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5.5% interest: Westpac and ING among Australia's top savings accounts this month

Aussie households are still under 'extreme' cost-of-living pressure.

Despite a slight easing of inflation, cost of living pressures remain high and that's forcing many Aussies to continually reassess their savings habits and financial strategies - with varying success.

But for those struggling to grow their savings, Finder has identified the accounts with the best savings rates available this month, to park your cash and grow your balance.

Finder's latest cost-of-living pressure gauge indicates an 'extreme' level of pressure at 76 per cent, driven by the fact that 62 per cent of mortgage holders say they are experiencing mortgage stress, and 38 per cent of homeowners are struggling to cover their housing expenses, let alone grow their savings balance.

Compilation image of people shopping in Brisbane and cash with an arrow over the top to represent savings
Finder reveals the accounts that will help accelerate your savings goals. (Source: Getty) (Samantha Menzies)

Savings struggle creates more financial strife

During the peak of the COVID-19 crisis, Aussies significantly boosted their savings, with the average monthly savings jumping from about $700 to nearly $1,000 between February 2020 and 2021. But this figure has since dropped back to around the $700 mark.


And the level of savings differs drastically between men and women, at approximately $840 and $570 per month, respectively. This gap is concerning given this savings buffer is considered the key way for households to alleviate financial stress and remain resilient against escalating living costs.

Also by Graham Cooke:

The gender gap in savings also points to broader economic disparities, which may require targeted interventions to overcome.

Which savings account has the best interest?

In this high-pressure financial environment, high-interest savings accounts have become a lifeline for Australians looking to strengthen their financial security. The value proposition of these accounts has increased in line with the high cash rate, offering a rare financial silver lining in turbulent times.

The best overall savings account for March 2024, according to Finder analysis, goes to ING’s Savings Maximiser.

Currently, Australians can secure a return of up to 5.5 per cent on balances up to $100,000 with ING's main offering. This account stands out from the rest thanks to its high ongoing rate, without the typical introductory-period caveat seen in many big-bank offerings.

For the average Aussie with a starting balance of $35,500 and saving $700 per month, this ING account rate translates to an additional $4,500 earned in interest over three years when compared with any standard savings account from a Big Four bank, even taking into account their bonus introductory rates.

The best savings account from the Big Four is Westpac Life (available for 18-29 -year-olds only) which has a maximum rate of 5.20 per cent on balances up to $30,000.

The best high-interest savings account is ME’s HomeME savings account, which offers a maximum 5.5 per cent rate on balances up to $100,000 - provided the saver grows their balance each month.

Top savings accounts (Source: Finder)
Best savings accounts for March 2024. (Source: Finder)

But remember, savings accounts are diverse so the best option for one individual will depend on their unique financial situation and goals.

Aussies should take the time to research and compare various savings products to find one that aligns with their savings habits, savings goals, and the level of access to funds they require.

The best rate in the market frequently shifts from one provider to another. Typically, the optimal strategy to maximise your savings involves opening multiple accounts (they are free, after all) and transferring your funds to wherever the best rate is available.

By strategically manoeuvring savings in this way, Aussies can effectively turn the tables on banks, ensuring they're always one step ahead in the savings game.

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