Debit cards

Debit cards

A debit card operates in much the same way as a credit card, meaning that you can use it at most point-of-sale terminals, as well as online or over the phone. However unlike a credit card, debit cards use funds from your transaction account.

This means that the funds paid using a debit card are transferred immediately from the cardholder’s transaction account rather than having to be repaid at a later date, in which case may even accrue interest.

Debit cards are a popular alternative to carrying cash too as they provide convenience to the cardholder and offer greater reach than cash in some cases. They can be used for online shopping, for EFTPOS and at most places where credit cards are accepted.

This type of card usually allows for instant cash withdrawal, so it acts as an ATM card. Some merchants will even allow debit card holders to withdraw cash via their card at the point-of-sale terminal, at the time of making a purchase. So clearly, debit cards are a very flexible alternative to cash or credit cards.

That’s likely why debit card popularity has exploded around the world, and in many cases replaced cheque accounts.

Get the best card for your situation

So if you’re in the market for a debit card, then you’ve come to the right place. At RateCity we’ve compiled some of the best transaction accounts with debit card facilities from a range of institutions. So you can compare transaction accounts to ensure you’re getting the best everyday account and debit card for your situation.

It’s easy to compare; all you have to do is visit our transaction accounts page and complete a few basic fields of information about your average balance and your spending habits and click ‘find an account’. You’ll be given an instant assessment and list of suitable transaction accounts, which you can compare by interest rate and fees. Or select up to six accounts to compare transaction accounts side-by-side for greater detail.

If you’d like more information or tips about transaction accounts or debit cards you can check out our transaction accounts guide. Or visit our transaction account news page for the latest information on transaction accounts.

Start searching for your debit card companion by comparing some of Australia’s best transaction accounts at RateCity.

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Learn more about bank accounts

Do you need a bank account to sell on eBay?

You don’t need a bank account to sell on eBay. But if you don’t have a bank account, you must provide either a credit card or debit card.

How can I check my bank account balance online?

Checking your bank account balance online is a simple process. Once you’ve logged in to your online banking, clock on the relevant account and the balance should be visible.

Which bank is best for business accounts?

Unfortunately, there’s no definitive answer to the question of which bank is best for business accounts. That’s because ‘best’ will differ from customer to customer, depending on their unique circumstances. These include not only your company’s financial position, but also its size, its age and the sector in which it operates. Another factor to consider is what features you want in a bank account. Your business may require different features than another business; and your business may require different features tomorrow than it does today.

The best thing to do is to thoroughly research the market before opening a business account. And when you do open an account, you should reassess your options every year or two, because the market moves quickly. A particular bank might offer the best account today, but be surpassed by one or several rivals tomorrow.

What do I need to open a company bank account?

To open a company bank account, you will probably have to provide 100 points of ID, an ABN and an ACN. You will probably have to provide the details of all signatories as well.

How can you cash a cheque without a bank account?

You can cash a cheque without a bank account if you visit the bank that issued the cheque. For example, if somebody sends you a cheque from Bank X (as written on the cheque) and you visit Bank X, it’s likely that Bank X will let you cash the cheque – provided the person who wrote the cheque has enough money in their account. Bank X would probably charge you a fee for the service.

How can I deposit cash into my bank account?

The traditional way to deposit cash into your bank account is to go to a branch and give it to a teller. These days, many banks will allow you to make deposits through an ATM as well.

How do you open a bank account under 18?

If you’re under 18 and you want to open an Australian bank account, you will need your passport or birth certificate. (Some lenders might require just a Medicare card or driver’s licence.) You can apply online or at a branch. If you’re 13 or under, you will probably need a parent to accompany you to a branch.

Can I find my bank account number online?

Yes, you can find your bank account number by logging into your online banking and clicking on the relevant account.

Can foreigners open bank accounts in Australia?

Many Australian lenders allow foreigners to open bank accounts in Australia. Often, this can be done before you arrive in the country – with no Australian address required. When you get to Australia, you can pick up your debit card, using your passport as identification.

How can I wire money to a bank account?

You can wire money to an Australian bank account either through your own bank or by using a money transfer company such as Western Union or MoneyGram. Either way, you’ll need the other person’s name, BSB number and account number. If you use a money transfer company, you might also need to provide the recipient’s address for large payments.

Can you open a bank account at 16?

Yes, you can open a bank account at 16, or even younger. If you’re 13 or under, you will probably need a parent to accompany you to a branch.

Can I have a PayPal account without a bank account?

You don’t need a bank account to send or receive money through PayPal. However, you do need a bank account if you want to withdraw money from your PayPal account.

How do you transfer money from PayPal to a bank account?

Transferring money from PayPal to an Australian bank account is simple. Just follow these three steps:

  • Go to your Wallet
  • Click ‘Transfer Money’
  • Follow the instructions

The money will take three to seven business days to reach your bank account.

Once you’ve made the transfer request, it can’t be withdrawn.

Can I start a bank account online?

Yes, most lenders that operate in Australia will let you set up a bank account online. The process is usually simple and takes five to 10 minutes. You will probably need to provide a passport or birth certificate, as well as a driver’s licence, Medicare card or another form of secondary identification. Requirements differ from lender to lender, so some institutions might ask for more or different forms of ID.