+61-255-071-203
+1-559-702-8922

Best Banks to Opt as an International Student in Australia

An important part of your time in Australia is organizing finances. Choosing the right bank, and having a plan for withdrawing Australian Dollars can save you hassles, frustration, and money. Especially if you are arriving in Australia during the peak of the university year (March-April) or immediately before the semester starts (July-August).

Some international students arrive in Australia with no bank account, others arrive with an account from home (usually overdrawn). If you need to organize finances before arriving in Australia, here are some tips.

 

Banks for International Students in Australia

 

There are lots of banks in Australia but the ones you will use most often are ANZ, Commonwealth Bank (CBA), Westpac (St. George), National Australia Bank (NAB), and Westpac. There are many others but you will only see these banks in shops or when withdrawing cash from an ATM. You will also have to choose between either a bank account with your debit card (tap & pay) or one without the tap & pay facility which is less convenient.

Most international students will have a bank account to cash their paycheque to pay their rent and living expenses. 

ANZ Bank

ANZ Bank is the largest bank in Australia. If you live in Sydney, they also offer multi-currency accounts where you can choose between USD, NZD, EUR, or GBP (via the Transferwise app). The bank charges a monthly fee of $8.00 if you have less than $10,000 on your account. 

When withdrawing money from the ATM with a non-ANZ card, there are two fees: 

  • one for using another bank’s ATM, and 
  • another one for withdrawal of foreign currency cash advances (both are charged by ANZ).

Commonwealth Bank (CBA)

The Commonwealth Bank (CBA) is the largest bank in Australia and is also part of the global network of Commonwealth banks. CBA does not charge foreign currency withdrawal fees when using your debit card on their ATM, but they do charge a fee for withdrawing cash from an ATM that belongs to another bank and they charge a monthly fee of $5.00 if your account balance is below $2,000 (this amount increases with the number of items you buy on your debit card).

Westpac (St. George)

If you live in Queensland and bank with Westpac (St. George), there are no ATM fees for using their machines but they do charge fees if you use an ATM of another bank. They offer multi-currency accounts too (USD, NZD, GBP & EUR) and they also have a tap & pay debit card. There is no monthly fee but there is a one-off $10 set up fee.

Outside of St. George, Westpac offers the same features. They do not charge foreign currency withdrawal fees when using their ATM, but they do charge fees if you use another bank’s ATM and there is no monthly fee.

 

National Australia Bank (NAB)

NAB does not charge foreign currency withdrawal fees if you use your debit card on their ATM, but they do charge a fee for withdrawing cash from an ATM that belongs to another bank and there is no monthly fee.

 

The first thing to know about banks in Australia is that most of them (ANZ, St George, NAB & Westpac) are part of the worldwide network of “Westpac” banks. That means that you can use these four banks’ ATMs worldwide without paying fees (via the redi2PAY card).

As mentioned above, Westpac has a tap & pay debit card where you can make purchases in Australia and abroad by simply tapping your card onto a machine. All four banks have apps to monitor your account from your phone, transfer money between accounts and pay bills online.

All four banks have partnerships with other local banks to offer customers better deals through their “white label” bank. 

 

Benefits of Using a Bank as an International Student in Australia

 

Many international students studying in Australia find that they are paid wages or salaries while on their courses. Banks tend to offer this service at an attractive rate of 2% plus $3.00 per month for any overseas currency required by the student. It is advisable to take out a bank account before leaving your own country so you can get used to the different types of accounts and how to operate them. 

However, if you are going on a working holiday visa, you should take out a bank account before departing your home country as banks will not offer an overseas bank account once you have left your own country.

If you arrive in Australia without a bank account, various banks offer accounts to overseas students.

Through your bank account you will be able to:

  • Transfer money online and over the phone; 
  • Receive direct deposits from employers; 
  • Make withdrawals and purchases with EFTPOS (an electronic version of a cheque); 
  • Set up an Automatic Savings Plan (ASP) to save automatically or conveniently transfer money to another account; 
  • Pay bills by direct debit.

Assuming that you are arriving in Australia with enough money, it is advisable to open an Australian dollar account once you arrive. You will need to provide two forms of identity (e.g. passport, credit card, and driver’s license). You may also need to provide a place of residence and income information (e.g. an employment contract).

You may want to open an Australian dollar account instead of bringing your home currency with you as it is almost impossible to exchange every country’s currency into Australian dollars or to purchase goods in shops that only accept foreign currencies such as American Dollars.

If you are studying in Australia, it is not advisable to have your home currency account. You will have to pay a fee every time money is exchanged from another country’s currency into the Australian dollar. If you are not studying in Australia but want to keep your home currency there are options available, such as HSBC bank who reserve the right to refuse an account for an overseas student who does not meet certain requirements.

Apart from the general benefits, some international students find it beneficial to pay their bills (e.g. mobile phone and electricity) using direct debit through their bank account while some like using internet banking facilities to access their accounts online.

 

What to Consider When Choosing a Bank as an International Student in Australia?

 

In Australia, banks can be generally divided into two categories:

  • Retail banks, and 
  • Wholesale banks. 

A wholesale bank is a financial institution that offers certain products and services to other banks, which are in turn offered to customers. Wholesale banks can be better thought of as service providers for retail banks rather than traditional retail banks. 

Wholesale bank customers could include small corporations or wealthy individuals who have substantial assets they would like to invest in. They excel in providing financial and operational expertise and resources to their retail bank customers. By using the services of wholesale banks, retail banks can focus on their business activities by leaving clients’ investments and wealth management issues to the experts.

But for an international student, retail banks are better. Wholesale banks have a lower profile and fewer branches, and the cost of opening an account there is less. But they offer less access to services.

Retail banks are more widely recognized, which means the availability of services increase. They have more options available when it comes to fee structures and customer support.

The 10 factors you should consider when evaluating banks as an international student are:

  1. Availability of Foreign Currency Accounts (FCA)
  2. Availability of International ATMs   
  3. High interest on a savings account or easy access to cash (ATM or debit card)
  4. Ability to transfer money back home
  5. Easy online account opening process
  6. A business bank account (for students who are working part-time or full-time while studying) 
  7. An SMS alert service for transactions on the account (particularly helpful if an international student is new in town and makes regular cash deposits and withdrawals)
  8. An international debit or credit card (linked to your account, with the option of withdrawing cash from ATMs and paying for things by swiping or inserting into chip & PIN terminals around Australia)
  9. Ability to deposit money into the account in person, online, over the phone, or by mail
  10. The ability to open an account from abroad through online banking

 

Best Student Bank Accounts in Australia

 

Westpac Student Choice Bank Account

This is the best bank account for students in Australia with No Fees, No Minimum Monthly Balance, and a $0 ATM Fee worldwide.

Minimum age to open an account: 16 years old. Account-holders must be enrolled at high school or studying towards a recognized qualification from an educational institution.

Features & Benefits of Westpac Student Choice Bank Account:

  • No fees to maintain the account.
  • No Monthly Service Fee 
  • No ATM Fees (Up to $1000 per month)
  • $0 International Cash Fee at Westpac Group ATMs
  • Bank@Post – Bank Cheques delivered right to your letterbox (charges applied) 
  • Westpac @Mobile App – allows you to access account information anytime, anywhere
  • Available in English, Arabic, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, and Vietnamese
  • Fee-free online banking with Bill Pay 
  • No minimum monthly balance required 
  • Unlimited “anytime” transactions including EFTPOS, withdrawals, transfers, cheque deposits.
  • Up to 6 fee-free withdrawals at Westpac Group ATMs per month (within Australia) 
  • If you withdraw more than 6 times in a month the excess will be charged at $2 per transaction.
  • You can deposit up to $20,000 in any calendar month. Deposits can be made via Electronic Funds Transfer or Cash
  • Up to 2 withdrawals per day on your Student Mastercard® Debit Card at non-Westpac ATMs within Australia 
  • 24/7 access to Phone Banking and online banking via the website www.westpac.com.au 
  • You can link your Westpac Student Choice account to a compatible mobile number and use the new Westpac @Mobile app to manage your money on the go
  • Email & SMS alerts keep you informed of all important account transactions 
  • No Cheque Book request fee for lost, stolen, or damaged cheques. Replacements are free  (Max 2 per year)
  • No Fee for stopping/reversing a Direct Debit 
  • Security alerts – set up text messages to be sent to your mobile when specific suspicious activity is detected on your account (free of charge) 
  • Ability to block and unblock lost and stolen cards (free of charge) via Online Banking 
  • Westpac Global Currency Card allows you to load your own currency in advance, avoiding all fees and hassles associated with Travellers Cheques 
  • Cash Passports are available to Australian residents who are not yet 18 years old (free of charge)
  • Open your account online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in just 3 easy steps. 
  • No Minimum Balance Required 
  • No Annual Account Keeping Fee 

This account is available only to Australian residents aged 16 years or older who are full-time students enrolled in an educational institution and have a Student Banking Number (SNoB). Note that temporary visa holders are excluded from being eligible for this account.

 

ANZ Student Choice Account

ANZ Student Choice account is Fee free which means no monthly account fees or transaction fees on everyday banking transactions, including ATM withdrawals.

Features & Benefits of ANZ Student Choice Account:

  • Monthly service fee $0 
  • No minimum opening balance required 
  • Unlimited standard EFTPOS, online, ATM, and bill payments, including ANZ Credit Cards 
  • No transaction fees on everyday banking transactions, including ATM withdrawals (conditions apply) 
  • Unlimited free phone and internet banking including ANZ Mobile Banking for Android & iOS devices 
  • Free ANZ Global Transfers to other ANZ accounts in Australia or worldwide 
  • Free ANZ Access Advantage package – includes E-Statement, up to 50% off selected travel insurance, and 25% off your first purchase of foreign currency 
  • No checkbook request fee 
  • Ability to block & unblock lost/stolen cards (free of charge) via Online Banking & ANZ Mobile Banking  
  • Cash Passport (free of charge) 
  • Email, SMS or push notification alerts keep you informed on all your banking transactions 
  • Open your account online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in just 3 easy steps 
  • Overseas limit $2,000 per month & $20,000 per year 
  • ANZ Global Transfers (international money transfer) available to over 50 countries worldwide with no fees 
  • ANZ Home Insurance Discounts – special discounts up to 20% off your home insurance policy through the ANZ Home Package Plus scheme (conditions apply) 
  • Link your ANZ Student Choice account to a compatible mobile number and use the new ANZ @Mobile app to manage your money on the go 
  • Get up to 50% off selected travel insurance when you buy online via ANZ Internet Banking/ANZ Mobile Banking (conditions apply) 
  • Earn Rewards points with Westpac Group brands – over 30 retailers 
  • Possible to link to your student loans accounts (e.g. VET Student Loans)

 

ANZ Access Advantage Student Account 

No monthly account-keeping fees and no minimum deposit. You can also make two free ATM withdrawals each month from other banks. ATMs as well as over 3,000 ANZ ATMs across Australia. This product has been designed for students aged under 23 years to help manage their money better.

 

Citibank Student Current Account 

This account is Fee-free which means that there are no monthly account fees or transaction fees on everyday banking transactions, including ATM withdrawals. 

Features & Benefits of Citibank Student Current Account: 

  • Monthly service fee $0 
  • No minimum opening balance required 
  • Unlimited standard EFTPOS, online, ATM, and bill payments, including CitiPhone/CitMobile/CitPhone Banking for Android, iOS & BlackBerry devices 
  • No transaction fees on everyday banking transactions, including ATM withdrawals (conditions apply) 
  • Ability to block & unblock lost/stolen cards via CitiPhone/CitMobile Banking 
  • Free Citigold Packages – includes Citigold Debit Card, E-Statements & up to 50% off selected travel insurance 
  • Free access to Citibank Global Transfer service – pay or transfer money overseas at the best rate available 
  • No checkbook request fee 
  • Online account management & bill payment service – save time and postage by managing your bills online 
  • Free Citibank Global Transfers (international money transfer) available to over 40 countries worldwide with no fees 
  • Cash Passport (free of charge) 
  • Email, SMS, or push notification alerts keep you informed on all your banking transactions 
  • Open your account online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in just 3 easy steps 
  • Link your Citibank Student Current Account to any Australian mobile number and use the new Citi@Mobile app to manage your money on the go 
  • Earn Rewards points with Westpac Group brands – over 30 retailers 
  • Possible to link to your student loans account (e.g. VET Student Loan) 
  • Citigold Packages include a Visa Platinum Debit Card, E-Statements & up to 50% off selected travel insurance 
  • Cash Passport – free of charge 
  • Email, SMS, or push notification alerts keep you informed on all your banking transactions 
  • Online account management & bill payment service – save time and postage by managing your bills online
  • Open your account 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in just 3 easy steps 
  • Link your Citibank Student Current Account to any Australian mobile number and use the new Citi@Mobile app to manage your money on the go 
  • Citibank is a member of MasterCard International and is entitled to issue Visa Platinum Cards pursuant to license from Visa Int., subject to the terms and conditions of the applicable cards program

 

HSBC Everyday Student Account 

With an HSBC Everyday Student Account, there are no monthly service fees and you can have up to 5 linked accounts, including your student loans account.

As an HSBC Everyday Student Account holder you can:

  • Enjoy fee-free transactions and withdrawals at any Westpac Group ATMs in Australia and worldwide
  • Link your account to up to 5 additional Australian bank accounts for easy transfer of funds
  • Your first four EFTPOS purchases will be fee-free
  • Access your account on the go via our award-winning smartphone app
  • Have faster access to funds with instant transfers between linked HSBC accounts

 

Commonwealth Bank – Student Smart Access Account

No monthly fee, no minimum opening deposit, and full access to over 3,000 ATMs with no ATM fees. You can also make up to 300 debit purchases a month with no transaction fees.

Account features: 

  • No monthly service fees 
  • Unlimited electronic transactions – means there are no hidden fees when you use your debit card to make purchases, withdraw cash or check your balance 
  • Access to over 3,000 ATMs at the Westpac Group of banks with no transaction fees when you use your debit card
  • You can also withdraw cash for free from any CommBank ATM in the world if you’re a CommBank home bank customer (conditions apply) – that’s over 30,000 ATMs worldwide 
  • No minimum opening deposit required 
  • Unlimited deposits via BPAY® Biller or Deposit Capture. Simply scan your bills or deposit items at home with your CommBank app on iOS or Android and they’ll be added to your account the next business day

 

NAB Start Smart – Student Account

If you are under the age of 21, NAB Start Smart is a great place to start your banking with. You will receive 100 free transactions each month and avoid monthly service fees. Your account comes with access to over 35,000 Westpac Group ATMs nationwide. 

Account features:

  • No monthly service fees 
  • Unlimited free electronic transactions – no transaction fees when you use your debit card or make an ATM withdrawal in Australia 
  • Access to over 3,500 ATMs at the Westpac Group of banks with no transaction fees if you use your debit card
  • You can also withdraw cash for free from any CommBank ATM in the world if you’re a CommBank home bank customer (conditions apply) – that’s over 30,000 ATMs worldwide 
  • No minimum opening deposit is required. 

 

What do you need to open a bank account as an international student in Australia?

 

As an international student, you can open a bank account in Australia with your passport. In most cases, you will also need proof of residential address in Australia if it is not the same as your home address.

Here is an outline of how to open a student bank account in Australia:

  • Check for the visa validity period requirement 

Some banks require your visa to be valid for three months or more before you can open up a bank account with them. Other banks will accept you if your visa is still in the application stage. Do check with your bank or financial institution to find out whether they require your visa status to be valid for three months or more before you can open up a student bank account with them.

  • Check the required documents needed to open up an account 

Some Australian banks will allow you to open up a bank account even if you do not have the required documents. However, it is best that you still check with your selected bank whether they require any of the following documents before you can open up an account with them:

  • Passport (with the visa contained inside)
  • Your student identity card
  • Confirmation from your educational institution that you are a student at their school or university

  • Fill up the application form 

In most cases, the bank’s staff will ask you to fill up an application form. In other cases, they might also require you to come in for an interview. It depends on which bank you are applying for an account with. The bank’s staff will give you further instructions once you have submitted your application form to them.

  • Pay the required fees 

As a student in Australia, you may need to pay different kinds of fees including the monthly fee and the minimum deposit. You may also be required to provide proof that you have been accepted as a student at an educational institution before you can open up a bank account with them.

So, as an international student in Australia, make sure that you check the validity period of your visa before looking for a bank account. If the required documents are not readily available to you, inform the bank staff and they should be able to help you. And remember to bring along your student identity card and school acceptance letter when applying for a bank account in Australia.

Sharing is caring
September 28, 2021

0 responses on "Best Banks to Opt as an International Student in Australia"

Leave a Message

Tutorhelp
Rated 4.5/5 based on 63042 reviews
Copyright © 2010-2017 www.tutorhelp.club All rights reserved.
whatsApp

Tap to Chat

Get instant assignment help

WeChat

Tap to Chat

Get instant assignment help