Poll: Best Australian Savings Accounts in 2018

Moderators at OzBargain have decided to run yearly polls to decide the best products in popular categories that get asked repeatedly in the forum. Our aim is to have a central thread where users can vote on the items, suggest options and also change their vote throughout the year. The polls will end once the year is over.


Question

What is the best Australian Savings Accounts for 2018?

Making your own money is hard, so why not put your money to work for you instead?

What is a Savings account?

Savings accounts, as opposed to Transaction accounts, are high-interest bearing accounts that give you more money in return for the amount of money you put in.
Savings accounts differ from Transaction accounts in one major way; they specifically discourage you to spend money by reducing the interest paid to you if you withdraw from it, but might reward you if you regularly deposit money into it.

Some Key factors to look out for when deciding on a Savings Account:

  • The Interest rate, and how frequently you receive the interest
  • Honeymoon periods - also known as introductory interest rates, these are short periods of time that you'll receive a higher interest than normal before it reverts to a standard interest rate.
  • Minimum and Maximum account balances. Some Accounts don't pay interest if you keep too little in the account, and some won't pay you interest on balances over a certain amount.
  • Account keeping fees
  • What rewards you reap when you deposit in money regularly and what penalties you'll get for withdrawing money
  • There may be certain requirements to fulfil before you can apply for the account (such as having a linked account)

So what's your favourite savings account for the year 2018? Type in your suggestions in the box above your comment and submit it.


  • Don't see an account that you like in the poll options? Make a (sensible) suggestion and we'll add it to the list.
  • Don't forget to vote for your poll option afterwards.
  • You are allowed to change your vote throughout the year.

How to Suggest a Poll option?

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Poll Options expired

closed Comments

  • Suggested RAMS Saver Account (3% PA) *

    Someone suggested the RAMS saver account. Here's the nitty gritty:

    • Deposit at least $200 a month
    • Make no withdrawals for the month
    • Keep your balance between $200 - $500,000 for the month*
    • You'll receive a base interest rate of 1.35% p.a.
    • If you fulfill the three conditions listed above (in italics), you'll get a bonus 1.65% p.a. interest rate

    No account keeping fees

    Total interest earned is 2.80% p.a. UPDATE now 3%

    You can apply for this if you're an Australian resident for taxation purposes with an Australian residential address and you're over 18+

  • Suggested CUA eSaver (2.7% PA)

    CUA eSaver is handy. 2.70% if you put $1000/month into the attached transaction account. You can make bank transfers from the savings account directly (rather than having to transfer back to transaction account) so I transfer most of my salary there as soon as I get paid, and set up any bPay, rent payments, and other automatic payments straight from the savings account. Caps at 100k

    There's a 2.75% option as well but you can't make any withdrawals to get the bonus interest.

    • I think you answered it already but I just wanted to confirm. Does this bank account allow external direct debits? Like a utility bill or phone bill?

  • AMP BETT3R (3.00%)

    • From the AMP BETT3R website https://www.amp.com.au/bett3r :
      "With Bett3r Rewards you can enjoy a bonus interest rate on money in your Save account. Here’s how it works:
      The bonus 1.5% pa is on top of the standard 1.5% pa, giving you 3.0% pa in total
      To be eligible, you’ll need to deposit at least $2,000 into your Pay account each month from a source other than an AMP account
      The bonus rate is available on balances up to $100,000.
      These rewards are applicable where your AMP Bett3r Account is not being used as an offset account."
      I couldn't find if AMP BETT3R is covered by the Australian Government Guarantee Scheme. For me, that is another Key Factor. I wouldn't want my savings to disappear because a bank has collapsed.

      • Why do you think it wouldn't be covered?
        It shouldn't be a key factor as all banks are covered.

      • Just because "a bank is covered", does not mean that all its accounts are covered.
        The FCS page says "Please read the disclaimer for this website. This is not intended to be your sole source of information when determining whether your accounts are covered under the FCS. Account holders are strongly advised to contact their particular banking institution for information on whether their specific accounts are protected under the FCS."
        And even if you have two accounts that are covered, the $250,000 cover is only for one institution. So if you have $250,000 with say the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and $250,000 with BankWest, and the two related entities go belly up, the FCS will only pay you out $250,000.
        I know it's not an issue for savers who only have their pocket money in the bank. But if you have have half a million dollars of retirement savings in these "high interest" accounts, you want it to be totally safe.

    • I called AMP and they admitted to me it's not simply a "savings" account where you can get 3.00%. Basically you have to do open like 3 accounts or something. It's not straightforward. That's at least what I found out.

    • +2 votes

      Update: They recently announced they will let to 2.25% from 1st of June.

  • @PissLUR You can edit your comment if you have additional things you'd like to say about AMP Bett3r.

    Click the green Button to vote for your option as well.

  • Ubank (2.87%)

  • UBank USaver Ultra

    • This is actually the transaction account. Their savings account is called just "UBank USaver" (no Ultra).

      • I think you need to have the transaction account linked these days to get the best interest rate?

      • Exactly. I hate Ubank’s account naming system. It makes no logical sense. I thought I have to keep money in Ultra account to earn Bonus until I read their fine print email.

  • Suggested ING Savings Maximiser (2.8% PA)

    ING Savings Maximiser

    • As of March, without an attached Orange Everyday, $1000+ in per month and 5 card transactions, you'll be looking at 1.35% pa

      • Yep, noted, but for some this will be no problem as they'll use it as their basic transaction account anyway. Combine with instant transfers between savings and transactions will make it a winner for some.

        Unfortunately many of the better rate savings accounts are either honeymoon rates only or require some sort of linked transaction account with activity requirements.

  • Suggested Ubank Usaver (2.87%)

    Ubank USaver (linked with Ultra Transaction Account) at the moment, I think is probably the best overall savings account because :

    • it requires only a small deposit per month ($200) to the savings account itself to get the 2.87%
    • this makes planned scheduled transfer of the required deposit to it easy.
    • funds at call, no restriction on withdrawals.
    • transfers out of account can be initiated from savings account directly.
    • up until recently, the only common accounts with better rates are MEBank and AMP. MEBank has just dropped rates to 2.85% - lower than Ubank now, and its weekly paypass requirement is a hassle for many anyway.
    • AMP Better Account (3%) is higher - however it requires $2000 deposit, and will charge a $5 fee p/m if deposit not met. After resisting for a long time, I have just opened the account to sus it out. Will know more as time goes by.
    • Usaver base rate (1.81%) is relatively high compared to other banks' base rates; so even if you miss fulfilling the bonus requirement ($200 deposit), it is not that disastrous.
    • My favourite part is the 'sweep' feature. This is an automatic way of keeping as much of your money in the high interest USaver as possible while still using the Ultra for transactions. You set up your recurring/scheduled payments (transfers or BPAY) in the Ultra. If there's not enough money in the Ultra when they get triggered the required amount automatically gets taken from the USaver. The general rule is set up all your credits (salary etc.) to get deposited into the USaver and all your debits (payments etc.) to be taken from the Ultra then let the sweep feature take care of the rest.

  • Suggested UBank USaver Reach (For Yrs 18-29, 2.31%)

    https://www.ubank.com.au/banking-overview/savings-accounts

    UBANK USAVER REACH

  • Suggested Bankwest Hero Saver (2.60%)

    Bankwest Hero Saver

    This must have declined since I last checked as I thought it was 2.80%. This is what I use but might have to change! It's pretty low effort, you only need to deposit $200/month with no withdrawals. However that is a similar restriction on the RAMS and that has a higher rate. Also only goes up to $250k rather than $500k (not that I am close to $250k haha).

  • Idea: Have the interest listed for each bank? ING is 2.8% PA iirc.

  • What's the best account for putting your everyday money in? UBank seems to be the best when you can put in $200 and do no withdrawals, but what's the best for an account where you make consistent withdrawals?

    • Still Ubank. You can take money out as often as you like, as long as there's a $200 deposit per month you'll get the full %.

    • You can make withdrawals from UBank USaver without forfeiting the bonus rate.

  • The last option listed, "UBank USaver Ultra" is actually a transaction account and not a savings account. It is already listed as "UBank U Saver Ultra" in the poll for best transaction account.

    The way UBank names these account makes it easy to confuse the two:

    • USaver - savings account, earns 2.87% currently
    • USaver Ultra - transaction account, earns no interest
    • Thanks for that. entry removed.

    •  

      Cheers for that i piled all my money into Ultra.

      The apparent $100 min in ultra is a tad annoying.
      Sweep is a good idea, also anoying that you can't set it below $1000

      • If you want you can keep the Ultra at $0 with a trick. Basically set the minimum amount of the sweep to a very large number like 1,000,000, then transfer the $100 into USaver. Since it can't transfer enough from USaver to satisfy the criteria, the overnight sweep is disabled, but the instant sweep still works for paying bills etc.

        See the UBank wiki on Whirlpool.

  • Just an FYI. Despite my being annoyed by the ING change it doesn't appear AMP are offering PayID - instant transfers between banks. ING on the other hand will, which ensures I can transfer my savings to my investment account immediately. Looks like I'll have to wear the 5x transactions.

    • Is it possible that AMP are delaying the rollout? I signed up for PayID with Commonwealth but it does not actually seem possible to use it at the moment.

  • Suggested Greater Life Saver (3%)

    https://www.greater.com.au/personal/savings-accounts/life-sa...

    Can only be opened by under 25s but doesn't expire. Account balance at end of month has to be higher than beginning of month for interest to be paid. No maximum balance for the 3%.

  • RAMS just boosted back up to 3.0%

  • I'm planning on setting up an account where I deposit a small amount of money($40) every fortnight. A small pool of money which I can spend it on anything I'd like.

    Which account would you recommend for this?
    Note: I current have my savings with UBANK and also an existing ING account (stopped using it since Mar'18 changes).

  • I don't understand why ING is 2nd. Ain't that good anymore

    • ING keeps shitting itself. It used to be good, but not anymore.

    • It is less attractive now because you need to have 5+ card transactions, in addition to the $1000 deposit per month, to be eligible for the bonus.

    • It is indeed not that good any more, at least for people whose main focus is on saving. Several other banks have higher interest rates, and the new requirement to make 5 or more transactions is tedious for some.

  • Parents sold their house recently, what is the highest rate return that doesn’t have an upper limit on the account balance?
    I’ve told them that putting all their money in the banks is not a good idea (rates are low), but they are not keen on buying a new house at the moment.
    Thanks.

    • I personally use and like UBank.
      With respect to the upper limit, they could split the money 50/50 into two separate accounts.

      However, be aware that they will pay tax on the interest so if one earns significantly more than the other one then put it (if possible) into the lower earners name thereby lessening the total amount of tax paid for the couple.

    • RAMS has a limit of $500k per account, but you can have up to 10 accounts. As long as you deposit $200 into each, you still earn bonus interest for each account.

  • Suggested NAB Smart Reward Saver

    Hi,
    I have a friend that was quite recently (April 2018) telling me that he is getting 5.00% with a NAB Smart Saver account, which i find very hard to believe.. In this current market i think he would be lucky to be getting 2.50%, even with NAB. However he told me to ask nab about the bonus interest, meaning that they could be potentially be doing a bit better bonus rate. He may have some kind of junior or student account still? Does anyone have any opinions or ideas on this? TIA

    • was your friend high by any chance?

      • He seemed to be certain that he was on 5.00% with a smart reward saver. I still find it hard to believe. I can't seem to get that rate with them. I guess if it were correct it should have something on his app about the rate.
        The only other thing i can think of is if he was on it a couple of years ago and he still thinks he has that rate, or is confused about a car loan rate or something (he doesn't have a home loan that i know of either)

        • Anyone else have any ideas on this?

        • @jwalke39: I think he must be mistaken. 5% is way off the mark, for a savings account in the current interest climate.

        • @bluesky: I think your right, i have some friends in that line of work who have said there is no chance.
          Unless his account hasn't been changed somehow and is still stuck on that rate somehow.

        • @bluesky: So, it is acctually 5.00% from a deal that was on a long while back and is still somehow unchanged whilst rates have been dropping!

        • @j39: Very strange. Bank accounts are usually variable rate, and it makes no commercial sense to provide fix-rate deals. Unless it is an oversight on the part of the bank. In which case, your friend is very fortunate and should hang on to the account for as long as it awards this special rate!

        • @bluesky: I thought that they are variable too. I am amazed that this is the case though and just shows that it is possible. I think it may have somehow been a junior account at some point, then rolled into a Reward Saver, and has somehow been locked in at that rate?

        • @bluesky: I asked about this and the reply is "have asked manager/we can't change the rate"….

      • I get 0.5% only.

  • Ubank Usaver says 2.87% in the poll, but only says 1.81% here - https://www.ubank.com.au/banking-overview/savings-accounts (Or 2.31% if you invest under 5k and are under 29). Where can you get it with 2.87%?

    • Ah never mind, I see that it needs to be paired with another account to get that rate.

  • Been using uBank usaver for years. Very easy, i have an automated deposit set up of $200 per month, set and forget. Also have ING savings maximiser, now a pain in the A with 5 POS transactions per month for bonus interest where its not my transaction bank of choice.

    • I split my payments at woolies - charge $1 to ING then the rest elsewhere. An easy way to get 5 transactions.

      • i have been thinking of just buying something super cheap each month (e.g lollies x 5) and then only using ING card if i really need cash out at a random ATM (pubs etc). I only have a low balance with ING and this is why i'm going to try this method. i don't really want to spend heaps on the five transactions and defeat the purpose of gaining a small amount of interest i am getting
        Whats the minimum amount on a split payment at woolies?

  • please update your list to have the most recent interest rates
    AMP B3TTER no longer provides 3.0% interest PA

  • Lost my bonus in my ING savings maximizer for June. ING takes way too long to process a transaction, last transaction was made on 30th May which was processed on 2nd June. That sucks.

    Just opened same accounts with Ubank. I'm going to move everything to Ubank after link account has been approved. ING can screw themselves asking for 5 transactions monthly to qualify.

    • I really dislike ubank's online system. The account names are also super confusing.

      Trying to find something with higher interest and good online banking haha

      • You can rename USaver Ultra to "Transaction" and USaver to "Savings".

        Top row > Admin (2nd from the right) > Account Options.

        If you're under 25, you could look into Greater Bank's Life Saver. 3%, but you have to increase the balance every month or the interest is completely forfeited (the entire 3% is the bonus, the base rate is 0). You don't need to open another transaction account, they have PayID and Osko, so you can just quickly transfer from your other accounts with Osko.

        • I'm old, lol.

          Yeah i renamed the accounts already but still don't like their online banking!

  • Wondering if someone can answer a few questions on the ING maximizer.

    It says the interest is calculated daily but paid monthly, does this mean if you only complete the $1000 deposit and 5 transactions say on the 10th that you would have accumulated 10 days worth of interest at the lower interest rate? In other words to get the full benefit you probably need to complete the transactions and deposit on the 1st of each month?

    Also does transferring between Orange Everyday accounts count as a deposit?

    • No, you have 30 days to meet the criteria for high interest rate. If you make a deposit of $1000 and 5 transactions on the 25th, you still get the high interest rate for the whole month.

      So if you meet the criteria on July, the high interest will be paid at the end of August and so on. Ni idea about transferring between ING accounts but I don't think it will count.

  • RAMs is dropping their interest rate…

    What this means for you
    The rate details of your RAMS Saver account will change from Wednesday 26 September 2018 - you'll earn a total variable rate of 2.80% p.a. (that's the variable base rate of 1.15% p.a. plus variable 1.65% p.a. bonus) when the bonus eligibility criteria are met.

  • What’s the transfer speed like for UBank? I find RAMS extremely slow

    • On the slower side (they still don't have NPPA, Osko, PayID, etc).

      BPay is even slower. Regardless of when you sent the transfer through (as long as it's before the cutoff time), it won't show up until around 8-9pm in the evening. It also takes more time for the funds to fully clear (i.e. show up under "available"), usually a few more business days. It's one of the ways to bypass the $20k limit for traditional transfers.

  • Suggested Newcastle Permanent Smart Saver Account (3%) Under 25s

    Found this to be very straightforward for Under 25s.

  • Ozbargain should create a thread where all the latest interest rate is updated as time goes on.

  • Suggested MoveBank Bonus Saver

    MoveBank Bonus Saver 2.9%, $200 monthly deposit, no withdrawls

  • Suggested BankWest Kids Bonus Saver (4.75% PA, Max $250 per month)

    BankWest Kids Bonus Saver (4.75% PA, Max $250 per month)

  • How do you guys transfer from citi saver to your own citi transaction account?
    It only lets me do it the other way.
    And i dont know how to find my account number either, which means i cant call the helpline.

    Kind of pointless to have an online bank and not be able to do these simple tasks.

  • It is unfair that Mebank is not included in the poll, whereas ING with their $1000 deposit and 5 paywave transactions is included.

  • Suggested ME Bank Online Savings (2.85% p.a.)
    • Make a weekly tap&go payment with your Everyday Transactional Account debit card
    • You'll receive a base interest rate of 1.30% p.a.
    • If you fulfil the only condition listed above, you'll get a bonus 1.55% p.a. interest rate

    No account keeping fees

    Total interest earned is 2.85% p.a. on balances up to $250K

    You can apply for this if you're an Australian citizen, permanent resident or resident for tax purposes and you're over 12+

  • I went through all the ADI's at APRA's website and noted down the best interest rates. It's current from Boxing day.

    Age eligibility accounts
    https://www.lcu.com.au/products-savings-accounts-and-term-de... 4.5%
    https://www.cairnspenny.com.au/everyday-banking/banking-savi... 4.10% First Penny Saver S16 under 18
    https://www.cua.com.au/everyday-banking/savings-and-term-dep... 4% Under 17
    https://www.bcu.com.au/kids 3.50% Children's account, balance under $50,000
    https://www.wecu.com.au/savings-term-deposits-interest-rates... 3.25% over 55's and balance of more than $48,600
    https://www.greater.com.au/personal/savings-accounts#tab-lif... 3% Under 25's
    https://www.newcastlepermanent.com.au/personal/saving-accoun... 3% Under 25's

    Standard eligibility accounts

    https://movebank.com.au/products/everyday-banking/bonus-save... 2.90%
    https://www.ubank.com.au/banking-overview/transaction-accoun... 2.87
    https://www.mebank.com.au/banking/online-savings-account/ 2.85%
    https://www.ing.com.au/ 2.80% (savings maximiser)
    https://www.boq.com.au/personal/banking/savings-and-term-dep... 2.80%
    https://www.australianunity.com.au/wealth/banking/savings-ac... 2.80%
    https://www.endeavour.bank/lifestyle-account 2.75%

    Accounts with introductory rates

    https://www.hsbc.com.au/accounts/products/serious-saver/ 3.1% 4 months intro
    https://www.rabodirect.com.au/high-interest-savings-account/ 3.1% 4 months intro
    https://www.bankfirst.com.au/banking/savings-accounts/promo-... 2.85% 4 month intro
    https://www.pnbank.com.au/personal-banking/savings-accounts/... 2.85% first 4 months

    Others

    https://www.matrimoney.com.au/ 3% (It will also send out free registry cards requesting money from people instead of them giving you presents)

    • https://www.lcu.com.au/products-savings-accounts-and-term-de... 4.5%

      Interest rate available for balances up to $1000

      https://www.cairnspenny.com.au/everyday-banking/banking-savi... 4.10% First Penny Saver S16 under 18

      Balance
      Interest Rate
      $0—$2,000
      4.10%
      Over $2,000
      1.30%

      https://www.cua.com.au/everyday-banking/savings-and-term-dep... 4% Under 17

      $0-$5,000xx
      4.00% p.a.
      Over $5,000
      1.00% p.a

      At those low limits, you're adding extra bank accounts to manage for a very small amount of extra interest. Maybe some teenagers might find it a good starting point or even fun, but probably not worth it for most.

      If you go over the limit, rates drop below the current rate of inflation (~2%), so any money above the limit becomes less valuable everyday it sits in there.

      For reference, BoQ's Fast Track Starter offers a higher limit, a wider age range and if you go over the limit, 2.8% is still a reasonably competitive rate. 14-24 years of age, 4% up to $10k, 2.8% to $250k. Even then, you're only getting $100 extra a year ($8.33 per month) from a $10k deposit (if we use 3% as a benchmark for more conventional saving accounts).

      https://www.rabodirect.com.au/high-interest-savings-account/ 3.1% 4 months intro

      I only see 3.05, no mention of 3.1 anywhere on that page.

      • Ok I made a mistake on the Rabobank, it is 3.05%. Yes I am aware there are age and amount limits on those higher yielding bank accounts. But they are still worthwhile, for example the ICU at 4.5%, If you start off with a $874 deposit in 3 years you will have $1,000 and earned $126 in interest whereas with deposit rate of 2.90% the highest standard account rate, you would have earned only $79 in interest and a balance of $953.