When you are looking for the right account to use for your savings, the key features to compare are:

Savings account key features
  • The interest you'll earn
  • How long you have to commit your money for
  • How easy it will be to access
  • What fees and charges you will pay

Work out which account best meets your needs.

For example, if you save to cover large bills during the year, you need ready access to your money so a transaction account or a cash management account might be a good choice. If you've saved enough for a house deposit but haven't found the one you want to buy, a term deposit account might be more suited to your needs.

Fees can vary significantly between account types and institutions. Three common types are:
  • Account keeping fees (sometimes called account servicing fees), which are usually charged on a flat rate per month and allow you a number of free transactions before fees apply
  • Transaction fees, which are typically charged for ATM use, online banking transactions, EFTPOS or BPAY
  • One-off charges usually apply to things like requesting a statement or dishonoured cheques

It pays to shop around and compare features, interest rates, fees and charges. You may find it useful to have more than one type of account. For example, most of your pay could go into a savings account for day-to-day expenses and small bills while the rest goes into a special purpose savings account for your annual holiday.

A handy site for comparing savings accounts is www.infochoice.com.au.

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