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What bank account?

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific What bank account?

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1. Posted by Blanco (Budding Member 26 posts) 10y

I leave for oz in 2 weeks and want to know whats the best bank account to set up for when im over there?

Im with HSBC over here and at first thought i might aswell go with there oz branch. But if theres an easier alternative with more branches all over the country then i will go with them.

Any help would be appreciated

Cheers

2. Posted by gborzy (Budding Member 3 posts) 10y

Can't beat the commonwealth bank
They have the most atms - if there is no atm - go to a post office - they have direct links to the bank

3. Posted by Blanco (Budding Member 26 posts) 10y

Nice one. will look into it.

4. Posted by mojorob (Moderator 1047 posts) 10y

The biggest 5 banks in Australia are ANZ, Commonwealth, National, Westpac, and St Georges. Others include HSBC and Citibank, along with plenty of others besides.

Best thing to do is to check each one out for yourself keeping in mind what you want. Banks in Australia charge a lot, including for using the card for ATM or debit (EFTPOS) functions - so make sure you check that out!

5. Posted by Blanco (Budding Member 26 posts) 10y

Also how do they go about setting up accounts if i havent got a fixed address?

cheers

6. Posted by mojorob (Moderator 1047 posts) 10y

When I was on a working holiday in Australia I had mail holding/forwarding with Travellers Contact Point, and that address was fine to open an account.

Opening an account is really easy too - you just need your overseas passport to open the account, as long as you open the account within 6 weeks of your arrival into the country.

7. Posted by TravelMc (Respected Member 93 posts) 10y

Hi

You can set up an international account for your destination country in advance with some banks - HSBC being one of them. For coming to the UK the advice is to get the account before you get here as it can take an age so I would say talk to your bank now and see if you can set one up before you go. You can always open one with another bank after you've found a place to stay and got all those other things sorted. The last thing you want is to get a job but have no way of getting paid because you can't open a bank account...

8. Posted by Taffski (Travel Guru 182 posts) 10y

Hi Blanco,

I am with HSBc here in the UK.
When we lived in Oz, however, I changed bank having done a bit of research as to which was the best one.
I checked out their fees etc. and what you'll find is that in OZ, you have to pay to get your own money (unlike the UK) i.e. to use the ATM.
However, at the time(some 2 years ago) ANz was the only bank to offer anything close to "Free" banking by offering an Internet Account with a flat fee of $5 per month and you didn't get charged if you took out your money from ANZ ATM's. Anyone else's and you'd get charged $2 a time!) However, most of the other banks charge you this even if you use their own ATM!
As explained earlier, the bank account setup is the same for most of the main banks, so I'd suggest you decide what's important to you personally.
For me it was not paying the banks any more money than I had too... hence I picked the Internet ANZ Account.
I will also say that their international transfer costs etc. are cheaper than any of the banks and you can do it all online (Really Handy) for getting money back to your UK accounts or vice versa!
(I'm assuming you will be returning to the UK at some point?)
cheers
Taffski.

9. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4835 posts) 10y

Quoting TravelMc

get the account before you get here as it can take an age

"take an age"?? You enter a bank branch, you hand them your passport, and half an hour later you walk out. You can use (have money paid into) the bank account as of that moment. And then it takes just a couple of days for the bank card to arrive.
I'm pretty certain that bank accounts opened from overseas need you to visit a bank branch to "activate" it as well, so I don't see much difference there.

[ Edit: Edited at Sep 25, 2006 4:56 AM by Sander ]

10. Posted by mojorob (Moderator 1047 posts) 10y

Quoting Sander

Quoting TravelMc

get the account before you get here as it can take an age

"take an age"?? You enter a bank branch, you hand them your passport, and half an hour later you walk out ...

Sander - I think you're quoting from a misunderstanding. The sentence you quoted from by TravelMc went: "For coming to the UK the advice is to get the account before you get here as it can take an age".

I think TravelMc is referring to people travelling to the UK and setting up a bank account in the UK - as the UK is notoriously difficult to set up bank accounts, sometimes even for us guys who come from here!

As I had said in a previous post, and what you're saying, for Australia setting up an account is pretty easy - as long as you do it within 6 weeks of arrival.

[ Edit: Edited at Sep 25, 2006 6:28 AM by mojorob ]