It is only the start of September but 2 new entrants, GXS Bank and Trust Bank wasted no time to introduce their products into Singapore’s nascent digital banking scene. Trust Bank offers up to 1.4% interest rate for its savings account, 21% rebate on its credit card $42 worth of freebies to mark its launch. I am particularly impressed with the value proposition offered by Trust Bank and promptly signed up for it. This is a review of the product offering by Trust Bank, a digital bank by Standard Chartered and FairPrice Group.
What is Trust Bank?
Trust Bank (known as Trust) is a new digital bank that has a full banking license. It is a joint venture by Standard Chartered Bank and the National Trades Union Congress (‘NTUC’) – 2 names that need no introduction to Singaporeans. As a digital bank, it operates entirely online without any physical infrastructure (i.e. bank branches). This also means that customers conduct all their banking activities online. Intrigued, I downloaded the Trust mobile app and signed up for its products.
Key Product offerings of Trust Bank
1) Trust Bank Savings Account
The base interest rate on the first S$50,000 deposit is 1%. There is no minimum amount required to start earning this interest rate. As shown in Diagram 1, 1% base interest rate can be further increased with bonus interest rate (i) or (ii). Therefore, NTUC Union members will enjoy 1.4% interest rate on their first $50,000 deposit while non-union members can enjoy 1.2% interest rate if they make 5 eligible card transactions for that month. Since this is a savings account, up to $75,000 is insured under SDIC. There is no fees or lock-in period required.
In the current high interest rate environment, 1% to 1.4% interest rate is admittedly not very competitive though.
2) Trust Bank Credit Card
Trust credit card advertises an attention-grabbing headline saving rate of 21%. Even if this is issued in the form of Linkpoints (which can be offset against purchases at NTUC), 21% still blow all other cashback cards out of the park. This warrants a deeper investigation and I present my analysis in Diagram 2.
* FairPrice Group groceries refer to FairPrice, FairPrice Finest, FairPrice Xtra, FairPrice Xpress and Cheers (excluding Esso outlets), FairPrice online, Warehouse Club, Unity
** FPG Spend includes FairPrice Group Groceries and FPG Food (includes Kopitiam and Kopitiam top-up cards)
With reference to Diagram 2, 21% rebate is an aggregate of (i) + (ii) + (iv) + (v) + (vi). This also implies that this incredible saving rate is achievable only if the cardholder is willing to spend $350 per month on eligible spend outside of FairPrice Group*. For this type of spend, only 0.22% rebate will be awarded. This pales in comparison to 3.3% and 3.5% cashback awarded under the UOB One Card and HSBC Advance Card respectively. Even if card holder meets the criteria to qualify for the monthly and quarterly rebate, do note that they each have a cap. Another perk is that there is no annual fee, no foreign transaction fee, no cash advance fee as well as card replacement fee.
As everyone’s consumption pattern is different, it is hard to do a cost-benefit analysis to find a sweet spot. Off the cuff, I would say that the Trust credit card is worthwhile if one is already plugged into the NTUC ecosystem. As an example, a NTUC member who predominantly purchases groceries from FairPrice Group and dines at Kopitiam may find the Trust Card fairly attractive. In the most optimal way of spending, the blended Linkpoints reward rate will be approx 10.6% on all spend (both within and outside of FairPrice Group). Finally, note that 21% savings is a promotional offer and it may be revised to 14% after 31 Dec 2022 as stated under its terms and conditions.
With the launch of this card, it explains why NTUC and OCBC have terminated their co-branded OCBC Plus! Visa Credit Card.
3) Trust Bank Insurance
At the time of writing, the insurance product offering is still largely a work in progress. One of the products rolled out is the Family Personal Accident Insurance as shown in Diagram 3.
Underwritten and issued by NTUC Income (duh!), this Personal Accident policy offers up to $8,000 coverage for death and Total Permanent Disability. Premium is advertised as $0.50 per month, although those who sign up for the Trust credit card will enjoy complimentary coverage for the first 2 months. If you want higher personal accident coverage, do consider the Starr Urban Cover Personal Accident Plan.
Attractive promotion during launch period
In all honesty, the most eye-catching aspect of its product launch is the generous freebies thrown in. These freebies are worth $42 and easily attainable. The breakdown is as follows:
- $10 FairPrice E-Voucher upon signing up with a referral code -use mine: (DFFZV6CZ)
- Free Signature Breakfast Set to be redeemed at Kopitiam (worth $3.10)
- Free 1KG Superior Fragrant Rice (worth $3.55)
- S$25 FairPrice E-Voucher on your first card spend (no min. amount required) – I spent $0.01 to buy a Shopee voucher using the Trust Debit Card and promptly received the $25 e-voucher! This threshold has to be the mother of all minimum amounts. Diagram 5 shows how to locate the cheap Shopee vouchers.
I didn’t even wait for the physical card to arrive- I simply used the debit card details on the app to make payment on Shopee. Do make sure to top up your Trust savings account for those using the debit card. I have already used the FairPrice E-voucher to purchase milk for Olympia. It’s great that no minimum spend is required to use the voucher.
How To Sign Up For Trust
I signed up for Trust and got my application approved in less than 20 minutes. This includes the time to download the app from the Apple Store as well. With MyInfo, there is hardly any information that I need to type in or provide. Approval was also almost immediate. With such a smooth onboarding process and the attractive freebies on offer, of course the next thing I did was to jio my wife along to sign up with my referral code! We both receive $10 FairPrice E-Voucher this way which is a double win for the household!
Download Trust app to collect your freebies- remember that the $10 FairPrice voucher is only valid if you sign up with a referral code. You can use my referral code (DFFZV6CZ) and I sincerely thank you in advance for your support! Note that terms and conditions of the promotion may vary from time of article.
This article is written on 3 Sep 2022.