Compare Savings Accounts
The right savings account can give your money a bit of extra oomph. Whether you want to earn extra interest or kickstart your savings journey, there's an account for every saving style. Compare interest rates, features and fees side-by-side with our handy guide.
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Whether you're a regular saver, someone who puts money away here and there, or are just beginning your savings journey, there's a savings account for everyone (yes, including you!).
Use our table to see how much interest you could earn based on your monthly savings goals and discover how to find the right account for your money style. Make sure you look for savings accounts with high interest rates and monthly deposit conditions you can easily meet. 💪
Compare savings accounts for April 2021
- Maximum rate: 3% p.a.
- Standard variable rate: 0.2% p.a.
- Monthly fees: $0
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Use our savings calculator to see how much you could earn
Watch your money grow as you earn interest over time.
How do I open a savings account?
- Find a savings account that meets your needs.
- Submit your application. You’ll need to provide certain identification documents with proof of your residential address including your passport and/or drivers license so have those handy.
- Transfer the minimum initial deposit into your new account if applicable.
- Set up automatic transfer of the minimum monthly deposit required to achieve the high bonus interest rate if applicable.
- Start earning interest and putting your savings to work!
Savings account offer: Westpac Life (18-29 year olds only)If you’re between 18-29, you can earn a 3% p.a. variable rate each month you grow your balance (excl. interest) and make 5+ settled debit card purchases from your linked Westpac Choice account, up to a balance of $30,000.
Why do banks offer high interest and bonus rates?
They are rewarding you with bonus interest for letting them borrow your money to loan to others while it sits in the bank. You may be limited in how often you can transfer funds from one savings account to another to take advantage of the highest interest rate available.
The introductory bonus rate offered by some providers is an incentive to open an account with them instead of another bank. This is for new customers only, which means you can’t apply for the same account again and again and expect to get the maximum rate.
How to choose a savings account on Finder
Use your savings style as a guide for getting to your savings goal. Each savings account has different terms and conditions, so take the time to find out what they are. This can affect how quickly or slowly you reach your financial goals.
I'm a business owner
If you're a business owner, you may want to consider opening a Business Savings account that allows you to stow surplus cash and earn interest on it at the same time.
I'm an investor
If you're an investor, you may want to consider opening a Cash Management account, some of which allow you to link it to an online trading account.
My savings style is sporadic
If your savings style is sporadic, you may want to consider an Introductory Bonus Savings account which earns you extra interest on your savings for a set period of time.
I can regularly save
If you're a regular saver, you may want to consider an Online Savings Account that allows you to easily transfer funds between your savings account and your transaction account.
I don't need access to my money once I deposit it into a savings account
You may want to consider a Bonus Saver account that provides a high interest rate when you deposit every month and/or don't make withdrawals.
Do you want to be able to afford a house, a new car, or your children’s education not just ‘someday’ but in the next few years? If you want to reach your savings goals, you should think about putting some money away in a savings account.
There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing the right savings account. We made this page to help you find the right savings account for your situation – without you having to open a dozen tabs in your browser and scour the web for answers. Just simply compare options, apples with apples.
You’ll be empowered with the information you need to make a decision that will help provide a successful financial future for you and your family.
If you have a question or want to get in touch, we offer our “ask a question” service at the bottom of the page as well as a 24/7 live chat service.[treasure_hunt]
What’s in this guide?
A savings account is a secure bank account that earns you interest over time. These have higher interest rates than standard transaction accounts, enabling you to save for big spending items like a car or the deposit on a house, or save money for a rainy day. You usually need to deposit a set amount of money into the account each month to earn the high interest rate.
Benefits of savings accounts
- Savings accounts are a safe investment and are covered under the Government Guarantee.
- They’re a great tool to help you save and budget.
- Savings accounts are liquid. It's harder to withdraw your money from a term deposit, or share trading account (when it's invested in shares).
- You earn a higher interest rate than your everyday transaction account
- You can use them to save up for your house deposit.
Drawbacks of savings accounts
- You are usually required to deposit a set amount each month and make no or minimal withdrawals in order to receive the high bonus interest rate
- Savings accounts do not come with a debit card so you’re unable to access your cash as easily as transaction accounts
- Interest rates for savings accounts are becoming quite low, as the official cash rate falls
To encourage account holders to save and in exchange for using your money to give out loans, banks will award you an interest rate. The interest rate on your savings account is variable, meaning it changes according to the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) cash rate. If the interest rates on all savings accounts are low, it usually means the RBA cash rate is low.
In some cases, the interest on your account is calculated daily and paid monthly. This means you’ll get compound interest so you earn interest on your interest. You have to read the fine print to see if your account pays interest monthly to be sure you will get compound interest. Interest that is paid annually isn’t compounded as often and thus won’t be as lucrative for you.
When comparing interest rates, it's important to pay attention to the requirements set in order to achieve the high bonus interest rate - this usually requires you to deposit a certain amount of money in the account each month and limits the number of withdrawals you can make. Don't just opt for the account with the highest interest rate, because you might not be able to meet the deposit conditions to get that rate.
Some savings accounts also offer a high introductory variable interest rate which is higher than the standard variable rate for a set period, usually a few months. This is a reward for selecting their savings account. However, it’s important to be aware of how long the introductory bonus rate will apply and what the rate will convert to after this period.
From the Australian Tax Office’s perspective, the interest you earn on your savings account is considered to be income. That means it will be taxed at the highest marginal rate unless you’re able to provide a Tax File Number. Then you’ll be taxed at the rate you’re supposed to be taxed.
Savings accounts usually don’t come with a debit card like everyday transaction accounts.
To access the funds in the savings account, transfer your money from your savings to your linked everyday account. Depending on the savings account you choose, there may be stipulations as to how often you can withdraw from the account. Savings accounts offering higher interest rates may not allow you to touch your money for extended periods of time, or may penalize you for doing so.
If you know you want to lock away your funds for a longer period, you may want to consider a term deposit instead of a savings account.
There are certain features to keep in mind when comparing savings accounts, including fees, interest rates and your personal savings goals. Read below to find out how these factors can help you compare savings accounts and choose the right one for your needs.
Low or no fees
Most banks don’t charge a monthly fee for maintaining a savings account. Look for an account with no (or very low) monthly, annual, and transaction fees. The idea is to build wealth (not pay the bank to store your money!).
High or competitive interest rates
Getting the highest interest rate means your money can work harder for you. You’ll want to check the conditions involved in receiving the bonus or introductory rate. The bonus rate might only last the first few months so be sure to check the standard rate too.
Savings goals (short-term v long-term)
You will want a different type of savings account depending on your savings goals. If you are saving to buy something in the short term (a few months or a year), high bonus rates and a lower standard rate may be great. However, if you are saving to buy something over the long term (a few years), you might benefit more from an account with moderate but stable rates. Use our calculator to do the math and see which account will get you to your goal.
Some savings accounts allow you to withdraw money a few times each month, while some require you make no withdrawals at all. If you anticipate needing regular access to your savings, you won’t want an account that will charge you for doing so. However, being charged for accessing your account is also a great incentive for not touching your money and letting it grow. Compared to term deposits, savings accounts offer relatively easy access to your money.
Some banks require you to link your savings account with an everyday account in the same bank to qualify for their interest rate or bonus rate.
If you can consistently deposit money into your account (for example your regular salary), you should look for accounts offering bonus rates for meeting monthly minimum deposits, like a Bonus Saver account. Otherwise, an Introductory Bonus savings account might be best.
There’s a difference between a headline rate and base rate. For an Introductory Bonus account, the bonus interest rate is only awarded for the first couple of months (normally up to four) and you need to be a new customer.
For a Bonus Saver account, the bonus interest is usually awarded when you’re able to deposit a certain amount per month and make no withdrawals. It usually doesn’t matter if you’re a new customer or not, but there may be restrictions on the amount of accounts you can have.
You will also need to be within the balance your bonus rate applies to. In most cases, any balance beyond $250,000 usually earns the standard variable rate. To learn more about these restrictions, select the range that best describes your total balance to compare these types of accounts.
|Youth and student||Whether you're studying, doing an apprenticeship or under 18, there are still a range of accounts available for you. Every dollar counts at this stage, so check if you're eligible for a low-cost student account.|
|Saving for a goal||Setting a goal and developing 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.|
|Retired and seniors||Whether 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.|
|Accounts for children||Most 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.|
|Moving to Australia||Whether 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.|
|Looking for an online account with no fees||Fee-free banking means every dollar you deposit gets you closer to your savings goal. Plus, online accounts typically offer higher interest rates.|
The process involves filling in an online application, verifying 100 points of identification if you’re a new customer and depositing funds into the account to get your savings plan started. 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.
You’ll need the following documents to apply online:
- Your personal details. This includes your full name, address, phone number and email address.
- Your Tax File Number. This ensures that you get taxed the correct rate when earning interest and not at the highest marginal rate.
- Identification. A driver's licence, passport or birth certificate will do.
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