Best bank in Australia: Big Four VS smaller banks

Is bigger, better? Take a look at the bank accounts offered by the big banks and see how they stack up against others in the market. Let’s see who the best bank in Australia is.

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The Big Four are the largest banks in Australia - Westpac, NAB, Commonwealth Bank and ANZ. But how do they compare to smaller banks? Customers have easier access to ATMs, making it easier to take out cash. They'll also benefit from 24/7 customer service. However you may receive lower interest rates than smaller, more competitive brands. Use our table to see how much interest you could earn. Some of the smaller banks could offer quite strong interest rates.

Promoted
Bank account offer
NAB Classic Banking
Promoted
$0
monthly fee
$0
ATM withdrawal fee
  • Google Pay, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Fitbit Pay, Garmin Pay
  • Monthly fees: $0

NAB Classic Banking

Enjoy convenient, unlimited access to your money. $0 monthly account fee. Temporarily block your card at the touch of a button if you lose it.
Enjoy convenient, unlimited access to your money. $0 monthly account fee. Temporarily block your card at the touch of a button if you lose it.

See how Big Four bank accounts compare with other Australian banks

Name Product Contactless Instant Payments Network ATM Fee Account Fee
NAB Classic Banking
$0 Unlimited
$0
monthly
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.
Commonwealth Bank Smart Access
$0 Unlimited
$4
monthly
Get unlimited CBA electronic transactions using internet banking, phone banking, ATM and EFTPOS.
Westpac Choice
$0 Unlimited
$5
monthly
$5 waivable monthly account fee.
Monthly account fee waived if you deposit at least $2,000 a month, are under 21 or if you meet other eligibility criteria. Access more than 50,000 ATMs globally for free via the Global ATM Alliance.
ANZ Access Advantage
$0 Unlimited
$5
monthly
Pay with Apple Pay, Google Pay & Samsung Pay.
$5 waivable monthly account fee.
Monthly account fee waived if you deposit at least $2,000 a month, are under 25 or if you meet other eligibility criteria.
HSBC Everyday Global Account
$0 Unlimited
$0
monthly
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.

Suncorp Everyday Options Account
$0 Unlimited
$0
monthly
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.
Virgin Money Go Account
$0 Unlimited
$0
monthly
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.
MyState Bank Glide Account
$0 Unlimited
$0
monthly
Simplify your everyday banking with these sleek digital features.
$0 monthly account fee.
Choose the way you pay with access to Google, Samsung and Apple Pay plus Fitbit Pay and Garmin Pay. Send and receive money in less than 60 seconds with PayID.
Great Southern Bank Everyday Snap Account
$0 Unlimited
$0
monthly
Refund of international ATM withdrawal fees and international card transaction fees (conditions apply).
$0 monthly account fee. Unlimited fee-free everyday transactions.
Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay available. Savings Top Up tool automatically transfers to linked savings account.
Citi Global Currency Account
$0 Unlimited
$0
monthly
Earn up to 0.75% p.a. interest on your AUD balance.
$0 monthly account fee.
Enjoy one linked debit card to hold up to 10 currencies and receive foreign currencies for free.
Great Southern Bank Everyday Account
$0 Unlimited
$0
monthly
Enjoy flexible payment options and access to a wide network of ATMs.
$0 monthly account fee.
Access to Google, Samsung and Apple Pay. Enjoy fee-free cash withdrawals from 10,000+ ATMs across Australia.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Maximum Variable Rate p.a. Standard Variable Rate p.a. Bonus Interest p.a. Fees
Westpac Life (18-29 year olds only)
3%
0.2%
2.8%
$0
If you’re between 18-29, you can earn a 3% p.a. variable rate each month you grow your balance (excl. interest) and make 5+ settled debit card purchases from your Westpac Choice account, up to a balance of $30,000.
Westpac Life
0.4%
0.2%
0.2%
$0
Ongoing, variable 0.4% p.a. each month you deposit money, and make sure your balance is higher at the end of the month than it was at the beginning. No monthly account-keeping fee.
Commonwealth Bank NetBank Saver
0.4%
0.05%
0.35%
$0
Introductory rate of 0.4% p.a. for 5 months, reverting to a rate of 0.05% p.a. Available on balances up to $5,000,000.
ANZ Progress Saver
0.35%
0.01%
0.34%
$0
Ongoing, variable 0.35% p.a. when you deposit $10+ each month and make no withdrawals. Available on the entire balance.
NAB iSaver
0.35%
0.05%
0.3%
$0
Introductory rate of 0.35% p.a. for 4 months, reverting to a rate of 0.05% p.a. Available on balances up to $20,000,000.
MyState Bank Bonus Saver Account
1.2%
0.1%
1.1%
$0
Ongoing, variable 1.2% p.a. when you deposit at least $20 into the account each month and make 5 or more Visa Debit card transactions from a linked MyState transaction account. Bonus interest available on balances up to $250,000.
Bank of Queensland Fast Track Starter Account (for 14-24 year olds only)
2.5%
0.05%
2.45%
$0
Only available to those aged 14-24. Ongoing, variable 2.5% p.a. when you link to an BOQ Day2Day Plus Account, deposit $200+ into the Day2Day account each month from an external account and make 5 eligible transactions a month. Max bonus interest applies on balances up to $10,000. Balances between $10,001 and $250,000 will earn a lower bonus rate. Base rate applies on balances over $250,000.
Virgin Money Boost Saver (25+ year olds)
1.2%
0.1%
1.1%
$0
Customers aged 25+ can earn an ongoing variable 1.2% p.a. each month you deposit at least $2,000 into your linked Virgin Money Go Transaction Account and make 5+ transactions.
Citibank Online Saver
1.1%
0.35%
0.75%
$0
Introductory rate of 1.1% p.a. for 4 months, reverting to a rate of 0.35% p.a. Available on balances Up to $500,000.
Bank of Queensland Fast Track Saver Account
1.05%
0.05%
1%
$0
Ongoing, variable 1.05% p.a. when you link to an BOQ Day2Day Plus Account, deposit $1,000+ into the Day2Day account each month from an external account and make 5+ eligible transactions per month. Available on balances up to $250,000.
Virgin Money Boost Saver (18-24 year olds)
1.2%
0.1%
1.1%
$0
Customers aged 18-24 can earn an ongoing variable 1.2% p.a. each month you deposit at least $1,000 into your linked Virgin Money Go Transaction Account and make 5+ transactions.
Bank of Queensland WebSavings Account
1%
0.05%
0.95%
$0
Introductory rate of 1% p.a. for 4 months, reverting to the standard rate of 0.05% p.a. for balances between $2,000 and $5,000,000.
Virgin Money Grow Saver
0.65%
0.1%
0.55%
$0
Earn an ongoing variable 0.65% p.a. each month you make at least one deposit of any amount and no more than one withdrawal.
HSBC Flexi Saver Account
0.25%
0.05%
0.2%
$0
Ongoing, variable 0.25% p.a. when you grow your balance by $300+ per month. Earn bonus interest even if you make withdrawals during the month. Available on balances up to $5,000,000.
HSBC Serious Saver
0.3%
0.15%
0.15%
$0
Receive a maximum variable rate of 0.3% p.a. for 4 months, reverting to an ongoing rate of 0.15% p.a. for each month you don't make any withdrawals from the account. Available on balances below $1,000,000.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product 3 Mths p.a. 4 Mths p.a. 5 Mths p.a. 6 Mths p.a. 7 Mths p.a. 12 Mths p.a. 24 Mths p.a.
Commonwealth Bank Term Deposit
0.08%
0.10%
0.10%
0.10%
0.10%
0.30%
0.25%
Choose between a range of term lengths from just one month to five years, and receive a fixed interest rate on your funds.
Invest from $5000 to $1,999,999.
Westpac Term Deposit
0.10%
0.10%
0.20%
0.20%
0.20%
0.25%
0.25%
Enjoy flexible repayment and reinvestment options at the end of the term with no setup or service fee.
ANZ Term Deposit
0.05%
0.05%
0.05%
0.10%
0.10%
0.20%
0.20%
Pay no account-keeping or application fees.
Invest your funds for up to 5 years and receive a competitive rate of interest.
NAB Term Deposit
0.10%
0.10%
0.10%
0.20%
0.20%
0.25%
0.30%
Invest your money in a NAB Term Deposit and earn a fixed interest rate for the life of the term, with no setup or account fees.
This term deposit is for personal customers with deposits from $5,000.
Judo Bank Term Deposit
0.90%
0.91%
0.99%
1.20%
Earn a 0.10% p.a. loyalty bonus when you roll over your term.
The Judo Bank Term Deposit term lengths range from three months to five years. Minimum opening deposit is $1,000. No account-keeping or set-up fees to pay.
ME Term Deposit
0.50%
0.50%
0.55%
0.70%
0.55%
0.80%
0.70%
You can link the ME Term Deposit with the transaction account of your choice, at any other Australian financial institution.
Choose whether to have interest paid annually, monthly or at maturity.
Citibank Term Deposit $10,000
0.75%
0.75%
0.75%
Suited to customers with deposits between $10,000 and $249,999.
This term deposit is for new Citibank customers only
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Compare up to 4 providers

Who are the Big 4?

That's ANZ, Westpac, CommBank and NAB. These four banks hold the largest majority of loans in Australia and many Aussie's choose them as their go-to bank.

They all offer a wide range of products, including transaction accounts, savings accounts, term deposits, and home loans. They also have the largest ATM network in the country which is handy for getting cash out.

How are they different from each other?

But what's the difference between these four? Here's some points of difference among the Big Four that may help you decide which is right for you.

  • CommBank. They've got the largest ATM network in Australia and the largest bank in terms of market capitalisation. They also have the most popular mobile banking app, which is handy to help manage money goals.
  • NAB. They've got the only bank account out of the Big Four that doesn't charge monthly account keeping bills (Correct as of January 2020).
  • Westpac. They have the largest overseas ATM network, allowing you to access more than 50,000 global ATMs fee-free through the Global ATM Alliance. This could be a great option if you're a regular traveller.
  • ANZ. First Big Four bank to offer Apple Pay, although all Big Four banks now offer this feature.

Should I go with the Big Four?

That all depends on what you're looking for. If you want easy access to your money, 24/7 customer service or competitive home loan rates, the Big Four could be a good option for you.

But if you're more concerned about interest rates on your savings accounts and term deposits, you may be better off looking at smaller banks. This is because smaller banks are typically more competitive than the larger ones as they're fighting for you as a customer.

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 customer service 24/7 if you have a financial emergency.
  • Easily link your Big Four bank account. If your everyday account is already with one of The Big Four, 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?

  • 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 for their savings accounts. You can compare some of the best high interest savings accounts here.
  • Less competitive. Due to their popularity, The Big Four banks are not always as competitive with their rates as smaller banks.

The Big Four's market share

Commonwealth Bank currently has the largest market share out of The Big Four while NAB currently has the smallest market share. Since The Big Four hold such a large market share, borrowers tend to think it's safer to apply for a loan with one of them, or to deposit their savings with one of these banks. Even if you feel more comfortable with keeping your savings with one of The Big Four, keep in mind that most banks in Australia are covered by the Government Guarantee, insuring your savings up to $250,000 per person, per institution should there be a financial crisis.

BankMarket capitalisation*
Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA)$149.11 billion
Westpac Banking Corporation.$90.65 billion
Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ)$72.68 billion
National Australia Bank (NAB)$75.8 billion

*As of January 2020. Source: ASX200 List

How to compare Big Four bank savings accounts

When you are looking at savings accounts offered by The Big Four, make sure you take the following features into account:

The interest rate

Interest rates will help determine how quickly your savings can grow. Look at the base variable rate of the account to determine which ones have the best value. With The Big Four, 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.

Big Four savings account Savings account variable interest rate Account conditions
Westpac Life Account for 18-29sMaximum variable rate of 3% p.a.For customers aged between 18-29 each month you grow your balance (excl. interest) and make 5+ settled debit card purchases from your linked Westpac Choice account, up to a balance of $30,000.
ANZ Online SaverMaximum variable rate of 0.3%First 3 months only, then reverting to 0.05%
NAB Reward Saver Maximum variable interest rate of 0.3%Must make no withdrawals and at least one deposit a month.
CommBank NetBank Saver Maximum variable interest rate of 0.4% p.a.First 5 months only, reverting to 0.05%

Bonus rate conditions (if there 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 have no withdrawals to get the bonus rate, while CommBank requires that you grow your savings by at least $200 but allow one withdrawal. Since the base rates are typically very low, you will want to ensure that you are able to meet these terms before investing your savings.

24/7 online banking

The Big Four banks all have Internet and mobile access, so it comes down to who offers the simplest online or mobile banking experience. CommBank's NetBank has arguably been voted the best. Look into the apps as well to ensure that they are compatible with your mobile device if you like banking on the go.

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