Do you currently have one of Australia's best savings accounts*?
Rates last updated August 18th, 2019
*Definition: The best savings account accommodates your savings style and will help you earn maximum interest, so you can achieve your financial goals sooner. There is no one account that is best, and what is best for you may not be best for someone else. It's important to differentiate between a savings account and a bank account. A bank account, or everyday transaction account, is used for daily transactions and day-to-day spending. A savings account is designed to keep your money safe while you earn interest on it.
The top 8 savings accounts* by maximum variable rate
*Definition: By top savings accounts, we’re referring to accounts which offer competitive bonus interest rates. The bonus interest rate may be contingent on meeting certain criteria. Before signing up to an account, always consider your circumstances carefully and your ability to service these requirements ongoing.
How do I find the best savings account for me?
Match your savings style to the points below to help you choose the best savings account type for your situation.
Where can I find the best savings account for my lump sum?
When the official cash rate is low, where can you get the best return for your money? For some, there's peer-to-peer investing or high interest savings accounts.
If you have a lump sum of less than $10,000. At-call savings accounts still pay a decent amount of interest, but only up to limited balances, and it comes with a number of conditions. However, they may still be worth the hassle of applying.
If you want to put away a lump sum every month (about $500 per month as a general rule of thumb). Bonus saver accounts pay the highest interest but usually on small amounts and only if you can make a deposit for that month. If you're not a starter saver, there may be better options.
If you have more than $10,000. There are two options you may want to consider. You can invest in a term deposit or notice saver, if you're willing to lock in the funds for a set amount of time. The second option, if you prefer a bit of risk, is peer-to-peer investing. Peer-to-peer lending providers act like middlemen by matching investors who are willing to lend money to other people or small businesses who want to borrow it. Remember to check whether the rates quoted are gross rates and if you have to pay tax.
How do I find the best interest rate on Finder?
Our comparison tool above can sort products in ascending order so you can find the highest interest rate at the time.
Cash management accounts are suitable for investors who want to park their funds while waiting for the next investment. Read more
What are the benefits of the best savings account?
Aussies are spoilt for choice. When looking at the best savings accounts, there are several different types available which are structured to meet specific needs, making it easy to find one that suits your financial goals.
You can get started with a $0 minimum deposit. With some savings accounts, you can open the account with a low, or even no, initial deposit. In addition, some accounts won’t have a minimum monthly balance requirement.
It doesn't charge any monthly fees. Due to competition within the financial sector, you’ll find that a number of Australian lenders waive monthly maintenance or account-keeping fees.
Kickstart your savings plan today. Savings accounts allow you to grow your available funds without any work. Whichever savings account you opt for, you’ll have the opportunity to earn interest on your funds.
Transfer funds between your accounts online. With the continual improvement of mobile and internet banking, you can easily transfer money between your savings account and transaction account.
Traps to avoid
The Australian Government Guarantee Scheme was designed to promote financial stability in Australia. On 1 February 2012, the amount was changed to $250,000 per person, per institution. In the case of a financial crisis in Australia, these amounts are insured by the Australian government.
Risk: Not meeting the terms of your bonus saver account
If you are unsure whether you will be able to meet the bonus saver’s monthly deposit requirement, then an online savings account may suit you better.
Risk: What happens to my savings account if my bank goes bust?
Normally, shareholders are affected first followed by the bonds that are issued by the banks. Deposits that are guaranteed by the Australian government won't be affected. If a financial crisis were to hit Australia, withdrawals could be limited for a few months. For more information, see our page on what happens if your lender goes bust.
How do I open a savings account?
In most cases you will be able to 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.
Two parallel lines – This typically means that the money must be paid into an account and not as cash. If you want to write a pre-crossed cheque to cash, cross out the lines and sign the alteration. Then, make it out to cash.
Endorsing – You can endorse a cheque assigned to you by a third party, although it's best to do it in person when asking banks to accept third-party cheques.
The best way to organise your financial records is the way that works for you and allows you to quickly and easily locate important documents when you need them. You may wish to split your documents up into separate folders, such as one for bank accounts, one for shares and other investments, one for insurance and one for superannuation. While some people prefer to keep paper records, many people find that electronic records are easier to organise. Just make sure to back up your files regularly.
You can ensure that you don’t receive any annoying telemarketing calls by joining the Do Not Call Register.
You could consider earning an income from shares, property, or a range of other investments.
Sole traders pay the same tax as any other individual taxpayer. With a tax-free threshold of $18,200 per annum, sole traders receive the same income tax rates as individual taxpayers. As a sole trader, you are required to declare your business income on your personal tax return. Following your first year as a sole trader, you will generally be required to make Pay As You Go (PAYG) instalments each quarter towards the total sum of income tax you will have to pay at the end of the financial year.
Transfer times vary depending on the cut-off time for transfers imposed by your bank and the sending or receiving bank. As different financial institutions have different systems in place for handling transfers, there can be discrepancies in how long it takes for your funds to arrive in your recipient’s account.
Compare the best savings accounts*
Compare the features of the savings accounts below to choose the best one for you.
*The best savings account will help you manage your savings effectively to suit your savings and spending style. There may be more than one savings account that is 'best' for your situation. It is important to consider what features of an online savings account are important to you, such as monthly fees, access to your balance, and the interest rate when selecting an account. The accounts identified on this page are some of the best savings accounts offered, however this list is not exhaustive and there are other additional accounts that may be better suited to your personal circumstances.
Shirley Liu is Finder's global program manager. She was previously the publisher for banking and investments and has also written comparisons for energy, money transfers, Uber Eats and many other topics. Shirley has a Master of Commerce and a Bachelor of Media, Journalism and Communications from the University of New South Wales. She is passionate about helping people find the best deal for their needs.
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