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USD - DBS Multi-Currency Account (MCA) or CIMB Foreign Currency Savings Account

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Old 13-06-2019, 11:01 PM   #1
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USD - DBS Multi-Currency Account (MCA) or CIMB Foreign Currency Savings Account

please help me decide which 1 is better.
I want to make occasional USD transfer to and from to USA bank account.
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Old 13-06-2019, 11:48 PM   #2
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1. You're going to be admonished ad nauseam on this forum that there is no point in holding foreign currency with a local bank in Singapore, given that it is not insured. You've been warned.

2. I am looking into getting an appropriate US$ holding account *temporarily* right now myself, so will watch your thread with interest.

3. Receiving US$ deposits from abroad is free in CIMB, but not in DBS even if you think the funds will be credited directly the US$ "wallet" within the MCA. No idea why this difference between banks, but that's the way it is. BOC also has an MCA and incoming forex (and S$) deposits there are free too.

4. The thing I'm finding odd is that transferring US$ from the US$ part of an MCA at DBS to another US$ MCA or CIMB Forex Savings/Account within Singapore is not free, and not even available online. I get that the Singapore system is, well, geared towards S$ transactions but there is a disparity between that and the US$ Local Cheque Clearing System. Given that Singapore has a cheque clearing system, why can't DBS just issue a US$ draft for free out of US$ deposits held with it? They got a fee when S$ was first converted to US$, or when funds were TT'd into the account. Now they want extra money to withdraw it in the same currency (with no wire transfers involved)!
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Old 22-06-2019, 07:40 AM   #3
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You need to maintain min balance (SGD$3000?) with DBS and they don't provide you with USD cheque book so you're stuck with USD that can only be transmitted via bank wire (TT) in event you need to change to another local bank.
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Old 22-06-2019, 07:50 AM   #4
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1. You're going to be admonished ad nauseam on this forum that there is no point in holding foreign currency with a local bank in Singapore, given that it is not insured. You've been warned.
yea... foreign currencies are not insured but if you need to transact there no other choices so make sure you maintain min balance in the account. Banks doesn't go bank run/bankrupt that easy since we have proper governance and regulations here. So bank with confidence and ignore those naysayers.

4. The thing I'm finding odd is that transferring US$ from the US$ part of an MCA at DBS to another US$ MCA or CIMB Forex Savings/Account within Singapore is not free, and not even available online. I get that the Singapore system is, well, geared towards S$ transactions but there is a disparity between that and the US$ Local Cheque Clearing System. Given that Singapore has a cheque clearing system, why can't DBS just issue a US$ draft for free out of US$ deposits held with it? They got a fee when S$ was first converted to US$, or when funds were TT'd into the account. Now they want extra money to withdraw it in the same currency (with no wire transfers involved)!
It is free if the bank you deposited your USD with issue you with USD cheque book. Like SGD, local clearing USD cheque within local banks is free. As mentioned above post, DBS doesn't do that so you incur additional fees if you tried to move it within local banks. I am not sure which are the other banks that issue USD cheque book locally but I know ICBC and Maybank do (as I use both of them).

Believe me things have improved much these years, 15 years ago there no such thing as multi-currencies account.

Last edited by Hafi; 22-06-2019 at 07:55 AM..
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Old 22-06-2019, 12:46 PM   #5
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My experience has been different.

I have a DBS multi currency account for the purposes of funding my son’s education overseas, our holidays overseas and online shopping. I have funded my DBS account with GBP and EUR by converting SGD with DBS as well as from other 3rd party money-changers. When the 3rd party money-changers credit my DBS account with the foreign currency e.g. GBP, I received the exact amount without any deductions in my DBS account.

When I did an online transfer of GBP from my DBS account to my wife/son’s joint account with HSBC UK, the transfer was done without deduction for any fees from either DBS or HSBC UK e.g. I transferred GBP50k from DBS, the full amount was credited into the HSBC UK account. I wasn’t charged any fees for the online transfer as well.

When I made foreign currency payments using my DBS debit card which is linked to my DBS multi currency account, the payments were deducted without any fees e.g. I paid EUR1,000 using my debit card in Italy, the exact EUR1,000 was debited from my DBS account’s EUR wallet, no more, no less.

We don’t do any physical cash transactions.

I also won’t worry too much about having my deposits insured with the bank since the insurance coverage is not high anyway. Imagine those rich individuals with banking accounts holding their multi million dollar deposits. Insurance coverage of their deposits is negligible compared to the amount they have with the bank. What is more important is the creditstanding of the bank. If the bank is weak, don’t put your money with that bank.

Last edited by whizzard; 22-06-2019 at 12:50 PM..
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Old 22-06-2019, 06:45 PM   #6
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I have a DBS multi currency account for the purposes of funding my sonís education overseas, our holidays overseas and online shopping. I have funded my DBS account with GBP and EUR by converting SGD with DBS as well as from other 3rd party money-changers. When the 3rd party money-changers credit my DBS account with the foreign currency e.g. GBP, I received the exact amount without any deductions in my DBS account.
The 3rd party money-changers already earned their fees via fx spread so you won't see further deductions from the amount you received in your account.

When I did an online transfer of GBP from my DBS account to my wife/sonís joint account with HSBC UK, the transfer was done without deduction for any fees from either DBS or HSBC UK e.g. I transferred GBP50k from DBS, the full amount was credited into the HSBC UK account. I wasnít charged any fees for the online transfer as well.
Overseas remittances to certain countries are free right now, I believed UK is one of the them.


When I made foreign currency payments using my DBS debit card which is linked to my DBS multi currency account, the payments were deducted without any fees e.g. I paid EUR1,000 using my debit card in Italy, the exact EUR1,000 was debited from my DBS accountís EUR wallet, no more, no less.
using direct foreign funds via debit card do not incur any fees (any bank is the same) unless you need to convert for ex... SGD to EUR or GBP. In your case where you already hold EUR1,000 in your foreign currency account, spending it via debit card is a direct debit so no fees imposed.

I also wonít worry too much about having my deposits insured with the bank since the insurance coverage is not high anyway. Imagine those rich individuals with banking accounts holding their multi million dollar deposits. Insurance coverage of their deposits is negligible compared to the amount they have with the bank. What is more important is the creditstanding of the bank. If the bank is weak, donít put your money with that bank.
yes you got that right, even with SGD insured it is only SGD$75,000 per bank.
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Old 23-06-2019, 06:54 AM   #7
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When the 3rd party money-changers credit my DBS account with the foreign currency e.g. GBP, I received the exact amount without any deductions in my DBS account.
Interested in opening a DBS MCA account and saw this on DBS's website (https://www.dbs.com.sg/personal/depo...nal-transfers#),
Service Charges

For crediting to a SGD or Foreign Currency Current Account Ė S$10 handling commission

For crediting to a Foreign Currency Fixed Deposit Account Ė Free
How did the 3rd party money-changer credit your DBS account without any handling commission? Am I missing something?
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Old 23-06-2019, 11:33 AM   #8
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Interested in opening a DBS MCA account and saw this on DBS's website (https://www.dbs.com.sg/personal/depo...nal-transfers#),


How did the 3rd party money-changer credit your DBS account without any handling commission? Am I missing something?
There are no charges for fees or commission from DBS Bank for any online credit of foreign currency deposit from a 3rd party into my DBS account or from my DBS account to another 3rd party if the transfer is done online.

Like you, or anyone else for that matter, I also don’t like to pay fees/commission to the bank for money deposited into my account or for money I transfer to another person’s account.

As they say, a picture paints a thousand words:

Here’s the foreign exchange contract with the money changer for EUR5,000:


Here’s the credit of the EUR5,000 into my DBS account:

Last edited by whizzard; 23-06-2019 at 11:53 AM..
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Old 23-06-2019, 01:21 PM   #9
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There are no charges for fees or commission from DBS Bank for any online credit of foreign currency deposit from a 3rd party into my DBS account or from my DBS account to another 3rd party if the transfer is done online.

Like you, or anyone else for that matter, I also donít like to pay fees/commission to the bank for money deposited into my account or for money I transfer to another personís account.

As they say, a picture paints a thousand words:

Hereís the foreign exchange contract with the money changer for EUR5,000:


Hereís the credit of the EUR5,000 into my DBS account:
Thanks for your reply and the screenshots.

I was planning to do something similar to you but was considering using Interactive Brokers (IB) instead given the competitive rates they offer. I saw in another thread that there is a $10 charge by DBS but I guess it could be different considering a withdrawal from IB might be considered an incoming WIRE/TT.

Just wondering if you had a chance to compare changing currencies using IB (free deposit transfers to IB and one free withdrawal per month) vs the 3rd party money changer you mentioned?
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Old 23-06-2019, 01:57 PM   #10
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Thanks for your reply and the screenshots.

I was planning to do something similar to you but was considering using Interactive Brokers (IB) instead given the competitive rates they offer. I saw in another thread that there is a $10 charge by DBS but I guess it could be different considering a withdrawal from IB might be considered an incoming WIRE/TT.

Just wondering if you had a chance to compare changing currencies using IB (free deposit transfers to IB and one free withdrawal per month) vs the 3rd party money changer you mentioned?
No, unfortunately I don’t use IB at all. So, don’t have any experience on that to share.

Last edited by whizzard; 23-06-2019 at 02:26 PM..
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Old 25-06-2019, 03:02 PM   #11
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Selling TT/OD Buying TT Buying OD Selling TT/OD Buying TT Buying OD

guys,
what does TT & OD means?
https://www.posb.com.sg/personal/rat...-exchange.page
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