Cool, so you’re starting to get some savings together. Go you. But now you’re rocking the same savings account you had as a kid, or you got told you needed one when you set up your transaction account ages ago and you have no real idea what it is or how good of a deal it is.

Interest rates for poor old deposit holders suck at the moment, but savings accounts reinforce good habits, and you might as well be getting all you can if you are using one.

Let me help break down the world of savings account and what it all means.

Structures

First up, there are two ways most places structure their savings account.

Free Reign

These types of accounts are usually online savings account, and more often than not come attached with a flashy introductory offer for 3-4 months. They won’t penalise you for depositing cash or withdrawing, but the flip side is one the honeymoon period is over the rates are usually (more) terrible.

Good for parking funds for less than 4 months, if want to move money around quickly, or don’t care about the interest rate, these could be your ticket.

Incentive Savers

The type of accounts that offer a horrible base rate, but will give you a decent bonus rate, but only if you meet X, Y and Z criteria. For example, they might give you 0.50% standard, but if you deposit $200 per month and make no withdrawals, they’ll give you an extra 1.00%.

I don’t mind these accounts for longer term goals, Christmas funds, or if you just straight up are terrible at dipping into savings and need a little bit extra incentive not to dabble.

So what’s best for you?

Well there is no one size fits all. It depends on your personal goals and circumstances. But start from how you’ll be interacting with your money. If you’ll be accessing it often, you’re going to need to take that into consideration when picking the account to maximise your benefits available.

Who should I look at for savings accounts?

My advice here is to take a look around. Canstar is a great starting point when comparing savings accounts. There are plenty of options out there outside of the majors who offer attractive set ups.

At the end of the day, deposit taking institutions are not your friends. There isn’t loyalty anymore. And you should be doing everything to get the best deal for yourself and be prepared to walk if can’t.