Compare Savings Accounts

Find the best savings account for you by comparing your options all in one place with Savvy.

Last updated on June 24th, 2022 at 11:52 am by Kurtis Eichler

Compare and find the best savings account

Shopping around for the right savings account is an easy way to ensure you get the best bang for your buck. Just like sniffing out the best home loan deal, finding the best account can simply come down to comparing their various features.

Finding a savings account with a high interest rate and low fees can help you reach your savings goals sooner, whatever they may be. Read more about how to compare savings accounts with Savvy to ensure you get the most out of your money.

How should I compare different savings accounts?

Interest rates

The higher your interest rate, the more you’ll earn on the money you’ve stashed away. A savings account will have a much higher rate than a standard transaction account, although these can vary between financial institutions. For example, if you deposited $500 each month for ten years at a rate of 2% p.a., you’d earn $6,360 in interest, which is almost $1,700 more than if you opened the same account with a 1.5% rate.

You’ll also reap the rewards of compound interest, which means interest is calculated on both your savings and the interest you’ve already accumulated. You can use Savvy’s handy compound interest calculator to work out how much you could earn. Comparing savings deals allows you to find the best rate on offer and maximise the amount of interest you earn on the money you’ve put away.

Fees and charges

Opening a savings account can come at a cost. While some financial institutions will proudly be ‘fee-free’, others have a range of charges including:

  • Account keeping fees (typically from $0 to $5)
  • Paper statement fees (typically around $2.50)
  • Online transfer fees (up to $3)
  • Excessive withdrawal fees cost (up to $3)

Financial institutions can waive fees if you meet certain account benchmarks, such as not breaching your withdrawal limit. Choose an account which offers fewer fees and higher interest to avoid your savings goals being counterproductive.

Linked accounts

A linking account attached to your online saver account is one of the main ways people access their money these days. Your wage will be paid into your savings account so you can transfer what you need for regular expenses into your transacting account. The financial institution you bank with won’t always require you to have a linked transaction account with them, but some do, so it’s worth considering these when comparing.

Withdrawals

Even though savings accounts are designed to sit and accrue interest, you may have to make withdrawals from time to time. Institutions usually have limits on how many free transactions you can make, after which you could be charged a fee of about $3 each time you withdraw money. Some accounts are harder to withdraw from, such as term deposits. You’ll need to give 31 days’ notice before you can withdraw and you may have to forfeit interest for that month. Locked accounts also offer you extra interest for not making withdrawals, but strip it away if you do access your funds.

Regular deposits

Some institutions waive fees if you make monthly deposits above a certain amount to keep growing your bank balance. For example, a bank may not charge its monthly account fee if you deposit more than $2,000 within a given month. By comparing savings accounts with Savvy, you can find one with deposit requirements you can easily manage to ensure you get the most out of the account.

Balance requirements

Some accounts make earning the top interest rate conditional on having a minimum monthly balance. For instance, some institutions offer competitive rates if you have at least $5,000 in your account. Many institutions cap the maximum balance on your account at $5,000,000, but some also have no balance requirements. You’ll find it easier to choose an account that works for you with Savvy’s side-by-side savings account comparison.

Other features

Check to see if your institution offers a range of added extras with your account, including internet and phone banking and round up functions. The latter is sometimes offered on linked transaction accounts. Every time you make a purchase from your linked everyday account, the price is rounded up to the nearest dollar and the difference deposited into your savings account.

How do I know which savings account is right for me?

People open savings accounts for many reasons. They may be saving for a wedding, a new car or a home deposit, but they may also just be squirrelling money away for a rainy day. When you compare what savings account is right for you, it’s important to know how you’ll use the account so you can maximise the rewards and minimise the costs.

Short-term savers

If you’ll be adding money when you can, institutions offer flexible options such as online saving accounts. These types of savings accounts often have no minimum deposit requirements or monthly fees, which can suit someone who’s saving over a short period, whether it be for a holiday or Christmas gifts. Bonus saver accounts and those offering introductory offers also cater to short-term savers; bonus savers offer high interest by meeting certain account requirements, while introductory offers give you a short period of high interest when you open an account. You can use Savvy’s savings calculator to estimate what you need to regularly deposit to reach your goal.

Long-term savers

Additionally, locked accounts such as term deposits are good for people who don’t want to touch their funds. These types of low-risk and minimal maintenance accounts only let you access your funds upon the end of your term or 31 days’ written notice. Standard savings accounts with higher base rates and joint accounts (where more is deposited and earns interest as a result) can also help you boost the interest you earn without having to worry too much about their restrictions. You’ll likely have to deposit a minimum amount with these accounts.

Saving for your children

If you’re a parent saving for your child or teaching them the importance of money, most major banks offer kids’ savings accounts. These are high interest accounts that often have no fees or minimum deposits. The purpose of these accounts is to help teach children the importance of saving.

Managing money for retirement

Institutions offer savings accounts for pensioners and retirees who want to save, but also need regular access to their money. These are effectively hybrid savings and transaction accounts and, as such, interest will be lower. You’ll likely receive tiered interest, meaning as your balance rises, so too will your interest rate. You must be over 55, a retiree or receiving a government age pension to open this type of account.

Top tips for finding the best savings account

Think about your financial capabilities

When you compare savings accounts, double-check what you need to do to earn the highest interest rate possible, such as meeting minimum balances or monthly deposits. It’s important you know you can meet these comfortably without putting yourself under financial stress.

Compare your options with Savvy

Make comparisons between the best savings account deals with Savvy’s easy-to-follow guide. You can easily match up interest rates, terms and features of various accounts from multiple financial institutions to determine which is best for you.

Consider all sorts of banks and institutions

Don’t just zero in on the major banks when looking to open a new account. Smaller financial institutions, such as credit unions and internet banks, can sometimes offer more competitive rates and accounts with better terms.

Assess your savings goals

Work out why you’re saving. If you’re looking to save for an upcoming holiday, an account where you can regularly deposit money from your salary may suit you. If you’re looking more long-term, a locked bank account may be the answer. Use Savvy’s online savings calculator to estimate how you can reach your goal.

Your frequently asked savings account questions

Do I get a debit card with my savings account?

No – the point of a savings account is to store your money, rather than have easy access to it. You’ll only get a debit card if you open a linked account which is attached to your savings account. For example, if you opened an online saver account but had it linked to an everyday account.

What guarantees do I have that my money is safe?

The Federal Government’s Financial Claim Scheme protects deposits up to $250,000 in the event your financial institution fails, so you’ll be able to rest easy if your balance is below that sum (provided you’re banking with an authorised deposit-taking institution, or ADI).

Will I need to pay a deposit when opening a savings account?

It depends on who you choose to bank with and the type of account you want to open. For instance, online savings accounts likely won’t require you to pay a minimum deposit when opening an account, while locked accounts tend to have a minimum deposit of between $1,000 to $5,000.

Should I consider opening an account with an introductory bonus?

Yes – if it suits your savings plan. A honeymoon rate is usually offered as a sweetener for people to open accounts and allows you to earn high interest for a bit over three months. The upshot of these accounts is they come with fewer fees, but the downside is you’ll return to your lower base rate after just a short period.

What documents will I need to open a savings account?

You’ll need to produce a driver’s licence or valid Australian or foreign-issued passport to open a savings account. If you’re opening an online savings account, most financial institutions will allow you to submit these digitally through a protected portal.