrier portfolio appetites and optimum savings to invest, the CIMB Singapore Dollar Step Up FD is another alluring alternative to choose from that offers better interest rates and is subject to a minimum qualifying amount of $10,000. You can either opt for the 12-month or the 5-year tenor.

Witness the growth of your deposit as your Step Up interest rates enjoy an increment between 0.50% – 2.95% p.a. In addition to this, you are not liable for any early withdrawal penalties, which make this FD scheme, stand above many others in this regard.

DBS Singapore Dollar Time Deposit

Although the interest rates offered by DBS aren’t the fastest or flashiest, the Singapore Dollar Time Deposit is easily one of the most accessible savings schemes in the market.

With a minimum deposit amount requirement of S$1,000, it offers a wide variety of tenors ranging from 1 day to 24 months; thereby ensuring you have a great deal of flexibility at your disposal. This FD is ideal for young Singaporean graduates who need to sort out their education loan repayments at the end of their courses, or for new parents looking to save up for a rainy day.



 (S$1,000 – $999,999)

11 months or less


12 Months


18 Months


24 Months


If you are at least 55 years old, you can also opt for the more attractive DBS Premier Income Account, which grants you a preferential interest rate of 0.10% in addition to first tier rates specified above. It offers a wide selection of tenors ranging from 6 months to 24 months for a minimum deposit amount of S$1,000.

All in all, this FD delivers the security of a regular income along with a number of benefits such as special discounts on foreign currency exchange.

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