High interest savings accounts

A high interest savings account can help you earn more interest and grow your savings faster. Here’s how to get one.

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High interest savings accounts often offer much better interest rates than regular savings accounts. You'll usually have to meet a few simple account conditions to earn the higher interest rate, such as depositing money regularly or limiting your withdrawals. Take a look at some high interest savings accounts in the table below, and the conditions attached to find one that works for you.

High interest savings accounts on Finder

Data indicated here is updated
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$
months
Name Product Maximum Variable Rate p.a. Standard Variable Rate p.a. Bonus Interest p.a. Fees Interest Earned Product Description
Westpac Life (18-29 year olds only)
3.00%
0.40%
2.60%
$0
Customers aged 18-29 can earn an ongoing, variable 3.00% p.a. on balances up to $30000 each month you grow your balance and make 5+ debit card purchases from your linked Westpac Choice transaction account.
MyState Bank Bonus Saver Account
1.50%
0.15%
1.35%
$0
Ongoing, variable 1.50% p.a. when you deposit at least $20 into the account each month and make five or more Visa Debit card transactions from a linked MyState transaction account. Bonus interest available on balances up to $250,000.
Bankwest Hero Saver
1.15%
0.01%
1.14%
$0
Ongoing, variable 1.15% p.a. rate when you deposit at least $200 each month and make no withdrawals. Available on balances up to $250,000.
Westpac Life
0.75%
0.40%
0.35%
$0
Ongoing, variable 0.75% 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 is a high interest savings account?

What exactly is a high interest savings account? As the name suggests, it's basically a savings account that pays a high interest rate. Because it offers a higher interest rate than a typical savings account, there are usually a few conditions to meet to earn the high rate. For example you might be required to meet a minimum monthly deposit condition, or limit your withdrawals from the account. A regular savings account, in comparison, will offer a lower interest rate on your balance each month but there usually won't be account conditions to meet.

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You can earn an ongoing, variable 3% p.a. each month you grow your balance (excluding interest earned) and make 5+ debit card purchases from your linked Westpac Choice transaction account. The maximum variable rate of 3% p.a. is available on balances up to $30,000 for customers aged 18-29.

How does a high interest savings account work?

Here's how you access your money, how interest is applied and the conditions you might need to meet with a high interest savings account.

How you access your savings

You generally link a high interest savings account to your everyday bank account, usually with the same bank. This allows you to easily move money back and forth from your savings account to your everyday bank account when needed. This is handy, as high interest savings accounts don't come with a debit card to access your money (but bank accounts do). Although you can't spend the money in your savings account using a debit card, you can still access it almost instantly by transferring it to your bank account and spending the money from there.

How you earn interest

High interest savings accounts will offer a bonus interest rate on top of the base interest rate each month that you meet the account conditions. This gives you the change to earn extra interest each month. A standard savings account, in comparison, will usually just offer the standard base interest rate only with no option to earn extra interest.

The money in your high interest savings account benefits from compound interest that is calculated daily and paid monthly. Compound interest allows you to earn interest on your interest, helping your money grow quicker.

For example, let's say your balance was $10,000 and you earned $100 in interest during the month. The following month, interest would be calculated on your full balance of $10,100 (that's your original balance plus the interest earned last month) so you'd earn even more interest the second month. So technically, you don't even need to deposit money regularly for your savings balance to grow.

What conditions you need to meet

As we said earlier, in exchange for a high interest rate on your savings there's usually a few account conditions you need to meet. This varies from bank to bank, however it often requires you to deposit a set amount of money each month and open an everyday bank account with the same bank. Some high interest savings accounts also require you to make a certain number of purchases from your linked everyday bank account each month, too.

Take a look at some popular high interest savings accounts and their account conditions to earn the bonus interest in the table below.

High interest savings account conditions to meet

High interest savings accountMaximum variable rate p.a.Conditions to meet
UBank USave Account1.46% p.a.Link to a UBank USpend and transfer at least $200 per month.
Citibank Online Saver1.35% p.a.Earn this high rate for the first 4 months for new customers only.
MyState Bank Bonus Saver 1.5% p.a.Deposit at least $20 each month and make five or more Visa Debit card transactions from your linked MyState Bank transaction account.
ME Online Savings Account1.35% p.a.Link to a ME Everyday bank account and make a weekly tap & go purchase from the account.
Westpac Life Account3% p.a.For 18-29s only, you must grow your balance within the month by any amount, and make 5+ eligible debit card purchases from your linked Westpac Choice transaction account each month. This high rate is for balances under $30,000.
ING Savings Maximiser1.5% p.a.Link to an ING Orange Everyday Bank Account, deposit $1,000 a month and make 5+ card purchases a month.

Benefits of a high interest savings account

  • A higher interest rate helps your savings grow faster.

Compared to an everyday transaction account which usually pays no interest and a standard savings account which won't pay much interest, a high interest savings account can help you grow your savings faster.

  • Your money is safe.

Your savings are protected by the Australian government under the government guarantee scheme. Most banks and financial institutions are included in the scheme, which means eligible deposits are insured up to $250,000 per person, per institution.

  • You can access the money at any time.

The money in your high interest savings account is your money, and it's readily and easily available whenever you need it. Unlike a term deposit which locks your funds away, you can move the money from your high interest savings account into your everyday bank account to spend it within seconds of needing it.

  • It's a good incentive to save.

Because you often need to deposit money regularly in order to earn the high interest rate, these accounts are a great incentive to save money. They can also be a good motivation to keep your money in the account earning interest, rather than spending it on day-to-day items and impulse purchases.

  • There are no fees.

High interest savings accounts don't charge any account keeping fees and there are no fees to add money into, or move money out of, the account.


Tips and traps of a high interest savings account

Here are some tips to help you choose the right high interest savings account for you, and some traps to avoid.

🔥 Hot tip: How to always get a high interest rate

A lot of high interest savings accounts offer special bonus introductory rates for the first few months only. This is a way for the bank to entice you to open an account. For example, the Rabobank High Interest Savings Account offers a competitive 2% p.a. for the first 4 months, then it drops down to the standard variable rate of 0.55% p.a..

So you could open this account to get the high rate, then after the introductory period ends you can move your savings into another account with a different bank to take advantage of their high introductory rate. Rinse and repeat to ensure you're always getting a high rate. Just remember, these offers are for new customers only so you can only open each account and get the high rate once.

Tips

  • Make sure you're comfortable with the account conditions. If you can't realistically meet the account conditions each month, you won't earn the high interest rate so it defeats the purpose of opening that account.
  • Switch accounts, constantly. To ensure you are always earning the highest rate, you could continually switch savings accounts after the introductory period ends.
  • Compare accounts regularly. Unlike some other financial products, savings accounts are constantly changing their rates. This means you might have the highest rate one month, but not necessarily the next.
  • Look at the variable base rate too. Don't just look at the headline rate - the variable base rate is what you'll earn if you can't meet the account conditions one month, so make sure to check what this rate is too.

Traps

  • Introductory offers are for limited times. If you open an account that offers a high introductory rate for a few months, don't forget that this rate will drop after the introductory period ends. It's a good idea to set yourself a reminder to compare accounts again after this period.
  • The account conditions might be too difficult to meet. You can't look at the interest rate without considering the account conditions. Some high interest savings accounts will require you to deposit $2000 or more each month to earn the high rate, which may be difficult to meet if you're a casual worker, you work part time or you're in the gig economy.
  • The linked transaction account might have fees. High interest savings accounts will often require you to also open a transaction account with the same bank, and this account might come with fees and charges.

How do I apply for a high interest savings account?

You can open a high interest savings account online in a matter of minutes. It's free and easy to do, and requires little effort or paperwork. Once you’ve clicked through to the bank's secure application page, you will typically need to provide:

  • Your personal details such as full name and contact information
  • Your tax file number
  • Documents to verify your identity and age, like your drivers license or passport

Once you've finished the application form and the bank has verified your identity, your account will be opened and you're able to start transferring money into it and earning interest.

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42 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    KymJuly 8, 2019

    I have $40000 that I want to put into a savings account to get the highest interest. I will not be depositing any further money. What do you suggest?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaJuly 9, 2019Staff

      Hi Kym,

      Thanks for getting in touch with Finder. I hope all is well with you. 😃

      It’s nice to hear that you’re thinking of saving money and let it work for you, Kym.

      Regarding your question, I could see that you’re on the right page. On top of this page, you will see a list of savings account that might meet your needs. While it doesn’t tell you specifically which savings account allow you to earn interest even if you don’t make regular deposits, you can still use the table to compare your options.

      Use the table to compare your options based on interest rates, fees, and others. Click on the “Go to site” green button once you’re done comparing. You’ll then know more about your chosen account and see if it allows you to earn interest even if you don’t do a regular deposit.

      Please make sure that you’ve read the relevant T&Cs or PDS of the savings accounts you are interested in to help consider whether the product is right for you.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

  2. Default Gravatar
    KristinaJuly 4, 2019

    Hi,

    My husband and I would like to open a savings account for our twin girls. We want to be able to deposit but not withdraw until they are 18 years old. We are looking at depositing min of $10 each week per child plus whatever their grandparents want to contribute over time. Which bank or account would be best to earn high interest? We currently have transaction accounts with ING, NAB and UBank.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JeniJuly 5, 2019Staff

      Hi Kristina,

      Thank you for getting in touch with Finder.

      Kindly go through this page to start comparing your kid’s savings account options. Once you have chosen a provider, you may click on the green go to site button to be redirected to their official page to learn more on their savings account and even to start your online application. Please make sure that you’ve read the relevant T&Cs or PDS of this account to help consider whether the product is right for you.

      I hope this helps.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

  3. Default Gravatar
    RaulApril 4, 2019

    Hi
    What % of interest is best ?
    Ie-Rabo bank at 3.05 for 4 months then 1.8 for the rest or
    U bank at 2.87 all the time ? ( if is that what is meant in the U bank add)
    Thanking you in advance for your reply
    Raul

    • Default Gravatar
      NikkiApril 5, 2019

      Hi Raul,

      Thanks for getting in touch! The best interest rate you can get is the highest one a bank can offer to let you earn. As it says on our page – Rabo Direct’s 1.8% is the ongoing, standard interest rate that you’ll earn after the introductory four-month period is over. There are no conditions to meet to earn this rate, and all balances up to $250,000 will earn this rate. For UBank, 2.87% is earned each month you meet the account conditions. To earn this bonus rate you need to link the account to a UBank USaver Ultra Transaction Account and transfer at least $200 per month into either account, ensuring your combined balance across both accounts does not exceed $200,000.

      I hope this helps!

      Best,
      Nikki

  4. Default Gravatar
    LawrenceMarch 27, 2019

    Hi,

    Can you kindly advice on the following:
    My son is doing his MD course at Melbourne Uni and I would like to open a term deposit of up to $300000. This is for his disbursement for his school fees for the next 3 yrs. I would like to know if the interest earned is taxable. What if the savings account is put under my son’s name and would he be tax, even if he was a student?

    Thanks.

    Regards,
    Lawrence

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JeniMarch 30, 2019Staff

      Hi Lawrence,

      Thank you for getting in touch with Finder.

      If you’ve invested money in a term deposit, you will need to pay tax on the interest income you earn. The amount of tax you’ll need to pay on your term deposit interest will depend on your overall taxable income, and it will also depend on when you receive your interest payments. You may use this page as guide on how you may pay tax on term deposit interest. The ATO states the person who declares interest earnings from a kid’s bank account depends on, “who owns or uses the funds of that account (no matter what type of account it is or the name of the account holder).” If you consider putting the term deposit account on your son’s name, if he’s already 16 years old or older, he needs to apply for a Tax File Number. I suggest that you speak to a tax agent on this matter and learn more about tax returns, what you can claim and what you need to declare to the ATO.

      I hope this helps.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

  5. Default Gravatar
    TrevorJanuary 8, 2019

    We want to invest a large sum of money for 12 months and don’t need to touch it until the 12 months is up. What is the best and safest way to get an areal good return without large fees attached?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JhezJanuary 9, 2019Staff

      Hello Trevor,

      Thank you for your comment.

      Since you’re not touching your money for 12 months, you might want to compare term deposit accounts. A term deposit is a fixed-term deposit held at a financial institution and is generally short-term deposits with maturities ranging anywhere from a month to a few years.

      You can compare term deposit interest rates for 12 months on this page. ME Term Deposit seems to have the highest interest rate among the other products at 2.80%. You can still compare the other products and apply if you have chosen your preferred account by clicking the Go to Site button.

      Please make sure that you’ve read the relevant T&Cs or PDS of this account to help consider whether the product is right for you.

      Should you wish to have real-time answers to your questions, try our chat box on the lower right corner of our page.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

  6. Default Gravatar
    MAGGIEOctober 10, 2018

    I have a reasonable sum of money to invest for 12 months and would like the best return from a secured bank account. An amount of $800 will be added each month and no withdrawals will be taken in the 12 month period.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JhezOctober 10, 2018Staff

      Hello Maggie,

      Thank you for your comment.

      You may want to check 12-month term deposit, if you want a big return and not withdrawing for 12 months. The highest we have on our list is with Citibank Term Deposit with a 3.00 % p.a.fixed interest. Kindly check other term deposit products on this page. You may not be able to add more amount to your deposit each month to a term deposit. This is because once a term deposit is set up, you won’t be able to add more money to your investment. If you have extra money to invest, you could open another term investment.

      For the savings account, the highest interest rate is with Rabobank High-Interest Savings Account with 3.05% p.a for the first 4 months if you’re eligible for the bonus interest rate. After 4 months, the interest will revert back to 1.80% p.a. Please compare more savings account here.

      Please compare the features and after you’re done comparing, please click the Go to Site button to apply. Please make sure that you’ve read the relevant T&Cs or PDS of this account to help consider whether the product is right for you.

      Should you wish to have real-time answers to your questions, try our chat box on the lower right corner of our page.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

  7. Default Gravatar
    AlikkoMarch 30, 2018

    Hello! What kind of account would best benefit me on accumulating the most possible interest, if I was to deposit $7000 a month. Taking into account that It would be that amount constantly for lets say 3 years. I would also agree to having conditions, such as not being able to access any of my money at anytime within the 3 year period. Also if there’s a way to get even more bonus interest? Let’s say for example every second/ third month i have to make an extra 50% deposit on the agreed value I signed up for to get more bonus? So basically what I’m looking for is an account that has as many conditions as possible and if you keep meeting them all, your interest just keeps on increasing higher regularly? Thank you in advance for taking the time to answer my questions!

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MayMarch 30, 2018Staff

      Hi Alikko,

      Thanks for reaching out.

      If you like to invest your money with a term deposit where you can only access it after 3 years, you can compare your TD options on this page. Term deposits also offer competitive interest rates. If you like to get an idea how much would be your interest earnings at the end of the term, please use the calculator on top of the table where you can enter your initial deposit of $7,000 and number of months which is 36 for 3 years.

      If you want an account where you can withdraw at anytime and make monthly deposits, you can compare high savings account above. Usually, these online savings accounts offer variable bonus rates for a certain period with conditions that vary depending on the account. If you like to know and compare the interest earnings on savings accounts, please enter your initial deposit amount, monthly deposit and investment period in to the calculator above the table.

      Please review the details, features and the T&Cs of the account before applying and consider the product is right for you.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      May

  8. Default Gravatar
    SteveMarch 27, 2018

    I am looking for a high interest savings account with no fees that will handle direct debits. Where do I look?

    • Default Gravatar
      NikkiMarch 27, 2018

      Hi Steve!

      Thanks for your message and for contacting finder.

      If you want to take advantage of the maximum interest rate offered by a high-interest savings account, you most likely need to be willing to accept limitations on how you can access your money. Most high-interest savings accounts don’t allow you to set up direct debits or make regular withdrawals, and some even have minimum monthly deposit requirements to encourage you to save.

      While this means you may be able to achieve your savings goal in a shorter time frame, it can be inconvenient if you want fast and easy access to your money at all times.

      However, there are some bank accounts that allow you to combine the flexibility of a transaction account with the interest-earning ability of a savings account, commonly referred to as interest-earning transaction accounts.

      On the page where you’re in, you can compare the savings account as they have little to no fees.

      Hope this helps!

      Best regards,

      Nikki

  9. Default Gravatar
    ANTHONYJanuary 27, 2018

    Why do you not list Australian Unity, which offers 2.8%?

    • Default Gravatar
      Ash MunozFebruary 5, 2018

      Hi Anthony,

      Thank you for reaching out to us.

      Please be advised that while we cover a wide range of products, brands and services on our site, we don’t cover each and every product, brand and service on the page so there are other available options for you. If you like to get more information about Australian Unity Active Saver and other Australian Unity products, kindly check this page.

      I hope this helps.

      Please do not hesitate to reach out to us again if you have additional questions.

      Cheers,
      Ash

  10. Default Gravatar
    wadeDecember 9, 2017

    I’m looking for a high interest savings account to set up for my daughter to give her when she is 18 looking at putting around $25 dollars a month into this account. What would you recommend ?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoanneDecember 9, 2017Staff

      Hi Wade,

      Thank you for visiting finder, we are an Australian financial comparison website and general information service. We are unable to make recommendations, we can offer general advise.

      You may view this page as this will give you a comparison between kids savings account. You may need to check on the age requirements on these accounts as they can vary. While some accounts are for those up to 18 years of age, the maximum age in some cases is 15 years and 16 years.

      Hope this helps,
      Joanne

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