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Setting Up A Bank Account In Australia

Okay, you’ve sorted out your student visa, organise your OSHC, and even figured out which instant ramen hack works best for you. So what’s next?

Well since you’re going to be studying in Australia for a period of time, it’s best to get settled in and that means you will need a bank account for all your money-related needs.

So to help you out on that front, we’re going to give you the ins and outs on how to set up a bank account while you’re here in Australia.

Who are the big 4 banks in Australia?

There several banks operating in Australia but there are 4 that are the largest and most commonly used:

  • ANZ
  • Commonwealth Bank
  • NAB
  • Westpac

There are several smaller banks if you want to go off the beaten path a bit, but the big 4 banks are usually the easiest option to keep your money secure and will generally give you a pretty offers.

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What student accounts are available?

Luckily for you, all 4 big 4 banks in Australia has student accounts available to choose from. Let’s dig into each one and see how they compare.

  • ANZ Student Access Advantage
    • This comes with $0 account fees for those under 25 and for students, making this a solid choice for anyone coming to Australia to study.
    • You can request an ANZ Access Visa Debit card at no cost and the accessibility features on the card make it easier to use for those who are vision-impaired.
    • No minimum account balance is required to open account.
    • To keep this account open, you will need to show a valid student card or ID to an ANZ representative at the start of each year.
    • The downside to this account is the $5 fee and 3% foreign exchange fee you’ll have to pay if you use an ATM overseas.
  • Commonwealth Bank Student Smart Access
    • A very popular choice for many students, this account comes with no monthly fees, as well as unlimited free transactions from network ATMs, EFTPOS, counter deposits, phone and internet.
    • Comes with a linked Debit Mastercard at no extra cost.
    • You can open an account up to 3 months before you arrive in Australia which makes things nice and easy ahead of time.
    • No minimum account balance is required to open an account but there is a $2000 a day ATM withdrawal limit.
    • Like ANZ, the downside to this account is the $5 fee and 3% foreign exchange fee you’ll have to pay if you use an ATM overseas.
  • NAB Classic Banking Account
    • A nice and simple account with no monthly fees, no overdrawn fees, and no ATM fees from NAB and rediATMS.
    • Unlimited phone and internet transactions.
    • Comes with a linked VISA debit card at no extra cost.
    • Like Commonwealth Bank, you can open an account up to before you arrive in Australia.
    • Like ANZ and Commonwealth Bank, the downside to this account is the $5 fee and 3% foreign exchange fee you’ll have to pay if you use an ATM overseas.
  • Westpac Choice Student
    • A nice and simple account with no monthly fees (as long as you’re a full-time student or under 21). You will need to show a valid student card or ID to a Westpac representative at the start of each year to have the account fee waived though.
    • Unlimited BPAY, phone, and internet transactions.
    • Only $1 is required to open an account.
    • Google Pay, PayID or Samsung Pay is available to use if you fancy digital payment options.
    • Like every other big 4 bank, the downside to this account is the $5 fee and 3% foreign exchange fee you’ll have to pay if you use an ATM overseas.

So how do I open a bank account with an Australian bank?

Compared to most things in life, it’s actually really easy to open a bank account in Australia and shouldn’t take too long at all. Now each bank has its own sign up methods and processes, but you can do almost everything online these days generally speaking and all you need is:

  • You passport
  • Your visa details and number
  • Email address
  • Date of arrival in Australia and your city of residence

While you can open an account online months before you arrive in Australia, most banks will require you to book an in-person appointment at a local branch so they can verify your identity.

Best do this as soon as possible or otherwise you won’t be able to access your new bank account.

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