Best savings accounts
Want to make your money work harder for you? A good savings account keeps your cash safe and can earn you money while you sleep.
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The best savings account should have a high interest rate and monthly deposit conditions you can easily meet. Check out our Top Picks below or use our table to see how much you can earn based on your balance and monthly savings goals. Under 30? Lucky you. You'll have higher-interest options available. 🔥
Finder's Top Picks: Best savings accounts in April 2021
Our top pick for
You'll get this rate when you make 5+ transactions from a Westpac Choice account and grow your balance during the month.
Our top pick for
Easy bonus interest
Each month, just deposit $20 and make 5+ Visa Debit card to earn the bonus rate.
Your search for the best savings account starts here
What are the best savings accounts?
We've broken down the best savings accounts into a few categories to help you find an option that suits you. Keep in mind that there's no best savings account and that everyone's needs are different. With that in mind, be sure to take into consideration your own circumstances before signing that dotted line.
- Best high-interest savings account
- Best savings account for regular savers
- Best savings account for young people
- Best savings account for short-term saving goals
🏆 Best high-interest savings account
A savings account with a high-interest rate can help boost your savings and earn you money while you sleep. If you're on the hunt for a high-interest rate, we've got you. Here are two of the highest bonus rates available today.
- Westpac Life Account for 18-29s: 3% p.a. on balances up to $30,000 for customers aged 18-29 when the account conditions are met.
- Rabobank Online Savings High Interest Savings Account: 1.5%. This is an introductory bonus rate applied to your balance for the first four months, to give your savings a kick-start.
🏆 Best savings account for regular savers
Regularly setting cash away? Good on you! A Bonus saver accounts can reward you even more with a higher bonus interest rate each month when you deposit a certain amount. These are great for those that might need a bit of extra incentive and be rewarded for good saving habits.
Some good options include:
- MyState Bonus Saver: 1.1% p.a. when you deposit $20/ month and make 5+ Visa Debit card transactions.
- ING Savings Maximiser: 1.35% when you deposit at least $1,000 / month and make 5+ card purchases a month.
🏆 Best savings account for young people
If you're under 30 you'll have access to some of the best savings accounts with better interest rates - lucky you! By having a lower monthly deposit condition and more flexible access to your savings, you'll be able to develop good savings habits at the beginning of your savings journey.
Some good options include:
- Westpac Life Account for 18-29s: 3% p.a. on balances up to $30,000 when you make 5+ transactions from a Westpac Choice account and grow your balance by any amount during the month.
- BoQ Fast Track Starter Account for 14-24s: 3% p.a. on balances up to $10,000 when you deposit $200/month and make 5+ transaction from your BoQ bank account.
🏆 Best savings accounts for short-term saving goals
If you're saving for something for three to six months only like a holiday, an introductory saver might be a good option for you. These offer special high bonus rates for a few months only, with little to no conditions to meet to get this bonus rate, as long as you're a new customer. It's a low-maintenance, set-and-forget option for short-term goals.
Some good options include:
- IMB Reward Saver: 1.2% p.a. for the first 4 months
- Citibank Online Saver account: 1.1% p.a. for the first 4 months
How to find the best savings account
Let's get the boring stuff out of the way first: you've got to make sure you're able to meet the minimum conditions of a savings account, which usually is something like minimum cash deposits each month. Also make sure you check to see if your bank charges account fees as these monthly fees could cause you to lose interest on your earnings, or even eat into your savings.
The good news? You can easily find an account that helps give a bit of oomph to your savings goals, and might even help you earn money while you sleep thanks to a nice interest-rate.
Here's what you should be looking for in the best savings account:
- High interest rate. This one kind of goes without saying. The best savings account will likely have a high interest rate, letting you earn more cash from your savings. The
- Low fees. The best savings account shouldn't charge you huge fees - and even better if it charges you none at all.
- Easy withdrawals and deposits. Yeah, your savings account is for growing your money. But you also need to be able to access it when you need to. You might be able to access your savings online or through an ATM, so if the way you get cash is important consider this in your comparison.
- Bonuses, baby! Some banks offer new customers some sweet bonuses when they open a new account. This could be a cash reward, or a higher interest rate for a certain period. Keep an eye on these and you could get an extra deal.
Finding the best savings account: Tips and traps
- Look for a good interest rate. You want a savings account that offers a competitive interest rate, but only if you can meet the deposit conditions. If you can't meet the conditions, you won't earn the good bonus rate anyway.
- Make sure you can comfortably meet the account conditions. Don't open a savings account with a high monthly deposit requirement if you'll struggle to meet this each month. You're likely better off opting for an account with a slightly lower interest rate and account conditions that are easier for you to meet.
- Consider smaller, less known banks. Don't be afraid to consider a smaller bank that you might not have heard of. These banks often offer more competitive interest rates, and they're regulated in the same way as the Big Four so your savings are protected under the Government Guarantee Scheme.
- The linked transaction account could charge high fees. Most savings accounts will require you to also open an everyday transaction account with the same bank. This is how you can move money in and out of your savings account. When picking a savings account, make sure you check the fees charged on the linked transaction account. Some transaction accounts can charge monthly account fees of $5 or more, while others change no monthly account fees.
- The variable base rate could be very poor. Don't fall into the trap of picking a savings account with a high bonus rate only to discover you can't meet the account conditions. If this is the case, you'll then earn the variable base rate instead which could be as low as 0.01% p.a.
- The bonus rate might only apply on a set balance. Some savings accounts offer a really attractive bonus interest rate, however it's only applied on a set balance (for example up to $100,000). If you have a balance larger than the limit, you could actually earn no interest at all.
Is it best to stick with the Big Four or go with a smaller bank?
Wondering which banks best to open up your savings account with? Chances are you may be thinking of joining the Big Four. We've put together this pros and cons list of the Big Four VS smaller banks to help you make a decision easier.
|Big Four||Smaller Banks|
|- May offer better customer service as they operate 24/7|
- Larger distribution of ATMs, making it easier to take cash out fee-free
- Can also be easier to manage other loans in the same network
- Technology can also be more advanced as these banks have more funds to work with
- Comprehensive range of products offered
- Able to operate in person and online
|- May offer more competitive interest rates|
- May offer more personal customer service
- Some are more on the ball with technological advancements, offering really cool apps that can help you save
- May be able to negotiate waiving of fees on a case-by-case basis
|- Can get 'lost in the noise' as they have many customers|
- Can feel not as personal
- Interest rates may not be as competitive
|- May only operate online and not have in-person support|
- May not have ATMs you can easily access
Do I need a savings account, a transaction account or both?
Most people will have a savings account and a bank account (or what's usually called an everyday transaction account) linked together.
The everyday transaction account lets you pay bills via BPAY and usually comes with a linked debit card. This is the account you can use for your day to day purchases and transactions.
A savings account on the other hand doesn't have any of these spending features. This is because the aim of a savings account is to keep depositing rather than spending the money. The most important difference is that a savings account gives you an interest rate.
Most savings accounts require a linked transaction account with the same bank. This is because you'll use the transaction account to move money back and forth from your savings when you need to.
Why keep your cash in a savings account?
Noel Whittaker is a leading personal finance expert, author and journalist.
"Over the long term much better returns will come from property and shares. But property is illiquid and may have high entry and exit costs, while shares are volatile and can bounce around by more than 15% a year. The role of cash is to give certainty."
"For example, if you're saving for a house deposit, a holiday, or to start a business in the short to medium term a savings account is the only place to be. Remember, every investment decision has advantages and disadvantages – the advantage of cash is certainty," Noel told Finder.
How do I open a savings account?
In most cases you can apply and open the savings account online, as long as you’re able to provide documentation that confirms your identity and residency. If you're a new customer to the bank, you'll need to verify your identity for legal reasons. For the online savings and bonus saver accounts, some banks will allow an Australian as young as 12 years old to have an account opened in their name.
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