March savings snapshot: How low can interest rates go?

Person sitting at computer looking out window, worried about declining interest rates.

Like a gymnast at a limbo competition, savings account interest rates keep edging lower. 

Over the last month, 37 different accounts monitored by Mozo’s data team saw reductions, with many conditional bonus rates tumbling down to sit worryingly close to their base rate counterparts.

This has brought the average ongoing savings rate to 0.40% – another 3 basis points (bp) down on last month – according to Mozo’s database.

Market leaders make changes

Moves are happening across the board, including in accounts leading the rate pack. 

The Macquarie Savings Accounts four-month introductory rate was cut from 1.35% to 1.10%. Its base rate, which was formerly the market leading unconditional rate, fell from 1.20% to 0.95%.

Meanwhile, ING introduced an additional interest-earning condition on its Savings Maximiser account. Now, to get the leading 1.35% bonus interest, savers will need to increase the balance in the account each month (not including interest). 

This is in addition to depositing at least $1,000 into a linked ING Orange Everyday account and making at least five settled transactions each month. These stacked conditions make it that little bit harder to get the most out of the savings account, whether you’re struggling to save money or simply forget to make the required deposits and transactions.

Big 4 loyalty despite big cuts

The trending gap between big four bank rates and the rest of the market has continued, with three out of the four (ANZ, NAB and CommBank) making multiple cuts to savings accounts last month. According to Mozo’s calculations, the average big bank savings rate is currently 0.16% – a substantial 25bp below the average of all other accounts.

Despite this widening gully, Mozo’s 2021 national savings report found more than half of Australians believe the major banks are the safest bet for their savings during uncertain economic times. 

While the savings rates show otherwise, 27% of people surveyed said they believed the big four offered more competitive options, and 44% said they banked with these players simply because “they always have”.

Data from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) shows 74.1% of Australia’s household deposits ($815 billion out of the total $1.099 trillion) are sitting in the big four banks.

If you’re considering parting ways with an uncompetitive savings account, check out some of the high interest options below.

Compare high interest savings accounts - last updated 21 June 2024

Search promoted savings accounts below or do a full Mozo database search. Advertiser disclosure
  • Savings Account

    5.35% p.a. (for $0 to $250,000)

    4.75% p.a.(for $0 to $1,000,000)

    Yes up to $250,000

    Bonus variable rate is available for the first four months.

    Competitive introductory variable rate for first 4 months (on deposits up to $250,000). No account keeping fees to pay. Multiple 2024 Mozo Experts Choice Award winner.

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  • Mozo Expert Choice Badge
    Savings Maximiser

    5.50% p.a. (for $0 to $100,000)

    0.55% p.a.(for $0 and over)

    Yes up to $250,000

    For customers who have an Orange Everyday account, deposit $1000 into a personal ING account, make 5 eligible transactions and grow their nominated Savings Maximiser account each month.

    Great variable rate every month when you grow your balance each month in addition to other eligibility criteria. No ING fees to pay. Save even more with ING Everyday Round Up. Mozo Experts Choice Awards Everyday & Savings Bank of the Year winner for 2024.^

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  • Reward Saver Account

    5.25% p.a. (for $0 to $1,000,000)

    0% p.a.(for $0 and over)

    Yes up to $250,000

    Intro bonus rate of 5.25% for balances up to $1,000,000 for the first 4 months, reverting to 3.25%. Minimum deposit of $50 and no withdrawals.

    Introductory bonus rate for balances up to $1,000,000 for the first 4 months. Minimum deposit of $50 and no withdrawals. Start your account online in under 10 minutes and earn interest on balances up to $1,000,000 (T&Cs apply). No monthly account fees, helping you save smarter and faster.

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  • PremiumSaver

    5.45% p.a. (for $0 to $250,001)

    1.50% p.a.(for $0 and over)

    Yes up to $250,000

    Increase balance by $200 by the end of each month

    Reward yourself with a higher rate for your good savings habits. Rabobanks’s PremiumSaver is simple - receive the maximum rate when you grow your balance by at least $200 each month (T&Cs apply). Plus, your savings help our Aussie farmers produce the food we love to enjoy.

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^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Savings Account Awards

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