Guide to best USD fixed deposit rate in Singapore [Apr 2024]

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By Beansprout • 12 Apr 2024 • 0 min read

Get the latest information on the highest US fixed deposit rates in Singapore with this comprehensive guide. Find the best US Dollar fixed deposit account and understand the risks involved.

Best Foreign Currency USD Fixed Deposit Rate

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TL;DR

  • If you have existing foreign currency and intend to keep it, you can consider putting your money in a foreign currency fixed deposit account.
  • Banks in Singapore have mostly raised their USD fixed deposit rates in April 2024. For example, most banks are now offering a 12-month fixed deposit rate of 4.50% and above.
  • The best 6-month US Dollar fixed deposit rate we found was 5.25% p.a. offered by SBI, for a minimum deposit of US$25,000. 
  • The best 12-month US Dollar fixed deposit rate we found was 5.00% p.a. offered by RHB, for a minimum deposit of US$5,000. 
  • The best 3-month US Dollar fixed deposit rate we found was 5.4% p.a. offered by SBI, for a minimum deposit of US$25,000.
  • While USD fixed deposit rates are higher compared to Singapore dollar fixed deposit rates, you should beware of foreign currency risk. Also, foreign currency fixed deposits are not covered by the Singapore Deposit Insurance Scheme.

What happened?

With interest rates remaining fairly high, fixed deposit (FD) has become more popular amongst those looking for a safe place to park their savings.

There are two main types of fixed deposit – foreign currency fixed deposit and Singapore dollar (SGD) fixed deposit.

Previously, we presented our guide on the best fixed deposit rate for SGD fixed deposit.

However, with the Fed indicating that interest rates may be cut in 2024, we decided to check if USD fixed deposit interest rates have declined too. 

Let us find out what is the best foreign currency fixed deposit rate in April 2024.

How does a foreign currency fixed deposit account work? 

Fixed deposit accounts earn you a guaranteed amount of interest for the money you put in over a specific period of time.

Typically, you will lock in a sum of money and the bank will pay you interest after a fixed period. 

Foreign currency fixed deposit works the same way as your usual SGD fixed deposit, except that your funds are held in foreign currency such as USD, GBP, HKD, etc.

By placing funds in a foreign currency with the bank, you will earn interest rates in that particular foreign currency. 

For example, you put in USD with DBS as a foreign currency fixed deposit, and DBS will pay you interest in USD at the agreed rate.

Here are a few things you'd need to know about a foreign currency fixed deposit account

  • There is a foreign currency conversion fee charged whenever you convert SGD to foreign currency and vice versa. Spoiler alert: This fee is not cheap. 
  • You will need a multi-currency account to deposit your funds in foreign currencies.
  • You might not get a return of 4.55% if you are looking to convert your funds in foreign currency back to SGD.

The best foreign currency fixed deposit rate in Singapore (April 2024)

For your convenience, I’ve compiled a list of the fixed deposit interest rates for USD offered by banks in Singapore. 

The best 12-month US Dollar fixed deposit rates in April 2024 are as follows:

BankInterest rate per annumTenureMinimum amount
RHB5.00%12 monthsUS$5,000
HL Bank4.67%12 monthsUS$50,000
UOB4.64%12 monthsUS$100,000
ICBC4.55%12 months (via e-banking)US$500
Bank of China4.55%12 monthsUS$2,000
State Bank of India4.50%12 monthsUS$5,000
UOB4.34%12 monthsUS$5,000
DBS4.21%12 monthsUS$5,000
CIMB4.10%12 monthsUS$10,000
Source: Company websites as of 12 April 2024

 

The best 6-month foreign currency fixed deposit rates in US Dollar are as follow:

BankInterest rate per annumTenureMinimum amount
State Bank of India5.25%6 monthsUS$25,000
RHB5.00%6 monthsUS$5,000
ICBC4.85%6 monthsUS$500
Bank of China4.75%6 monthsUS$2,000
UOB4.73%6 monthsUS$100,000
Maybank4.65%6 monthsUS$10,000
HL Bank4.61%6 monthsUS$50,000
UOB4.45%6 monthsUS$5,000
DBS4.41%6 monthsUS$5,000 
OCBC4.36%6 monthsUS$5,000
CIMB4.23%6 monthsUS$10,000
Source: Company websites as of 12 April 2024

 

The best foreign currency fixed deposit rates in US Dollar for 3 months and below are as follows:

BankInterest rate per annumTenureMinimum amount
State Bank of India5.40%3 monthsUS$25,000
DBS5.08%2 monthsU$5,000 
DBS4.88%3 monthsU$5,000 
UOB4.85%2/3 monthsUS$50,000
ICBC4.85%3 months US$500
Bank of China4.80%3 monthsUS$2,000
Maybank4.75%3 monthsUS$10,000
OCBC4.65%3 monthsUS$5,000
HL Bank4.65%3 monthsUS$50,000
CIMB4.35%3 monthsUS$10,000
Source: Company websites as of 12 April 2024

What are the disadvantages of foreign currency fixed deposit accounts?

#1 - Foreign currency fixed deposit are subject to foreign currency risk

Before deciding to put your money into a foreign currency fixed deposit, you should be aware of foreign currency (FX) risk.

If you are looking to convert your funds in foreign currency back to SGD after the end of the FD cycle, you need to care about FX risk.

Let’s assume you have SGD$ 20,000 and would like to put it into a 12-month 4.55% foreign currency FD to earn a higher interest rate. 

First, you would have to convert the SGD$ 20,000 to USD.

At the end of 12 months, you will have to convert the principle + interest back into SGD.

If you think that you might be getting SGD$20,910 (inclusive of the 4.55% interest) … nope.  You might be wrong. 

The truth is, you may or may not get it. It depends on the FX rate at which you exchange your currency at.

Singapore Dollar to US Dollar exchange rate
Source: Google

 

FX rates fluctuate over time. If SGD appreciates against the USD after 12 months, chances are you will get back less SGD per US dollar. 

This means that your return will be less than 4.55%. 

Too chim? Let me use numbers and show you an illustrative example.

 

Amount you have

Remarks

Initial funds

SGD$20,000

 

Convert to USD FX 

USD$14,300

Assume FX rate = 0.715 SGD/USD

After 12 months

USD$14,950.65

4.55% interest = US$650.65

Convert back to SGD

SGD$20,622

Assume FX rate = 0.725 SGD/USD

 

Total interest earned = $622

Return = 3.11% 

#2 - Foreign currency fixed deposit accounts are not insured

One of the reasons why we like fixed deposit accounts is because our savings are insured by the Singapore Deposit Insurance for up to S$75,000 in a single account.

However, foreign currency deposits are not covered under the Singapore Deposit Insurance Scheme.

What are the other options to earn a higher yield on your foreign currency?

#1 - Webull Moneybull 

Moneybull is Webull's cash management account that aims to help you earn a higher potential return on your idle cash compared to savings account by investing in a money market fund. 

As of 19 July 2023, the underlying USD Cash Fund in the Webull Moneybull generated a 7-day annualised yield of 5.18% p.a. However, the returns on the Webull Moneybull are not guaranteed. 

Find out more about the Webull Moneybull here.

#2 - FSMOne USD Auto-Sweep Account 

iFAST recently launched the FSMOne USD Auto-Sweep Account, which offers a net yield of 4.595% p.a. as of 5 September 2023.

The FSMOne USD Auto-Sweep Account is a cash management account that allows you to earn a potentially higher yield compared to most USD savings accounts. 

Compared to USD fixed deposits, the advantage of the the FSMOne USD Auto-Sweep Account is that it offers you the flexibility to buy into investment products available on FSMOne with no lag time.

However, the returns on the FSMOne USD Auto-Sweep Account are not guaranteed. 

Find out more about the FSMOne USD Auto-Sweep Account here.

Should you consider a foreign currency fixed deposit account?

You can still consider a foreign currency fixed deposit account in the following circumstances:

  • You have an existing holding of USD and/or have spending in USD
  • You have holding power and do not mind keeping the USD until you are able to get a good exchange rate

Otherwise, I do not see any point in putting your money into a foreign currency fixed deposit. 

Final verdict on foreign currency fixed deposit accounts

If you have noticed, USD foreign currency fixed deposits offer the highest interest rate now. This is because interest rates in the US are higher than other countries such as Japan. 

If I am not looking to convert my foreign currency back so soon, I will probably pick the one with the highest interest rate and place my money there.

Of course, there are always risks for foreign currency fixed deposit, including foreign currency risks and no coverage by the Deposit Insurance Scheme.

Please always exercise due diligence and do not fall prey when people tell you this or that product pays better.

Remember: there is a reason why it offers a higher interest rate. The product may be good for some people but may not necessarily be suitable for everyone.

If you are looking to earn a higher interest rate on foreign currency savings, you may also look at various cash management accounts.

If you would prefer a safer option, check out our guide to the best Singapore dollar fixed deposit rate. 

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