Bankwest offers several savings account options. The TeleNet Saver pays bonus interest for the first four months and requires a linked Bankwest transaction account. The Smart eSaver pays 0.01 per cent standard interest but bonus interest for every month you make no withdrawals. It also requires a linked Bankwest transaction account. The Children’s Savings Account is open to children under 15 years and pays different tiers of interest, depending on your balance. The Student Account has no monthly fees but pays a maximum of 0.05 per cent interest. Bankwest is owned by the Commonwealth Bank.
Bankwest savings account interest calculator
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Intro 4 months then 0.05%
Children's Savings Account
Retirement Advantage Account
- No monthly fees or minimum deposits
- Maximum interest rate comes with conditions
How to Apply
If you’re saving towards a new car, your first home or that holiday of a lifetime, a savings account can be a great tool to help you achieve your financial goals.
But before you sign up for any product on the market, it’s worth taking the time to understand the basics. Here’s a helpful guide on savings accounts in Australia.
What is a savings account?
A savings account helps you grow your savings by offering a compound interest rate that is higher than the rate on your everyday transaction account.
Designed to accrue money, a savings account usually does not come with a key card for ATM access. To withdraw money, you need to transfer it across to a linked transaction account.
There are some pros and cons to weigh up before deciding whether a savings account is right for you.
- High interest rates – Savings accounts generally come with competitive interest rates that help you reach your financial goals faster, especially given it’s a compound interest rate on offer. Many lenders also offer bonus rates for an introductory period, or if certain conditions are met.
- Investment protection – Unlike other investments, which come with some risk, a savings account is unlikely to give you a negative return. The government also protects deposits of up to $250,000 in authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADIs). This means that if your lender is an ADI and it goes bankrupt, your money is safe.
- No lock-in period – Savings accounts in Australia typically don’t have a lock-in period, so you can move your money at any point. Some people use this feature to opt in and out of different products – taking advantage of bonus introductory rates on the market, then switching products once the introductory period is over.
- Fluctuating interest rates – Savings account interest rates are variable, which means they fluctuate – and potentially decrease – depending on the cash rate.
- Conditions around bonus interest rates – Although bonus interest rates are appealing, they often come with conditions such as a limited number of withdrawals, a minimum monthly deposit, or getting a linked transaction account with the same lender. Similarly, bonus introductory rates only last for a certain period before the account reverts to a lower base rate. Take the time to check what conditions are attached to any bonus rate on offer.
- Temptation to spend – Most savings accounts allow you to transfer your funds into your transaction account for easy access. While some prefer this flexibility, others may find it a temptation to spend impulsively, rather than save.
Are there alternatives to a savings account?
One alternative to a savings account, which can also come with competitive interest rates, is a term deposit account.
A term deposit invests your money for a certain period – usually between one month to five years – at a fixed rate of interest. It suits savers who want to lock away their money for a period, although the downside is if you want to access your money before the term is over, you may need to pay a penalty.
In many cases, banks and credit unions require a minimum amount to invest your money in a term deposit account.
What should you look for when choosing a savings account?
It’s always worth comparing different savings accounts on the market and what they offer. Key questions to ask include:
- Is the interest rate offered the most competitive on the market? You can use the RateCity website to compare different rates on the market.
- What is the base rate? An advertised introductory rate only lasts for a certain period. Check the base rate to find out how much interest you will earn once the introductory period is over. This also applies to bonus rates that come with special conditions, as the base rate is what you will earn if those conditions aren’t met.
- How accessible is the account? It’s worth finding out if the lender allows you to manage your savings account online, if there is a cheque facility, or if you need to open a transaction account with the same lender to access your money.
- What fees do they charge? Take the time to check what fees come attached to any product you are considering. You can find them on the product’s terms and conditions.
Savings accounts at Bankwest
Bankwest offers a range of savings accounts with different features that can help you reach your financial goals.
Keep in mind that you will need to have certain documents handy when you apply, such as your banking details, identification documents (for example, a driver’s licence or passport) or tax file number. A full list of what you need is available on the Bankwest website.
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Online Savings Account
- Has no ongoing fees
- Has no minimum balances
While personal loans and medium amount loans don’t offer guaranteed approval, there are steps you can take to help increase the likelihood of your application being approved, including:
- Fulfilling the eligibility criteria (providing ID, proof of residency, proof of income etc.)
- Checking your credit history (you can order one free copy of your credit file per year, and make sure that there aren’t any errors that may be bringing down your credit score)
- Comparing carefully before applying (making multiple loan applications can mean having your credit checked multiple times, which can look bad to some lenders and reduce your chances of being approved by them)
As banks frequently change their rates, the most accurate way to look at interest rates on savings accounts is to use a savings accounts comparison tool. When you look at the savings rate check what the maximum and minimum rates are. Often banks will offer you a promotional rate for the first few months which is competitive, but then revert back to a base rate which can sometimes be less than inflation. Ongoing bonus rates are often a safer bet as they will keep rewarding you with the maximum rate, provided you meet their criteria
It’s not usually possible to set up a direct debit from your savings account to cover ongoing expenses or bills, as savings accounts are structured around growing your wealth by earning interest on regular deposits, and discouraging withdrawals.
Some transaction accounts allow you to set up direct debits and also earn interest, though you may not enjoy as much flexibility as a dedicated transaction account, or get as high an interest rate as a dedicated savings account.
Yes. You can make one off payments or set up regular direct deposits into a savings account. This can be organised easily through online banking or by making deposits in a branch. Talk to your lender to find out the easiest way for you to set up direct deposits.
Yes. Joint savings accounts can be useful for two or more people wanting to combine their savings to meet shared financial goals, including spouses, flatmates and business partners.
Some joint savings accounts require all parties to sign before they can access the money. While less convenient, this extra security can help encourage all parties to meet their shared financial goals.
Other joint savings accounts allow any of the account holders to access the money. These accounts can be convenient for financially responsible couples that trust one another implicitly.
A good rule of thumb to keep in mind with savings accounts is to look for a rate that is higher than the CPI inflation rate. This number is constantly changing, so check the Reserve Bank of Australia’s page. If you aren’t earning interest above this then the value of your money will go backwards over time.
A good rule of thumb when working out a minimum balance for your savings account is to make sure that you’ll earn more in annual interest on your savings than what you’ll be charged in annual fees.
If you’re saving with a specific goal in mind, prepare a budget so the interest you earn on your deposits will help you efficiently reach this goal. Online financial calculators may be helpful here.
Some banks and financial institutions allow parents to open a bank account for their child as soon as it is born, and start depositing funds to go towards the child’s future.
Children’s savings accounts generally don’t have fees, and are structured to help develop positive financial habits by limiting withdrawals, encouraging regular deposits, and earning interest on the savings, similarly to standard savings accounts.
Yes. Several large and small banks offer online applications for savings accounts, and there are also online-only financial institutions to consider.
Online-only savings accounts are often less expensive than other savings accounts, though they may not offer the same flexibility, features, or face-to-face service as more traditional savings accounts.