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Article image for Important features to consider in a personal savings account

Posted by LLL

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When choosing a savings account provider, who to trust with your money is one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make. With more than two months of lockdowns behind us, many people have been able to save some extra cash by restricting spending to the bare necessities, concerned they might need a few extra dollars in case of emergency.

As we move into the coronavirus recovery, ensuring you protect those assets is even more important, as that rainy day could be just around the corner.

There are many features to consider and choices to make when considering who to bank with that are unique to every individual’s circumstances. Choosing an account that best suits your needs is essential. Considerations should include:

Fees

No one wants to pay fees but if you have to, you want those charges to be as low as possible. While many financial institutions charge fees, they are generally used to cover the operational costs associated with an account and to generate non-interest income. Fees can include monthly charges, transactional fees and deferral or break contract fees. When considering opening a new account, be mindful of hidden fees that should be stipulated in an institution’s terms and conditions.

One of the benefits of LLL saving accounts is that they have no fees or charges – at all. The LLL has elected to absorb these operational costs, meaning nothing is passed on to customers.

Interest rate

On the flip side to fees is interest rates. There are so many options when it comes to how interest is earned that comparing one to another would be like comparing oranges to apples. An astute customer will want to find an account that pays the highest interest while balancing the best features available on the market which suit your needs.

There are many accounts on the market which look like they’ll give you good interest-rate returns, but the fine print could include honeymoon periods where interest rates change after a certain time. If it looks too good to be true, it just might be!

Some examples of savings accounts include:

At-call accounts are savings accounts where your funds are available at any time. These accounts are suitable for people who need the flexibility to access their funds on an adhoc, day-to-day or monthly basis. This account type generally attracts little or no interest. However, the LLL pays a great rate of interest on its at-call accounts with no honeymoon period.

Fixed or Term deposits are savings accounts that pay you interest for keeping your money with the institution for a fixed term such as; one month up to five years. The funds are held in the account for the designated fixed period with no access to those funds for that period, unless the contract is broken. This account type is for those who want to invest their money for a longer period and won’t need access to those funds during that term.

Bonus rate accounts are savings accounts where customers must meet certain requirements to receive that bonus interest rate. These specifications could include minimum monthly deposits and/or no withdrawals for the month. These accounts often pay either no interest or a very low base interest rate, before adding a substantially higher bonus rate. These accounts are generally for people wanting flexibility to access their funds at any time, but are aware that by failing to meet the account’s requirements, the bonus interest won’t be paid for that month.

Interest payments

When interest is paid can also be important to account holders and to boost your balance. Questions to ask are: is the interest calculated daily or monthly? Is the interest paid monthly, quarterly or annually?

Fund accessibility   

Consider how you’d like to use your savings account and find an account that offers the accessibility you’re after. For instance, if you’re using your savings account to save for a holiday and don’t want to be tempted to spend the funds, then an account with no ATM access might be a way to resist accessing and spending your hard-earned cash on a whim.

If you plan to use your savings account more frequently, then 24/7 access would be more important. Ensuring you can access your account using channels such as internet banking or an app will allow you to transact – including checking account balances and paying bills - even when the branch is closed.

Security

Safeguarding your funds should be of the upmost importance when choosing where to keep your savings.

The LLL takes security and privacy seriously and uses advanced internet security, which includes firewall and encryption technology, to ensure that account and transaction information is secure. The LLL provides unique Login ID and Access Codes for each user and will continue to keep funds secure, by introducing up-to-date technology and further initiatives as they become available.

The LLL also offers additional security features such as One Time Passwords, when accessing your account through internet banking or an app.

Customer service

When you interact with a financial institution, what are your expectations regarding the quality of service? Most of us would agree there is nothing more frustrating than being kept on hold in a pre-recorded phone queue. The LLL’s helpful team members are quick to assist customers with their queries, whether in person or over the phone.

ADI

In simplified language, an Authorised Deposit-taking Institution (ADI) is a financial institution that is regulated under the Banking Act and by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), so that all institutions follow the same requirements to safeguard the interest of their depositors. All banks and credit unions are ADIs and the LLL became an ADI in February 2019.

The deposits placed in these institutions are protected by the Australian Government’s Financial Claims Scheme (FCS). Under the FCS, certain deposits are protected up to a limit of $250,000 for each account holder at any bank, building society, credit union or other ADI that is incorporated in Australia and authorised by APRA.

Surpluses

The LLL uses its surpluses to assist the Lutheran Church of Australia (LCA) in its mission. As a charitable financial institution, the LLL only provides loans to approved projects for entities of LCA, such as upgrades to Lutheran schools, churches and care facilities.

Established in 1921, LLL Australia is a charitable financial institution that provides savings accounts.

 

Depending on your needs and values, whether you’re looking to build a nest egg or you’re wanting to bank with an institution that is a great alternative to the major banks, the LLL offers a personal savings account product that is unique in Australia; with no fees, great interest and funds available at-call. Most importantly, LLL is a charitable institution. Visit the LLL Personal Savings Account for more information.

 

The LLL prides itself on providing savings accounts that are simple to operate, with a great interest rate and no fees or charges. The LLL has a variety of savings accounts: personal and joint accounts; guardian accounts for children; and business accounts, including for self-managed super funds and not-for-profit organisations.

As an Authorised Deposit-taking Institution (ADI), the LLL is regulated under the Banking Act and by APRA.

This advice is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation, needs or objectives. Please consider the Disclosure Documents to decide if this product is right for you.

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