Compare the best bank accounts^ of 2018

Compare the best^ bank accouts. View product details, interest rates, fees and more. - Data last updated on 21 Oct 2018

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A bank account, or everyday account, can help you manage your money easily and conveniently.

Discovering the best bank accounts for you is a matter of lifestyle and preference.

After you find the perfect account, you’ll be able to make purchases, withdraw cash and make transfers whenever you please.

What is a bank account?

A bank account is an account opened with a bank that allows you to deposit funds, withdraw cash and pay bills. Sometimes, these are referred to as ‘everyday accounts’, because they can be used to aid you in your everyday spending, from your morning coffee to your mortgage payment.

Often, a bank account will send you a debit card that can be used to withdraw cash at ATMs or pay for everyday expenses. While many people choose to have their salary paid automatically into their bank account, you can also deposit money manually if you choose.

What are the benefits of opening a bank account?

The biggest benefit to opening a bank or transaction account is that it provides you with a safe space to store your money for convenient use. It gives you a place to deposit new funds and also helps you easily pay for your purchases.

Transaction accounts are also helpful in tracking your spending. Many bank accounts allow you to view all of your recent purchases, so it’s easy to see where your money has been going. If you’re someone who tends to spend as much or more than they earn, a bank account can help you see exactly what you’re buying to help you manage your funds more carefully.

When should you open a bank account?

There’s no right or wrong time to open a bank account. Many parents choose to open children’s savings account for their little ones, but the right time to open a transaction account may be when you begin to make an income or are responsible for your own spending.

If you’re looking for a way to manage your money that’s convenient and helps you with your daily spending, then it might be time to open a bank account. With your bank account, you’ll be able to spend, deposit and withdraw as you please.

Can you open a bank account online?

Many banks allow customers to apply for a bank account entirely online. Typically, you’ll be required to submit forms of ID as well as personal details, so be sure you have access to a document scanner. You may also be asked to sign an application that is posted to you or which you’ve printed. After you’ve signed the document, it should be taken to a branch of your chosen bank.

Online applications vary from bank to bank, so be sure to pay special attention to your bank’s instructions as you apply.

Do bank accounts charge fees?

You’ll find that most transaction accounts have some associated fees. These may be as small as an ATM fee that only applies when using non-affiliated ATMs, but there are other fees you should look out for. Some transaction accounts may charge a monthly fee. If you’re looking for a low-fee account, it may be best to avoid accounts with monthly fees.

Other fees may include branch withdrawal fees or cheque deposit fees. Before choosing a bank account, make sure that the fees are suited to your lifestyle.

What should you look for when choosing a bank account?

While bank accounts usually function similarly, there are differences between bank accounts. Finding the best bank account for you is a matter of your lifestyle and spending habits.

One thing to consider when choosing a bank account is how convenient it is to withdraw money. Does this bank have ATMs near your home? Would it be convenient for you to seek out an ATM or bank branch for withdrawing cash?

Knowing how and where you can get cash out could help you find the best bank accounts for your daily life.

Another aspect to consider is online access. If you would rather deal with your finances online rather than inside a bank branch, then you might look for a transaction account that allows you online access. Many banks have mobile apps that allow you to view transactions, check your balance and transfer money to other accounts.

You should also be aware of any fees that your chosen transaction account charges. You may think that the best bank accounts have zero fees, but most transaction accounts with have small fees attached. Some bank accounts charge a monthly fee for the convenience of having an account; others may charge a withdrawal fee or cheque deposit fee. Some accounts also charge for paper statements, so you can save a little money by opting for online statements only.

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FAQs

Most Australia-based lenders will allow you to set up a bank account online. Requirements vary from lender to lender, but 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 ID.

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^Words such as "top", "best", "cheapest" or "lowest" are not a recommendation or rating of products. This page compares a range of products from selected providers and not all products or providers are included in the comparison. There is no such thing as a 'one- size-fits-all' financial product. The best loan, credit card, superannuation account or bank account for you might not be the best choice for someone else. Before selecting any financial product you should read the fine print carefully, including the product disclosure statement, fact sheet or terms and conditions document and obtain professional financial advice on whether a product is right for you and your finances.

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