With many Australians paying off a debt-hangover from the Christmas and New Year period, the Customer Owned Banking Association (COBA) is encouraging people to think beyond traditional banking products, like credit cards and savings accounts, and to consider a Christmas club account instead.  

Need somewhere to store cash and earn interest? The table below features savings accounts with some of the highest interest rates on the market.

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
  • Deposit at least $1,000+ each month from an external source
  • Make 5 or more eligible transactions
  • Grow your savings balance each month

Savings Maximiser (<$100k)

  • Deposit at least $1,000+ each month from an external source
  • Make 5 or more eligible transactions
  • Grow your savings balance each month
010000$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
  • Save up to 10% on eGift cards at over 50 retailers with Macquarie Marketplace

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
  • Save up to 10% on eGift cards at over 50 retailers with Macquarie Marketplace
05001$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details
  • Maximum Age - 24

Goal Saver

  • Maximum Age - 24
000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details
*Rate varies on savings amount
  • Deposit $500 per month to get bonus interest
  • No balance growth needed or card transactions necessary.
  • Tiered bonus rates apply. Earn our best rate on your first $100k. (TMDs at ubank.com.au)
  • 5.50% p.a. available on total savings up to $100K.
  • 5.00% p.a. applies to savings between $100K-250K.
*Rate varies on savings amount

Save Account (>$100,000)

  • Deposit $500 per month to get bonus interest
  • No balance growth needed or card transactions necessary.
  • Tiered bonus rates apply. Earn our best rate on your first $100k. (TMDs at ubank.com.au)
  • 5.50% p.a. available on total savings up to $100K.
  • 5.00% p.a. applies to savings between $100K-250K.
0200$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details
  • No fees or penalties for withdrawing money
  • Savings guaranteed up to $250,000
  • Maximise your savings and reach your goals faster with Auto-Savings

Bonus Saver Account (Amounts < $250k)

  • No fees or penalties for withdrawing money
  • Savings guaranteed up to $250,000
  • Maximise your savings and reach your goals faster with Auto-Savings
010000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details
For customers aged 14-35 years
For customers aged 14-35 years

Future Saver Account ( < $50k)

    010000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details

    Boost Saver

      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 July 13, 2024. View disclaimer.

      Just what is a Christmas club account, exactly? 

      Christmas club accounts have been around for more than 100 years, but the modernisation of bank accounts and the emergence of credit cards and buy now, pay later has seen them fall well out of favour. 

      They're essentially a kind of savings account that acts like a term deposit, encouraging customers to put amounts of money away each week into an account that can only be accessed at certain times. 

      For example, they're frequently used in the lead up to Christmas to help pay for gifts, hence the name Christmas club accounts. 

      Customer Owned Banking CEO Mike Lawrence said these accounts are one example of how people can manage their money wisely. 

      “Christmas club accounts are a customer-focused product that help customers plan ahead and set savings goals that will leave them with a sense of relief rather than dread after the holidays are over," he said. 

      “As an alternative option to manage holiday spending, Christmas Club accounts are a great way to consistently build on your savings throughout the year.”

      Gateway Bank CEO Lexi Airey told Savings.com.au in 2019 that this 'old-school' way of saving can be a good way of saving, just as the 'new-school' methods like expense trackers, micro-investing apps and automated savings ’round-ups can be.

      “Mainly the preserve of customer-owned banks, Christmas Club Accounts are probably one of the best-kept secrets for saving money,” Ms Airey told Savings.com.au.

      “They are designed as purpose-built ‘jam jars’ with restricted access so you won’t be tempted to spend early and importantly, there are usually no account-keeping fees, so you can open as many as you like for different reasons like presents, food, or travel.”

      Christmas club savings accounts: Interest rates and fees

      Christmas Club accounts aren't offered by as many banks as regular accounts. They're more common among the customer-owned banks, while some larger retail banks like Bendigo Bank offer them as well.  

      The interest rates offered on Christmas accounts tend to be a bit lower on average than the standard savings account. 

      There are some as low as 0.10% p.a and 0.20% p.a, while many tend to sit around the 0.50% - 0.60% p.a range. 

      Gateway Bank offers a Christmas club product with a 1.00% p.a rate, and only allows access from November 1 to January 31st each year.

      These rates might seem low, but interest rates on standard savings accounts aren't too hot either, and Mr Lawrence said the interest rate is only one consideration to make. 

      "The frequency of payments and when interest is calculated can help earn more through compound interest," he told Savings.com.au.

      "Many Christmas Club accounts will also waive account keeping and transaction fees."

      While these fees often aren't charged, Christmas accounts do tend to charge fees for early withdrawals, similar to term deposits

      "In any event, discussing your goals with a trusted expert can result in a better decision and pathway to savings," Mr Lawrence said. 

      Photo by Gabby K from Pexels