Compare high interest savings accounts

Are you getting optimal earning power from your current high interest savings account?

High interest savings account offer

Bankwest Hero Saver

2.60 % p.a.

max rate

0.01 % p.a.

standard variable rate

High interest savings account offer

Ongoing, variable 2.60% p.a. rate when you deposit at least $200 each month and make no withdrawals. Available on balances up to $250,000.

  • Maximum Rate: 2.60% p.a.
  • Standard Variable Rate: 0.01% p.a.
  • Monthly deposit required: $200.00
  • Monthly fees: $0.00
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Comparison of high interest rates savings accounts

Rates last updated September 21st, 2017
$
$
months
Name Product Maximum Variable Rate p.a. Standard Variable Rate p.a. Bonus Interest p.a. Fees Min Bal / Min Deposit Interest Earned Product Description
ING Savings Maximiser
2.80%
1.50%
1.30%
$0
$0 / $0
Ongoing, variable 2.80% p.a. when you link to an ING Orange Everyday bank account and deposit $1,000+ each month. Available on balances up to $100,000.
Bankwest Hero Saver
2.60%
0.01%
2.59%
$0
$0 / $0
Ongoing, variable 2.60% p.a. rate when you deposit at least $200 each month and make no withdrawals. Available on balances up to $250,000.
ME Online Savings Account
2.95%
1.30%
1.65%
$0
$0 / $0
Ongoing, variable 2.95% p.a. 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.
HSBC Serious Saver
3.00%
1.60%
1.40%
$0
$0 / $0
Introductory rate of 3.00% p.a. for 4 months, reverting to a rate of 1.60% p.a. Available on balances below $1,000,000.
Westpac Reward Saver
1.50%
0.01%
1.49%
$0
$0 / $0
Ongoing, variable 1.50% p.a. when you deposit at least $50 and make no withdrawals each month. Available on the entire balance.
St.George Maxi Saver
2.80%
1.00%
1.80%
$0
$1 / $1
Introductory rate of 2.80% p.a. for 3 months, reverting to a rate of 1.00% p.a. Available on the entire balance.
Bank of Melbourne Incentive Saver
1.75%
0.01%
1.74%
$0
$1 / $1
Ongoing, variable 1.75% p.a. when you make at least one deposit and no withdrawals each month. Available on the entire balance.
Westpac eSaver
2.51%
1.00%
1.51%
$0
$0 / $0
Introductory rate of 2.51% p.a. for 5 months, reverting to a rate of 1.00% p.a. Available on the entire balance.
Bank of Melbourne Maxi Saver
2.80%
1.00%
1.80%
$0
$0 / $0
Introductory rate of 2.80% p.a. for 3 months, reverting to 1.00% p.a. Available on the entire balance.
Citibank Online Saver
2.85%
1.70%
1.15%
$0
$0 / $0
Introductory rate of 2.85% p.a. for 4 months, reverting to a rate of 1.70% p.a. Available on balances below $500,000.
BankSA Maxi Saver
2.80%
1.00%
1.80%
$0
$1 / $1
Introductory rate of 2.80% p.a. for 3 months, reverting to a rate of 1.00% p.a. Available on the entire balance.
BankSA Incentive Saver Account
1.75%
0.01%
1.74%
$0
$0 / $0
Ongoing, variable 1.75% p.a. when you make at least one deposit each month and no withdrawals. Available on the entire balance.
HSBC Flexi Saver Account
2.50%
1.25%
1.25%
$0
$0 / $0
Ongoing, variable 2.50% p.a. when you deposit $300+ each month (other conditions apply). Available on balances up to $5,000,000.

Compare up to 4 providers

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.

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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.

how-to-choose-a-savings-account-resize

Compare highest interest savings accounts

High interest savings accountDo I need a linked bank account?Maximum variable rate (p.a.)
RaboDirect High Interest Savings Account (Variable intro rate of 3.05% for 4 months)Any bank3.05%
RAMS Saver Account (Base rate 1.35% p.a. + Bonus rate 1.65% p.a. on balances up to $250,000)Not required3.00%
St.George Maxi Saver (Variable intro rate of 2.80% for 3 months)Same bank2.80%
ME Online Savings Account (Base rate 1.30% + Bonus rate 1.65% when you link to a ME Everyday account and make a weekly tap & go purchase, on balances up to $250,000)Same bank2.95%
Citibank Online Saver (Variable intro rate of 2.85% for 4 months)Any bank2.85%
ANZ Online Saver (Variable intro rate of 2.55% for 3 months)Same bank2.55%
UBank USaver (Base rate 1.81% + Bonus rate 0.00% p.a. on balance up to $5,000,000)Same bank1.81%

High interest savings account

Transfer-savings-optmzA 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 compound interest that is calculated daily and paid monthly. 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 a stepping stone for learning how to invest in shares and other investments – you can leave the money 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 by quickly earning a few dollars.


How do high interest savings accounts work?

You generally link a high interest savings account to your bank account. This allows for the easy transfer of funds back and forth. In some cases, you can only link your savings account to another account within the same bank.

A savings account also gives you at-call access to your funds, which means you can access your money almost immediately.

The interest rate is calculated on your balance every day and your interest is paid monthly. The following is the formula your bank will usually use to calculate your daily interest:

how-interest-is-calculated-daily-image-optmz

Video: How do I always get the highest interest rate?

always-get-highest-rate-1024x313-optmz

Considerations when comparing savings accounts

How do I find the best high interest savings account for me?

Look for: High and competitive interest rates

Make sure you know the difference between the standard rate and any introductory rate that the bank may be offering. Also, pay attention to the conditions required to 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 stop 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 won’t have 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 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 need to open another account.

Some high interest savings accounts need to be linked to a transaction account. Banks dictate whether the account needs to be from the same institution or if it can be from a different bank. If you already have a transaction account at a different bank, check to see if you can link it to your high interest savings account. 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 opening 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.

Should I switch savings accounts?

Yearly Interest ($)
Switch benefit ($)(7% vs 0.01%)
Your balance ($)at 0.01%at 2.5%at 5%at 7%
10000.1025.2951.1672.7972.69
50000.50126.44255.81361.45360.95
10,0001.00252.88511.62722.90721.90
25,0002.50632.211279.051807.251804.75

This table shows interest that is calculated daily and paid monthly. It doesn’t take into account any other deposits made 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 can also save money. If you have money sitting in a low interest everyday transaction account that has banking 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 it’s easier to collate your expenses at tax time. 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 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, you can set up a children’s savings account

Most banks offer competitive deals for children’s accounts, 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 over time.

The advantages and disadvantages of a savings account

Advantages

  • 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 for 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 these offers, 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.

Disadvantages

  • 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 take up to three 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 offer good interest rates over a fixed term of between 7 days and 12 months. There is usually a minimum deposit required and although term deposits can be broken, a hefty penalty usually applies.

Traps to avoid when 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 the following scenarios:

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?

What do I need to apply for a high interest savings account online?

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, you may be able to open a bank account in Australia. You can learn more about opening a bank account as a non-resident here. You should always 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.

A recap of highest interest savings accounts

High interest savings accountLinked bank accountMaximum variable rate (p.a.)
RaboDirect High Interest Savings AccountAny bank3.05% for 4 months
RAMS Saver AccountNot required3.00% when you deposit $200 per month
St.George Maxi SaverSame bank2.80% for 3 months
ME Online Savings AccountSame bank2.95% when you link to a ME Everyday account and make a weekly tap & go purchase
Citibank Online SaverAny bank2.85% for 4 months
ANZ Online SaverSame bank2.55% for 3 months
UBank USaverSame bank1.81% on balances up to $5,000,000

Top 5 highest interest savings account by interest rate

  1. RaboDirect High Interest Savings Account - 3.05%
  2. BankSA Maxi Saver - 2.80%
  3. ME Online Savings Account - 2.95%
  4. Citibank Online Saver - 2.85%
  5. ING Savings Maximiser - 2.80%

Savings Account Offers

Learn about our information service
ME Online Savings Account

Maximum Variable Rate

2.95

Standard Variable Rate

1.30
ING Savings Maximiser

Maximum Variable Rate

2.80

Standard Variable Rate

1.50
Citibank Online Saver

Maximum Variable Rate

2.85

Standard Variable Rate

1.70
Bankwest Hero Saver

Maximum Variable Rate

2.60

Standard Variable Rate

0.01

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22 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    ShelleySeptember 16, 2017

    Hi I am looking to put $9000 into a term deposit for 36 months. Am I better to put it all in one term deposit or split it over two high interest term deposit accounts?

    • Staff
      JhezelynSeptember 16, 2017Staff

      Hi Shelley,

      Thank you for your comment.

      Term deposit rates vary based on the deposit amount, term length, interest rate and fees. So the higher the deposit and the longer the term, the higher the interest you’ll be getting. Please refer to our term deposit calculator to get an estimate of how much you’ll be getting for a deposit of $9000 in 36 months (same with the $3000) too. Seems that you’ll be getting much more if you deposit $9000.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

  2. Default Gravatar
    GeorgeApril 10, 2017

    CUA is a better option?

    • Staff
      HaroldApril 11, 2017Staff

      Hi George,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      Unfortunately, we cannot recommend what is best for you. Our company finder.com.au is a financial comparison website and general information service designed to help consumers to make a better decision. Please note we do not represent any company we feature on our pages.

      If you like the features of the CUA savings accounts, you may want to consider this options.

      - Application. Once you have become a member of CUA you are free to apply for their savings accounts products online.
      - Eligibility. Keep in mind that some of the savings accounts offered by CUA are designed for certain age groups. Ensure that you are eligible for the account you are applying for by clicking the age requirement careful.

      I hope this information has helped.

      Cheers,
      Harold

  3. Default Gravatar
    cartwrightJanuary 20, 2017

    ME online savings account is this a 3-4 month offer? what is the ending time for this bonus interest?

    • Staff
      MayJanuary 20, 2017Staff

      Hi Cartwright,

      Thanks for your question.

      The bonus offer for ME Online Savings Account is ongoing. You will get the variable interest rate of 3.05% p.a. for any calendar month when you link it with an ME Everyday transaction account and during that month you make a weekly purchase with your ETA Debit MasterCard using tap & go.

      Cheers,
      May

  4. Default Gravatar
    ChrisNovember 29, 2016

    Why doesn’t the NAB Reward Saver appear in the top list for savings accounts? Its at 2.70%

    • Staff
      ClarizzaDecember 1, 2016Staff

      Hi Chris,

      Thanks for your question.

      Although we cover a wide range of products, providers and services we don’t cover every product, provider or service available in the market so there may be other options available to you. You can read about the NAB Reward Saver here.

      Regards,

      Clarizza

  5. Default Gravatar
    AndyJune 9, 2016

    If I open a high interest rate savings account with a bank that is offering a good introductory rate and switch to another bank once the introductory rate period ends and keep doing that for a while, then can I go back to my first bank and open/re-open a new high interest rate savings account and get the introductory rate again (if on offer)?

    In short, can I keep going through the cycle over and over again ad get the introductory rate on offer each time?

    Thanks.

    • Staff
      AnndyJune 9, 2016Staff

      Hi Andy,

      Thanks for your comment.

      The introductory bonus rate attached to some savings accounts often apply only to the first account you open. This means that if you open the same savings account the second or third time around, it’s likely that you won’t get the bonus rate again. However, this is also subject to some exceptions as set by the bank.

      I hope this answers your question.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

  6. Default Gravatar
    DARRENMay 31, 2016

    With ing,me and citibank, do you need to give your Tax file number.I’m sure that when I applied to 1 of these that they stated that because i was on a pension atn wasn’t needed.

    • Staff
      ShirleyJune 1, 2016Staff

      Hi Darren,

      Thanks for your question.

      This will depend on your personal situation and how much interest you’ll be earning.

      You do not have to provide your TFN to open the account, but if you don’t the bank is legally required to deduct tax from any interest earned on the account above a certain threshold.

  7. Default Gravatar
    amandaMay 3, 2016

    hi,
    Just wondering if continuously opening and closing high interest accounts will affect my credit score?
    Thanks.

    • Staff
      ShirleyMay 3, 2016Staff

      Hi Amanda,

      Thanks for your question.

      No, continuously opening and closing high interest accounts won’t affect your credit score.

  8. Default Gravatar
    darrylDecember 14, 2015

    For the ING Direct offer. The the offer is only available on balances up to 100k. When I put 200K in and calculate the interest earned is twice what it was for 100k. Given the max 100k I thought the calculated amount should not change, or least not simply double. Is there a fault with the calculator or do I need to rework my maths?
    Thanks

    • Staff
      ShirleyDecember 14, 2015Staff

      Hi Darryl,

      Thanks for your question.

      Apologies for the inconvenience, there was a fault with the calculator. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

      It should be working with the proper figures now, please let us know if there are anymore issues.

      Cheers,
      Shirley

  9. Default Gravatar
    johnNovember 17, 2015

    can you tell me what banks or building societies are not in the government guarantee fund

    • Staff
      ShirleyNovember 18, 2015Staff

      Hi John,

      Thanks for your question.

      Unfortunately we’re not aware of financial institutions that are not covered by the Government Guarantee. For this type of information it’s best to speak to ASIC.

      Cheers,
      Shirley

  10. Default Gravatar
    JessieNovember 7, 2015

    Hi.

    I’m tempted by the high rate offered by ING direct savings maximizer which requires a linked Orange Everyday bank account and a deposit of 1000+ per month to get the full high rate.
    My issue is having to open up an orange Everyday Bank Account which doesn’t have much benefit for me because I already have an everyday account at a major bank, and who has the energy to keep up with multiple everyday accounts?

    If I open up the Orange Everyday account together with Savings Maximizer to get the full rate, could I simply transfer $1000+ from my usual everyday account (with a major bank), into the Orange Everyday, then straight into the Savings Maximizer. I.e. keep nothing in the Orange Everyday account but just touch bases with it. Is it allowed to be used this way?

    Thanks.
    p.s. I love this website and have told many people about it. Keep up the good work. :)

    • Staff
      BelindaNovember 12, 2015Staff

      Hi Jessie,

      Thanks for your enquiry, and thanks for the feedback.

      As you mentioned, with the ING Direct Savings Maximiser account, if you also open an Orange Everyday account and deposit at least $1,000 from any external bank into it each month, you will earn the maximum variable rate which is currently 3.50% p.a.

      Interest is calculated daily on the closing balance and added to your account at the end of each month. Please note that this maximum variable rate is only applicable to one savings account and for balances that don’t exceed $100,000.

      As long as you meet this deposit criteria to earn the maximum variable rate, you can withdraw and then transfer the funds to another account as you see fit. Keep in mind that you may not benefit from compound interest for the Orange Everyday account in this case.

      I hope this clarifies things for you.

      Thanks,
      Belinda

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