Money, unless it is hidden away under the mattress or squirrelled away in a piggy bank, is usually kept in an everyday bank account. These everyday bank accounts are often set up through one of the big four banks – ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, Westpac or NAB – or through smaller banks, credit unions or building societies.
There are many different elements of an everyday bank account and many pros and cons to consider when choosing one.
What is an everyday bank account?
Everyday bank accounts are often known as ‘transaction accounts’ – but some people colloquially refer to them as ‘spending accounts’, because
usually your everyday spending will be charged to this account.
Most Australians will receive their salary and pay their bills through an everyday bank account. You can usually use BPAY, and pay off credit card, utility, phone and internet bills, through an everyday bank account.
You can also deposit money from an everyday bank account into your Australian superannuation account.
Do everyday bank accounts have fees or charges?
Different fees and charges apply to everyday bank accounts, but not all accounts have the same fees and charges. To keep your hard-earned cash in the right place, you need to find an everyday bank account that has no fees or costs you less.
Here are some of the fees that you might pay on some everyday bank accounts:
- Some banks will charge an account-holding fee. This is a monthly fee that you pay to keep your money in a specific bank
- You may be charged ATM withdrawal fees when taking out cash from an ATM. This includes ATMs linked to your bank and other banks
- Phone and online banking fees for specific accounts
- EFTPOS transaction fees
- Fees associated with withdrawing too much or not depositing enough
It is important to consider how and why you access your everyday bank account so you can make sure you find an account that will allow you to minimise the fees you pay. For example, if you use online banking regularly, then you might favour an account that doesn’t charge for online banking.
Always consider your personal spending and saving habits as well as your monthly salary before signing up to any specific account.
Are there any everyday bank accounts without fees?
Thankfully, some things in life are still free. There are everyday bank accounts on the market that don’t include fees or charges; you simply need to shop around.
Some independent or smaller banking institutions offer accounts that don’t have account-keeping fees, offer free paper statements mailed to your home, have no minimum withdrawal or deposit amounts and have no overdrawn fees.
What are the pros of everyday bank accounts?
- Everyday accounts give users relatively easy access to their money
- Most everyday bank accounts will include some sort of online or phone banking, so you can access your money when the bank is closed
- Most of the main commercial banks, including the big four banks, will have smartphone apps that allow you to check and control your everyday bank account while on the go
- Everyday bank accounts often come with EFTPOS or bank cards. These cards allow you to shop online and in store with plastic instead of cash
What are the cons of everyday bank accounts?
- Some everyday bank accounts charge fees for a range of different things
- There may be some restrictions attached
- Often you’ll need to make a minimum deposit to reduce fees. If you can’t deposit this designated amount, you will have to pay a fee
- Everyday bank accounts will often pay no or very little interest
- Paper statements that are mailed to your house will often attract a fee
- You may get charged fees for banking on the phone or online
How do I apply for an everyday bank account?
Each banking institution will have a different method for applying for an everyday bank account. You can usually apply for everyday bank accounts via a bank’s website or in person at your local branch.
Some banks don’t have branches, so you will need to apply online or over the phone.
There are a few rules when it comes to opening everyday bank accounts in Australia. Legally, you must be an Australian resident with an Australian mailing address or residency, and you need to be over the age of 12 years old to open the account on your own.
You should always consider whether an everyday bank account is the best banking product for you before applying.
What other accounts are there beside everyday bank accounts?
There are a number of other accounts on the market, but they will all do different things.
Savings accounts are one account that often goes hand in hand with an everyday account. Often, savings accounts will attract higher interest rates and can include incentives for people who don’t touch the money in their saving accounts.
You can also put your money in a term deposit, which will require you to lock away your money for a set period of time in return for a fixed amount of interest.