Don't settle for a miserly rate
Having an iron-clad money-saving plan can really pay off down the road. If you manage to squirrel away $100 each week from the beginning of the year, for instance, you'll have nearly $5100 by mid-December. That's real money in most people's books.
But you won't get a lot of help from the banks when it comes to growing that money in your everyday transaction account.
Westpac and CBA now pay their customers zero interest on transaction accounts, ANZ pays nothing for amounts under $50,000 and NAB pays a meagre 0.01%.
At those rates, the value of your money is effectively moving backward as inflation creeps forward.
But you can access a less laughable rate by linking a high-interest account to your transaction account or using a home loan offset account.
Rates on high-interest accounts have gone down in recent times, and the best rates have fallen farthest, but they're still a better option that letting your money languish in a tightfisted transaction account.
And, needless to say, the banks impose conditions on getting their highest rates which are designed to keep your money in their hands as long as possible.
Top high-interest accounts
The best online saver accounts:
(Updated 7 February 2017 – for daily updated rates check our comparison tool.)
Best 3 savings accounts by standard rate
- Move Express Saver – 2.40%
- AMP Saver Account – 2.10%
- Catalyst Money Saver – 2.10%
Best 5 savings accounts by bonus rate
- ME Online Savings Account – 3.05%. Ongoing bonus rate if you make a weekly purchase using PayPass Tap & Go on your ME Everyday Transaction Account.
- RAMS Saver Account – 3.00%. Minimum deposit of $200, no withdrawals.
- Australian Unity Active Saver – 3.00%. Minimum deposit of $250 and no withdrawals in the month.
- AMP Bett3er Save Account – 3.00%. Minimum deposit of $2000 per month into linked Bett3er Pay account from an external source.
- ING DIRECT Savings Maximiser – 3.00%. For customers who also have an Orange Everyday Account and deposit their pay of $1000+ each month.
How much can you earn?
- 26 cents: Interest earned on a 0.01% interest transaction account if you deposit $100 per week for a year – total savings $5200.26
- $78.54: Interest earned on a 3.05% interest savings account (bonus rate) if you deposit $100 per week for a year – total savings $5278.54