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Savings accounts interest rates up to 5.75%

Saving for a big purchase? If you're looking to open a new savings account, or aren't sure that your current one is doing all it can, you can compare savings accounts from across the market here. There is no single best savings account as everyone’s needs are different. Use filters to improve your results.

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Sally Tindall
Sally Tindall

Research Director

Peter Terlato
Peter Terlato

Personal Finance Editor

Content updated

Product data updated

Starting deposit

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Monthly deposit

$

For time period (in months)

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Maximum rate condition

5.50%*

0.55%

*Deposit at least $1000, make 5+ card purchases...

  • 2024 Award Winner
  • Bonus interest with conditions
  • App banking
  • Online banking
  • Linked account required

5.75%

intro 4 months then 4.40%

4.40%

Not applicable

  • 2024 Award Winner
  • Intro offer rate
  • Online banking

What's new in savings accounts in February 2024?

If you’ve been cutting down on little luxuries and other expenses to help manage your household budget, you’re not alone. According to a recent NAB survey, cash-conscious trends like Loud Budgeting and No Or Low Spending Months are gaining popularity among younger Australians in particular, with any spare money instead being put towards savings.

However you budget, it may be worth comparing savings accounts for an option that can help you reach your goals. Remember that if a savings account earns interest at a higher rate than Australia’s inflation rate (which is falling faster than expected), then your money should better maintain its purchasing power and avoid effectively going backwards.

Compare some of the savings accounts with the highest rates on the RateCity database:

Account

Rate

Max balance for rate

Monthly conditions for max rate

ME Bank HomeME

5.55%

$100,000

Deposit $2k+ into linked bank account and grow savings balance.

MOVE Bank Growth Saver

5.50%

$25,000

Deposit $200 into savings account each month and make no withdrawals.

Teachers Mutual Bank*

5.50%

$5,000,000

Deposit $1k+ into linked bank account, make no withdrawals.

ING Savings Maximiser

5.50%

$100,000

Deposit $1k+ and make 5+ transactions in linked bank acct, plus grow savings balance.

Virgin Money Boost Saver

5.35%

$250,000

Deposit $1k+ into linked account, make 5+ trans. / mth, provide 32 days’ notice to withdraw cash.

Source: RateCity.com.au. *Account from Teachers Mutual is also offered by subsidiaries Health Professionals, Firefighters Mutual, UniBank and Hiver. Excludes kids and young adults accounts

Updated by Mark Bristow on 2 February 2024

What is a savings account?

A savings account is a type of bank account where you deposit your money so it can earn interest. Interest charges are generally calculated daily and paid monthly, and the rate of interest is influenced by the Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA’s) cash rate.

Whether you’re planning a holiday or saving for a house deposit, savings accounts offer a simple, low-risk way to boost your nest egg with interest earnings over time. To help you reach your savings goals, learn how to choose the right account for your needs and what interest rate to look for. Remember that the savings accounts offering the best interest rates may not always be the accounts best suited to your household's needs. 

How does compound interest work?

Savings accounts use compound interest to help you reach your savings goals. Compound interest on high interest savings accounts is typically calculated daily and paid monthly.

Compound interest can help accelerate your savings because you earn interest on the money you initially deposit, as well as the interest you’ve already earned. Essentially, you’re earning interest on interest. 

Also, making additional deposits can increase your savings even further. For example, if you deposit $1,000 into a savings account earning 2% interest over five years, your deposit would grow to $1,105. If you also made monthly deposits of $200, your deposit would grow to $13,715 thanks to compound interest. 

YearBalance total
1$3,442
2$5,934
3$8,476
4$11,069
5$13,715

Source: MoneySmart

What to look for in a savings account

Here’s what to consider when shopping around for a savings account:

Interest ratesThe higher the rate, the bigger the boost your savings can get. Be sure to check the base rate, bonus rate, and any terms and conditions.
Fees and costsA high interest rate may not mean much if the savings account also charges high fees. These can include ongoing admin fees, ATM fees, EFTPOS fees and electronic transfer fees.
Account typeMay include online, introductory, conditional, children’s or retirement accounts.
Linked accountsA savings account may need to be linked to a regular bank account to easily transfer funds or to meet certain conditions. Before you apply, ensure the bank account will also suit your financial needs and compare any fees or hidden costs.
Spending habitsIf you’re the type of person who dips into your savings, consider looking for an account that doesn’t reduce your interest rate for doing so. This requires looking over the savings account’s terms and conditions before applying.

What other low-risk savings options are there?

The main benefits of a savings account are the simplicity and the low risk. You’re not investing anything, so your money can simply sit in the account and earn interest. It’s also safer than hiding cash under your mattress, as it can’t be easily stolen or damaged.

Another low-risk option is to park your savings in a term deposit. These are similar to savings accounts, however once you’ve deposited your money, you can’t easily withdraw the funds until the end of a fixed term. The interest rates are also fixed in advance, so it’s simpler to calculate the interest you’ll earn over time. 

Term deposits can be a competitive option for anyone prone to dipping into their savings, as you can lock away your money to earn interest at a fixed rate, making slow and steady progress towards your savings goals. While it is possible to end your term deposit early to access your money if you need it, you’ll likely need to provide plenty of advance notice (often at least a month), may miss out on interest income, and may also need to pay an early withdrawal fee.

alert-tip
Tip

Both savings accounts and term deposits are protected under the Financial Claims Scheme. The federal government will guarantee up to $250,000 for each account holder at each licenced bank, building society or credit union incorporated in Australia.

How do you get the best interest rate on a savings account?

  1. Keep your rate above inflation: If your savings don’t grow at or above the rate of inflation, your money will devalue. It may not be easy to find a savings account with an interest rate that matches or beats Australia’s current inflation level, as at the time of writing Australia has been emerging from a period of historically low interest rates combined with higher-than-average inflation.
  2. Use comparison tables: Comparison tables allow you to compare apples with apples. Using the filters, you can select what you want from a savings account, then compare the base and maximum interest rates of different savings account options. You can also compare how much interest you may earn on your original deposit, and how much progress you could make toward your savings goals.

Remember, there is more to a savings account than just high interest rates. If the account has high fees, it may end up costing you more than you expect. And if the high interest rate on your account comes with conditions, be prepared to meet them or you may miss out. 

Real Time Ratings™ may be able to help you get a better idea of each savings account’s overall value, so you can work out which ones may be some of the best savings account options in Australia. These simple star ratings combine an interest score (based on the maximum rate and any account keeping fees) with a flexibility score (based on features like ATM/Eftpos access, banking access, transaction fees and availability of joint accounts), and are calculated in real time as you use the site, making them as up to date as possible.

Learn how much interest you could accumulate

Savings account calculator

See how fast you saving can grow with regular deposits.

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What are some savings account traps?

Just because savings accounts are considered low risk, doesn’t mean there aren’t common mistakes you can make.

Falling for introductory rates

Some people are shocked when they sign up for a savings account with a great rate, only to discover later on that they're earning less interest than they expected. Some savings accounts can offer higher introductory rates for a few months to attract new customers, which can then revert to much lower ongoing rates. If you’re not careful, this low rate may be buried in the fine print. Do your research before applying for any savings account. 

Not meeting conditions

If you’re not meeting your conditional savings account’s requirements, you may be missing out on some serious savings. In some instances, a savings account’s base rate may be zero or just above it. Making this mistake time after time could cost you years towards your savings goals.

Big savings but little risk

Ironically, another way some people misuse savings accounts is to deposit too much money. Savings accounts often deliver lower returns than other investments, and some have a maximum balance limit. Once your balance reaches a certain amount, it might be worth considering withdrawing some of the money to invest elsewhere. Just make sure you understand the higher level of risk associated with your new investment.

High fees

Some savings accounts can charge higher than average fees. Children’s accounts, for example, are known for offering high interest rates but charging high fees to compensate. Use comparison tables and savings calculators before you apply for any savings account to make sure you aren’t taking steps backwards on your savings journey due to costly fees. 

Can you have a joint savings account?

Many lenders offer joint savings accounts, where two or more people have access to the one bank account. 

Joint accounts are often used by people in romantic relationships, although they can also be used by friends or relatives wanting to pool their savings to reach a shared goal. It’s important to only open a joint savings account with people you trust, as they will be able to withdraw any money you deposit in the account.

You can open a joint savings account online in just a few minutes, or by visiting a bank branch. In either case, you’ll need to provide identification and contact details for both parties, as well as your tax file numbers if you don’t want to be taxed at the maximum rate. Just fill in the application and submit it to the savings account provider of your choice. 

This article was reviewed by Personal Finance Editor Alex Ritchie before it was published as part of RateCity's Fact Check process.

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^Words such as "top", "best", "cheapest" or "lowest" are not a recommendation or rating of products. This page compares a range of products from selected providers and not all products or providers are included in the comparison. There is no such thing as a 'one- size-fits-all' financial product. The best loan, credit card, superannuation account or bank account for you might not be the best choice for someone else. Before selecting any financial product you should read the fine print carefully, including the product disclosure statement, target market determination fact sheet or terms and conditions document and obtain professional financial advice on whether a product is right for you and your finances.