Banks quietly cut savings account interest rates in October

Key points:

  • Savings account interest rates trended down in October
  • One of the Big 4 reduced its intro bonus rate 
  • Bank of Queensland increased one of its base rates 
  • Challenger banks and mutuals are generally savings rate leaders coming into this month. 
A pair of scissors cuts Australian currency

Savings account interest rates took a tumble in October, continuing the trend of quiet cuts we saw in September.

While savings account rates overall remained quite steady, the banks that did adjust their rates tended to cut, which included one of the Big 4’s introductory bonus rates.   

ANZ, Australian Unity, and Defence Bank lowered their introductory bonus rates by 10-25 basis points (bp). ANZ also lowered the base rate on its Online Saver account by 10bp, to 1.50% p.a. 

Bank of Queensland, Credit Union SA, ME, and People’s Choice all cut their ongoing bonus rates by 10-15bp. However, Bank of Queensland did increase its base rate on the Simple Saver Account by 10bp, to 4.60% p.a.

Westpac currently the only Big 4 with a savings rate over 5% 

Savings account interest rates from the Big 4 banks remained fairly steady in October, with ANZ the only player to change their rates, according to Mozo data.  

However, it’s Westpac that comes away as the rate leader of the Big 4 banks, with the Westpac Life (18-29) account, offering an ongoing bonus rate of 5.20% p.a. for those who meet the eligibility requirements.  

Here’s how the Big 4’s savings account rates stack up at the end of October:

ANZ savings accounts

  • Save | 4.65% p.a. base rate 
  • Progress Saver | 4.25% p.a. ongoing bonus rate 
  • Online Saver | 3.30% p.a. introductory rate (3 months). 

CommBank savings accounts

  • Goalsaver | 4.65% p.a. ongoing bonus rate 
  • NetBank Saver | 4.75% p.a. introductory rate (5 months). 

NAB savings accounts

  • Reward Saver | 4.75% p.a. ongoing bonus rate 
  • iSaver | 4.75% p.a. introductory rate (4 months). 

Westpac savings accounts

  • Life | 4.65% p.a. base rate 
  • Life (under 30) | 5.20% p.a. ongoing bonus rate 
  • eSaver | 4.75% p.a. introductory rate (5 months). 

While there are still decent savings account interest rates to be had from the Big 4, it’s the challenger banks and mutuals that are leading the charge into November. 

The highest savings account rates came from challengers and mutuals

In October, the savings account rate-leaders included ME, Rabobank, Police Bank, and Unity Bank, according to the Mozo database. 

The highest base rate was Unity Bank’s MoneyMAX account, at 5.00% p.a. (for those with a linked Unity Bank transaction account). For those under 30 years old, Police Bank’s U30 Super Charge account comes in at a slightly higher base rate of 5.25% p.a. 

As far as intro rates go, the Rabobank High Interest Savings Account offered a generous 5.60% p.a. introductory rate for the first 4 months, which reverts to a significantly lower rate of 4.20% p.a. thereafter. 

ME’s HomeME Savings Account was the highest ongoing bonus rate by the end of October, offering 5.55% p.a. for those that deposit at least $2,000 and grow their balance each month. 

While many might instinctually look to the Big 4 when choosing a savings account, it’s important to compare high-interest savings accounts from a range of different banks to find the best savings account for you. 

Take a look at the featured savings accounts below to find a place to park your savings.