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Learn more about term deposits
If you’re looking to open a term deposit account, it’s likely that you’re seeking the best bank interest rates on the market.
Before you make your choice, it’s important to understand interest rates and the research that can help you secure the right deposit for your needs.
How do term deposits earn interest?
Learning how term deposits earn interest really comes down to understanding the term deposit itself. When you agree to open a particular term deposit with your bank or financial institution, you’re really giving them permission to loan or invest your money during the length of your term.
So banks can lend the money to borrowers, but why does that earn you money? Well, your deposit earns interest because borrowers pay interest to the bank for their loan. This interest eventually makes its way to you monthly, annually or at maturity, depending on your payment frequency. And if you find a term deposit with the best bank interest rates, you’ll earn the maximum possible amount.
How much interest does a term deposit earn?
There’s no hard and fast rule about how much interest a term deposit can earn, especially because the financial market is always changing. The average fixed interest offer will rise and fall from year to year, and even month to month.
The key to learning how much a term deposit earns in the current financial climate is research. Read the latest term deposit news, compare term deposits online, and talk with a few different financial institutions to understand what rates are being offered.
Are there different types of interest rates?
There are two types of interest rates associated with term deposits. The first is simple interest, and it’s as easy as it sounds. Simple interest means that your original deposit makes a certain percentage of interest for the term that you’ve chosen. Monthly, annually or at maturity, you’ll receive a lump sum of the interest your deposit balance has earned.
The second type of interest is compound interest. Stated simply, compound interest means that your interest earns interest. The interest that you earn on your deposit balance is reinvested, where it can earn interest of its own. Compound interest will typically earn you more money in the long run than simple interest.
What is considered a high interest rate?
The percentage that is considered a high interest rate depends on the current financial climate. What is considered a great interest rate 10 years ago could be much different than the interest rates that you see today.
To find out the range of interest rates on offer, it’s best to run a term deposit comparison. The comparison will give you the best offers on the market, so you can see for yourself the amount that financial institutions are offering.
Is it best to apply for a term deposit through my current bank?
If you choose to apply for a term deposit through your current bank, you might enjoy certain benefits, like a simpler application process. However, one of the most important parts of your term deposit is the interest rate, so it’s best to shop around for the best term deposit on the market.
It’s possible that your bank will have the best deal available, in which case the best decision may be to open a term deposit with your bank. However, a rival institution might have a better offering.
How do I find the best bank interest rates on the market?
Finding the best bank interest rates on the market comes down to research. One of the easiest ways to find the highest fixed rate is to run a term deposit comparison that includes the interest percentage, so it’s easy to see and compare.
After you’ve found the best interest rate available, don’t forget to consider the term deposit’s other features. You might ask yourself a few questions before you know if it’s the one best suited to your needs. Does it allow for early withdrawal? How long is the term? What is the minimum deposit amount? Does it automatically roll over into a new deposit when the current term ends?
These questions will help you understand the term deposit and consider whether it fits with your preferences.
What are the main advantages of a term deposit with a high interest rate?
Securing a term deposit with high interest brings several benefits. One prominent benefit is that it’s a secure investment for your money. Unlike investment options that are high-risk and could lose you money, your term deposit will only make you money.
Another advantage is that term deposits have fixed interest rates. A fixed interest rate means that your deposit balance will earn the same amount of interest throughout your entire term. Even if interest rates go down across the market, your deposit will continue to earn interest at the agreed-upon rate. That’s why securing a term deposit with a high interest rate is so important.
Term deposits with the best bank interest rates will earn you the most interest possible in the shortest amount of time.
Property Personal Finance Writer
A property and personal finance writer, Nick Bendel covers property, loans, credit cards, superannuation, and other bank products. Nick has previously written for The Adviser, Mortgage Business, Lifehacker, Business Insider, Yahoo Finance, and InvestorDaily, and loves getting elbow-deep in the latest ABS, APRA and RBA data.
Frequently asked questions
How do you calculate term deposit interest?
If you’re ready to open a term deposit, there’s a lot you’ve already figured out. You’ve decided on the length of your term and found the best interest rate, but there’s something you still might be wondering. How do you calculate term deposit interest?
One of the easiest ways to calculate term deposit interest is by using a term deposits calculator. However, you can also estimate your total earnings on your own.
A fixed interest rate signifies what percentage of your original balance your term deposit will earn annually. For example, a deposit of $1,000 at an interest rate of 3 per cent will earn three per cent of $1,000 annually – meaning you’ll earn $30 of interest each year.
You can estimate your interest using three variables. Multiply together your deposit amount, interest rate, and term length and you’ll approximate the interest a deposit will earn. For example, if you invest in a term deposit for $5,000 at an interest rate of 3 per cent for two years, your interest would total $300.
What is the best interest rate for a fixed term deposit?
The best interest rate for a fixed term deposit changes all the time, as interest rates move up and down and banks compete with each other to win market share.
To find the best interest rate for a fixed term deposit, it’s helpful to understand how interest rates are applied to term deposits.
There are three factors that determine the fixed interest of term deposits:
- The size of your deposit
- The duration of the term
- The frequency of interest paid
Term deposits vary in duration from one month to five years or more. Interest rates generally work on a sliding scale; shorter terms get a lower rate, longer terms get a higher rate.
Here are a couple of examples of how interest is applied to term deposits.
- A $10,000 term deposit taken out over 12 months, with interest paid at maturity, might receive a fixed interest rate of 2.20 per cent.
- A $10,000 fixed term deposit taken out over 12 months, with interest paid quarterly, might receive a fixed interest rate of 2.00 per cent.
Using the size of your deposit, the duration of the term and how often you want to be paid interest, you can shop around for the best interest rate for a fixed term deposit.
Which bank has the best term deposit rates?
If you’ve been shopping around for a term deposit, you might be wondering which bank has the best term deposit rates.
Term deposit rates will generally be affected by the amount you choose to deposit and whether you opt for a short or long term deposit.
Longer term deposits tend to have higher interest rates than shorter terms. The trade-off for earning a higher interest rate on your term deposit is that you can’t access your funds for the duration of the term deposit.
When comparing which bank has the best term deposit rates, it pays to do your research and compare how your funds will fare over the short and long term.
Unlike home loans or savings accounts which give you the option of fixed or variable rates, term deposits are always fixed, which means you get a guaranteed amount of interest over the term of the deposit.
How often do term deposit rates change?
One of the advantages of a term deposit is that this type of investment enjoys a fixed interest rate. This means that the interest rate that you have signed up for will not change during the period of your term deposit, regardless of rising or falling market interest rates.
However, it is important to be aware of the end of your term deposit. Once your term ends, whether this is in three months or three years, many banks will default to rolling over your deposit into a new term, sometimes with a lower interest rate. Once your term deposit rolls over, you will then be locked into this new fixed interest rate for another term.
Make sure to use the grace period at the end of your term to your advantage. Shop around for a competitive interest rate and reinvest your money accordingly.
What is a term deposit?
A term deposit is an investment savings account. A term deposit usually pays a higher rate of interest than a regular savings account, with the interest rate fixed for the term (or duration) of the deposit.
You can open a term deposit account for one month or up to five years depending on your investment goal, and invest as little as $500 to start earning a profit.
With a term deposit, you get to decide how much you want to invest (the principal or deposit), for how long (the term or duration) and the frequency of interest payments.
A term deposit represents a secure form of investment, unlike trading in shares or purchasing real estate. And a term deposit up to $250,000 is protected by the government guarantee.
Is term deposit interest taxable?
The interest that you earn from your term deposit is considered taxable income. Because your term deposit interest is taxable, it should be disclosed on your annual tax return.
It’s important to note that circumstances may differ depending on whether you provided the account holder with your tax file number (TFN). If you did not supply your bank or other financial institution with your TFN, they are typically required to withhold tax from your interest earnings.
If you’ve invested in a deposit that lasts longer than 12 months, you’ll need to claim your earned interest in the year that you received it. For example, if you receive interest monthly, you’ll need to claim your earnings at the end of the financial year. However, if you only receive interest at maturity, you should claim your earnings in the year that you received the lump sum of interest.
How long is a term deposit?
A term deposit refers to when you lock your money in an account for a certain period of time and at a specified interest rate. You will not be able to access your money for the length of the agreed term without incurring a penalty fee.
A long term deposit generally refers to a term deposit that lasts for more than 12 months – which in some cases may be as long as 10 years.
Usually, the longer you store your money, the better the interest rate you’ll get, so a long term deposit will tend to pay higher interest than a short term deposit.
At the end of the term, you can roll over the money (plus the interest you’ve made during the term), or you can withdraw it all.
What is a fixed term deposit?
A fixed term deposit is a safe and stable way to earn a fixed return on your cash investment.
Fixed term deposits are essentially bank accounts where you lock your money away for a fixed period and earn a fixed interest rate on those funds.
Fixed term deposits can be both short term, which is usually anything under 12 months, or long term, which can be up to 10 years.
Once the fixed term has ended, the bank or financial institution will give you back your initial deposit plus any interest you earn during the fixed term period.
Depending on the type of fixed term deposit account you open, when the term matures, you may have the option of rolling the funds over for a new term or withdrawing the funds.
Unlike other savings or transaction accounts which offer variable interest rates and flexible features, fixed term deposits offer fixed interest rates, which means the amount of interest you earn will remain the same during the term of the deposit.
How do term deposits work?
Term deposits are flexible, low-risk, and earn you interest over time. But before you apply to open a term deposit, you might be wondering: how do term deposits work?
A term deposit is an agreement you make with a financial institution. This agreement will specify a certain amount of money that you will give the bank for a certain amount of time. In return, you’ll earn a fixed amount of interest on your deposit throughout your term.
Term deposits work as an exchange between a financial institution and an individual. You can think of your term deposit as a loan to the bank. Because you’ve loaned the bank your money, they’re willing to pay you interest on your deposit.
What is the best term deposit rate in Australia?
If you’re ready to add a term deposit to your financial strategy, there’s likely one question on your mind: what is the best term deposit rate in Australia?
Unfortunately, there’s no one right answer to this question.
That’s because if you want to find the best term deposit rate in Australia, you first need to understand the nature of interest rates themselves. The financial market is always moving, with interest rates moving up and down and special offers being introduced and withdrawn.
As a result, whatever the best term deposit rate in Australia is today might not be tomorrow.
So to find the best term deposit rate in Australia, it’s best to ignore the past and to instead focus on today’s market. Compare term deposits to find out the current rates and find the right term deposit for you.
What should I know about ING’s business term deposit rates?
ING Direct offers several term deposit options for businesses looking to save over some time.
The business term deposit rates ING offers are compounded annually, meaning that the interest earned after the first year is added to the amount you originally deposited.
During the second year, the interest is calculated on the new amount. If you close the term deposit once it matures, you can ask for the money to be transferred to your business account either with ING or another bank. You can also renew the term deposit and choose to reinvest the total amount earned through the earlier term deposit. Alternatively, you can opt to renew with just the sum you originally deposited, and withdraw the interest earned.
You’ll need to deposit a minimum of $10,000 for at least 90 days if you open a term deposit with ING. In the current low-interest environment*, the annualised interest rate for a 90-day deposit is 0.05 per cent. This means you’d earn $1.25 over a three-month term if you deposit $10,000.
If you opted for a longer time frame, such as two years, you’d get an annualised interest rate of 0.30 per cent on your deposit. If you deposited $10,000, in two years the interest accrued would amount to approximately $60. Again, this is an estimate only based on current rates.
* Rates correct as of January 2021
Will term deposit rates increase?
While there’s no definite way to predict when term deposit rates will increase, it may help to understand some of the factors that influence term deposit interest rates.
The official cash rate is set by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA). When the RBA either increases or cuts interest rates, it influences the interest rates set by banks.
The other factor that determines when term deposit rates will rise is competition between banks. Banks may increase their term deposit rates or offer higher rates as an incentive to win new customers over or increase their market share.
Term deposit interest rates will also change, depending on how much you invest and how long you invest.
How safe is a term deposit?
You may have heard that a term deposit is a type of investment, different to a traditional savings account. All investment comes with inherent risk, so it’s important to know how safe a term deposit is before committing.
Term deposits offer a fixed interest rate which is guaranteed, so you do not have to worry about rising or falling interest rates when investing. You can add up how much interest you will earn over your fixed term, and this will be paid into your account per the conditions of your term deposit.
Term deposits with authorised deposit-taking institutions are also guaranteed for up to $250,000 by the Financial Claims Scheme, so you don’t have to worry about the bank collapsing either.
The only inherent risk of a term deposit is if you may need to break it early. If this happens, you will need to pay a breakage fee and possibly sacrifice some of your interest as a penalty. But if you know you can invest a certain amount of money for a fixed period of time, you can rest assured that a term deposit is a safe investment option.
What is a term deposit rate?
The term deposit rate is the agreed interest rate for your term deposit. It remains fixed for the term of the deposit.
For example, if you deposit $5,000 for 12 months at a 2.5 per cent term deposit rate, that 2.5 per cent term deposit rate will be fixed for the entire 12 months and won’t change until the term matures.
The term deposit rate is one of the most important factors to consider when comparing your term deposit options. The general rule of thumb is that the longer the term, the higher the term deposit rate.
Term deposits are a popular type of investment because they’re safe and provide reliable returns.
The return you get on your term deposit will be determined by the amount you initially invest, the amount of time you choose to invest it for, and the term deposit rate.
Can you add money to a term deposit?
When you open a term deposit, you agree to lock your money away for a set period and earn a fixed amount of interest during that period.
Where everyday transaction accounts give you the flexibility to deposit and withdraw funds as frequently as you like, term deposits trade flexibility for higher interest rates.
Once your funds are deposited in a term deposit, they’re fixed for the length of the term, meaning you can’t add additional funds midway through the term.
When the term deposit matures, you may have the option to add additional funds and roll the funds over for another term, or you may choose to withdraw the money at that point.
If you have extra funds to invest, you could consider opening an additional short term deposit account or a high-interest savings account.
It’s worth noting that you can withdraw the funds midway through the term, but a penalty is likely to apply.
Are term deposits compounded?
Term deposits can be compounded, depending on what you choose to do with the interest.
There are two ways to receive interest from a term deposit: either a lump sum at maturity; or paid on a regular basis, usually monthly. If you get your interest paid regularly, you can get it paid into a transaction account, or back into the term deposit account. By using this second option, you’re getting interest paid on your interest. In other words, it’s compounding.
Having the money paid into a transaction account means you can access it for your day-to-day spending, while compounding the interest means you get a better overall return on your investment. Both have advantages, depending on your needs, but be aware that some term deposit accounts that pay interest regularly may offer a lower interest rate to offset the effect of compounding.
What is a term deposit account in a bank?
A term deposit account in a bank is a type of investment where you lock away a portion of your savings for a fixed period in return for earning a set amount of interest.
Opening a term deposit account in a bank is a safe way to earn a stable return on your investment of cash.
Term deposit accounts can be a good way to give your savings an extra boost without the need to actively watch or manage your funds during the term of the deposit.
Term deposit accounts in a bank are a popular type of investment because they’re safe and there’s very little risk that you could lose your money.
If you make a term deposit of up to $250,000 with an authorised deposit-taking institution, it’s guaranteed by the Australian government, which means there’s virtually no risk of losing your money and you’re guaranteed return.
Interest rates vary depending on the length of the term, the amount you deposit and the bank you choose.
What are Suncorp Bank's term deposit rates for businesses?
A term deposit with Suncorp Bank allows you to lock away a specific amount of money at a fixed interest rate for a nominated period. You will need to make a minimum investment of $5,000 and up to $2,000,000, and can select a period from one month to 36 for your investment. Term deposit investments ranging from one to 12 months are based on interest paid at maturity, while investments from 12 to 36 months are based on interest paid annually.
While the interest rate will differ based on your investment amount and term duration, here are some of the most popular Suncorp Bank business term deposit rates as of January 2021:
|4 Months||0.50% p.a.||0.55% p.a.||0.60% p.a.|
|7 Months||0.55% p.a.||0.60% p.a.||0.65% p.a.|
|12 Months||0.50% p.a.||0.55% p.a.||0.60% p.a.|
|24 Months||0.65% p.a.||0.70% p.a.||0.75% p.a.|
Please note that these interest rates are effective from 13th November 2020 and are subject to change without notice. Moreover, if you choose from an early withdrawal, the interest rate will be adjusted, and other charges are likely to be applied.
Are term deposits worth it?
Ultimately, whether term deposits will work for you will depend on your particular financial needs.
Term deposits can be a great way to get your money working for you. By locking it away and forgetting about it for a period of time, it can earn interest for you. If you have the interest paid on a regular basis, rather than at maturity, you can either have some extra spending money or you can reinvest it into the term deposit to compound.
Of course, locking your money in a term deposit means you cannot access it for the length of the term, without paying a penalty for early withdrawal. This can remove the temptation to spend the money, while it also earns interest.
Are term deposit accounts subject to capital gains tax?
The tax you pay on a profit generated by a term deposit is not classified as capital gains tax (CGT). CGT applies to an asset (or investment), such as real estate or shares, where you either make a capital gain or a capital loss.
Interest earned on a term deposit is considered income though, and would need to be included in your annual income tax return.
The interest can be declared in the year the investment matures, or for the financial year it was credited to your account.
This also applies if you roll over your investment into a new term; you are still required to declare the interest earned at the rollover date (whatever financial year that falls in).