Bonus Interest Savings Accounts

Grow your interest faster by finding and comparing bonus interest savings accounts with Savvy.

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, updated on July 28th, 2023       

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Compare and find the best bonus interest savings account

Reaching your savings goal can at times seem like a hard slog, so having some extra incentive can help you along the way. That’s exactly how a bonus interest savings account works.

By offering you a higher interest rate in exchange for meeting certain monthly conditions, you can hit your savings targets faster. It’s important you find an account that suits you, so you can learn how to compare bonus interest savings accounts right here with Savvy today.

How does a bonus interest savings account work?

Bonus interest accounts reward good savings habits with extra interest at an inflated rate. The bonus interest rate is determined by your financial institution and is added as a percentage to your base rate for a given month. To achieve that high rate, you’ll need to meet various monthly conditions. These conditions can include having your balance fall within a certain range or depositing a particular amount in your account over a month. There also may be a cap on the number of withdrawals or transactions you’re able to make.

Most online savings accounts now come with bonus interest features, with the requirements varying depending on the one you open. For example, a bonus businesses saver may require your balance to be above $500,000, whereas a standard account may only require a balance over $2,000. Comparing with Savvy is the easiest way to find a set of requirements that you’ll comfortably be able to meet.

Bonus saver accounts differ from ordinary transaction or savings accounts in that they can often make it harder for you to access your money. These accounts won’t come with debit cards and you may not be given several free monthly withdrawals, which you likely would be on a standard savings account.

Bonus savings accounts can come in a few different forms. You can earn bonus interest on these types of accounts:

Standard savings account: Bonus interest conditions are standard across many savings accounts. Ensure you choose one with requirements you can comfortably meet.
Joint savings account: Couples or family members who open joint accounts can earn bonus interest for meeting monthly benchmarks. The big benefit of having two account holders is you’ll both be contributing to one pool of money, which can make it easier to meet the high interest requirements set by your bank or financial institution.
Kids’ savings account: Kids’ savings accounts are geared towards parents wanting to teach their children the importance of saving. Because they’re meant for youngsters under the age of 12, they tend to have very basic requirements and account balance restrictions, but a high bonus rate. For example, an account may have a $5 or $10 minimum monthly deposit condition. You may also not be able to withdraw from it.

Which factors should I compare in bonus savers?

Interest rates
Pay attention to both the maximum and base interest rates offered on these accounts. The top rate will be the interest rate you earn if you meet the minimum monthly requirements. If you can’t meet these for whatever reason, the interest you’ll earn will be the much lower base rate. Comparing these can ensure you find the best interest rate to fast-track the achievement of your savings goals. You can use our savings calculator to compare how much interest you’ll earn based on different rates.

Minimum requirements
Bonus saver conditions vary from account to account, so you must weigh up which set of requirements suits you best. Finding an account with manageable deposit and balance conditions, along with a strong interest rate, will make achieving your savings goals a breeze. Comparing with Savvy gives you the best shot at finding a bonus interest savings account with achievable requirements.

Withdrawal limits
Earning a high interest rate is often conditional on not making any withdrawals for the month. Comparing accessibility is important when shopping around for savings accounts. An account which is too restrictive could leave you cash-strapped if you’re in need. It’s also important to check if your account is accessible through internet banking (which almost all are today). This will allow you to make deposits seamlessly between accounts, as well as regularly check your balance and set up regular transfers.

Linked account
These savings accounts can be accessed through a linked everyday account. This makes it easy if you ever need to access a lump sum of money. It’s important to compare these, as some banks require you to open a linked account with them even if you want to open one elsewhere.

Fees
Bonus saver accounts don’t usually come with fees. However, there could still be some on the market which do. Comparing with Savvy allows you to find a savings account with the lowest fees and a competitive rate so your balance isn’t eaten away by unnecessary costs.

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Pros and cons of bonus interest savings accounts

PROS

Incentive to save

By dangling a high interest rate in front of you, these savings accounts can motivate you to work harder towards your savings goal. It can also help you resist the temptation to dip into your savings at any time, knowing you’ll lose interest for the month if you do.

Competitive bonus rates

Bonus saver accounts usually offer a generous interest rate for meeting the various conditions placed on them. These high interest rates are also well above the base rate you’ll get if you don’t meet the requirements.

Easy to manage

Your financial institution should give you the option of making this account accessible through your online banking portal. This will give you the ability to set up regular transfers and check your balance.

No fees

Bonus saver accounts generally don’t come with any fees. That means you don’t have to worry about small costs for account keeping, excess transactions and staff-assisted withdrawals eating away the interest you earn.

CONS

Potentially restrictive conditions

You’ll have to meet various account requirements to unlock your bonus interest, which may prevent you from banking as comfortably as you’d like. By comparing with Savvy, you can ensure you’re not choosing an account with unmanageable conditions.

Low standard rates

The base rate on these types of savings accounts tends to be much lower than the top interest on offer. Comparing with us allows you to get a side-by-side look at what base rates are being offered so you can choose the best account the market has to offer.

Hard to make withdrawals

Accessing your money with these accounts will be tough because their sole purpose is to help you save. If you find yourself short and need to tap into your account, even once, you could forfeit any interest earned for the month.

Frequently asked savings account questions

How is bonus interest calculated on my account?

Interest on these accounts is generally calculated daily and paid monthly. If you make a withdrawal over the month, your interest will be calculated at whatever your base rate is.

How do I know my money is safe?

The federal government-backed Financial Claims Scheme safeguards individual bank balances up to $250,000. This gives you peace of mind your nest egg is safe in the event your financial institution collapses.

Can I have a joint account holder?

Yes – you can open a bonus interest saver account in two names. Much like a standard joint account, you should both agree on either a ‘one to sign’ or ‘both to sign’ level of protection over your account. This protection helps if you ever need to make changes to the account or close it.

Do I only lose interest for the month or permanently if I don’t meet the requirements?

You only lose out on interest for the month if you don’t meet the account conditions. Once the calendar rolls over to the new month, you have another shot at hitting the bonus interest benchmarks.

How do introductory rates work?

An introductory or ‘honeymoon’ rate, is another form of bonus interest. Instead of making you earn your bonus interest, these accounts offer a short burst of high rates. This is primarily used by banks to entice customers into opening online savings accounts. Ideal for short-term savers, you’ll usually get a window of about four months to earn high interest before they revert to much lower base rates.

How do I work out how much to regularly deposit?

Your bank will have requirements regarding what you should deposit every month to earn your interest. However, if you want to go over and above these requirements, you can use Savvy’s online savings goal calculator to work out how much you need to deposit to reach your target. Alternatively, if you know what you need to deposit, you can also estimate how long it’ll take to reach your target at various interest rates with us.

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