If you’re a couple looking to combine your savings, business partners wanting to pool your resources, or even flatmates chipping in to make a major purchase, a joint savings account may be just what you need. Essentially functioning as a standard savings account that two or more people can access, a joint savings account can help teams or groups of people to combine and grow their wealth together.
What types of joint savings accounts are there?
There are two main types of joint savings accounts:
All parties must sign
The first type of joint savings account requires all parties named on the account to sign their approval before making transactions.
While this can make accessing the savings less convenient, the extra security it provides can be helpful for business relationships and other partnerships where not everybody knows each other well.
Plus, because these savings accounts require additional communication between account holders, they can help encourage all parties to stay on track towards reaching their shared financial goal.
Any party can sign
The other type of joint savings account is more flexible, allowing any of the parties signed to the account free rein to make deposits or withdrawals as they see fit.
Because these types of accounts rely greatly on all parties sharing a strong level of trust, they tend to be more suited to spouses, siblings, and other family members.
The greatest risk involved with these joint savings accounts is that one party could withdraw money independently of the other, irresponsibly or even maliciously. Make sure you’re confident that you’re opening your joint savings account with someone trustworthy!
How to compare joint savings accounts
Once you’ve worked out who you’re opening a joint savings account with, and how you plan to use the account, it’s time to start comparing the available options.
One of the first comparisons to make is to look at the base interest rates of different joint savings accounts. This rate is used to determine the minimum interest you will earn on your combined savings per month, regardless of how you use the account.
The maximum interest rate shows each savings account’s full interest-earning potential, but it’s important to remember that you may not always be able to benefit from these higher interest rates.
Some savings accounts use high introductory interest rates to attract new customers before reverting to the base rate after a pre-set number of months. Other accounts may let you benefit from higher bonus interest rates indefinitely, as long as you continue to fulfil certain criteria, such as making regular deposits, or minimising your withdrawals.
It’s also important to consider whether you’ll be charged fees for your joint savings account, and whether the interest you expect to earn on your savings will ultimately make these fees worthwhile.
It’s always important to compare several joint savings account options before making your final decision, as the best account for one household may not be the best option for your unique budget. Consider whether the features and benefits of each joint savings account will help you all meet your shared financial goals, and if you’re not certain, consult a qualified financial adviser.