What's the best student bank account?
The best student bank account will depend on how you're looking to use the account and the features that are most important to you. Here are a few options.
Best no fee student bank account
Why we like these accounts for students:
- The Suncorp account has no monthly account fees, no international transaction fees and no ATM fees when using Suncorp or Big 4 bank ATMs.
- The ING account has no monthly account fees, no international transaction fees and will rebate all Australian ATM fees (when account conditions are met).
Best student bank account for travelling
Why we like these accounts for students:
- The HSBC Everyday Global Account allows you to hold up to 10 different currencies at once.
- Both of these accounts charge no international transaction fees.
- Both accounts charge no international ATM fees (although the ATM operator may charge its own fee).
Best bank account for international students
Why we like this account for students:
- You can hold up to 10 currencies, which allows you to hold your local home currency to use when you're back home as well as AUD.
How to compare student bank accounts
Consider the following features when you're choosing the right student bank account for you.
Account keeping fees
Look for an account with no monthly account keeping fee. Or, if there is an account keeping fee, sometimes this will be waived for students.
You can use most Australian debit cards to withdraw cash at a big 4 bank ATM (Westpac, ANZ, NAB or CommBank) without being charged a fee by the ATM operator. However, check what the ATM fee is when you use an ATM outside of these. If you use ATMs a lot, it's probably best to look for an account that rebates all ATM fees.
International transaction fees
If you travel often or regularly shop online from international retailers, choosing an account with no international transaction fees will save you a lot of money. These fees can be as much as 3% or 4% of the transaction value, every time. So it's worth looking for an account that doesn't charge these.
Savings interest rate
Bank accounts don't often offer any interest on your balance. If you want to earn some interest on your cash, look at what rate is offered with the bank's linked savings account.
Check the account offers the payment options you use the most, such as cardless cash, BPAY, tap-and-pay, Google Pay, Apple Pay or PayID.
Make sure the account offers a mobile banking app as well as internet banking. An app allows you to instantly access your account anywhere, anytime and monitor your transactions in real time.
Does the account offer any extra perks, such as a cash back offer or the ability to collect points? These aren't mandatory when choosing an account, but they're definitely nice to have.
More student banking products
A student debit card allows you to easily access the money in your bank account. You can swipe it (or tap!) for payment in shops, restaurants, online transactions, link it to your PayPal account, or withdraw money directly from a ATM machines. Unlike a credit card you can only spend what's available in your account, and you don't need any form of credit history to get one.
Are you planning on studying in Australia? Most banks require you to be in Australia and have an Australian residential address before you apply. However, there are banks that let you apply online before you're here.
A student credit card lets you buy what you need now and pay it off later when you're studying at university or TAFE. It can also help you build up a good credit history. There are no "student specific" credit cards in Australia, but cards that are best for students typically have low rates fees.
A personal loan can help you pay for large expenses or big ticket items while you're studying, such as a laptop or car. As a student you may have more flexible eligibility criteria, however this may also come with a smaller borrowing amount and stricter loan terms.
Every penny counts when you're a student! If you need some help finding easy ways to save, here are 50 money-saving tips to give you some inspiration.
How do I apply for a student bank account?
You'll need to supply the following forms of ID to open a new bank account as a student:
- Australian residential address and phone number
- Australian Tax file Number (or Tax Exemption)
- Two forms of ID (either a Medicare card, Passport, Australian driver's license or proof of age card)
Different accounts will have different age requirements. Some will allow you to open an account online in your name while you're under 18, others will require you to be 18 or older. If you're under 18, you may be able to open the account with your parent or guardian as the official account signatory.
Here's how to open a new bank account online in 5 steps:
- Apply online. Once you've chosen an account, click "Go to site" to complete the online application.
- Verify your identity. Once the bank has verified your identity with the ID listed above, your account will be opened instantly.
- Fund your account. Transfer some money into your new bank account from another account or deposit cash into the account via a bank branch, ATM or Post Office. You'll soon receive your debit card in the mail.
Frequently asked questions
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