What types of bank accounts are available?

Information verified correct on December 5th, 2016

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.

Everyday transaction accounts

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.

Rates last updated December 5th, 2016
$
Monthly Account Fee Debit Card Access ATM Withdrawal Fee Fee Free Deposit p.m. Details
ANZ Access Advantage
Earn a $100 shopping voucher.
For opening a new account by 18 Dec 2016 and shop three times with your new Visa debit card by 8 Jan 2017 (conditions apply).
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
Bankwest Qantas Transaction Account
Earn Qantas Points on eligible purchases and on your account balance.
Conditions apply.
Mastercard $0 $2,000 No monthly fees when you deposit at least $2,000 into your account each month. Free access to Bankwest and CommBank ATMs in Australia. No overseas ATM withdrawal fees (charged by Bankwest) though third party fees may apply. Open More
ING DIRECT Orange Everyday Account
Get a $75 cash bonus.
Get a competitive ongoing variable rate when linked with a Savings Maximiser.
Visa $0 $1,000 No monthly fees, and you can use any ATM in Australia for free when you deposit $1,000 each month e.g your salary. Open More
AMP Access Account
An everyday transaction account with fee-free banking.
Visa $0 $0 Unlimited fee-free transactions at rediATMs, $0 transaction fees using BankNet, mobile banking and BankPhone. Open More
AMP Cash Manager
Ongoing, variable 1.50% p.a. when you link to an AMP Visa debit card and deposit $2,000+ each month. Available on the entire balance.
Visa $0 $2,000 No transaction fees and waived monthly fee when at least $2,000 is deposited. 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
Bankwest Easy Transaction Account
Pay no ATM fees at over 10,000 ATMs in Australia (conditions apply).
Mastercard $0 $2,000 Minimum deposit of $2,000 per month needed to waive the monthly account fee otherwise $6 monthly fee applies. No ATM fee applicable at Bankwest, CBA, NAB, ANZ, Westpac, St.George, BoM and BankSA ATMs in Australia. Open More
St.George Complete Freedom Account
10% Cash back for online gaming purchases.
Waived account keeping fees when minimum deposit is met with no minimum balance.
Visa $0 $2,000 No account keeping fees, if you deposit $2,000 per month plus no minimum balance required. No ATM fees when using St.George, Westpac and BankSA ATMs. Open More
BankSA Complete Freedom Account
Open one in less than 5 minutes with Cardless Cash available.
Visa $0 $2,000 No monthly account keeping fees when you deposit at least $2,000 in the account each month. Free access to BankSA, St.George, Westpac and Bank of Melbourne ATMs. Open More
BankSA Express Freedom Account
Get Cardless Cash, free SMS and email alerts.
Visa $0 $1,000 Avoid ATM fees when using BankSA, St.George, Bank of Melbourne and Westpac ATMs. Avoid the monthly fee if you deposit $1000 into this account each month. Open More
Bank of Melbourne Complete Freedom
Get Cardless cash and shop securely with your Visa debit card. Customise SMS and email alerts.
Visa $0 $2,000 No ATM fees when you use Bank of Melbourne, BankSA, St.George or Westpac ATMs. No monthly fees when you deposit at least $2000 into this account each month. Open More
Bank of Melbourne Express Freedom
Get Cardless Cash and PAYG branch and cheque services.
Visa $0 $1,000 No ATM fees when you use Bank of Melbourne, St.George, Westpac and BankSA ATMs. No monthly fees if you deposit $1000 into your account each month. Open More
BankSA Sense Everyday Account
Save and budget – get two accounts working together and save faster.
Visa $0 $2,000 Use over 3000 BankSA, St.George, Bank Of Melbourne and Westpac ATMs in Australia for free. Open More

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.

Fee-free bank accounts

Rates last updated December 5th, 2016
$
Monthly Account Fee Debit Card Access ATM Withdrawal Fee Fee Free Deposit p.m. Details
ING DIRECT Orange Everyday Account
Get a $75 cash bonus.
Get a competitive ongoing variable rate when linked with a Savings Maximiser.
Visa $0 $1,000 No monthly fees, and you can use any ATM in Australia for free when you deposit $1,000 each month e.g your salary. Open More
AMP Access Account
An everyday transaction account with fee-free banking.
Visa $0 $0 Unlimited fee-free transactions at rediATMs, $0 transaction fees using BankNet, mobile banking and BankPhone. Open More

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.

The A-Z guide on bank fees.

Rewards transaction accounts

Rates last updated December 5th, 2016
$
Monthly Account Fee Debit Card Access ATM Withdrawal Fee Fee Free Deposit p.m. Details
ING DIRECT Orange Everyday Account
Get a $75 cash bonus.
Get a competitive ongoing variable rate when linked with a Savings Maximiser.
Visa $0 $1,000 No monthly fees, and you can use any ATM in Australia for free when you deposit $1,000 each month e.g your salary. Open More
St.George Complete Freedom Account
10% Cash back for online gaming purchases.
Waived account keeping fees when minimum deposit is met with no minimum balance.
Visa $0 $2,000 No account keeping fees, if you deposit $2,000 per month plus no minimum balance required. No ATM fees when using St.George, Westpac and BankSA ATMs. Open More
ANZ Access Advantage
Earn a $100 shopping voucher.
For opening a new account by 18 Dec 2016 and shop three times with your new Visa debit card by 8 Jan 2017 (conditions apply).
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
Bankwest Qantas Transaction Account
Earn Qantas Points on eligible purchases and on your account balance.
Conditions apply.
Mastercard $0 $2,000 No monthly fees when you deposit at least $2,000 into your account each month. Free access to Bankwest and CommBank ATMs in Australia. No overseas ATM withdrawal fees (charged by Bankwest) though third party fees may apply. Open More

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.

Compare and apply for rewards transaction accounts. 

Bank accounts for seniors

Rates last updated December 5th, 2016
$
$
months
Maximum Variable Rate p.a. Standard Variable Rate p.a. Bonus Interest p.a. Fees Min Bal / Min Deposit Interest Earned
Customs Bank Online Supersaver
Ongoing, variable 1.75% p.a.. Available on balance $5,001 or more.
1.75% 1.75% 0.00% $0 $5,001 / $0 More
BankVic Superfuture RSA
A Retirement Savings Account designed to provide income in retirement.
2.00% 2.00% 0.00% $0 $0 / $50,000 More
BCU Retirement Savings Account
Ongoing, variable 2.11% p.a.. Available on balance $100,000 plus.
2.11% 2.11% 0.00% $0 $0 / $0 More

Bank accounts for people aged 55 and over are different to basic bank accounts in the following ways:

  1. You won’t pay a monthly account fee.
  2. Retiree bank accounts pay interest.
  3. You won’t be charged for transactions over the counter at a bank.
  4. 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.

Compare deeming accounts.

Bank accounts for students

Rates last updated December 5th, 2016
$
Monthly Account Fee Debit Card Access ATM Withdrawal Fee Fee Free Deposit p.m. Details
ANZ Access Advantage
Earn a $100 shopping voucher.
For opening a new account by 18 Dec 2016 and shop three times with your new Visa debit card by 8 Jan 2017 (conditions apply).
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
ING DIRECT Orange Everyday Account
Get a $75 cash bonus.
Get a competitive ongoing variable rate when linked with a Savings Maximiser.
Visa $0 $1,000 No monthly fees, and you can use any ATM in Australia for free when you deposit $1,000 each month e.g your salary. Open More
Bendigo Bank Student Account
Available to full time students, apprentices and trainees over 12 years.
Mastercard $0 $0 No monthly account service fee, unlimited e-banking transfer, BPAY and Pay Anyone. More
Community First Student Starter Account
Designed for students aged 17-24 and studying their first degree or traineeship full-time.
Visa $0 $0 No monthly fee, fee-free banking with access to the RediATM network. More
Bank of Sydney Student Transaction Account
A flexible, student bank account with a linked Visa debit card.
Visa $0 $0 No monthly account fee with free, unlimited ATM withdrawals from RediATM network. More
Bank of Sydney Student Savings Account
Available for students under 18 years of age and want to earn interest on their transaction account.
Visa $0 $0 Free, unlimited ATM withdrawals from any RediATM. More
Bank of Melbourne Complete Freedom Student
Get a linked Visa debit card and $0 monthly fee for under 18's.
Visa $0 $0 A low cost transaction account for students – no ATM withdrawal fees at Bank of Melbourne, BankSA, St.George and Westpac ATMs in Australia. More
Westpac Choice Student
An everyday account for full-time tertiary students.
Mastercard $0 $2,000 No monthly service fee whilst you are a full time tertiary student More
BankSA Complete Freedom Student Account
An everyday banking account for students with a linked Visa debit card and $0 monthly account service fee.
Visa $0 $0 No ATM withdrawal fee at over 3,000 BankSA, Bank of Melbourne, St.George & Westpac ATMs around Australia. More
Police and Nurses Student Account
A bank account for secondary and tertiary students aged between 16-25 years old.
Visa $0 $0 Unlimited + free transactions via rediATM, NAB and BOQ ATMs. More

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.

Compare a range of student and young adult bank accounts.

Bank accounts for concession card holders

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.

  • St.George and other financial institutions allow Concession account holders to make unlimited free withdrawals from bank branches and free periodic payments.
  • The monthly account service fee is waived.

How to choose and apply for a bank account.

Jacob Joseph

Jacob is a writer and video journalist with finder.com.au. Credit cards, personal loans and savings accounts are his bread and butter, and he likes nothing more helping people understand the sometimes overly complex world of personal finance.

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