Who doesn't love a bonus? In the savings account world, banks reward customers with bonus interest rates when you fulfill certain conditions such as making a minimum deposit and no withdrawals in a month.
With a bonus saver, interest on the account is generally calculated daily and paid on the last business day of every month.
If you are wondering whether a bonus saver account is right for you, read on. We'll outline some of the key aspects of these accounts so that you can compare bonus offers head to head and also give you some tips for getting the best return on your savings.
The different kinds of bonus saver accounts
Bonus rates, promo rates, intro rate offers - every bank will use different jargon to explain bonus features. Here's how to differentiate between them.
Introductory bonus rates: An intro bonus rate is a limited time offer (usually between 3 - 6 months) that you get as a new customer for opening an account. After the intro period your interest rate will revert to the standard variable interest of the account. Introductory bonus rates are perfect for those looking for a short term investment and savvy rate chasers who don't mind switching accounts every couple of months to get the best rates.
Conditional bonus rates: Many savings accounts have conditional offers which incentivise you to save or bundle your banking products. For instance, you might get a higher rate on your savings account if you have a linked transaction account with the same bank. Other conditions with savings accounts could be minimum monthly deposits or not making a withdrawal in the month. While these might sound restrictive, sometimes it is beneficial if you have a savings goal in mind because knowing you'll get a bonus interest rate encourages you to keep your savings on track.
Kids bonus rates: Many banks offer special bonus saver accounts for children under the age of 12 years. Usually monthly deposit conditions are lower than on standard personal accounts but withdrawal conditions may apply. If your child does not meet these conditions, he or she will not be eligible for the bonus interest for that month.
The features to look for in a bonus saver account
Competitive interest rate: You're after the highest interest on your money so look for an account that will deliver you the best return for your investment. If you opt for an account with a high short term intro rate also be sure to review the ongoing interest rate so that you don't see your savings plateau after the intro period ends.
No monthly fee: Make sure you pick an account that does not charge you a monthly service fee or an online banking fee. Compare all the fee free accounts on Mozo here.
Accessibility: If you are required to make monthly deposits to maintain the bonus interest rate, it is important that you can easily access and transfer funds to your account. Choose an account that gives you access to online banking, mobile banking or phone banking. The best option is to set up regular transfers to make sure you meet the bonus rate criteria.
How to set up a bonus saver account
You don't even need to leave the comfort of your home to open a savings account. Most banks and savings providers have the facility to set up your account completely online.
But there are some things you'll need to consider:
- Eligibility: To apply for a bonus saver account, generally, you need to be an Australian resident and be at least 12 years of age. Non-residents will have to contact the bank directly.
- Documentation: For the bank to approve your bonus saver account, you will need to provide identification forms, such as your driver's licence and passport. Apart from this, banks also usually require your tax file number and bank account details if you want to link your savings account with another account.