With interest rates on bank accounts being really low, you may want to look for alternatives to store your funds.
2 of the more popular options include Syfe Cash+ and the SingLife Account.
How do they differ and which one should you choose?
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The difference between Syfe Cash+ and SingLife Account
Syfe Cash+ is a cash management portfolio, while the SingLife Account is an insurance savings plan. Syfe Cash+ is more suitable for saving up for a short-term goal, while the SingLife Account can be used to store some of your emergency funds.
Here is an in-depth comparison between these accounts:
Type of account
Syfe Cash+ is a cash management portfolio. Syfe invests your money into funds that contain the following assets:
- Short term fixed deposits
- Short term bonds
- Commercial bills
These assets allow you to earn a higher yield compared to leaving it in your savings account!
Meanwhile, SingLife is an insurance savings plan. This plan provides you with insurance for certain conditions, such as:
- Total and permanent disability (TPD)
Since this is a life insurance plan with a ‘sum assured‘ payout, you are able to make multiple claims from your insurance policies.
You are also able to earn a decent return rate on your savings too.
It is important to note that neither account is a savings account or a fixed deposit!
Here are the projected yields that you’ll earn from each account, based on the amount that you have inside:
|Amount||Syfe Cash+||SingLife Account|
|$0 – $10,000||1.5%||1.5%|
|$10,001 – $100,000||1.5%||1%|
|$100,001 and above||1.5%||0%|
The yield rate for Syfe Cash+ is slightly higher compared to StashAway Simple’s yield.
For Syfe Cash+, there is no maximum limit on how much you can put inside your account!
This is because Syfe Cash+ invests your money into 3 funds:
- LionGlobal SGD Money Market Fund
- LionGlobal SGD Enhanced Liquidity Fund
- LionGlobal Short Duration Bond Fund
As such, they are just a platform that gives you access to invest into these funds for you!
Meanwhile, SingLife does not disclose where they invest your funds into. However, this should most likely be short term bonds.
This is why they are able to give you a high yield for your first $10k!
However, your next $90k will only earn you a 1% yield. Nevertheless, this is still much higher compared to other savings accounts that are available now!
Yield rates are not guaranteed
One thing you may want to note is that the yields you receive from either account are not guaranteed.
SingLife has lowered its return rate twice:
- 2.5% to 2%
- 2% to 1.5%
Meanwhile, Syfe Cash+ was launched only in Jan 2021.
Syfe recently lowered its projected yield from 1.75% to 1.5% to reflect the low interest rate environment we are in.
However, this is a projected yield. There is a possibility that the underlying funds in Syfe Cash+ may perform better or worse than this projected yield!
As such, either account may change their yields at any time!
Crediting of yield
For Syfe Cash+, your money is invested into the 3 funds that form the portfolio. These funds are mutual funds.
As such, each unit that you purchase will have a net asset value.
Mutual funds will only update their net asset value at the end of each trading day. This means that if the fund has increased in value, your portfolio will increase too!
You can see how your Cash+ portfolio changes in value each day.
For the SingLife Account, your returns are calculated at the end of each day.
However, your returns will only be credited to you at the end of each month. This depends on the day that you first created your SingLife Account.
For Syfe Cash+, you do not have any minimum to start using the platform. You can even invest $1 into the portfolio!
However if you have a small amount in your portfolio, the returns that you earn are pretty low too.
To earn a higher yield on your money, you may want to put a larger amount inside.
Meanwhile for the SingLife Account, you are required to put in a $500 minimum deposit into the account.
Moreover, you can only earn the high return if you place a minimum of $100 into the account.
Again, this minimum amount is really low!
Speed of deposits
When you deposit your funds into Syfe Cash+, you can do so by a few methods:
- FAST transfer
Syfe takes about 2-4 business days to receive your deposits. After that, they’ll still need to invest your money into the 3 funds!
This may take another day or so.
Meanwhile for SingLife, your account is actually tagged to a DBS account. You will use this account for any deposits you wish to make.
You’ll need to add the account number assigned to you as a payee in your local bank account first. This allows you to transfer money between your bank account and your SingLife account.
When you transfer money to your account, it is similar to a FAST transfer. Your funds will be credited to your SingLife Account almost instantly!
When you submit a withdrawal request to Syfe Cash+, it may take 2-5 business days before your funds are credited to your bank account.
This takes quite a while before you receive your funds! Due to this poorer liquidity, I would not suggest leaving your emergency funds with Cash+.
Meanwhile, the withdrawals that you make from SingLife take up to 3 hours to reach your account.
The liquidity of this account is much better compared to Syfe! However, it is still not as instant compared to FAST transfers that you make between banks.
As such, it is possible to keep some of your emergency funds with SingLife.
However, I would recommend keeping some of it in a savings account too. This gives you a much higher liquidity, in case you need money urgently!
Both accounts do not charge you any fees when you are using either account.
You will need to pay an expense ratio for the funds that you hold with Syfe Cash+.
|LionGlobal SGD |
Money Market Fund
|LionGlobal SGD |
Enhanced Liquidity Fund
|LionGlobal Short Duration|
Based on the portfolio allocation of these funds, you are expected to pay a total of 0.35% in fees.
However, Syfe has already taken these expense ratios into account. The projected yield that you receive is after the deduction of any fees.
Syfe also provides you with a trailer fee rebate too!
Trailer fees are fees that a fund manager pays a platform. This is similar to a commission that the platform receives for introducing the investor to the fund.
Syfe provides you with a 0.30% rebate. Essentially, you are only paying 0.05% in fees!
As such, this is how you receive the 1.5% yield.
|Returns or Fees||Total Yield|
|Trailer Fee Rebate||0.3%|
The SingLife Account has an extra feature of having a debit card.
Whenever you use the card, the amount will be debited from your SingLife Account.
The SingLife debit card has 2 main benefits:
- No FX (foreign exchange) fees
- Retrenchment benefit
Since it does not have any FX fees, it is similar to other multi-currency cards, such as:
I personally do not feel that the debit card is really that enticing to use. However, it may have some advantages if you want to make an overseas purchase!
Safety of your funds
You may be wondering how safe your funds are with either account. Here’s what you need to know:
Syfe has a Capital Markets Service Licence
Under this licence, your funds with Syfe have to be kept separately from Syfe’s accounts.
In the even that Syfe closes down, you will still be able to have access to your funds!
Usually there will be 2 choices that you can make:
- Sell off your holdings at the current market price
- Transfer your holdings to another custodian that takes over Syfe
If Syfe closes down, it may not matter that much if you only invest in Syfe Cash+. This is because mutual funds can be traded in fractional units.
However, you may use some of their investment portfolios, including:
Syfe allows you to invest in fractional units of these ETFs. This may pose problems when Syfe closes down.
You can read my analysis on why Smartly closed down to find out more.
SingLife Account is protected by the SDIC
Since your SingLife Account is a life insurance plan, it is insured under the Singapore Deposit Insurance Scheme (SDIC).
The funds in your SingLife Account are protected by the Policy Owner’s Protection Scheme.
In the event that SingLife closes down, your funds may be insured up to $100k.
This should give you some reassurance that your funds are rather safe with SingLife!
Here is a comparison between Syfe Cash+ and the SingLife Account:
|Syfe Cash+||SingLife Account|
|Type of Account||Cash Management Portfolio||Insurance Savings Plan|
|Yield Rate||1.5%||1.5% (first $10k), |
1% (next $90k)
|Crediting of Yield||Daily (depends on |
|Minimum Amount||None||$500 initial deposit, |
minimum balance of $100
|Speed of Deposits||2-4 business days||Almost instant|
|Speed of Withdrawals||2-5 business days||Up to 3 hours|
|Fees||0.05% (after trailer |
|Safety of Funds||Licensed by MAS |
|Insured under SDIC|
Which account should you use?
Based on their yield rates and their liquidity, this is how I would use these accounts:
Use Syfe Cash+ for your short-term goals
You may be saving up for a big-ticket item, such as your house or a car. These are planned expenses where you will know exactly when you intend to make that purchase.
Instead of placing your money in a bank account, why not use Cash+ which can give you a higher yield?
An added bonus is that this segregates your short-term goal savings from your cash at hand!
Since you have an idea of when you want to make the purchase, you can plan ahead and withdraw the money 2-5 business days before the purchase.
This allows you to earn a higher return on your savings, compared to leaving it in your bank account!
Use SingLife Account for your emergency funds
The SingLife Account has a much better liquidity compared to Syfe Cash+. As such, I believe that you can put some of your emergency funds inside this account.
This is because it will only take up to 3 hours for your funds to reach your bank account.
The 1.5% return rate is something that you can’t get in today’s low interest rate environment.
Even the 1% return is higher than most savings accounts!
However, I still believe that some of your emergency funds should be in a normal savings account.
This is because these savings accounts are the most liquid. You are able to access your cash at any moment from this account.
The funds in your savings account will be extremely useful if you need to make an immediate emergency purchase!
The main tradeoff between both accounts is returns and liquidity.
If you want a higher return, you will have to settle for a lower liquidity and vice versa.
As such, I believe that it is possible for you to use both of these accounts at the same time. This will help you achieve your different financial goals!
Syfe Referral (Up to $30,000 SGD managed for free for 6 months)
If you are interested in signing up for Syfe, you can use the referral code ‘FIPHARM‘ when you are creating your account. You will have your first $30,000 invested with Syfe managed for free for your first 6 months.
You will be able to save up to $75 worth of fees!
This applies only to the money that you’ve invested in Syfe’s 3 portfolios. If you are only using Syfe Cash+, you will not be charged any fees by Syfe!
You can view more information about this referral program on Syfe’s website.