Bank term deposits guide

So you’ve decided a term deposit is the best place for that nice Christmas bonus, or the nest egg you’ve been working on, but now the question is, where do you go to get one? The answer might seem easy - the bank, of course - but there are heaps of options when it comes to choosing where you want to open a term deposit.

We’ve broken down the details of some of the major providers to help you decide which is the best bet for you.

Who offers term deposits?

From major banks to small, online outfits, most financial institutions offer term deposit products these days. Here are the main categories they fall into and what each one brings to the table.

Major banks 

This includes the big 4 players, plus others like Bankwest, St.George, HSBC, Suncorp and the Bank of Queensland.

Generally speaking, major bank term deposit interest rates are not as good as those you can find elsewhere. But if you’re someone who likes to do your banking face-to-face, major banks are the ones most likely to offer convenient branch access.

Credit unions and mutual banks

These are smaller institutions, which are usually not-for-profit and owned by their members.

Credit unions and mutual bank term deposits generally come with better interest rates attached than the big banks, but on the other hand, you’ll need to become a member to bank with them, and more than likely have to pay a membership fee.

They’re also often locally based, so if branch access is important to you, check that your chosen credit union or mutual bank is conveniently located for you.

Online banks

More and more people are turning to their computer for banking solutions these days. If you opt for an online bank term deposit, the good news is that you’ll have the pick of some of the best rates on the market. This is because with no branches, online banks have few overhead costs and can pass the savings on to you in the form of competitive interest rates.

The downside is that there’s no option to do your banking in person, so only choose an online term deposit if you’re happy managing your money online or over the phone.

What term deposit offers are available from the banks?

Heaps! So many that we can’t cover them all here. But to give you a snapshot of what’s available from some of the major banks in Australia, we’ve summarised the main points of their term deposit offers for you here.

ANZ term deposits

Who? ANZ is one of the big 4 banks in Australia.

What terms do they offer? When you take out an ANZ term deposit, you can choose a term from 1 month to 5 years. You’ll also have the option to pick either a no notice or advance notice term deposit option.

Minimum deposit? $5,000.

Interest paid to another bank? No. You’ll need to have either a savings account or bank account with ANZ as well as a term deposit, so your interest can be paid into that account.

Interest payment options: Choose to have interest paid monthly, quarterly, half-yearly, annually or at maturity.

You can find details about ANZ bank term deposits and read what its customers have to say about their term deposits in our customer review section.

CommBank term deposits

Who? The Commonwealth Bank is Australia’s biggest bank, turning over the largest profit of the big 4.

What terms do they offer? There are a range of terms on offer, from 1 month to 5 years.

Minimum deposit? $5,000. There’s also an upper limit of $2,000,000.

Interest paid to another bank? Yes.

Interest payment options: Your options for interest payment frequency include monthly, six-monthly, annually and at maturity.

Read some customer reviews to get a feel for what a Commonwealth Bank term deposit is like and then check out the available offers.

NAB term deposits

Who? NAB is one of the big 4 banks and was named Australia’s Best Major Bank in Mozo’s inaugural Experts Choice Australia’s Best Awards.

What terms do they offer? Terms can range from 1 month to 5 years.

Minimum deposit? $5,000.

Interest paid to another bank? Yes.

Interest payment options: You can choose to have interest paid monthly, quarterly, six-monthly, annually or at maturity.

Head over to our NAB product page to read up on its term deposits, and check out some customer reviews here.

Westpac term deposits

Who? Westpac is the final member of the big 4.

What terms do they offer? Your term deposit with Westpac could last anywhere from 1 month to 5 years.

Minimum deposit? $5,000. Westpac term deposits also come with a maximum deposit amount of $250,000.

Interest paid to another bank? Yes.

Interest payment options: Have your interest paid monthly, annually or at maturity.

Check out the details about Westpac term deposits. Or, if you’d like to know first-hand what it’s like to have a Westpac term deposit, browse our customer review section.

Bankwest term deposits

Who? Owned by CommBank, Bankwest is a major player in the Australian banking scene. 

What terms do they offer? Pick any term from 1 month to 5 years.

Minimum deposit? You can deposit between $1,000 and $5,000,000 into your Bankwest term deposit.

Interest paid to another bank? Yes.

Interest payment options: Choose to have interest paid monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or at maturity.

You can find details about Bankwest’s term deposit offers and read reviews from its customers in our customer review section.

St.George term deposits

Who? St.George is another major bank, owned by Westpac.

What terms do they offer? Terms from 1 month to 5 years are available from St.George.

Minimum deposit? $1,000. Like its parent bank, Westpac has an upper deposit limit, although it is much higher, at $5,000,000.

Interest paid to another bank? Yes.

Interest payment options: Choose an interest payment frequency that’s monthly, half-yearly, yearly or at maturity.

Check out St.George term deposits, and if you want to know how its customers rate this bank’s term deposit offers, head over to our customer review section.

ING Direct term deposits

Who? ING Direct is an online bank and kind of a big deal in term deposits - it won multiple Mozo Experts Choice Awards in the category.

What terms do they offer? ING Direct have fewer options than other banks when choosing a term. You can lock your stash away for 3 months to 2 years.

Minimum deposit? $10,000.

Interest paid to another bank? Yes.

Interest payment options: Options are limited here as well - you can choose to have interest paid annually or at maturity.

Start with some first hand experience in our customer review section and then find all the important details about ING Direct term deposits.

ME Bank term deposits

Who? ME Bank is run entirely online and certainly measures up to the big players when it comes to term deposits, having won Mozo Experts Choice Awards for its term deposits in both 2015 and 2016.

What terms do they offer? ME Bank term deposits are available from 1 month to 5 years.

Minimum deposit? You can deposit between $1,000 and $1,000,000 into a ME Bank term deposit.

Interest paid to another bank? Yes.

Interest payment options: Choose to have your ME Bank term deposit interest paid monthly, quarterly, half-yearly, annually or at maturity. 

Head over here to find details about ME Bank term deposits, or if you’d like to hear what its customers have to say, check out our customer review section.

Find the best term deposit

That was just a taste of what’s out there - there are heaps more term deposit deals available. If you want to compare a range of term deposit offers from other providers, check out our term deposits comparison page.

*The information in this guide was correct at the time of writing, but is subject to change. Please click through to the provider’s term deposits page for updated information.

**Not all interest payment options apply to all terms.

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