If you’re unhappy with your current bank account, don’t put up with it. It’s easy to switch banks with this one simple step:
Ask your new bank to help you
The Australian government banking reforms that became active from 1 July 2012 made it very easy to change banks. All you have to do is choose the financial institution you want, whether it be a bank, credit union or building society, fill out one form and the institution will do all the work for you.
The bank will contact all the institutions you have automatic debit and credit arrangements with giving them your new transaction account details.
Once you have shopped around and found the bank you want to work with, ask them to help with the switch. When contacting your new bank for help, the bank will need a 13-month transcript of direct debits and credits from your previous bank.
The 13-month list will be given to you by your new bank so you can choose what debits and credits you would like to transfer over to your new bank account. If you have trouble, just ask your new bank to help you.
The following items will not be included on the 13-month list:
“Pay anyone” transactions (such as fortnightly cleaner payments or bills).
Payments that are recurring and where you've given your debit card number.
Bank Account Offer
HSBC Everyday Global Account
Bank Account Offer
Special offer: $100 cash bonus for new HSBC customers. Earn 2% cashback on tap and pay purchases (T&C's apply). Enjoy no minimum ongoing balance or transaction requirements and the flexibility to hold up to 10 currencies. Apple Pay and Google Pay available.
Once you've opened your new account, don't forget to close the old one. Although the old account may have no money in it, the bank could still charge you account keeping fees. Close your old account once you have:
Successfully moved all your debits and credits.
Collated your list of payments from your old account that include "pay anyone" and BPAY.
Told every institution about your new card and account numbers.
Closing your old account is a relatively hassle-free process. Normally you will have to visit a branch to close the account.
Things to consider when switching bank accounts
Before you decide to start switching between introductory savings accounts to maximise the interest rate, you need to be aware that there are several disadvantages to this approach. These include:
Only available for new customers (that is, you've never held the account before) Another common restriction with introductory rate accounts is that they are only for new customers. This will stop you from switching to a bank with which you already have an account, and will probably also mean that you will eventually run out of honeymoon rate accounts that you are eligible to open. A limit of one account per customer will also usually apply.
Strict terms and conditions Many banks impose a range of complex terms and conditions to their introductory bonus savings accounts. One of the most common restrictions is that you need to open another account with the same bank, which usually attracts a monthly fee, in order to qualify for the honeymoon rate. The fees payable on this account can often counteract the benefits of the higher rate. In some cases, the bank may require you to keep a savings account open for a specific time period, which is longer than the introductory period, and closing it early could result in a fee.
Hidden fees, or fees associated with the linked bank account You also need to be wary of any hidden fees attached to the new account you open. For example, you may be charged a fee for closing this account, or for making a withdrawal.
Minimum balance requirements Another issue you need to consider is whether your introductory bonus savings account has any balance restrictions. For example, as well as requiring a minimum deposit, the account may only apply the bonus rate to balances up to a certain level, usually $250,000.
Deposit and withdrawal requirements Some accounts include conditions which you must satisfy in order to earn the maximum interest rate. For example, you may have to deposit a minimum amount each month and not make any withdrawals.
Remembering to switch Many Australians simply get sucked in by the dollar signs attached to the introductory rate and then "set and forget". When the bonus rate period ends and the standard variable rate applies, the banks know that a lot of customers simply forget to switch to a new account or simply can't be bothered. Your funds will then only earn interest at the standard variable rate.
Research required The terms, conditions and fees that often apply to savings accounts mean that it's not really possible to switch on a whim. Instead, you'll need to put in some hard work to research the restrictions and fees that apply to each account, as getting slugged with an unexpected charge or interest rate cut can hurt your bank balance.
Tips to maximise your savings power
While moving from bank to bank to maximise your savings does have its drawbacks, if you're willing to spend a few hours reading the fine print it will help you build a bigger nest egg. Here are a few more tips to give your balance a boost:
Consider the standard variable rate. Even though you are switching to take advantage of introductory rates, it's also a good idea to consider the standard rate the account will revert to when the honeymoon period ends. This will ensure that if you forget to switch a few months down the track or can't find another suitable offer, your money will continue to grow at a decent rate.
Look beyond the "Big Four". To find the best savings account interest rates you will have to be willing to look beyond the big players in Australia's banking industry. Don't be afraid to see what other financial institutions have to offer, even if it means "cheating" on your regular bank.
Read the fine print. To be a successful rate hopper and avoid any unexpected fees and restrictions, you'll need to be willing to commit a few hours of your time to pore through lengthy terms and conditions documents for different accounts. It's boring, time-consuming work, but the results can be worth it.
Be strong. Remember that the reason you're switching is to maximise your savings, so don't feel restricted by any sense of loyalty to your bank. Your current bank may even pull out all the stops to encourage you to stay, but unless they're offering a better deal than you can find elsewhere, stick to your guns and look for the best value for your money.
Shirley Liu is Finder's global program manager. She was previously the publisher for banking and investments and has also written comparisons for energy, money transfers, Uber Eats and many other topics. Shirley has a Master of Commerce and a Bachelor of Media, Journalism and Communications from the University of New South Wales. She is passionate about helping people find the best deal for their needs.
How likely would you be to recommend finder to a friend or colleague?
Very UnlikelyExtremely Likely
Thank you for your feedback.
Our goal is to create the best possible product, and your thoughts, ideas and suggestions play a major role in helping us identify opportunities to improve.
Important information about this website
finder.com.au is one of Australia's leading comparison websites. We compare from a wide set of banks, insurers and product issuers. We value our editorial independence and follow editorial guidelines.
finder.com.au has access to track details from the product issuers listed on our sites. Although we provide information on the products offered by a wide range of issuers, we don't cover every available product or service.
Please note that the information published on our site should not be construed as personal advice and does not consider your personal needs and circumstances. While our site will provide you with factual information and general advice to help you make better decisions, it isn't a substitute for professional advice. You should consider whether the products or services featured on our site are appropriate for your needs. If you're unsure about anything, seek professional advice before you apply for any product or commit to any plan.
Products marked as 'Promoted' or 'Advertisement' are prominently displayed either as a result of a commercial advertising arrangement or to highlight a particular product, provider or feature. Finder may receive remuneration from the Provider if you click on the related link, purchase or enquire about the product. Finder's decision to show a 'promoted' product is neither a recommendation that the product is appropriate for you nor an indication that the product is the best in its category. We encourage you to use the tools and information we provide to compare your options.
Where our site links to particular products or displays 'Go to site' buttons, we may receive a commission, referral fee or payment when you click on those buttons or apply for a product. You can learn more about how we make money here.
When products are grouped in a table or list, the order in which they are initially sorted may be influenced by a range of factors including price, fees and discounts; commercial partnerships; product features; and brand popularity. We provide tools so you can sort and filter these lists to highlight features that matter to you.
We try to take an open and transparent approach and provide a broad-based comparison service. However, you should be aware that while we are an independently owned service, our comparison service does not include all providers or all products available in the market.
Some product issuers may provide products or offer services through multiple brands, associated companies or different labelling arrangements. This can make it difficult for consumers to compare alternatives or identify the companies behind the products. However, we aim to provide information to enable consumers to understand these issues.
Providing or obtaining an estimated insurance quote through us does not guarantee you can get the insurance. Acceptance by insurance companies is based on things like occupation, health and lifestyle. By providing you with the ability to apply for a credit card or loan, we are not guaranteeing that your application will be approved. Your application for credit products is subject to the Provider's terms and conditions as well as their application and lending criteria.