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Open a bank in oz or do it from the UK

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific Open a bank in oz or do it from the UK

1. Posted by Bobbynaismith (Budding Member 6 posts) 1y

i am not sure how to go about opening a account in oz or if I should do it when I get there to start my year working travel gap could anyone point me in the best way to do this. Thank u

2. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4808 posts) 1y

When you're there, during your first two weeks in the country, walk into any bank branch with your passport and AUD $50 for an initial deposit. (After the first few weeks, you need more forms of identification than just a passport.) Tell them you're there on a working holiday visa, and want to open a bank account. You'll fill in some forms, tell them to send your debit card to your hostel (might be they also offer pickup from the bank branch nowadays), and to not send you any bank statements. About a week later, your debit card will be there.

The big banks in Australia with decent ATM networks are ANZ, Commonwealth, NAB, and WestPac. (If you intend to go somewhere specific in rural areas outside of the regular backpacker route, research which of those banks actually have an ATM there, since that can vary.) They constantly shuffle their basic accounts about, but usually one or more of them have an account completely free of fees, with the limitation that you can only make 4-5 withdrawals a month (withdrawals beyond that are quite expensive). If you can budget your money very well, that might be something worth looking for (research on their websites which ones have it). If not, then the regular basic accounts between these banks are effectively indistinguishable, should cost about AUD $5/month, and for backpacker purposes, it doesn't matter much which you go with. I personally used ANZ, and didn't hate them too much. WestPac used to try and astroturf these forums, so just for that I'd recommend avoiding them if you can (it amuses me to have that still backfire many years later).

One or more of these banks should also offer the option to open a bank account while still abroad (I don't know which ones; again, research it on their websites), which would mean that there's a debit card already waiting for you in one of their bank branches when you arrive, and you just have to visit there to show your passport and get it. I think you can already transfer money to the account before arriving, too, but you won't be able to use the account until you've been there in person.

[ Edit: Edited on 20-May-2015, at 14:12 by Sander ]

3. Posted by gaptraveller (Budding Member 36 posts) 1y

I would open a bank account in oz, theyre really easy to do, westpac have quite good rates, and when you leave you can close it quick and easy over the phone....