I have organised nearly everything for my trip but one thing is still bothering me. I plan to be in Oz for 10-12months on a WHV. I know that if I want to work out there I will need a bank account so my wages can be paid in(Also do I need a permanant address??) However, I have just open up a new current account over here (NationwideFlexi Account)as I have been told that I won't get charged for using the ATM machines out there. What I need to know is.....What bank would be best to use for wages to go in and also would it be worth transferring my money from my Nationwide account to the Australian one or keep the 2 separate.
Also what do I need to take with me to the bank to open an account? Any views on CitiBank Aus.
I'd recommend waiting till you get to Australia to sort this one out. There are quite a few banks that offer decent accounts for travellers, ANZ and Commonwealth both offer good national coverage which helps cut your atm costs along the way when you deduct money (most Australian accounts charge a small fee for atm withdrawals).
Back in the day what was needed was your passport with your visa in it and an address. Most travellers used a mailing address or a hostel address. The main reason for the address is the bank card which is sent out and usually takes some time to produce. Besides this you won't be getting much mail from the bank.
I'd recommend keeping the accounts separate and keeping the cards in different places too. That way if your wallet gets nicked with one card in it, you'll still have access to cash in the other account with your other card. I wouldn't bother transferring the money to your Australian bank account but just take out money as you go along and need it from your home account...
Hope that helps you somewhat!
I have just recently opened an account with ANZ and it was quite easy. They have this thing called 100 points where you had to get 100 points before you can create an account with them. And because I have just recently came back to Aussie, I was able to open up an account using my passport, so take your passport along!!! And like Sam said, you'll need an address to send your card to if you get one. I just used my work address because I didn't remember the address of the apartment I was staying in.
I got an account where I could have 6 free transactions a month and there was no monthly fees. When you get here you will probably find the right one for you. Oh and I am going to get internet banking too which is handy if you need to pay people on direct debit.
Anyway good luck!!
Thanks Sam and Cat!!
Just one more thing......With the ANZ card you say you get 6 free transactions a month....does that mean ATM only????
Can you get "cash back" when you use your card in shops or don't they do cash back over in Oz. Also, would that be classed as a transaction?
I don't quite understand what "cash back" is. But I'm guessing it is getting cash out when you are using your card to buy something from a shop. If that is the case then I think they do do that here. Or at least I'm sure I've heard of the tellers in the supermarkets ask people if they do want some cash out.
But you should always ask anyway because some places will allow you to while others don't. I know definately in New Zealand most of the shops will allow shoppers to take cash out when they are purchasing stuff. I don't know if it will be classed as a transaction in Aussie, but in NZ it isn't because it was part of your purchase. I would assume it is the same in Aussie but you can always ask the bank before you select your account.
Also there may be another account where you can get unlimited transactions, but it may require a monthly fee. Anyway check out the website and see if they have any information on the accounts. And I would check out different banks too.
Just beware of what banks to join because if you are in a teeny tiny town, there might not be a branch or an ATM around for you to get cash (and also some banks charge you money if you use other banks ATM to get money out like Sam said).
ANZ have an account that let you have unlimited transactions for a AU$5 monthly fee.
Most australian banks will charge you for ATM withdrawls, especially if you withdraw from a different bank ie using a Commonwealth ATM when you're a ANZ customer. My mate and I arrived in Australia in September and opened accounts with ANZ (they have an account which charges $5 a month for unlimited withdrawls) If you open your account as soon as you arrive you will only need you passport, I think it's after 6 weeks in the country that you will need to provide further ID. I wouldn't go with Commonwealth, a few of my mates have had probelms with them and they apparently have abit of a bad reputation. ANZ and National would probably be best. You will also need an address, but most hostels will let you use their address.
I also have a Nationwide Flexi account which I put all my money in for cooming to Oz (because of the free overseas withdrawls!) and once my ANZ account was up and running, I transfered it all. I found it easier to keep track of my money if it was all in the one account. Also you can't check your nationwide balance at any ATM's here, you need to do it online (which can be abit annoying!)
The Australian equivelant to paying by switch is eftpos (not sure what it stand for!) and it works in the same way as the new chip and pin in the UK. You don't need to sign anything when using eftpos. You also get asked everywhere, if you need any cash out aswell, so getting cashback is no problem at all.
Hope that helps, let me know if there is anything else you need to know,