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Best savings accounts

The best savings account can make your money work harder for you.

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A savings account can help your money work harder, meaning you earn more money in interest. The best savings account for you might not be the best for someone else. When searching for the best savings account in New Zealand, look for a competitive interest rate and ongoing account conditions with which you’re comfortable.

Which type of savings account is best for me?

Tips to find the best savings account

  • You can start with a $0 minimum deposit. With some savings accounts, you can open the account with a low, or even no, initial deposit, which is something to look for if you don’t have much money to deposit into an account.
  • The account doesn’t charge monthly fees. It’s rare to find a savings account that charges monthly account fees, so try to avoid them if you do find one.
  • Competitive interest rate. You want a savings account that offers a competitive interest rate, but only if you can meet the deposit conditions. If you can’t meet the conditions, you only earn the base interest rate.
  • A linked bank account that suits you. Most savings accounts require a linked transaction account with the same bank, which is how you can transfer money into and out of your savings account. Check that the linked transaction account has the features and benefits you’re looking for.

Traps to avoid when looking for the best savings account

  • Not meeting the terms of your savings account. Make sure you can realistically meet the monthly deposit requirement.
  • A poor linked bank account. Make sure you check out the linked transaction account, if there is one, as these can sometimes have high fees and charges.

How do I open a savings account?

In most cases, you can apply for and open the savings account online, as long as you can provide documentation that confirms your identity and residency. If you’re a new customer to the bank, you need to verify your identity for legal reasons. For the online savings and bonus saver accounts, some banks allow Kiwis as young as 13-years-old to open and operate an account in their name.


Key savings terms explained

Unsure what the technical language means? Here’s some terminology the banks may use:

  • Maximum variable rate p.a.: This is the standard variable rate, plus the bonus interest rate, and is the maximum interest rate you can earn with each savings account.
  • Standard variable rate p.a.: This is the standard, base interest rate you receive even if the deposit conditions aren’t met.
  • Bonus interest p.a.: This is an extra bonus interest you receive, on top of the standard variable rate, when the account conditions are met.
  • Fees. This is the monthly account keeping fee if there is one (there generally isn’t)
  • Min balance/min deposit: This tells you if there’s a minimum balance requirement you need to maintain.
  • Interest earned. This is the amount of interest you stand to earn (initial deposit, ongoing deposit and length of time).

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