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The Ins & Outs of Savings Account Features

Cash to go into a savings account

With hundreds of savings accounts on the market, choosing the right one to grow your hard-earned dollars in can be a daunting experience. What’s more, savings accounts can have a range of features that can vary depending on the type of account you’re looking for. 

To make the process easier and a little less stressful, Mozo has created this guide highlighting the features you should consider when choosing a savings account. 

Top 10 Savings Account Features

Savings accounts generally have a range of features in common, but specific features can vary between products. For instance, one account may have a base rate and then a bonus rate which would require certain conditions to be met in order to get the higher rate. Another account might have different conditions. 

Some of the best features to check for in savings accounts include:

1. Interest Rates

A competitive interest rate will help your savings grow quickly. The higher the rate, the faster the rate of earning due to the effects of compound interest. Savings account interest rates are variable and offered per annum (yearly), so even a 0.50% difference in interest can make you hundreds of dollars in the long run. Throw some figures in the Mozo Savings Calculator for an idea of how much interest you can receive on your savings.

2. Bonus Incentives

A bonus rate is offered on top of a savings account base rate when specific criteria are met. It often requires you to make a minimum deposit per month, make transactions through a linked bank account, or limit withdrawals. Always remember to check the terms and conditions, as the bonus rate may only apply for a limited time or subject to change due to variations in the cash rate (like hikes or cuts). You should also make sure that you can meet the bonus interest-earning criteria, otherwise you’ll revert to a smaller base rate that may be significantly lower. 

3. Introductory Interest Rate

A lot of Aussie banks offer some great introductory interest rates to new account holders. This rate is usually only for a limited time before reverting to the standard variable interest rate of the account. Be sure to check the standard rate, as you don't want to see your interest earnings plummet with an uncompetitive rate after the first few idyllic months.

4. Minimum Opening Deposit

Some financial institutions require you to make a minimum deposit before they open and activate your savings account. This is usually to cover costs associated with setting up the new account and then maintaining it. Having to make a minimum opening deposit may deter you from that savings account.

5. Frequency of Withdrawals

A lot of accounts have a limit on the number of withdrawals you can make a month. In order to secure a bonus rate you may not even be able to make a withdrawal in a month. If you believe you might need to make frequent withdrawals then choose an account that allows you to do so without penalties.

6. ATM Facility

Many online savings accounts don’t come with a hole in the wall facility where you can withdraw money from your savings account. So if you need to access your savings you’ll need to transfer the money into your linked transaction account in order to withdraw it. If you’re likely to withdraw money regularly from your savings account, find one with ATM facilities or free access to use others.

7. Linked Accounts

With most online savings accounts you'll need to have a linked transaction account so you can transfer money to and from your savings bundle. Sometimes this account needs to be with the same bank and sometimes you can link to any bank account. If the account requires the same bank transaction account, be sure to check for fees and features of this account as well as the savings account to ensure you will not end up paying extra fees.

8. Automatic Salary Deposits

If you’re a little forgetful and unreliable when it comes to savings, then look for an account that offers direct crediting. This means a portion of your salary can be automatically deposited into your savings account from your employer each month.

9. Round-ups and savings buckets

Banks are increasingly offering automated and goal-orientated ways to help customers save. This includes features like round-ups, where purchases via a linked transaction account will be rounded up to the nearest set dollar amount and the remainder sent to savings. For example, you buy lunch for $8.50 and the account rounds it up to $10, whisking away the remaining $1.50 to your savings account. Similarly, many accounts come with specific 'savings buckets' or 'pools' which you can label with certain goals, like buying a car or going on holiday, and dedicate regular deposits to each.

10. Account Keeping Fees

Good news: there are loads of savings accounts out there with no account fees. However, do keep an eye out for some banks of the fees your way. Be wary of the following:

  • ATM withdrawal fee
  • Monthly account fee
  • Branch deposit fee
  • Over the counter transaction fee
  • Foreign currency conversion fee

How to help your savings grow

  • Making savings transfers automatic. Set up an automated plan where money is transferred from your transaction account into your savings account every month. Even if it’s just $20.
  • Take the time to find a savings account free of fees. This includes any linked transaction accounts. 
  • Avoid making unnecessary withdrawals from your savings. You could be penalised for this and miss out on a bonus rate.
  • Create a budget and try to stick to it.
  • Review your rates every six months. Variable rates shift constantly, and a better deal could be waiting for you around the corner.

Feel like your current savings account doesn't have the features that best suit you? Then head over to our hub page and compare savings accounts or have a look at some of the providers below… 

Savings Account Comparison Table - last updated 8 December 2023

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

  • Mozo Expert Choice Badge
    Savings Account

    5.50% 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 2023 Mozo Experts Choice Award winner.

  • Reward Saver

    5.25% p.a. (for $0 to $100,000)

    0.30% p.a.(for $0 and over)

    Yes up to $250,000

    Earn a high interest bonus rate if you hold an eligible transaction account and meet the bonus rate conditions (T&Cs apply). Only requires $1 to open. Free e-banking transactions. No monthly service fees to pay. Access your account via e-banking or the Bendigo Bank app. Not applicable to business customers.

  • High Interest Save Account

    5.10% p.a. (for $0 to $250,000)

    0.10% p.a.(for $0 and over)

    Yes up to $250,000

    Deposit at least $200 to either Spend or Save account from an external source each month.

    No monthly fees on any of your save accounts. Split your money with up to 10 Save accounts. Set savings targets and track the progress of all your Save accounts. Deposits guaranteed up to $250K per customer.

  • Mozo Expert Choice Badge
    High Interest Savings Account

    5.75% p.a. (for $0 to $250,001)

    4.40% p.a.(for $0 to $250,001)

    Yes up to $250,000

    Bonus rate for the first 4 months from account opening

    Reward yourself with a higher rate for your good savings habits with the Rabobank High Interest Savings Account . Receive the maximum rate when you grow your balance by at least $200 each month. No Account keeping fees. No minimum balance.

Cameron Thomson
Cameron Thomson
Money writer

Coming from a background in creative writing and history, Cameron always seeks to write in a fun and engaging way. He’s usually thinking about long-term ways of saving and preserving financial wellbeing. He currently holds an RG 146 (tier 1).

^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Savings Account Awards

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