Compare: Which Savings Account Is Right For You?

Date May 17, 2021
Blog category Kiwisaver
By Khristine Eusebio
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Opening a savings account is a great way to prepare for your future, and maybe even get the hang of investing. Whether you're about to start a family or just want to have a fallback for emergencies, there are many choices available for you. But of course, it's always best to first do your research before choosing the right account to put your hard-earned money into it. 

Here's a quick guide to get you started, plus some of the best savings account in NZ that you might want to consider!

What's a savings account?

Opening a savings account is one of the many ways you can safely save your money for the future. Most if not all banks use this money to lend to their other customers, and as compensation, the money in your account earns interest. This might make you feel like your money isn't safe, but there's no need to worry as your money will always be available when you need it.

How is it different from a term deposit?

If you think you won't need immediate access to your money, you can opt for a term deposit instead. Unlike a savings account, a term deposit is a fixed income investment account which means you will not be able to access your money for a period of time. The range may differ depending on the bank, but it usually takes from one month up to five years. They offer a fixed interest rate for the duration of your investment which you will get by the end of the term.

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What are the types of savings accounts?

  • Traditional Savings Account

From the name itself, a traditional savings account is the most common among the options. This type of SA gives you full access to your savings, but it's also usually the one with a lower interest rate. Other terms may depend on your bank, but a traditional savings account might require a minimum deposit, a limited number of times to withdraw every month, or a maintaining balance. This is the best option for people who are unsure of how much money they can deposit regularly.

  • Internet Savings Account

Put simply, this account is managed through the internet only. It's also usually the ones that offer higher interest rates. All you need is an internet connection to access your funds. Please note that this type of savings account may not be connected to an EFTPOS card, nor can it be used for ATM withdrawals.

  • Incentivised Savings Accounts

A stricter option, an incentivized account rewards their customers every time they increase their savings balance and gets a penalty if they often withdraw funds from their account. It's a good option if you want to meet your goals and are confident that you can deposit the necessary amount each month. 

  • Children's Savings Accounts

Start them young! This savings account is best for children under 18 years old. It usually has low fees, and interest rates are high to encourage them to save money. Once the child turns 18, the bank will help the customer switch to a savings account that better suits them.

What are the top savings accounts in NZ today?

Best for students and young professionals:

Rabobank - Notice Saver

A NoticSavers account offers a high interest rate in exchange for giving 60 days' notice every time you plan to make a withdrawal.

Interest ​Rate 1.00% p.a.
Notice period 60 days
Minimum balance $0
Other fees none
Minimum/maximum deposit $1, on balances up to $5 million

Apply here.

Kiwibank - Notice Saver

Avoid touching your savings with a 90 days' notice savings account. This means you will need to give notice to your bank first to make a withdrawal. You may choose to have your returns paid back into your Notice Saver or get paid monthly to your nominated account. You can manage your account and make transactions through internet banking or Kiwi bank's mobile app.

Interest ​Rate 1.00% p.a.
Notice period 90 days
Other fees none
Minimum/maximum deposit $500 and no maximum deposit 

Apply here.

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Bank of Baroda - Savings

Baroda Bank allows you to open a savings account with a "zero balance," but you will need to maintain a minimum balance of $500 from the following month. The interest will depend on your daily balance and paid monthly.

Interest ​Rate 0.60% p.a.
Minimum/maximum deposit $2,000 and no maximum deposit
Other fees none

Apply here.

Heartland Bank - YouChoose

This account allows you to earn interest regardless of how much your savings balance is. There are no setup or monthly fees, plus you can add an optional overdraft to help you with unforeseen costs or other expenses. You can manage your funds with your YouChoose EFTPOS card and check transaction history and balance through the Heartland Mobile App.

​Interest ​Rate 0.50% p.a.
Minimum/maximum deposit $0, on balances up to $100,000
Other fees none

Apply here.

Rabobank - PremiumSaver

Earn up to 0.75%* interest rate or a bonus rate of up to 0.50% if you increase your account balance by $50 monthly. Make sure that you can commit to this type of savings as you will not be given the bonus interest if you fail to increase your balance consistently. Failure to increase your balance at the end of the month means your entire balance will get a 0.20% p.a. for that month instead.

​Interest ​Rate 0.20% - 0.75%
Minimum/maximum deposit $0, on balances up to $100,000 

*This is applicable on balances up to $100,000.

Apply here.

For the kids in your family:

NZCU Baywide Kids Saver (0-11 years old)

Teach your kids the importance of saving! They will receive a Kids saver gift plus monthly statements that include saving tips and ideas. This savings account also has free direct credits and transfers.

​Interest ​Rate 0.50%*
Minimum/maximum deposit $1, on balances up to $100,000 
Other fees none

*Interest is calculated based on the minimum daily balance and paid monthly.

Apply here.

About the author
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Khristine Eusebio

Khristine E. is an all-around creative who has dabbled in different fields, including advertising and social media. She spends her free time exploring TikTok and the weird corners of the internet.

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