ME Bank’s Online Savings Account has no account-keeping fees or withdrawals fees. Customers earn a low base rate, but can claim bonus interest if they have an ME Everyday Transaction Account and make at least one tap-and-go purchase per week with an Everyday Transaction Account Debit Mastercard which is processed in the same calendar month. ME also offers term deposits, home loans, personal loans, credit cards, car loans and insurance. ME Bank was founded in 1994 and is completely owned by industry superannuation funds.
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Members Equity (ME) Bank was created by a group of industry super funds in 1994. This means that all profits are distributed back to the super funds that own the bank. ME offers its customers savings and transaction accounts, term deposits, home loans, personal loans, credit cards, car loans and insurance. With no ‘bricks and mortar’ branches, ME is an online-only bank.
ME has won various awards, including for Best Customer Experience at the Australian Lending Awards.
What savings accounts does ME have?
The ME Online Savings Account has no account-keeping or withdrawal fees. No minimum balance is required to open the account. You can earn a low base rate, but can also claim bonus interest. In order to qualify for the Online Savings Account’s bonus interest rate, you need to two things:
- Have an ME Everyday Transaction Account
- Use your Everyday Transaction Account card to make at least one ‘tap and go’ payment every seven days (processed in the same calendar month)
The bonus interest is calculated at the end of the month. Purchases made in a calendar month which are processed in the next calendar month (for reasons beyond ME's control) are not eligible purchases for bonus interest. If, at the end of the month, you have qualified for the bonus, you will see two interest payments for your Online Savings Account: one for the base interest rate and one for the bonus rate.
There are no monthly fees charged to your ME online savings account, nor any ATM or monthly fees.
What should I look for when choosing a bank account?
Before you begin comparing bank accounts to find the one that best suits your needs, it’s helpful to make a list of the features you want from your day-to-day banking.
You might want to consider things like:
- How many transactions do you make each week/month?
- Do you need extras like a cheque book?
- Do you want internet banking?
- Do you want a bank with branches and tellers?
If you make a lot of ATM and/or EFTPOS transactions each month, you might want to look at accounts that give you unlimited electronic transactions for a low (or even no) monthly fee. If you also want to make online purchases, then you might want to consider an account that comes with a debit card.
Do you think it’s likely that you’ll keep a high account balance from month to month? Then think about an account that pays good interest on your money, but still gives you the convenience of a regular everyday transaction account.
Also consider setting up a weekly or monthly direct deposit into your account – perhaps from your employer – especially when you’re first starting to save. It means you don’t have to think about it; you can just let your savings grow each week from your pay.
A few words on interest
When you’re ready to open a savings account, watch out for ‘bonus’ interest rates. These rates may be very competitive or better than average, but may only last for a limited time, or if you meet certain conditions (see below). There’s nothing wrong with opening an account to get a bonus interest rate, but make sure that when the bonus rate ends, the interest rate is still competitive.
Naturally, you’ll want to earn the best interest possible on your money. However, interest rates will depend on what kind of saver you are. Some accounts have bonus interest rates that offer higher-than-standard interest rates, but will likely come with set conditions you have to meet in order to qualify, such as making minimum deposits or not making withdrawals. If you don’t meet the requirements, then your interest rate drops, sometimes to zero. So it\'s a good idea to work out how much you can save each month so you know whether you will be eligible for the higher interest.
Or you might prefer to keep it simple by choosing a ‘no-strings-attached’ account. In that case, look for a good standard interest rate that will keep your savings growing without you needing to meet any extra requirements.
Remember, too, your savings account needs to return interest (after tax) at an annual rate that is higher than the annual inflation rate, in order for you to see a benefit in real terms on your savings. This is because interest earned on your savings accounts is treated as income, and so you will need to pay income tax on any interest that your account earns.
It can also be a good idea to review your interest rates every six to 12 months, and make sure they’re still competitive. You may find that there is a better account, with a higher interest rate, available somewhere else.
Learn more about savings accounts
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.
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.
What are the two types of NAB locked savings accounts?
With a locked savings account in NAB, you can earn bonus interest and learn financial discipline. NAB offers two types of locked savings accounts, each with their own terms and conditions.
The NAB Reward Saver account pays a variable base interest rate of 0.05 per cent per annum and a bonus interest of 0.55 per cent. You’re eligible for the bonus if you make a minimum of one deposit on or before the second last banking day and have no withdrawals in the month.
Meanwhile, the NAB iSaver account provides 0.05 per cent as the standard base interest rate and a fixed bonus margin of 0.55 per cent during the first four months from the date of opening the account. You can park your cash in the account and enjoy unlimited monthly transfers between linked daily bank accounts without impacting the interest rate.
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 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.
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.
What is a Westpac locked savings account?
The Westpac locked savings account (also known as "Westpac Life") can help customers reach savings goals faster through bonus interest. Customers receive 0.2 per cent standard base interest with a variable bonus rate of 0.35 per cent when the closing balance at the end of the month is higher than the opening balance.
There are some conditions to earn the bonus interest on Westpac's locked savings account, though. First, you’ll need to increase the balance each month either through a deposit or not making any withdrawals, and then link it to a Westpac Choice account and make at least five eligible payments using your debit card. Please consult your bank as to what an eligible payment is.
Do I have to claim interest on my savings account?
When you lodge your income tax returns, you must include in the documentation all your sources of income, including bank interest. Your bank will report any interest you earn on the funds in your savings account to the Australian Tax Office (ATO). When the ATO then compares this information with your tax returns, you also need to have mentioned the interest earned. If there is any discrepancy, you’ll receive a letter from the ATO.
Avoid this situation by ensuring you receive your bank statement with interest noted. Then declare the interest in your tax returns and pay the tax that’s applicable based on the income tax rate.
You only need to claim your share of the interest earned for joint accounts. If you manage an account for your child and receive or spend money via this account, you will also need to report any interest earned from said account.
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
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).
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