We all know the value of saving money, and building up a nest egg of long-term savings should be a financial priority for any money savvy Aussie. But when you're in it for the long haul, finding the perfect place to stash your cash is super important. So to help you on your search for the right savings account, we’ve answered some commonly asked questions about long term savings accounts in Australia.
What is the minimum amount I need to deposit into my long term savings account?
This will depend on the savings account you opt for, as many banking providers will have their own deposit requirements. The good news is, many online savings accounts come with no minimum balance criteria at all, so you can start from scratch and build up a rainy day fund.
Other long term savings options like term deposits, do generally have minimum deposit criteria which can be as low as $500 up to $100,000 depending on the bank and deposit term. Head over to our term deposits section to compare current long term interest rates and fees.
What is the difference between a standard and bonus interest rate?
Once you start shopping around for a savings account, you might notice on our savings account comparison tables that we publish the standard interest rate and the bonus interest rate attached to the account. A standard rate is the ongoing interest rate you’ll receive as long as the savings account is open.
When it comes to bonus rate savings accounts, there are usually two types: introductory and conditional bonus rates. Introductory bonus rates usually only last between 3-6 months from when the account was opened. At the end of this period, the savings interest rate will then revert back to the account’s standard rate.
A conditional bonus rate offers a higher interest rate as long as you meet certain requirements by the bank. Some common examples of conditions include having a transaction account with the same provider, making a minimum monthly deposit, or no withdrawals in a month.
What features should I look for in a long term savings account?
A good ongoing interest rate - Possibly the most important feature of a savings account is the interest rate! And while the goal is to earn as much interest as possible, just keep in mind that savings account rates are variable, so they can change over time which is why you should regularly review your account to make sure you’re getting the best return on your money.
- No fees - Because there’s no point in stashing away your hard earned savings only to pay pesky fees. And while very few banks charge monthly fees on online savings accounts, some may still charge withdrawal penalties or transaction fees.
- Withdrawal flexibility - While most savings accounts allow you to withdraw money whenever you want - unlike a term deposit - some may drop bonus interest offers for the month when you withdraw or will charge a fee for over the counter withdrawals.
- Other handy tools - Things like online banking and a linked transaction account can come in handy if you need quick access to your cash.