Your savings and transaction accounts work together to help you earn more interest.
A transaction account with a sweep facility automates transfers to and from your linked savings account. This transaction account feature takes the leg work out of bank transfers so you can earn the most interest on your spare cash. All you need to do is set a minimum and maximum limit for your transaction account balance and the funds are swept between your linked accounts so your transaction account balance remains within the lower and upper limits.
There are currently no business accounts with sweep facilities to display.
What's the function of a sweep facility?
It's intent is to combine two or more account at a bank or financial institution, moving funds between in an automated way. They're useful in managing a steady cash flow between your bank account used to make scheduled payments, such as bills, and a savings account where you can earn a competitive interest rate.
How does a bank account with a sweep facility work?
A sweep facility manages your savings and day-to-day spending money by automating transfers between your linked transaction and savings account. You’re responsible for setting a lower and upper limit for your transaction account balance. A sweep facility moves money from your savings to keep your transaction account balance above the minimum limit so you have enough cash for everyday spending and to pay your bills. If your transaction account balance reaches the upper limit, money is automatically transferred to your savings to earn interest.
Log on to your internet banking facility to manage your sweep limits. A sweep facility can also monitor your scheduled transfers to make sure you have enough money in your transaction account to cover future bills.
Case study: UBank's Sweep Facility
You can make adjustments to your Sweeps upon your UBank UItra directly by going to Managing > Accounts > Select your USaver Ultra Account > Manage Sweeps from your Online Banking.
Who else offers a sweep facility?
- Hume Bank - a free sweep facility to help business customers avoid any unnecessary dishonour fees.
- UBank - the sweep facility is also free, helping personal customers avoid dishonour fees and earn interest.
- Suncorp Bank - offered on personal accounts, the features are the same as the sweep offered by UBank.
How do I compare everyday bank accounts with a sweep facility?
- Through the fees it charges. Go for a no fee or low fee transaction account with a sweep facility. Most transaction accounts for individuals are free to open and do not charge monthly account keeping fees. The same for interest bearing savings accounts. You also shouldn’t have to pay for a sweep transaction between your accounts. Compare these transaction accounts by ATM transaction fees, international transaction fees and any other fees outlines in the product disclosure statement.
- The amount of interest you can ear. A transaction account with a sweep facility rewards you with interest on money you hold in your linked savings account. Compare accounts and providers based on the return you’ll get on the money in your savings account.
- The timing of the sweep transactions. Some providers offer a real time sweep between your accounts so you can pay for goods and services even if you don’t have enough money in your transaction account. Some providers will sweep money from your savings in real time to pay for over the counter purchases, ATM withdrawals and BPAY payments. The terms and conditions outline when a sweep can and cannot be performed.
- Whether you're eligible. Only some transaction accounts can offer a sweep facility. For example UBank offer a transaction account with a sweep facility; however, you must have an active USaver account before you can upgrade to a USaver Ultra account and take advantage of the transaction account sweep facility.
What are the pros and cons of using a sweep facility?
- Earn more interest. A transaction account with a sweep facility ensures you earn interest on your spare cash as any excess has the opportunity to earn interest.
- You can avoid dishonour fees. Say goodbye to dishonour fees and late payment fees by automating payments using a sweep facility from your savings account.
- You can sweep from multiple accounts. With some banks, you can elect to sweep funds from multiple savings accounts to a transaction account so you always have enough money to pay your bills and for day to day spending.
- Earn bonus interest. If you have an interest bearing transaction account as well as an interest bearing savings account the transaction account interest rate can be added to the interest rate applied to your savings.
- Some bank accounts have high minimums for the sweep facility. This means you could miss out on potential interest. For example, if you're required to keep at least $100 in your transaction account, you could be missing out on 35 cents of interest per month.
- Payment automation. Automating payments may lead to instances where money is moved from one account to another without your knowledge. A transaction account with a sweep function takes some of the control of your finances out of your hands.
What are the risks?
There are few risks associated with using a sweep facility, except for the considerations mentioned above. The lower and upper sweep limits can be managed through your online banking facility and you’re in complete control over how you use your money. These accounts are often fee-free as well. Just be sure to set your upper and lower limits at a reasonable level so you always have enough money to complete a transaction at the point of sale or at the ATM, but not so much money that you’re losing out on opportunities to earn interest.