Saturday, 24 August 2019

Standard Chartered Unlimited$aver - Yay or Nay?

Is Standard Chartered's Unlimited$aver worth signing up for?

Video screencap from Standard Chartered
As the product teaser goes,
"Been scoring 1.5% cashback with your Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Credit Card? Now you can unlock our highest cashback* of 5% with Unlimited$aver."
I've been seeing so many ads for this product lately that it piqued my interest, and so I took a closer look at it. My conclusion? Nay.

How does it work?

At first glance, it definitely seems promising enough - 5% cashback is among the highest in the cashback market right now. Unfortunately, once you start to compare among the other options you could go for with the same amount of funds, the attractiveness of SC's promotion starts to fade away.

Let's first look at how SC's Unlimited$aver seems compelling:

With $100k of funds in your Unlimited$aver bank account, you're immediately eligible to earn 5% cashback on all your credit card spend. And even if you don't have a 6-figure lump sum to deposit, anything above $50k will also get you 3% which isn't shabby at all.

Unfortunately, what you're getting is a 5% cashback on your credit card spend, and NOT 5% interest on your savings. 

The alternatives 

This makes a big difference because if you were to put the same funds into other high-yield savings accounts, you could get so much more:

With $75,000 of deposits and $600 credit card spend each month, you could get:

  • $435 on Standard Chartered's Unlimited$aver + SC Unlimited Cashback Credit Card
    • $75 savings interest + $360 cashback
  • $1,827 on UOB's One Account + $200 cashback from UOB One Credit Card
    • $600 monthly credit card spend + 3 GIRO transactions
  • $1,547 on DBS Multiplier + $456 cashback from DBS Live Fresh Credit Card
    • $600 monthly credit card spend + $500 home loan + $100 investments 
    • Earn $938 interest if only 1 banking transaction eg. salary credit + credit card spend
If your choice is only between the 3, which account and card will you choose?

The biggest catch that SC buries in their T&Cs? That you'll only be getting 0.1% p.a. on your savings deposit:

I don't know about you, but based on the numbers, I'd definitely choose to go with DBS Multiplier in this case.

So is Standard Chartered's Unlimited$aver account bad?

Of course, that doesn't mean that Standard Chartered's Unlimited$aver account is not for everyone, and I'll share one way you could use it to your advantage. But first, ask yourself these questions:
  • Are you spending more than $600 on your credit card(s) each month?
  • Have you already locked in your salary credit with another bank?
  • Do you have more than $50,000 of funds lying around with nowhere else to put them in?
If you answered yes to all the 3 questions above, then the Unlimited$aver might just be a solution for you. But before you jump to register, you might want to compare it against the UOB Stash account first, which can pay you $329 of interest on your savings deposits alone. Depending on your spending habits, you might just find that the UOB Stash account could be more rewarding than SC's Unlimited$aver account.

This is NOT a sponsored post for Standard Chartered's Unlimited$aver.

With love,
Budget Babe

Thursday, 8 August 2019

How can investors ride on China's growth?

China companies might be the next big thing. How can investors tap on their growth?

Image credits

For the first time ever, China has surpassed the US in having more Chinese companies on the Fortune 500 list.

American companies have traditionally dominated this list, as history will show you. However, a total of 129 Chinese companies made it to the list this year, surpassing the 121 American companies which include the usual suspects, Apple and Google. 

I've no doubt that China offers one of the biggest investment opportunities today. For those of us who missed out on investing in US giants (eg. Amazon) because we were just too young then, China might be our next chance.

And I'm not the only one who thinks so. Even Charlie Munger feel the same way, and has been pushing Warren Buffett to invest more in China. As told to CNBC, Charlie Munger said,

"The best companies in China are cheaper than the best companies in the United States."

Munger also went on to say, "I don't think it would be all that hard for any smart person to find 4 or 5 great companies in China to invest in." He also revealed that his family is also "substantially invested" in China and begun buying stocks since 14 years ago.

Of course, there are still barriers to investing in Chinese companies, as their numbers are not always fully transparent, and they are not governed with the same strict compliance or regulations as companies in the US, Singapore or even Hong Kong are.

Nonetheless, never say never. I've begun my research into top Chinese companies and stocks that would be worth investing in, and will be dedicating a portion of my investment portfolio to it under the growth category. For those of you on my Patreon, you can expect a list of my shortlisted Chinese companies that I'll be putting on my watchlist shortly. But to hedge my risks, this time I'll be flying into China to do due diligence on the ground as well, since the Internet can't always be trusted when it comes to things you read and hear about China.

Till next time!

With love,
Budget Babe