Money For Members

What are the best savings options in Norway?

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
What are the best savings options in Norway?
There are a number of ways to save in Norway. However, what's best overall will depend on your situation. Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash

Having some money set aside for a rainy day is always smart. Luckily, there are plenty of options available in Norway. However, what's best overall may depend on your situation.


After your rent or mortgage, taxes, bills, and other monthly expenses are covered, you should hopefully have some money left over to put into savings and plan for your future. 

Whether you're thinking of a rainy day fund, a nest egg, or money to put towards a home, Norway has plenty of options. 

What's best overall will depend on your own needs. For example, if you want flexibility, you'll want an account that allows you to make deposits and withdrawals whenever you wish. However, if you want a good rate, you'll likely need to pen the ink on an account restricting withdrawals. 

For the best returns, look further ahead with a savings account that invests in stocks. These accounts deliver the best returns after around ten years. 

If it's a house you're after, you may want a BSU account. 

READ MORE: The key things you need to know about savings accounts in Norway 

The best rates come with strings attached

In terms of the best interest rates, BSU accounts typically offer the best returns. The Boligsparing for Ungdom (BSU) accounts have interest rates of around 6-6.5 percent at the time of writing. 

However, these accounts come with a catch. First, there are limits on how much you can invest per year, second, there are age restrictions, and third, the accounts can only be used for housing-related spending. 


When it comes to savings accounts with more flexibility, there are several options. 

Buffer accounts (bufferkonto) are savings accounts that allow you to save up for unforeseen circumstances, such as an unexpected bill. Typically, these accounts aren't expected to be the main savings pool. 

You can normally open these accounts without being an existing bank member, meaning you can shop around for the best rate. As these accounts are supposed to act as a buffer, you can make deposits and withdrawals as frequently as you need. 


These accounts will typically have rates comparable to savings accounts that don't require a minimum monthly deposit and allow flexible withdrawal. 

At the time of writing, these accounts pay between 3.7 and 4.7 percent annual interest. 

For the medium term 

Some savings accounts offer slightly higher interest, but they may restrict or charge deposit fees. 

Other restrictions, such as being a bank customer, having a mortgage with it, or being a union member, may also apply. 

In a recent survey on banking among readers, a number said that union membership offered them competitive rates with savings accounts. Meanwhile, OBOS, Norway's biggest housing association, also offers a high-interest savings account. 

Fixed-interest accounts may also offer an attractive option in the medium term. While interest rates in Norway are currently high, they are expected to fall in the coming years, so you may wish to consider a fixed interest rate account. 


Banks typically offer fixed interest for 1-3 years. The longer the rate is locked, the lower the overall rate. Therefore, it may be worth calculating whether you can expect to be better off overall by signing up for a fixed rate rather than going with the flow. 

These accounts typically offer rates a percentage point below flexible accounts.  

Longer term 

Those with an eye on the future could put even more money into their pension accounts. Typically, you will already be paying towards a state pension and workplace pension scheme in Norway. 

However, you can also invest in an IPA, individual pension account. The Sparebank group typically offers the best rates on these. At the time of writing, anywhere between 3 and 4 percent is considered a good rate. 

If you intend to save for longer than three years but don't want to wait until retirement, consider putting some of your savings into a fund. In the longer term, these typically offer better returns than a bank. 

An index fund (indeksfond) is considered the easiest and cheapest to invest in. The cheaper the fund, the less it will affect returns. 


Mutual funds (aksjefond) are more actively managed but have higher costs. 

Then you will need to consider the scope of the fund. A more global fund will, generally, have lower risk.

Such funds are risky. Stock markets rise and fall, and over ten years, there is no guarantee that they will outperform a savings account. 

Some banks like DNB offer a combination of traditional savings and investment into funds. They offer accounts where anywhere from 30 to 100 percent of the money will be invested in shares while the rest will sit in a savings account. 

Such accounts also allow savers to choose the level of risk they are comfortable with.

If you are saving large amounts, then you may be subject to a tweak to the exit tax rules should you relocate from Norway. 

READ MORE: What we know so far about Norway's plans for an exit tax

Where to check for the best rates 

When looking solely at savings accounts and not funds, then Finansportalen from the Norwegian Consumer Council will be an essential tool. 

It allows you to input the type of account you're after, the money you expect to deposit and your age. From there, it will list the most important T&Cs of the accounts and order them from the best rate to the worst. 

You can also filter out banks that require you to already be a customer or take on other products. 


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also