What are at-call interest rates on savings accounts?
Compare interest rates on at-call savings accounts to make your money work harder for you.
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If you want to earn a high rate of interest on your savings balance but at the same time enjoy easy access to your funds whenever you need, an at-call savings account could be just what you’re looking for.
Many Australian banks, building societies and credit unions offer high-interest savings accounts with convenient at-call access to your funds, but it’s important to compare the interest rates and terms and conditions that apply to these accounts before deciding on the right one for you.
At-call savings account rates you can compare below
Use our table to compare at-call savings accounts. Indicate your initial deposit and your monthly deposits. Choose the number of months you'd like to invest in and click on 'calculate'. While all of the accounts in our table will allow you to access your savings when you want to, in some cases you may forfeit bonus interest or other benefits by doing so.
What is an at-call savings account?
A savings account is a special type of bank account that pays a much higher interest rate on your account balance than an everyday transaction account. This allows you to build a larger savings balance simply by investing your money with a bank.
However, putting funds into some high-interest savings accounts means your money is ‘locked away’ for a certain period of time and you are unable to access it. For example, if you deposit funds into a 12-month term deposit, you won’t be able to access that money until one year from now when the deposit matures.
An at-call savings account, however, provides at-call access to your funds whenever it is convenient for you. This allows you to check your balance and withdraw money at any time without incurring any hefty bank fees.
What are the benefits of at-call savings accounts?
You can access your savings anytime
- With an at-call savings account, you can access the funds in your account at any time. This allows you to meet day-today expenses and deal with any unexpected bills and emergencies that pop up, and can be much more convenient than locking your funds away in a term deposit for months or even years.
There are online, phone and in-branch options available to meet your needs
- Depending on the financial institution and account you choose, you may be able to access your funds via internet banking, mobile banking, phone banking and/or by visiting a branch. BPAY transactions and direct debits can also typically be processed through these types of accounts, making it even easier to manage your money.
You can take advantage of interest rate rises (but also lose when interest rates go down)
- Unlike term deposits which lock your funds in at a fixed interest rate, at-call savings accounts attract a variable interest rate. This allows you to take advantage of any increases in interest rates and start growing your balance at a faster rate — and with interest rates at an all-time low, some investors think it’s only a matter of time before at-call interest rates start to head north once again. The interest rate you're offered usually follow the RBA Cash Rate announcements.
There are generally no minimum deposit requirements so you can kickstart your savings plain
- In the vast majority of cases, there is no minimum deposit needed to open an account or to maintain an account. This allows extra flexibility when managing your money.
Interest is generally calculated daily and paid monthly
- Most at-call savings accounts calculate interest daily and pay it monthly, allowing you to earn compound interest on your initial deposit plus your interest payments. This means that holding your money in an at-call savings account makes it work harder for you. Use our calculator below to see how compound interest can help you earn more money.
Are there any drawbacks?
Interest rates may drop
- Although at-call savings accounts allow you to benefit from any interest rate rises, this also means you run the risk of taking a hit if interest rates drop. You need to factor this possibility into your calculations when deciding on the right place to invest your money.
May need to open a linked account
- In some cases, you may need to open a linked transaction account with the same financial institution in order to be able to transfer funds into your at-call savings account. This step can be inconvenient and means you may also need to contend with extra fees and charges that apply to the linked account.
Other conditions may apply to get the maximum rate
- You will also need to read the terms and conditions closely to check whether any other restrictions apply to your at-call savings account. For example, you may need to keep your account balance below a certain level in order to access the high interest rate and other account features, or fees may apply if you perform more than a certain number of transactions per month.
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How do I compare at-call savings accounts?
Consider the following factors when weighing doing a comparison of at-call accounts and interest rates.
- Look at the interest rate, make sure it's competitive. The interest rate is obviously a key factor to consider when determining which account is right for you. The higher the at-call interest rate the more you can save, but make sure you’re aware that you may need to meet certain conditions each month in order to achieve the maximum available rate. It’s also a good idea to check how often interest is calculated and paid on your account, as this will have a noticeable effect on your finances if your bank balance is regularly fluctuating. Perform an at-call interest rate comparison at finder.com.au today.
- Ensure there are little to no fees charged on the account. Next, check out what fees and charges apply to each at-call savings account. In addition to any monthly or annual fees that apply, consider whether you will be charged any transaction fees or will be charged for accessing your money in any way.
- Think about how often you need to access the savings account for emergencies. How can you access the money in your account? Can you withdraw from your account online only or is access available via mobile, phone or in-branch banking as well? Also check to see whether you can transfer to other accounts, pay bills via BPAY and set up direct debit transactions form your account.
- Read the terms and conditions before you commit to anything. Read the fine print closely to familiarise yourself with any terms and conditions that may apply. For example, if you need to deposit a certain amount each month to achieve the maximum interest rate, or if you will be charged a fee when you exceed a monthly transaction limit.
TIP: Consider opening term deposits as well
While at-call savings accounts undoubtedly offer many benefits, you may also be well placed to take advantage of the security and consistency of the fixed interest rate on a term deposit. You may wish to consider holding a term deposit alongside your at-call savings account so you can have the best of both worlds.
If you think you could benefit from the savings benefits and easy access of an at-call savings account, the best thing you can do is start comparing all your options. Shop around for the best at-call interest rates at finder.com.au today and find out how you can start building a big savings balance.
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