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Savings account interest rates: May 2021

By Peter Marshall ·

In recent months, the number of cuts to savings accounts has slowed down a bit. April in particular saw far fewer cuts than in previous months, but this is perhaps an indication that rates have reached the bottom. 

The Westpac Life account and ANZ Progress Saver lead among offerings from the major banks, giving savers interest rates of 0.40% p.a. so long as a few requirements are met. For those aged between 18 and 29, the maximum rate on the Westpac Life account jumps up to a staggering 3.00% p.a. However, this only applies on balances up to $30,000, and the monthly conditions are a bit more numerous.

Bank of Queensland also offers rates of 3.00% p.a. with its Fast Track Starter Account. Like the Westpac Life account, there are age restrictions, and the maximum rate only applies to balances up to $10,000.

For older Australians, there are still a few worthwhile options out there. ING currently offers an ongoing bonus rate of 1.35% p.a., so long as a few monthly conditions are met. Rabobank offers an introductory rate of 1.50% p.a., which is available for the first 4 months before reverting to 0.25% p.a. And the Volt Savings Account comes with a base rate of 1.00% p.a., which is unconditional for balances up to $245,000.

To find out how interest rates are tracking in other banking products for May, check out our snapshot for Home Loan Interest Rates, Personal Loan Interest Rates, Car Loan Interest Rates and Term Deposit Interest Rates.

Picture of Peter Marshall
Peter Marshall
Banking expert

Peter has been working in the Australian banking and finance industry for over 20 years and oversees Mozo’s extensive product database. He is regularly sought out for his expert commentary and analysis on banking and interest rates trends by print, radio and TV media.

Latest savings account interest rates on Mozo - last updated 9 May 2021

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

    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. New customers can earn up to 5000 bonus Virgin Money points on purchases (conditions apply). Benefit together with a joint account

    Compare
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    Details
  • placeholder
    Mozo Experts Choice 2021
    Bonus Saver 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 when at least $20 is deposited each month and five Visa Debit transactions are made each month using linked Everyday or Glide transaction accounts.

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

    Compare
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  • placeholder
    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.

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    Details
  • placeholder
    Serious Saver

    Maximum rate
    standard interest rate
    Govt Deposit Guarantee
    0.30% p.a. (for $0 to $1,000,000)
    0.15% p.a.(for $0 and over)
    Yes up to $250,000

    Bonus rate for first 3 months, reverting to 0.15% rate after

    $0 monthly account fee. Link to any Australian bank account.

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    Details
  • placeholder
    Hero Saver

    Maximum rate
    standard interest rate
    Govt Deposit Guarantee
    0.70% p.a. (for $0 to $250,001)
    0.01% p.a.(for $0 to $5,000,000)
    Yes up to $250,000

    Minimum deposit of $200 and no withdrawals in the month.

    Interest is calculated daily and paid monthly. Automatic payment feature. No minimum opening balance needed.

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    Fast Track Saver Account

    Maximum rate
    standard interest rate
    Govt Deposit Guarantee
    1.05% p.a. (for $1 to $250,000)
    0.05% p.a.(for $1 and over)
    Yes up to $250,000

    Ongoing bonus rate applied if in the previous month $1,000 or more is credited to the linked Day2Day Plus account and 5 eligible transactions are made by the linked account.

    Earn 1.05% p.a. Bonus Interest in the following month on your Fast Track Saver Account balance. Earn Bonus Interest on your savings, with no minimum balance required.

    Compare
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  • placeholder
    Flexi Saver

    Maximum rate
    standard interest rate
    Govt Deposit Guarantee
    0.25% p.a. (for $0 to $5,000,000)
    0.05% p.a.(for $0 to $5,000,000)
    Yes up to $250,000

    Increase balance by at least $300 in the month

    No upfront or ongoing fees. Unlimited free transactions. Great for regular contributions.

    Compare
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    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.

    Compare
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    Details

^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Savings accounts Awards

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Savings account interest rates resources

Reviews, news, tips and guides to help find the best savings account for you.

FAQ

What is a savings account?

A savings account is a low risk account where you can stash the savings that you don’t plan to use for daily expenses. Generally speaking, savings accounts usually require a low minimum balance, and are a good way to keep your money safe but still accessible.

How is my savings account interest calculated?

Most savings accounts calculate and compound interest daily. This means that the amount of interest you earn is constantly growing, and you can boost it by making regular deposits into your savings account. 

For example, if you have $1,000 in a savings account with an interest rate of 2.0% p.a., you’ll earn $20 in interest each year. If you were to add monthly deposits of $175, you could double your interest. Check out our savings calculator to work out what your interest rate is earning you.

Types of saving account interest rates

Different types of savings accounts will have different interest rates attached to them. Here are some of the popular types of savings accounts and what interest rate you might expect from them.

Online interest rates

For technology-savvy savers, online savings accounts are a great way to maximise your interest. Online banking cuts out overhead costs for the banks, which usually means higher interest rates and lower (if any) fees for you.

Introductory interest rates

Offered as incentive to open an account, introductory interest rates usually apply for a period of 3-6 months from the time when you open the account. Intro rates are usually very high, but remember to check the standard rate as well before you open an account, because after the initial introductory period your interest will go back to the standard rate. An account with a high introductory rate is perfect if you’re saving for a short term goal, like a new car or a shopping spree.

Bonus interest rates

These rates are offered as long as you meet certain conditions, usually something like a monthly minimum deposit or maximum withdrawal limit. Some only require you to make a certain amount of purchases each month using your linked everyday transaction account.

Bonus interest rates are higher than the account’s standard rate, sometimes by quite a bit, so it's worth checking out what you might have to do to be eligible. Knowing that your high interest rate may be conditional upon not withdrawing from your account is also a great motivator to stick to your budget!

Bonus interest rate criteria

Long term interest rates

If you want an account that you can leave your savings in for a longer period of time and you’re not interested in switching around to chase introductory or bonus rates, look for a savings account with a high standard interest rate. Take a look at Mozo’s long term savings account comparison to find out which bank is offering the best savings interest rates at the moment.

Kids saver interest rates

It’s never too early to introduce your kids to the importance of saving! You can start by opening a kids savings account. While these accounts generally don’t have any fees, and their introductory or bonus rates are competitive, these rates also often depend on conditions like a monthly minimum deposit. If you’re not sure that your child can meet the requirements, it's better to search for an account with a higher standard interest rate.

Picture of Peter Marshall
Peter Marshall
Banking expert

Peter Marshall has been working in the Australian banking and finance industry for over 20 years and oversees Mozo’s extensive product database. He is regularly sought out for his expert commentary and analysis on banking and interest rates trends by print, radio and TV media.

FAQs about savings account interest rates

We've covered what savings accounts are and the types of interest they offer, but there might still be one or two things you're in the dark about. Below, we've compiled a few key questions to put you on the right track to finding the perfect savings account.

How do interest rates affect my savings?

Like home loans and term deposits, savings account rates move in line with the cash rate. When the Reserve Bank reduces official interest rates, banks are usually quick to cut their savings rates in kind. If, however, the RBA was to raise official interest rates, you can generally expect much more attractive returns on your savings.

What should I look for in a savings account?

There are a few key features to keep in mind when you’re shopping around for a competitive savings account. While securing the highest possible interest rate might seem like the most important thing, it can sometimes be a bit trickier than that. Keep an eye on these things when choosing a savings account:

  • High ongoing interest rate: When you compare savings accounts on the Mozo website, you’ll see special and standard interest rates. The high special rates are always very tempting, but it’s important to remember that these rates often don’t last more than a few months, or may be reliant on conditions that you can’t meet. That’s why it's important to look at the standard interest rate and make sure it is also competitive.
  • High introductory rate: A savings account with a high introductory interest rate is a great way to boost your savings. This is great because it isn’t reliant on withdrawal or deposit requirements - all you need to do is open the account.
  • Compulsory linked accounts: Some savings accounts, especially online ones, will require you to have a linked transactions account so you can transfer money to and from the savings account. Make sure that you’re not paying extra fees or charges with this account, or all your hard earned interest may not mean much.
  • Extra fees and charges: These days, most online banking is fee free, but make sure you’re not paying annual account fees or transaction fees. When you’re trying to maximise your savings, a high interest rate may not mean much if you’re paying extra fees on the account.
  • Monthly deposit requirements: Sometimes your interest rate will depend on you maintaining a minimum monthly balance or making a minimum monthly deposit. If you can’t do so, some banks will lower your interest rate for the month, or maybe not pay interest at all. So before you choose a savings account, it's a good idea to look closely at your budget and choose an account with conditions you can meet each month.
  • Withdrawal conditions: Your savings account is designed as a place to park your money and leave it there. That means there could be conditions or penalties for making withdrawals from it. Some accounts might not pay interest for the month in which you made a withdrawal, although some will allow one withdrawal without penalty. So if you can, leave your savings account alone, and check out a competitive transaction account instead.

How can I earn the most interest with my savings account?

If you’re looking to maximise your savings, earning interest is one of the easiest and low-risk ways to do it. Use some of these handy tips to help you make the most of your savings account interest rate.

  • Get online: Online banking is easy and efficient, and you can do it wherever and whenever you need to. Even better, online accounts usually come with no fees and high interest rates. If you don’t need to have branch access and are happy to manage your savings from the comfort of your own lounge chair, an account with an online provider is competitive and convenient.
  • Switch accounts regularly: You can take advantage of high introductory interest rates by switching accounts regularly. Most introductory periods last between 3 and 6 months, so when one runs out, you can close the account and open a different one. This can be a time consuming process and can be more of a hassle than it’s worth for some people, but one of the benefits of online banking is that it’s easier than ever to switch bank accounts.

How do I compare savings account interest rates?

You need to take a lot of things into account when choosing the right savings account for you: bonus and introductory interest rates, ongoing interest rates, fees and conditions. You’ll also need to know what kind of deposits your budget allows for and how you want to use your account. It can all seem a little overwhelming, so here at Mozo, we’ve taken some of the hard work out of it for you with these handy resources:

  • Savings account comparison page - check out all the latest interest rates available on savings account from a range of providers and choose the one that suits you best.
  • Savings account guides - we’ve got guides that cover all the important details you’ll need to know about when setting up a savings account that will earn you the most interest.
  • Reviews of savings accounts - there’s nothing better than first hand experience! Read reviews from customers on their savings accounts experiences.

You can also find out more about interest rates, how they work and what they mean for you by visiting our interest rate guides pages.