High Yield Savings Accounts
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Earn a competitive return on your nest egg with this savings account that also offers branch access and no ongoing fees.
Intro 4 months then 0.35%
Gold Award Winner 2020
Intro 4 months then 0.65%
Learn more about savings accounts
When you’re looking for a savings account, many of us want more than just a safe place to keep our money. A high yield savings account can help you grow your wealth by paying interest on your savings. A carefully-managed savings account, supported by regular deposits, can play a major role in helping you reach your financial goals much sooner than you may have anticipated.
What is a high yield savings account?
The yield on a savings account is the money you make from the interest earned on your savings. If your savings account earns more in interest than it costs in fees and charges, it has a positive yield, and makes money. If a savings account’s fees and charges end up costing more than the interest it earns, it has a negative yield, and loses money.
Savings accounts with high interest rates may not always offer high yields, as they sometimes also have high fees. To maintain a high positive yield on a savings account, it’s important to maintain a minimum savings balance that earns enough interest to counter the costs of any fees, and to continue making deposits so the interest you earn on your growing account balance can also increase over time.
How to find high yield savings accounts
For a savings account to offer a high yield, it needs a relatively high interest rate and relatively low fees.
The base interest rate on a savings account is the minimum amount of interest you’ll earn on the account. The maximum interest rate is the highest possible rate you can earn, though this higher rate may not always apply.
Some savings accounts offer a high introductory interest rate when you first open the account, but this rate will eventually revert to the base interest rate when the introductory period ends, meaning you’ll only earn interest at the maximum rate for a limited time only.
Other savings accounts offer a high bonus interest rate, which you can potentially benefit from indefinitely, provided you continue to fulfil the account’s bonus terms and conditions. These terms could include making a minimum number of deposits per month, depositing a minimum value into the account each month, or minimising the number of withdrawals you make each month. But as long as you’re able to fulfil these conditions, you could potentially benefit from a much higher yield on your savings account.
Other features of high yield savings accounts
A high yield is important for a savings account, but depending on how you plan to use your account, other features could also be important when comparing the available options.
- If you value convenience, compare savings accounts that offer access via ATMs and EFTPOS.
- If you prefer to self-manage your money, compare savings accounts with internet and BPAY facilities.
- If you like being able to have a face to face conversation about your finances, compare savings accounts with branch access.
It’s always important to remember that every high yield savings account is different, and not every option will perfectly suit your unique finances. Be sure to compare a variety of options, and make your final decision based on which options will likely help you to reach your financial goals.
Senior Financial Writer
Mark Bristow is a senior financial writer for RateCity and an experienced analyst, researcher, and producer. Working for over ten years, Mark previously wrote and researched commercial real estate at CoreLogic, and has seen articles published at Lifehacker and Business Insider, among others. Most recently, Mark has joined RateCity working across finance as a whole. Whatever the topic, Mark’s goal is always to provide simple solutions to complex problems.
Today's top savings accounts
Bonus Saver Account
*Bonus interest is paid when a customer has made an eligible deposit of $20 into the Bonus Saver account in the calendar month and made 5 eligible Visa card purchases on the linked Everyday or Glide account in the calendar month
- Branch access
- No ongoing fees
- No minimum balance
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.
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 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.
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
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 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.
Who has the highest interest rates for savings accounts?
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 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 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 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 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 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)
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.