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Savings Accounts - April 17th
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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.
CANSTAR compares saving accounts from across the industry, using a sophisticated methodology to examine hundreds of individual products from more than 80 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:
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.
Written by: TJ Ryan & Tim Smith
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.
Account-keeping fees: An ongoing fee charged to cover or partially cover the bank’s internal costs of creating and maintaining the account.
Annual equivalent rate (AER): 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.
Basis points: 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.
Bonus savings account: Accounts 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).
Cash management account: A savings account for high balances (usually $10,000 – $20,000) with a higher interest rate and the flexibility of a transaction account.
Debit card: 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.
Deposit: Money that you put into an account with a financial institution.
Introductory rate: 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.
Junior savings account: 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.
Online savings account (OSA): A savings account that is primarily managed on the internet.
Promotional rate: 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.
Transaction account: 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.
Withdrawal: When you take money out of your account, e.g. getting cash out of an ATM.
Yield: The rate of return earned on an investment.