streamlining your savings account
Accounts & Cards

Streamlining Your Savings Account

September 27, 2021 - Benjamin Manz

Find out how to optimize your savings account in this guide.

Switzerland is a nation of savers. But many savers aren’t getting the most out of their savings.

Low interest rates

Savings account interest rates are at an all-time low. While inflation is also relatively low, yield rates in no ways match price increases. What many savers do not know is that they could get a lot more out of their savings, even with conventional savings accounts.

The interest rate is the deal-maker

The lowest savings yield rates are right at the bottom at 0%. The highest yield Swiss savings accounts for adults, on the other hand, have annual interest rates close to 0.5% and savings accounts for children have interest rates as high as 1.5% per annum. That may not seem like a lot, but over the years that interest can add up to a sizeable chunk of money. Over the long term, the compounding interest effect can multiply your yields.

Example: A difference of 0.5% in interest rates applied to 20,000 francs of savings means more than 1000 francs more interest earned over a 10-year term. The more savings you have and the longer you keep them, the bigger that difference will be. That is why it is so important to compare savings accounts.

Savings accounts with interest rate tiers

A number of banks also offer interest growth savings accounts, the interest rates of which increase as time goes by, as long as no withdrawals are made. The savings account comparison on accounts for these specialized yield rate offers.

Savings accounts: withdrawal limits vary

Savings yield rates vary between banks. Most Swiss banks also offer several different kinds of savings accounts, and here too, yield rates may vary.

The general guideline here is: The tighter the restrictions on withdrawals (lower withdrawal limits and longer notice periods), the higher the interest yield rate. Banks will often provide higher-yield “investment accounts” which have more restrictions than their regular savings accounts. However, getting your money out of this type of account can be a slow process.

Savings accounts with promotional rates

Young adults and students enjoy the highest yield rates, currently as high as 1.5%. However, these promotional rates for youth and student accounts often apply to a limited amount of deposits only.

Typical limits range from 10,000 to 25,000 francs, depending on the bank. Any amount above that will earn the standard interest rate. The comparison takes these limitations into account.

Savings do not belong in a checking account

Many savers do not fully understand the difference between a private account (checking account or current account) and a savings account. Private accounts are designed for frequent transactions, such as those made with a debit card. Savings accounts are designed for long-term savings.

Private accounts normally offer much lower interest rates than savings accounts, but also have much fewer restrictions on withdrawals and transactions.

More on this topic:
Savings calculator
Savings account comparison
Interest calculator
Student bank accounts in Switzerland compared
Youth bank accounts in Switzerland compared

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Expert Benjamin Manz
Benjamin Manz is CEO of and an independent expert on banking and finance.
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