High interest savings accounts Australia

A high interest savings account is like a regular savings account, but better. You earn a higher interest rate when you meet a few account conditions.

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Savings accounts with high interest rates

These accounts offer a higher interest rate when you meet a couple of account conditions, such as making regular deposits. Recent changes to the RBA's cash rate have seen savings account rates increase a lot, so it's a great time to be looking for a new account with a better rate.

Name Maximum Variable Rate p.a. Standard Variable Rate p.a. Intro Period Government Guarantee Monthly Max Rate Conditions
Maximum Variable Rate p.a.
4.75%
Standard Variable Rate p.a.
0.10%
Intro Period
Ongoing
Government Guarantee
Monthly Max Rate Conditions
  • Deposit $200
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Maximum Variable Rate p.a.
4.80%
Standard Variable Rate p.a.
0.80%
Intro Period
Ongoing
Government Guarantee
Monthly Max Rate Conditions
  • Deposit $1000 in previous month
Go to siteView details
Maximum Variable Rate p.a.
4.60%
Standard Variable Rate p.a.
4.00%
Intro Period
4 months
Government Guarantee
Monthly Max Rate Conditions
  • N/A
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Maximum Variable Rate p.a.
4.80%
Standard Variable Rate p.a.
4.25%
Intro Period
4 months
Government Guarantee
Monthly Max Rate Conditions
  • N/A
Go to siteView details
Maximum Variable Rate p.a.
4.85%
Standard Variable Rate p.a.
1.10%
Intro Period
3 months
Government Guarantee
Monthly Max Rate Conditions
  • N/A
Go to siteView details
4.85% p.a. includes 0.10% p.a. bonus for new Maxi saver customers applying online.
Maximum Variable Rate p.a.
4.50%
Standard Variable Rate p.a.
1.00%
Intro Period
4 months
Government Guarantee
Monthly Max Rate Conditions
  • N/A
Go to siteView details
Maximum Variable Rate p.a.
4.85%
Standard Variable Rate p.a.
0.05%
Intro Period
Ongoing
Government Guarantee
Monthly Max Rate Conditions
  • Deposit $1,000
  • 5 eligible purchases
Go to siteView details
Maximum Variable Rate p.a.
4.60%
Standard Variable Rate p.a.
0.50%
Intro Period
Ongoing
Government Guarantee
Monthly Max Rate Conditions
  • Grow balance by $250
Go to siteView details
Maximum Variable Rate p.a.
4.60%
Standard Variable Rate p.a.
0.01%
Intro Period
4 months
Government Guarantee
Monthly Max Rate Conditions
  • N/A
Go to siteView details
Maximum Variable Rate p.a.
5.15%
Standard Variable Rate p.a.
4.00%
Intro Period
4 months
Government Guarantee
Monthly Max Rate Conditions
  • N/A
Go to siteView details
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Which savings account has the highest interest rate?

Currently, the highest savings account rate you can get (other than kid's accounts) is 5.3% p.a. with Bank of Queensland Future Saver Account. This is a great rate, however there are a few strings attached and also eligibility criteria to meet.

Firstly, it's only available to customers aged 14-35. Secondly, it's only available on balances up to $50,000 (most other savings accounts offer bonus interest on larger balances up to $250,000). You also need to deposit $1,000 a month which could be difficult to meet.

If this account doesn't suit you or you're not eligible, here are another 5 top savings rates for June 2023.

5 top high interest savings accounts

AccountTotal interest rate p.a.
Bank of Queensland Future Saver (14-35s)5.3%
Great Southern Bank Youth eSaver Account (0-17 year olds only)5.25%
ING Savings Maximiser5.25%
Rabobank High Interest Savings Account5.15%
Great Southern Bank Goal Saver Account5.1%

Other ways to earn interest on your money

Term deposits also allow you to earn interest on your cash, and some even offer more interest than a savings account - especially when you choose a longer term. If you’re interested in locking your money away for a set period of time and earning a high, fixed interest rate in return, you can check out some leading term deposit rates below.

Promoted
Finder Award
5% p.a. for 5 year terms
Terms between 3 months and 5 years
Small $1000 minimum deposit
0.10% p.a. loyalty bonus when you roll over your term deposit
No account fees

Big 4 banks high interest savings accounts

Westpac offered the highest savings account rate in the market for a good chunk of 2022, but how do the Big Four banks compare at the moment? Here are the high interest savings account rates currently on offer with the Big Four banks.

AccountTotal interest rate p.a.
Westpac Life (18-29s)5%
Commonwealth Bank Goal Saver Account4.4%
ANZ Save Account4.5%
NAB Reward Saver Account4.5%

How to compare high interest savings accounts

There's more to consider than just the high interest rate. Think about the following when you compare accounts:

  • Is the interest rate competitive?
  • Can I meet the monthly deposit requirement every month without putting myself into financial stress? If you can't, consider an account with a smaller monthly deposit condition.
  • Is it important to me that I keep my existing everyday bank account? If yes, consider a savings account with that same bank.
  • Is the high rate for an introductory period only (e.g. for the first 4-5 months)? If it is, will I be happy to change accounts again after this?
  • Am I able to make withdrawals from the account if I need to without losing my interest that month?

What is a high interest savings account?

It's a savings account that pays a higher interest rate than a standard account. Because these accounts offer a higher interest rate, there are usually a few conditions to meet to earn it. For example, you might be required to deposit a minimum amount each month or limit your withdrawals from the account. A regular savings account, in comparison, will offer a lower interest rate on your balance each month, but there usually won't be account conditions to meet.

Is now a good time to open a high interest savings account?

Yes, now is a good time for people trying to save to open a high interest savings account. Over the last few years savings rates have been at all-time lows, driven by a historically-low cash rate. However the cash rate has been lifted 11 times since May 2022. With the latest May RBA announcement raising the cash rate, it now sits at 3.85%. Because of the higher cash rate, we've seen many savings accounts increase their rates as a result and they're still going up now.

At the start of 2022 there weren't many accounts offering much higher than 1.5% p.a., but now in 2023 there are several accounts paying above 4.00% or even as high as 5.00%.

Standard variable rate vs maximum bonus rate

You'll notice a few different rates when you compare accounts, here's what they mean:

  • Standard or base rate.This is the minimum rate you'll earn on the account when none of the conditions are met.
  • Bonus rate.This is the extra rate you'll earn on top of the standard rate when you meet the account's bonus conditions (e.g.: monthly deposit).
  • Maximum or total rate.This is the standard rate plus the bonus rate, and the total interest rate you'll earn when all account conditions are met (this is what you want to be high!).
  • Introductory rate. Some accounts offer a special intro rate for a short period, usually 3-5 months, after opening the account. This rate will drop down to the standard rate after the intro period is over.
  • Pros and cons of a high interest savings account

    Pros

    • Higher interest rate. Compared to an everyday transaction account, which usually pays no interest, and a standard savings account, which won't pay much interest, a high interest savings account can help you grow your savings faster.
    • No fees. Savings accounts don't charge any account-keeping fees, and there are no fees to add money into or move money out of the account.
    • Your money is safe. Your savings are protected by the Australian government under the government guarantee scheme. Most banks and financial institutions are included in the scheme, which means eligible deposits are insured up to $250,000 per person, per institution.
    • Access the money at any time. Your cash is easily available whenever you need it. Unlike a term deposit, which locks your funds away, you can move the money from your high interest savings account into your everyday bank account to spend it within seconds of needing it.
    • Good incentive to save. You often need to deposit money regularly in order to earn the high interest rate, which is a great incentive to save money and grow your balance.

    Cons

    • Introductory offers are for limited times. Often the highest interest rates will be for introductory offers only, which means they're only available for the first 4-5 months.
    • You need to meet monthly conditions. A high interest savings account isn't a set-and-forget investment - you need to meet monthly deposit and spend requirements plus often limit your withdrawals in order to earn the high rate.
    • The linked transaction account might have fees. High interest savings accounts will often require you to also open a transaction account with the same bank, and this account might come with fees and charges.


    What features do high interest savings accounts have?

    Here's how you access your money, how interest is applied and the conditions you might need to meet.

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    Higher interest rates

    High interest savings accounts offer a higher interest rate which is a combination of a bonus interest rate on top of the base interest rate each month that you meet the account conditions. This gives you the chance to earn extra interest each month.

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    Compound interest

    Compound interest allows you to earn interest on your interest, helping your money grow quicker.

    Let's say your balance was $10,000 and you earned $100 in interest during the month. The following month, interest would be calculated on your full balance of $10,100, so you'd earn even more interest the second month.

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    Linked to transaction account

    You generally link a savings account to your everyday bank account, usually with the same bank. This allows you to easily move money back and forth from your savings account to your everyday bank account when needed. This is handy, as savings accounts don't come with a debit card to access your money (but bank accounts do).

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    Conditions to meet

    In exchange for a high interest rate on your savings there are usually a few account conditions to meet. This varies from bank to bank, but most accounts require you to regularly deposit money and keep growing your balance (which is a good thing if you're trying to save!). Some wil also ask you make a set number of transactions from your linked bank account each month or to limit withdrawls from your savings.

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    Variable interest rates

    Savings accounts all offer variable interest rates. Similar to a variable rate home loan, a variable savings rate means it can change at any time, if the bank decides to do so. The opposite of a variable rate is a fixed rate, which is offered on term deposits. A fixed rate doesn't change and is locked in for a set period of time.

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    No fees and charges

    High interest savings accounts typically have no account-keeping fees and no regular charges. The account is designed to help you save money, not get eaten away by fees. However, in order to access the money, you'll need to link the account to an everyday spending or transaction account, which might have fees and charges.

    Public

    Security and money guarantee

    A savings account is one of the safest places to keep your cash. The money in an account with an Australian bank is protected by the Government's bank guarantee scheme. Under this scheme, your deposit up to $250,000 is guaranteed by the Government, even if something were to happen to the bank.

    Plus, unlike investing in shares which could see you lose money if the share price falls, the money in your savings account can't fall or go down unless you decide to spend it.

    High interest savings accounts vs standard savings accounts

    High interest savings accounts offer better interest rates, but with more conditions attached. If you're looking for a set-and-forget option without having to meet any ongoing conditions, a standard savings account still offers some level of interest but without any effort on your end.

    Let's take a look at some high interest savings accounts and regular savings accounts from the same bank, so you can see the difference.

    High interest savings accountStandard savings account
    Westpac Life (under 30s): 5% p.a. when you link to a Westpac Choice account, grow your balance each month, keep your balance above $0 and make 5+ transactions/month.Westpac eSaver: 4.5% p.a. for the first 5 months with no conditions to meet.
    Virgin Money Boost account (25+ year olds):4.8% p.a. when you link to a Virgin Money Go Transaction Account, deposit $1,000/month and make 5+ transactions/month.Virgin Money Grow Saver: 2% p.a. each month you make at least 1 deposit and make no more than 1 withdrawal.
    ING Savings Maximiser: 5.25% p.a. when you link to an ING Orange Everyday account, deposit $1,000/month, make 5+ purchases/month and grow balance.ING Savings Accelerator: Up to 4% p.a. on large balances, with no conditions to meet.

    How do I apply for a high interest savings account?

    You can open an account online in a matter of minutes. It's free and easy to do and requires little effort or paperwork. Once you’ve clicked through to the bank's secure application page, you will typically need to provide the following:

    • Your personal details such as full name and contact information
    • Your tax file number
    • Documents to verify your identity and age, like your driver's licence or passport

    Once you've finished the application form and the bank has verified your identity, your account will be opened and you'll be able to start transferring money into it and earning interest.

    FAQs about high interest savings accounts

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