Compare high interest savings accounts

Information verified correct on December 10th, 2016

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

ME Online Savings Account

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

    Rates last updated December 10th, 2016
    $
    $
    months
    Maximum Variable Rate p.a. Standard Variable Rate p.a. Bonus Interest p.a. Fees Min Bal / Min Deposit Interest Earned
    ME Online Savings Account
    Ongoing, variable 3.05% 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.
    3.05% 1.30% 1.75% $0 $0 / $0 Open More
    Citibank Online Saver
    Introductory rate of 3.00% p.a. for 4 months, reverting to a rate of 1.70% p.a. Available on balances below $500,000.
    3.00% 1.70% 1.30% $0 $0 / $0 Open More
    RaboDirect High Interest Savings Account
    Introductory rate of 3.05% p.a. for 4 months, reverting to a rate of 2.00% p.a. Available on balances below $250,000.
    3.05% 2.00% 1.05% $0 $0 / $0 Open More
    Bankwest Hero Saver
    Ongoing, variable 2.65% p.a. rate when you deposit at least $200 each month and make no withdrawals. Available on balances up to $250,000.
    2.65% 0.01% 2.64% $0 $0 / $0 Open More
    AMP Saver Account
    Introductory rate of 2.55% p.a. for 4 months, reverting to a rate of 2.10% p.a. Available on balances below $5,000,000.
    2.55% 2.10% 0.45% $0 $0 / $0 Open More
    ANZ Online Saver
    Introductory rate of 2.85% p.a. for 6 months, reverting to 1.25% p.a. Available on the entire balance.
    2.85% 1.25% 1.60% $0 $0 / $0 Open More
    Westpac eSaver
    Introductory rate of 2.71% p.a. for 5 months, reverting to a rate of 1.25% p.a. Available on the entire balance.
    2.71% 1.25% 1.46% $0 $0 / $0 Open More
    Bank of Melbourne Maxi Saver
    Introductory rate of 3.00% p.a. for 3 months, reverting to 1.05% p.a. Available on the entire balance.
    3.00% 1.05% 1.95% $0 $1 / $1 Open More
    BankSA Maxi Saver
    Introductory rate of 3.00% p.a. for 3 months, reverting to a rate of 1.05% p.a. Available on the entire balance.
    3.00% 1.05% 1.95% $0 $1 / $1 Open More
    ANZ Progress Saver
    Ongoing, variable 1.91% p.a. when you link to any Australian everyday bank account and deposit $10+ each month. Available on the entire balance.
    1.91% 0.01% 1.90% $0 $10 / $10 Open More
    Westpac Reward Saver
    Ongoing, variable 1.85% p.a. when you deposit at least $50 and make no withdrawals each month. Available on the entire balance.
    1.85% 0.01% 1.84% $0 $0 / $0 Open More

    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.

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    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 1.50% p.a. + Bonus rate 1.65% p.a. on balances up to $250,000)Not required3.15%
    St.George Maxi Saver (Variable intro rate of 3.00% for 3 months)Same bank3.00%
    ME Online Savings Account (Base rate 1.30% + Bonus rate 1.75% when you link to a ME Everyday account and make a weekly tap & go purchase, on balances up to $250,000)Same bank3.05%
    Citibank Online Saver (Variable intro rate of 3.00% for 4 months)Any bank3.00%
    ANZ Online Saver (Variable intro rate of 2.85% for 6 months)Same bank2.85%
    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 accountTransfer savings

    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:

    how interest is calculated daily image

    Image source: ING Direct

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

    always get highest 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.

    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 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

    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 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.

    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 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?

    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, 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.

    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 required3.15% when you deposit $200 per month
    St.George Maxi SaverSame bank3.00% for 3 months
    ME Online Savings AccountSame bank3.05% when you link to a ME Everyday account and make a weekly tap & go purchase
    Citibank Online SaverAny bank3.00% for 4 months
    ANZ Online SaverSame bank2.85% for 6 months
    UBank USaverSame bank1.81% on balances up to $5,000,000

    Savings Account Offers

    Learn about our information service
    ME Online Savings Account

    Maximum Variable Rate

    3.05%

    Standard Variable Rate

    1.30
    Citibank Online Saver

    Maximum Variable Rate

    3.00%

    Standard Variable Rate

    1.70
    Bankwest Hero Saver

    Maximum Variable Rate

    2.65%

    Standard Variable Rate

    0.01
    RaboDirect High Interest Savings Account

    Maximum Variable Rate

    3.05%

    Standard Variable Rate

    2.00

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    16 Responses to Compare high interest savings accounts

    1. Default Gravatar
      Chris | November 29, 2016

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

      • Staff
        Clarizza | December 1, 2016

        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

    2. Default Gravatar
      Andy | June 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
        Anndy | June 9, 2016

        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

    3. Default Gravatar
      DARREN | May 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
        Shirley | June 1, 2016

        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.

    4. Default Gravatar
      amanda | May 3, 2016

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

      • Staff
        Shirley | May 3, 2016

        Hi Amanda,

        Thanks for your question.

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

    5. Default Gravatar
      darryl | December 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
        Shirley | December 14, 2015

        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

    6. Default Gravatar
      john | November 17, 2015

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

      • Staff
        Shirley | November 18, 2015

        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

    7. Default Gravatar
      Jessie | November 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
        Belinda | November 12, 2015

        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

    8. Default Gravatar
      Barnacles | October 14, 2015

      Hello.
      I would like to speak to you today due to some issues with this website, I have had an undergoing issue every time I go onto this website, it is quite infuriating and makes me sad. You see one day I had my Jammy dodgers and tea with 2 spoonful’s of sugar, before approaching my computer I ran into a little problem because my tea was too hot. then I approached my computer and logged on, only to see my internet wasn’t working. then I came onto this website to look at some good deals for my banking. Then a question entered my mind. What is the appropriate heat for a good cup of tea and also how many sugars I should use.
      Please respond soon as my tongue is burning.
      Thank you
      Sincerely
      Barnacles Buckminster

      • Staff
        Shirley | October 15, 2015

        Hi Barnacles Buckminster,

        Thanks for your question and we’re sorry to hear about your situation.

        After doing some research, we’ve found the following suitable temperatures for tea:

        - Flavoured white tea: 79.4 celsius
        - Green tea: 79.4 celsius
        - Flavoured green tea: 79.4 celsius
        - Oolong tea: 79.4 celsius
        - Black tea: 90.6 celsius
        - Flavoured black tea: 90.6 celsius
        - Mate tea: 97.8 celsius
        - Rooibos tea: 97.8 celsius
        - Herbal tea: 97.8 celsius

        It’s been debated that sugar adds no health benefits to your tea. You may want to consider leaving out the sugar in the future.

        I hope this has helped and makes your banking comparison experience better.

        Cheers,
        Shirley

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