powering smart financial decisions

Updated on 24 Jun, 2022

Real Time Ratings™

Real Time Ratings™ rates over 90 providers with a score out of 5, based on how much the bank account will cost and how much flexibility it offers.

What is Real Time Ratings™

Real Time RatingsTM is a world-first rating system that ranks savings accounts based on your savings goals, taking into account your initial and ongoing deposits, and calculating interest on this over time.

Unlike other savings accounts rating systems that grade their products once or twice a year, Real Time RatingsTM results are calculated in real time, as you use the site, making them as up to date as possible.

Real Time RatingsTM gives each savings account a score out of five stars, based on interest earned and flexibility. It factors in your individual savings capabilities such as initial deposit, monthly savings and your savings time period so you can find the best savings account applicable to you.

Achieving your savings goals goes hand in hand with choosing the right account. Real Time RatingsTM does the work for you, so you may compare and find your best savings account with the most up-to-date information.

How we calculate Real Time Ratings™

Real Time RatingsTM analyses savings accounts from over 100 authorised deposit institutions to give each one a score out of five stars, based on the account’s interest earned and how flexible it is.

The star ratings are rounded up to the nearest half, but when you hover your cursor over the stars, you’ll see the score is broken down into two categories: interest score and flexibility score.

Saving Accounts (1)

Interest score

Interest score is calculated by looking at the maximum interest earnings and account keeping fees that apply to your savings account over your time period of savings. We then divided this to provide an average maximum monthly interest over your savings time period.

Flexibility score

We rank flexibility by assigning points to a range of account features, such as ATM/Eftpos access, banking access, transaction fees and availability of joint accounts.

The points reflect the relative importance of these features, based on consumer research, analysis of what lenders are offering and expert opinion.

For example, more access facilities and low transaction fees were identified by our experts as fundamental flexibility features. The highest scores between 4 and 5 are likely to be for savings accounts that have these features.

Real Time Ratings™ Case Studies

The following hypothetical examples show how Real Time Ratings™ may help a variety of different borrowers find the right savings account.

Tom – the traveller

Tom has finally finished university and wants to celebrate by travelling overseas for a few months. He knows that he will need at least $10,000 to do so and is hoping to save it all over a few months of casual work. He has an initial deposit of $1,000 and is hoping to make regular deposits of at least $200 a week.

He knows that to get overseas as quickly as possible he will need the most competitive savings rate that will work hard for him. Tom also hates going into branches so wants to make sure he picks an account with a lot of online accessibility, whether through apps or online banking.

Tom hops on RateCity to compare savings accounts. He knows that it may take a few months to save up the money he needs, so he decides to compare conditional accounts. These allow him to earn the maximum rate as long as he meets certain conditions. He enters his initial deposit, ongoing deposits and time frame he wants to save over.

Once Tom is given a range of options, he sorts by maximum rate. He can then see which accounts will earn him the most interest in that time frame. He then uses the Real Time RatingsTM scores to weed out any that may have high rates but come with high fees or offer little flexibility. He then finds a 5-star savings account that ticks all his boxes. It is an online provider with a high ongoing rate that help him earn enough interest to achieve his travel goals.

Amy and Josephine – The newly moved-in couple

Amy and Josephine have decided to move in together. They want to make saving for big ticket items like new furniture and holidays simple, so they decide to open a joint savings account together. They know that they’ll be dipping into their savings account every now and then, so having an account that doesn’t penalise them for this is crucial.

Josephine has always been the responsible one, so she hops on RateCity to compare accounts instead of just sticking with the bank Amy has been with since she was a kid. She notices that RateCity savings accounts are given a Real Time RatingsTM score that factors in flexibility as a key component of a great account.

Josephine is then able to not only view which accounts have the highest rates, but also which ones will suit their needs by allowing withdrawals without the penalty of dropping to a lower rate. Using Real Time RatingsTM she narrows down a list of 5 possible options for her and Amy to decide on that allow for joint applications.

How RateCity leaderboards work

We’ve built these leaderboards to help you quickly see what are the top banking products in each of the key categories.

The most recent Gold Award 2021