What does an interest rate rise mean for you?

Rates and fees last updated on

How you can deal with a rise in the official cash rateRBA-Feature-Image

It seems that every time you turn on the news or read a paper you’ll hear a variety of economists and other financial experts speculating about interest rate rises. These stories are usually accompanied by talk of consumer confidence, unemployment rates and the housing market, all of which can be quite confusing for the average consumer.

So, what does it mean when the interest rate rises? How does a rise in the Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) cash rate affect your day-to-day finances? Read on to find out.

What is a rate hike?

Every month, the board of the RBA meets to decide on the official cash rate. This rate is the interest rate that the RBA charges on the overnight loans it gives to commercial banks, and changes to it are announced on the first Tuesday afternoon of each month (except for January). Depending on a range of factors including everything from the strength of the Aussie Dollar to levels of consumer confidence, the RBA will decide whether to raise the rate, lower it or keep it steady.

When cash rate increase or fall, they usually do so in increments of 0.25%.

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What does a rate hike mean for me?

Home Loans

A rise in the cash rate is not the best news for mortgage holders. If the rate change is passed on by your lender, you can expect a higher interest rate on your home loan. Of course, this obviously increases the amount of interest you will have to pay towards the amount you have borrowed to buy your home.

However, people who hold a fixed rate loan will be able to avoid the impact of the interest rate rise. This does offer an extra level of security and certainty, but does also mean you can’t enjoy savings when interest rates fall.

If you want to protect yourself from interest rate rises, you may wish to look at refinancing your loan to find a better rate and a more affordable home loan package. If you have a loan that allows you to make extra repayments ahead of schedule, consider doing this to reduce the amount of the principal you will need to pay interest on when rates rise. Loans with offset accounts can also help you reduce the amount of money you’ll need to pay interest on.

Finally, consider making more frequent repayments towards your loan. If you switch from monthly repayments to a fortnightly schedule, you’ll be able to pay more off your loan off the course of a year and also pay less interest.

Compare current home loan offers

Rates last updated September 24th, 2017
$
Loan purpose
Offset account
Loan type
Your filter criteria do not match any product
Name Product Interest Rate (p.a.) Comp Rate^ (p.a.) Application Fee Ongoing Fees Max LVR Monthly Payment Short Description
3.64%
3.66%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A basic home loan with a competitive rate and low fees.
3.54%
3.54%
$440
$0 p.a.
80%
Borrow up to 80% LVR with no ongoing fees and a 100% offset account.
3.74%
3.74%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Combine a low variable interest rate and free redraw with no application or ongoing fees.
3.64%
3.66%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A home loan with a competitive variable rate, limited fees and plenty of flexibility.
3.69%
3.72%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A low rate home loan with no ongoing fees.
3.49%
4.47%
$0
$375 p.a.
90%
Discount off an already competitive interest rate for loans over $150k. NSW, QLD and ACT residents only.
3.72%
3.74%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Take advantage of a 100% offset account along with no annual or application fees.
3.79%
3.84%
$445
$0 p.a.
90%
A special limited time offer for owner occupiers. An IMB Transaction Account must be opened with this loan.
3.79%
3.92%
$0
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
80%
A competitive variable rate home loan with flexible features. You can earn 30,000 Velocity Points for every $100k you borrow (for a limited time, subject to eligibility requirements).
3.86%
3.87%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Pay no ongoing fees on a competitive variable rate home loan.
3.69%
4.86%
$0
$395 p.a.
90%
A special rate for first home buyers buying residential property and borrowing over $150K. 350K NAB Rewards Points offer available. Terms and conditions apply.
3.65%
3.66%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
Enjoy a low variable rate with no ongoing fees and borrow up to 90% of the value of the property.
3.69%
4.15%
$395
$0 p.a.
80%
A one year fixed rate offer with no ongoing bank fees.
3.84%
3.84%
$0
$0 p.a.
110%
Requires a family member to act as guarantor. Discounted rate available with family pledge loans. Family pledge loans require no LMI and no deposit. NSW, Qld and ACT only.
3.79%
4.00%
$0
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
90%
Get a competitive interest rate for 3 years and a discounted variable rate when the fixed period ends.
3.74%
4.06%
$0
$299 p.a.
95%
A loan with no application fee and borrow up to 95% LVR.
3.97%
4.02%
$445
$0 p.a.
90%
Get a competitive rate without features you may not use.
3.77%
3.81%
$200
$0 p.a.
95%
A basic home loan with a low interest rate and a redraw facility available.
3.85%
4.10%
$500
$0 p.a.
95%
Apply for Easy Street fixed rate home loans and get a competitive loan with a fixed interest rate.
3.69%
3.75%
$600
$0 p.a.
80%
A low interest rate variable home loan with no ongoing fees.
3.64%
4.83%
$0
$0 p.a.
95%
Owner-occupiers can lock in a competitive rate with no ongoing fees. Conditions apply.
3.84%
3.84%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
A competitive variable rate with a redraw facility. NSW, QLD and ACT residents only.
3.99%
4.02%
$600
$0 p.a.
90%
Take advantage of a 0.60% discount on your rate, a 100% offset account and no ongoing fees.
3.68%
3.69%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A competitive variable rate product with low fees offered by a 100% online lender.
3.74%
3.75%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
A special variable rate home loan with no application or ongoing fees.
3.97%
3.99%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
A discounted interest rate home loan with no monthly fees.
3.97%
3.97%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A competitive variable rate home loan with no ongoing fees.
3.74%
4.81%
$0
$0 p.a.
95%
Get a competitive 2-year fixed rate with no application or ongoing fees.
3.72%
4.19%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Enjoy a variable 3 year introductory rate with the Bankwest Equaliser Home Loan.
3.69%
4.00%
$0
$350 p.a.
95%
Fix your rate for 3 years and borrow up to 95% LVR.
3.88%
4.89%
$0
$395 p.a.
95%
A fixed rate package with flexible repayment options. 350K NAB Rewards Points offer available. Terms and conditions apply.
3.99%
4.02%
$395
$0 p.a.
80%
A flexible low-rate variable home loan that lets you combine your loan with other financial products.
3.83%
3.83%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
A special low variable rate for owner occupiers with 100% offset account and no application or ongoing fees.
3.69%
4.08%
$0
$395 p.a.
90%
A high maximum LVR home loan with redraw facility and additional payments.
3.64%
3.64%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
A basic low-rate home loan that still offers some useful features.
3.69%
4.45%
$0
$375 p.a.
90%
Discount off an already competitive 2 year fixed rate for loans over $150k. NSW,QLD and ACT residents only.
3.99%
4.77%
$0
$0 p.a.
95%
A competitive 3 year fixed rate with a redraw facility and split loan options, plus no application fee.
3.74%
4.85%
$0
$0 p.a.
95%
Enjoy a low interest rate and borrow up to 95% (with LMI) of your property's value.
3.99%
4.90%
$0
$395 p.a.
95%
Lock in a discounted fixed rate with a low service fee.
4.33%
4.33%
$363
$0 p.a.
70%
A variable home loan with $0 annual or monthly fees.
4.03%
4.07%
$0
$0 p.a.
95%
Enjoy a basic home loan with a high LVR and no application or ongoing fees.
3.85%
4.95%
$0
$395 p.a.
95%
A discounted package rate for owner occupiers with the ability to package a Qantas rewards earning Amplify credit card. $1,500 cashback available for refinancers. Conditions apply.
3.99%
4.99%
$0
$395 p.a.
95%
A package home loan with fee free extra repayments available during the fixed term.
4.39%
5.42%
$300
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
95%
Borrow up to and fix in a 3 year home loan rate. Access your account via internet and phone banking.
3.69%
4.03%
$0
$299 p.a.
80%
Enjoy a low variable rate with no application fee.
3.88%
4.47%
$0
$0 p.a.
95%
This competitive introductory rate is a limited time offer for new owner-occupiers
3.68%
3.69%
$600
$0 p.a.
90%
Get a low variable rate along with some important basic features.
3.80%
3.81%
$0
$0 p.a.
95%
A no frills loan with a competitive rate and a maximum LVR of 95%.

Have we missed anything in the comparison table? Tell us

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Savings accounts

A rate hike from the RBA can lead to good things for people who have money tucked away in a savings account. If your bank matches the RBA’s rate rise and offers a higher interest rate on savings accounts, your balance is obviously going to be boosted as you earn increased interest on the money you have already saved.

As a general rule, rate hikes offer a much greater incentive for consumers to save their money rather than spend it.

However, just like with fixed home loans, term deposit accounts will not receive the benefit of an interest rate rise as their rates are locked in for a set period. Once your deposit matures, it may be time to shop around for an account that offers a better rate.

Compare Savings Accounts

Rates last updated September 24th, 2017.

St.George Maxi Saver

Ongoing interest rate was changed from 1.25% to 1.05%

September 6th, 2016

Bank of Melbourne Incentive Saver

Variable rate was changed from 1.85% to 1.75%

December 23rd, 2016

Westpac Reward Saver

Introductory interest rate was changed from 1.84% to 1.74%

December 23rd, 2016

View latest updates

Debbie Mariano Debbie
$
$
months
Maximum Variable Rate p.a. Standard Variable Rate p.a. Bonus Interest p.a. Fees Min Bal / Min Deposit Interest Earned
Bankwest Hero Saver
Ongoing, variable 2.60% p.a. rate when you deposit at least $200 each month and make no withdrawals. Available on balances up to $250,000.
2.60% 0.01% 2.59% $0 $0 / $0 Go to site More
ME Online Savings Account
Ongoing, variable 2.95% p.a. 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.
2.95% 1.30% 1.65% $0 $0 / $0 Go to site More
AMP Bett3r Save Account
A unique three account bundle linking individual Pay, Spend and Save accounts.
3.00% 1.50% 1.50% $0 $0 / $0 Go to site More
HSBC Serious Saver
Introductory rate of 3.00% p.a. for 4 months, reverting to a rate of 1.60% p.a. Available on balances below $1,000,000.
3.00% 1.60% 1.40% $0 $0 / $0 Go to site More
Westpac Reward Saver
Ongoing, variable 1.50% p.a. when you deposit at least $50 and make no withdrawals each month. Available on the entire balance.
1.50% 0.01% 1.49% $0 $0 / $0 Go to site More
St.George Maxi Saver
Introductory rate of 2.80% p.a. for 3 months, reverting to a rate of 1.00% p.a. Available on the entire balance.
2.80% 1.00% 1.80% $0 $1 / $1 Go to site More
Bank of Melbourne Incentive Saver
Ongoing, variable 1.75% p.a. when you make at least one deposit and no withdrawals each month. Available on the entire balance.
1.75% 0.01% 1.74% $0 $1 / $1 Go to site More
Westpac eSaver
Introductory rate of 2.51% p.a. for 5 months, reverting to a rate of 1.00% p.a. Available on the entire balance.
2.51% 1.00% 1.51% $0 $0 / $0 Go to site More
BankSA Incentive Saver Account
Ongoing, variable 1.75% p.a. when you make at least one deposit each month and no withdrawals. Available on the entire balance.
1.75% 0.01% 1.74% $0 $0 / $0 Go to site More
BankSA Maxi Saver
Introductory rate of 2.80% p.a. for 3 months, reverting to a rate of 1.00% p.a. Available on the entire balance.
2.80% 1.00% 1.80% $0 $1 / $1 Go to site More
Bank of Melbourne Maxi Saver
Introductory rate of 2.80% p.a. for 3 months, reverting to 1.00% p.a. Available on the entire balance.
2.80% 1.00% 1.80% $0 $0 / $0 Go to site More
HSBC Flexi Saver Account
Ongoing, variable 2.50% p.a. when you deposit $300+ each month (other conditions apply). Available on balances up to $5,000,000.
2.50% 1.25% 1.25% $0 $0 / $0 Go to site More
Credit cards

Interest rate rises could make a difference if you have credit card debt or if you regularly use your card to make purchases and don’t pay off the balance in full each month. A rise in the cash rate could reduce inflation which means that the value of your debt stays the same. However, you won’t feel the impact of this until there are multiple rate increases.

Compare credit cards

Rates last updated September 24th, 2017
Name Product Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee Product Description
NAB Premium Card - Exclusive Offer
19.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 24 months
$90 p.a.
Platinum Card with an Exclusive Balance Transfer Offer
Exclusive to finder.com.au, enjoy a long-term balance transfer offer of 0% p.a. for 24 months (with no BT fee), travel insurance and a 24/7 concierge.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Bonus Points Offer
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months
$64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
Up to 60,000 bonus Velocity Points with Balance Transfer Offer*
Earn up to 60,000 bonus Velocity Points in the first 3 months on eligible spend and enjoy a 0% p.a. for 18 months on balance transfers.
Westpac Low Rate Card - Online Only Balance Transfer Offer
13.49% p.a.
0% p.a. for 24 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$59 p.a.
0% p.a. for 24 months Balance Transfer Offer*
Enjoy up to $25 off your first Uber ride. Plus, the convenience of the Westpac mobile banking app.
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 22 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$99 p.a.
Platinum Credit Card with a Balance Transfer Offer*
A long-term balance transfer card that earns uncapped HSBC Rewards Plus points per $1 spent, plus, complimentary insurance covers.
St.George Vertigo Platinum
12.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 24 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$99 p.a.
Low Rate Platinum Credit Card Offer
A low rate Platinum card with a long-term balance transfer offer, up to 55 interest-free days on purchases and complimentary insurance covers.
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Visa Credit Card
13.24% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
Low Introductory Balance Transfer Rate*
Enjoy 0% p.a. for 18 months on balance transfers and a low annual fee.
St.George Vertigo Visa
13.24% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$55 p.a.
Low Annual Fee with Balance Transfer Offer*
Consolidate your debt and save with a competitive variable purchase rate and up to 55 interest-free days on purchases.
ANZ Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
0% p.a. for 3 months (reverts to 19.74% p.a.)
0% p.a. for 12 months
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($87 p.a. thereafter)
Platinum Card with 0% interest rates on purchases and balance transfers
An exclusive credit card offer through finder.com.au that features 0% interest on both purchases and balance transfers.
Qantas American Express Ultimate Card
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$450 p.a.
100,000 bonus Qantas Points with Balance Transfer Offer*
Enjoy 100,000 bonus Qantas Points when you meet the spend criteria. Plus, earn up to 2.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases.
Citi Rewards Platinum Credit Card
20.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 24 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
$49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 24 months Balance Transfer Offer*
Pay no interest on balance transfers for 2 years, earn Citi Reward Points on purchases and receive complimentary travel insurance.
BankSA Vertigo Visa
13.24% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$55 p.a.
0% Balance Transfer Offer*
Save with a low variable purchase rate and enjoy 0% p.a. for 18 months on balance transfers.
HSBC Low Rate Credit Card
13.25% p.a.
0% p.a. for 15 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$55 p.a.
Long-term Balance Transfer Offer*
Enjoy the benefits of the home&Away Privilege Program, the ability to pay using Apple Pay and a low annual fee for the life of the card.
Woolworths Everyday Platinum Credit Card
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 14 months
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($49 p.a. thereafter)
Supermarket Platinum Credit Card Offer
Receive a $50 Woolworths eGift Card when you apply by 31 December 2017. Earn up to 3 points per $1 spent at Woolworths stores.
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Platinum
12.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 24 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$99 p.a.
Low Rate Platinum with a Long-term Balance Transfer Offer
Platinum credit card with a 24-month balance transfer offer, complimentary insurances, a 24/7 concierge and price guarantee cover.
HSBC Platinum Qantas Credit Card
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 6 months
$199 p.a.
International Frequent Flyer Credit Card*
Receive 60,000 bonus Qantas Points on eligible spend within 3 months, plus, earn 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent on purchases.
American Express Explorer® Credit Card
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$395 p.a.
100,000 Membership Rewards Bonus Points and $400 travel voucher*
Receive 100,000 Membership Rewards Bonus Points on eligible spend within the first 3 months of card membership.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months
$129 p.a.
Velocity Rewards Credit Card with a Balance Transfer Offer*
Apply by 31 October 2017 to earn bonus Velocity Points for the first 3 months, plus receive a $129 Virgin Australia Gift Voucher each year.
NAB Low Fee Card
19.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 16 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$30 p.a.
Low Annual Fee & Balance Transfer Offer
Receive up to 44 interest-free days on purchases and complimentary Purchase Protection Insurance.
Suncorp Clear Options Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months
$99 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
Exclusive Balance Transfer Card Offer*
Receive a discounted annual fee in the first year, a long-term balance transfer offer and earn 1.25 Suncorp Rewards Points per $1 spent.

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