Introductory Rate Savings Accounts

Introductory Rate Savings Accounts offer new customers a sign up bonus of extra interest for an introductory period, that can be as much as double the accounts standard variable rate. Once the introductory period finishes, which on average lasts for 3 - 4 months, the interest rate reverts to the accounts standard variable rate. A key feature of these introductory rate savings accounts is that the introductory bonus interest rate is offered without any conditions.

A selection of Introductory Rate Savings Accounts are featured in the comparison table below along with our interest earned calculator which is designed to help you calculate the amount of interest you will earn from each of the featured accounts during the introductory period.

Comparing the Best Introductory Savings Accounts

 

To maximize the interest you earn on your savings you need to balance any need to access your savings with your quest for the highest rate of interest. Introductory Savings Accounts are popular with savers who know they may need to access their savings relatively frequently but who are keen to earn as much interest as possible, without losing this flexibility.

 

The features to include in your comparison

Introductory Rate - The introductory rate is added to the standard variable rate for the duration of the introductory period, which tends to be between 3-4 months. So for example, if your standard variable rate is 1.5% p.a. and your introductory rate is 1.7% p.a. you will earn an interest rate of 3.20% p.a. for introductory period. This rate is often referred to as the maximum variable rate. Unlike a Bonus Rate Saver Account you do not need to meet any conditions in terms of withdrawals or deposits to earn this introductory rate, as it comes with essentially, no strings attached.

 

Standard Variable Rate - Once the introductory period finishes the interest rate on your account switches or reverts to the accounts standard variable rate. This rate is then applied to your account balance each and every month going forward, so if you are planning on keeping your savings in this account over the medium to long term this rate is equally important of not more important than the Introductory rate.

 

Minimum opening balance - Historically to open a savings accounts you needed to deposit a minimum amount of money into the account on day 1, this requirement is now close to obsolete. A point to bear in mind with Introductory Rate Savings Accounts is that to maximize the interest earned you should seek to deposit the maximum amount into your account from day 1 so you can reap the full benefit of the introductory rate.

 

Linked Account - The majority of Introductory Savings account require that you link the account to a transaction account, sometimes this needs to be with the same institution who are providing the savings account. This linked account is then used to deposit and withdraw any funds from the savings account.

 

Accessing your Savings - Introductory Savings Accounts are designed to enable savers to deposit and withdraw money when they want without any impact on the interest rate applied to the account balance.

 

Account Fees - Most of these accounts do not charge a monthly account administration fee though many impose charges on transactions, which if you plan on making frequent transactions can mount up quickly when they are priced in the region of $2 per transaction.

 

Interest Calculation - Interest on these savings accounts is generally calculated daily and paid into your account on the last day of each month. Deposits made on the last day of the month will generally not be included in the interest calculation for that month, but will be for the following.

 

Applying for an Introductory Rate Savings Account

 

First check your eligibility

  • Age requirement - Generally you must be at least 12 years old
  • Residency requirement - Applicants need to be permanent Australian residents with a physical address inside of Australia.
  • Contact details - An e-mail address and phone number will be requested during the application, this will be used by the provider to keep you updated on the status of your application.

Documentation that will be requested by your provider

  • Identification documents - A photo ID is required which can be your Driver’s license or passport.
  • Tax File Number - This is not compulsory though will make your tax return easier at the end of the year, as any interest earned on your savings maybe subject to tax.

Frequently Asked Questions

Introductory Rate Savings Account vs Bonus Rate Savings Account

Introductory Rate Savings Accounts are designed to offer a higher interest rate in the early months of opening the account, generally this is the first 3 months. This higher interest rate is offered to new account holders and comes with no conditions. Bonus Rate Savings Accounts similarly offer a higher interest rate though the rate is not for a fixed introductory period. The higher interest rate, including the Bonus Interest, is applied to the account so long as the account holder meets some conditions. These conditions generally focus on how the account is used, with the Bonus rate typically applying each month that at least 1 deposit and no withdrawals are made.