Is a savings account worth it in 2021?

A pink piggy bank sits on a stash of gold coins.
Photo by Braňo on Unsplash.

For high interest rate chasers, savings accounts probably aren’t all that appealing right now. Following multiple cash rate cuts in 2020, rates have continued to head south. However, interest rates aren’t the only perk to keeping your money in one.

It didn’t take us long to come up with five reasons to consider a savings account. Here’s our summary of why savings accounts are still worth it in 2021.

A piggy bank, with extra room

When all is said and done, a savings account is basically a modern day piggy bank with a bit of extra room. It’s a safe place to stash funds out of reach, in preparation for a rainy day. 

In Australia, all authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADIs) are backed by the federal government’s Financial Claims Scheme. In other words, that’s all banks, mutual banks and credit unions. Under the scheme, deposits per customer per ADI are backed by the government up to $250,000. That means that if your bank were to fail, up to $250,000 of your money would be secure. So just like a piggy bank on your bedside table, a savings account is pretty safe. 

Money out of sight, out of mind

As most savings accounts don’t come with a linked debit card, accessing funds at a moment’s notice is harder. Impulse purchases are difficult to make when you don’t have access to an ATM or the option to make tap and go payments. To access savings, usually you will have to transfer them across to an everyday transaction account. 

It’s not ideal to move money out of your savings, and banks will even discourage it. Often you will be hit with either a transfer fee or the interest rate on the savings account will be reduced dramatically. For all these reasons, a savings account really becomes a place to keep money out of sight and out of mind.

Low risk, low maintenance

Compared to share trading and buying on credit, an emergency savings fund is a fairly low risk way to be prepared for tough times. As mentioned above, ADI-licenced banks are backed by the Financial Claims Guarantee scheme too. So if you’re not big on investing or you’re worried about racking up debt with a credit card, a savings account could be a less stress-inducing option.

As well as being low risk, savings accounts are also often low maintenance. The only thing you usually have to remember is to deposit money regularly into your stash. A number of banks even have the option to set up automatic bank transfers, meaning you might not even have to worry about remembering that! 

Savings tools to write home about

In 2021 you will be hard put to find a savings account that doesn’t come with nifty tools to help you stash cash. Features that come with some accounts these days include roundup tools, spending insights and reminders to pay money in.

These extra features can encourage you to save more and regularly. Things like spending trackers and insights are also useful to help paint a bigger picture of what you spend your money on, on a daily basis. You could even use the insights to help you cut back.

A bit of interest on the side

Finally, while rates are low at the moment, it is still possible to earn a bit of interest on your savings. For example, at the moment the average ongoing interest rate for savings accounts tracked in the Mozo database is 0.41% p.a.* 

Now that might not sound like a lot, but an account with a $20,000 balance and regular $200, monthly deposits could accrue around $87 interest in one year. That’s the average rate: there are still plenty of savings accounts that offer rates above 0.50% p.a., or even 1.00% p.a. 

To summarise, there are still plenty of reasons to consider a savings account in 2021. Head to Mozo’s compare savings accounts page to review what accounts are on offer right now.

Compare savings accounts - last updated 25 September 2021

Search promoted savings accounts below or do a full Mozo database search. Advertiser disclosure
  • Mozo Expert Choice Badge
    Bonus Saver Account
    Maximum rate
    standard interest rate
    Govt Deposit Guarantee
    1.10% p.a. (for $0 to $250,000)
    0.05% p.a.(for $0 and over)
    Yes up to $250,000

    Bonus rate when at least $20 is deposited each month and five Visa Debit transactions are made each month using linked Everyday or Glide transaction accounts.

    Winner of a Mozo Experts Choice Award 2021 in the Regular Saver category. No monthly account fees and no minimum balance requirements.

    Details
  • Boost Saver with Go Account
    Maximum rate
    standard interest rate
    Govt Deposit Guarantee
    1.50% p.a. (for $0 to $250,000)
    0.10% p.a.(for $0 and over)
    Yes up to $250,000

    Intro bonus rate of 1.50% for first 3 months, reverting to 1.20% after. Deposit $2,000 each month and make 5 eligible payments from your Go Account. If you are between 18 and 25 deposit $1,000.

    Enjoy a savings account bundled with a spending account. No monthly fees. New customers can earn up to 5000 bonus Virgin Money points on purchases (conditions apply). Benefit together with a joint account

    Details
  • High Interest Savings Account
    Maximum rate
    standard interest rate
    Govt Deposit Guarantee
    1.35% p.a. (for $0 to $250,001)
    0.25% p.a.(for $0 to $250,001)
    Yes up to $250,000

    Bonus rate for the first 4 months from account opening

    Kick start your savings with the 4 month introductory variable rate. No fees, no minimum balance, no minimum monthly deposit and no minimum term.

    Details
  • Fast Track Saver Account
    Maximum rate
    standard interest rate
    Govt Deposit Guarantee
    1.05% p.a. (for $1 to $250,000)
    0.05% p.a.(for $1 and over)
    Yes up to $250,000

    Ongoing bonus rate applied if in the previous month $1,000 or more is credited to the linked Day2Day Plus account and 5 eligible transactions are made by the linked account.

    Earn 1.05% p.a. Bonus Interest in the following month on your Fast Track Saver Account balance. Earn Bonus Interest on your savings, with no minimum balance required.

    Details
  • Grow Saver
    Maximum rate
    standard interest rate
    Govt Deposit Guarantee
    0.65% p.a. (for $0 and over)
    0.10% p.a.(for $0 and over)
    Yes up to $250,000

    Make at least 1 deposit and no more than 1 withdrawal, including internal transfers or external payments.

    Earn a maximum interest rate of 0.65% per year. Pay no monthly fees. Set up in-app savings goals. Benefit with joint account options.

    Details
  • Online Saver
    Maximum rate
    standard interest rate
    Govt Deposit Guarantee
    1.10% p.a. (for $0 to $500,000)
    0.35% p.a.(for $0 and over)
    Yes up to $250,000

    Bonus rate for the first 4 months from account opening

    No account keeping fees. No minimum balance required. Unlimited phone and internet transactions.

    Details

*Average based on savings accounts tracked in the Mozo database, correct as of 30 August 2021.

^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Savings Account Awards

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