Bank accounts for everyday use, travel and different life stages.
Transaction accounts are no longer a one-size-fits-all banking product. Bank accounts with different features are suited to travellers, seniors, students and people with a concession card.
You can even earn Qantas points when you spend. Learn about the different types of bank accounts to find the best home for your money.
Open to Australian residents over the age of 18, this type of basic bank account can be used for managing everyday transactions and payments to other accounts.
How transaction accounts work
Creditors such as your employer or Centrelink can deposit funds into your transaction account and you can use the money for everyday purchases like shopping for clothes and groceries. Transaction accounts come with a debit card or EFTPOS card which you can use to make ATM withdrawals and shop online, as well as over-the-counter purchases.
Basic bank accounts don’t reward you with interest but the good news is you can link a transaction account to a savings account. Most financial institutions offer savings accounts as well, and you can easily manage transfers using internet banking.
You may be charged a monthly account-keeping fee. Financial institutions give you the opportunity to avoid this fee if you meet monthly deposit requirements. For example, deposit $2,000 or more into the ANZ Access Advantage and the $5 monthly account-keeping fee will be waived.
Some everyday transaction accounts are also fee-free bank accounts.
- Australian fee-free bank accounts waive monthly account fees and domestic ATM withdrawal fees.
- Travel bank accounts waive international transaction fees when you make a purchase in a foreign currency and make withdrawals from overseas ATMs. Travel bank accounts such as the Citibank Plus Everyday Account also offer free international money transfers to selected countries.
Fee-free bank accounts can still charge for everyday transactions such as periodic payments to other bank accounts, cheque payments and staff-assisted branch withdrawals. Retirement bank accounts and bank accounts for low income earners tend to waive these fees.
This is a special type of bank account that rewards you with points when you spend. You’ll be rewarded with frequent flyer or general rewards points when you use the linked debit card to make eligible purchases and ATM withdrawals. You can even earn points just for having money in your account.
Bankwest Qantas Rewards Transaction Account. The Bankwest Qantas Rewards Transaction Account gives you five Qantas points for every international ATM withdrawal, and for eligible purchases in Australia and overseas. You’ll also get 12 Qantas points for every $100 you have in your Qantas Rewards Transaction Account.
Eligible purchases are most everyday purchases and exclude transactions such as BPAY payments, online payments to other accounts, getting cash out when you make a purchase and gambling transactions. Bankwest will waive the account-keeping fee if you deposit more than $2,000 every month.
Bank accounts for people aged 55 and over are different to basic bank accounts in the following ways:
- You won’t pay a monthly account fee.
- Retiree bank accounts pay interest.
- You won’t be charged for transactions over the counter at a bank.
- A cheque book can be provided free of charge.
Some retiree transaction accounts pay more interest based on your account balance. For example, the Suncorp 55 Plus Account pays 0.30% p.a. interest on balances less than $9,999, 1.50% p.a. on balances $10,000 to $99,999 and 2.60% p.a. on balances $100,000 and over.
Seniors bank accounts can also pay interest in line with the deeming rate. This is the assumed income from financial investments used to calculate pension payments.
Aimed at both school and university students, bank accounts for students operate in much the same way as standard bank accounts. Differences include a lower fee structure and some student-focused perks such as travel money and credit card fee waivers, as well as discounts at popular brands such as Apple and Hoyts.
- Student bank accounts waive the monthly account-keeping fee.
- You’re rewarded with a low rate of interest on your student account balance.
- Student bank accounts offer fee waivers on related banking products like credit cards and travel cards.
As well as meeting age and residency requirements, you must also hold a Commonwealth concession card to be eligible for a concession account. Concession accounts feature free staff-assisted withdrawals and waived overdrawn fees. The following concession accounts have special features to make everyday transactions easier.
- The St.George Concession account allows concession account holders to make unlimited free transactions and withdrawals from bank branches with $0 account keeping fees.
- The BDCU Alliance Bank Concession account offers no monthly fees and minimum balance requirement, along with unlimited free transactions and withdrawals from any rediATM network.
- The Bank of Melbourne Concession account allows you to access ATMs around the world for free (within the Westpac Global ATM Alliance) and offers $0 account keeping fees and unlimited free staff-assisted transactions.
- The BankSA Concession account provides customers with unlimited free transactions and withdrawals, $0 service maintenance fee and free staff assistance over the phone.