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. 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

1. Interest Rates

A competitive interest rate will help your savings grow faster. The higher the rate, the quicker you’ll earn. 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, and to ensure you can meet the bonus interest-earning criteria. 

3. Introductory Interest Rate

A lot of banks in Australia offer an impressive promotional interest rate 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 which 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 withdrawal 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 withdrawal 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 a 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

We deliver you positive news: there are plenty of savings accounts out there with no account fees. But some banks may slip a few 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 and 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 compare savings accounts with Mozo to find a plan that'll help save you the most.

Savings Account Comparison Table - last updated 4 December 2021

Search promoted savings accounts below or do a full Mozo database search. Advertiser disclosure
  • Boost Saver with Go Account
    Maximum rate
    standard interest rate
    Govt Deposit Guarantee
    1.20% p.a. (for $0 to $250,000)
    0.10% p.a.(for $0 and over)
    Yes up to $250,000

    Bonus rate of 1.20%. 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
  • 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 Glide transaction account.

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

    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

^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Savings Account Awards

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