ING scraps international fees

ING scraps international fees: now the pressure is on the Big 4 to follow suit

ING has today scrapped all international ATM, credit and debit card charges for their customers. 

This includes ATM withdrawal fees, ATM currency conversion fees, international purchase fees on  debit cards and a refund of any overseas third party ATM fees.

They have also confirmed they will only apply the wholesale exchange rate when converting currency.

The catch? You have to be a “primary” bank customer by depositing at least $1,000 a month into an Orange Advantage Account and making a minimum of five transactions a month.

No credit card international fees will also apply to their credit card product.

The international institution says the move is intended to encourage more Australians to make ING their primary bank.

ING Australia’s head of retail banking, Melanie Evans, said:

“We’re relentless in finding new ways give our customers what they want: convenience and value. All we want in return is that our customers make ING their main bank.”

RateCity research indicates that an average person spending a total of $5,000 a year overseas would save $171 a year if they switched banks to ING. A person spending $10,000 could save $342 a year.

“Using your card overseas always comes with a high degree of angst,” said RateCity CEO, Paul Marshall.

“Most people just shut their eyes and hope for the best, despite knowing they’re being hit with a flood of fees.

“Credit and debit cards used at the point of sale typically incur a 2 or 3 per cent fee, which can add up if you’re using your card for every purchase.

“But the biggest culprit by far is ATM withdrawals. Most Australians using their debit cards are charged a fee from the ATM provider, a fee from their own bank, plus a currency conversion fee which can be as high as 5 per cent.

“It gets even uglier if you use your credit card at the ATM as that’s classified as a cash advance, and should be avoided at all costs,” he said.

If you’re someone who travels a lot, it’s worth looking into the best cards for overseas. Make sure you pick one with low or no ATM fees, minimal currency conversion fees and no account keeping fees. It’s slim pickings but there are a handful of accounts on the market that won’t sting you at every step.

RateCity picks – Best transaction accounts for overseas spending

ING Orange Everyday Account No overseas fees, wholesale exchange rate, no domestic ATM fees, no account fees
Citibank Plus Account No overseas fees except the ATM vendor fees, free bottle of wine at certain partner restaurants in Australia, free domestic ATM fees at affiliate ATMs only, no account fees
RAMS Action Account No overseas fees except ATM vendor fees, free domestic ATM fees but only at affiliate ATMs, no account fees
Macquarie Classic Account No overseas fees except a $5 ATM withdrawal fee and third party ATM vendor fees, free domestic ATM fees, no account fees

Overseas ATM fees – What we’re being charged

Fee type Average fee Big 4 fees
ATM withdrawal $4.51 $5.00
ATM currency conversion fees 2.77% 3.00%
ATM provider fee At cost At cost if not part of global network

ATM fees – examples

Amount withdrawn Average fee*
$200 $14
$500 $22

*Based on an estimated third party ATM fee of $4.

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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.

Can you open another account at the same bank?

Yes, you can open another account at the same bank if you already have an account there, but some banks place a limit on how many specific accounts you can open.

Generally, though, it is possible to have more than one everyday account, one personal account and one joint account, or have different types of accounts – such as a transaction account and a savings account.

Keep in mind that some bank accounts come with fees, so you could be charged twice for having two types of the same account at the same bank.

Also, if you have more than one high-interest transaction account at the same bank, only one account will be able to earn the highest rate of interest.

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.

Can I close my bank account over the phone?

In most cases, you can close a personal or business bank account over the phone. In fact, this is the best way to ensure you’ve closed an account properly.

By speaking to a banking representative, you can capture and close out any pending transactions, or interest owing/payable on the account being closed.

In the instance where the account is a joint account, or you have multiple bank accounts you want to close, your bank may send you a form that you need to fill out and return.

Either way, you would be advised over the phone of the steps you need to take. Calling your bank ahead of closing an account is often a smart course of action.

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.

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.

Are bank accounts frozen when someone dies?

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If you have a joint bank account with somebody who has died, you will generally be entitled to all the money in the account. Again, you might have to provide proof of death if you want to change the bank account from a joint account to a one-person account.

Can you deposit money into somebody else's bank account?

One of the easiest banking tasks in the world is depositing money. You can even deposit money into someone else’s bank account if you wish.

The basic information you need to deposit money into a third-party bank account is:

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  • Bank, building society or credit union (though this isn’t necessary)
  • BSB (or bank code, which is the branch identifier)
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Including the name of the financial institution isn’t necessary – particularly with online banking – because the BSB will identify this for you.

A handy tip is to record yourself (or add a personal message) in the transaction description or reference. This will show up on the recipients account, letting them know who’s paid them the money.

How can I find bank accounts in my name?

To find ‘live’ bank accounts in your name, you’ll have to ask individual lenders, which involves contacting them one by one and proving your identity each time. To find ‘unclaimed’ bank accounts (those that have been inactive for at least seven years), you can use this website.

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There are few better ways for a child to learn about money management than through savings. And there’s a plethora of bank accounts designed specifically for young people and children.

A bank account for a child can be opened online, over the phone or in a branch in a few easy steps. The minimum age a child can open a bank account for themselves usually ranges between 12 and 14.

If the child is too young to open the account, you can do it for them as their legal parent or guardian. 

To do this, you would need to be over 18, have an Australian residential address and currently reside in Australia (or have proof of residency).

You would also need to provide:

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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 Centrelink access your bank account?

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This is why it’s important to give true and matching information to all government agencies.

For example, if you report to Centrelink your annual income is $25,000, but at tax time you report your income as $50,000 with the ATO, it’s likely you’ll be ‘red flagged’.

At this point, Centrelink can legally request that your bank hand over your personal bank account details, to review your finances.

In most cases, Centrelink does not have the authority to take money out of your account. You will usually be given written notice to repay the debt.

However, Centrelink can also reduce your benefits until you’ve paid back what you owe. In extreme cases, Centrelink can garnish your wages and assets (including money in your bank account) until your debt is repaid.

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:

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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.