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oz bank accounts??

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific oz bank accounts??

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1. Posted by marcusshaw (Budding Member 27 posts) 8y

hey

heading to oz in march and was looking to open an account before i get there can anyone help with this, not sure which is the best one for it??

many thanks

marcus

2. Posted by lmurray (Budding Member 21 posts) 8y

Hi,

I was going to ask exactly the same question. Any advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks!

3. Posted by worldwideG (Respected Member 117 posts) 8y

hi, you need to apply in person in a bank with a couple of forms of I.D (passport and driving licence are fine). Banks in Oz charge a small monthly fee around $5 depending on which bank you choose. The big ones are Westpac, ANZ and Commonwealth. I'm with Westpac and had no probs, friends are with the other banks and they've all been fine too. One thing to watch out for are ATM charges, use only your own banks ATM's as the others will charge you. Hope this helps, Pete ;)

4. Posted by lmurray (Budding Member 21 posts) 8y

Thanks Pete, that's really helpful. Just a couple of other questions, am I right in thinking you have to have a fixed address to open a bank account? I guess that would be logical, it's just I will be in Australia for about 7 months, working along the way but will not be staying in one place for any fixed length of time. It would be really useful if I can open an Australian bank account so that if I do pick up any work my wages can be paid directly into that or would I just have to look for work that paid cash?

Thanks!

5. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4810 posts) 8y

Quoting lmurray

Thanks Pete, that's really helpful. Just a couple of other questions, am I right in thinking you have to have a fixed address to open a bank account?

No, you don't. They're completely used to backpackers without a fixed address opening a bank account. You only need an address to have the debit card sent to, but that can be the address of your hostel, or even poste restante at the main post office, I think.
Just tell them to set the frequency of your bank statements to once a year (when I was there, they couldn't completely disable them, but they could set the frequency that low), which effectively means that you'll never receive any bank statements. (Meanwhile, if you want to have a bank statement, you can just ask into any bank branch and ask for an "interim statement", which they provide completely free of charge.)

As for opening the bank account: it's slightly more complex than what Pete said (and yet simpler at the same time). Australian banks have a weird "points" system for the needed identification, where different forms of ID count for a different amount of points, and you need to reach a certain threshold before they'll let you open the account. Overseas drivers licenses don't count, which might make reaching this threshold difficult. However, if you're on a WHV they value your passport as being worth as many points as the points threshold for the first few weeks that you're in the country, assuming you have your working holiday visa sticker in your passport. So make certain to get that sticker and then open the bank account right away, and your passport will be the only ID you'll need.

[ Edit: Edited on Jan 19, 2008, at 8:30 AM by Sander ]

6. Posted by lmurray (Budding Member 21 posts) 8y

Thanks for your reply Sander, that has put my mind at ease now!

7. Posted by lmurray (Budding Member 21 posts) 8y

However, if you're on a WHV they value your passport as being worth as many points as the points threshold for the first few weeks that you're in the country, assuming you have your working holiday visa sticker in your passport. So make certain to get that sticker

Hi,

Hope you don't mind me asking you another question. I have an Electronic WHV and a new passport with the electronic chip. I read somewhere that this means I won't get a visa sticker? Will this be a problem or would I be able to show my passport and a print out of my WHV confirmation?

Thanks!

8. Posted by happychef (Budding Member 10 posts) 8y

I really wont worry about not having a sticker in the passport all you need to show them is a copy of your boarding pass or something like that to prove you have only arrived in the country !! It took me about ten minutes to open a bank acc It really is alot easier than the uk

9. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4810 posts) 8y

Yeah, sounds like the stickers (visa labels) have become a thing of the past recently. I guess you can ignore that part of what I wrote.

10. Posted by kumnio (Budding Member 22 posts) 8y

Opened up an account at commbank within 15 minutes, all I needed was my passport that showed I entered the country a few days ago.

No hassle at all.