Save money on account keeping fees and get a fee-free bank account.
Fee-free bank accounts come in many forms: no monthly fee with conditions, no monthly fee without conditions, no fees for ATM transactions with conditions – the list goes on. In many cases, depositing your salary should be enough to meet the fee-free conditions – other fee-free accounts just don't charge any fees, period.
How much can you save with a fee-free bank account?
Comparing fee-free accounts from two of the Big Four Banks, the NAB Classic Banking transaction account and the ANZ Access Advantage Account, you can save $60 a year by going for the NAB Classic Banking transaction account.
Although both accounts are fee free, the ANZ account is only fee free if you deposit more than $2,000 each month. For the purposes of this case study, the ANZ fee free condition has not been met each month of the year, so fees were still incurred.
How does a fee-free bank account work?
Fee-free bank accounts come in many forms. A truly fee-free account will waive the monthly fee no matter how much you deposit into the account. Other fee-free bank accounts give free ATM withdrawals, Qantas Points and cash back. There are more fee free accounts with conditions than without.
Most fee free bank accounts still have backend fees for certain transactions, like overseas withdrawals and international transaction fees.
|What fee do you want to avoid?||Bank accounts that avoid this fee|
|Domestic ATM withdrawal fees|
|International transaction fees|
|Overseas ATM withdrawal fees|
|International money transfer fees|
Do fee-free bank accounts earn interest?
These accounts don’t reward you with interest, though there are many fee-free savings accounts that reward you with bonus interest to help grow your savings balance.
How do I compare fee-free bank accounts?
Read the fee-free conditions
Some bank accounts do not charge monthly fees when you meet conditions like depositing over a certain amount each month. This amount ranges from $1,000 to $2,000 depending on the account.
Determine if your salary can cover the fee-free deposit
In most cases, your salary should be enough to have the monthly fee waived. Have your employer deposit your pay into a fee free bank account so you can automatically meet the service fee waiver each month.
Look at the other non-traditional fees that may apply
These accounts do waive the monthly service fee but other fees could apply. You may be charged for using your bank account overseas and for overseas ATM withdrawals. The product disclosure statement has a full breakdown of fee free bank account fees.
Linked debit card access
Financial institutions give you a debit card to use at the ATM, over the counter or to shop online. You get a Visa or MasterCard debit card or an EFTPOS to use over the counter, online or at an ATM.
ATM network and cost for withdrawals
Most banks charge a fee when you make an ATM withdrawal from a non-partner ATM. Naturally, the financial institution with the largest ATM network looks the most favourable, but there are accounts that do not charge ATM fees.
Other products offerings
What else does the financial institution offer? You can make instant transfers between a high interest savings account and fee free bank account if both accounts are held with the same institution.
What are the good and bad points for a fee-free bank account?
The good points
- There are $0 account keeping fees. By choosing a fee free bank account you can save money by not paying a monthly account service fee. This is a saving of approximately $50 a year. Check the case study above for more information on savings.
- You get ATM access. Some of these fee free bank accounts also give you a deal on ATM transactions. Some accounts do not charge for transactions at a non-partner ATMs.
- You can also look forward to other perks. Waiving the monthly service fee is the least you should expect. Some bank accounts give you perks like cash back or Qantas Points when you spend.
The bad points
- You still get charged other odd fees. Unfortunately truly fee-free baking is not common. Bank account issuers will still charge for certain types of transactions, like making a purchase or withdrawing money overseas and overdrawing from your account. However it is possible to get by without incurring any of these fees.
Have more questions you need answered?
Q. How do I know if an account is really fee free?
A. Read our fee free bank account review and application pages for a full list of the fees and charges. There are many accounts that waive the monthly transaction fee; however, other fees may still apply. Common backend fees include:
- Statement reissue fees,
- Fees for issuing an additional card,
- Fees for telephone banking transactions and staff-assisted transactions made at a branch,
- Fees for overdrawing your account,
- Fees for making a purchase in a foreign currency,
- Fees for overseas ATM withdrawals.
Q. Can I overdraw my transaction account?
A. Some financial institutions let you overdraw your transaction account, for example, if you have direct debit your bank account can go into a negative balance. Bank fees can overdraw your account as well. Some banks charge a fee if you overdraw your account. You can find out which fee free bank accounts charge a debit dishonour fee by reading or bank account review and application pages and the product disclosure statement.
Q. How do I switch to a fee free bank account?
A. If you find a fee free bank account and you would like to apply, you can switch your bank account in a few simple steps. Have a look at our bank account comparison page for information on how to switch bank accounts.
Fee-free bank account offer
Enjoy low monthly account-keeping fees with St.George Complete Freedom Account and $0 ATM fees.
- $0 monthly fee when at least $2,000 is deposited per month or open a Complete Freedom Student account, otherwise a fee of $5 applies per month
- $0 ATM withdrawal fee at 50,000+ ATMs globally
- Visa Debit with payWave
Bank accounts with no monthly account fee
|Bank account||Monthly fee|
|NAB Classic Banking||No monthly account fee with unlimited transactions.|
|ANZ Access Advantage||No monthly account fee when you deposit at least $2,000 per month.|
|Westpac Choice||No monthly account fee when you deposit at least $2,000 per month.|
|Citibank Plus Everyday Account||No monthly account fee or ATM fee.|
|ING Direct Orange Everyday Account||No monthly account fee when you deposit $1,000 per month.|