Compare some of the best term deposit interest rates in Australia
Searching for the best term deposit rates? Here is everything you need to know about finding your first or next term deposit.
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How to navigate the low-rate term deposit environment
It’s been a challenging year for savers in Australia following three Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) cash rate cuts, with the latest in November. This has meant that interest rates on deposit accounts, like term deposits, have taken quite a beating since March 2020.
However, rates will rise again one day. RBA Governor Philip Lowe stated that the cash rate is likely to not increase for at least three years, until the Australian economy meets key inflation and unemployment targets.
If you’re on the hunt for a new term deposit account, or if your current term deposit is nearing maturity, you may be wondering where you can still nab a high interest rate.
There are still some competitive term deposits in the market, but it may take a little research and potentially leaving the bank you’ve stuck with since you were a kid. This is because competitor term deposit providers, such as online banks or neo-banks, have lower overheads than the big four banks, and are more likely to offer higher interest rates.
How do I find the best term deposit interest rates?
Term deposits can be short-term or long-term investments, and are offered by banks, credit unions and building societies. Your term deposit’s interest rate could make a big impact on your bottom line, as a higher interest rates often mean higher returns on your savings.
The amount of interest you can earn on a term deposit will ultimately come down to three main factors:
- The amount you deposit
- The length of the term
- The interest rate
Many Australians like term deposits because they’re relatively low-risk compared to other investments. If you have your sights set on a savings goal, or if you have a cash surplus you’re looking to invest, a term deposit may be an option to consider. But before you start searching for the best term deposit interest rates in Australia, it’s important to compare different term deposit deals and look for one that should suit your needs.
Short term deposits can run for anywhere from 30 days (one month) to 12 months (one year). When your short term deposit ends, you can choose to withdraw your money, or reinvest it for another short term, also known as a rollover. Short term deposits can work well for giving your savings an extra kick, or testing the market if you’ve never invested your money in a term deposit before.
A long term deposit is usually longer than 12 months, with some going for up to five years, or even longer. If you don’t need to access your money for a long period, long term deposits often have some of the top term deposit interest rates in Australia. This is because the longer you leave your money in a term deposit, the more time the bank has to reinvest that money, and the more interest you stand to earn.
To make the most of your savings and get the biggest bang for your buck, do your research to compare term deposits and work out which options have the best interest rates to suit your needs.
How do I compare term deposits?
To make the most of your savings, you’ll want to compare your term deposit options. There are many different term deposits with many different interest rates, which can make comparing them confusing.
Start by working out whether a short term or long term deposit may best suit your needs. If you don’t need access to the money in a hurry, a long term deposit will often have a higher interest rate. Most financial institutions offer both long and short term deposits, so always do your research to ensure you get the top rate for you.
Before you choose a term deposit, check to see what the termination fees are in case you need to withdraw your money before the end of the agreed term.
How to use RateCity to find Australia's top term deposits
To get a more accurate idea of how much you can earn by investing in a term deposit, and how different interest rates can affect your bottom line, use the RateCity term deposit calculator. Simply fill in your initial deposit amount, how long you intend to invest your money and the potential interest rate on the term deposit. We’ll show you how much interest you can potentially earn on this amount, so you can compare this calculation to different term deposit offers.
When you’re looking at term deposits tables on RateCity, you can compare different options by their base or maximum interest rates, or by their minimum deposits. You can also see at a glance which features and benefits that are available with different term deposit offers.
To narrow down your options and help you find the top term deposits for your needs, you can use the table filters to select your minimum deposit, minimum term, and your preferred term deposit features and benefits.
Senior Financial Writer
Mark Bristow is a senior financial writer for RateCity and an experienced analyst, researcher, and producer. Working for over ten years, Mark previously wrote and researched commercial real estate at CoreLogic, and has seen articles published at Lifehacker and Business Insider, among others. Most recently, Mark has joined RateCity working across finance as a whole. Whatever the topic, Mark’s goal is always to provide simple solutions to complex problems.
Today's top term deposits
Frequently asked questions
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Is a term deposit an asset?
The short answer is yes – a term deposit is, indeed, an asset.
Regardless that the funds are locked away for a fixed period, when it comes to the balance sheet, it’s considered an asset.
Aside from being an asset, term deposits are also cash investments which are held at financial institutions like banks or credit unions.
Term deposits work by investing a set amount of cash in a bank account for a fixed period at a fixed interest rate.
When you deposit your money in a term deposit, you’re agreeing to lock it away for a predetermined period, ranging from short-term periods of one month all the way to long-term periods of up to 10 years.
Term deposits are a popular way to boost your bottom line by investing your money and increasing the value of your asset.
Can you take a term deposit out early?
If you are considering a term deposit, you may be wondering if you can take out your money early. It is possible to break a term deposit, but it will cost you both time and money.
Many banks require 31 days’ notice if you wish to break a term deposit. This means that if you need money urgently for an unexpected expense, it may not be worth breaking your term deposit. Make sure to read the fine print to see if this wait period applies to the term deposit you are considering.
You will also most likely need to pay a breakage fee in order to access your funds, and you may also incur a reduced amount of interest. All of this information – including the fee amounts – should be available in the term deposit product disclosure statement (PDS), so ensure that you read the fine print before committing.
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.
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 is a secured term deposit loan?
A secured term deposit loan is a personal loan that’s secured by a term deposit. To take out a personal loan that’s secured by a term deposit you would need to go through the same bank.
Generally, secured term deposit loans offer a lower rate of interest than standard personal loans. This is because the interest generated by your term deposit offsets the interest applied to the loan.
A secured term deposit or term deposit secured loan enables you to leave your money invested in a term deposit while still being able to make significant cash purchases.
This type of personal loan usually offers many of the same features of a standard loan, including: redraw facility, variable and fixed interest rate options, and the ability to make extra repayments.
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 is a short term deposit?
Sometimes you only want to tie up your money for a short period, maybe because you want to make a quick return on a large sum, or just to have more flexibility and access to your money. That’s where a short term deposit can come in.
Short term deposits are usually less than 12 months (e.g. 30 days, 90 days, six months or 12 months), though you will still not be able to access your money for the length of the term without incurring a penalty fee.
At the end of the term, you can roll your deposit over, or you can withdraw it. An advantage of short term deposits is that you can take advantage of higher interest rates with a different financial institution, if they are available.
Can I break a term deposit?
One of the main components of a term deposit is your agreement that you won’t access your money until your term has expired. However, life can hand us unexpected expenses, and you might be asking yourself, “Can I break a term deposit?”
In most cases, you are able to withdraw money early from your term deposit, but it will usually come with a penalty. The penalty amount will vary from bank to bank, which is why it’s important to understand your deposit’s early withdrawal policy.
You should also be aware that some financial institutions enforce a waiting period for early withdrawals. This waiting period is typically up to 31 days and commences after you submit a request to withdraw your funds.