The BCU Advantage Saver is a combined access and savings account for aimed at Australians who are receiving a pension or are self-funded retirees. It can be used to fulfil all of your banking needs, earning interest on your savings while allowing you to access your money whenever needed. An accredited Australian credit union, BCU is able to guarantee deposits of up to $250,000 through the Government Financial Scheme.
What are the features of the BCU Advantage Saver?
As Australians approach retirement age they should start reconsidering how they approach their financial needs. Examine and compare the features of various combination accounts for seniors against what is offered by the BCU Advantage Saver before choosing the account that meets your lifestyle needs.
$0 Monthly account keeping fee
There is a monthly account keeping fee of $2 which will be waived if the available balance is $500 or more. You are permitted a certain number of transactions each month for free including those that are done within a branch, EFTPOS transactions and ATM withdrawals. The number of free transactions and amount charged to the account once the limit has been reached will depend on the type of membership you have with BCU.
One off membership fee of $10
All Australians are welcome to join the credit union but adults will be expected to pay for one share at a cost of $10.
You may be receiving a pension
The Advantage Saver is only available for Australians who are receiving a Veterans Affairs Pension, Aged Pension, or a self-funded retirement income after the age of 55.
Accessing your money
Withdrawals and deposits can be made using online and phone banking or inside a local BCU branch. A Visa debit or Cue card is issued that will also allow you access to your funds at an ATM and for making EFTPOS purchases. Payments and deposits can also be made electronically through BPAY, periodical payments and direct credit or deposits using your online banking portal.
Linked Visa debit card
You are given the choice of having a Visa debit card or Cue card linked to your account. Both allow you to access money from an ATM or EFTPOS, but with the Visa debit you can also use the card online and internationally.
If you have a separate account with BCU you can use the sweep facility to avoid overdrawing of any one account. There is $1 charged to you when funds are transferred for this purpose.
How is my interest calculated?
Interest is applied to your balance once it reaches a minimum of $500. Rates are tiered, and only applied to the portion of the balance that meets the limit. For example, if you have $2,500 in the account, the portion below $2,000 will receive one rate while the remaining $500 will have the higher rate applied. Interest is calculated on the daily balance and will be paid into the account once a month.
- Suitable for Aged Pensioner after the age of 55
- $2 monthly fee will be waived if the available balance is $500 or more
- Competitive tiered interest rate
- $2 monthly fee
- Not available to all
What you’ll need to know before applying
You can stop by your local BCU branch to complete an application for the Advantage Saver, or visit their website and complete an online enquiry form.
Eligibility to apply online
You should know that you will have to be a member of BCU first before an account will be issued to you along with other eligibility requirements:
- Minimum age. This account is only suitable for Australians aged 55 or older who are receiving certain government or personal pensions.
- Residency requirements. Only residents or citizens of Australia are eligible for the Advantage Saver account.
- Depository requirements. No minimum opening deposit will be required but if you are also applying for membership, you will need to pay your $10 to become a shareholder.
Documentation to apply online
Before you are contacted by BCU with more information about applying for their Advantage Saver account, have the following documentation ready:
- Tax file number. Supplying the credit union with your tax file number (TFN) or exemption codes will ensure that any tax deducted from your interest earnings is done at the rate which applies to your circumstance.
- Identification. A driver’s licence, passport or Medicare card will contain information that BCU can use to verify your identity electronically.
What happens after I submit my application?
After you have completed the enquiry form, a representative from BCU will contact you and help you complete the application for the Advantage Saver. Once the account has been established, you will receive your chosen debit card in the mail along with important information on managing the money in your account.