Australian Unity increased the interest rate offered on its unconditional Freedom Saver account to 5.50% per annum (p.a.) late last month.

Just days later, it closed applications for new customers, citing “unprecedented demand”.

Today, some customers were shocked by news the bank will slash the maximum rate offered by the account to 5.20% p.a. as of 2 January - a little more than a month after the initial welcome news.

The account’s top rate is available for balances of up to $50,000. 

If a person’s balance exceeds that, the rate offered on the total balance is lowered to 5.25% p.a. until it reaches $250,000. 

Balances of between $250,000 and $500,000 can realise a rate of 4.75% p.a. while balances of $500,000 to $5 million can realise a 4.25% p.a. interest rate. 

Balance range 

Current interest rate 

New interest rate as of 2 January

<$50,000

5.50% p.a.

5.20% p.a.

$50,000-$250,000

5.25% p.a. 

5.10% p.a.

$250,000-$500,000

4.75% p.a.

4.75% p.a.

$500,000-$5 million

4.25% p.a.

4.25% p.a. 

Australian Unity customer Dean Parker labelled the change “a classic bait [and] switch rate drop”.

“My relationship with Australian Unity is ending as soon as I can get out of it gracefully," he emailed to Savings.com.au.

Mr Parker was also disappointed by the bank’s application process, which he found was convoluted, requiring multiple identification checks, and a $1,250 daily withdrawal limit the account is said to have.

The bank’s website makes no apparent mention of a maximum withdrawal limit, other than to note withdrawals do not impact the interest rate a customer receives. 

Other customers, such as those on Whirlpool Forums who watch savings account rate movements like a hawk, were also disappointed.

"This looks deceitful. Not smart for a fledgling bank trying to build trust," one user added.

Australian Unity was contacted for comment but did not respond in time for publication. 


Despite the upcoming rate cut, the Freedom Saver’s maximum interest rate could still be a market-leader for some time to come.

A 5.20% p.a. interest rate will see it just 5 basis points below that of Rabobank’s 90 Day Notice Saver.

The 90 Day Notice Saver offers a 5.25% p.a. rate on balances of up to $250,000 to customers who commit to not making a withdrawal for 90 days. 

Those who commit to not making a withdrawal for 60 days and hold a balance of under $250,000 can realise a 5.20% p.a. interest rate on Rabobank's 60 Day Notice Saver offering. 

Meanwhile, the app-exclusive ANZ Plus account promises an unconditional 4.90% p.a. interest rate, as does Unity Bank’s MoneyMAX Account. 

Other top savings account interest rates

Find more of the market’s highest rate savings accounts – both conditional and unconditional – in the table below.

Provider

4000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details
  • Bonus rate for the first 4 months from account opening
  • No account keeping fees
  • No minimum balance

High Interest Savings Account (< $250k)

  • Bonus rate for the first 4 months from account opening
  • No account keeping fees
  • No minimum balance
010000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details
  • Earn up to 5.40% pa by depositing $1,000 in the previous month
  • No account fees
  • Easy access to your money

Saver Account (<$250k)

  • Earn up to 5.40% pa by depositing $1,000 in the previous month
  • No account fees
  • Easy access to your money
4000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details
  • A high-interest online savings account with no monthly fees, easy withdrawals and award-winning digital banking
  • No withdrawal notice periods or interest rate penalties

Savings Account (Amounts < $250k)

  • A high-interest online savings account with no monthly fees, easy withdrawals and award-winning digital banking
  • No withdrawal notice periods or interest rate penalties
02000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details
No monthly fees
  • Download the App to open your account
  • Get better visibility of your spending within App!
  • Deposit $200 per month to activate bonus interest
No monthly fees

Save Account

  • Download the App to open your account
  • Get better visibility of your spending within App!
  • Deposit $200 per month to activate bonus interest
Important Information and Comparison Rate Warning

All products with a link to a product provider’s website have a commercial marketing relationship between us and these providers. These products may appear prominently and first within the search tables regardless of their attributes and may include products marked as promoted, featured or sponsored. The link to a product provider’s website will allow you to get more information or apply for the product. By de-selecting “Show online partners only” additional non-commercialised products may be displayed and re-sorted at the top of the table. For more information on how we’ve selected these “Sponsored”, “Featured” and “Promoted” products, the products we compare, how we make money, and other important information about our service, please click here. Rates correct as of June 13, 2024. View disclaimer.

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