CBA and Westpac cut savings rates on popular accounts

CBA and Westpac cut savings rates on popular accounts

The Commonwealth Bank and Westpac have today cut rates on some of their most popular savings accounts.

CBA cut its introductory rate on the NetBank Saver and the bonus rate on the GoalSaver for balances over $50,000 – both by 0.05 per cent.

However, the biggest cut of 0.10 per cent was reserved for its Youthsaver account attached to the Dollarmites program.

CBA Youthsaver

  Old rate  Today Difference
Max Rate 0.80% 0.70% -0.10%

CBA NetBank Saver

  Old rate  Today Difference
Intro Rate (5 mths) 0.55% 0.50% -0.05%
Ongoing rate 0.05% 0.05% 0%

CBA GoalSaver

  Old max rate Today - max rate Difference
Under $50K 0.45% 0.45% 0%
Over $50K 0.50% 0.45% -0.05%

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

The country’s second largest bank, Westpac, has cut many of its popular savings accounts by 0.15 per cent. However, the 3 per cent rate for savers aged 18-29-years-old remains unchanged.

Westpac subsidiaries St George, Bank of Melbourne and BankSA have also trimmed savings rates today.

Westpac Life

  Old rate Today Difference
Max rate 0.55% 0.40% -0.15%

Balance must be higher at end of mth for max rate.

Westpac eSaver

  Old rate Today Difference
Intro Rate (5 mths) 0.55% 0.40% -0.15%
Ongoing rate 0.05% 0.05% 0%

Westpac Bump

  Old rate Today Difference
Max rate 0.80% 0.65% -0.15%

Balance must be higher at end of mth for max rate.

RateCity.com.au database analysis

Analysis from RateCity.com.au shows since January 1 this year, 19 banks have cut savings rates, with the highest ongoing rate for all Australians now sitting at 1.35 per cent.

However, compared to this time last year, the average big four bank conditional savings rate has plunged by 0.93 per cent, significantly more than the RBA has cut the cash rate.

Savings rates changes in the last year

  Highest ongoing rate Average savings rate Big 4 goal savers RBA Cash rate
Jan 2020 2.25% 0.88% 1.41% 0.75%
Jan 2021 1.35% 0.39% 0.48% 0.10%
Difference 0.90% 0.49% 0.93% 0.65%

Source: RateCity.com.au Rates are from January 22, 2020 and January 22, 2021.

RateCity.com.au research director, Sally Tindall, said: “These cuts are yet another blow for savers with Australia’s two largest banks.

“It’s particularly hard for kids in the Dollarmites program who have little choice than to stick with CBA if they want to keep banking at school.

“Right now, these children are earning just 0.70 per cent. On $500, that’s barely going to get them an ice cream each year,” she said.

“Today the average ongoing savings rate on our database is a measly 0.39 per cent, but if you’re prepared to shop around you could find a rate three times higher.

“The irony is, we’ve never had so much money in the bank. The latest APRA statistics show we’ve got almost $120 billion more in the bank than a year ago, as families move to build up their rainy-day funds.

“Banks are likely to keep chipping away at their rates, even if the cash rate stays the same. If you’ve got money in the bank, give your account a health check once every few months to make sure it’s still competitive.

“Young Australians are the exception – they can still earn rates of up to 3 per cent, if they know where to look,” she said.

Westpac is offering 3 per cent on balances up to $30,000 for anyone aged 18 – 29, while Bank of Queensland is offering 3 per cent for young Aussies aged between 14 and 24 but only on balances up to $10,000.

Highest conditional ongoing savings accounts on RateCity.com.au

(excludes accounts specifically for younger Australians)

Bank Account Max rate
 ING    Savings Maximiser  1.35%
 MyState Bank  Bonus Saver Account  1.20%
 ME Bank  Online Savings Account  1.20%

Source: RateCity.com.au Conditions apply for max interest rate.

Big four banks conditional savings rates

Bank   Account   Max rate

(if conditions met)

 
CBA   GoalSaver   0.45%  
Westpac   Life   0.40%  
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)   0.45%   0.05%  
Westpac   eSaver (5 mths)   0.40%   0.05%  
NAB   iSaver (4 mths)   0.60%   0.05%  
ANZ   Online Saver (3 mths)   0.45%   0.05%  

Source: RateCity.com.au

LATEST APRA STATS

  Nov-20 Nov-19 Difference
Deposits by households $1.099 trillion $979.52 billion $119.96 billion

12% increase

Source: Deposit data from APRA monthly banking stats released Jan, 2021.

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Fact Checked -

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.

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. 

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.

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 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.

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)

What are the requirements for opening Commbank multiple savings accounts?

Existing Commbank account holders can open additional accounts online You can open multiple savings accounts with Commbank to meet various goals like a down payment for a home or buying a car. 

To open an account, you’ll need the following:

  • An Australian residential address
  • To be 14 years or older
  • A Tax File Number (TFN) or TFN exemption.
  • Tax residency details

If you’re not a current Commbank account holder, you’ll need an Australian driving licence, birth certificate or passport and Medicare card. You may also have to visit a branch if your identity cannot be confirmed online. 

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 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). 

 

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.

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.

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.