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High Interest Save Account
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*Deposit $200+ each month

Winner of Best Savings Account Young Adults, Best Savings Account Regular Savers, RateCity Gold Awards 2023

Balances up to $250,000 - Max Rate 5.00%* p.a.
Balances above $250,000 - Max Rate 0.10% p.a.
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Reward Saver
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*To earn bonus interest the account holder must make a minimum $50 deposit and no withdrawals per month. If bonus interest criteria are not met for the calendar month, both the Standard Variable Bonus Interest and Introductory Fixed Bonus Interest Rate are forfeited.

Balances up to $1,000,000 - Max Rate 5.25%* p.a.
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What's new in savings accounts in October 2023?

The RBA left the cash rate on hold for the fourth month in a row in October.

Despite this, savings account interest rates remain high. RateCity’s database shows nine banks with maximum interest rates of at least 5.50%, while a host of others are offering rates above 5%. 

If the RBA chooses to raise the cash rate, competition for deposits could see more banks offering even greater returns. However, of the Big Four Banks, only NAB forecast another hike this year. Even if it does come off, it’s likely to be the last increase in this tightening cycle. This means that the cash rate may officially peak at either 4.10% or 4.35% in 2023, before possible cuts in 2024

With this in mind, you may want to carefully consider whether a savings account or a term deposit may be the best solution to help you reach your saving goals. Term deposits can offer stability, but a savings account could provide more flexibility.

If you feel like you're missing out on a higher rate and want to see how your existing savings account stacks up, compare some of the savings accounts with the highest rates on the RateCity database:

Updated by Mark Bristow on 4 October 2023.

What is a savings account?

A savings account is a type of bank account where you deposit your money so it can earn interest. Generally, interest is calculated daily and paid monthly. The rate of interest is influenced by the Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA’s) cash rate.

Whether you’re planning a holiday or saving for a house deposit, savings accounts offer a simple, low-risk way to boost your nest egg. To help you reach your savings goals, learn how to choose the right account for your needs and what interest rate to look for.

What are the different types of savings accounts?

Some of the available types of savings accounts include: 

Introductory savings accounts

Banks may offer bonus interest for the first few months after opening the savings account, allowing you to make a head start on reaching your savings goals. This higher bonus interest rate will then revert to a lower base rate after the introductory period, typically 3-6 months, has passed.

Conditional savings accounts

To earn the highest interest rate on these savings accounts, you must meet the bank’s conditions, such as:

    • Depositing a certain amount of money into the savings account each month;
    • Making minimal withdrawals (or no withdrawals) from your savings account each month;
    • Keeping your savings account balance above a certain amount; or
    • Using another of the bank’s financial products, such as a credit card.

If you don’t meet the conditions, you’ll revert to a much lower interest rate for that month (sometimes 0 per cent). 

Online savings accounts

These savings accounts are based entirely online, and are accessed via an app or online banking. Online savings accounts avoid costly overheads by cutting out branches altogether, so you could be offered a higher rate and lower fees than a traditional bank’s savings account. But if you rely on branches and face-to-face banking, this type of account may not suit your needs. 

Children's savings accounts

Children’s savings accounts can help teach your child basic financial literacy in a digital age. Kids can gain an understanding of the banking system and learn how to save money, especially when paired with educational savings apps. Compared to adult accounts, children’s savings accounts generally have higher interest rates, but can come with higher fees. 

Retirement savings accounts

Retirement savings accounts are targeted towards Australians over the age of 55 and pensioners. Interest rates are typically higher when you deposit larger amounts. Before compulsory superannuation, retirement savings accounts were a popular way working Australians could save for their retirement. While they are becoming rarer, there are still several retirement savings accounts on the market. Retirement savings accounts are also afforded the same regulations and tax benefits as superannuation. 

How does compound interest work?

Savings accounts use compound interest to help you reach your savings goals. Compound interest on high interest savings accounts is typically calculated daily and paid monthly.

Compound interest can help accelerate your savings because you earn interest on the money you initially deposit, as well as the interest you’ve already earned. Essentially, you’re earning interest on interest.

Also, making additional deposits can seriously transform your savings thanks to compound interest.

For example, if you deposit $1,000 into a savings account earning 2 per cent interest over five years, your deposit would grow to $1,105. If you also made monthly deposits of $200, your deposit would grow to $13,715 thanks to compound interest. 

YearBalance total

Source: MoneySmart

What to look for in a savings account

Here’s what to consider when shopping around for a savings account:

Interest ratesThe higher the rate, the bigger the boost your savings can get. Be sure to check the base rate, bonus rate, and any terms and conditions.
Fees and costsA high interest rate may not mean much if the savings account also charges high fees. These can include ongoing admin fees, ATM fees, EFTPOS fees and electronic transfer fees.
Account typeMay include online, introductory, conditional, children’s or retirement accounts.
Linked accountsA savings account may need to be linked to a regular bank account to easily transfer funds or to meet certain conditions. Before you apply, ensure the bank account will also suit your financial needs and compare any fees or hidden costs.
Spending habitsIf you’re the type of person who dips into your savings, consider looking for an account that doesn’t reduce your interest rate for doing so. This requires looking over the savings account’s terms and conditions before applying.

What other low-risk savings options are there?

The main benefits of a savings account are the simplicity and the low risk. You’re not investing anything, so your money can simply sit in the account and earn interest. It’s also safer than hiding cash under your mattress, as it can’t be easily stolen or damaged.

Another low-risk option is to park your savings in a term deposit. These are similar to savings accounts, however once you’ve deposited your money, you can’t easily withdraw the funds until the end of a fixed term. The interest rates are also fixed in advance, so it’s simpler to calculate the interest you’ll earn over time.

Term deposits can be a competitive option for anyone prone to dipping into their savings, as you can lock away your money to earn interest at a fixed rate, making slow and steady progress towards your savings goals. While it is possible to end your term deposit early to access your money if you need it, you’ll likely need to provide plenty of advance notice (often at least a month), may miss out on interest income, and may also need to pay an early withdrawal fee.


Both savings accounts and term deposits are protected under the Financial Claims Scheme. The federal government will guarantee up to $250,000 for each account holder at each licenced bank, building society or credit union incorporated in Australia.

How do you get the best interest rate on a savings account?

  1. Keep your rate above inflation: A general rule of thumb is to choose a savings account rate that’s higher than Australia’s current inflation level. This is because if your savings don’t grow at or above the rate of inflation, your money will devalue. It may not be easy to find a savings account with an interest rate that matches inflation, as at the time of writing Australia has been emerging from a period of historically low interest rates combined with higher-than-average inflation.
  2. Use comparison tables: Comparison tables allow you to compare apples with apples. You can use filters to select what you want from a savings account, then compare the base and maximum interest rates of different savings account options. You can also compare how much interest you may earn on your original deposit, and get a better idea of the progress you could make toward your savings goals.

Keep in mind that there is more to a savings account than just its interest rates. If the account has high fees, it may end up costing you more than you expect. Further, if the high interest rate on your account comes with conditions, be prepared to meet them or you may miss out. 

Real Time Ratings™ may be able to help you get a better idea of each savings account’s overall value. These simple star ratings combine an interest score (based on the maximum rate and any account keeping fees) with a flexibility score (based on features like ATM/Eftpos access, banking access, transaction fees and availability of joint accounts), and are calculated in real time as you use the site, making them as up to date as possible.

How interest rates are determined

Savings account interest rates are determined by the bank or Authorised Deposit-taking Institution (ADI) providing the saving account. These rates are influenced by several factors, including the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) cash rate

On the first Tuesday of every month (except January), the RBA meets to decide whether the cash rate should be increased, decreased, or kept on hold (this will change to meeting twice per quarter in 2024). This affects millions of Australians and can alter interest rates for deposit accounts (savings accounts and term deposits) as well as loans. The RBA takes all of this into consideration when determining whether to change the cash rate. 

For example, if the RBA cut the cash rate, most ADIs would cut their savings interest rates too. This can be bad news for Australians relying on or living off their savings, such as some retirees. On the other hand, a rate cut could be considered good news for mortgage holders, as their repayments may be reduced. 

But if the RBA hikes the cash rate, ADIs may pass this rate hike on as higher interest rates. This could make repayments more expensive for mortgage-holders, though savers may get to benefit from higher interest rates on their savings accounts, allowing them to grow their wealth faster.

Keep in mind that not every bank or ADI will choose to pass on interest rate changes in full across all their savings and loan products. Some may only make a partial change, or only change rates for selected products, such as accounts for new customers. 

Savings account calculator

Savings account calculator

See how fast you saving can grow with regular deposits.


What are savings accounts traps?

Just because savings accounts are considered low risk, doesn’t mean there aren’t common mistakes you can make.

Falling for introductory rates

Some people are shocked when they sign up for a savings account and later on, discover they’re earning less interest than was advertised. Some savings accounts can offer higher introductory rates for a few months to attract new customers, which can then revert to much lower ongoing rates. If you’re not careful, this low rate may be buried in the fine print. Do your research before applying for any savings account. 

Not meeting conditions

If you’re not meeting your conditional savings account’s requirements, you may be missing out on some serious savings. In some instances, the base rate of the savings account may be zero or just above it. Making this mistake time after time could cost you years towards your savings goals.

Big savings but little risk

Ironically, another way some people misuse savings accounts is to deposit too much money. Savings accounts often deliver lower returns than other investments, and some have a maximum balance limit. Once your balance reaches a certain amount, it might be worth considering withdrawing some of the money to invest elsewhere. Just make sure you understand the higher level of risk associated with your new investment.

High fees

Some savings accounts can charge higher than average fees. Children’s accounts, for example, are known for offering high interest rates but charging high fees to compensate. Use comparison tables and savings calculators before you apply for any savings account to make sure you aren’t taking steps backwards in your savings journey due to costly fees.  

Can you have a joint savings account?

Many lenders offer joint savings accounts, which give two or more people access to the one account. 

You can open a savings account online in just a few minutes, or you can visit a bank branch. You’ll need to provide identification and contact details for both parties, as well as your tax file numbers if you don’t want to be taxed at the maximum rate. Just fill in the application and submit it to the savings account provider of your choice. 

Joint accounts are often used by people in romantic relationships, although they can also be used by friends or relatives who want to pool their savings. It’s important to only open a joint savings account with somebody you trust, as they will be able to withdraw any money you deposit in the account.

Savings accounts from across Australia

This article was reviewed by Personal Finance Editor Alex Ritchie before it was published as part of RateCity's Fact Check process.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a savings account?

A savings account is a type of bank account in which you earn interest on the money you deposit. This makes it one of the easiest and safest investment tools.

How do I open a savings account?

Opening a savings account is a relatively simple process. If you’ve found an account with a suitable interest rate, you’ll just need to get in contact with your chosen lender via a branch, phone call or hop online to begin the process. 

You may be required to provide:

  • Personal details, including identification (driver’s license, passport etc.)
  • Tax file number
  • Employment details

Can you set up a savings account online?

Yes. Several large and small banks offer online applications for savings accounts, and there are also online-only financial institutions to consider.

Online-only savings accounts are often less expensive than other savings accounts, though they may not offer the same flexibility, features, or face-to-face service as more traditional savings accounts.

How does interest work on savings accounts?

The type of interest savings accounts accrues is called compound interest. Compound interest is interest paid on the initial deposit amount, as well as the accumulated interest on money you have. This is different from simple interest where interest is paid at the end of a specified term. Compound interest allows you to earn interest on interest at a higher frequency. 

Example: John deposits $10,000 into a savings account with an interest rate of 5 per cent that he leaves untouched for 10 years. At the end of the first year he will have $10,512 in savings. After ten years, he will have saved $16,470.