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The Best Bank in Australia

Information verified correct on December 6th, 2016

Which is the best bank in Australia? It may not even be a bank.

What makes a bank ‘the best bank’? Is it the number of products, low rates, a regional touch or all of these things combined. Best is such a subjective term, it all depends on what’s important to you. Think about these points when you’re evaluating banks side by side.

Banks versus nonbanks

We use bank as an umbrella term for financial institutions that offer banking products. There are hundreds of customer owned banking institutions operating in regional communities and big cities all over Australia. There are credit unions, mutual societies, friendly societies, cooperatives to think about as well as small local banks, foreign banks and the Big Four.

Rates last updated December 6th, 2016
$
$
months
Maximum Variable Rate p.a. Standard Variable Rate p.a. Bonus Interest p.a. Fees Min Bal / Min Deposit Interest Earned
Easy Street Easy Savings
Ongoing, variable rate of 2.00% with no fees and available on balances up to $5,000,000.
2.00% 2.00% 0.00% $0 $0 / $2 More
Easy Street Bonus Saver Account
Ongoing, variable when you deposit 50+ each month and make no withdrawals. Available on balances up to $5,000,000.
2.65% 0.01% 2.64% $0 $0 / $2 More
Community First Bonus Saver
Ongoing, variable 2.40% p.a. when you deposit $20+ each month and make no withdrawals. Available on the entire balance.
2.40% 0.10% 2.30% $0 $0 / $0 More
Community First Christmas Cracker
Ongoing, variable 1.50% p.a.. Available on the entire balance.
1.50% 1.50% 0.00% $0 $0 / $0 More
Community First Money Market Account
Ongoing, variable 1.25% p.a. Available on the entire balance.
1.25% 1.25% 0.00% $0 $0 / $100,000 More
CUA Youth eSaver Account
Ongoing, variable 4.00% p.a. Available on balances up to $5,000.
4.00% 4.00% 0.00% $0 $1 / $1 More
CUA eSaver Plus Account
Ongoing, variable 2.75% p.a. when you make a total deposit of at least $200 and no withdrawals in a calendar month. Available on balances up to $1,000,000.
2.75% 0.50% 2.25% $0 $1 / $1 More
IMB Reward Saver Account
Ongoing, variable 2.40% p.a. when you deposit $50+ each month and make no withdrawals per month. Available on the entire balance.
2.40% 1.40% 1.00% $0 $0 / $0 More
IMB DIY Super
Introductory rate of 2.25% p.a. for 4 months, reverting to a rate of 1.50% p.a. Available on the entire balance.
2.25% 1.50% 0.75% $0 $5,000 / $1 More
Greater Bank Bonus Saver
Ongoing, variable 2.20% p.a. when you deposit $1+ each month. Available on the entire balance.
2.20% 2.20% 0.00% $0 $1 / $1 More
Rates last updated December 6th, 2016
$
Monthly Account Fee Debit Card Access ATM Withdrawal Fee Fee Free Deposit p.m. Details
RaboDirect High Interest Savings Account
Introductory rate of 3.20% p.a. for 4 months, reverting to a rate of 2.05% p.a. Available on balances below $250,000.
Visa $0 $0 Open More
Bankwest Qantas Transaction Account
Earn Qantas Points on eligible purchases and on your account balance.
Conditions apply.
Mastercard $0 $2,000 No monthly fees when you deposit at least $2,000 into your account each month. Free access to Bankwest and CommBank ATMs in Australia. No overseas ATM withdrawal fees (charged by Bankwest) though third party fees may apply. Open More
ANZ Access Advantage
Earn a $100 shopping voucher.
For opening a new account by 18 Dec 2016 and shop three times with your new Visa debit card by 8 Jan 2017 (conditions apply).
Visa $0 $2,000 No monthly account fee when you deposit at least $2,000 per month. Other fee waivers available based on your personal situation. Open More
ING DIRECT Orange Everyday Account
Get a $75 cash bonus.
Get a competitive ongoing variable rate when linked with a Savings Maximiser.
Visa $0 $1,000 No monthly fees, and you can use any ATM in Australia for free when you deposit $1,000 each month e.g your salary. Open More
Bankwest Easy Transaction Account
Pay no ATM fees at over 10,000 ATMs in Australia (conditions apply).
Mastercard $0 $2,000 Minimum deposit of $2,000 per month needed to waive the monthly account fee otherwise $6 monthly fee applies. No ATM fee applicable at Bankwest, CBA, NAB, ANZ, Westpac, St.George, BoM and BankSA ATMs in Australia. Open More
AMP Access Account
An everyday transaction account with fee-free banking.
Visa $0 $0 Unlimited fee-free transactions at rediATMs, $0 transaction fees using BankNet, mobile banking and BankPhone. Open More
St.George Express Freedom Account
Convenience of cardless cash and shop securely with your Visa debit card.
Customise SMS and email alerts.
Visa $0 $1,000 No ATM fees when using St.George / Westpac / BankSA ATMs. No monthly service fee if you deposit a minimum of $1,000 per month otherwise $3 monthly fee applies. Open More
AMP Cash Manager
Ongoing, variable 1.50% p.a. when you link to an AMP Visa debit card and deposit $2,000+ each month. Available on the entire balance.
Visa $0 $2,000 No transaction fees and waived monthly fee when at least $2,000 is deposited. Open More
St.George Complete Freedom Account
10% Cash back for online gaming purchases.
Waived account keeping fees when minimum deposit is met with no minimum balance.
Visa $0 $2,000 No account keeping fees, if you deposit $2,000 per month plus no minimum balance required. No ATM fees when using St.George, Westpac and BankSA ATMs. Open More
Rates last updated December 6th, 2016
$
$
months
Maximum Variable Rate p.a. Standard Variable Rate p.a. Bonus Interest p.a. Fees Min Bal / Min Deposit Interest Earned
ME Online Savings Account
Ongoing, variable 3.05% p.a. rate when you link to a ME Everyday Transaction account and make a weekly purchase with your Debit MasterCard using tap & go. Available on balances up to $250,000.
3.05% 1.30% 1.75% $0 $0 / $0 Open More
ING DIRECT Savings Maximiser
Ongoing, variable 2.75% p.a. when you link to an ING Orange Everyday bank account and deposit $1,000+ each month. Available on balances up to $100,000.
2.75% 1.60% 1.15% $0 $0 / $0 Open More
Bankwest Hero Saver
Ongoing, variable 2.65% p.a. rate when you deposit at least $200 each month and make no withdrawals. Available on balances up to $5,000,000.
2.65% 0.01% 2.64% $0 $0 / $0 Open More
RaboDirect High Interest Savings Account
Introductory rate of 3.20% p.a. for 4 months, reverting to a rate of 2.05% p.a. Available on balances below $250,000.
3.20% 2.05% 1.15% $0 $0 / $0 Open More
ANZ Online Saver
Introductory rate of 2.85% p.a. for 6 months, reverting to 1.25% p.a. Available on the entire balance.
2.85% 1.25% 1.60% $0 $0 / $0 Open More
HSBC Serious Saver
Introductory rate of 2.25% p.a. for 4 months, reverting to a rate of 1.60% p.a. Available on balances below $1,000,000.
2.25% 1.60% 0.65% $0 $0 / $0 Open More
Westpac eSaver
Introductory rate of 2.71% p.a. for 5 months, reverting to a rate of 1.25% p.a. Available on the entire balance.
2.71% 1.25% 1.46% $0 $0 / $0 Open More
ANZ Progress Saver
Ongoing, variable 1.91% p.a. when you link to any Australian everyday bank account and deposit $10+ each month. Available on the entire balance.
1.91% 0.01% 1.90% $0 $10 / $10 Open More
St.George Maxi Saver
Introductory rate of 3.00% p.a. for 3 months, reverting to a rate of 1.05% p.a. Available on balances below $5,000,000.
3.00% 1.05% 1.95% $0 $1 / $1 Open More
Bank of Melbourne Maxi Saver
Introductory rate of 3.00% p.a. for 3 months, reverting to 1.05% p.a. Available on the entire balance.
3.00% 1.05% 1.95% $0 $1 / $1 Open More
BankSA Maxi Saver
Introductory rate of 3.00% p.a. for 3 months, reverting to a rate of 1.05% p.a. Available on the entire balance.
3.00% 1.05% 1.95% $0 $1 / $1 Open More
Bank of Melbourne Incentive Saver
Ongoing, variable 1.85% p.a. when you make at least one deposit and no withdrawals each month. Available on the entire balance.
1.85% 0.01% 1.84% $0 $1 / $1 Open More
Westpac Reward Saver
Ongoing, variable 1.85% p.a. when you deposit at least $50 and make no withdrawals each month. Available on the entire balance.
1.85% 0.01% 1.84% $0 $0 / $0 Open More
Rates last updated December 6th, 2016
$
$
months
Maximum Variable Rate p.a. Standard Variable Rate p.a. Bonus Interest p.a. Fees Min Bal / Min Deposit Interest Earned
Easy Street Easy Savings
Ongoing, variable rate of 2.00% with no fees and available on balances up to $5,000,000.
2.00% 2.00% 0.00% $0 $0 / $2 More
Easy Street Bonus Saver Account
Ongoing, variable when you deposit 50+ each month and make no withdrawals. Available on balances up to $5,000,000.
2.65% 0.01% 2.64% $0 $0 / $2 More
Community First Bonus Saver
Ongoing, variable 2.40% p.a. when you deposit $20+ each month and make no withdrawals. Available on the entire balance.
2.40% 0.10% 2.30% $0 $0 / $0 More
Community First Christmas Cracker
Ongoing, variable 1.50% p.a.. Available on the entire balance.
1.50% 1.50% 0.00% $0 $0 / $0 More
Community First Money Market Account
Ongoing, variable 1.25% p.a. Available on the entire balance.
1.25% 1.25% 0.00% $0 $0 / $100,000 More
CUA Youth eSaver Account
Ongoing, variable 4.00% p.a. Available on balances up to $5,000.
4.00% 4.00% 0.00% $0 $1 / $1 More
CUA eSaver Plus Account
Ongoing, variable 2.75% p.a. when you make a total deposit of at least $200 and no withdrawals in a calendar month. Available on balances up to $1,000,000.
2.75% 0.50% 2.25% $0 $1 / $1 More
IMB Reward Saver Account
Ongoing, variable 2.40% p.a. when you deposit $50+ each month and make no withdrawals per month. Available on the entire balance.
2.40% 1.40% 1.00% $0 $0 / $0 More
IMB DIY Super
Introductory rate of 2.25% p.a. for 4 months, reverting to a rate of 1.50% p.a. Available on the entire balance.
2.25% 1.50% 0.75% $0 $5,000 / $1 More
Greater Bank Bonus Saver
Ongoing, variable 2.20% p.a. when you deposit $1+ each month. Available on the entire balance.
2.20% 2.20% 0.00% $0 $1 / $1 More
Rates last updated December 6th, 2016
$
$
months
Maximum Variable Rate p.a. Standard Variable Rate p.a. Bonus Interest p.a. Fees Min Bal / Min Deposit Interest Earned
ANZ Progress Saver
Ongoing, variable 1.91% p.a. when you link to any Australian everyday bank account and deposit $10+ each month. Available on the entire balance.
1.91% 0.01% 1.90% $0 $10 / $10 Open More
ANZ Online Saver
Introductory rate of 2.85% p.a. for 6 months, reverting to 1.25% p.a. Available on the entire balance.
2.85% 1.25% 1.60% $0 $0 / $0 Open More
Westpac Reward Saver
Ongoing, variable 1.85% p.a. when you deposit at least $50 and make no withdrawals each month. Available on the entire balance.
1.85% 0.01% 1.84% $0 $0 / $0 Open More
Westpac eSaver
Introductory rate of 2.71% p.a. for 5 months, reverting to a rate of 1.25% p.a. Available on the entire balance.
2.71% 1.25% 1.46% $0 $0 / $0 Open More
Commonwealth Bank Goal Saver Account
Ongoing, variable 1.95% p.a. rate when you deposit at least $200 p/m with no withdrawals. Available on balances up to $100,000.
1.95% 0.01% 1.94% $0 $0 / $0 More
Commonwealth Bank NetBank Saver
Introductory rate of 2.70% p.a. for 3 months, reverting to a rate of 1.25% p.a. Available on balances up to $5,000,000.
2.70% 1.25% 1.45% $0 $0 / $1 More
NAB iSaver
Introductory rate of 1.90% p.a. for 4 months, reverting to a rate of 1.20% p.a. Available on balances below $1,000,000.
1.90% 1.20% 0.70% $0 $0 / $0 More
NAB Reward Saver
Ongoing, variable 2.70% p.a. when you link to NAB transaction account and deposit $200+ each month and make no withdrawals in the month . Available on balances up to $5,000,000.
2.70% 0.50% 2.20% $0 $0 / $0 More

What are the pros and cons of banks

Pros

  • Mainstream banks have more money to develop online banking facilities.
  • Large choice of banking products and financial services.
  • Large branch and ATM presence.

Cons

  • Fees can be higher what’s charged to members of community banks.
  • Bank customers are customers. Members of community banking institutions own a part of the bank and have a say about how the organisation is run.

What are the pros and cons to customer-owned banking?

Pros

  • Members benefit from bank profits through lower rates and fees. Customer owned banks can offer lower rates than big banking institutions.

Cons

  • Limited choice of products.
  • Limited branch access.
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There’s no loyalty in banking, financial institutions have different strengths

Some banks offer great rates on your deposit, non-banks credit cards are often market leading and online only mortgage lenders can give you a cheap loan, the point is to remember to shop around to get the best deal. Don’t be afraid to use the services of a number of different institutions for your banking and personal finance needs. A little extra time using a comparison service before you apply for a financial product can save you money in fees and interest.

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What do you want as a customer?

Ask yourself what you want as a customer to find yourself the best bank.

  • A good rate. Customer owned banking institutions can offer better rates and fees than big banks. Every customer is a part owner and profits benefit members through better rates and lower fees.
  • Lot of products. Are you looking for a bank that can offer a wide mix of products such as savings accounts, platinum and rewards credit cards, home loan and personal loan products, or do you want a financial institution that offers fewer products at a lower cost.

Large institutions like the Big Four Australian banks offer products and services that suit a number of different demographics; whereas credit unions and mutuals have fewer products packed with benefits. In some cases it can be cost effective to show customer loyalty. For example, the Commonwealth Bank have a credit card annual fee waiver offer for existing customers.

  • A superior online experience. When was the last time you actually went to a bank branch, and what was it for? You can open a bank account online with little, if any, face to face interaction with another person. The institution’s investment in online banking, while not a deal breaker — yet — is becoming increasingly important.
  • Decent customer service. Excellent customer service is expected when you visit a branch at any financial institution, but how does the level of service extend to the institution’s call centre team. The Big Four bank call centre staff are based in Australia, international banks have offshore representatives. Some customer owned banks may refer your call to a third party if it’s outside of business hours.
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How do I compare the best banks in Australia?

Here are a few ways you can compare different banks and financial institutions. Ask yourself:

  • Do they charge monthly fees? Banks and fees and almost synonymous. There are institutions that make low or no fees a point of difference. Online lenders don’t have the overheads of a bricks and mortar bank so they can pass the savings onto consumers.
  • How big is it's ATM network? How many places can you withdraw your money for free? Banks and nonbanks have different partnerships and arrangements with other financial institutions. For example, some smaller financial institutions have agreements with rediATM, which is a third party ATM operator in Australia, whereas banks operate their own ATM network, for example St.George bank customers can use Westpac ATMs because St.George is part of the Westpac banking group.
  • How superior is their online service? Face to face banking is becoming less common. For example, you can apply for a credit card, make payments and repayments, apply for a credit limit increase or decrease just using the internet. If this is how you do your banking, institutions with an enhanced online experience may appeal to you.
  • What other products does the financial institution offer? It can be both convenient and cost effective to hold your loan accounts, everyday banking and savings accounts with the same financial provider. As well as getting a few points off your loan rates and discounted annual fees for credit cards, you can also make instantaneous transfers between accounts.

If you’re not happy with your bank, what’s stopping you from making the switch? Whether it’s monthly fees, transaction fees or credit card or mortgage interest, it’s easier than ever to switch banks get the best deal.

Shirley Liu

Shirley is finder.com.au's publisher for banking and investments. She is currently studying a Masters in Commerce (Finance) and is the author of hundreds of articles. She is passionate about helping Aussies make an informed decision, save money and find the best deal for their needs.

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Savings Account Offers

Learn about our information service
ME Online Savings Account

Maximum Variable Rate

3.05%

Standard Variable Rate

1.30
ING DIRECT Savings Maximiser

Maximum Variable Rate

2.75%

Standard Variable Rate

1.60
Bankwest Hero Saver

Maximum Variable Rate

2.65%

Standard Variable Rate

0.01
RaboDirect High Interest Savings Account

Maximum Variable Rate

3.20%

Standard Variable Rate

2.05

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