It’s great to have a bank account where you can keep your money, but sometimes you want to get a bit more in return.

Term deposits let you store your savings with your chosen bank and lock in a steady interest rate to grow your wealth over time.

What is a term deposit?

Term deposits work much like savings accounts or investments, but with a few key differences. 

When you open a term deposit, you will put money in the bank to earn interest over time. However, a term deposit’s interest rate and term length are fixed. This means you can calculate in advance how much interest you can earn on your savings, regardless of changes in the market. 

Once you’ve deposited the money with the bank, you won’t be able to easily access these funds until the end of the agreed-upon term. At the end of your term, you can withdraw your money, or choose to roll your deposit over for another term. 

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2.00%

p.a for 5 months

$5,000

ANZ

1.70%

p.a for 6 months

2.00%

p.a for 5 months

Automatic Maturity Rollover
Early Withdrawal Available
Is Covered By Government Gurantee
Joint Application Available
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1.95

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1.80%

p.a for 60 months

$5,000

ANZ

1.10%

p.a for 6 months

1.15%

p.a for 12 months

Automatic Maturity Rollover
Early Withdrawal Available
Is Covered By Government Gurantee
Joint Application Available
Maturity Alert By Email
Maturity Alert By Phone

1.43

/ 5
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2.10%

p.a for 5 months

$1,000

UBank

2.05%

p.a for 6 months

2.10%

p.a for 5 months

Automatic Maturity Rollover
Early Withdrawal Available
Is Covered By Government Gurantee
Joint Application Available
Maturity Alert By Email
Maturity Alert By Phone

2.51

/ 5
More details

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Learn more about term deposits

Who offers term deposits?

Most financial institutions can offer you a term deposit, including big banks, mutual banks, credit unions and online banks. If you’re already a customer, it might be especially easy to set up a term deposit with your bank, as they should already have most of your details. 

However, it’s important to keep in mind that your current bank or credit union might not offer the best term deposit for your situation. For example, a term deposit from another bank may offer a higher interest rate, or more convenient access to your money. Comparing term deposits can help you make the best choice to suit your financial goals.

What features should I look for in a term deposit?

The first feature of a term deposit to consider is the fixed interest rate. Because this rate will determine how much interest you’ll earn on your deposit over the term, it’s important to be confident that you are getting the best rate possible for your situation. 

You’ll also want to consider the term, which is the length of time that your funds will be locked away. Term deposits are usually broken up into two categories: short-term and long-term deposits. Short-term deposits can be as short as one month, while long-term deposits can last years. Longer terms often offer higher interest rates than shorter terms, but it’s best to check with your financial institution.

You may want to look at how frequently you’ll be paid interest on your term deposit. Some term deposits pay interest annually, semi-annually, quarterly, monthly, or at maturity (the end of the term). You may have the option to have this interest paid into a bank account of your choice, to supplement your household income and support your budget. You may also be able to add the interest onto your deposit, where it can earn compound interest. Keep in mind that term deposits offering more frequent interest payments may also have lower interest rates - it’s important to compare your options and calculate how much interest you could earn.  

It’s also worth thinking about rollover terms before committing to a term deposit. These are the options available to you at the end of your term, when you’re able to reclaim your deposit and interest earnings. Some term deposits will allow you to immediately reinvest your savings and earn even more interest. If you do decide to reinvest right away, it’s important that you reconsider the interest rate to make sure it’s still the best rate available for your situation.

Do term deposits charge fees?

You won’t typically find annual or monthly fees attached to your term deposit. In fact, many term deposits don’t charge any fees.

However, you should be aware of penalty fees. A penalty fee usually applies if you decide to access your money before the end of your term. These fees will vary by lender, so it’s best to check the penalty fee amount before agreeing to a term deposit. 

Can I withdraw money from a term deposit?

When you apply for a term deposit, it’s often assumed that you’ll be keeping your money in the bank for the full duration of the agreed term. Some banks will allow you to withdraw part or all of the money from your term deposit early, but penalties may apply. 

To withdraw part or all of the money from your term deposit, you’ll often need to give advance notice, often 31 days. You may need to pay a penalty fee for early withdrawal. You may also see the interest rate on your term deposit reduced if you make early withdrawals, affecting the interest you’ll earn.  

Term deposit pros and cons
  • Relatively low risk
  • Can help you manage your spending and save
  • Low maintenance
  • Harder to access your money
  • Won't benefit if variable rates rise

What are the benefits of term deposits?

One of the biggest potential benefits of a term deposit is the relatively low risk compared to some other investment options. Term deposits require you to agree on a rate before your money is locked away, which means you’ll know exactly what you should be earning. Even if variable interest rates fall, you’ll still earn your fixed rate, so there’s very little risk of losing any of your investment. Plus, the Australian government has guaranteed deposits up to $250,000 in Authorised Deposit-taking Institutions (ADIs) such as your bank, building society or credit union. This means that if the worst happened and your bank went out of business, your deposit should still be protected. 

Term deposits can help you manage your spending. After you deposit your money into your chosen account, you can no longer access it without paying a fee. This security can be great if you’re saving for something expensive, like a house or car. Because your money is practically unavailable to you for a fixed length of time, it’s much harder for you to spend this money elsewhere on everyday purchases.

Another potential benefit to term deposits is that they don’t take much effort to maintain. Because of your fixed rate, your investment should earn interest and make money with barely any effort at all. The fact that term deposits don’t need much maintenance means they often appeal to people who tend to be more hands-off with their personal finances.

What are the drawbacks of term deposits?

One potential drawback of a term deposit is that you can’t access your money during the term without being charged a penalty fee. For some this can be a positive, but for others it can make term deposits seem restrictive. If you’re looking for a lot of flexibility and control over your finances, you might want to consider a savings account rather than a term deposit.

Another potential downside is that your interest rate won’t rise with the market. If variable interest rates rise, your term deposit won’t adopt a higher rate, because the same rate has been locked in for the entire length of your term.

When should I consider opening a term deposit account?

If you’re looking for a relatively low-risk way to invest your money, a term deposit may offer a steady interest rate, which can help you make money without having to take major risks.

A term deposit can also be useful if you’re trying to save for a large purchase, like a home. By putting your money in a term deposit, it can’t be easily spent on day-to-day purchases. You can also choose a term that fits your saving goal - for example, you might lock your money away for a year or more to spend on a big purchase, or to keep as an emergency fund.

How do I apply for a term deposit?

Applying for a term deposit can be a lot like opening a bank account. However, when you apply for a term deposit, there are few decisions you’ll need to make:

  • How much money would you like to invest?
  • How much interest would you like to receive on your deposit?
  • How long a term would you like?

After you’ve made your choices regarding your term deposit, you’ll need to fill out a form to apply. Some financial institutions will allow you to enter your information online, while others will require that you visit a branch. Much like opening a bank account, you may need to provide details of your identity and residence when you apply for a term deposit.

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Frequently asked questions

Will term deposit rates increase?

While there’s no definite way to predict when term deposit rates will increase, it may help to understand some of the factors that influence term deposit interest rates.

The official cash rate is set by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA). When the RBA either increases or cuts interest rates, it influences the interest rates set by banks.

The other factor that determines when term deposit rates will rise is competition between banks. Banks may increase their term deposit rates or offer higher rates as an incentive to win new customers over or increase their market share.

Term deposit interest rates will also change, depending on how much you invest and how long you invest.

What is a fixed term deposit?

A fixed term deposit is a safe and stable way to earn a fixed return on your cash investment.

Fixed term deposits are essentially bank accounts where you lock your money away for a fixed period and earn a fixed interest rate on those funds.

Fixed term deposits can be both short term, which is usually anything under 12 months, or long term, which can be up to 10 years.

Once the fixed term has ended, the bank or financial institution will give you back your initial deposit plus any interest you earn during the fixed term period.

Depending on the type of fixed term deposit account you open, when the term matures, you may have the option of rolling the funds over for a new term or withdrawing the funds.

Unlike other savings or transaction accounts which offer variable interest rates and flexible features, fixed term deposits offer fixed interest rates, which means the amount of interest you earn will remain the same during the term of the deposit.

What is the best interest rate for a fixed term deposit?

The best interest rate for a fixed term deposit changes all the time, as interest rates move up and down and banks compete with each other to win market share.

To find the best interest rate for a fixed term deposit, it’s helpful to understand how interest rates are applied to term deposits.

There are three factors that determine the fixed interest of term deposits:

  1. The size of your deposit
  2. The duration of the term
  3. The frequency of interest paid

Term deposits vary in duration from one month to five years or more. Interest rates generally work on a sliding scale; shorter terms get a lower rate, longer terms get a higher rate.

Here are a couple of examples of how interest is applied to term deposits.

  • A $10,000 term deposit taken out over 12 months, with interest paid at maturity, might receive a fixed interest rate of 2.20 per cent.
  • A $10,000 fixed term deposit taken out over 12 months, with interest paid quarterly, might receive a fixed interest rate of 2.00 per cent.

Using the size of your deposit, the duration of the term and how often you want to be paid interest, you can shop around for the best interest rate for a fixed term deposit.

What is a term deposit account in a bank?

A term deposit account in a bank is a type of investment where you lock away a portion of your savings for a fixed period in return for earning a set amount of interest.

Opening a term deposit account in a bank is a safe way to earn a stable return on your investment of cash.

Term deposit accounts can be a good way to give your savings an extra boost without the need to actively watch or manage your funds during the term of the deposit.

Term deposit accounts in a bank are a popular type of investment because they’re safe and there’s very little risk that you could lose your money.

If you make a term deposit of up to $250,000 with an authorised deposit-taking institution, it’s guaranteed by the Australian government, which means there’s virtually no risk of losing your money and you’re guaranteed return.

Interest rates vary depending on the length of the term, the amount you deposit and the bank you choose.

What is a term deposit?

A term deposit is an investment savings account. A term deposit usually pays a higher rate of interest than a regular savings account, with the interest rate fixed for the term (or duration) of the deposit.

You can open a term deposit account for one month or up to five years depending on your investment goal, and invest as little as $500 to start earning a profit.

With a term deposit, you get to decide how much you want to invest (the principal or deposit), for how long (the term or duration) and the frequency of interest payments.

A term deposit represents a secure form of investment, unlike trading in shares or purchasing real estate. And a term deposit up to $250,000 is protected by the government guarantee.

How long is a term deposit?

A term deposit refers to when you lock your money in an account for a certain period of time and at a specified interest rate. You will not be able to access your money for the length of the agreed term without incurring a penalty fee.

A long term deposit generally refers to a term deposit that lasts for more than 12 months – which in some cases may be as long as 10 years.

Usually, the longer you store your money, the better the interest rate you’ll get, so a long term deposit will tend to pay higher interest than a short term deposit.

At the end of the term, you can roll over the money (plus the interest you’ve made during the term), or you can withdraw it all.

Is a term deposit an asset?

The short answer is yes – a term deposit is, indeed, an asset.

Regardless that the funds are locked away for a fixed period, when it comes to the balance sheet, it’s considered an asset.

Aside from being an asset, term deposits are also cash investments which are held at financial institutions like banks or credit unions.

Term deposits work by investing a set amount of cash in a bank account for a fixed period at a fixed interest rate.

When you deposit your money in a term deposit, you’re agreeing to lock it away for a predetermined period, ranging from short-term periods of one month all the way to long-term periods of up to 10 years.

Term deposits are a popular way to boost your bottom line by investing your money and increasing the value of your asset.

Can an international student have a term deposit?

If you’re looking for a steady way to grow your funds as an international student, you might be considering the possibility of a term deposit. Banking for overseas students can be complicated, so you might be wondering, “Can an international student have a term deposit?”

So, can an international student open a term deposit? The answer is yes.

Several banks around Australia offer term deposits to international students. Some banks even have specific accounts and offers designed for those who study overseas.

In general, large banks will offer several options for international students. If you have already opened an account with a bank, it might be best to start by discussing your options with your chosen bank.

How do you break a term deposit?

If you have found yourself in sudden need of funds, you may be wondering how to break your term deposit and access your savings.

If you need to break your term deposit, your first step should be to check the terms and conditions with your bank or provider. Many banks now require 31 days’ notice before you can access the funds in your term deposit, so in many cases you should first notify your bank that you will be breaking the term.

Once you have notified the bank and know when you will have access to your funds, you will then be liable to pay a breakage fee. Check with your provider to see how much this fee will be. You may also need to sacrifice a percentage of your interest as a penalty for breaking the term early.

Once you know when you will have access to your funds, and how much you will need to pay to do so, you are in a good position to decide whether you want to break your term deposit.

Can I negotiate a fixed term deposit rate with the bank?

“Can I negotiate a fixed term deposit rate with the bank?” you may be wondering.

Many banks welcome negotiation when it comes to term deposit rates, especially with deposits of over $100,000. Even if your deposit is lower than $100,000, it may be worth a discussion with your bank.

Negotiating with your bank could secure you a higher fixed rate, which will earn you extra interest over your term. You may also discover bonuses or special offers you can acquire through your bank.

Securing the highest interest rate possible is the key to making the most of your term deposit. You may have compared deposits online or discussed your options with a financial adviser, but you also might be wondering about negotiation in order to get a better rate.

Can you add money to a term deposit?

When you open a term deposit, you agree to lock your money away for a set period and earn a fixed amount of interest during that period.

Where everyday transaction accounts give you the flexibility to deposit and withdraw funds as frequently as you like, term deposits trade flexibility for higher interest rates.

Once your funds are deposited in a term deposit, they’re fixed for the length of the term, meaning you can’t add additional funds midway through the term.

When the term deposit matures, you may have the option to add additional funds and roll the funds over for another term, or you may choose to withdraw the money at that point.

If you have extra funds to invest, you could consider opening an additional short term deposit account or a high-interest savings account.

It’s worth noting that you can withdraw the funds midway through the term, but a penalty is likely to apply.

What is a term deposit rate?

The term deposit rate is the agreed interest rate for your term deposit. It remains fixed for the term of the deposit.

For example, if you deposit $5,000 for 12 months at a 2.5 per cent term deposit rate, that 2.5 per cent term deposit rate will be fixed for the entire 12 months and won’t change until the term matures.

The term deposit rate is one of the most important factors to consider when comparing your term deposit options. The general rule of thumb is that the longer the term, the higher the term deposit rate.

Term deposits are a popular type of investment because they’re safe and provide reliable returns.

The return you get on your term deposit will be determined by the amount you initially invest, the amount of time you choose to invest it for, and the term deposit rate.

Are term deposits safe?

Term deposits can be a great way to build your savings, but before you invest, you might have one important question. Are term deposits safe?

When it comes to investing your money, you can choose between high-risk and low-risk options. High-risk options tend to have a better potential payout, but you also risk earning no profit at all or even losing your original investment.

Low-risk options tend to earn less profit than high-risk options, but they’re also safer, with little to no risk of losing money. Term deposits fall into the low-risk category.

Term deposits are safe because they’re low-risk, but they’re also protected by the Australian government’s Financial Claims Scheme. This government guarantee will insure your deposit for up to $250,000 per person, per institution, meaning that even if the bank collapses, the government will reimburse you for your deposit.

Can children have term deposit accounts?

It’s many parents’ wish to invest money for their child early, so you might be asking the question, “Can children have term deposit accounts?”

The short answer is yes. You can open a term deposit with funds that will be used to support your child. There are two options when it comes to opening a term deposit for your child. The first is that you open the term deposit in your name rather than theirs. Opening the deposit in your name means that you have full control over the deposit and can withdraw money by signing a request.

You can also open a deposit in your child’s name, but you should consider waiting until your child can sign his or her name, as well as understand their term deposit account. If your child isn’t old enough to sign a request for withdrawal, you won’t have access to withdraw the funds if you need to.

How do term deposits work?

Term deposits are flexible, low-risk, and earn you interest over time. But before you apply to open a term deposit, you might be wondering: how do term deposits work?

A term deposit is an agreement you make with a financial institution. This agreement will specify a certain amount of money that you will give the bank for a certain amount of time. In return, you’ll earn a fixed amount of interest on your deposit throughout your term.

Term deposits work as an exchange between a financial institution and an individual. You can think of your term deposit as a loan to the bank. Because you’ve loaned the bank your money, they’re willing to pay you interest on your deposit.

Is term deposit interest taxable?

The interest that you earn from your term deposit is considered taxable income. Because your term deposit interest is taxable, it should be disclosed on your annual tax return.

It’s important to note that circumstances may differ depending on whether you provided the account holder with your tax file number (TFN). If you did not supply your bank or other financial institution with your TFN, they are typically required to withhold tax from your interest earnings.

If you’ve invested in a deposit that lasts longer than 12 months, you’ll need to claim your earned interest in the year that you received it. For example, if you receive interest monthly, you’ll need to claim your earnings at the end of the financial year. However, if you only receive interest at maturity, you should claim your earnings in the year that you received the lump sum of interest.

Term Deposits Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best term deposit rate in Australia?

If you’re ready to add a term deposit to your financial strategy, there’s likely one question on your mind: what is the best term deposit rate in Australia?

Unfortunately, there’s no one right answer to this question.

That’s because if you want to find the best term deposit rate in Australia, you first need to understand the nature of interest rates themselves. The financial market is always moving, with interest rates moving up and down and special offers being introduced and withdrawn.

As a result, whatever the best term deposit rate in Australia is today might not be tomorrow.

So to find the best term deposit rate in Australia, it’s best to ignore the past and to instead focus on today’s market. Compare term deposits to find out the current rates and find the right term deposit for you.

Can you take a term deposit out early?

If you are considering a term deposit, you may be wondering if you can take out your money early. It is possible to break a term deposit, but it will cost you both time and money.

Many banks require 31 days’ notice if you wish to break a term deposit. This means that if you need money urgently for an unexpected expense, it may not be worth breaking your term deposit. Make sure to read the fine print to see if this wait period applies to the term deposit you are considering.

You will also most likely need to pay a breakage fee in order to access your funds, and you may also incur a reduced amount of interest. All of this information – including the fee amounts – should be available in the term deposit product disclosure statement (PDS), so ensure that you read the fine print before committing.

Are term deposits compounded?

Term deposits can be compounded, depending on what you choose to do with the interest.

There are two ways to receive interest from a term deposit: either a lump sum at maturity; or paid on a regular basis, usually monthly. If you get your interest paid regularly, you can get it paid into a transaction account, or back into the term deposit account. By using this second option, you’re getting interest paid on your interest. In other words, it’s compounding.

Having the money paid into a transaction account means you can access it for your day-to-day spending, while compounding the interest means you get a better overall return on your investment. Both have advantages, depending on your needs, but be aware that some term deposit accounts that pay interest regularly may offer a lower interest rate to offset the effect of compounding.