Grow your savings with immediate access to your money.
An online savings account (or e-savings account) lets you manage your savings online. You can log in anytime and anywhere you have internet access and a suitable device. You can transfer funds back and forth, as well as immediately check the balance on your savings account.
Online savings accounts generally offer a higher interest rate and charge lower fees than conventional bank accounts because there are less overheads involved. Plus, you get the flexibility of the internet – you can access your money 24/7 using the bank's online banking services.
Saving Account Offer
The Bankwest Hero Saver offers an ongoing, high variable interest rate when you deposit at least $200 and make no withdrawals per month (excluding interest).
- Available for balances up to $250,000
- Maximum variable rate of 2.65% p.a.
- $0 account keeping fee
- No minimum balance or minimum deposit required
- 24/7 Online access to your account
Compare your online savings accounts options today
You'll normally need to link your online savings account with your everyday bank account. This lets you transfer funds back and forth.
finder.com.au's online savings accounts
- ME Online Savings Account
- St.George Maxi Saver
- ING Direct Savings Maximiser
- ANZ Online Saver
- Westpac eSaver
- HSBC Serious Saver
- RaboDirect High Interest Savings Account
- CUA eSaver Reward
- AMP Saver Account
- Australian Unity Easy Saver
How do online savings accounts work?
If you want an online savings account for your extra funds, you will first need to ensure that you have an active transaction account that can be used as a linked account for the transfer of money. Once activated, adding it to the online savings account is as simple as logging in and initiating a transfer.
Online accounts usually don't charge transfer fees. There is typically no monthly account keeping fee either, making this an inexpensive way to build your savings. Interest will be calculated daily on the balance, and then deposited into your account at the beginning of the following month.
Note that an online savings account doesn't usually come with a debit card – savings accounts are designed to just hold your savings. Debit cards are usually tied to transaction accounts.
Do online accounts generally offer better interest rates?
Interest rates on online accounts tend to be higher than for conventional accounts. If you're saving for a short term goal, such as holiday, then an online savings account may be suitable. Due to the reduced cost to the bank to maintain an online account, they are often able to offer you a higher rate of interest. However, like regular accounts, online high interest savings accounts rates will fluctuate according to the official RBA cash rate.
Do I get instant access to transferred funds?
If your online savings account is linked with a transaction account from the same institution, then you generally do get instant access. However if the money comes from a different financial institution, it usually takes up to 3 business days for the funds to appear in your account.
CASE STUDY: How it all works
Lucy currently holds several accounts across multiple financial institutions. She has a UBank USaver, UBank USaver Ultra, a CommonBank Complete Access and RaboDirect high interest savings account. When she transfers money from her UBank USaver to her UBank USaver Ultra, the transfer happens instantly. When she transfers from her RaboDirect account to her CommBank Complete Access, she notices it takes 2 business days on average for funds to clear.
Can I read reviews of online savings accounts on finder.com.au?
Yes you can! Click on the blue "more" link underneath the green button in our comparison tables to read reviews of individual accounts.
How do I find the best interest rate on finder.com.au?
Use our sorter button on our tables to sort through the interest rates.
Is interest paid monthly for online savings accounts?
Generally the interest is calculated daily and paid monthly.
How features do online savings accounts offer?
If you think that an online savings account is the best way to encourage you to save, be sure to compare the various features available across different accounts. This will help you make the best choice with the right rate and convenient options for you.
You can usually link your online savings account to your regular Australian bank account
- Many online banks make it easy to transfer money to and from your linked account. However, some online banks will only let you link a bank account from the same institution. This means that you might have to open a new bank account just to use for your online savings account, which could mean extra monthly fees.
You get 24/7 access and mobile access to your money
- One of the best aspects of online savings accounts is that you can usually access your money whenever you want. While these are all accessible online via a web browser, some banks make it even more convenient with mobile banking apps. This allows you to monitor your savings activity even when you are on the go.
Deposited funds are usually safe
- Ensure that your bank is an authorised deposit-taking institution – this will mean your deposits are guaranteed up to $250,000 by the Australian Government if the institution goes bust.
You get a competitive interest rate
- In some cases you could also get the benefit of bonus interest that comes with an introductory savings account. These reward you for opening an account with a special interest rate for a limited time. Once the bonus period ends, the interest rate reverts to the standard rate offered by the bank.
There are few or no fees
- Generally an online savings account will not charge you any monthly account keeping fees or charge you for transactions. Avoid monthly maintenance fees, statement fees and ATM charges.
$0 minimum deposit requirements
- Banks may require that you make a minimum deposit when first opening the account, or an ongoing basis. Understand what you can and can't commit to in terms of deposits to choose the right online savings account.
Flexible transaction limits
- See how many withdrawals you can make per month and how much. Your daily transfer limit may be capped around the $10,000 mark; you may be able to adjust this by calling the bank.
What are the upsides and downsides of saving with an online account?
Online savings accounts have good points and bad when compared with other types of savings accounts available in Australia. Consider all of those before making any final decisions.
- There are generally no minimum balance requirements. An online savings account should not have any minimum balance requirements. With some, you can even open the account without making an initial deposit.
- You get competitive rates. The rates with an online savings account are competitive with other types of savings accounts. With some you may even be able to qualify for a bonus introductory rate.
- You get flexible terms. Deposit what you can and make withdrawals whenever you can. Most online savings accounts don't have specific terms you need to meet, though bonus interest rates will often require a minimum deposit each month.
- You'll need to link it with a bank account. Although you won’t have any fees with your account, there may be fees associated with the linked account used to manage it.
- Can be delays if the funds are from different banks. As noted above, funds transfers may not be instant.
The most common account questions answered
Can non-residents open an online high interest savings account in Australia?
No, even though the account is based online, account holders must be a resident of Australia with an Australian residential address.
Are these accounts available for businesses?
There are business online savings accounts available. Business owners will need to apply for one of those rather than an account which is structured for personal use only.
Will I have to pay taxes on the interest earned with an online savings account?
Generally, interest is considered income and must be included in your annual tax return. Whether you'll pay tax on it depends on will depend on the amount, your income and your own circumstances.