Couple managing finances with a joint account.

What's In It for Us: 3 Ways Joint Accounts Work for Couples

What is the best way to manage your finances? It's challenging enough to do this alone; and with your spouse, there are so many more factors to take into account! That’s because your decisions on how you spend your time and money will now impact others, and the impact lasts.

One of the best ways to begin this new chapter of life is with a joint account where both of you credit your salaries and dividends. But to really maximise your joint account in Singapore, you’ll want to ensure it earns the highest interest rates and rewards you for planning your finances as a new family unit.

This combination comes in handy: a joint account with individual DBS Multiplier Accounts.

Building a life together involves a myriad of spending and savings choices. And the DBS Multiplier helps you take advantage of these choices, letting you unlock interest from paying your utility bills, charging to your DBS credit card to buy the anniversary gift, or in time to come, paying for the kid's tuition fees.

What is a joint account, and why choose one?

A joint account is similar to one that you may already have on your own – but with at least two people having access to it. This type of account allows you to combine forces into growing your nest egg a little faster than you would on your own.

Advantages and disadvantages of joint accounts

There are many other advantages to joint accounts. It helps with budgeting and reduces the hassle of transferring money to your spouse for household bills. A joint account also prevents an individual from building up a personal credit line that may be detrimental in the long run.

You can even open a joint account before marriage! This provides the transparency that can help couples build trust.

Are there disadvantages? Some couples prefer to keep their finances separate, and cite privacy as one reason. Another concern is that the joint account may have to be unravelled if your relationship status changes. However, even when couples are no longer together, joint accounts can still be used to transfer larger sums between parties who no longer live under the same roof.

But what happens to a joint account in Singapore when someone dies? In the event of death, the joint account balance will be passed to the surviving owner. It's even more straight-forward with a joint-alternate account, because all account holders can perform transactions independently.

Joint account vs. Joint-alternate account

When applying, you'll have to choose between a "Joint account" and "Joint-alternate account". The difference is: Whether all account holders need to give official consent to make a transaction.

With a "joint account", all account holders must agree to all transactions. Whereas with a "joint-alternate account", you can perform transactions independently, and do not need consent from the other account holders. (It's probably polite to let them know though, to build trust and transparency!)

Benefits of a joint account with Multiplier account

Here are some tips to help in your search for the best joint account in Singapore when you combine the DBS Multiplier with a joint account such as My Account and eMySavings Account.

#1:  Earn higher interest by "stacking" your salaries

Typically, couples manage their joint accounts in one of these ways:

  • Both contribute a fixed percentage;
  • Both contribute a fixed amount; or
  • Both credit all their salaries and investment dividends in

You can maximise the interest earned by opening your own Multiplier Accounts. Here's how it works: Bank your salaries into the joint account to qualify for higher eligible transaction tiers, and earn interest on the average daily balance in your individual DBS Multiplier Accounts.

Getting more benefits with a joint account

Scenario 1: Both John and Mary credit their salaries and dividends into a joint account.

scenario1

Scenario 2: Only George credits his salary into a joint account.

scenario2

You can still benefit even if you're a gig economy worker, or are between jobs. Here's how:

  1. Credit your investment dividends into your joint account, and use PayLah! to pay for your purchases at physical retail shops. Just make sure it adds up to at least S$500 each month.

    That's because PayLah! retail spends are also counted for the first S$10,000 in your DBS Multiplier Account. And if your situation changes, your DBS Multiplier Account is smart enough to figure out the best route to higher returns for you and bae.

  2. Use your SingPass log-in to connect your financial information to NAV Planner (via SGFinDex), and make your usual credit card purchases, home loan repayments, and other financial commitments.

    Connecting to SGFinDex each month allows you to meet the mandatory criteria if you don't have a monthly salary or dividend to credit. It also provides a holistic view of your finances, so that planning your financials becomes much easier.

    That's because we’ve designed DBS Multiplier Account to complement the key aspects of financial planning and reward you for your commitments.

#2:  Get more out of your spending with Multiplier

Starting a life together is likely to lead to additional payments, premiums and costs. For instance, life insurance, mortgage payments, utilities, groceries, among others. These are just some of the payments that you will have to make together. Why not make these payments give you something in return?

With the DBS Multiplier, couples can make payments and purchases that could give you back even more in interest.

Say you each have spending on your own credit cards and have met the mandatory criteria. For the first S$50,000 in your DBS Multiplier Account, the interest can be as high as 2.00% each year.

If you add a DBS/POSB home loan onto that, you’ll unlock a 3.00% p.a. interest on your next S$50,000. This would be one of the highest interest rates that you could earn in Singapore!

#3:  Plan better for your life together

A survey from the United States said married couples fight about money (70%) more than anything else. In Singapore, money is among the top conflict-causing issues, according to The Asian Parent. The CPF savings website says a couple that manages finances well is a happy couple. The main sources of friction are debt, budgeting and random, frivolous purchases.

This is why married couples should have joint bank accounts: Having a joint account creates transparency (and builds trust), while helping you and your partner grow your little nest egg.

In addition, setting couple goals creates financial discipline, encouraging you to work within your budgets and save for something much bigger like a new house, the bucket list vacation in Machu Picchu, or more tuition classes for the kids as their major exams approach.

It's easy to apply for DBS Multiplier and joint account

How do you open a joint account in Singapore? At DBS and POSB, everything is done online in a safe, secure manner. You never have to visit a branch if you don’t want to, fill in dozens of forms or make a thousand declarations after the one you've already made to the "one". You can even open a joint account if not married, which is so useful for wedding expenses and furnishing the marital home.

What do you need to open a joint bank account? Existing DBS/POSB customers can apply for My Account and eMySavings Account through your digibanking account. New DBS/POSB customers will need to submit a few more documents so you’ll want to prepare for that with this list.

A joint account, with all the benefits you gain through a DBS Multiplier, is one of the best ways to kick-start your savings journey and at the same time look to get something back through your spending.

Estimate how much interest you could earn each year with the joint account + Multiplier combination.

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Deposit Insurance Scheme
Singapore dollar deposits of non-bank depositors and monies and deposits denominated in Singapore dollars under the Supplementary Retirement Scheme are insured by the Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation, for up to S$75,000 in aggregate per depositor per Scheme member by law. Monies and deposits denominated in Singapore dollars under the CPF Investment Scheme and CPF Retirement Sum Scheme are aggregated and separately insured up to S$75,000 for each depositor per Scheme member. Foreign currency deposits, dual currency investments, structured deposits and other investment products are not insured.

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