Citibank gives customers the choice of two savings accounts – Online Saver and Ultimate Saver. The Online Saver account comes with no fees and no minimum balance, but pays customers bonus interest for just the first four months. The Ultimate Saver account comes with no fees and no restriction on the number of transactions, but has a minimum balance of $10,000. Citibank also offers term deposits, credit cards, home loans, personal loans, insurance and wealth management. Citibank is part of Citigroup, one of the world’s largest financial services organisations. It started consumer operations in Australia in 1985.
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Pros and cons
- No monthly fees
- Maximum interest rate comes with conditions
How to Apply
Savings accounts can be an effective way to grow your personal wealth. Products like a Citibank savings account can help you reach short- and long-term financial goals.
However, there are some savings account limitations you should be aware of before signing the dotted line. We’re going to look at the key traits of products like Citibank savings accounts, and how these play an important role in any saver’s broader financial strategy.
How does a savings account work?
Savings account are designed to help your money grow, without exposing funds to market risk. Typically, a bank savings account will offer higher interest rates than a transaction account, and will have mechanisms in place to make your money more difficult to access.
Many people open an online savings account in conjunction with their everyday transaction account, transferring funds into the savings account regularly to take advantage of the superior interest rate.
What different bank accounts are available?
If you’re on the hunt for the best savings account, most financial institutions like Citibank will have multiple options available. Bank account comparison can be difficult, but it’s important to test the market so you have the right product to suit your financial goals.
- Savings account – If you’re looking for a way to store money you won’t need straight away, a savings account could be an ideal solution. High-interest savings accounts can be a convenient, easy way to increase your wealth, without exposing it to market risk. It is important to note, however, these accounts are generally not as accessible as traditional transactional accounts, and often require a minimum deposit amount when opening.
- Transactional account – These bank accounts are set up to make managing the money you use on a day-to-day basis simple. Your money can be easily accessed via debit cards, ATMs or the internet to meet regular expenses, although these accounts typically offer inferior interest rates when compared to savings account options.
- Term deposits – These financial products are set up a little differently to traditional bank accounts, and there are advantages and disadvantages. A term deposit keeps your money in an account for a set period of time. You won’t be able to access your funds during that period, but you will earn a fixed rate of interest on this money.
What should I look for when choosing a savings account?
If you’re in the market for a savings account from Citibank or any other financial institution, there are several factors you should consider before signing the dotted line:
- What’s the interest rate? – The savings account interest rate should be a key factor when deciding upon which account is the best fit for you. It’s important to note interest rates vary. Some financial institutions offer superior rates as an ‘introductory bonus’ that expire after a few months. Read the fine print, and make sure you’re comfortable with the interest rate.
- Are there fees? – Regular admin and account-keeping fees can chew into any interest you’ve earned on your account. Test the market and make sure you’ve selected a savings account with fees that you can manage, and that won’t jeopardise your ability to earn interest.
- What are the minimum and maximum account balances? – Many high-interest savings accounts have minimum and maximum account balances you’re required to uphold.
- Will it require a linked account? – Many savings accounts require a linked transactional account, which will help the account owners manage their funds.
- Is the account offered by an authorised deposit-taking institution (ADI)? – These accounts are regulated by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) and authorised by the government to offer bank account products to consumers.
What are the pros and cons of savings accounts?
The best savings accounts can find a place in many people’s personal financial plan, but it’s important to be aware of the positives and negatives of these financial products.
- Higher interest rate – Savings accounts provide an effective way to boost your account, typically offering higher interest rates than normal transactional accounts.
- Accessibility – Savings accounts generally let you withdraw money whenever you want, however you may lose bonus interest when making withdrawals.
- Features – Many savings accounts offer features like automatic savings plans, which can potentially make it easier to manage your personal finances.
- Relatively safe – If your savings account is opened with an ADI, the government will guarantee up to $250,000 if the lender goes bust.
- Variable interest rates – Savings account interest rates are subject to change, and depend upon announcements from the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) and each lender’s policies. Potentially, this could see your savings account receiving a lower interest rate down the track.
- Accessibility – The temptation to spend money in a highly accessible savings account might be high, which reduces the likelihood that you’ll save it.
- No lock-in periods – This can potentially reduce the incentive to commit to regular deposits.
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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.
Should I open multiple savings accounts with UBank?
UBank offers customers an opportunity to make the most of their savings by opening multiple savings accounts. Having multiple savings accounts with UBank may be ideal for savers tracking different goals in separate accounts.
It’s important to note that to earn bonus interest, you will still need to meet the conditions of the UBank savings account every month. If you don’t make these deposits, you will receive the standard interest rate, which is typically lower.
Keep in mind that you won’t earn bonus interest on your UBank savings account in the month an account is opened and if you open multiple savings accounts with UBank, you'll start earning any bonus interest the following month.
It's also not yet known how long the special interest rate will hang around for, so please check with your bank for more information.
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.
Should I open a Commonwealth locked savings account?
If you have trouble saving money, a Commbank locked savings account could be a potential solution. A locked savings account won’t let you make withdrawals and as such, it can help you grow your savings balance if you keep topping it up.
The Commonwealth locked savings account advertises high-interest rates and minimal maintenance fees, along with a host of other incentives that will encourage you not to touch the money.
The account offers a higher interest rate for each month that you make limited or no withdrawals, as well as regular deposits.
To qualify for a Commonwealth locked savings account with the advertised features, you will need to fulfil specific criteria such as:
- Depositing a fixed minimum amount into the account every month.
- Making a fixed number of deposits each month.
- Making a minimum or no withdrawals each month.
- Maintaining a minimum account balance.
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.
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
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.
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.
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 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 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
What are the requirements of an ING Bank locked savings account?
An ING bank locked savings account - also called a term deposit - offers you interest in exchange for holding your money for a period of time.
The terms offered include as little as 90 days or as long as two years. Generally, the longer you lock your money away, the higher the rate of interest.
The minimum deposit amount for an ING locked savings account is $10,000.
To be eligible to apply, you must:
- Be an Australian resident for tax purposes
- Be aged 13 years or older
- Hold the account for personal use (ING offers business term deposits as a separate product).
Who has the highest interest rates for savings accounts?
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.