Latest in Savings Accounts
Savings Accounts - September 17th
Neobanks: what are they and what are your options?
If you’re not 100% sure what a neobank is, you are not alone. Even people in the fintech (financial technology) industry disagree about some technicalities. And no, it isn’t Keanu Reeves defying gravity to dodge bullets...– Read more
Finance News - September 2nd
Virgin Money boosts savings interest rate to 1.50%, highest on Canstar's database
Virgin Money has added an introductory offer to its savings account for three months, taking its interest rate to the highest on Canstar's database without an age limit, available for a limited time.– Read more
What is a savings account?
A savings account is simply a bank account that you use to accrue interest, growing your initial deposit. Savings accounts are a great way to save towards a goal.
Some investors, such as those with a self-managed super fund, use a savings account as part of their investment portfolio, in order to guarantee receiving some kind of return on their money.
The rate at which your savings account increases is determined by the interest rate offered.
How Canstar compares saving accounts
Canstar compares saving accounts from across the industry, using a sophisticated methodology to examine hundreds of individual products from more than 60 institutions.
With interest rates at record lows, finding the highest interest rate for a savings account is vital. You can compare interest rates for different types of savings accounts using our handy comparison tool at the top of this page.
There are a few basic things to look for in a savings account, depending on your financial needs:
- High interest rate (beware of high introductory rates that revert to lower rates)
- Low fees
- Free transactions or fee rebates
- Accessibility of branches and ATMs if necessary
- Features such as suitable minimum or maximum deposit amounts
- Monthly account-keeping fees
- eftpos fees
- Electronic transaction fees
- ATM withdrawal fees from your own bank and other banks
- Branch deposit fees
- Over-the-counter transaction fees
The good news is that most savings accounts won’t charge fees for electronic transfers, and you can usually waive the monthly account-keeping fee simply by depositing a certain amount each month.
When we have realistic goals for our savings and we know what to look for when choosing a savings account, we can do quite well for ourselves. You can make a plan today for building your savings for the future, using our Canstar Savings Plan Calculator and Budget Planner Calculator.
If you’re struggling to save and would prefer advice on how to budget to meet your regular financial needs, head on over to our Budgeting & Saving guide. You’ll find all our best hints and tips to help you survive and thrive financially.
Author: Nina Tovey
As Canstar’s Editor-in-Chief, Nina heads up a team of talented journalists committed to helping empower consumers to take greater control of their finances. Previously Nina founded her own agency where she provided content and communications support to clients around Australia for eight years. She also spent four years as the PR Manager for American Express Australia, and has worked at a Brisbane communications agency where she supported dozens of clients, including Sunsuper and Suncorp.
Nina has ghostwritten dozens of opinion pieces for publications including The Australian and has been interviewed on finance topics by the Herald Sun and the Sydney Morning Herald. When she’s not dreaming up ways to put a fresh spin on finance, she’s taking her own advice by trying to pay her house off as quickly as possible and raising two money-savvy kids.
Nina has a Bachelor of Journalism and a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in English Literature from the University of Queensland. She’s also an experienced presenter, and has hosted numerous events and YouTube series.
High interest savings accounts glossary of terms
Please note that these are a general explanation of the meaning of terms used in relation to savings accounts. Your bank or financial institution may use different terms, and you should read your product disclosure statement (PDS) carefully to understand everything that may apply to your account. You cannot rely on these terms in relation to any savings account you may open.
What is Account-keeping fees?
Account-keeping fees are ongoing fees charged to cover or partially cover the bank’s internal costs of creating and maintaining the account.
What is an Annual equivalent rate (AER)?
A Annual equivalent rate (AER) is a rate that can be compared between lenders, which shows what the interest rate would be if interest was paid and compounded once each year. Any advertisement for a savings product that quotes an interest rate must also quote the AER so that you can compare what return you could expect over time.
What are Basis points?
Basis points is a unit of measurement used in financial situations to describe the percentage change in interest rates or the value of a financial product. One basis point is 0.01% or 0.0001 in decimal form.
What is a Bonus savings account?
A Bonus savings account is an account that give bonus interest whenever the accountholder makes no withdrawals and deposits a certain amount of money into the account (usually around $50 or $100).
What is a Cash management account?
A Cash management account is a savings account for high balances (usually $10,000 – $20,000) with a higher interest rate and the flexibility of a transaction account.
What is a Debit card?
A Debit card is a card that is linked to a transaction account and allows the cardholder to make transactions with merchants and withdrawals from ATMs. Also known as a bank card or cheque card.
What is a Deposit?
A Deposit is money that you put into an account with a financial institution.
What is a Introductory rate?
An Introductory rate is an introductory bonus offer where a variable interest rate applies to the account for a set time period. At the end of the bonus period, rates revert to the base rates.
What is a Junior savings account?
A Junior savings account is a savings accounts for children. A parent or guardian operates the account in the child’s name but the child also has access to their account. View our Junior Banking Award for under 12s and Youth Banking Award for under 18s on our website.
What is a Online savings account (OSA)?
An Online savings account (OSA) is a savings account that is primarily managed on the internet.
What is a Promotional rate?
A Promotional rate is an interest rate which is only offered during a specified promotional period. When the promotional period ends, the interest rate will generally revert to the base rate. Similar to an introductory rate.
What is a Transaction account?
A Transaction account is a deposit account that serves the purpose of providing frequent access to funds in your account for debit card transactions made through eftpos at merchants, branches, ATMs, and also for the use of cheques. A transaction account is different to a savings account because it is not designed to grow your savings with interest.
What is a Withdrawal?
A Withdrawal is when you take money out of your account, e.g. getting cash out of an ATM.
What is a Yield?
A Yield is the rate of return earned on an investment.
High interest savings accounts articles and guides
Our Ratings & Guides
Articles and Guides
Savings account providers we research and rate
At the time of our latest star ratings of savings accounts, the savings account product providers we researched and rated included the following:
- 86 400
- AMP Bank
- Arab Bank Australia
- Australian Military Bank
- Australian Unity
- Bank First
- Bank of China
- Bank of Melbourne
- Bank of Sydney
- Bank of us
- Bendigo Bank
- Beyond Bank
- Commonwealth Bank
- Credit Union SA
- Delphi Bank
- Endeavour Mutual Bank
- G&C Mutual Bank
- Gateway Bank
- Geelong Bank
- Heritage Bank
- Horizon Bank
- Hume Bank
- Hunter United
- Illawarra Credit Union
- Macquarie Bank
- Macquarie Credit Union
- ME Bank
- MOVE Bank
- MyState Bank
- Newcastle Permanent
- People’s Choice Credit Union
- Qudos Bank
- Queensland Country Bank
- Rabobank Australia
- RACQ Bank
- Regional Australia Bank
- St.George Bank
- Suncorp Bank
- Sydney Mutual Bank
- Teachers Mutual Bank
- The Capricornian
- The Mac
- The Mutual Bank
- Transaction Mutual Credit Union
For more information on how Canstar rates savings accounts, read our latest star ratings report.