High interest savings accounts

Want to get serious about your savings this year? High interest savings accounts have your back. Here’s how to get a high interest savings account that works for you.

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High interest savings accounts can help you earn money while you sleep. See how much interest you could earn based on your balance and monthly savings goal with our table below. Under 30? Lucky you. You'll have higher-interest options available.

High interest savings accounts

Name Product Interest Pros & Cons
Virgin Money Boost Saver (25+ year olds)
1.50%
max rate (p.a.)
Standard variable rate: 0.10%
  • Bonus rate is one of the highest in market
  • High monthly deposit of $2000 for bonus interest
Intro rate of up to 1.50% p.a. for the first 3 months and an ongoing bonus rate of 1.20% p.a. thereafter when monthly criteria is met (T&Cs apply). To earn these bonus rates customers aged 25+ need to deposit at least $2,000/month into your bundled Virgin Money Go Transaction Account and make 5+ transactions/month.
Rabobank High Interest Savings Account
1.35%
max rate (p.a.)
Standard variable rate: 0.25%
  • Earn 1.35% p.a. with no deposit conditions
  • Bonus rate is for first 4 months only
Maximum variable rate of 1.35% p.a. for 4 months, reverting to a rate of 0.25% p.a. No deposit or withdrawal conditions. Available on balances below $250,000
MyState Bank Bonus Saver Account
1.10%
max rate (p.a.)
Standard variable rate: 0.05%
  • Small $20 monthly deposit requirement for bonus rate
  • Must make 5 transactions per month for bonus interest
Ongoing, variable 1.2% p.a. when you deposit at least $20 into the account each month and make 5 or more Visa Debit card transactions from a linked MyState transaction account. Bonus interest available on balances up to $250,000.
Great Southern Bank Home Saver Account
0.95%
max rate (p.a.)
Standard variable rate: 0.05%
  • Earn up to 0.95% interest, even if you make withdrawals
  • $2,000 monthly deposit requirement for bonus rate
Ongoing, variable 0.95% when you deposit at least $2,000 into a linked Everyday Snap Account each month and make 5 or more Visa Debit card transactions per month. Bonus interest available on balances up to $250,000.
AMP Saver Account
1.16%
max rate (p.a.)
Standard variable rate: 0.01%
  • No withdrawal restrictions for bonus interest
  • Low base interest rate if conditions aren't met
Earn an ongoing variable 1.16% p.a. when you deposit at least $250 a month, with no monthly spend requirements to meet. Available on balances up to $250,000.
Bank of Queensland Fast Track Starter Account (for 14-24 year olds only)
2.50%
max rate (p.a.)
Standard variable rate: 0.05%
  • High ongoing bonus rate of 2.5% p.a. for 14-24s
  • Bonus rate only on balances up to $10,000
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.
Citibank Online Saver
1.10%
max rate (p.a.)
Standard variable rate: 0.35%
  • 1.1% p.a. on balances up to $500,000 with no deposit conditions
  • Introductory rate is for first 4 months only
Introductory rate of 1.1% p.a. for 4 months, reverting to a rate of 0.35% p.a. Available on balances Up to $500,000.
Virgin Money Boost Saver (18-24 year olds)
1.50%
max rate (p.a.)
Standard variable rate: 0.10%
  • Bonus rate is one of the highest in market
  • High monthly deposit of $1000 for bonus interest
Intro rate of up to 1.50% p.a. for the first 3 months and an ongoing bonus rate of 1.20% p.a. thereafter when monthly criteria is met (T&Cs apply). To earn these bonus rates customers aged 18-24 need to deposit at least $1,000/month into your bundled Virgin Money Go Transaction Account and make 5+ transactions/month.
Bank of Queensland Fast Track Saver Account
1.05%
max rate (p.a.)
Standard variable rate: 0.05%
  • Earn monthly bonus interest with no withdrawal restrictions
  • High monthly deposit requirement of $1,000
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.
Virgin Money Grow Saver
0.65%
max rate (p.a.)
Standard variable rate: 0.10%
  • Make 1 deposit a month of any amount to earn bonus interest
  • Only 1 withdrawal a month to be eligible for bonus interest
Earn an ongoing variable 0.65% p.a. each month you make at least one deposit of any amount and no more than one withdrawal.
Bank of Queensland WebSavings Account
1.00%
max rate (p.a.)
Standard variable rate: 0.05%
  • 1% p.a. on large balances up to $5,000,000 with no deposit conditions
  • Introductory rate is for first 4 months only
Introductory rate of 1% p.a. for 4 months, reverting to the standard rate of 0.05% p.a. for balances between $2,000 and $5,000,000.
Great Southern Bank Youth eSaver Account (10-17 year olds only)
2.40%
max rate (p.a.)
Standard variable rate: 2.40%
  • No monthly fee
  • No counter service
Ongoing, variable 2.4% p.a. Available on balances up to $5,000. Available for those aged 10-17 years.
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What is a high interest savings account?

A high interest savings account is a savings account that pays a higher interest rate when certain conditions are met. 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.

To get an idea of the interest rates on offer, take a look at some popular high interest savings accounts and their max bonus interest rate on offer in the table below. *Note that these are the top 5 accounts based on the total variable rate only.

September 2021's top 5 high interest savings accounts

High interest savings accountInterest rate
Westpac Life Account2.5% p.a.
BoQ Fast Track Starter (14-24s)2.5% p.a.
ING Savings Maximiser1.35% p.a.
Rabobank High Interest Savings Account1.35% p.a.
AMP Saver Account1.16% p.a.

How do these accounts work?

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

How you access your savings

You generally link a high interest 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 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

These 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 chance to earn extra interest each month. A standard savings account, in comparison, will usually only offer the standard base interest rate with no option to earn extra interest.

The money in your 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 are 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 accounts also require you to make a certain number of purchases from your linked everyday bank account each month.

What are the fees and charges?

High interest savings accounts typically have no account keeping fees and no regular charges. The account is designed to help you save money, not get eaten away by fees. However, in order to access the money you'll need to link the savings account to an everyday spending or transaction account which might have fees and charges.

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 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 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

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 1.35% p.a. for the first 4 months, then it drops down to the standard variable rate of 0.25% 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 savings accounts again after this period.
  • The account conditions might be too difficult to meet. To find the best savings account you can't look at the interest rate without considering the account conditions. Some 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 an 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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