Best HKD Time Deposit Interest Rates and Offers [June 2024]

04 June 2024

Time deposits represent a cornerstone of conservative investment strategies, offering a blend of safety, predictability, and relatively attractive returns in an often-volatile financial landscape. These financial instruments are particularly appealing to individuals seeking to preserve capital while earning a steady income. Understanding the mechanics and benefits of time deposits is crucial for making informed decisions that align with one's financial goals and risk tolerance.

With the effects of previous US interest rate hikes still influencing the financial market, Hong Kong banks continue to offer competitive interest rates on time deposits. This environment presents a prime opportunity for individuals to capitalise on their idle cash, ensuring their money works harder for them. Whether you are a seasoned investor or a cautious saver, parking your funds in time deposits can provide a secure way to grow your assets with minimal risk.

To help you navigate the best offers available, Stashaway has meticulously compared the fixed deposit rates and account opening conditions of nine prominent banks—including Citibank, Standard Chartered Bank, HSBC, Bank of China Hong Kong (BOC), DBS, CMB Wing Lung Bank, Bank of East Asia, China CITIC Bank International, and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Asia)—as well as four leading virtual banks: WeLab Bank, ZA Bank, airstar, and Fusion Bank.

Summary:

  • The best 12-month HKD time deposit rate from traditional banks was Fubon Bank (new funds) at 3.95%, with a minimum deposit requirement of HKD 500,000.
  • The best 12-month HKD time deposit rates from virtual banks were WeLab Bank and AirStar Bank at 4.00%, with a minimum deposit requirement of HKD 10 and HKD 1,000 respectively.
  • The best 6-month HKD time deposit rate from traditional banks was Fubon Bank (new funds) at 3.95%, with a minimum deposit requirement of HKD 500,000.
  • The best 6-month HKD time deposit rate from virtual banks wasWeLab Bank at 3.90%, with a minimum deposit requirement of HKD 10.
  • The best 3-month HKD time deposit rate from traditional banks was Citibank (Citigold) at 3.95%, with a minimum deposit requirement of HKD 50,000.
  • The best 3-month HKD time deposit rate from virtual banks was Fusion Bank at 4.00%, with no minimum deposit requirement.
  • The best 1-month HKD time deposit rates from traditional banks were Bank of China and Nanyang Commercial Bank at 4.00%, with a minimum deposit requirement of HKD 50,000 and HKD 30,000 respectively.
  • The best 3-month HKD time deposit rate from virtual banks was WeLab Bank at 2.00%, with a minimum deposit requirement of HKD 10.
  • Stashaway USD Cash Yield offers a yield-to-maturity of 5.45% p.a., with no minimum, no maximum deposit requirement, and no lock-ins.

Best HKD Time Deposit Interest Rates Offered by Traditional Banks

Bank7 day1 month3 months6 months1 yearMin Deposit
HSBC Premier--3.60%3.50%-HKD 10,000
HSBC One3.30%3.20%HKD 10,000
Bank of China (Preferential HKD Time Deposit Offer)8.00%4.00%HKD 50,000
Bank of China (new funds)3.50%3.40%HKD10,000
Standard Chartered (foreign exchange)9.00%HKD 10,000
Standard Chartered (new funds)3.60%3.50%3.10%HKD 10,000
ICBC Asia2.70%3.60%3.50%3.50%HKD 50,000
2.80%3.70%3.60%3.60%HKD 800,000
2.90%3.80%3.70%3.70%HKD 3 million
ICBC Asia (new funds)3.20% (38 days)3.80% (98 days)3.80% (188 days)HKD 100,000
3.38% (38 days)3.90% (98 days)3.90% (188 days)HKD 800,000
** China CITIC Bank (personal)3.55%3.65%3.65%HKD 10,000
Citibank (Citigold)4.2%HKD 50,000
Fubon Bank (new funds)4.00%4.15%4.15%4.15%HKD 500,000
3.70%3.85%3.85%3.85%HKD 1,000,000
Bank of Communications (online new fund)3.15%4.00%HKD 1,000,000
Bank of Communications (daily preferential)2.85%3.70%3.80%3.60%HKD 20,000
Bank of East Asia (SupremeGold) - new fund3.85%3.70%3.55%HKD 10,000
Bank of East Asia (SupremeGold) - existing fund3.75%3.60%3.45%HKD 10,000
Bank of East Asia (Supreme) - new & existing fund3.75%3.60%3.45%HKD 10,000
Bank of East Asia (all other account)3.75%3.60%3.45%HKD 1,000
Hang Seng Prestige Private/ Prestige Banking8.90%3.60%3.50%HKD 10,000
Hang Seng Preferred Banking8.00%3.60%3.50%HKD 10,000
** Chong Hing Bank3.00%3.85%3.10%2.70%HKD 5,000
3.00%3.85%3.10%2.70%HKD 50,000
3.15%4.00%3.25%2.85%HKD 500,000
Nanyang Commercial Bank (Reward-Plus Time Deposit)8.00%4.00%HKD 30,000
Nanyang Commercial Bank (Interest-Plus High Yield) - new fund3.50%4.00%4.00%3.95%HKD 1,000,000
Nanyang Commercial Bank (Online Plus High Yield) - existing fund3.30%3.80%3.80%3.65%HKD 100,000
CMB Wing Lung Bank0.90%2.70%3.40%3.40%3.30%HKD 10,000
0.90%2.90%3.70%3.70%3.60%HKD 500,000
0.90%2.90%3.85%3.85%3.80%HKD 1,000,000
Public Bank1.20%3.30%3.80%3.70%3.70%< HKD 100,000
1.20%3.35%3.85%3.75%3.75%>= HKD 100,000
1.20%3.40%3.90%3.80%3.80%>= HKD 500,000
Shanghai Bank3.08%3.53%3.48%3.38%HKD 1,000

* rate as of 4th June 2024

** rate as of May 2024 (pending updates)

Best HKD Time Deposit Interest Rates Offered by Virtual Banks

Bank7 day1 month3 months6 months1 yearMin Deposit
Fusion Bank1.00%3.90%3.80%3.50%No min
WeLab Bank GoSave 2.02.00%3.70%3.70%3.70%HKD 10
AirStar Bank0.05%0.50%3.60%3.60%3.90%HKD 1,000
ZA Bank0.10%0.10%2.21%2.51%3.01%HKD 1
Mox Bank3.30%3.00%HKD 1
Livi Bank0.25%0.45%1.50%2.00%2.40%HKD 500 - 99,999.99
0.25%0.45%2.50%3.00%3.40%HKD 100,000+

* rate as of 4th June 2024

Earn Up to 5.45% p.a. with StashAway USD Cash Yield

When looking for alternatives to traditional HKD time deposits, StashAway's USD Cash Yield is a standout option, offering up to 5.45% per annum with no min or max deposits requirement. This yield is achieved through investments in short-duration US Treasuries, which are known for their safety and stability. Unlike fixed deposits, this portfolio has no lock-in periods, allowing for flexible withdrawals and transfers.

Integrating this option into your investment strategy can provide a high-interest alternative to traditional time deposits, ensuring both growth and security for your savings.

What Exactly is a Time Deposit?

A time deposit, often encapsulated in the form of a certificate of deposit (CD), is a financial product offered by banks that provides an interest rate premium in exchange for the customer agreeing to leave a lump-sum deposit untouched for a predetermined period. Unlike regular savings accounts, which allow for frequent withdrawals, time deposits are fixed, meaning the funds are locked in until maturity, thereby offering higher interest rates.

How Time Deposit Accounts Work

When you open a time deposit account, you commit to depositing a certain amount of money for a specified term. The interest rate is usually fixed and higher than that of a regular savings account, rewarding you for your commitment. The term length can significantly impact the interest you earn, with longer terms often offering higher rates. It's essential to shop around and compare rates from various financial institutions to ensure you're getting the best deal.

How to Calculate Time Deposit Interest Rates

Interest calculations for time deposit accounts are crucial for understanding how much you will earn from your investment over a specified period. The calculation methods can vary slightly depending on the bank's policies and the specific terms of the deposit, but they generally follow a few common principles.

Simple Interest Calculation 

Simple interest on time deposits is calculated based on the principal amount, the interest rate, and the term of the deposit. The formula used is:

Interest=P×R×T

  • P is the principal amount (the initial sum of money placed in the deposit),
  • R is the annual interest rate (expressed as a decimal),
  • T is the term of the deposit in years or a fraction of a year if less than one year.

For example, if you deposit HKD 10,000 at an interest rate of 3% per annum for 5 years, the interest calculation would be:

Interest=10,000×0.03×5=1,500

So, the total interest earned over 5 years would be HKD 1,500.

Compound Interest Calculation

Compound interest is calculated on the initial principal and also on the accumulated interest from previous periods. This method can significantly increase the amount of interest earned over time, especially for longer-term deposits. The formula for compound interest is:

CI=P (1+100/i​) n−P

  • P is the principal amount,
  • i is the interest rate per period,
  • n is the number of periods.

For instance, if you invest HKD 10,000 at an 8% annual interest rate compounded annually for 5 years, the calculation would be:

CI=10,000(1+1008​)5−10,000=10,000×1.46933−10,000=4,693.30

Thus, the compound interest earned would be HKD 4,693.30.

Benefits of Time Deposits

  • Zero Risk: Time deposits are considered one of the safest investment options available. The principal amount is guaranteed, and the interest rate is fixed, providing a predictable return on investment.
  • No Extra Charge: One of the appealing aspects of time deposits is the absence of management fees or charges, provided the funds remain in the account until the end of the term. Early withdrawal, however, may result in penalties.
  • Low Threshold for Entry: Time deposits are accessible to a wide range of investors, including those with limited capital. The advent of virtual banks has further lowered the entry threshold, making it possible to open time deposits with minimal initial deposits.

Shopping for the Best HKD Time Deposit Interest Rates and Offers

When it comes to maximizing your savings, finding the best HKD time deposit rates can significantly impact your investment returns. However, the process involves more than just looking for the highest interest rate. Here are some practical tips on how to compare and choose the best time deposit rates, along with advice on avoiding common pitfalls that could diminish your earnings.

Tips on How to Compare and Choose the Best Time Deposit Rates

  1. Research and Compare Rates: Start by checking the interest rates offered by various banks, including both traditional and virtual banks. Websites and financial comparison tools can provide up-to-date information on the rates available for different terms and deposit amounts.
  2. Consider the Term Length: The length of the time deposit can affect the interest rate. Typically, longer terms offer higher rates. Assess your financial needs and decide how long you can afford to lock in your money without access.
  3. Check for Promotional Offers: Banks often offer promotional rates for new customers or for larger deposits. These promotions can significantly boost your interest earnings but be sure to read the terms and conditions carefully.
  4. Understand the Fine Print: It is crucial to read the terms and conditions associated with the time deposit. Pay attention to details regarding the renewal policies, early withdrawal penalties, and any conditions that might allow the bank to change the interest rate.
  5. Evaluate the Credibility of the Financial Institution: Opt for reputable banks that are well-regulated and have a solid track record. This ensures the safety of your deposits.
  6. Consult with Financial Advisors: If you are unsure, consulting with a financial advisor can provide personalised advice based on your overall financial situation and goals.

Potential Pitfalls to Avoid

  1. Hidden Fees: Some banks might charge account maintenance fees or offer lower rates if certain conditions are not met. Always ask about any potential fees that could eat into your interest earnings.
  2. Early Withdrawal Penalties: Withdrawing your money before the maturity date can result in penalties, which could negate any interest earned. Be sure you can commit to the term of the deposit.
  3. Automatic Renewal Terms: Some time deposits automatically renew at maturity for the same term at the prevailing interest rate, which might be lower than the rate initially offered. Check the renewal policy and set reminders to review the terms as the maturity date approaches.
  4. Interest Rate Caps: In some cases, the advertised interest rate may only apply up to a certain deposit amount, or the rate might decrease after a certain period. Ensure you understand how much of your deposit will earn the advertised rate.
  5. Economic and Market Conditions: Interest rates are influenced by broader economic conditions. A sudden change in economic policy or market conditions could affect the returns on your time deposit. Stay informed about economic trends that might influence interest rates.

Other Low Risk Investments to Consider

Diversification is key to managing risk in investing, while aiming for steady returns. Beyond the traditional time deposit, several low-risk investment options can complement your portfolio, offering both safety and competitive returns. Here is an in-depth insight into each of these alternatives:

Wealth Management Platforms

Wealth management platforms like StashAway have revolutionised how individuals can grow their wealth. Specifically, StashAway's USD Cash Yield Portfolio is designed to offer investors a yield of 5.3% p.a. by investing in short-term US Treasury bonds. This option is particularly appealing for those looking to earn in USD, leveraging the stability and low credit risk associated with US government-backed securities. The platform's flexibility, allowing for customization and no minimum investment requirements, makes it an attractive choice for diversifying cash holdings with potentially higher returns compared to traditional savings accounts.

High Yield Savings Accounts

High-yield savings accounts present an excellent opportunity for savers to earn more on their deposits compared to standard savings accounts. With interest rates up to 5.35%, as reported by Bankrate, these accounts offer a much higher Annual Percentage Yield (APY) while still providing the security of federal insurance up to $250,000. The variable APY means that the yield is subject to change, but for those seeking a guaranteed yield with more flexibility, a no-penalty Certificate of Deposit (CD) might be a suitable option. High-yield savings accounts usually earn compound interest, allowing your savings to grow faster over time.

Certificates of Deposits (CDs)

Certificates of Deposit (CDs) offer a short-term, low-risk investment option with fixed interest rates payable at maturity, with terms starting as low as 3 months. Unlike time deposits, CDs are not protected by the Deposit Protection Scheme in Hong Kong. They can be traded in the secondary market or sold back to the issuer, offering higher liquidity. Investors can choose from various tenors and currencies to suit their needs. It's essential to understand the issuer's credit risk and the terms of the CD.

Bonds

A bond is essentially a loan provided by investors to a company or government, promising to repay the principal on the maturity date and periodic interest payments, known as coupons. Bonds and fixed income refer to the same investment type.

Types of Bonds:

  • Government Bonds: Issued by governments to fund various expenditures, considered low-risk due to the financial stability of governments.
  • Corporate Bonds: Issued by companies for financing needs like market expansion or infrastructure, with risk levels varying based on the issuer's stability.

Bond Value Components:

  • Capital Value: The purchase price, influenced by market demand and supply.
  • Coupon Rate: The annual interest payment relative to the bond's face value, fluctuating with the market value.
  • Yield: Higher yields are typically associated with longer maturities and riskier economic environments.

Direct investment requires extensive research, so many opt for fixed income funds managed by specialists. These funds offer diversified portfolios, adjusted for risk and economic conditions, providing both capital and income diversification.

Saving Insurance Plans

Saving insurance plans merge the benefits of a savings account with life insurance coverage, providing a dual advantage of growing wealth and offering financial protection. These plans guarantee a return over a specified period, making them a secure investment choice for long-term financial planning. The insurance component adds a layer of security, ensuring that in the event of unforeseen circumstances, the investor's beneficiaries are financially protected.

Gold

Gold has historically been a safe haven asset, especially during times of economic uncertainty or inflation. While it does not offer interest or dividends like other investment options, gold can appreciate in value over time, providing a hedge against currency devaluation and inflation. Investors can hold gold in various forms, including physical gold, gold ETFs, and gold mutual funds. Investing in gold can diversify an investment portfolio, reducing overall risk.

Maximizing Returns on Time Deposits

Time deposits stand out as a prudent choice for investors seeking stability and predictable returns. By understanding how these accounts work and shopping around for the best rates, individuals can maximise the benefits of time deposits in their financial planning. While traditional banks have long been the go-to for time deposits, the rise of virtual banks has introduced more competitive rates and accessible options, underscoring the importance of thorough research and comparison


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