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There are two ways to look at savings accounts:

  1. a place where your salary is paid, to park your money without giving it much thought, or;
  2. a tool that you actively manage as you pursue a specific financial goal.

A focused and disciplined budget planner is more likely to be a successful saver than somebody who takes a set-and-forget approach to their bank accounts.

If you pay close attention to your money, or have decided you want to get more serious about your saving, you may want to try our savings calculator.

What's the difference between a savings account and a transaction account?

Most savings accounts let you earn interest on the money you deposit and slowly grow your wealth. A transaction account simply gives you easy access to your funds for everyday spending, such as through online banking or via a debit card.

What is a savings calculator?

A savings calculator is an online tool that estimates how fast your savings could grow in a saver account.

To use our interest calculator, all you have to do is enter the following information:

  • How much you plan to initially deposit in a savings account
  • How much extra you plan to deposit in the account each month
  • How long you plan to keep the money in the account (in months)

Based on those numbers, the calculator will then estimate:

  • How much you could earn in interest each month, assuming a popular interest rate
  • How much you could earn in total interest after your selected time period has passed
  • Your estimated final balance

The great thing about a savings calculator is that you can compare different scenarios, and see how your savings could be affected by different deposit sizes and saving periods.

How to find a savings account

Your next step should be to research savings accounts. This could be difficult, as there are dozens of banks and other Authorised Deposit-taking Institutions (ADIs) in Australia, offering hundreds of different savings accounts. Fortunately, RateCity has made the process quick and easy with our online comparison tool.

RateCity can tell you how much interest each savings account could pay, and also other relevant information, such as which accounts charge an account-keeping fee or require a minimum opening deposit. Not every high interest savings account will suit every financial situation.

Pay close attention to both the ‘base rate’ and the ‘maximum rate’. If these numbers aren't one and the same, then new customers will have to meet certain conditions to earn bonus interest. Otherwise you’ll only receive the lower base rate.

Sometimes the difference between the base interest rate and maximum interest rate can be as high as two percentage points. Before you enquire about an account with two different rates, make sure you understand exactly how to qualify for the maximum rate with the bonus interest.

Consider a savings account's other features, benefits, terms and conditions before making your choice. For example, some online saver accounts offer higher interest rates on savings, but may not offer branch access. This may be fine if you do most of your everyday banking online, but you may prefer other options if you prefer to manage your bank accounts in person.

Tips to boost your savings

If you earn a regular income, having your pay automatically deposited into your savings account can help to grow your interest faster. Most accounts offer this as a standard feature and there are generally no additional fees involved. Online saver accounts often let you manage everything online via your computer or smartphone.

If you’re struggling to save, making small irregular deposits into your account can be a great way to start. Although it can be hard, you could try to increase the frequency of your deposits so you can earn extra interest. 

Remember, if you're not sure about the best way to save or manage your money, or you're looking for some general advice on which financial product to choose, consider contacting a financial counsellor for financial advice.

Other savings options

Term deposit

If you have a specific savings goal you're trying to reach, and know that you may be tempted to dip into your savings account from time to time, you could consider a term deposit account. A term deposit is where you agree to deposit money with an ADI for a fixed length of time, and earn interest on your savings over this term. 

The more money you deposit, and the longer the savings term you choose, the higher the interest rate you may enjoy. You can't easily access your savings until the end of your term, which may help you make progress towards your savings goal. To work out how much interest you could potentially earn, consider checking out our term deposit calculator.

Superannuation

If you're saving money for your retirement, consider checking the status of your superannuation fund. Consolidating your super and selecting a fund with fees, charges, and investment options that suit your needs can help make a big difference to your future lifestyle. Making extra superannuation deposits can help to further build this balance.

Popular savings accounts lenders

Frequently asked questions

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 an ANZ locked savings account?

An ANZ locked savings account locks your money and prevents you from spending. You may use a standard savings account as the account where your salary is deposited. You can then withdraw funds when needed, but aren’t able to make purchases with it. However, this account may not grow much as the continual withdrawing of funds will limit the interest you can earn.

With a locked savings account in ANZ, you know your savings will grow because you can’t access the money. You can also qualify for a bonus when you deposit at least $10 per month and don’t make any withdrawals. To help you with this further you can set up an automatic transfer from your regular ANZ savings or transaction account so you don’t forget to make a monthly deposit.

Your ANZ locked savings account offers you a base interest rate of 0.1 per cent per annum plus an additional bonus interest of 0.49 per cent per year. The interest is calculated daily and credited to your account on the last working day of the month.

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.

Can you have multiple ING savings accounts?

Yes, you can open up to nine accounts with ING at any particular time. If you’re saving money for various goals, such as buying a car or taking a holiday, you can name each of your multiple ING savings accounts differently.

To get a Savings Maximiser account, you’ll need to deposit more than $1000 every month and make at least five additional purchases. If you also want to grow your savings, from 1st March 2021, you can earn up to 1.35 per cent per annum variable interest on one account with a balance of up to $100,000 when you also maintain an Orange Everyday account.

With ING, multiple savings accounts can help keep track of all your savings goals. All the accounts offer flexible withdrawals where you can withdraw as low or as high as you want without impacting your earning interest rate. However, you can only earn the bonus interest on one account. To apply for a Savings Maximiser account, you can visit ingdirect.com.au.