CBA sneaks through a second savings cut before Christmas

CBA sneaks through a second savings cut before Christmas

The country’s largest bank, CBA, has today shaved its popular savings accounts for the second time in a month.

Today’s savings rate cuts:

  • NetBank saver intro rate cut by 0.05% down to a max rate of 0.55%.
  • GoalSaver bonus rate cut by 0.05% to 0.50% for balances over $50,000.

CBA savings rate changes since the November RBA cut

CBA has now cut saving rates twice since the November 3 RBA cut, on Friday November 13 and again today.

While the RBA cut by 0.15 per cent, CBA has shaved up to 0.25 per cent off its bonus savings rates.

CBA NetBank saver

  Pre Nov RBA Today Difference
Intro Rate (5 mths) 0.75% 0.55% -0.20%
Ongoing rate 0.05% 0.05% 0%

CBA GoalSaver account

  Pre Nov RBA - max rate Today - max rate Difference
Under $50K 0.50% 0.45% -0.05%
Over $50K 0.75% 0.50% -0.25%

Deposit $200+ and make no withdrawals per mth for max rate. Includes a 0.05% cut to the base rate down to 0.05%.

RateCity database analysis:

  • More than 70 banks have cut savings rates since the Nov 3 RBA rate cut.
  • All big four banks have cut savings rates in the last month.
  • 0.42% is the average savings rate.
  • 1.35% is the highest ongoing savings rates (see below table for details).

RateCity.com.au research director Sally Tindall said: “CBA has snuck in a second cut to interest rates right before Christmas on its popular savings accounts.

“Anyone with a GoalSaver account can now expect to earn just half a per cent in interest – and in some cases less – while anyone with a NetBank Saver is earning an ongoing rate of 0.05 per cent. CBA customers need to know they can do better than this,” she said.

“While there are higher savings rates on offer, sadly CBA isn’t the only bank hacking away at rates. In the past month over 70 banks have dropped savings rates on the back of the RBA cut.

“Australians have squirreled away almost $100 billion in extra savings since the start of COVID. The banks are jam-packed full of cash they can’t afford to pay interest on.

“While rates aren’t likely to move north for the next three years, that doesn’t mean savers should be complacent.

“If you’ve got money in the bank, check your interest rate, check your terms and conditions but also check what other banks are offering. Just because savings rates are at an all-time low, doesn’t mean you have to throw your hands up in the air,” she said.

Highest conditional ongoing savings accounts on RateCity's database

Bank Account Max rate
MyState Bank Bonus Saver Account

1.35%

ING Savings Maximiser

1.35%

UBank USave with USpend

1.25%

Source: RateCity.com.au. Conditions apply for max interest rate. Excludes accounts specifically for younger Australians.

Big four banks conditional savings rates

Bank Account Max rate

(if conditions met)

CBA GoalSaver

0.50%

Westpac Life

0.55%

NAB Reward Saver

0.55%

ANZ Progress Saver

0.50%

Source: RateCity.com.au. Note rates are for balances over $50K.

Big four bank: standard savings rates

Bank Account Intro rate Ongoing rate
CBA NetBank Saver (5 mths)

0.55%

0.05%

Westpac eSaver (5 mths)

0.55%

0.05%

NAB iSaver (4 mths)

0.60%

0.05%

ANZ Online Saver (3 mths)

0.45%

0.05%

Source: RateCity.com.au. 

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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

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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 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 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.

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.