Opening a bank account in Australia is relatively simple, even for international students. Find out now everything you need to know about this subject.
To start, there are four main banks in the country: ANZ; the Commonwealth Bank of Australia; National Australia Bank and Westpac Banking Corporation. There are also other options for regional banks that, depending on where you live, may also be good options.
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There are some types of bank accounts in the country. Know now the most common ones:
Transaction accounts are the most common type of account, generally used for daily expenses. In this account it is possible to deposit and access your money safely, pay your bills and use the provided debit card to make purchases or make withdrawals at ATMs.
Most banks offer specific accounts for students. These accounts typically have the same functionality as transaction accounts, but have the added advantage of being, in most cases, exempt from monthly or annual fees for daily transactions. This means that you can deposit and withdraw money for free, without worrying about being charged.
If you are an international student, you will also find many special accounts directed to you at banks like the Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank and Westpac. Some of the branches in the largest cities in the country even offer customer service with a bank in the client’s native language.
After opening an account to manage your daily expenses, it is a good idea to also open a savings account if you have access to larger amounts. Depositing some of your money weekly is a good habit, and having a separate savings account means that you will not spend all of your money on unnecessary things. In addition, these accounts generally have a higher interest rate than transaction accounts, so you will also make a higher profit on what is deposited.
What to consider when opening a bank account in Australia?
Banks in Australia may charge non-customers a fee for using their ATMs. When choosing a bank, make sure they have a wide range of ATMs available on the university campus and close to your home, so you don’t have to go far when you need to withdraw money.
You can also choose a bank that offers a wide network of free ATMs – Bankwest has the largest network in Australia, with more than 3,500 ATMs Bankwest and Commbank.
Many banks charge monthly service fees to maintain your account. And that amount can increase in the long run, so choose an account with lower rates or, preferably, zero rates. In the case of international students, a designated account is Citibank Plus, which allows the withdrawal of money from all ATMs in the Citibank network worldwide free of charge, in addition to international money transfer without fees.
When opening an account, you will likely receive a card that you can use when making physical purchases or withdrawing money from ATMs. This card can only be used in Australia and does not work for online purchases; therefore, it is not a good option if you like to buy virtually or if you intend to continue using the card even outside the country. The exceptions here are debit cards with the Mastercard and Visa flags, which can be used in Australia, abroad and for online purchases.
It is important that you choose an account that allows you to use your card at no extra cost. Therefore, look for the best option to avoid incurring additional charges.
How to open an account in Australia?
At most banks, it is possible to set up a student account online up to three months before arriving in Australia. The first step is to complete the registration form on the website of the chosen bank. Usually information such as passport number and expiration date is requested. It is recommended to make a deposit in your account as soon as you receive confirmation information from the bank and before boarding.
Upon arrival in the country, simply make an appointment at your local agency to prove your identity and access your money. Take your passport and proof of permanent address in Australia, such as a utility bill or a lease. The ideal is to do this in your first days there.
You can also open a bank account in person, if you prefer, but do so within the first six weeks after arrival. After that time, you may need to provide more information and documents to the bank. Here the process works more or less in the same way as in the previous example: schedule an appointment at the nearest branch to your home or university in Australia and take your passport, proof of residence and letter of acceptance from the local university. The debit card is usually ready within a few weeks and arrives at the post office.
Great student accounts
Some of them do not charge fees, others have extensive ATM networks, while some offer useful discounts …
With the Bankwest student account, you will not be charged monthly for maintenance fees and will benefit from discounts at the Apple Store for Education, McDonald’s and Ally Fashion (an Australian fashion retailer), among other establishments. Another advantage of this bank is the wide offer of ATMs available throughout the country.
Westpac disregards most standard fees on student accounts. The bank is also part of a global alliance of ATMs, which means you can use 50,000 ATMs worldwide for free. Another great advantage is the cashless card scheme, which allows the customer to make withdrawals without the card using the Westpac Mobile Banking application .
National Australia Bank – (NAB)
This account is free of monthly fees and you can use the bank’s ATM network for free. The customer is also free of extra charges if he exceeds his account balance.
Now that you know how to open a bank account in Australia, how about starting to get ready to win your dream opportunity there? We can help you with this through our expert mentoring and our entire team of mentors.