Ask Your Bank For A Better Savings Interest Rate, It Works

If you don't ask, you don't get.

A person flipping through Australian $50 notes.

A rising tide lifts all boats… or so we’re told. Australian banks have taken little time to act as a pack and pass on the RBA’s interest rate rises to their mortgage holders. Yet they’ve been noticeably slower passing this same rate onto their savers.

Now as inflation bites, Aussies are taking a red pen to their day-to-day budgets, cutting fat wherever they can. Is deodorant discretionary spending?

Yet instead of reaching for a tighter belt, millions of Australians might be better off looking for better jeans, as finding a better return on your deposit accounts is much easier than it may seem. In fact, it can be as easy as just asking your bank.

But before you pick up the phone or start crafting the world’s most pleading email, here’s how you can get a better savings interest rate in Australia.

Where do I start?

Banks managers are given considerable latitude to award higher interest rates on the spot to reward customers or attract and retain business. This means the process for negotiating can be surprisingly quick and straightforward, avoiding the need for approval from higher-ups.

While you can secure a better rate over a single phone call, you should turn up with an understanding of your strengths as a customer and what else is out there.

Frankly, a better rate may mean just swapping banks. When researching what is offered by other online and traditional banks, it is good to view these options as legitimate alternatives, looking beyond what rates are offered to any minimum balances and service fees. 

Many rates that are advertised are introductory rates, which expire after a set amount of time before returning to a lower ongoing default rate. This isn’t all bad, but it is worth keeping in mind to know the ‘real’ rate if you’re planning to make a long-term switch and not just mention it during a negotiation with your current bank.

Luckily, any position you have as a customer can be used to make a convincing case for a raise.

How to state your case

An established history with the bank, such as regular credit payments and few overdrafts, can see your loyalty rewarded. An overview of your accounts and credit history will showcase your long-time relationship and strengthen any claims to being a safe and reliable customer.

If you have accounts spread across multiple banks, it’s worthwhile noting the option of bringing all your business over to them. Branches, particularly brick-and-mortar banks, take a longer-term view of customers, placing value on becoming the ‘one’ you bank with, in the event you may wish to take out a loan with them in the future.

As such, managers will jump on most offers to be the ‘one’ when in talks about a better rate. It’s also a way of simplifying your finances, which has benefits in itself.

Our final piece of advice? Be polite, get straight to the point, and don’t be afraid. Remember, if you don’t ask, you don’t get. Good luck, savers…