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.

Finder's Top Picks: Best savings accounts in October 2021

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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.

Some of the best savings accounts in Australia

Name Product Maximum Variable Rate p.a. Standard Variable Rate p.a. Bonus Interest p.a. Fees
Virgin Money Boost Saver (25+ year olds)
1.5%
0.1%
1.4%
$0
Intro rate of up to 1.50% p.a. for the first 3 months and an ongoing bonus rate of 1.20% p.a. thereafter when monthly criteria is met (T&Cs apply). To earn these bonus rates customers aged 25+ need to deposit at least $2,000/month into your bundled Virgin Money Go Transaction Account and make 5+ transactions/month.
Westpac Life (18-29 year olds only)
2.5%
0.15%
2.35%
$0
If you’re between 18-29, you can earn a 2.5% p.a. variable rate each month you grow your balance (excl. interest) and make 5+ settled debit card purchases from your Westpac Choice account, up to a balance of $30,000.
Rabobank High Interest Savings Account
1.35%
0.25%
1.1%
$0
Maximum variable rate of 1.35% p.a. for 4 months, reverting to a rate of 0.25% p.a. No deposit or withdrawal conditions. Available on balances below $250,000
Citibank Online Saver
1.1%
0.35%
0.75%
$0
Introductory rate of 1.1% p.a. for 4 months, reverting to a rate of 0.35% p.a. Available on balances Up to $500,000.
Virgin Money Boost Saver (18-24 year olds)
1.5%
0.1%
1.4%
$0
Intro rate of up to 1.50% p.a. for the first 3 months and an ongoing bonus rate of 1.20% p.a. thereafter when monthly criteria is met (T&Cs apply). To earn these bonus rates customers aged 18-24 need to deposit at least $1,000/month into your bundled Virgin Money Go Transaction Account and make 5+ transactions/month.
Virgin Money Grow Saver
0.65%
0.1%
0.55%
$0
Earn an ongoing variable 0.65% p.a. each month you make at least one deposit of any amount and no more than one withdrawal.
Westpac Life
0.3%
0.15%
0.15%
$0
Ongoing, variable 0.3% p.a. each month you deposit money, and make sure your balance is higher at the end of the month than it was at the beginning. No monthly account-keeping fee.
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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 savings account for high-interest

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.


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:


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:


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 when you compare savings accounts:

  • 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.
  • Bonus interest! 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

Tips

  • 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.

Traps

  • 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 FourSmaller Banks
Pros
  • 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
Cons
  • 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. Picture not described

"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.

How do we choose our savings account top picks?

We continually look at the savings accounts on our panel of partners and select our top picks for a range of different purposes. Some of these include accounts for under 30s, accounts with easy-to-earn bonus interest, accounts suited to large balances and accounts that have no spend requirements.

While our picks are all products from financial institutions that Finder has a commercial relationship with, we always ensure our picks have competitive interest rates and are well-suited for each category. You may find savings accounts with slightly higher interest rates elsewhere on the market from time to time, but we're confident our picks are quality options and are often among the best in the market.

You can see what we've considered when choosing the top pick for each category below.

Top pick for under 30s

We've looked at the savings accounts in our comparison panel, filtered the products for partners that Finder has a commercial relationship with, and selected the one that offered the highest interest rate for customers aged under 30. We also considered things like extra bonus interest and special perks for customers aged below 30 when choosing our top pick.

Top pick for under 25s

We've looked at the savings accounts in our comparison panel, filtered the products for partners that Finder has a commercial relationship with, and selected the one that offered the highest interest rate for customers aged under 25. We also considered things like extra bonus interest and special perks for customers aged below 30 when choosing our top pick.

Top pick for easy conditions

We've looked at the savings accounts in our comparison panel, filtered the products for partners that Finder had a commercial relationship with, and selected the one that offers the highest ongoing bonus interest rate. We looked at both the bonus rate and the total maximum variable rate offered when choosing our top pick.

We also looked at the conditions set by the account in order to earn bonus interest, and gave preference to those with lower monthly deposit requirements as well as no (or limited) monthly spend/transaction requirements. We've assumed that all the account conditions to earn this ongoing bonus rate are met.

We've excluded accounts that offer short-term introductory bonus rates that drop to a lower variable base rate after the honeymoon period ends, and accounts with age restrictions.

Top pick for low deposit requirements

We've looked at the savings accounts in our comparison panel, filtered the products for partners that Finder had a commercial relationship with, and selected the one with the lowest monthly deposit condition and a high bonus rate. We looked at both the bonus rate and the total maximum variable rate offered when choosing our top pick to ensure that along with a low monthly deposit requirement, the account also offered one of the best ongoing interest rates in the panel.

We've assumed that all the account conditions to earn this ongoing bonus rate are met. We've excluded accounts that offer short-term introductory bonus rates that drop to a lower variable base rate after the honeymoon period ends, and accounts with age restrictions.

Top pick for large balances

We've looked at the savings accounts in our comparison panel, filtered the products for partners that Finder had a commercial relationship with, and selected the one that offers interest on the largest balance. To qualify for this top pick, the account must offer interest on balances above $250,000.


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    45 Responses

      Default Gravatar
      SarahAugust 6, 2019

      Hi guys, when was this page last updated? I feel like these rates are changing on a daily basis.

      Thanks,
      Erin

        Default Gravatar
        NikkiAugust 7, 2019

        Hi Sarah,

        Thanks for getting in touch! This page was updated last August 7th, 2019. Hope this was helpful. Don’t hesitate to message us back if you have more questions.

        Best,
        Nikki

      Default Gravatar
      KylieApril 25, 2019

      What would be the best bank to invest around $400,000? A high interest rate savings account or a term deposit?

        Avatarfinder Customer Care
        MaiApril 26, 2019Staff

        Hi Kylie,

        Thank you for reaching out.

        In most cases, term deposits will give you the highest interest rate than a savings account. Generally, a high-interest savings account requires some conditions before you are able to receive a high-interest rate such as required monthly deposit, no withdraw, etc.

        But regardless, it will depend on you how you wish to deposit your money. I suggest that you use the estimate calculator on this page to have an idea of what savings account can give you the highest interest and if you are good with the terms set. Alternatively, you can also check our term deposit page to check on the term deposit interest rates. You can use the term deposit calculator to know your estimated interest rates.

        Hope you find this useful.

        Kind Regards,
        Mai

      Default Gravatar
      BenJanuary 15, 2019

      Can I invest $1,000,000.00 over 12 months with 3.1% interest giving a straight $31,000.00 return?

      Thanks.

        Avatarfinder Customer Care
        JeniJanuary 20, 2019Staff

        Hi Ben,

        Thank you for getting in touch with Finder.

        This maximum variable rate of 3.10% from HSBC is an introductory rate for 4 months only and for balances below $1,000,000. If you are planning to invest your $1,000,000 for 12 months, you may consider putting the funds into a 12-month term deposit account. You can use our table to help you find the account that suits you. When you are ready, press the “Go to site” button to apply. Please make sure that you’ve read the relevant T&Cs or PDS of the account to help consider whether the product is right for you.

        Please note that the government guarantee covers deposits up to $250,000 only.

        I hope this helps.

        Thank you and have a wonderful day!

        Cheers,
        Jeni

      Default Gravatar
      JohnDecember 6, 2018

      Thanks for your website – very informative!! I notice that there is one question
      you haven’t covered anywhere that I can see ie. Is there a penalty for closing
      an account after the ‘bonus’ period of 3 or 4 months on a Savings account has
      finished? This area seems to be kept very quiet!!

        Avatarfinder Customer Care
        MayDecember 12, 2018Staff

        Hi John,

        Thanks for your inquiry.

        For on-call accounts (or high savings accounts), usually, it doesn’t charge you anything when you close them (anytime) even after you’ve earned the ‘bonus’ interest rate, say after the 4-month period. This information is typically mentioned in the terms and conditions of the account, so best to check it out.

        Hope this helps.

        Cheers,
        May

      Default Gravatar
      CraigNovember 20, 2018

      What’s the best account for me. I will deposit $700 per month $175 per week and leave it alone for 12 months.

        Avatarfinder Customer Care
        JohnNovember 20, 2018Staff

        Hi Craig,

        Thank you for reaching out to Finder.

        You may consider putting the funds into a 12-month term deposit. Please use our table to help find the provider that suits you. When you are ready, press the “Go to site” button to apply. Before applying, please ensure that you meet all the eligibility criteria and read through the details of the needed requirements as well as the relevant Product Disclosure Statements/Terms and Conditions when comparing your options before making a decision on whether it is right for you. You can also contact the provider if you have specific questions.

        Hope this helps!

        Cheers,
        Reggie

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