Best savings accounts

A high interest savings account is a place to tuck your nest egg so it can grow over time. Unlike regular bank accounts, savings accounts earn interest, but just how much you’ll earn depends on each account and what it offers. Compare the best savings accounts below.

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Choosing the best savings account

A savings account isn’t for everyday spending. It’s a flexible, online-only account that earns interest on your savings and keeps it separate from your other cash.

You won’t get a debit card with a savings account, so you’ll probably need to have a regular transaction account with a debit card as well. You can choose any transaction account, but linking accounts within one bank can sometimes open up other bonuses.

The goal of a savings account is to save more, so you’ll need to look at a few key factors to decide which one is going to give you the most bang for your buck.

Let’s start with the best features to look for:

  • A good interest rate. Interest rates can vary, and generally, you’ll want to go with the best rate in town. Some accounts have a base rate and then a bonus rate for meeting certain criteria.
  • Low or no fees. Monthly fees are usually very low – a few dollars a month at most – and some charge no fees at all, which is even better.
  • Easy transactions. Is the account easy enough to deposit or withdraw from? You won’t be using it to buy a coffee, but you will need to make regular savings deposits, so make sure it’s a simple process without fees attached. Savings accounts are usually 100% online and accessed via an online banking portal or app.
  • Bonuses. Some accounts offer bonus interest rates on top of the base rate for hitting certain targets, like depositing $2,000 per month or not making any withdrawals.

 

And, here are some unhelpful features to watch out for:

  • Transaction fees. Fees might be charged for ATM withdrawals or over-the-counter transactions. Typically though, you’d want to avoid using your savings account for everyday spending.
  • Conditional interest. Some savings accounts only unlock the interest rate if you deposit a certain amount each month. If you don’t think you’ll meet the conditions, consider an account with a slightly lower interest rate and no minimum deposits.
  • Limits on earning interest. It’s common for savings accounts to ‘switch off’ interest earning if you reach a certain amount of savings. The amount can be as low as $25,000 or up to $250,000, so make sure to check the limits suit your savings goals.
  • Linked transaction accounts. Some banks will make you open a companion transaction account with your savings account, so be sure to check any fees or conditions attached.

How do I apply for a savings account?

Applying is straightforward – click ‘apply now’ to go to the bank’s website, then fill in the application form. You’ll need proof of ID and residency, such as your license, birth certificate or passport.

There aren’t any credit checks involved, and you’ll probably need to pop just $1 in your new account (there may be a minimum deposit so check the terms first). The whole process takes a few minutes and very little fuss.

A few more tips from us

  • Age matters. Some accounts reward you more depending on your age (usually, the younger you are the better your interest rate). Also, you might find savings accounts that allow 12-year-olds to apply, but the most common minimum age is 14 or 18.
  • Small banks are worthy. The Big 4 banks have history, but small banks can sometimes offer better deals. Check out a variety of accounts from different banks when comparing.
  • Keep comparing. Interest rates fluctuate depending on the Reserve Bank’s cash rate, so check regularly that you’re still getting the best deal from your savings account. There are few penalties or costs for closing and opening these kinds of accounts, making it worthwhile to shop around.
  • Maximise your savings. To get the most out of your savings account, make sure you meet minimum deposit criteria to get any bonus interest offers, add funds to your account every month, and try not to dip into your savings. The power of compound interest will grow your nest egg over time!

Debit Cards - Most Popular

Compare Key Features Monthly Account Fee ATM Withdrawal Fee
Citi
  • $0 monthly fees
  • $0 Citi fees for foreign currency exchange
  • $0 ATM fees when withdrawing in local currency
  • Add up to 10 currencies and switch between them anytime
  • Each currency account has an individual account number
  • Hold foreign currency until you’re ready to exchange
  • Real-time exchange rates, updated every 10 seconds
  • Earn 0.45% interest p.a. (conditions apply)
$0
$0
charged by Citibank, Westpac, St George, Bank of Melbourne, or BankSA
Apply now More info
MyState Bank
  • No monthly account keeping fees
  • No MyState Bank ATM fees Australia-wide
  • No everyday transaction fees
  • Personalised banking with MyState Bank App plus Auto-Savings feature
  • Access to Visa Debit Card (including Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, Fitbit Pay and Garmin Pay)
  • Earn up to 1.10% pa variable interest on balances up to $250,000 when you link to a MyState Bonus Saver Account
$0
$0
charged by NAB, ANZ, Westpac or CBA
Apply now More info
Virgin Money
  • Earn 20,000 bonus Virgin Money Points when you sign up as a new Go Account customer and spend $100 or more in the first 30 days. Offer ends 31 May 2022.
  • $0 monthly fees
  • $0 ATM fees Australia-wide when you use an ATM in the ATMx Network, Bank of Queensland and the Big 4 major banks
  • Earn 8 Virgin Money Points on every purchase, direct debit and BPAY payment when you meet the monthly criteria in the previous month.
  • Enjoy up to 1.35% p.a with the bundled Virgin Money Boost Saver when you meet the monthly criteria and enable the Lock Saver Feature (Give 32 days’ advance notice period to unlock the account. Conditions apply).
  • No monthly criteria applies to customers 14 to 17 years old to earn the benefits of Go Account and the bundled Boost Saver.
  • Use your Visa debit card on everyday purchases or access to Virgin Money Rewards and partner offers to earn more Virgin Money points.
  • Compatible with digital wallets and via the Virgin Money app
$0
$0
charged by Virgin Money
More info