How to compare savings accounts on bonkers.ie
Comparing savings accounts is easy on bonkers.ie. With our comparison tool you can find the savings account with the best returns for your money in just a few minutes. To discover the right savings account for you follow these steps.
Whether you are saving for a mortgage or just for a rainy day, choosing the correct savings account for you is an important decision.
With interest rates at an all-time low in Ireland, you need to analyse the market to discover an account that has the best returns for your money, as well as features.
Here’s a step-by-step overview of how to use our comparison service.
Step 1 - Tell us whether you are a regular monthly saver or a lump sum saver
To find the savings account with the best interest rates for your money, we need to establish what type of saver you are. Thankfully, these definitions are quite self-explanatory.
Regular monthly saver
- These accounts are for people who want to put aside a set amount of money every month and are an excellent way to get you into the habit of saving regularly.
- Regular monthly saver accounts are perfect for those saving for a holiday, or a special event.
- Typically the minimum account balance needed to keep regular saver accounts open are quite low.
- In contrast to regular monthly savings accounts, lump-sum savings accounts are for those who want to deposit a large one-off sum of money.
- These accounts are ideal for those who have just inherited money or are saving for a mortgage deposit.
Step 2 - How much money will you save?
This will depend on your saving goals and what you can afford. It should be noted that certain savings accounts require you to deposit a minimum amount. Similarly, there may be a maximum balance limit on the account also.
Regular savers account: You must clarify how much money you will deposit per month.
Lump-sum savers account: You must clarify how much money you will place on deposit.
Step 3 - Indicate if you want a Child Saver account or not
Many parents or guardians, choose to open a savings account for their children so that they will have a nest egg of money available for them in the future.
A Child Saver account, also known as a Parent Savers account, allows the person who opened the account to deposit money into it on behalf of the child.
Child Saver accounts tend to allow instant access and offer more competitive interest rates than standard savings accounts.
Certain banks provide different Child Saver account options depending on the age of the child. For example, those over the age of 12 may be able to avail of a Teen account, rather than a Child Savers account.
Step 4 will depend on which type of account you’ve picked - regular saver or lump sum.
Step 4: Regular monthly saver account - Do you want instant access to your savings account?
If you want to be able to withdraw money from your savings account without having to notify the bank in advance, then you will need to indicate this here.
Having instant access to your savings is an attractive benefit. It allows you to control your money and means you have the freedom to withdraw money when you want.
However, instant access accounts tend to have lower interest rates compared to restricted access accounts because banks prefer when money is left for long periods in an account.
On the other hand, if you don’t intend to withdraw money from your savings regularly or unexpectedly, then having instant access may not be a priority for you.
For those who tend to make unnecessary purchases or impulse buy, it may be more beneficial for you to have limited access to your account.
It is important to note that many regularly savings accounts may have specific rules regarding:
- The number of times you can withdraw per year
- The minimum amount of money you can withdraw per withdrawal
- The maximum amount of money you can withdraw per transaction and per year
Step 4: Lump-sum saver - What type of account do you want?
For those who plan to deposit large sums of money into a savings account, there are a range of account types with different withdrawal options available.
1. An easy access account
You can access your money whenever you want without having to inform the bank. However, you may be subject to restrictions that limit the number of withdrawals you can make a year.
Unfortunately, the Annual Equivalent Rate (AER) on these accounts are low to non-existent.
2. A notice account
With this type of savings account, you will have to notify your bank in advance in order to withdraw your money. Often the bank will require this notice request in writing.
Depending on the institution and saving account you choose, the notice period will vary in length. There will likely be a penalty fee if you access your money without notice also.
If you select a notice account, you’ll have to indicate how much notice you’re willing to give to withdraw your money. Notice period options range from 7 to 60 days.
3. Term deposit account
A term deposit account is a type of savings account where your money is locked up for a period of time, usually anywhere from 3 months to 10 years. Once you have deposited your money into this account, you can not access it until the set term has been reached.
Some institutions will allow you to access this money before your set period is up, however, they will require notice and you may be subjected to a penalty fee.
Term deposit accounts tend to have higher interest rates, which tend to be fixed.
Step 5 - Indicate whether the bank’s credit rating is important to you
The credit rating a bank receives reflects its ability to meet its financial obligations. The higher the rating the safer your money is. The scale ranges from AAA, which is the best to D which is the worst.
Step 6 - Review your results
Once you have submitted all the information required above, you will hit the ‘Compare Savings Accounts’ button. You will be brought to the results page, where the different savings accounts will be listed for you so you can examine them in more depth.
Your results will be ordered by AER or the credit rating of the bank.
AER (Annual Equivalent Rating)
If you didn’t say credit rating was important, your results will be organised in order of the highest rate of Annual Equivalent interest your money will receive.
The credit rating of your bank
However, if you said that the credit rating of your bank was an important factor in your decision-making process your results will be ranked according to your bank’s credit score.
These scores are ranked according to the findings found by rating agencies such as Moody’s and Standard and Poor, who analyse banks and give them ratings depending on their discoveries.
Results will be ordered from the best (AAA) to the worst (D).
Each savings account will have different benefits and regulations, these will depend on if you are opening an account to deposit regular monthly savings or a lump sum. These could include:
- The option to have an ATM card
- Internet banking
- The minimum term length of the account
- Minimum and maximum monthly deposits
- If it can be made into a joint account
Restrictions and charges
The limitations and fees that your savings account will be subjected to will vary depending on the bank and the account you select. These could include:
- Minimum age of account holder
- Minimum balance needed in the account
- The maximum amount of money accepted in the account
With any savings account, the interest gained will be subject to a tax called DIRT (Deposit Interest Retention Tax). It will be taxed at the prevailing rate and will be removed from your interest before it is paid into your account.
Comparing savings accounts is easy on bonkers.ie With our comparison tool you can find the savings account with the best returns for your money in just a few minutes. To discover the right savings account for you follow these steps.
Step 7 - Select the best savings account to suit your needs
Once you've examined the different accounts available, it's time to choose one. You’re free to contact the institution that you want to be the home of your future savings account.
Be sure to research what documents will be needed to open your savings account in advance, to ensure the process can be completed as smoothly and quickly as possible.
Take control of your finances
Starting a savings account will help you develop healthy savings habits and have better control over your money.
With our help, you can take control of your personal finances and ensure that you are getting the best return on your money, and paying the lowest interest rates on any money you borrow.
Helpful personal finance guides
If you want to learn more about managing your finances, take a look at some of our other insightful banking guides.
- Considering opening a new current account? Here are 8 factors you need to keep in mind when selecting a new provider.
- Do you want to move your current account to a provider with fewer charges? Read our guide on how to switch your current account today.
- You can prepare for the future today by learning all about pensions in our beginners’ guide on the topic.