Joint Savings Account

Opening a joint savings account can be a big step in any relationship. Ensure you find the best option by comparing with Savvy.

Last updated on June 24th, 2022 at 12:15 pm by Kurtis Eichler

Compare and find the best joint savings account

Opening a joint savings account with a significant other is a big step in any relationship. Just as you would when buying a car or a house with your partner, it’s important to shop around for the best option.

Fortunately, this process is fuss-free with Savvy. Find out more about how to compare joint savings accounts in Australia to help make the choice easier right here and get your shared savings journey started today.

What types of joint savings accounts are available?

Opening a joint savings account can be a great way of hitting your savings goal with your partner or another close person in your life. When you open your account, you’ll have to nominate who has access. You can modify this at any time and all account holders will need to agree to the changes. Your options include:

  • One to sign: Each account holder can access funds in a joint account without permission. This is typically the best option when opening an account with someone you trust, such as a spouse. You’ll also both be able to monitor activity in the joint account.
  • Both to sign: All account holders need to agree to the release of funds from a joint account. While not as convenient, this is a safe way of managing money if you’re saving with a flatmate, new partner or business associate. However, this can be a little trickier if you need to access funds in a hurry.

How do I compare joint savings accounts?

Comparing various joint account deals with Savvy will help you lock in the best deal for your savings. It’s important to drill down and look at the many variables when weighing up which account to open. These can include:

Savings goals

Whether you’re saving for a wedding or a house, everyone’s goals are different. It’s important to sit down with your partner and agree on what you’re aiming for financially. Having a clear picture of why you’re saving will help you choose the right joint account to achieve your shared target. For instance, you should weigh up how flexible or restricted you want the account to be and how often you’ll be depositing. If you’ll both be making large deposits over a short period, you’ll likely want a more accessible account rather than a term deposit. You can use Savvy’s online calculator to work out how much you’ll need to deposit to reach your goal.

Interest rate

One of the benefits of a joint account is your balance grows faster because two people are depositing money, so finding a strong interest rate will further boost your savings. Make sure you compare the different types of interest you can earn on a joint account, including:

  • Standard interest: Online savings accounts can offer competitive rates for restricted access to your money. Talk to your partner to see if this type of account is right for you both, as a high rate with fewer strings attached could be handy in boosting your balance. For example, if you deposited a combined $1,500 every month at a rate of 1% p.a. across six years, you’d earn $3,258 in interest. However, if you had a rate of 1.6% p.a., your earned interest would be almost $5,300. Savvy’s savings calculator allows you to estimate how much you can save at various interest rates.
  • Bonus interest: These accounts require you to meet certain monthly benchmarks to unlock a bonus interest rate. Minimum monthly deposits and balances are some of the common requirements for getting a higher rate. It’s worth shopping around for an option you can both comfortably afford, as choosing an account with lofty monthly targets could be tough to consistently meet.
  • Honeymoon interest: As a way of enticing customers to open accounts, institutions will offer sweeteners such as teaser or introductory interest rates. These give you a short burst of high interest, usually across three or four months, before reverting to the much-lower base rate.

Fees

Charges such as monthly account fees can seem negligible but have the potential to eat away the interest you earn. Joint savings accounts for couples have the added luxury of two people making deposits, which can reduce the impact of fees on your balance. By comparing with Savvy, you get a side-by-side comparison of accounts and their fees. The majority of institutions offer fee-free accounts, but some will make it conditional on you making minimum monthly deposits or limited withdrawals.

Linked accounts

You should be able to hook up an everyday account to your joint savings account. That way you can put two incomes towards bills and living expenses. It’s worth comparing whether the institution you’re with requires a linked account to be opened with them, or you can open an account with a separate institution.

Who might look to open a joint savings account?

Joint accounts can suit people in all sorts of partnerships. Some of the people who typically open joint accounts include:

Couples

These accounts are handy if you’re engaged and saving for your impending nuptials or have tied the knot and want to save for a car or a new house. You may even just want to save for a new TV with your boyfriend, girlfriend or significant other if you’re not married.

Flatmates

If you’re living in a share house, a joint savings account could be a nifty way of saving for much-needed communal products such as a washing machine or a new fridge. If you go down this path, though, make sure all your housemates have to sign if one party wants to release money.

Business partners

When running a small business, a joint savings account can be a handy way for multiple partners to deposit into the same account to purchase goods like cars or computers.

Top tips for opening a joint savings account

Research and compare with Savvy

By comparing your joint savings account options with Savvy, you’ll be in a great position to find the one which fits you and your partner like a glove. We give you all the tools and tips to compare deals so you can focus on achieving your savings goal.

Work out a savings goal

It’s important to open an account which suits your savings goals. If you’re saving for an upcoming holiday and will be depositing larger amounts over a short period, you’d be better off opting for a flexible high interest account than a term deposit. Using Savvy’s online calculator allows you to work out how long it will take to reach your savings goal.

Open an account with someone you trust

When you open a joint savings account, you’ll be placing a great deal of trust in your co-signer. Not only will this personal be able to deposit and withdraw money, but they’ll also be able to track your spending habits. Picking someone you have a close relationship with, such as a spouse, family member or long-term partner, can save you plenty of hassle and reduce the risk of things going sour.

Talk through all your options

Trying to divide a joint account in the event of separation can be messy and complex. Plan ahead and talk about how the funds will be divided if your relationship breaks down or if the joint account simply isn’t working out how you desired.

Your frequent joint savings account questions

Can I open a joint term deposit account?

Yes – you can lock money away in a joint term deposit. If you and your boyfriend, girlfriend or partner are saving for a deposit on a property, a term deposit can be a safe place to house your money, as it’ll be untouchable for the length of your term and attract a competitive interest rate.

What happens if I want to close a joint account?

This depends on the account’s protections. If your account requires dual signatures, you’ll both have to agree to close it. However, either party can close the account with the other’s permission if it only needs one signature to make changes. You’ll need to contact your financial institution to have your funds paid out. Before opening your savings account, you should talk to your partner or co-signer about how the funds will be distributed if you ever need to close the account. This agreement can save on hassle when wrapping up your joint account.

What documents will I need to open an account?

If you’re opening a joint account, you’ll both have to provide copies of supporting documents. This will include copies of your driver’s licences or Australian or foreign-issued passports. Most institutions let you submit these through a digital portal if you’re opening an online account.

Who pays tax on interest earned from the account?

You’ll both pay tax on the interest earned on your account. The Australian Tax Office will assume you have shared ownership of the funds unless you inform them otherwise. For example, if you’re the only one making deposits, you can nominate to pay the tax yourself because technically you’re the only one earning interest. 

Can more than two people open a joint account?

Yes – you can open a joint account with more than two people. This is most commonly used for businesses with boards of directors who can sometimes all be signatories of an account. Most institutions allow more than two people to open an account, but they may require you to do this in a branch.