Newcastle Permanent Savings Accounts

Find out more about Newcastle Permanent savings accounts to decide if they offer you the best option for your money

Last updated on June 17th, 2022 at 10:02 am by Cate Cook

The Newcastle Permanent Building Society was established in NSW in 1939.  It is a building society that returns all of its profits back to the community via the Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation, which provides more than $1.5M in grants to community organisations in Australia annually.

In 2021, Newcastle Permanent announced a proposal to merge with Greater Bank, and this proposal will be put to the shareholders of both institutions towards the end of 2022.  They offer a range of retail and business banking products including savings accounts and term deposits. 

Comparing these savings products with Savvy can help you make the best decision for your savings by giving you the tools to find the account which is most suited to your financial needs.  We offer free, simple and easy-to-understand comparison information on a wide range of savings products. Start the process of comparing your options with us today and see your savings begin to grow before you know it.

*Please note that Savvy does not represent Newcastle Permanent Building Society for their banking products.

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More about Newcastle Permanent savings accounts

What savings account products does Newcastle Permanent offer?

  • Newcastle Permanent Building Society offers the following savings products:  

Smart Saver Account 

This is Newcastle Permanent’s main savings account, offering an interest rate of 0.35% p.a. and many of the functions of a transaction account.  With this account, as well as earning interest, you’re able to have a linked debit card, schedule automatic transfers, pay bills via BPAY, and withdraw cash from an ATM.  In some ways, this could be described as a hybrid transaction and savings account or an everyday savings account.  However, to receive this interest rate there are conditions, which depend on the age of the account-holder:  

  • If you’re over 25 years of age 

Your account balance has to be $150 higher than the last day of the previous month and no more than two withdrawals are permitted per month in order to receive the interest 

  • If you’re under 25 years of age 

Your account balance needs to be at least $10 higher than the last day of the previous month and no more than two withdrawals are allowed per month  

These two withdrawals (up to two ‘everyday transactions’ per month) are free of charge, but any more than two transactions in a month attracts a fee.  For EFTPOS transactions, this fee is 0.60c per transaction, while branch withdrawals cost $3.  There are a range of other fees which apply, such as a $9 dishonour fee for any declined cheque or direct debit, a $5 account overdrawn fee and a 3% fee on any foreign currency conversion.   

Smart Saver Account for a Child 

A Smart Saver account can be opened for a child and if that child is aged under 14 years, Newcastle Permanent will $20 cash into their account.  This $20 ‘growth spurt’ is a limited offer which will end in July 2022.  Kids aren’t charged any account-keeping fees and there’s a Smart Saver kids’ online club to join, offering a fun colouring-in savings tracker, savings milestone cards and a printable activity booklet.  

In addition, this savings account offers a very respectable 1.00% p.a. interest rate on savings, although the two transactions per month limit also applies to children’s accounts, before a $3 fee is charged for any excess withdrawals.  

Online Savings Account 

This online-only savings account has a base interest rate of 0.05% p.a. with an introductory bonus rate for the first three months of 0.30% p.a., giving you a total interest rate of 0.35% p.a. for that period. To calculate how this bonus interest rate will affect the overall interest you’ll earn on your savings, Savvy’s savings calculator will help you to do your calculations.  

Unlike the Smart Saver account, there are no account fees and no transaction fees or transaction limits on the account.   There’s also no deposit requirements to earn interest.  To open the online savings account, it’s also necessary to open an everyday transaction account, or have a home loan or credit card with Newcastle Permanent.  

Special Monthly Interest Account 

Designed in part for retirees, pensioners or those aged over 55, the special monthly interest account is a type of hybrid savings account that offers interest on savings, but the functionality of a transaction account. 

The interest rate offered is tiered and depends on the balance of your savings: 

  • On portion up to $9,999: 15% p.a.
  • On portion from $10,000 to $49,999: 0.20% p.a.
  • On portion from $50,000 to $249,999: 25% p.a.
  • On portion over $250,000: 0.35% p.a.

Term Deposits 

A wide range of term deposits is available, from as little as 21 days up to five years, and starting with a minimum deposit of just $1,000.  The interest rate varies depending on whether you wish your interest to be paid monthly, quarterly, half yearly or annually.  The annual interest rates are approximately 0.10% higher than those terms with interest paid more frequently.  For term deposits with the interest paid at maturity, the interest rates offered are: 

  • 21 – 75 days: 0.15% p.a. 
  • 76 – 105 days: 0.30% p.a. 
  • 106 – 165 days: 0.40% p.a. 
  • 166 – 225 days: 0.60% p.a. 
  • 226 – 285 days: 0.75% p.a. 
  • 286 – 345 days: 0.85% p.a. 
  • 346 – 385 days: 1.00% pa 
  • 2 years: 1.05% p.a. 
  • 3 years: 1.15% p.a. 
  • 4 years: 1.25% p.a. 
  • 5 years: 1.35% p.a. 

*For terms of two years or more, the above rates are indicative of annual interest payments. 

How do I open a Newcastle Permanent savings account?

Accounts can be opened online in less than five minutes.  To be eligible to open an account with Newcastle Permanent, you’ll have to:

  • be a permanent resident of Australia
  • have an Australian residential address, email address and phone number

It’s also necessary to provide 100 points of ID to open any bank account or savings account in Australia.  To prove your identity, some of the documents you can use include:

  • your Australian passport
  • your driver’s licence
  • a debit card
  • your Medicare card

Couples can also apply for a joint account. Once you’ve provided all the required information and received the all-clear from Newcastle Permanent, you can go ahead and open your savings account.

Pros and cons of Newcastle Permanent savings accounts

PROS

Special accounts for kids and pensioners 

Newcastle Permanent offers accounts specially for children aged under 14 and people aged 55 or over, with reduced fees and bonus offers available.

Manageable deposit conditions

The deposit conditions to receive bonus interest on savings accounts are very manageable ($150 for those over 25 and $10 for people under 25) compared to competitors.

 

A hybrid savings and transaction account

The Smart Saver account is almost a hybrid transaction and savings account, with interest earned on your nest-egg but the ability to use BPAY, PayID and make Osko payments rolled into the bundle.

CONS

Fees charged

For a withdrawal on a Smart Saver Account, you could pay up to $3, which is in stark contrast to other banks which don’t charge any transaction fees.

Limited withdrawals

Newcastle Permanent does have restrictions on their savings accounts, including a limit of only two withdrawals per month to gain the bonus interest rate.

Average interest rates

 

The interest rates offered on term deposits aren’t in the lowest range compared to competitors, but they aren’t very high, either; for example, 0.6% p.a. for a six-month term compared to Suncorp’s 0.95% p.a. or Rabo Bank’s 1.55% p.a.

 

 

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