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CBA cuts savings rates again as household deposits continue to rise

CBA cuts savings rates again as household deposits continue to rise

Australia’s biggest bank, CBA, has today cut savings rates on its main accounts for the second time this month and the fifth time since the November cash rate cut.

Today’s cuts by CBA

CBA GoalSaver

Old max rateNew max rate Difference

0.40%

0.35%

-0.05%

Deposit $200+ and make no withdrawals per month for max rate

CBA YouthSaver (Dollarmites)

Old max rate New max rateDifference

0.65%

0.60%

-0.05%

Grow your balance each month for max rate.

CBA NetBank Saver

Old rateNew rate Difference
Intro rate (5 mths)

0.45%

0.40%

-0.05%

Ongoing rate

0.05%

0.05%

0.0%

RateCity research director, Sally Tindall, said CBA savers were getting hit with a series of micro cuts from the bank.

“Since the November 2020 cash rate cut, the bank has cut its two main accounts, the NetBank Saver and the GoalSaver, five times each,” she said.

“The cuts might be small, but they’re starting to add up. The maximum rate on the GoalSaver account has dropped by up to 0.40 per cent in just four months.

“Macquarie Bank, one of the leaders in savings rates, has today bowed to pressure, slashing its ongoing rate by 0.25 per cent to just 0.95 per cent.

“ING is still holding firm, with an ongoing rate of 1.35 per cent although they are tightening up the criteria to qualify for this rate, while Westpac is still offering 3 per cent for people aged 18 to 29,” she said.

RateCity’s database shows that since the start of the year, a total of 50 banks have cut over 170 different savings rates.

“The latest APRA statistics out today show that household deposits have increased by an incredible $125 billion over the last year, although the pace is starting to slow,” she said.

“While some of this extra cash is sitting in offset and transaction accounts, many Australians have squirrelled it away into savings accounts, making it increasingly challenging for banks to pay out decent returns.

“Interestingly, both CBA and Westpac’s total deposits from households took a step backwards this month, despite an overall rise across all banks – one indication people might be starting to shop around,” she said.

Value of deposits from households, APRA Monthly Banking Statistics

BankAmountMonthly change

(Dec 20 - Jan 21)

Year-on-year change

(Jan 20 - Jan 21)

Total (all ADI's)$1.1 trillion$275 million

(0.02% increase)

$125.0 billion

(12.65% increase)

CBA$302.3 billion-$272 million

(0.09% decrease)

$38.3 billion

(14.52% increase)

Westpac group$232.3 billion-$226 million

(0.10% decrease)

$15.0 billion

(6.92% increase)

NAB$149.2 billion$185 million

(0.12% increase)

$15.1 billion

(11.28% increase)

ANZ$140.6 billion$42 million

(0.03% increase)

$16.9 billion

(13.67% increase)

Source: APRA, released 26 February, 2021.

Highest ongoing savings accounts on RateCity.com.au

BankAccountMax rate
INGSavings Maximiser

1.35%

MyState BankBonus Saver Account

1.20%

86 400Save Account

1.20%

ME BankOnline Savings Account

1.10%

UpSaver

1.10%

Source: RateCity.com.au. Data accurate as of 26.02.2021. Conditions apply for max interest rate.

Highest introductory savings rates

BankProductIntro rate (4 months)Ongoing rate
Rabobank AustraliaHigh Interest Savings Account

1.75%

0.30%

Heritage BankOnline Saver

1.30%

0.65%

Macquarie BankMacquarie Savings Account

1.10%

0.95%

CitiOnline Saver

1.10%

0.35%

Source: RateCity.com.au. Data accurate as of 26.02.2021.

Big four bank: conditional savings rates

BankAccountMax rate
CBAGoalSaver

0.35%

WestpacLife

0.40%

NABReward Saver

0.40%

ANZProgress Saver

0.40%

Source: RateCity.com.au. Data accurate as of 26.02.2021.

Big four banks standard savers

BankProductIntro rate (3-5 mths)Ongoing rate
CBANetBank Saver

0.40%

0.05%

WestpaceSaver

0.40%

0.05%

NABiSaver

0.45%

0.05%

ANZOnline Saver

0.35%

0.05%

Source: RateCity.com.au. Data accurate as of 26.02.2021. Intro rate terms - CBA & Westpac 5 months, NAB 4 months, ANZ 3 months.

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This article was reviewed by Research Director Sally Tindall before it was published as part of RateCity's Fact Check process.

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Learn more about 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 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.

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.

Who has the highest interest rates for savings accounts?

As banks frequently change their rates, the most accurate way to know who currently has the highest interest rate is to use a savings account comparison tool.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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 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.

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 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.