Prefer an Interest Rate That’s in Your Best Interest?

Information verified correct on December 3rd, 2016

How can you be sure that you are getting the best interest rate for your hard earned savings?

The purpose of keeping your money in a savings account is that it provides you with a secure way to earn interest while it’s not in use. The interest rate being offered by a savings account is the main indicator of how fast your account balance will grow. If you are not calculating the interest correctly, you could make the wrong choice when it comes to the high interest savings account that is right for your needs.

Compare interest rates below

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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
RaboDirect High Interest Savings Account
Introductory rate of 3.20% p.a. for 4 months, reverting to a rate of 2.05% p.a. Available on balances below $250,000.
3.20% 2.05% 1.15% $0 $0 / $0 Open More
ING DIRECT Savings Maximiser
Ongoing, variable 2.75% 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.
2.75% 1.60% 1.15% $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 $5,000,000.
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
Australian Unity Easy Saver
Introductory rate of 2.90% p.a. for 4 months, reverting to a rate of 1.70% p.a. Available on balances below $250,000.
2.90% 1.70% 1.20% $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
HSBC Serious Saver
Introductory rate of 2.25% p.a. for 4 months, reverting to a rate of 1.60% p.a. Available on balances below $1,000,000.
2.25% 1.60% 0.65% $0 $0 / $0 Open More
St.George Maxi Saver
Introductory rate of 3.00% p.a. for 3 months, reverting to a rate of 1.05% p.a. Available on balances below $5,000,000.
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
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 Incentive Saver Account
Ongoing, variable 1.85% p.a. when you make at least one deposit each month and no withdrawals. Available on the entire balance.
1.85% 0.01% 1.84% $0 $0 / $0 Open More
Bank of Melbourne Incentive Saver
Ongoing, variable 1.85% p.a. when you make at least one deposit and no withdrawals each month. Available on the entire balance.
1.85% 0.01% 1.84% $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
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Monthly Account Fee Debit Card Access ATM Withdrawal Fee Fee Free Deposit p.m. Details
ANZ Access Advantage
Earn a $100 shopping voucher.
For opening a new account by 18 Dec 2016 and shop three times with your new Visa debit card by 8 Jan 2017 (conditions apply).
Visa $0 $2,000 No monthly account fee when you deposit at least $2,000 per month. Other fee waivers available based on your personal situation. Open More
Bankwest Qantas Transaction Account
Earn Qantas Points on eligible purchases and on your account balance.
Conditions apply.
Mastercard $0 $2,000 No monthly fees when you deposit at least $2,000 into your account each month. Free access to Bankwest and CommBank ATMs in Australia. No overseas ATM withdrawal fees (charged by Bankwest) though third party fees may apply. Open More
ING DIRECT Orange Everyday Account
Get a $75 cash bonus.
Get a competitive ongoing variable rate when linked with a Savings Maximiser.
Visa $0 $1,000 No monthly fees, and you can use any ATM in Australia for free when you deposit $1,000 each month e.g your salary. Open More
AMP Access Account
An everyday transaction account with fee-free banking.
Visa $0 $0 Unlimited fee-free transactions at rediATMs, $0 transaction fees using BankNet, mobile banking and BankPhone. Open More
AMP Cash Manager
Ongoing, variable 1.50% p.a. when you link to an AMP Visa debit card and deposit $2,000+ each month. Available on the entire balance.
Visa $0 $2,000 No transaction fees and waived monthly fee when at least $2,000 is deposited. Open More
Westpac Choice
$0 ATM withdrawal fee at 50,000+ ATMs globally.
Via Westpac's Global ATM Alliance. Get Cash without your debit card (conditions apply).
Mastercard $0 $2,000 No ATM fees when using St.George, Westpac, BankSA or Bank of Melbourne ATMs in Australia. Deposit at least $2,000 per month and enjoy no monthly service fee. Open More
Bankwest Easy Transaction Account
Pay no ATM fees at over 10,000 ATMs in Australia (conditions apply).
Mastercard $0 $2,000 Minimum deposit of $2,000 per month needed to waive the monthly account fee otherwise $6 monthly fee applies. No ATM fee applicable at Bankwest, CBA, NAB, ANZ, Westpac, St.George, BoM and BankSA ATMs in Australia. Open More
St.George Complete Freedom Account
10% Cash back for online gaming purchases.
Waived account keeping fees when minimum deposit is met with no minimum balance.
Visa $0 $2,000 No account keeping fees, if you deposit $2,000 per month plus no minimum balance required. No ATM fees when using St.George, Westpac and BankSA ATMs. Open More
BankSA Complete Freedom Account
Open one in less than 5 minutes with Cardless Cash available.
Visa $0 $2,000 No monthly account keeping fees when you deposit at least $2,000 in the account each month. Free access to BankSA, St.George, Westpac and Bank of Melbourne ATMs. Open More
BankSA Express Freedom Account
Get Cardless Cash, free SMS and email alerts.
Visa $0 $1,000 Avoid ATM fees when using BankSA, St.George, Bank of Melbourne and Westpac ATMs. Avoid the monthly fee if you deposit $1000 into this account each month. Open More
Bank of Melbourne Complete Freedom
Get Cardless cash and shop securely with your Visa debit card. Customise SMS and email alerts.
Visa $0 $2,000 No ATM fees when you use Bank of Melbourne, BankSA, St.George or Westpac ATMs. No monthly fees when you deposit at least $2000 into this account each month. Open More
Bank of Melbourne Express Freedom
Get Cardless Cash and PAYG branch and cheque services.
Visa $0 $1,000 No ATM fees when you use Bank of Melbourne, St.George, Westpac and BankSA ATMs. No monthly fees if you deposit $1000 into your account each month. Open More
BankSA Sense Everyday Account
Save and budget – get two accounts working together and save faster.
Visa $0 $2,000 Use over 3000 BankSA, St.George, Bank Of Melbourne and Westpac ATMs in Australia for free. Open More
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3 Mths p.a. 4 Mths p.a. 6 Mths p.a. 12 Mths p.a. 24 Mths p.a. 36 Mths p.a. 48 Mths p.a. 60 Mths p.a. Min Deposit Interest Earned
Bankwest Online Term Deposit
Bankwest Online Term Deposit
2.30% 2.50% 2.70% 2.70% 2.60% 2.60% 2.65% 2.65% $1,000 Open More
St.George Term Deposit
St.George Term Deposit
2.20% 2.00% 2.30% 2.60% 3.10% 3.20% 2.80% 2.95% $1,000 Open More
Bank of Melbourne Term Deposit
Bank of Melbourne Term Deposit
2.20% 2.00% 2.30% 2.60% 3.10% 3.20% 2.80% 2.95% $1,000 Open More
BankSA Term Deposit
BankSA Term Deposit
2.20% 2.00% 2.30% 2.60% 3.10% 3.20% 2.80% 2.95% $1,000 Open More
Citibank Term Deposit ($75,000)
Citibank Term Deposit ($75,000)
2.50% 2.50% 2.95% 2.35% 2.35% 2.35% 2.35% 2.35% $75,000 Open More
Westpac Term Deposit
Westpac Term Deposit
2.10% 2.00% 2.20% 2.50% 3.00% 3.10% 2.70% 2.85% $5,000 Open More
ING DIRECT Term Deposit
ING DIRECT Term Deposit
2.10% 2.60% 2.10% 3.00% 2.70% - - - $10,000 Open More

How does an interest rate comparison work?

When interest is calculated, when it is deposited and if the account allows for compound interest will all be determining factors when it comes time to compare interest rates. If you are not looking at the entire interest picture for savings accounts, you could be missing key points that will determine your interest earning capacity.

How are interest rates calculated on my high interest savings account?

Interest on an online saving account is calculated by this formula: Daily closing balance/365 x Interest rate/100

If you are comparing high interest savings accounts and wondering about the significance of having the interest calculated daily and paid monthly, it basically means you will earn more interest. When interest is calculated daily, it is calculated on compounding interest.

To calculate what the rate on their savings and term deposit accounts will be, most banks will base their rate on the RBA's cash rate. Some banks will add a certain percentage to the standard rate for a promotional period, or lock in a rate several percentage points higher than the cash rate on a term deposit account.

Learn more about how compound interest affects your savings account.

How do I actually compare interest rates?

Don’t stop at the advertised interest rate when making savings accounts comparisons. There are various points to consider that will help you determine which savings account is best for you.

  • The base rate. The standard interest rate is where your comparison should start. Check to see if it is variable or fixed and how it compares against other savings accounts.
  • Bonus rates. Some banks will offer an introductory bonus rate on a savings account. This rate is usually advertised as a fixed rate on top of the standard. Check to see for how long that rate is in effect, and if you need to meet any requirements in order to maintain it.
  • Compound interest. Ideally you want a high interest savings account where interest is calculated daily and paid into the account monthly. This allows you to grow your savings faster by being paid for interest that you have already earned.
  • Terms. Check to see if the interest rate is only applied if you are able to meet certain conditions, such as maintain a minimum balance or make a limited number of withdrawals.
Tips for comparing interest rates
  • Choose the interest rate which suits your savings goal – If a high introductory interest rate expires in 4 months' time but you can save for your new TV or summer holiday before then, you can take advantage of the high rate and not worry about the lower standard rate.
  • Compare promotional and introductory interest rates – If a savings account has a promotional rate, it is important you compare both this rate, and the account's standard rate. While an account may have a higher initial rate, if you can find a higher standard rate on another account, you could be better off in the long term.
  • Look for flexibility – Interest rates are predicted to keep going up for a while longer, which means that if you are locking in a term deposit account, look for an interest rate which is not likely to be exceeded by those of online savings accounts in the next few months. Or choose a term deposit account which lets you upgrade your interest rate, or withdraw for an early exit to a better investment option.
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Any pros and cons?

Pros

Interest rates are not the only important feature for a savings account. When making your comparisons check for:

  • Linked account. Savings accounts typically need to be linked to a transaction account in order to facilitate the transfer of funds. Check to make sure that by opening a savings account in a different bank, you can still use your current transaction account to link them.
  • Bonus rates. An introductory bonus rate on interest can give you a big boost towards meeting your savings goals.
  • Security. Ensure that the financial institution is a part of the Australian Government Guarantee Scheme, which protects your deposits of up to $250,000 per person per institution.

Cons

  • Fees and penalties. Certain monthly fees could apply to saving account products as well as penalties for early withdrawals. Read the fine print carefully to ensure that you are not losing the benefit of a high interest savings account in other charges.
  • Balance requirements. You might be expected to open the account with a certain amount of funds, or have to maintain a minimum balance in order to avoid fees.
Tax implications in Australia

Any interest earned on a savings account in an Australian institution is taxable as income in the country, unless exempted by the ATO. This includes earnings on children's savings accounts, term deposits, and life insurance bonuses. However, you can claim deductions on expenses tied to earning the income. This can include account-keeping fees from the bank, management fees, or financial consultations. If you do not give your tax file number to your bank, an amount corresponding to the highest tax bracket will be withheld, but you will get a refund for the difference, if any, once you provide the number.

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What are the risks?

You could easily not meet your savings potential by not weighing the type of savings account and the interest rate carefully. In order to avoid this, make sure that you are:

  • Choosing the right account. If you are savings towards a goal that is a few years off, you’ll get the highest return with a term deposit account.
  • Not mistaking a bonus rate for the standard. Check the advertised rate carefully, as this may just be the introductory or bonus interest. The standard rate is what will be applied after the bonus period ends.

Frequently asked questions

What other factors could affect the amount of money I earn in interest from my savings account?

The biggest factor is fees, which can come from the savings account itself, or the required linked account. Other costs to consider are penalties for early withdrawals and bank transaction fees.

Do rates change depending on my balance?

With some accounts the rates will be different depending on how much money you have in savings.

How is interest calculated?

For high interest savings accounts, the interest should be calculated daily and paid into the account monthly in order for you to get the benefit of compound interest. This is where you are earning on the principal amount as well as any interest payments already received.

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Related Posts

Savings Account Offers

Learn about our information service
ME Online Savings Account

Maximum Variable Rate

3.05%

Standard Variable Rate

1.30
ING DIRECT Savings Maximiser

Maximum Variable Rate

2.75%

Standard Variable Rate

1.60
Bankwest Hero Saver

Maximum Variable Rate

2.65%

Standard Variable Rate

0.01
RaboDirect High Interest Savings Account

Maximum Variable Rate

3.20%

Standard Variable Rate

2.05

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