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Act now: These are the best savings rates available today

You can get savings rates as high as 5.15 per cent, but it comes with some conditions.

Compilation image of Nicole sitting at a desk and a pile of $100 notes to represent savings
Potential rate hike cuts later this year are bad news for Aussies with a lump of cash in savings accounts. (Source: Supplied/Getty) (Samantha Menzies)

It’s very possible that the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) will give us a cash rate rise reprieve when it meets on Tuesday as mortgage-holders reel and savings-holders rejoice from a sudden and sharp ‘tightening’ campaign of 10 interest rate hikes in as many months.

Not only might our central bank pause cash rate hikes, many economists now believe it will begin to ease monetary policy and begin to cut rates as soon as November. While this is great news for mortgage-holders, the same is not true of savers. Anyone with money in the bank or who is diligently saving – for say, a house – has been enjoying a long-overdue jump in their interest returns.

Read more from Nicole Pedersen-McKinnon:

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The official interest rate has risen to 3.6 per cent today, from a historic low of 0.1 per cent from early 2020. What’s more, wobbles overseas have seen local banks eager to raise cheaper funds at home, with many upping their rates even more than required. But it won’t last.

The best rates on savings

The tables below, from Mozo, show the largest-paying savings accounts right now.

Savings rate table
(Source: Mozo.com.au, as at March 30 2023)

You can see that Australians under 35 years old can get a rate of 5.15 per cent from Bank of Queensland, and even the 5 per cent available to the rest of us from ING isn’t bad.

Just be aware that all such incentive saver accounts come with conditions. You need to hit these conditions each and every month to get that 1/12 portion of the potential interest rate. Typical conditions include a set number of deposits each month, a set number of card transactions, your balance growing, or even no withdrawals.

It’s possible life may get in the way and if you fail to meet these conditions, you drop down to what is usually a pathetic rate. So if you’re sceptical that you can clear the hurdles each and every month, then you’d be better suited to ANZ Plus’s 4.25 per cent account.

But don’t miss that not only are all of these rates ‘best case scenario’ (and contingent upon your spending behaviour when there is a ‘bonus bit’ like the ones before ANZ), they are variable. Rate falls are far from good.

And that brings us to term deposits…

Lock-in deals are large and won’t last

Let me start by saying that with a term deposit, you need to lock your money away. If you take it out, there will be a rate penalty to pay. So just like with incentive saver accounts above, you need to carefully weigh what money you are going to need and when.

But if you can economically commit, you will get as much as 5 per cent today. That’s for five years with Judo Bank.

Savings rate table
(Source: Mozo.com.au, as at March 30 2023)

Here’s the thing, though: for savers, I am nervous even as I type that. These top term deposit deals WILL NOT LAST. Even a hold call by the RBA on Tuesday will see them fall.

Nicole Pedersen-McKinnon is the author of How to Get Mortgage-Free Like Me, available at www.nicolessmartmoney.com. Follow Nicole on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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