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High Interest Savings Account Offer
Ongoing 3.05% p.a. variable rate when you link to a ME Everyday Transaction account and make a weekly purchase with your Debit MasterCard using tap & go. Available on balances up to $250,000.
- Bonus Rate: 1.75% p.a.
- Monthly Account Fees: $0
- Minimum Balance: $0
- Minimum Deposit: $0
Comparison of high interest rates savings accounts
Use our sorter tool to help you find the highest interest rate
Filter your results using our table to find the best interest rate for you. The diagram below shows you what each filter means.
Infographic: How to choose a savings account on finder.com.au
Use your savings style as a guide for getting to your savings goal. Our infographic below shows you how to choose a Savings account that suits your savings style.
finder.com.au high interest savings accounts
|Savings account||Maximum variable rate (p.a.)||Standard variable rate (p.a.)||Linked bank account|
|RaboDirect High Interest Savings Account||3.20% 4 months||2.05%||Any bank|
|St.George Maxi Saver||3.00% 3 months||1.05%||Same bank|
|RAMS Saver Account||3.15% Ongoing, conditions apply||1.50%||Not required|
|ME Online Savings Account||3.05% Ongoing, conditions apply||1.30%||Same bank|
|Citibank Online Saver||3.05% 4 months||1.75%||Any bank|
|ANZ Online Saver||2.75% 3 months||1.30%||Same bank|
High interest savings account
A high interest savings account (also known as a savings account or online savings account) is an account that offers a competitive interest rate. It is similar to a bank account, but it is designed to help you save money, rather than spend money. Typically, interest is calculated daily and paid monthly - it uses compound interest. All savings accounts come with a free, 24/7 online banking platform to access your funds.
What are the benefits of a high interest savings account?
You don't need to know anything about finance
Compared to other investments such as shares and property, a savings account is probably the easiest one to apply for. You can always reinvest what you have deposited there into another asset and it's almost impossible to get a negative return on a savings account.
You don't need to take any risks
It's considered one of the safest investments in the financial system (next to a term deposit). Most banks and financial institutions are guaranteed by the Australian Government, which means eligible deposits are insured up to $250,000 per person, per institution. If you have more than $250,000, it's important to diversify your funds across different banks to take advantage of the guarantee.
You're buying time to learn
It's the stepping stone to learning how to invest in shares and other investments – you can leave the money in there until you're comfortable enough to understand how other assets work.
You can see results fairly quickly
You can see progress after just a few months. You’ll start to see that you’re earning a few dollars here and there.
How do high interest savings accounts work?
You generally link a high interest savings account to your bank account. In some cases, you can only link your savings account with the same bank. This allows for easy transferring back and forth for funds.
A savings account also gives you at-call access to your funds, which means you can almost access your money immediately.
The interest rate is calculated on your balance everyday and your interest is paid monthly. The formula your bank will usually use to calculate your daily interest is:
Video: How do I always get the highest interest rate?
Considerations when comparing savings accounts
How do I find the best high interest savings account for me?
Look for: High and competitive interest rates
We might be stating the obvious here, but make sure you know the difference between the standard rate and any introductory rate that the bank may be offering. Pay attention to the conditions in which you can earn bonus interest. The offer may only apply to new customers or you may need to meet deposit and withdrawal conditions.
Look for: Online flexibility with 24/7 access
If you're trying to dissuade yourself from dipping into your savings, then consider an account with limited or no accessibility. Term deposits offer you a higher rate of interest the longer you agree to keep your money inside. The catch is that you will have no access to your savings for the duration of the term, unless you want to pay a hefty penalty.
Consider: Going online
Aussies who are willing to manage their savings entirely online could benefit from keeping their savings in an online high interest savings account. Since these accounts require less overhead costs, customers are rewarded with a higher rate of interest.
Look for: Whether you can link your existing bank account, or you'll need to open another.
Some high interest savings accounts are required to be linked to a transaction account. Banks can dictate whether it needs to be a transaction account from the same institution or if it can be an account with a different bank. If you already have a transaction account, check to see if can link your high interest savings account to an account with another institution. Otherwise, you may be forced to pay another monthly fee for a bank account you don’t need.
Look for: Zero fees
Check for any fees charged for maintaining the account, it’s common for savings accounts to not have monthly fees.
Identify: Whether you're a regular saver or flexible saver
If you're a regular saver, consider going for a bonus saver account This way, you'll get the maximum amount of interest every month. Flexible savers may want to opt for an introductory bonus account so they get the bonus interest rate no matter how many withdrawals they make.
Yearly Interest ($)
|Switch benefit ($)(7% vs 0.01%)|
|Your balance ($)||at 0.01%||at 2.5%||at 5%||at 7%|
This table has been worked out on the basis that interest is calculated daily and paid monthly. It also doesn’t take into account any other deposits into your account; if you make additional deposits, you will accumulate more interest in the long term.
Not only can you earn money by switching to a high interest savings account, you could also save money: If you have money sitting in an everyday transaction account that pays very low interest, and you take into account any banking fees and transaction fees, it could turn out that you are actually losing money. With so many different high interest savings accounts available online, there's no excuse not to take advantage of one. The more you deposit into a high interest savings account, the more interest you will earn on those deposits over the long term.
What are the types of high interest savings account available?
There are different types of accounts depending on the purpose of the account.
If you’re self-employed or a business owner, you may be better off with a business account
Business savings accounts mean that you can separate your work and personal expenses, so when it comes to tax time, it’s easier to collate your expenses. Also, most banks charge a fee for depositing cheques. If you still deposit a lot of cheques with small amounts, you may want to consider switching to electronic payments, as they tend to be free.
If you’re sharing finances, a joint account may be easier
Joint savings accounts mean that two signatures are required to make a withdrawals. This can help partners and couples reach a savings goal together. Read more about joint accounts here.
If you want to teach your children good money habits, there are childrens savings accounts
Yes there are. Most banks offer competitive deals for children, including bonus interest rates for regular deposits and no withdrawals as well as no account-keeping fee. Online accounts tend to pay a higher interest rate and charge fewer fees, catering to 'pocket money' savers gradually growing their balance overtime.
The advantages and disadvantages of a savings account
- You can reach your savings goals quicker. If you apply for a high interest savings account that matches your savings style, you can reach your savings goal faster.
- You can take advantage of introductory bonus rates as a new account. Some high interest savings accounts will give you a bonus interest rate for a limited time. This is typically a variable rate on top of another variable standard rate. If you switch accounts regularly to take advantage of offers like these, you could be giving your savings a big boost.
- They usually charge little to no fees. The majority of high interest savings accounts don't charge any fees for maintaining the account.
- High balances tend to earn a lower rate. Many accounts work on a tiered interest rate structure, which means that the more you have in your account, the lower the standard variable rate.
- Transfer times can last up to 3 business days. The limited access, especially for online accounts, could prove troublesome if you suddenly need the money for an important purchase. Transfers could take up to three business days.
What’s the difference between a savings account and a term deposit?
High interest savings accounts offer competitive rates, but conditions apply in most cases. For example, you might need to deposit a certain amount every month and not make any withdrawals. Introductory bonuses also only last a few months.
Term deposits, on the other hand, offer good interest rates over a fixed term of between 7 days and 12 months. There is usually a minimum deposit required, which you are committing to a short-term to medium-term investment. Term deposits can be broken, but a hefty penalty usually applies.
Traps to avoid when it comes to using your high interest savings account
It's important that you choose the high interest savings account that best serves your needs. This can help you avoid scenarios such as:
Interest rate penalties apply if you don't meet the terms and conditions.
- With term deposits, it's important to choose the right term duration. If you choose terms that are too long and find yourself needing the money sooner, you'll have to pay a penalty to have your term deposit released early.
Variable interest rates could mean that you lose out when the cash rate decreases.
- Banks can lower their rates in response to many factors. Bonus introductory rates are usually withdrawn after a few months, or at the end the introductory period. If the rate on your account has changed and you're not sure why, contact the bank.
How do I apply for a high interest savings account?
Once you’ve clicked through to the bank's secure application page, you will typically need to provide:
- Your personal details
- Your tax file number and related information
- Details of the account you want to link to your new high interest savings account
Can I open a high interest savings account as a tourist in Australia?
Depending on your visa type, it may be possible for you to open a bank account in Australia. You can learn more about opening a bank account as a non-resident here and compare different migration programs offered by certain lenders. Speak with the financial institution directly about eligibility requirements for opening an account as a temporary visitor.