A bonus saver can help you reach your goals sooner while maintaining good savings habits.
A bonus saver rewards you with a bonus interest rate if you meet the terms of the savings account. If you need an incentive to save, a bonus saver can help you develop into a regular savings plan.
The terms differ between banks, so it's important to understand what they are before you commit to one.
standard variable rate
Savings Account Offer
Introductory rate of 3.05% p.a. for 4 months, reverting to a rate of 1.80% p.a. Available on balances below $250,000
- Maximum Rate: 3.05% p.a.
- Standard Variable Rate: 1.80% p.a.
- Introductory period: 4 months
- Monthly fees: $0.00
Compare bonus saver accounts below
Think about your savings habits when comparing bonus saver accounts to help you find the best one for your needs. Compare across multiple banks and ensure you can meet their conditions to get that bonus rate.
This can include: a minimum amount of money you need to deposit per month, no withdrawals for the month, linking an everyday bank account from the same bank or making a weekly tap and go purchase. Everyday, banks are thinking of new ways to earn the bonus interest rate to differentiate themselves to the market. So it's important to regularly compare savings accounts to ensure you're always getting the best deal.
How can a bonus saver account benefit me?
A bonus saver account is designed to encourage you to save money on a regular basis. The terms used for this type of account generally come with two requirements. The first requires a minimum monthly deposit without making any withdrawals from the savings account for a given month. The second looks at the growth of the account from the first day of the month to the last and if the balance has increased by a set amount. If one of the two conditions are met, generally you can receive the bonus interest. The bonus rate is an additional percentage that’s determined by the bank and then added to their standard variable interest rate. It's important to note that if you're not eligible for the interest for one month, it doesn't mean that you won't receive it for the next. Any month you meet the conditions, you'll be able to receive the bonus interest.
Do I lose the bonus interest permanently if I don't meet the conditions for one month?
No. If you haven't met the conditions for one month, it doesn't roll over to your next month. You'll be eligible for the bonus interest again the following month.
What features should I look out for in a bonus saver account?
Bonus saver accounts give you an opportunity to earn a higher interest rate in return for exercising some financial discipline. When comparing between different Australian banks and their bonus saver accounts, check the differences between the following features.
The amount of bonus interest you get and the conditions to get there
Banks usually give high interest rates if you can meet the conditions. Sometimes the conditions are quite strict, such as making no withdrawals during the month. Ensure you're realistic when considering these.
Some banks will not allow any withdrawals in the month, while with others, you’re free to make withdrawals as long as you essentially return that money by meeting a monthly growth total. For example, if the goal is to save $200 in a month, and you withdraw $50, you will need to deposit at least $250 into the account before the month finishes in order to qualify for the bonus interest.
If a minimum balance is required
With some financial institutions, you may have to open the account with a certain amount of money and maintain a minimum balance to avoid having to pay extra fees for the account.
Some of these accounts will be accessible only through a linked transaction account, while others act almost like a transaction account and give you access through an included debit card.
Interest rate penalties
Check with the lender regarding the terms for when you don’t make the deposit requirement within a month. With some banks you’ll lose the bonus interest but still earn the standard variable rate, while with others, the interest earned on a month where the conditions are not met could drop to as low as 0.01% p.a.Back to top
Term deposits versus bonus saver accounts – which is better?
The answer to this question depends on your financial situation. The benefits of a term deposit include locking in a fixed rate and not being able to access your funds until the term matures. Your funds are protected against any interest rate drops. The downsides are that you can’t access your funds until the deposit matures and you won’t benefit if the interest rate rises while your money is locked away in a term deposit. With a bonus saver account, on the other hand, you can usually access your funds whenever you need, but you're usually penalised through interest if you do so. Your interest rate will go up and down in line with the cash rate set by the Reserve Bank. There are several other types of savings accounts available to help you realise your financial goals, which are discussed below.
Can under 18's open a bonus saver?
Yes. There's a range of children's savings accounts, including bonus savers. You’ll need to shop around and compare the features of a range of accounts to find the right one for you. Look for an account that doesn’t charge any ongoing fees, that has no minimum balance requirements and that offers easy access to your funds. It’s also important to consider whether there are any minimum monthly deposit requirements, whether the bonus interest rate only applies for a short introductory period, and what happens to the money in the account when the account holder reaches the age of 18 or 21.
How do I compare kids’ bonus saver accounts?
You'll also need to think about the following when comparing kids’ bonus saver accounts:
- Tax implications
- Where the income is coming from (the parent or the child?)
- The type of account (a trust account or personal savings account?)
- Withdrawals and deposit restrictions for the child
- Whether or not a keycard will be linked
What are the advantages of disadvantages of choosing this type of account?
There are a number of appealing factors to think about when considering using a bonus saver account, as well as some drawbacks that you could consider.
- You get a higher interest rate. Bonus saver accounts give you an opportunity to boost your savings quicker with a higher interest rate.
- There are usually no fees. These types of accounts typically do not have monthly account keeping fees, so you can focus on your savings goals.
- Motivate yourself to save. Individuals who need help with saving may find that having a set monthly goal to meet makes it easier to stay on track with saving.
- There are usually terms and conditions. Some Australians may find it hard to continually meet the strict terms of a bonus saver account on a month to month basis.
- You'll need to try and avoid making withdrawals. Unlike a transaction account, the money kept in a bonus saver account cannot be easily accessed and used to make everyday purchases.
Common mistakes made using bonus saver
The Australian Government guarantees that your deposits are safe so long as they don’t total more than $250,000, yet there are still things to avoid with a bonus saver account if you want to receive the full benefit:
- Not meeting the terms.
With some banks you lose the chance to earn practically any interest at all if the terms are not met for one month.
Wait, I have more questions!
If I don’t qualify for bonus interest one month can I still get it the next?
Yes, with a bonus saver account each month starts fresh, which gives you the opportunity to earn the bonus interest the following month if you were unable to satisfy the conditions the previous month.
Do I need a transaction account with the same bank in order to open a bonus saver account?
In most instances, you will need a transaction account with the same lender in order to apply for their bonus saver account. However, there are some Australian financial institutions that will allow the nominated account to be with an external bank. The transaction account allows you to transfer money to and from your account without having to visit a branch.
When is the bonus interest paid and does it count towards the minimum deposit term?
If you qualify, the bonus interest is applied to the balance of the month immediately following the one that met the conditions. However, please note that interest payments made do not count as a part of a deposit.
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