Joint bank accounts

Joint bank accounts have loads of benefits and can help you manage shared expenses, bills and day-to-day spending. Here's how to open one.

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NAB Classic Banking
Visa
$0
$0
$0
Enjoy convenient, unlimited access to your money.
$0 monthly account fee.

Tap and pay with your NAB Visa Debit card or your phone using Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay or NAB Pay for Android. Temporarily block your card at the touch of a button if you lose it.
Virgin Money Go Account
Visa
$0
$0
Special offer: Welcome bonus of 5,000 Virgin Money Points (T&Cs apply).
$0 monthly account fee.

A transaction account that gives you Virgin Money Points on your everyday spend, access to perks and rewards. Plus, earn a competitive bonus interest rate on your Virgin Money Boost savings account.
Suncorp Everyday Options Account
Visa
$0
$0
$0
Link up to 9 interest-earning sub accounts.
$0 monthly account keeping fees.
Earn interest on your linked sub accounts to help you save for individual goals, with no account fees to pay. Make contactless payments using Google Pay and Apple Pay.
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There's nothing that takes a relationship to the next level quite like opening a joint bank account.These are accounts that two people can deposit into and withdraw from. They're a great way to handle shared expenses such as bills, cars or house deposits. Most bank accounts can be set up as joint accounts, so it's important to find one that takes your financial goals into account and fits both of your spending and savings styles.Let's jump into comparing accounts and learning about the benefits and risks of joint accounts.

So, what is a joint bank account?

A joint bank account is a transaction or savings account held in more than one name, allowing multiple people to access the account. These accounts are generally used by family members, couples or business partners who share expenses such as rent and bills as well as common everyday living costs.

What types of joint bank accounts can I have?

You can open a joint transaction account, savings account or even a joint term deposit in Australia. The best joint account for you will depend on how you pan to use the account.

Joint transaction accounts

A joint transaction account is a regular everyday bank account that you can use for everyday purchases and spending. Each account holder will have their own debit card linked to the account to make purchases. Each account holder will be also able to log in to the account using Internet banking or via the mobile banking app, to see all the transactions made and to transfer money.

Just like a regular bank account, you can set up direct debits for shared regular expenses like rent or your monthly Internet bill so the money is automatically debited from the account. If the bank supports Apple Pay, Samsung Pay or Google Pay you can also use these digital wallets to make contactless purchases with your smartphone.

Joint savings accounts

A joint savings account is the same as a standard savings account, except it can be held in more than one name. You can both transfer money into the savings account and earn interest on your balance, provided you meet the account conditions. To earn the highest interest rate on the account, you’re usually required to deposit a certain amount each month and make limited to no withdrawals. A joint savings account is a great way to save for a shared goal, for example a holiday or even a house deposit.

If this is what you're after, take a look at joint savings accounts in our guide.

Joint term deposit accounts

A term deposit is a type of savings account that allows you to deposit a certain amount of money and lock it away for a length of time that you choose, while earning a fixed rate of interest. If you open a joint term deposit with someone else, you’ll be need to both decide how much money you’d like to deposit and choose your term length from one month to up to five years.

A joint term deposit is a good way to save for a shared goal or to use as a safe investment while you both don’t need to access the funds. When the term deposit matures, you’ll receive your money back plus your interest.

How do I decide on a joint account?

You can use our comparison table above to compare a range of transaction accounts, savings accounts and term deposits that are all able to be opened in more than one name.

Opening a transaction account? Look for one with no account keeping fees, ATM fees, or transaction fees. Planning on starting up a joint savings account? Look for one with a high interest rate and monthly deposit and withdrawal conditions you can easily meet. When comparing term deposits, you should look for a term length that suits you both that also offers a competitive interest rate.

Benefits of opening a joint bank account

  • Easily manage joint expenses. It’s handy to have a joint bank account if you regularly need to pay for joint expenses, such as groceries or household items. This way you won’t need to transfer money back and forth to one another or constantly send IOUs; you can simply use the joint account.
  • Individual access to the account. Each account holder will receive their own debit card that’s linked to the joint transaction account, so you can make joint purchases without the others being present. You’ll also receive your own logins to the account online.
  • Easily manage bills. With all the money in one place, it makes it a lot easier for couples to manage their personal finances, pay rent and other bills.

Joint bank accounts come with some risks

  • Both parties can access the money. Because you both have complete access to the account, either person can spend the money. This is why it’s important to open a joint account with someone you trust.
  • Overdraft facility. If your joint account has an overdraft facility available, it means you can spend more money than what’s available in the account forcing your balance to go into the negative. Even if you didn’t spend the money, you’re both liable to repay the money and your credit score may be affected if you can’t.
  • Division of funds if you separate. If you separate from your partner, dividing the funds in the joint account can be a messy, awkward task. Also, there’s nothing to stop the other person from clearing out the account entirely.
  • Loss of privacy. Everyone whose name is on the account will have easy access to the account online and will be able to see the transaction history of all account holders.

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Are joint bank accounts a good idea?

If you’re considering opening a joint bank account with your partner, friend, relative or business partner, here are some questions to ask yourself first.

  • Do you both spend money the same way? If one of you is more frugal with your money while the other loves to shop, you’ll need to devise a spending strategy before opening an account together. It’s a good idea to put together a budget that you’re both comfortable with.
  • Do you agree on your shared expenses? Some expenses are more obvious to define as shared expenses than others. You should agree on what expenses are shared and what expenses should remain individual expenses.
  • Do you trust the other person? If you don’t trust the other person to manage your money responsibly, then you might want to reconsider opening an account with them.
  • Do you share the same financial goals? Opening a joint account will be much easier if you both have the same or similar savings goals in mind.
  • How much money will you each contribute? Will you both deposit the same amount of money into the account each month or will one of you contribute more? For example, if one of you earns a higher salary you might decide they should contribute more.
  • Will you keep a personal bank account as well? You might decide to open a joint account for your shared expenses and keep your individual bank accounts active for your own personal spending.

How to open a joint bank account

Once you’ve considered all the points listed above and have agreed on a budget and/or savings goal, you can follow these steps to open an account.

  1. Compare accounts. Use our comparison table above to compare a range of joint bank accounts including transaction, savings and term deposit accounts. When you’ve decided on an account, click the “Go to site” button where you can complete the online application process.
  2. Complete the online application. You’ll need to select the joint account option when beginning the application and provide names and personal details of all account holders.
  3. Verify your identities. All account holders will need to verify their identity using their driver’s licence, passport or Medicare card.
  4. Select how many debit cards you need. If you’d like all account holders to have their own debit card linked to the account, you can request this during the application process. When your account is approved, you’ll each receive a debit card in the mail.

How do I close my joint account?

If the account has an 'either party to sign' requirement you can close the account on your own, by simply contacting your bank. However, if the account has a 'both to sign' requirement you'll also need the other party's signature to close the account. If the other party is unwilling to close the account you can request for the bank to freeze it.

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    36 Responses

      Default Gravatar
      KayMarch 26, 2018

      With a joint bank account – if one person dies, will the other nominee be able to carry on as normal, or is the account frozen for estate purposes.

        Avatarfinder Customer Care
        JeniMarch 26, 2018Staff

        Hi Kay,

        Thank you for getting in touch with finder. If the bank account is held jointly, ownership of the account will be transferred to the surviving account holder. The account will continue to function as normal. However, I also read that there’s a chance that the bank will ordinarily “freeze” the funds until probate has been granted and an executor is appointed to distribute the assets of the estate. Banking institutions have different rules when it comes to account holders accessing jointly held funds. Some bank accounts require the signature of both account holders to withdraw funds, but many do not. Often the account holders themselves will be able to choose upon opening the account. So you need to check how your joint account is set up.

        I hope this helps.

        Have a great day!

        Cheers,
        Jeni

      Default Gravatar
      EmmaOctober 3, 2017

      I would like to open and save $50 a month for each of my children who are 14 and 18, but I do not want them to know about this.

      They have $3000 each to invest. I would like to continue to invest $50 each on their behalf for the long term and not access the accounts.

      Should I open the accounts in their names? Should they be joint accounts with me? What are the tax implications ? Would the accounts be exempt from tax? I obviously want to maximize profits for my children.

        Default Gravatar
        MariaOctober 4, 2017

        Hey Emma,

        Thank you for reaching out to Finder.

        Regarding your concern on the tax implications, you check our guide on How is Interest Taxed on My Savings Account for more details.

        When opening a bank account under their name, it’s possible that they would be made aware of it as a joint account holder either upon application or in the time that the account is open.

        You may compare your option from our list Children’s Savings Account. It would be best to consult with your preferred bank directly on the options to open an account with your preferences for your 18-year old.

        Before applying, please ensure that you meet all the eligibility criteria and read through the details of the needed requirements as well as the relevant Product Disclosure Statements/Terms and Conditions when comparing your options before making a decision on whether it is right for you. You can also contact the provider if you have specific questions.

        I hope this helps.

        Best,
        Maria

      Default Gravatar
      ChelseaJune 16, 2016

      Hi,

      My boyfriend and I are looking to open a joint account but don’t want to use either of our banks (ING and NAB)

      It seems like a lot of these need linked everyday accounts,

      Can you please clarify the ones that don’t need a linked account?

      Thank you,

        Avatarfinder Customer Care
        MayJune 16, 2016Staff

        Hi Chelsea,

        Thanks for your inquiry.

        Yes, there are actually (joint) savings accounts that do not need a linked transaction account and you can compare your options on our savings accounts page. I’d encourage you to play with the calculator (on top of the table) to see which account can give you high-interest earnings. Once you have chosen an account you wish to apply to, simply select the ‘Open’ button to head over to the bank’s website.

        I hope this has helped.

        Cheers,
        May

      Default Gravatar
      DianneMay 18, 2016

      I have a ANZ account and my partner wants to join in with my account as a joint account.cam I go to the bank and fill out a form and get him to sign. Then I bring it to the bank to get a new card

        Avatarfinder Customer Care
        ShirleyMay 19, 2016Staff

        Hi Dianne,

        Thanks for your question.

        If your partner is a new customer to ANZ he will need to verify his ID in a branch or Bank@Post location. You can grab the forms but your partner will need to come into the branch anyway.

        Hope this helps.

      Default Gravatar
      RevderAugust 27, 2015

      We have a joint account, twice a month there are 2 payments of $600 going to a separate mortgage account from the joint account. If i pay $600 at month and my partner pays 2 payments $300 how would this make a difference between our payments to the mortgage as the input is too a joint account and the correct amount is drawn by the mortgage account, the branch assistant says she is making 2 payments a month and therefore paying more than I am, but that’s rubbish as far as I am concerned, If i pay $1000 into the joint account only the same set amount will go to the mortgage irrespective. I feel we have been given misleading information.

      If the money we both pay went directly into the mortgage I would agree with the assistants comments but not in this case. Assistance please. Regards.

        Avatarfinder Customer Care
        ShirleyAugust 28, 2015Staff

        Hi Revder,

        Thanks for your question, though I’m not too sure if I understand the situation correctly.

        Are the mortgage repayments being deducted from your joint account twice a month rather than once a month?

        Cheers,
        Shirley

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