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Bonuses and freebies are almost always popular – who doesn’t want to get something for nothing? Even some savings accounts offer special opening bonuses, allowing new users to get the most out of these accounts within the first few months of depositing their savings.

Compare savings account opening bonuses

Many savings account opening bonuses come in the form of high bonus interest rates on your savings. These higher rates allow you to maximise the interest you earn on the savings you deposit upon opening the account, so you can quickly grow your wealth.

It’s important to keep in mind that these high bonus interest rates won’t last forever. The opening bonuses for many savings accounts are available for a limited time only, commonly between three and six months of opening the account. After this introductory period expires, the savings account’s interest rate will revert to the base rate, which is typically much lower than the bonus rate.

Selected banks and financial institutions offer other opening bonuses with their savings accounts, such as bonus reward points for your credit card, or even cash bonuses, though these tend to be promotional offers with extremely limited availability. 

Other savings account bonuses

Some savings accounts have bonus rates that don’t expire a pre-set number of months after opening the account, and could theoretically last indefinitely. For these accounts, receiving their high bonus interest rates typically depends on you fulfilling certain terms and conditions around how you use the account, such as: 

  • Making a minimum number of deposits per month.
  • Making a minimum number of deposits per month, or depositing savings of a minimum value in the account each month.
  • Making no withdrawals, or less than the maximum number of withdrawals per month.
  • Making regular use of a linked transaction account with the same bank or finance institution.

As long as you can keep fulfilling your savings account’s bonus conditions, you can keep earning the bonus rate of interest on your savings.

Other savings account features to compare:

The opening bonus is just one feature to compare when trying to choose a savings account.

Depending on your household budget, and how you plan to use your savings account, there are other features and benefits worth comparing and considering:

  • ATM and EFTPOS access can be helpful if you want to be able to access your savings while out and about.
  • Branch access means you can have a face-to-face meeting with your local bank manager to discuss your savings plans, for that personal touch.
  • Internet and BPAY facilities can allow you to manage your savings and finances quickly and simply at the touch of a button.
  • Fees are worth considering when comparing savings accounts – high fees could end up costing you more than you earn in interest on your savings.

It’s important to remember that not every savings account will be ideally suited to every household’s finances. Comparing a range of different savings account options and carefully considering not only their bonus interest rates, but their other features and benefits, can help you to select a savings account that will help you to reach your financial goals.

FAQs

How to make money with a savings account?

Savings accounts make you money by earning interest on your savings. The more money you deposit, the longer you leave it in the account, and the higher the account’s interest rate, the more interest you’ll be paid by the bank or financial institution, and the more your wealth will grow.

To make sure your savings account makes money and doesn’t lose money, it’s important to maintain a large enough minimum balance that the annual interest earned exceeds any annual fees charged on the account.

What is the interest rate on savings accounts?

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

How to open a savings account for my child?

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.

Can you set up direct debits from a savings account?

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.

How much money should I have in my savings account?

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.

What is a savings account?

A savings account is a type of bank account in which you earn interest on the money you deposit. This makes it one of the easiest and safest investment tools.

Can you have a joint savings account?

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. 

Can you set up a savings account online?

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.

Who has the highest interest rates for savings accounts?

As banks frequently change their rates, the most accurate way to know who currently has the highest interest rate is to use a savings account comparison tool.

How do I open a savings account?

Opening a savings account is a relatively simple process. If you’ve found an account with a suitable interest rate, you’ll just need to get in contact with your chosen lender via a branch, phone call or hop online to begin the process. 

You may be required to provide:

  • Personal details, including identification (driver’s license, passport etc.)
  • Tax file number
  • Employment details

Can I overdraft my savings account?

A lot of savings accounts won’t let you overdraw. Some will allow this feature but you’ll need to apply first. It’s best to read the fine print and check with your lender whether this is a feature they offer. It can be a helpful addition, but as your lender can charge you a fee as well as interest for going into negative numbers, it’s best to avoid overdrafting when possible.

How does interest work on savings accounts?

The type of interest savings accounts accrues is called compound interest. Compound interest is interest paid on the initial deposit amount, as well as the accumulated interest on money you have. This is different from simple interest where interest is paid at the end of a specified term. Compound interest allows you to earn interest on interest at a higher frequency. 

Example: John deposits $10,000 into a savings account with an interest rate of 5 per cent that he leaves untouched for 10 years. At the end of the first year he will have $10,512 in savings. After ten years, he will have saved $16,470.

What is a good interest rate for a savings account?

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.

Can you direct deposit to a 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.

How can I get a $4000 loan approved?

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)