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Searching for the right place to store your savings takes more than sticking with the same bank you’ve been with since you were a kid.

There are a range of savings account types out there with different interest rates, fees and costs that are designed to suit Australians' various financial situations. Choosing the right account for your financial needs and budget may help you achieve your savings goals faster.

Learn more about savings accounts

How to search for a savings account

There are a few handy tools designed to help savers find the most competitive savings accounts for their savings goals.

  • Comparison tables

With so many different types of accounts available to suit all Australians, comparison tables are one of the easiest ways to compare savings account products. Simply filter down your results by entering your preferred savings account type, as well as any companies you may favour.

You may then search your results by base rate or maximum rate to find which account may provide the highest yield. The comparison table will then show a range of options side by side to help create a short list of savings accounts with competitive interest rates. You may then view more details to see potential fees and costs that you may want to avoid, as well as conditions.

(Not sure of your ideal savings account type? This is explained further in this guide.)

  • Savings account calculators

As savings accounts grow savings based on compound interest, a savings account calculator may also help you to narrow down your short list of new accounts. You’ll be able to see which savings account may earn you the highest return in a chosen period of time, factoring in ongoing fees.

While using the comparison tables, if you enter in your initial deposit, monthly deposit and preferred savings period (up to a year), your results will automatically show you how much interest you may earn with various savings accounts. Otherwise, ASIC’s MoneySmart website has a helpful compound interest calculator to help you project more long-term savings growth.

  • Real Time RatingsTM

Still not sure how to narrow down your savings account search? This is where Real Time RatingsTM may be able to help.

Real Time RatingsTM is a world-first rating system that provides up-to-date assessments of savings accounts based on your individual requirements. Other comparison site rating systems may only be graded once or twice a year. However, Real Time RatingsTM is calculated daily, with each savings account given a rating out of 5 stars. This rating is based on interest earned and flexibility. It factors in your individual savings capabilities, such as your initial deposit, monthly savings and your savings time period, so you can find the best savings account applicable to you.

What to search for in a savings account

While it is crucial to choosing a competitive savings account, there’s more to your savings than the interest rate. Here are some key factors to consider when looking for a new savings account:

  • Interest rate. One of the biggest deciding factors for your new savings account. Savings accounts use variable interest rates, and your rate may fluctuate with the Reserve Bank of Australia's cash rate. A higher interest rate generally means a higher rate of return. You may find an account comes with an introductory rate, a base, or standard variable rate, and a bonus interest rate to be earned by meeting certain conditions. 
  • Fees and costs. A high interest rate may mean very little if your savings account hits you with high fees and costs. These may include monthly account keeping fees, ATM withdrawal fees, eftpos fees and foreign transaction fees.
  • Account type. There are a few savings account types, including conditional (ongoing) savers, regular savers, online savers, children savers and retirement savers.
  • Linked accounts. Typically, a savings account will require you to link it with an everyday transaction account. This may help ease the transferring of funds and can even be an ongoing condition to earn a bonus rate. Ensure you research the bank account for any fees and hidden costs before applying for a savings account. You may even be able to link your savings account or everyday account to a term deposit, credit card or home loan. 
  • Spending habits. Be honest about your spending habits when searching for a saver account. If you struggle with not dipping into your savings, or don’t want to have to meet a number of conditions to earn interest, ensure your spending habits suit the savings account type you choose.
  • Joint accounts. Many savings accounts will allow multiple account holders to join together. Keep in mind that both parties will be provided Visa or Mastercard debit cards for easy access to the savings, and will both need to meet any conditions for bonus interest. To see if a savings account approves joint applications, check the terms and conditions or product disclosure statement (PDS).


Are you searching in the right place for a savings account?

Not all savings accounts are created equally, and your spending and savings habits will impact which savings account type may best suit your financial situation.

Here is what you need to know to ensure you’re searching for the right savings account for you:

  • Saving for a goal

If you’ve got a set savings goal in mind and want to meet it in an exact time frame, then you may want to consider a conditional savings account type. Compared to standard savings accounts with introductory rates, disciplined savers may benefit from the often-strict conditions to earn a high interest rate on an ongoing basis.

You’re discouraged from dipping into your savings by no-withdrawal criteria or rules around maintaining a minimum balance. You’re also encouraged to make regular deposits to boost your savings by minimum deposit criteria. All of this may help you to meet your savings goal in your chosen time frame.

  • Saving for a rainy day

If you’re more relaxed in your savings habits and just looking to save a portion of your income for a rainy day, you may want to consider a regular (also called standard) savings account. This type does not come with conditions you need to meet to earn its interest rate.

Further, regular savings accounts typically come with a higher interest rate for an introductory period (3 – 6 months), which then reverts to a standard variable rate. This allows you to set-and-forget your savings and cuts out the hoops you need to jump through just to earn interest.

This type also may suit those who cannot meet ongoing savings account conditions each month, such as those employed casually who can’t meet the monthly minimum deposit limit.

  • Using fintech to save

Whether you’re a tech-savvy saver, or just a fan of helpful features, online savings accounts and neobank savings accounts may help you to meet your savings goals faster thanks to helpful savings tools. They’re typically on the forefront of fintech, such as Round-Up tools, which allow savers to transfer all the spare cash to the nearest $1 or more between their earnings and expenses to their savings account.

Further, online savings accounts typically offer higher interest rates and fewer fees as these providers can keep overheads low by cutting out branches and other expenses. If you’re not a fan of online banking, and prefer face-to-face customer service, this savings account type may not suit your financial situation.

  • Teaching financial literacy

 You may have children and want to start teaching them about finances and securely store their pocket money. This is where children’s savings accounts may come in handy. Kids will begin to understand the banking system and may learn about saving your “income” (pocket money) and budgeting for something you want, like toys or electronics.

You may also take advantage of linked educational savings apps to further teach your children financial literacy. These accounts often come with higher interest rates than adult accounts, but also may have higher fees, and come with strict rules around usage to prevent misconduct.

Frequently asked questions

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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 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.

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

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 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.

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 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.

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. 

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 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.

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

Do banks run credit checks on savings accounts?

When you apply to open a new savings account, some providers may conduct a credit check, meaning that they will ask a credit bureau for your credit history. This isn’t always the case on savings accounts though and depends on the provider, as you aren’t borrowing money. 

As you are opening a savings account and not borrowing funds, this credit check is considered a soft inquiry and should not affect your credit score. If the bank has run the credit check, you can often still open a savings account even if you have a poor score, provided you meet other requirements. 

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.

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.

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.