Hear Ye! Since 1998.
Please note: This post is at least 3 years old. Links may be broken, information may be out of date, and the views expressed in the post may no longer be held.
12
Feb 04
Thu

Savings Accounts

I have two main bank accounts for my cash. One is a debit card account which I use for day to day cash purposes (“working capital” in accounting-speak) and whose balance constantly scrapes near to zero and earns bugger all interest. A second account is a savings deposit one which stores a larger portion of savings at a higher interest rate. These days, many banks are offering these types of accounts at a higher interest rate than term deposits, so it makes sense to store money in these since they don’t come with the withdrawal limitations imposed on term deposits. Underneath is a round up of several “savings maximiser” type accounts a few banks are offering. They’re all a good deal, offering 24/7 access to your money, and generally are completely fee-free.

Citibank Online Cash Manager
– 5.25% pa interest, calculated daily
– No minimum balance
– No account-keeping or minimum balance fees
– Withdrawals: 2 free withdrawals per month. Additional ones are $2 each.
– Debit card available

St George DragonDirect DirectSaver
– 5.0% pa interest, calculated daily
– No minimum balance
– No account-keeping or minimum balance fees
– Withdrawals: No withdrawal fees. Withdraw only via Net or Phone banking

ING Savings Maximiser
– 5.0% pa interest, calculated daily
– No minimum balance
– No account-keeping or minimum balance fees
– Withdrawals: No withdrawal fees. Withdraw only via Net or Phone banking

HSBC Online Savings Account
– 4.5% pa interest, calculated daily (or 0.5% pa for balances under $2000)
– No minimum balance. Require $2000 to open account
– No account-keeping or minimum balance fees
– No apparent withdrawal fees
– Debit card available: unlimited transactions from HSBC ATMs, 5 free transactions per month at any other ATM
– Cheque book option available

There are other more subtle differences. Some of these accounts have a slight delay in withdrawing money, and some are Internet-only accounts (which means you can’t access your money through an ATM). Read the FAQs for more information. A good combo would be the HSBC account as a working capital account, and the Citibank one for savings. There aren’t many HSBC ATMs around town, but as long as you don’t have to use the ATM more than five times a month, that should be fine. Note that interest rates always fluctuate, but they are accurate at this moment. ING, the first bank to offer these types of accounts, have had rates as high as 6.5%. Also, from time to time, some banks run promotions which offer cash bonuses (around $20) for opening up an account.