Compare accounts from Australia’s big four banks

Information verified correct on October 21st, 2016

Banking with one of the big four gives you access to a large ATM network, but you could be losing out on your savings.

In Australia, ANZWestpacCommBank and NAB are known as the Big Four. These banks hold over 80% of loans in Australia and with such a large share of the market, many borrowers perceive banking with them as safe.

Banking with the big four also gives you access to a large range of everyday bank accounts, savings accounts, term deposits, bonus savers and introductory savings accounts as well as nationwide access to ATMs. All offer online banking to help you manage your finances online. The terms and conditions are quite similar and the common trend is that the interest rates are not that competitive among the big four.

NAB Classic Banking

Big Four Bank Account Offer

Enjoy $0 monthly account fees on the NAB Classic banking account.

  • Free use at over 3,400 NAB and RediATMs in Australia
  • 24/7 Mobile Banking, including Quick Balance checker
  • Tap and Pay for Android
  • Free linked NAB Visa debit card with payWave
    Rates last updated October 21st, 2016
    Monthly Account Fee Debit Card Access ATM Withdrawal Fee Fee Free Deposit p.m. Details
    NAB Classic Banking
    Tap and Pay with your Android Phone using NAB Pay.
    No minimum deposit required.
    Visa $0 $0 No monthly account fees, ever. Free use at over 3,400 NAB and RediATMs Australia wide and $0 overdrawn fees. Open More
    ANZ Access Advantage
    Apple Pay now available.
    Unlimited transactions at ANZ ATMs, EFTPOS, Internet, Mobile and Phone Banking.
    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
    Westpac Choice
    $0 ATM withdrawal fee at 50,000+ ATMs globally.
    Via Westpac's Global ATM Alliance. Get Cash without your debit card (conditions apply).
    Mastercard $0 $2,000 No ATM fees when using St.George, Westpac, BankSA or Bank of Melbourne ATMs in Australia. Deposit at least $2,000 per month and enjoy no monthly service fee. Open More
    Commonwealth Bank Smart Access
    Get unlimited CBA electronic transactions using internet banking, phone banking, ATM and EFTPOS.
    Mastercard $0 $2,000 Unlimited free CBA ATM transactions. No monthly service fee if you deposit a minimum of $2,000 per month otherwise $4 monthly fee applies. More
    Rates last updated October 21st, 2016
    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 2.01% p.a. when you link to any Australian everyday bank account and deposit $10+ each month. Available on balances up to $5,000,000.
    2.01% 0.01% 2.00% $0 $10 / $10 Open More
    ANZ Online Saver
    Introductory rate of 2.75% p.a. for 3 months, reverting to 1.30% p.a. Available on the entire balance.
    2.75% 1.30% 1.45% $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 2.00% p.a. for 4 months, reverting to a rate of 1.30% p.a. Available on balances below $1,000,000.
    2.00% 1.30% 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

    Understanding the details of term deposits is important when comparing accounts to help you reach a specific goal. The minimum deposit amount is typically $5,000, but if you are thinking about investing less, other Australian financial institutions may allow term deposits with a minimum of $1,000.

    Rates last updated October 21st, 2016
    3 Mths p.a. 4 Mths p.a. 6 Mths p.a. 12 Mths p.a. 24 Mths p.a. 36 Mths p.a. 48 Mths p.a. 60 Mths p.a. Min Deposit Interest Earned
    Westpac Term Deposit
    Westpac Term Deposit
    2.10% 2.00% 2.20% 2.50% 3.00% 3.10% 2.70% 2.85% $5,000 Open More
    Commonwealth Bank Term Deposit
    Commonwealth Bank Term Deposit
    1.90% 1.90% 1.90% 1.90% 1.90% 1.90% 1.90% 1.90% $5,000 More
    NAB Term Deposit
    NAB Term Deposit
    2.10% 1.75% 2.15% 2.40% 3.10% 3.20% 2.75% 2.80% $5,000 More
    ANZ Term Deposit
    ANZ Term Deposit
    1.90% 1.65% 1.95% 2.05% 2.35% 2.40% 2.45% 2.65% $5,000 More

    The big four banks market share

    Commonwealth Bank currently has the largest market share out of the big four while ANZ currently has the smallest market share out of the big four.

    Banks are required to pay the regular 30% tax rate. A Tax Justice Network report released in September 2014 revealed that in the 10 years from 2004 -13, the big four banks had an average effective tax rate of 27%.

    Since the big four hold such a large market share, borrowers tend to think it's safer to apply for a home loan with one of the big four. If a bank defaults on it's obligations, you could potentially lose your home if you still have a mortgage.

    If you feel more comfortable with keeping your savings secured with one of the big four, keep in mind that most most banks in Australia are covered by the Government Guarantee, insuring your savings of up to $250,000 per person, per institution should there be a financial crisis.

    BankGross loans and acceptances 2015-2016 $AUD*
    Westpac (including St George)1,878,662

    *Source: pwc.com.au

    Who owns the big four banks in Australia?

    HSBC, JP Morgan, National Nominees Ltd and Citicorp collectively own a minority share in each of the big four banks.

    BankShare in big four banks
    HSBC6.91% of Westpac; 16.83% of NAB; 18.48% of ANZ; 14.80% of CommBank
    JP Morgan12.75% of Westpac; 12.03% of NAB; 14.40% of ANZ; 11.57% of CommBank
    National Nominees Limited9.93% of Westpac, 10.14% of NAB; 11.76% of ANZ; 8.5% of CommBank
    Citicorp4.94% of Westpac; 4% of NAB; 4.15% of ANZ; 4.47% of CommBank

    *Source: Credit Card Compare

    Which big four bank best suits me?

    BankBest for
    • Has the only bank account (out of the big four) that doesn't charge monthly fees and overdrawn fees
    • Has the only bank account that doesn't charge overseas ATM fees within their global network
    • At the time of writing had the highest maximum variable rate for savings

    Availability of customer service

    Big Four BankPhoneLive Chat
    CommBankAvailable 24/7Yes
    NABMon-Fri 8am - 7pm (AEST/AEDT)Sat-Sun 9am - 6pm (AEST/AEDT)Yes
    Westpac8am - 8pm, 7 days a week from anywhere in AustraliaYes
    ANZ7am - 10pm your local time in AustraliaYes
    Westpac versus Commonwealth Bank – which is better?

    Choosing the right bank for you depends on your personal financial needs. Along with NAB and ANZ, Westpac and Commonwealth Bank make up Australia’s so-called ‘big four’ banks. As such, they all offer a similar range of products and services. To find the better bank for you, consider the accounts and services you wish to use, for example a no annual fee credit card and a low-fee everyday transaction account, and then compare what each bank has to offer.

    What are the features I should look for when comparing savings accounts from the big four?

    big-four-banksThere is a lot to think about when you are making a choice between different savings accounts. When you are looking at those offered by the big four, make sure that you are noting the following features of each.

    You're getting a competitive interest rate

    Interest rates will help determine how quickly your savings can grow. Look at the base variable rate of the account to help determine which ones have the best value. With the big four, you are going to find that each one offers a savings account that pays bonus interest for meeting specific terms. Check this rate as well, and add it to the base to see how much interest you will really be earning.

    You can meet the bonus rate conditions (if they are any)

    The terms for earning the bonus rate should play a big role in the account you choose, because if you don’t meet them, you will only earn the base rate for that month. For example, with Westpac you need to make at least a $50 deposit and no withdrawals to get the bonus rate, while CommBank requires that you grow your savings by at least $200 but with one withdrawal allowed. Since the base rates are typically very low, you will want to ensure that you are able to meet those terms before investing your savings.

    You can bank 24/7 Online

    The big four banks all have internet and mobile access. So it comes down to who offers the best online or mobile banking experience. CommBank's NetBank has arguably been voted the best. Look into the apps as well to ensure that it is compatible with your mobile device if you like banking on the go.

    What are the benefits of banking with the big four?

    • More access to your money. By choosing one of the big four, you will have easy access to your savings through their large number of branches, ATM networks and online banking. Our research shows that the big four currently hold the biggest ATM networks in Australia.
    • 24/7 customer service. Depending on the big four bank you choose, you're likely to have access to a 24/7 customer service centre if you have a financial emergency. See the table below for our analysis.
    • Easily link your big four bank account. If you are already banking with one of the big four with your everyday account, you'll find it easy to link to other savings accounts (assuming you can link to any Australian financial institution).

    What are the risks of banking with one of the big four?

    While your money may be secure with a savings account with the big four, you are not necessarily getting the most value. Avoid the following when choosing the right bank for your savings.

    • Choosing a brand. The big four are all well known brands in Australia, but you should still look at other banks when making your comparisons. This helps to ensure that your savings are working as hard as possible towards your financial future.
    • You are probably receiving lower interest rates. The big four have a reputation for having the lowest interest rates in the market.
    • Competitiveness. Due to their popularity, the big four banks are not always as competitive with their rates as smaller banks are.

    Which banks still issue deposit books?

    Many banks, including Westpac and Bendigo Bank, still issue deposit books. However, they have largely been phased out in the age of internet banking, so you may need to contact your bank directly to request a deposit book.

    How do I stop unsolicited phone calls from the banks?

    The easiest way to stop receiving telemarketing phone calls from banks or any other company is by joining the Do Not Call Register. This service, run by the government, adds your home and/or mobile phone number to a blacklist that prohibits companies from calling them unsolicited.

    But wait, I have some more questions!

    Where can I find consolidated information on the savings accounts the big four offer to compare?

    finder.com.au provides up to date reviews of these accounts, highlighting the features and benefits to help make your comparisons easier.

    If I have a transaction account with one bank, will I be able to link my savings account from another?

    That depends on the institutions and their policies.

    How do you know the difference between a base rate and a bonus rate?

    You have to look closely at the fine print. Some banks will lump the two together when advertising, but the standard will usually be listed as a low variable rate, with the bonus rate significantly higher.

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    2 Responses to Compare accounts from Australia’s big four banks

    1. Default Gravatar
      Linda | October 11, 2016

      Is my money as safe in say….Citibank as it would be in one of the Big 4 banks ?

      • Staff
        Clarizza | October 12, 2016

        Hi Linda,

        Thanks for your question.

        Unfortunately, assessing Citibanks’s capital structure compared to the big four is beyond the scope of our advice. However the Australian Government Guarantee which insures deposits of up to $250,000 provides some level of security and is something that applies to Citibank customers.

        Hope this has helped.


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