Skip Navigation

Austrialian Bank Account

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific Austrialian Bank Account

1. Posted by MarkH91 (Budding Member 6 posts) 49w

Hi

I am leaving to go to Australia in January and I am looking for advice on setting up a bank account for when I am over there?

Any help/Tips would be much appreciated.

Thanks

[ Edit: Edited on 23-Oct-2015, at 03:10 by MarkH91 ]

2. Posted by backpackblogger (Budding Member 58 posts) 48w

Hey there, Mark!

Commonwealth has accounts for WHV people that have no fees (vs. $5 a month if you don't set it up through their little portal or with other banks).

https://www.commbank.com.au/personal/can/moving-to-australia/setting-up-your-banking.html

Things may have changed in the last year in terms of other banks having no-fee accounts, but I'm betting they haven't. (When I ended up staying in OZ after the one year of no fees, no one at Commonwealth had even heard of an account with no fees - so I think this Smart Access account is a diamond in the rough, hey.)

Hope that helps!

Oh, and I don't recommend transferring money via commonwealth - pretty crap rates. I don't recommend transferring money at all, if you can help it. If you need to bring money over and aren't comfortable carrying it, ozforex and hifx had the best rates earlier this year. More info in #5 here:
http://halftheclothes.com/australia-working-holiday-visa-checklist/

And if the above gets snipped, feel free to PM me for the links or just search australian whv checklist - I think it's the first link on google.

Hope that helps!
Cheers!

3. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4811 posts) 48w

Quoting backpackblogger

Things may have changed in the last year in terms of other banks having no-fee accounts, but I'm betting they haven't. (When I ended up staying in OZ after the one year of no fees, no one at Commonwealth had even heard of an account with no fees - so I think this Smart Access account is a diamond in the rough, hey.)

These things change all the time, actually. Back when I was in Australia, ANZ was the only one with a no-fee account. Currently NAB appears to have one. (That page at the bottom says you must be a permanent resident, but their "international" pages specifically point to it for WHV-holders and the like as well, and their online form only asks "currently living in Australia", so that seems like the real criterium.)

As more general advice for Mark: You can apply online (with some banks even before you arrive), or just wait until you're in the country and then walk into any bank branch within the first few weeks after arriving (don't wait longer than that, since identification requirements go up when you've been in the country for longer). Tell them you want to open an account, fill in some forms, pay AUD $50 for an initial deposit (not certain if that's still necessary), tell them not to send you bank statements, and give them your hostel's address to send your debit card to. (Some banks probably also offer pick up from their office; this last definitely applies when you apply from abroad - then you have to go there to show identification, and will get the card at the same time.)

It's all super easy, and the banks are completely used to opening accounts for backpackers (and closing them again a year or two later), so there's no hassle at all.

[ Edit: Edited on 29-Oct-2015, at 12:35 by Sander ]

4. Posted by backpackblogger (Budding Member 58 posts) 48w

I should clarify - sorry! I didn't mean that I thought things stayed the same. I was indirectly (and unhelpfully?) referencing the common-ness of fees for banking accounts in Australia.

Sorry!

5. Posted by blaeten (Budding Member 4 posts) 47w

I opened a Westpac account a few weeks ago and with them you also get a 12 month fee waiver. Opening it was a breeze; walked in, filled out some forms, deposited $50 and waited for the card to come.