Gift cards get better, but there are still some on the naughty list

RateCity has today revealed its annual ‘naughty and nice’ gift card list, as tough new rules abolish short expiry cards.

National legislation that came into effect last month means gift cards must now have an expiry of at least three years, with the date clearly written on it.

Post-purchase fees are now also banned, to ensure that what you’re given, is exactly what you’ll get this Christmas.

The nice list:

  • Bunnings has no expiry date and will give you your balance in change if its below $10.
  • JB-Hi Fi and the Good Guys also have no expiry and will post you out a card for free.
  • Netflix and Spotify round out this year’s ‘nice’ list with, in most cases, no expiry and no hidden fees attached.

The not so nice list:

The worst offenders are typically the gift cards that are pre-loaded with money.

  • fees can climb as high as $12.68.
  • Australia Post’s Mastercard includes a purchase fee of $5.95.
  • Westfield’s eftpos card costs $2.95, plus an extra $2.95 if you want it delivered. research director Sally Tindall said that despite the new legislation, shoppers could still get caught out.

“Short expiry dates and post-purchase fees might have hit the scrap heap but there are still plenty of ways to get tripped up by gift cards this Christmas,” she said.

“Admin fees, credit card fees, postage fees and conditions on how the money is spent are often lurking in the terms and conditions when you do a bit of digging.”

Top traps:

  • Hidden fees.
  • Excessive postage charges.
  • Rules about where you can redeem them.

Top tips:

  • Read the terms and conditions before you buy.
  • If you have an expired card, ask the store to honour it.
  • Don’t spend extra money, just for the sake of getting your balance down to zero – If your balance is under $10, ask for it back in change.
  • If you have a few dollars on your card and you can’t get it in cash, pay it forward to someone else in the queue.

RateCity 'nice' gift card list

Company The nice bits Fees
Bunnings No expiry. Change given below $9.95. Gift cards can be personalised with a photo. Postage $2.60 for physical cards (e-gift cards are free).
The Good Guys No expiry. No fees, old expired gift cards will be honoured. Free postage for physical cards.
JB Hi-Fi No expiry. No fees, old expired gift cards will be honoured. Free postage for physical cards.
Aldi No expiry None
EB Games No expiry Free postage for physical cards.
Netflix No expiry None
Spotify No expiry for digital gift cards, 3 years for physical cards None

RateCity ‘not so nice’ gift card list

Company The no so nice bits Fees
Westfield Up to $5.90 in fees and postage, 3 year expiry. $2.95 service fee plus $2.95 delivery fee (no e-gift card option)
Australia Post

Mastercard gift card

$5.95 in fees. Purchase in store only, 3 year expiry. $5.95 purchase fee Up to $12.68 in fees, 3 year expiry. $9.05 postage and handling, $2.48 credit card service fee, $1.15 GST.
Coles Mastercard

gift card

3 year expiry, $5 purchase fee. Only bought in-store. $5.00 purchase fee
Sportsgirl Website says expiry is 3 years for NSW and SA and 1 year elsewhere. Gift cards can only be used in store. Postage is $6 (free over $50). No e-gift card option.
Sussan Website says expiry is 3 years for NSW and SA and 1 year elsewhere. Gift cards can only be used in store. Free postage for physical cards. No e-gift card option.


RateCity’s comprehensive gift card guide can be found here.

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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.

Opening a bank account for someone under 18

Do I need to open a business bank account?

Just because you’re in business doesn’t necessarily mean you need a business bank account. You could be a sole trader not registered for GST, and use your personal bank account for business.

If you do want a business account, there are plenty of benefits attached to business transaction and savings accounts, as well as business term deposits.

There are business bank accounts designed for businesses with a high volume of transactions, and those for start-ups with a small amount of trade. You could also include an EFTPOS service with your account.

Some business bank accounts charge for the number of transactions per month, while others offer a pay-as-you-go fee structure, where you only pay fees for transactions you make.

It’s up to you whether your priority is mainly transactions, or earning the maximum amount of interest on your principal. There’s a business banking solution for you if you need one.

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.

How do you set up a bank account online?

Once you’ve compared bank accounts and found the right one, the process of opening a bank account online is quite simple and can be done in around 10 minutes.

To set up a bank account online, you’ll need to prove your identity and provide an approved form of ID as well as your tax file number (TFN).

If you’re a new customer of the bank, you’ll need to verify your identity and potentially upload documents before you can complete your online application.

Once your ID has been verified and you’ve set up your bank account online, you should receive your bank cards in the mail along with your PIN and any other account details.

How can I close a Commonwealth Bank account?

You can close your Commonwealth Bank account at any branch, provided you have appropriate identification. You can also close your account over the phone, by calling 132 221, 24 hours a day.

Can foreigners open bank account in Australia?

If you’re migrating, studying or working in Australia, you’ll be pleased to know that you can open an Australian bank account. For the most part, opening a bank account in Australia is a simple process which starts by comparing the types of bank accounts foreigners can open in Australia.

Once you’ve found a bank account that suits your needs, you can start the application process.

When you apply for the account, you’ll need to provide proof of ID which may include your passport, overseas ID or credit card. You may also need to provide a copy of your visa and proof of address in Australia.

Depending on the bank and the type of account you choose, you may be able to apply for the account online or over the phone before you arrive in Australia.

How do I close my bank account online?

You can usually easily open a bank account online, but you often can’t close it online.

Many banks and credit unions will only let you close an account if you go into a branch or call them on the phone.

However, some banks will let you request to close the account via your internet banking. Check your financial provider’s website for details.

Just remember: If you still have funds in the bank account, transfer them to another account, or withdraw the cash. Also, if you have any payments like direct debits going in or out of the bank account, these will also stop when you close your account.

What do I need to open bank accounts online?

Opening a bank account online is a simple process and only takes between five to 10 minutes to complete. To get started you will need a computer or smartphone with internet access.

Information to have available when you’re ready to apply is:

  • Identification (such as driver’s licence, birth certificate, passport, proof-of-age card)
  • Tax file number
  • Residential address, email and a contact number

In some cases, you might be asked to provide employment details. If you’re not able to verify your identity online, most financial institutions let you provide this in the branch at a later date.

There are some types of bank account that you can apply for only in a branch. However, most bank accounts can be applied for conveniently online.

How do I overdraw my Commonwealth Bank account?

Overdrawing a bank account can happen by accident. It’s often hard to know what your balance is, particularly with direct debits, scheduled repayments and pending transactions competing for cash.

To avoid being stuck with a bank fee every time your account is overdrawn, you can apply for a personal overdraft. This will enable you to overdraw your account up to an approved amount.

A personal overdraft is connected to your CommBank Everyday Account, so you can enjoy easy access to extra funds once approved – anywhere from $100 up to $20,000.

Your overdraft funds can be accessed via your CommBank keycard or Debit MasterCard, or online through NetBank and the CommBank app.

To apply you can either call the Commonwealth Bank directly or visit your local branch.

How do you deposit change into your bank account?

One way to deposit change into your bank account is to visit a branch. Many lenders will also allow you to deposit your change through one of their ATMs.

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.

How do you find a bank account number by name?

For privacy reasons, Australian banks won’t hand out account numbers or other details about their customers. However, if you provide a bank with a BSB and account number, they should be able to confirm if those numbers belong to one of their customers.

How do you change your account name on NAB banking?

Changing the name on your NAB bank account is straightforward, as long as you have the right documents.

If you’ve just got married, divorced or legally changed your name, here’s what you need:

  • Married – a marriage certificate
  • Divorced –your ‘decree nisi’
  • Legal name change –your legal name change certificate

You can take either the original document, or a certified copy, into a NAB branch, where it needs to be sighted by a bank employee and a copy taken.

Your NAB bank account name will be updated immediately. New debit, ATM and credit cards with your updated name will also need to be issued. These usually take between five to 10 working days to be posted out to you. Your existing cards will keep working until you activate your new ones.

If you haven’t legally changed your name, but just want to change your account nicknames, you can log onto NAB and do it through the Settings/Mailbox menu.