Westpac the last of the big four to cut

Westpac the last of the big four to cut

Westpac has today dropped the interest rate on its savings accounts; the last of the big four banks to pass on cuts to savers this month. 

Westpac has cut bonus rates by 0.25 per cent on the eSaver and Life accounts, while cutting the base rates by 0.05 per cent and 0.15 per cent, respectively.

The changes have been made across the Westpac Group, including St George, Bank of Melbourne and BankSA, all of which have cut bonus rates by up to 0.25 per cent.

Westpac savings rate changes

 

Intro rate - 5 months

Ongoing rate

 

Old rate

New rate

Change

Old rate

New rate

Change

eSaver

1.91%

1.66%

-0.25%

0.15%

0.10%

-0.05%

Note: The bonus interest rate is for the first 5 months.

 

Max rate

Base rate

 

Old rate

New rate

Change

Old rate

New rate

Change

Life

1.90%

1.65%

-0.25%

0.60%

0.45%

-0.15%

Note: To earn the maximum rate on this account the balance must be higher at the end of each month than the beginning. The max rates include the bonus and base interest rates.

Last Friday, ANZ and NAB both cut their bonus savings rates by 0.25 per cent, leaving base rates unchanged.

The week before, CBA lowered the base rate on its Net Saver account by 0.05 per cent, and made cuts of up to 0.35 per cent on its bonus savings rates.

In total, 48 banks have dropped savings rates since the RBA cut the cash rate on 1 October.

State of play – big four conditional savings accounts

These accounts require you to meet certain terms and conditions, such as one deposit a month and no withdrawals, in order to qualify for the bonus interest that month.

 

Max Rate

Base Rate

CBA Goal saver

0.90%

0.01%

Westpac Life

1.65%

0.45%

NAB Reward saver

1.61%

0.11%

ANZ Progress saver

1.60%

0.01%

Source: RateCity.com.au.

Note: The max rate includes the bonus and base interest rates. The rates are based on balances less than $50,000. CBA offers higher rates for larger deposits.

State of play – big four standard savings accounts 

These accounts typically include an introductory period which offers bonus interest for several months, before dropping to a low ongoing rate.

 

Intro rate

(3-5 months)

Ongoing rate

CBA Netbank

1.65%

0.10%

Westpac eSaver

1.66%

0.10%

NAB iSaver

1.86%

0.11%

ANZ Online Saver

1.60%

0.10%

Source: RateCity.com.au

Note: The intro rate periods are as follows: CBA 5 mths, Westpac 5 mnths, NAB 4 mths, ANZ 3 mths.

Sally Tindall, research director at RateCity.com.au, said people with conditional savings accounts would be hurt the most by the cuts.

“Earnest savers have borne the brunt of this round of rate cuts, with all four of the big banks slashing their conditional saver rates by 0.25 per cent,” she said. 

“Meanwhile, big four customers with a standard savings account have come out relatively unscathed, largely because their ongoing rates are already 0.11 per cent or less.

“There are still savings rates as high as 2.25 per cent, so it’s worth shopping around.

“But with another RBA cut looming, savers should expect rates to fall further,” she said.

Highest conditional savings rates on RateCity.com.au

Bank

Max rate

Conditions

86 400

2.25%

Deposit $1K /mth

Australian Unity

2.25%

$250/mth

MyState Bank

2.25%*

$20/month & 5 or more transactions on linked account

RAMS

2.25%

$200/mth & no withdrawals

Up

2.25%

5 or more transactions on linked account

Notes: excludes kids savers and introductory rates.

*The interest rate offered by MyState Bank is currently 2.50%, but will change to 2.25% on 1 November.

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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.

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 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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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)

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.

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.