More than 200 years ago, a group of Sydney traders got together to form Australia’s first bank. Then known as the Bank of New South Wales, they hoped the institution would provide “economic stability” to the people of the state.
Fast-forward to today and after several name changes, the institution is today known as Westpac. It’s one of Australia’s ‘big four’ banks and boasts more than 1,200 branches, 3,200 ATMs, 40,000 workers and 14 million customers.
Westpac offers a range of savings accounts tailored to short and long-term savers, young people, pensioners and business people. Comparing these options with Savvy can help you find the best account for you to maximise your savings.
*Please note that Savvy does not represent Westpac for their banking products.
No matter your savings goal, Westpac has a range of savings accounts to help you achieve it. Whether you’re a short or long-term saver, own a business or enjoying your golden years as a retiree, there’s a range of account options to suit different goals and demographics. A Westpac survey from March 2022 showed the savings account balance of the average Australian customer is about $22,000.
You can even set up joint accounts to help you and your partner reach a shared savings goal. While they all help you achieve your savings target, you can also use Westpac’s online banking apps to track your progress and watch your savings grow. Their savings offerings are:
Life savings account
The Westpac Life savings account gives you a flexible spot to store your money to earn interest. These fee-free accounts have no caps on withdrawals and allow you to set up a linked bank account to transfer for spending. While your money is all pooled, Westpac’s mobile app allows you to ‘bucket’ your funds into six different savings goals. You’re also able to set up a joint savings account with a partner.
Westpac Life accounts come with base variable rates of 0.15% p.a. and a bonus interest rate adding up to 0.5% p.a. for meeting monthly account requirements. These monthly requirements include making just one deposit into your Westpac Life account, increasing your balance month-on-month and keeping the balance above $0 at all times.
If you’re between the ages of 18 and 29, you can take advantage of Westpac’s Spend&Save bonus interest deal. By linking a Westpac Choice transaction account to your Westpac Life account, you can earn up to 2% p.a. with bonus interest. You’ll have to make five or more purchases each month with your debit card to qualify for the extra interest.
Boasting unlimited access, a Westpac eSaver account comes with no account keeping fees or monthly requirements. You also get the luxury of unlimited withdrawals through a linked Westpac Choice transaction account.
The introductory interest sweetener is a key pillar of the eSaver account. If you open a new Westpac eSaver account, you can earn 0.45% p.a. in bonus interest, on top of the base variable rate of 0.05% p.a., for a total of 0.5% p.a. over five months. After five months, your rate drops to the base percentage.
Bump savings account
Westpac Bump savings accounts are a handy way to teach youngsters the basics of banking. These fee-free youth accounts are specifically designed for those under 18 years old to help them build good savings habits. They also come with a range of parental control features, which are mandatory if a child is under 12 years old. These allow parents to sign off on any withdrawals and receive bank statements to check up on spending.
These youth accounts offer bonus interest to motivate children to save. They can earn up to 0.45% p.a. on top of the base 0.25% p.a. (for a total of up to 0.7% p.a.) by following the same conditions which apply to the Life savings account.
Westpac’s term deposits allow you to earn a fixed rate of return. You can lock your money away from one month to five years. Upon maturity, you can roll over your funds, top them up or cash them out. You will need to deposit a minimum of $5,000 to open an account.
The longer you lock your money away, the better your interest rate. As of May 2022, Westpac is offering 0.07% p.a. for three-month terms, 0.15% p.a. for six-month terms and 0.25% p.a. for 12-month terms. Existing Westpac customers can also take up a ‘special term deposit offer’ and earn 0.30% p.a. for five months if they open an account. You can use Savvy’s compound interest calculator to estimate how much you could earn on your savings.
55+ and Retired account
These seniors-specific funds are hybrid savings and transaction accounts. They allow those aged 55 and over to earn interest on their money without it being impacted by their spending. They come with no fees, except you will be charged $15 for overdrawing your account.
Interest on these accounts is tiered, meaning the higher your balance, the higher your rate. The tiered interest brackets are as followed:
Business Cash Reserve
If you’re a sole trader or run a business, you can use a Westpac Business Cash Reserve savings account to house money you’re not using. These business savings accounts are open to those over 18 years old or over who have an Australian Business Number (ABN). Business Cash Reserve accounts can help you put aside funds to pay income tax, grow your business or help your cash flow. These accounts come with no fees, free transfers to a linked account and 24/7 access to your money for business-related purchases. Interest rates on these accounts sit at 0.01% p.a. for balances between $0 and $9,999 and 0.10% p.a. for $10,000 and above (as of May 2022).
Community Solutions Cash Reserve
Designed as a savings method for not-for-profits, these accounts come with 24/7 access and no fees or account requirements. Interest rates sit at a low 0.01% p.a. for balances between $0 and $9,999 and 0.10% for anything above that amount. You’ll be required to set up a linked everyday account to access your funds. You must be a charity, community or sporting group, school, government body or political party to open this type of account.
You can open a savings account with Westpac online but the eligibility can vary depending on the type of account you’re looking to open. All accounts will require you to be an Australian resident, but the age limits change. For example, you have to be over 12 years old to open an eSaver account, whereas you must be 18 years old to open a Westpac Life savings account.
You’ll also have to provide two forms of photo ID, which can come in the form of a driver’s licence, Medicare card or passport.
Split your savings goals
Westpac’s mobile banking app allows you to split your money into six separate targets, so you can easily track your savings goals.
Earn bonus interest
You can earn bonus interest up to ten times higher than the base rate across a slew of accounts, boosting your balance and fast-tracking your targets.
With a range of different types of savings accounts on offer, Westpac has plenty of options to choose from when shopping around for the best fund.
Low interest rates
Some savings accounts have interest rates as low as 0.01% p.a., much lower than the cash and inflation rates.
Lacklustre online features
Westpac’s online banking and mobile app features are bare-boned compared to some of its competitors, which lack added extras like alerts when money is deposited.
Linked account required
Westpac will require you to set up a linked everyday account to qualify for bonus interest and spend your savings, which could be a headache if you prefer to have a linked account with a competitor.