If you have a stash of cash that you don’t need to access every day, you can use the RateCity term deposit calculator to work out how much you could earn by putting that money in a term deposit account. 

If you’re working towards a savings goal, like a first home loan deposit or a holiday, a term deposit calculator can help you work out how much interest you could add to your savings, and how quickly.

To get an idea of how much you could earn by investing in a term deposit, consider using a term deposit calculator like the one on this page. 

How to use a term deposit calculator

  1. Fill in your initial deposit amount: Type in how much money you plan to deposit in your term deposit. Many term deposits will require at least $5000, but some banks and lenders will let you start with as little as $1000 or lower.
  2. Enter how long you intend to invest your money: Term deposits are named as such because there is typically a fixed “term” or length of time before you can withdraw your money from the account.. After you've entered the amount you plan to deposit, work out how many months you'd like to leave it there for. Remember that term deposits often can’t be withdrawn before the agreed “term” Breaking your term may lead to fees and penalties on the interest you would have earned over the term, so be mindful of how long you want to commit your money to the account.
  3. Enter the your ideal interest rate: Finally, enter the interest rate you can get for your term deposit, and hit "Calculate Now". Interest rates vary across banks and lenders, and some may even be higher for set periods of time. You can consider and compare your options using term deposit comparison tables to find an ideal rate that works best for your term deposit plans.

This will show you how much money you could earn in interest on your savings, so you can compare these results with term deposits from different banks and other financial institutions. 

Keep in mind that the best term deposit for you will depend on your specific financial situation and personal objectives. 

We recommend using the term deposit calculator to compare a few different scenarios, so you can see how much you could potentially earn by investing your savings in different term deposits.

How to find the best term deposit interest rates on RateCity

After you’ve used the Term Deposit Calculator to get an idea of how much interest you could potentially earn from a term deposit, you can navigate to one of RateCity’s term deposit comparison tables to see what else is available.

Enter the minimum term length and minimum deposit you’re looking for to narrow down your selection. If you aren’t seeing many options, use the Filters to select to see all term deposit products.

If a high interest rate is a priority for you, you can sort the table by the Maximum Interest Rate. Just keep in mind that to qualify for this maximum rate, you may need a different deposit amount or term length than you originally planned. Other options include sorting by the minimum deposit or the base interest rate.

What is a term deposit?

A term deposit is a type of investment where you place your savings in an account for a fixed length of time. Over this term, the bank will pay you interest at a fixed rate on the amount you invest.

Term deposits are often considered relatively low-risk investments, and could be useful if you’re looking to add an extra boost to your savings. As you’re essentially locking your money away for a set period, banks will usually offer higher interest rates on term deposits than on regular savings accounts. 

Term deposit interest rates are fixed, and are not variable rates. Whatever the interest rate is on the day you join is what it will be for the full deposit term. And unlike a savings account or other banking products, it's unlikely you'd be able to get bonus interest from a term deposit. 

The catch is that you can’t easily withdraw your funds while they’re locked into a term deposit. You may need to provide advance notice (31 days' notice is common), pay a fee, or receive less interest to withdraw money early from a term deposit. Unlike locking your nest egg away in a savings account, you cannot just withdraw your term deposit funds from an ATM, for example. 

For example, if you were to deposit $5,000 into a three-month short-term deposit, you wouldn’t be able to use those funds until the term deposit matures after three months.

At the end of the three-month term, you’d get the initial $5,000 back, as well as any interest you earned on your deposit during the term.

The amount of money you can make by depositing your savings will depend on the term deposit rate, the term length, and the amount of money you deposit.

For example, here are the calculated final balances for different starting deposits and term lengths, assuming an interest rate of 2.25 per cent:

 3 months6 months 9 months 12 months 
$5,000 term deposit $5,028$5,056$5,084$5,113
$10,000 term deposit$10,056$10,113$10,169$10,225
$20,000 term deposit$20,113$20,225$20,338$20,450
$50,000 term deposit$50,281$50,563$50,844$51,125

Term deposit features

As well as using the calculator to estimate how much interest you could earn, there are other term deposit features to think about before making a choice, including:

  • Interest payment frequency: Is your interest paid monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, annually or on maturity? Your final balance at the end of the term can vary depending on the frequency that interest is calculated, and whether the payments can be added to your deposit to earn compound interest.
  • Nominal and effective interest rates: The nominal rate is the advertised term deposit interest rate, whereas the effective rate is the potential interest rate including the compounding effect of payment frequency based on a 12-month term. The more frequent your interest payments, the higher the effective rate relative to the nominal rate, as regular interest payments are either compounded into the term deposit or can be reinvested elsewhere. Read a term deposit's product disclosure statement for more information around rates and fees.
  • Early withdrawal: Whether you just needed a little more in your nest egg for a home loan deposit, you want to pay off a personal loan or a car loan, or are looking to chip away at some credit card debt, you may find you need to withdraw your funds a little early. Keep in mind that this will typically carry moderate to high fees.
  • Other fees and costs: Some term deposit providers may charge you ongoing fees, such as account keeping fees. If you're looking to keep ongoing costs down, it pays to do your research and compare a range of term deposits before applying.

Types of term deposits

When it comes to investing your money in a term deposit in Australia, you have two main options – short term deposits and long term deposits.

Short term deposits range anywhere from 30 days (one month) all the way up to 12 months (one year). While short term deposits may not earn as much interest as long term deposits due to their shorter investment term, one upside is that you don’t have to lock your cash away for as long. This means that short term deposits are often suited to savers looking for a short-term boost.

If you’re looking for a set-and-forget investment that steadily grows over a longer period, you may want to look at long term deposits. Usually offered for periods of 12 months to five years, long term deposits can help you steadily earn interest and grow your savings. As an incentive to lock your savings away for a longer period, the bank or lender will usually offer higher interest rates on long term deposits.

Long term deposits can offer a degree of stability, as well as earn you more total interest due to longer investment terms. One potential downside of long term deposits is that you may miss out on earning extra interest if rates were to rise, as you'd remain locked into its fixed interest rate.

Some banks also offer the option of a rollover term deposit. This gives you the option of rolling your money over for another fixed term when your term deposit matures. Before you roll over, it’s important to check to see that the rate is still competitive and suitable for your needs.

Withdrawing your money from a term deposit before the maturation date can come with hefty penalties, so before you apply, weigh up the risks and rewards of short and long term deposits. Also, think about your spending and saving habits. If you’re likely to continue saving and adding to your account regularly, you may also want to consider high-interest savings accounts. If you're unsure whether a term deposit is the right fit for you, consider reaching out for some financial advice from a financial adviser.

Compare these term deposits lenders at RateCity