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CBA surprises customers with January cash boost

Australia’s biggest bank has increased the introductory rate on its popular savings accounts. But there’s a catch.

Commonwealth Bank branch. Australian money savings.
Commonwealth Bank has today increased its popular savings account rate. (Source: Getty)

Commonwealth Bank has increased the introductory rate on its popular NetBank savings account, making it the highest introductory rate on offer from the Big Four banks.

The major bank made a 0.25 per cent increase to the account, taking the total rate available to 4 per cent. But there’s a catch.

The rate only applies for the first five months for new customers. After this, it plummets to just 1.60 per cent.

RateCity research director Sally Tindall said the new rate was designed to turn heads, but customers should read the fine print.

“After five months, the rate falls through the floor – an almighty caveat that is likely to catch some customers out,” Tindall said.

“Existing CBA NetBank savers should call up the bank and ask to be put back on the new customer rate. It’s a five-minute phone call that could more than double their interest rate overnight.”

Canstar’s finance expert, Steve Mickenbecker, said the boost should give savers a glimmer of hope given it was out of step with the recent Reserve Bank hikes.

“If the biggest bank in the country is chasing savings, maybe the worm is turning and savers might expect their share of future increases,” Mickenbecker said.

“The banks have been awash with savings, but the time was always going to come when they would have to start competing for deposits.

What are the top savings rates?

Unless you are willing to move your savings every five months, or haggle with your bank regularly, RateCity said it was worth shopping around.

Those looking to save with no terms and conditions, may want to choose an account with a competitive ongoing rate. The highest on offer currently is 3.75 per cent.

But if you’re willing to jump through a few hoops, you could qualify for an even higher rate of up to 4.60 per cent for all adults and 4.75 per cent for young adults.

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