(Source: Singtel Dash)
Ever since Covid-19 struck, we have been bombarded with news of banks lowering interest rates on their flagship savings account on a monthly basis. Gone were the days where we could easily pocket ~2 to 3% interest rate p.a. effortlessly. Having got used to such returns for a prolonged period, it is little wonder that flexible insurance savings plans offering 2% returns are gaining lots of traction amongst this nation of savers. The latest kid on the block is Dash EasyEarn, a collaboration between Singtel and Etiqa insurance who are behemoths in their own respective fields. Here is Heartland Boy’s review of Singtel Dash EasyEarn, an insurance savings plan that offers guaranteed 2% p.a. on $20,000 for the first year.
Dash EasyEarn Guarantees 2% p.a. on $20,000
Let’s get straight to the point and focus on the returns. Dash EasyEarn offers a guaranteed return of 1.5% p.a. + 0.5% p.a. bonus in the first policy year. Cumulatively, this 2% is guaranteed for the first year and for a limited time only as this rate is advertised on a first come first served basis. From the second year of the policy, only the 1.5% p.a. portion is guaranteed. Depending on prevailing market conditions, the remaining “bonus” return is likely to disappear after the first year. Therefore, treat the 0.5% bonus as a promotion to get you to sign up!
To be entitled for interest crediting, the policyholder needs to maintain at least $2,000 average daily balance. Based on the prevailing crediting rate, the returns on the premium deposited will be calculated daily although they will only be credited after the calendar month. As shown in Diagram 1, Heartland Boy logged in to his Dash mobile app and found that he has already earned interest on Day 2 of buying the policy.
Seeing the interest accrues daily can serve as a source of motivation for some people to attain their savings goal faster. In a way, this is similar to the CPF as the earlier you perform your top up, the faster it starts earning returns. The minimum starting premium is $2,000 while the maximum is $20,000 and the entire capital is guaranteed. Additionally, there is no fall below fee for Dash EasyEarn.
Flexible Top-ups and Withdrawals
The second main draw of this new product lies in its flexibility in terms of topping up and withdrawals of premiums. The mechanism to top up or withdraw is also done on the mobile app via eNets.
As summarised in Diagram 2, there is no lock in period for top ups or withdrawals. Policy holder can top up anytime as long as it is more than/equal to $500 and done in multiples of $500. No processing fee applies for top ups.
Policy holder can withdraw their funds anytime as long as it is more than/equal to $100 and done in multiples of $100. If the premiums are withdrawn directly into the Dash mobile wallet, there is no fee. However, a processing fee of $0.70 applies if funds are withdrawn directly into the customer’s bank account. Guess this is Singtel’s way of encouraging greater use of its mobile wallet. Heartland Boy’s opinion is that the processing fee of $0.70 is negligible and does not affect his opinion on this new product.
Additionally, Heartland Boy would like to highlight this clause found in the terms and conditions governing Dash EasyEarn – “We reserve the right to delay the payment of the partial withdrawal amount/surrender value for up to a period of 6 months from the date of your surrender request.” The same clause is also found in other Etiqa products such as Elastiq (note that this product has already reached its limits and is closed), so Heartland Boy treats this as their legal counsels being diligent and adding more buffer for their company. In other words, kiasu but it is something Heartland Boy can accept.
This is marketed as an insurance savings plan because it is actually a universal life plan. It does come with more limited coverage compared to traditional life plans. In the event of death, the policy pays out 105% of the account value. However, do note that usual exclusions such as death from suicide within first 12 months, death due to pre-existing conditions etc will apply. As an insurance policy, this is also protected under the Policy Owners’ Protection Scheme administered by SDIC.
Stack With Singlife to obtain 2.17% for first $30,000
With a household of 4 to support, Heartland Boy finds that $30,000 is the bare minimum of emergency funds to keep. By depositing these emergency funds with Singlife and Dash EasyEarn, he is able to obtain a 2.17% return in the first year. This works out to $650 on $30,000 as shown in Diagram 3.
In the current low interest rate environment, Heartland Boy thinks this type of returns is commendable. Furthermore, both products offer the flexibility of withdrawals which can be performed quickly in minutes. This is an important feature because one never knows when the need would arise to dip into his/her emergency funds.
How To Sign Up For Dash EasyEarn
Dash EasyEarn is offered exclusively through Singtel’s Dash mobile app and underwritten by Etiqa insurance. Therefore, one must first download the Singtel Dash mobile app first before signing up for Dash EasyEarn. The eligible Dash user must also be aged between 17-75 and possess a valid Singapore NRIC or Singapore residency/work pass. Given its popularity, it is little wonder that they have also cap it to 1 policy per individual, on top of the maximum $20,000 premium per policy.
Heartland Boy’s experience signing up for Dash EasyEarn was extremely smooth-sailing. All he needed was to get his identification photos and personal information ready. These were quite similar to the standard Know-Your-Client onboarding process that most financial institutions usually perform. The entire process was done on his mobile phone and in less than 15 minutes, he already had his policy issued and premium reflected on his Dash app. Should you need to contact its customer care team, they can be reached via live chat on the etiqa tiq website, contact number at +65 68878777 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
For those who are looking to download the Singtel Dash app and sign up for Dash EasyEarn, you can use my referral code* to get $2 off your first transaction! Alternatively, you can download Dash from Google Play or Apple Store and punch in this promo code:
to enjoy the $2 credit when you make your first transaction. The mobile wallet can be used to make Dash payment, send money, redeem deals etc.
Finally, Singtel and Etiqa concurrently launched a more watered-down version of EasyEarn known as Dash EasyEarn Lite applicable to work permit holders. The mechanism is exactly the same except that the minimum premium is $100 and the maximum is $2,000. The guaranteed return is only 1% for the 1st policy year.
*Note that this article contains referral links that goes to maintain the sustainability of this blog.
Disclosure: This article is meant purely for informational purposes and should not be construed as financial advice. For customised advice on your financial needs, you should seek advice from a licensed representative. It has not been reviewed by MAS. Information is correct as at 13 September 2020
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