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Which is the best bank for backpackers in OZ

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific Which is the best bank for backpackers in OZ

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1. Posted by ozeire (Budding Member 41 posts) 11y

Can anyone tell me which is the best bank for travllers and how easy/complicated it is to set up an acconts ?

2. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4817 posts) 11y

If you set up a bank account within 30 (?) days of arriving in the country, it's completely painless to set up a bank account. Show your passport and deposit $50 and that's it. If you wait longer, you need to show two additional forms of approved ID, most of which a traveller would not possess. *googles* Ah: driver’s licence, credit card, Medicare card, electricity or gas bill in your name, current rates notice in your name. (And I'm not certain they accept overseas driver's licenses at all.)

I personally preferred the ANZ Access Select account, because it was the only one where the bank didn't earn any money off of me. Most bank accounts have a montly fee, but this one didn't, at the cost of only allowing six transactions per month for free. So, it's only a decent choice if you're good at planning ahead with money, and just get per week how much you will need for the week.

3. Posted by ozeire (Budding Member 41 posts) 11y

Thanx Snader

That 30 day thing is a really good thing to know .



4. Posted by ozintro (Full Member 56 posts) 11y

You actually get 6 weeks before you need to provide additional ID.
All banks in Australia charge fees.
Some charge lower monthly account keeping fees and give you say 5 free withdrawls per month, then charge you for each withdrawl after that.
Others might charge $10 per month, but give you unlimited 'free' withdrawls.
Either way, be prepared to pay between $5 and $20 per month to your bank!
Don't waste too much time standing in bank queues, they're all pretty similar.
And try to find a balance between not making too many withdrawls and not carrying around too much cash.

5. Posted by majito (Respected Member 442 posts) 11y

The ANZ is definitely the best bank for travellers, and you have 6-weeks before you need anything other than your passport to open the account. The ANZ Access Advantage can be opened before you arrive in Oz. Simply download the form from You can then transfer money before you arrive; you must still go to the bank with your ID to activate the account though. As for fees? Well, sure, the other account doesn't charge a monthly fee (the fee is only $5.00 per-month), but it only gives you 6-free self-service transactions per-month. That adds up to (at .50cents per-transaction) a whopping $3.00 worth of free transactions!

If I were you I wouldn't worry too much about paying .50cents to access cash that is safely tucked away in a bank that you can get to 24 hours a day, as opposed to being in your wallet. 1 transaction a week means you need to be carrying a couple of hundred bucks at a time.

Unless of course you are a total tightass and lie awake at night worrying about .50cent transactions fees.

Oh, the access advantage also pays interest.

6. Posted by ozeire (Budding Member 41 posts) 11y

Thanx All

for all your replys .

Much Appreciated everyone


7. Posted by julys (Budding Member 2 posts) 11y

How about HSBC's online savings account?

I searched the forum and saw no related discussion about this. I have been checking websites of almost every oz banks, and this one seem to be nice. There is a minimum of Aud$2,000 deposit required to open this account but no minimum balance after opening. Besides, it offers a really juicy interest rate.

I know that HSBC doesn't have that many branch around oz, but suppossedly the "Five free ATM transactions per month, at any bank ATM" policy can make up to this fault?

I throw this out as a question, not as an answer(sorry), in the hope that maybe someone can advise me about this account. Thanks!!

8. Posted by IainOB1 (Budding Member 30 posts) 11y

I've been reading on the bank sites listed in the posts.
The HSBC savings account can't be opened by a non Australian resedent.

Also the advantage Anz account does offer an interest rate but only on money over
$50,000 and at 0.01%

Have a check with your own bank at home to see if they have any links with banks in OZ. Some do and it means you can continue to use your existing account and only get charged the currency transfer rate when you use the ATMS of the bank they are linked with and not a withdrawal fee. Then just open an account in one of the major banks in Oz order to take in wages from working.

I'm also using an online bank account for my savings which has a good interest rate and will transfer money when needed.
So when I get there I will probs open an account like the ANZ Access Select or a similar one in any other bank to take my wages

Which ever way you do it your gonna get charged something. It may be a monthly fee or around 50c for a withdrawal / transaction after your free monthly transactions

I dont know what the currency transfer rate will be from my uk account when I withdraw money from ATMs although with Barclays there is no withdrawal fee using Westpac machines. And they have give me a number I can ring free, to find where the nearest ATM with no fee is, any where in the world which i thought was good

Well thats the plan at the minute if anyone can see a flaw in my plan please let me know the more info the better. Hope I've been of help

9. Posted by ruthieroo (Budding Member 5 posts) 11y

If you also want i good uk account before you go. Nationwide's Flexaccount is great as the dont charge you for withdrawing money abroad.

10. Posted by julys (Budding Member 2 posts) 11y

Thanks for your answer, IainOB1

So far as I know, there're other backpackers(with WHM visa) using this account of HSBC. So I think that depends on how they define "Australian residents". Or there might be the possibility that the regulation has changed.

If you like a account solely for salary transfer and daily shopping/cash withdrawals by EFTPOS,Woolworths Ezy Banking from Commonwealth Bank should be a good choice. You can read more detail here.