Savings Account Finder® – Compare or switch savings accounts to reduce fees and earn up to 3.40% p.a.

Are you getting the interest rate you deserve?

ING DIRECT Savings Maximiser

ING Direct Savings Account Offer

Apply for the ING DIRECT Savings Maximiser and receive a high interest rate of 3.00% p.a. when you link with an Orange Everyday account and deposit $1,000+ from an external account each month.

  • Maximum Rate: 3.00% p.a.
  • Standard Variable Rate: 2.00% p.a.
  • Bonus Rate: 1.00% p.a.
  • Monthly Account Fees: $0
  • Minimum Balance: $0
  • Minimum Deposit: $0
Rates last updated May 25th, 2016
$
$
months
Maximum Variable Rate p.a. Standard Variable Rate p.a. Bonus Interest p.a. Fees Min Bal / Min Deposit Interest Earned
ING DIRECT Savings Maximiser
Ongoing, variable 3.00% p.a. when you link to an ING Orange Everyday bank account and deposit + each month. Available on balances up to $100,000.
3.00% 2.00% 1.00% $0 $0 / $0 Open More
ME Online Savings Account
Ongoing 3.35% p.a. variable rate when you link to a ME Everyday Transaction account and make a weekly purchase with your Debit MasterCard using tap & go. Available on balances up to $250,000.
3.35% 1.55% 1.80% $0 $0 / $0 Open More
Citibank Online Saver
Introductory rate of 3.40% p.a. for 4 months, reverting to a rate of 2.00% p.a. Available on balances below $500,000.
3.40% 2.00% 1.40% $0 $0 / $0 Open More
Bankwest Hero Saver
Ongoing, variable 2.90% p.a. rate when you deposit at least $200 p/m with no withdrawals. Available on balances up to $250,000.
2.90% 0.01% 2.89% $0 $0 / $0 Open More
ANZ Online Saver
Introductory rate of 2.90% p.a. for 3 months, reverting to 1.55% p.a. Available on the entire balance.
2.90% 1.55% 1.35% $0 $0 / $0 Open More
HSBC Serious Saver
Introductory rate of 2.50% p.a. for 4 months, reverting to 1.85% p.a. Available on balances up to $1,000,000.
2.50% 1.85% 0.65% $0 $0 / $0 Open More
Westpac eSaver
Introductory rate of 2.95% p.a. for 5 months, reverting to 1.50% p.a. Available on the entire balance.
2.95% 1.50% 1.45% $0 $0 / $0 Open More
ANZ Progress Saver
Ongoing, variable 2.26% p.a when you deposit at least $10 and make no withdrawals. Available on the entire balance.
2.26% 0.01% 2.25% $0 $10 / $10 Open More
HSBC Flexi Saver Account
Ongoing, variable 2.25% p.a when you make a minimum monthly deposit of $300. Available on balances up to $5,000,000.
2.25% 1.75% 0.50% $0 $0 / $0 Open More
Westpac Reward Saver
Ongoing, variable 2.25% p.a when you deposit at least $50 and make no withdrawals. Available on the entire balance.
2.25% 0.01% 2.24% $0 $0 / $0 Open More
St.George Maxi Saver
Introductory rate of 3.05% p.a. for 3 months, reverting to 1.25% p.a. Available on the entire balance.
3.05% 1.25% 1.80% $0 $1 / $1 Open More
Bank of Melbourne Maxi Saver
Introductory rate of 3.05% p.a. for 3 months, reverting to 1.25% p.a. Available on the entire balance.
3.05% 1.25% 1.80% $0 $0 / $1 Open More
BankSA Incentive Saver Account
Ongoing, variable 2.25% p.a when you make at least one deposit and no withdrawals. Available on the entire balance.
2.25% 0.01% 2.24% $0 $0 / $1 Open More
Bank of Melbourne Incentive Saver
Ongoing, variable 2.25% p.a when you make at least one deposit and no withdrawals. Available on the entire balance.
2.25% 0.01% 2.24% $0 $0 / $1 Open More
BankSA Maxi Saver
Introductory rate of 3.05% p.a. for 3 months, reverting to 1.25% p.a. Available on the entire balance.
3.05% 1.25% 1.80% $0 $1 / $0 Open More
 
Rates last updated May 25th, 2016
$
$
months
Maximum Variable Rate p.a. Standard Variable Rate p.a. Bonus Interest p.a. Fees Min Bal / Min Deposit Interest Earned
ING DIRECT Savings Maximiser
Ongoing, variable 3.00% p.a. when you link to an ING Orange Everyday bank account and deposit + each month. Available on balances up to $100,000.
3.00% 2.00% 1.00% $0 $0 / $0 Open More
Bankwest Hero Saver
Ongoing, variable 2.90% p.a. rate when you deposit at least $200 p/m with no withdrawals. Available on balances up to $250,000.
2.90% 0.01% 2.89% $0 $0 / $0 Open More
ME Online Savings Account
Ongoing 3.35% p.a. variable rate when you link to a ME Everyday Transaction account and make a weekly purchase with your Debit MasterCard using tap & go. Available on balances up to $250,000.
3.35% 1.55% 1.80% $0 $0 / $0 Open More
Westpac Reward Saver
Ongoing, variable 2.25% p.a when you deposit at least $50 and make no withdrawals. Available on the entire balance.
2.25% 0.01% 2.24% $0 $0 / $0 Open More
ANZ Progress Saver
Ongoing, variable 2.26% p.a when you deposit at least $10 and make no withdrawals. Available on the entire balance.
2.26% 0.01% 2.25% $0 $10 / $10 Open More
Bank of Melbourne Incentive Saver
Ongoing, variable 2.25% p.a when you make at least one deposit and no withdrawals. Available on the entire balance.
2.25% 0.01% 2.24% $0 $0 / $1 Open More
HSBC Flexi Saver Account
Ongoing, variable 2.25% p.a when you make a minimum monthly deposit of $300. Available on balances up to $5,000,000.
2.25% 1.75% 0.50% $0 $0 / $0 Open More
$
Monthly Account Fee Debit Card Access ATM Withdrawal Fee Fee Free Deposit p.m. Details
NAB Classic Banking
Tap and Pay with your Android Phone using NAB Pay.
No minimum deposit required.
Visa $0 $0 No monthly account fees, ever. Free use at over 3,400 NAB and RediATMs Australia wide and $0 overdrawn fees. Open More
Bankwest Qantas Transaction Account
Earn Qantas Points on eligible purchases and on your account balance.
Conditions apply.
Mastercard $0 $2,000 No monthly fees when you deposit at least $2,000 into your account each month. Free access to Bankwest and CommBank ATMs in Australia. No overseas ATM withdrawal fees (charged by Bankwest) though third party fees may apply. Open More
ING DIRECT Orange Everyday Account
Get up to 2% cash back on Visa payWave purchases.
Get a competitive ongoing variable rate when linked with a Savings Maximiser.
Visa $0 $0 No monthly fees, and you can use any ATM in Australia for free when you deposit $1,000 each month e.g your salary. Open More
Citibank Plus Everyday Account
Enjoy 5% cash back on Visa payWave purchases (conditions apply).
Free international money transfers and free overseas Citibank ATM withdrawals.
Visa $0 $0 No ATM fees using Citibank, Westpac, BankSA and St.George branded ATMs in Australia. Use overseas Citibank ATMs for free. Open More
HSBC Day to Day Transaction Account
Your Visa debit card unlocks special privileges worldwide with the HSBC home&Away Privilege Program.
Visa $0 $0 $0 monthly fees. No ATM fees at over 3,000 HSBC, Westpac, St.George, Bank of Melbourne and BankSA ATMs. Open More
ANZ Access Advantage
Apple Pay now available.
Unlimited transactions at ANZ ATMs, EFTPOS, Internet, Mobile and Phone Banking.
Visa $0 $2,000 No monthly account fee when you deposit at least $2,000 per month. Other fee waivers available based on your personal situation. Open More
Bankwest Easy Transaction Account
Pay no ATM fees at over 10,000 ATMs in Australia (conditions apply).
Mastercard $0 $2,000 Minimum deposit of $2,000 per month needed to waive the monthly account fee otherwise $6 monthly fee applies. No ATM fee applicable at Bankwest, CBA, NAB, ANZ, Westpac, St.George, BoM and BankSA ATMs in Australia. Open More
Westpac Choice
$0 ATM withdrawal fee at 50,000+ ATMs globally.
Via Westpac's Global ATM Alliance. Get Cash without your debit card (conditions apply).
Mastercard $0 $2,000 No ATM fees when using St.George, Westpac, BankSA or Bank of Melbourne ATMs in Australia. Deposit at least $2,000 per month and enjoy no monthly service fee. Open More
BankSA Complete Freedom Account
Open one in less than 5 minutes with Cardless Cash available.
Visa $0 $2,000 No monthly account keeping fees when you deposit at least $2,000 in the account each month. Free access to BankSA, St.George, Westpac and Bank of Melbourne ATMs. Open More
St.George Complete Freedom Account
$0 ATM withdrawal fee at 50,000+ ATMs globally.
Via St.George's Global ATM Alliance. Cardless Cash available with an SMS and email alert system.
Visa $0 $2,000 No account keeping fees, if you deposit $2,000 per month plus no minimum balance required. No ATM fees when using St.George, Westpac and BankSA ATMs. Open More
BankSA Express Freedom Account
Get Cardless Cash, free SMS and email alerts.
Visa $0 $1,000 Avoid ATM fees when using BankSA, St.George, Bank of Melbourne and Westpac ATMs. Avoid the monthly fee if you deposit $1000 into this account each month. Open More
Bank of Melbourne Complete Freedom
Get Cardless cash and shop securely with your Visa debit card. Customise SMS and email alerts.
Visa $0 $2,000 No ATM fees when you use Bank of Melbourne, BankSA, St.George or Westpac ATMs. No monthly fees when you deposit at least $2000 into this account each month. Open More
Bank of Melbourne Express Freedom
Get Cardless Cash and PAYG branch and cheque services.
Visa $0 $1,000 No ATM fees when you use Bank of Melbourne, St.George, Westpac and BankSA ATMs. No monthly fees if you deposit $1000 into your account each month. Open More
BankSA Sense Everyday Account
Save and budget – get two accounts working together and save faster.
Visa $0 $2,000 Use over 3000 BankSA, St.George, Bank Of Melbourne and Westpac ATMs in Australia for free. Open More
$
3 Mths p.a. 4 Mths p.a. 6 Mths p.a. 7 Mths p.a. 12 Mths p.a. 24 Mths p.a. 36 Mths p.a. 48 Mths p.a. 60 Mths p.a. Min Deposit Interest Earned
Bank of Queensland Term Deposit
Bank of Queensland Term Deposit
2.85% 2.00% 2.95% 2.00% 2.85% 2.70% 2.75% 2.75% - $1,000 Open More
ME Term Deposit
ME Term Deposit
2.40% 2.40% 3.30% 2.50% 3.05% 3.00% 3.00% 3.10% 3.20% $1,000 Open More
Bankwest Online Term Deposit
Bankwest Online Term Deposit
2.90% 2.00% 2.90% 2.00% 2.85% 2.90% 2.90% 3.00% 3.00% $1,000 Open More
St.George Term Deposit
St.George Term Deposit
2.40% 2.00% 2.45% 2.00% 2.45% 2.70% 2.75% 2.80% 3.10% $1,000 Open More
Bank of Melbourne Term Deposit
Bank of Melbourne Term Deposit
2.40% 2.00% 2.45% 2.00% 2.45% 2.70% 2.75% 2.80% 3.10% $1,000 Open More
BankSA Term Deposit
BankSA Term Deposit
2.40% 2.00% 2.45% 2.00% 2.45% 2.70% 2.75% 2.80% 3.10% $1,000 Open More
Westpac Term Deposit
Westpac Term Deposit
2.35% 2.00% 2.40% 2.00% 2.45% 2.65% 2.65% 2.70% 3.10% $5,000 Open More
 

What would you like to know more about today?

ResearchCompareCalculateExpert Help

Calculate how much interest you could earn in seconds

Infographic: How easy it is to apply with finder.com.au

Back to top

What's the best savings account for me?

When it comes to choosing the best savings account for your needs, you will need to assess your own savings style.

Your savings style

It comes down to how serious you are about saving. Can you regularly save a certain amount of money on a monthly basis without making any or only a few withdrawals? If yes, then you may benefit more out of a bonus saver account. These accounts award you with a bonus interest rate if you make a certain deposit and no or a few withdrawals for the month. However, if you miss out on the conditions for that particular month – not to worry, you are still eligible for the bonus interest rate for the next month.

For those who are not-so-serious or have a sporadic way of saving, then you may benefit from a introductory savings account more than the other types of accounts. An introductory savings account offers a bonus interest rate for the first couple of months of opening the account, regardless of whether you can make withdrawals or deposits. A small catch is that typically, you need to be a new customer, that is, a customer that has never held that particular account before. Click here for more information about choosing an account suitable for your personal and financial situation.

What's the benefit of a savings account?
  • Savings account provide a secure place to keep your money. In return, your bank will give you interest.
  • The funds are typically not as accessible as the money in your transaction account, and in some cases you could even lose interest for pulling it out, giving you an even bigger incentive to leave the cash alone until you really need it.
  • Question: When deciding between a bonus saver account and an introductory savings account, which considerations should I weigh up? This depends on how often the customer needs to access the funds. Bonus savers are designed to encourage savings by rewarding customers with bonus interest as long as they meet the eligibility criteria. For introductory bonus accounts, the bonus interest rate is rewarded regardless, but only lasts for a certain number of months.
  • Question: Should I lock in my savings or keep it at call? An excess number of cash accounts offering different rates for different investment turns, it may be confusing to know which one is better suited to your needs. Generally, a higher interest rate means less flexibility to access your money. Think about how often you'll need to dip into the funds – for flexibility, opt for an at-call account. For less flexibility, consider locking it in.
Back to top

How does a savings account work?

Savings accounts lets you deposit money to accrue interest and building your savings. They offer a higher interest rate on the balance and limited access so that you are not tempted to make random purchases with it.

Most are linked to your transaction account, allowing you to transfer your cash back and forth. Some banks will even encourage you to save more by offering incentives such as bonus interest for not making any withdrawals. This provides an easier way for you to reach your saving goals faster if you have the discipline to consistently meet the terms.

  • What constitutes as a new customer for most bank accounts and credit cards? This would depend on the individual bank or product, but in most cases you will need to have never held that particular account. Or, you could expect a time frame of at least six months to a year where you were not an existing customer in order to qualify as new.
  • Why does the ATO tax me on my earned interest? Interest is considered a form of earnings, much in the same way as your salary. It is for this reason it is included as a part of your tax filing.
  • How are interest rates set for savings accounts? Banks have the liberty of being able to set interest rates on their savings accounts and will take into account the expense of maintaining the account and what the other banks are offering at the same time.
Case Study: Finding the right bank account
Emily has some money, around $500 - $1500 that earns no interest and she withdraws from the fund every couple of months. She's looking for an account that awards interest no only on deposits but on the current balance, also with no fees or monthly deposit requirements.

How does compounding interest work?

With compounding interest, your interest earned is paid into the savings account periodically rather than at the end of a term. Usually monthly payments are made, allowing you to earn interest on those interest earnings the following month. Click here to learn more about how compound interest can benefit you.


Since Emily is looking for an account that awards interest with no conditions, she may want to compare introductory savings accounts. They'll award interest whether you can make deposit requirements and calculates interest on a daily basis. Typically, these accounts don't have monthly fees or have deposit requirements.

Can you get a debit card for a savings account?

Typically you don't get a linked debit card with your savings account – but there are a number of transaction accounts that offer a competitive interest rate. Most transaction account offer 0% on your balance.

I currently receive Centrelink but I can't see the amount on my bank statement. What should I do?

Take a photocopy of your bank statement to the bank, along with evidence that you currently receive a Centrelink allowance. You can then request for the bank to reissue it.

How do I find a savings account for my situation?

Are youDescriptionFeaturesConsider
Youth and studentWhether you're studying, doing an apprenticeship or under 18, there are still a range of account available for you. Every dollar counts at this stage, so check if you're eligible for a low-cost student account.
  • Fee-free everyday banking
  • Linked debit card
  • 24/7 access to your banking
Saving for a goalSetting a goal and setting up a savings plan is easier than you think. There are a few ideas that can help, including taking advantage of a sweep facility or locking it away in a term deposit. Also, take note of the interest rate and understand the features you can use.
  • Sweep facility
  • Bonus interest awarded when deposit and withdrawal requirements are met
  • Automatic savings plan
Retired and seniorsWhether you love the convenience of Internet and Phone banking, or prefer face-to-face banking in a branch – financial institutions offer a range of options.
  • Competitive interest rate
  • Fee-free everyday banking
Accounts for childrenMost parents want to help their kids manage their money responsibly and learning to save is an important skill for the future. Help your child's savings grow by choosing the right account.
  • Bonus interest awarded for saving
New to AustraliaWhether you've moved to Australia for work or study, Australian banks have a wide range of options for you. You'll need an everyday bank account for your everyday banking and most likely a savings account to store any surplus cash.
  • Migrant services
  • Multilingual ATMs and bank staff
  • 24/7 banking
  • Cheap overseas money transfers
Back to top

How do I find the highest interest rate or highest yield savings account on your site?

Our comparison table above lets you sort the products in the order of your choosing. For example, if you're looking for savings account with the highest maximum variable rate, click on 'Maximum Variable Rate p.a.' and the table will order the products from highest to lowest.

Screenshot 2015-12-01 14.12.19

What does high yield mean?

High yield basically refers to high return - similar to a high interest rate.

The highest interest rate also depends on your balance - savings accounts for large sums

The maximum variable rate is typically awarded up to a certain balance, so if you have a high balance, say more than $500,000 then you'll have a smaller pool of savings accounts to compare. Select the range that best describes your total balance to compare these types of accounts.

What's the difference between a headline rate and base rate?

The headline rate is the rate that bank's advertise to get your attention. While it may be relatively high, it pays to make sure what conditions are attached. The base rate is the standard variable rate and this is the true rate that you'll eventually receive. On finder.com.au, the headline rate is the maximum variable rate and the base rate is the standard variable rate.

Savers are encouraged to look beyond the headline rate. Attractive promotional rates on your savings accounts can eventually revert to the standard variable rate and is normally a significant difference – so it pays to know the conditions attached to your account and the duration of the headline rate. Moving larger sums of money into a term deposit is one way to bypass this, as term deposits offer a fixed interest rate for its duration.

How do I make the most interest?

One of the more obvious answers is to opt for a high or competitive interest rate. Since interest is typically calculated on a daily basis but paid monthly, be sure to leave as much money as you can in your account until the month has passed and the interest has been paid accordingly.

What features should I look for in a savings account?

  • No or little fees. Most banks nowadays don’t charge a monthly fee for maintaining a savings account. If you’re currently paying a monthly fee, it could be a sign to switch.
  • High or competitive interest rates. The interest rate on savings accounts will determine how much money your balance will earn. Look for compounded rates, where interest is deposited monthly allowing you to earn interest on that balance as well.
  • Great accessibility. The level of accessibility to look for depends on your preferences and personal savings goals. While an on call savings account allows you almost instant access, term deposits and notice savers require that you plan ahead for when you are going to want to access your money.
  • Bonus incentives. Some banks offer introductory incentives for new savings accounts, such as bonus interest or fee reduction.
Back to top

What types of savings accounts do you compare?

Click on the links below to find out more.

What are the pros and cons of a savings account?

Pros

  • Security. Your deposits of up to $250,000 are secured by the Australian Government (per person per institution), making a savings account a much safer place to store your money.
  • Earn interest. While inside of a savings account, your money is at work earning interest each day that it stays put in the account.
  • Flexibility. You have different types of savings account available to meet various needs, making it easy to find one that suits your circumstance.

Cons

  • Variable rates. Standard savings accounts and notice savers typically come with a variable rate of interest, meaning that your money may not always be growing as quickly as you like. If you’d like a fixed interest rate, a term deposit may be more suitable.
  • Accessibility. The ease in which you can access your savings is something that you should consider carefully. Certain types of accounts, such as term deposits, will penalise you with fees and reduced rates if you make an early withdrawal. This is not ideal if an emergency arises that necessitates you accessing your savings immediately.
Back to top

Which savings account is best to park my cash for a home deposit?

This depends on when you intend to purchase your property. If you're currently looking for a property, a high interest savings account provides the flexibility of withdrawing your funds at call. However, if you don't think you'll be looking for a property very soon, then a term deposit or notice saver could be beneficial.

It provides a higher interest rate than a savings account but with less flexibility. For a term deposit, you'll be able to access your funds on a certain date, whereas you'll need to give a certain number of days notice to access the funds in your notice saver. Also, be mindful that many banks have tiered interest rates, so when you've reached around the $100,000 – $250,000 mark you may be receiving less interest. In this case, you may want to consider opening multiple accounts across multiple banks. You'll diversify your assets and take advantage of the higher rates. Click here to compare accounts where the maximum rate applies to balances over $250,000.

Is it bad to open multiple savings accounts?

Choosing the amount of savings accounts to own is a completely individual decision. Do whatever it takes to help you achieve your financial goals without it cost you in fees, interest, inconvenient minimum balance or deposit requirements. If all your needs are met with one savings account, then it's fine to stay with just one account. You may find that it's easier to have two separate savings accounts for different financial goals – this is completely fine too.

I've just come across a bonus, inheritance or tax refund – what's the best way to spend it?

  • Pay of personal debt off. This includes credit cards, personal loans and making additional repayments to your home loan.
  • Create or add to your emergency fund. Ideally you'd want to build enough savings to cover about 3-6 months to cover your lifestyle should you not receive income.
  • Pay some towards your superfund. If you haven't retired yet, consider putting the additional funds into your super. Extra contributions can boost the balance.
  • Put some into a high interest savings account. While you're choosing what to do with the money, put it into a HISA so it earns at least some interest.

What's the application process like?

The application process typically contains three parts: making sure you're eligible to apply, gathering the relevant documents and waiting for your account to be opened.

Eligibility to apply online

If you would like to apply for a savings account online, you generally need to meet the following criteria:

  • You're an Australia resident for tax purposes
  • You're at least 18 years old and
  • You're opening the account for personal reasons.
Not an Australian resident or applying for your business?
Don't worry, you can still apply for a savings account here in Australia but it may be best to apply over the phone or within a branch. If you're an immigrant coming into Australia or a foreign investor, we also have information around the application process that's appropriate for you.

  • Q: I'm a UK citizen living in the UK. Would an Australian bank accept my application? It's a legal requirement for Australian banks to complete a identification check on all applicants who want to open an account. For that reason, it may be best to speak to a local bank in the UK that has affiliates with an Australian bank such as the Commonwealth Bank or ANZ UK.
  • Q: Can I open an offshore saving bank account in Australia with no minimum deposit, zero average balance maintenance with minimum fees? This is possible, you'll find that most bank accounts in Australia don't require a minimum deposit or ongoing minimum balance. For banks that can offer offshore accounts, consider the big four: Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, ANZ and NAB.
  • Q: I'm travelling to Pakistan at the end of the month and I'm not sure if my Australia issued debit card will be okay to use at the ATMs and vendors for cash withdrawals and purchases? You'll find that most Australian issue debit cards will work overseas, this is mainly because the debit cards are linked to either the MasterCard or Visa network. Before you leave, it's a good idea to check with your bank about the fees and charges that apply. A travel transaction account may be more appropriate.

Documentation

The following documents will be handy to have and could speed up your application process:

  • Your personal details. Such as your full name, address, phone number and email address.
  • Your Tax File Number. This ensures that you get taxed right when earning interest and not at the highest marginal rate.
  • Identification. A driver's licence, passport or birth certificate will do.

What are the rules around 100 point identity verification?

You may need to provide 100 points of identification in order to prove your identity when opening a bank account. While this ‘10-point check’ was once a legal requirement in Australia, this is no longer the case under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing Act 2006.

However, many individual banks still require you to provide 100 points of ID before you can open an account. Items such as a passport or birth certificate are worth 70 points, while secondary documents such as driver’s licences are worth 40 points. If you already have an account with the same bank you will not have to satisfy the 100-point check.

Click on your state or territory in the map below to find your local financial institution

Back to top

What are my options when sending money overseas?

There are a few options when it comes to sending money overseas but the two most common are using your current bank account or using an international money transfer.

  • Your current bank account. There are number of considerations here, like the cost of the transfer, third party fees, recipient fees and the exchange rate (though some accounts don't charge any fees for sending money overseas at all). Sending money using your current bank is usually a safer option as banks have a number of security features in place. However, in return for this security, your international transfer may be more expensive.
  • International money transfers. This is when you use a third party to handle the international transfer for you. You may find that they charge cheaper fees with better exchange rates, due to the nature of their business model. Some transfer services also specialise in transfer to a particular country.

Can I deposit a foreign or overseas cheque?

Most banks will let you deposit an overseas cheque into your Australian transaction account, but there may be fees involved. Typically a processing fee is charged and it could take up to a month for the cheque to be processed. Check your Product Disclosure Statement or get in touch with your financial institution to enquire about what fees could apply to you.

Should I use a travel card or a credit card when I travel?

It's actually recommended that you bring a mix of travel money when your travel, so you're not just limiting yourself to just one account. One advantage with a travel card is that you can lock in your exchange rates before you leave – whereas a credit card is very helpful for emergencies and large purchases. See our travel money section for more information about your options when going overseas.

What about buying a house overseas?

If you're buying a house abroad you may be thinking about exchange rates, what account you could open and where. For international money transfer options, see the information here. You'll need an account both here in Australia and account in the country that you're purchasing the property with. Whether it's an offset account or transaction account, that's up to you – but it may be a good idea to speak to a financial planner or mortgage broker about your options first.

The interest rates overseas are a lot higher, can I invest overseas?

The general answer is yes for well-developed economies. Well-developed countries have regulated financial industries that could provide more security for your money, compared to a country that doesn't. They also have well-established banks that can facilitate account for non-residents. There are a number of considerations, such as the exchange rate and tax implications. Remember, if your local country's interest rate isn't doing so well but another country's is, it's likely that there will be a significant in the currency exchange. In Australia, if you invest overseas, you're also accountable to pay tax on any profits you make.

Can I use OFX to exchange from AUS to a foreign currency, to deposit in an Australian based foreign currency account?

Yes you can OFX to this, you'll need to nominate your foreign currency account as the recipient account and keep an eye out for how much you actually get deposited into your account. There may be a lot of third party fees involved. For more information on OFX international money transfers, see this page.

Case Study: Ozzie and his $10,000
Ozzie currently studies, works and can save up to $1,500 a month which he puts into his savings accounts. However, Ozzie doesn't really want to tuck the money away since he's travelling to Japan within a few months.

Does PayPal charge international fees?

PayPal is a platform that facilitates transfers and generally does not charge fees. It's actually your bank that is charging the fees, rather than PayPal. For example, if you're in Australia buying a product that is being sold in AUD, then generally there are no fees. However, if you're purchasing an item denoted in USD then you'll most likely be charged the currency conversion fee by your bank. There are ways around this, take a look at travel transaction accounts to find out more.

Transaction accountHigh interest savings accountTerm deposit
Pros
  • Can access his cash at anytime
  • Will earn a competitive interest rate on his money
  • Depending on the terms and conditions, can constantly earn the bonus interest rate
  • Generally can withdraw 'at call'
  • Will earn a competitive interest rate
  • Could opt for a short-term term deposit, such as 30 days
Cons
  • Won't be earning much interest on his money
  • Transfers could take up to two business days
  • Funds are not 'at call'

Using the table above, the most appropriate options for Ozzie would be a high interest savings account, or a term deposit with a short maturity period.

Are there are any risks with a savings account?

Ensuring that the savings account you choose is compatible with the way you manage your finances is critical if you want the most benefit. Consider the following when choosing a savings account to ensure that it will fit your lifestyle:

  • Inflexible terms. If there are certain requirements that must be met in order to receive a competitive interest rate you should first consider if you are going to be able to meet those consistently.
  • Choosing the right account type. If you are a casual saver who is saving for a rainy day, then an on call account may be the best choice for you. However, if your savings are meant for a future goal, you should be considering investing them in a term deposit where you get a higher rate of interest, and incentive not to dip into the funds.

What happens to unclaimed funds in a bank account?

The Australian Government currently has a rule where accounts that have been dormant for 3 years can be closed by the financial institution. If this has happened to you, see our guide to claiming your money.

Christmas holidays: Savings tips for readers
  • Pay yourself first. Set up a deposit from your pay that goes directly into an external account, like a Christmas saver account. This way, your savings and spending money are separated.
  • Set savings goals. Having more savings could mean a better lifestyle, helping you take control on your financial future.
  • Implement a budget. This will help you manage your expenses and income. Review on an annual basis to make sure it's still meeting your needs.
  • Understand the benefits of compound interest. The more you have in your account, the quicker your interest grows.
  • Take advantage of features. Including the offset account linked to your home loan or the sweep facility on your transaction account.
Back to top

Budgeting and financial planning

There's a lot more to budgeting than it meets the eye: apart from diverting a portion of your money into a savings account and not relying on your credit card too much there are few goals you should be considering:

  • Your holiday. Though it is a luxury, it doesn't mean you can't fit it into your financial habits. If you prepare for big expenses like this, they are less likely to be a financial burden later. Rather than using debt to finance a holiday, use your savings.
  • Being financially independent. The thought of not worrying about money – ever – may feel unachievable, but with the right steps, you'll be a lot further ahead than others. Budget to get rid of debt and increase your assets, whether it's in shares or a savings account.
  • Emergencies and the unexpected. Some unexpected events can be positive: a relative has a baby, your best friend is getting married or your buying a pet. All these exciting things, as well as the not-so-exciting can cut into your savings. Pay attention to your budget and your rainy day fund to ensure that you can meet these unexpected costs, so they don't add on your debt.

What’s the best thing to do with my savings?

People tend to spend their savings to help them reach their personal or financial goals. This could be your dream holiday or car, or a deposit for your home loan.

How can I not stress about money?

Money is important – but did you know that nearly half of adults between the age of 25 and 45 think dealing with money is stressful? There are a few reasons why: we're never taught how to handle money at school, it's not often talked about and we're forced to make choices daily about it. Here are some tips to help you not stress about money:

  • Prioritise your needs. Most things we buy have a zero, long term impact. For example, for how much longer are you going to keep that smartphone before the next version is released? Aim for bigger things such as buying a home, not having any debt or travelling.
  • Talk about money often. Problems with money don't just go away – the more you bring it us, the more likely you'll be able to understand and deal with your financial situation.
  • Protect your assets. This includes regularly depositing money into your superfund, or protecting your assets with insurance.
  • Seek financial advice. If you're interested in building your wealth with a sizeable deposit, you may want to consider speaking to a financial planner to discuss your options.

What are your top savings tips for May 2016?

Whatever your goals is for May 2016, you'll need to come with a savings strategy. Here are our few tips:

  • Quick your bad habits. If you've been looking for an excuse to cut down on alcohol, quit smoking or go on that caffeine detox, this could be it. Cutting down on those small costs regularly eventually accumulate to big savings.
  • Know where your spending your money. If your goal is to save for something big, tracking where you're spending the money so you know what your limit is every month. Apps like Pocketbook, or even banking platforms like Netbank can let you know how much you're spending in each area.
  • One week off, one week on. Try staying home for one weekend and then going out for the other. This strategy works out well for families as the kids don't mind taking a break off their regular lifestyle – but only for a week.
  • BYO. Bring your own wine if possible when you go out for dinner, bring your own lunch to work.
Are you experiencing financial hardship?

If you would like free financial counselling you can call the Financial Counsellors hotline on 1800 007 007. It is open from 9:30am to 4pm, Monday to Friday

Past questions from actual users

Does finder.com.au have information about refinancing and separation?

Yes we do, please see this page around refinancing your home loan debt after a divorce.

Do you have any information about how I can read my home loan statement?

Please see this page for a guide on how to read your home loan statement.

Have you heard about ethical banking?

We've written some content around Islamic home loans, where the structure has strong rules about not charging interest. You can read more here.

Can you tell me what a bank bill swap rate (BBSR) is?

The BBSR is the interest rate charged by the Reserve Bank of Australia when lending money to other financial institutions in Australia. For more information, see this page.

Why can't I add notes on my BPAY transactions?

When you make a BPAY transaction for a bill or your credit card, you supply what is called your Customer Reference Number (CRN), from the Biller's point of view, this is the ID that identifies you, as the customer, what you're paying for. If you're looking to add personal notes that only appear for you to see and don't see this feature available on your internet banking platform, it could be a sign to upgrade. To our knowledge, the Commonwealth Bank lets you do this online. If you know of any other banks, be sure to let us know in the comments.

Are all savings accounts linked to a transaction account?

To make the transfer of money into the account easier, savings accounts are typically linked with a transaction account.

Can I have my savings with one bank and my transaction account with another?

This depends on the institution. Some will allow you to link your savings account with a transaction account from another financial institution, while others will insist that both accounts be with the same bank.

How is the interest paid?

Interest is typically calculated on a daily basis and then deposited directly into the savings account at the end of the month. There are some banks that will apply the interest payment to your transaction account. With term deposits you can choose with what frequency interest payments are made.
Disclaimer
 *The savings account offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of savings accounts finder.com.au has access to track details from and is not representative of all the products available in the market. Products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of terms 'Best' and 'Top' are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your own personal financial circumstances when comparing savings accounts.

Rates are displayed for the terms and minimum deposit sizes listed in the table above. The rate you receive could vary depending on your deposit size and interest payment frequency.

finder.com.au is an 100% free comparison and information service that helps Aussies find the right account for their needs. We compare a wide range of accounts where you can read our reviews to help you determine if the product is right for you. We also provide helpful tools, tips and guides to help you quickly compare the market's leading transaction accountshigh interest savings accounts and term deposits.

Ask a Question

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Disclaimer: At finder.com.au we provide factual information and general advice. Before you make any decision about a product read the Product Disclosure Statement and consider your own circumstances to decide whether it is appropriate for you.
Rates and fees mentioned in comments are correct at the time of publication.
By submitting this question you agree to the finder.com.au privacy policy, receive follow up emails related to finder.com.au and to create a user account where further replies to your questions will be sent.

2 Responses to Savings Account Finder® – Compare or switch savings accounts to reduce fees and earn up to 3.40% p.a.

  1. Default Gravatar
    Margaret | November 6, 2015

    Can I get a Day to Day interest account at Suncorp bank

    • Staff
      Belinda | November 12, 2015

      Hi Margaret,

      Thanks for your enquiry.

      If you’re interested in applying for a high-interest savings account with Suncorp bank, you can compare their transaction, savings and term deposit accounts on this page.

      With a Suncorp savings account, interest is calculated daily and paid into your account each month, quarter or six months depending on which account you hold. If you’d like to find out more about how and when interest is calculated for a particular account, you can view their ‘Product Features at a Glance’ section of the Personal Deposit Account Product Information document on their website.

      Thanks,
      Belinda

Ask a question
feedback

Exciting news!

myNBN.info is now part of the finder.com.au family.

Read more about what this means

Win $200!

Tell us about your health insurance and you could win.

Take our quick survey