Bonus saver accounts to earn more interest

Looking for a savings account with bonus interest? These accounts offer a bonus rate each month you meet a set of conditions, such as depositing money or limiting withdrawals.

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Name Product Maximum Variable Rate p.a. Standard Variable Rate p.a. Bonus Interest p.a. Fees
Bank of Queensland Fast Track Starter Account (for 14-24 year olds only)
2.5%
0.05%
2.45%
$0
Only available to those aged 14-24. Ongoing, variable 2.5% p.a. when you link to an BOQ Day2Day Plus Account, deposit $200+ into the Day2Day account each month from an external account and make 5 eligible transactions a month. Max bonus interest applies on balances up to $10,000. Balances between $10,001 and $250,000 will earn a lower bonus rate. Base rate applies on balances over $250,000.
Bank of Queensland Fast Track Saver Account
1.05%
0.05%
1%
$0
Ongoing, variable 1.05% p.a. when you link to an BOQ Day2Day Plus Account, deposit $1,000+ into the Day2Day account each month from an external account and make 5+ eligible transactions per month. Available on balances up to $250,000.
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.
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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Reward Saver Account Offer
Reward Saver Account Offer
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2.50 % p.a.
max rate
0.05 % p.a.
standard variable rate
  • Maximum rate: 2.5% p.a.
  • Standard variable rate: 0.05% p.a.
  • Monthly fees: $0

Bank of Queensland Fast Track Starter Account (for 14-24 year olds only)

Only available to those aged 14-24. Ongoing, variable 2.5% p.a. when you link to an BOQ Day2Day Plus Account, deposit $200+ into the Day2Day account each month from an external account and make 5 eligible transactions a month. Max bonus interest applies on balances up to $10,000. Balances between $10,001 and $250,000 will earn a lower bonus rate. Base rate applies on balances over $250,000.

Bonus saver accounts

Think about your savings habits when comparing bonus saver accounts to help you find the best one for your needs. Make sure you can meet the conditions to get that bonus rate.

What is a bonus saver account?

A bonus saver account is a savings account that rewards you with extra interest when you meet the account conditions. These are also known as incentive saver accounts, as they incentivise you to save, or bonus interest accounts.

The account conditions that need to be met in order to earn the bonus interest could 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.

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, you'll be eligible for the bonus interest again the following month. Any month you meet the conditions, you'll be able to receive the bonus interest.

What features should I look for in an Australian bonus saver account?

Bonus saver accounts give you an opportunity to earn a higher interest rate in return for exercising some financial discipline and displaying good savings habits. When comparing between different Australian banks and their bonus saver accounts, compare the following features.

  • The amount of bonus interest you get

Each bank will offer different bonus interest rates, so make sure to look for one that offers a high bonus interest rate.

  • What are the deposit conditions?

Sometimes the deposit conditions are quite strict, requiring you to deposit high amounts each month in order to earn the bonus interest rate. Ensure you're realistic when considering the deposit requirements.

  • The withdrawal conditions

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.

  • Flexible accessibility

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.

Term deposits versus bonus saver accounts – which is better?

This depends on your financial situation. The benefits of a term deposit include locking in a fixed interest rate meaning 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 with a lower interest rate if you do so. Also, as the interest rate on bonus saver or incentive saver accounts is variable, this means it can change at any time. 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 in Australia?

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.

Pros and cons of bonus savings accounts

Advantages

  • 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.

Disadvantages

  • 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.

Wait, I have more questions about bonus savings accounts!

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    17 Responses

      Default Gravatar
      KylieJuly 11, 2019

      Hi what savings accounts have compound interest and what are the best term deposits at the moment

        Default Gravatar
        NikkiJuly 12, 2019

        Hi Kylie,

        Thanks for your question.

        It’s a good idea to put your money on a savings account earning compounded interest. As it says on our page, A feature like this allows you to earn money on the money that you have already earned. You can use our comparison table to search and compare savings accounts with compounded interest. You can also refer to our list of term deposit accounts.

        When you are ready, press the ‘Go to site’ button of your preferred account to apply. As a friendly reminder, review the eligibility criteria, fees, interest rates, and terms & conditions of this account before applying. You may also contact the insurance provider should you have any questions about their policy.

        Hope this helps! For any further questions, feel free to reach out to us again, we’re here to help.

        Best,
        Nikki

      Default Gravatar
      JuneDecember 10, 2018

      I’d like to open a savings account to help get me back to a culture of saving. I would be depositing a little bit every month and hopefully making no withdrawals, nevertheless I’d love easy access to my money. I’m not sure about these online banks, but what would you recommend? All the featured banks with high savings returns seem to have terrible reviews.

        Default Gravatar
        NikkiDecember 13, 2018

        Hi June,

        Thanks for getting in touch! I understand that having an online bank – some people ar skeptical about it – but as we are coming into the world of mobility, there will be a time when all payments are cashless. As a product comparison website, we are not in the position to recommend one product for you. The best way to choose an online savings account is to review our comparison page on this. Take note to review only banks that are familiar to you and check their fees and interest rates. This will be of good value to you and you will meet your goals in savings. Hope this was helpful. Don’t hesitate to message us back if you have more questions.

        Best,
        Nikki

      Default Gravatar
      etienneCJuly 20, 2018

      I am looking for “ongoing” high interest (online) savings accounts (not the honeymoon rates). I cannot find Ubank Ultra in your tables. (with 2.87% ongoing). Is it missing on purpose? Regards.

        Default Gravatar
        NikkiJuly 20, 2018

        Hi Etienne,

        Thanks for getting in touch!

        Here is the UBank high-interest online savings account at 2.87% interest for your perusal. This product is not currently available via Finder so if you wish to open an account, simply head to UBank’s website.

        If you’d like to check your option, you can also refer to our list of high-interest savings accounts. Please use our comparison table to help you find the account that suits you. When you are ready, you may then click on the “Go to site” button and you will be redirected to the bank’s website where you can proceed with the application or get in touch with their representatives for further inquiries you may have.

        Hope this helps!

        Nikki

      Default Gravatar
      LizJune 29, 2018

      Can funds from a self managed super fund (joint names & in Trust for account) be deposited into a higher Interest Savings Account or only in a Term Deposit or Business Savings Account?

        Default Gravatar
        NikkiJuly 2, 2018

        Hi Liz,

        You can deposit your SMSF to a savings account with higher interest. You can check our guide on SMSF bank accounts and use our comparison table to compare your options. Once you have chosen a particular account, you may then click on the “Go to site ” button and you will be redirected to the bank’s website where you can proceed with your application or get in touch with their representatives for further assistance.

        You can also check our review on how to manage your SMSF.

        Hope this helps.

        Cheers,
        Nikki

      Default Gravatar
      GeorginaFebruary 3, 2018

      Our baby granddaughter was born & lives overseas. Are there any issues we need to consider when looking to set up an account for her here in Australia? Thinking of doing it in one of our names with an ongoing monthly deposit and then granting her access to the account when she is old enough or when we pass away.

        Avatarfinder Customer Care
        RenchFebruary 14, 2018Staff

        Hi Georgina,

        Thank you for your inquiry.

        Basically, it is possible for a newborn baby to have a savings account, and parents or grandparents can be added as signatories to the account and then transfer it to the child later.

        But, as to the identity of the child (as the account owner), you would need to confirm this with the bank directly if they would accept a child who was born and live overseas. You may want to check our page which outlines children’s savings accounts. Please contact your chosen bank from that page to discuss your grandchild’s eligibility.

        Best regards,
        Rench

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