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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Learn more about bank accounts

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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.

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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.

How long does it take to open a bank account?

The length of time it takes to open a bank account varies, depending on whether you want to open it online or in person.

Online

Most banks and credit unions have simple online applications that usually take no more than 10 minutes to fill out. It can be especially fast if you have your identification documents like your driver’s licence and passport handy. Sometimes you will instantly be approved and the bank account opened. However, depending on the financial institution, it may take a day or so to be processed and your account number issued. Your account information and ATM or debit card will then be mailed to you, which usually takes between five to 10 days.

In person

If you decide to go into a branch or office to open a bank account, it may take about half an hour. Make sure you bring your identification documents with you. Also book an appointment if you can, otherwise you might be forced to wait in line. Sometimes your ATM or debit card will be issued on the spot, otherwise you’ll need to wait for one to arrive by mail, which usually takes between five to 10 days.

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.

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.

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 a debt collector garnish my bank account?

A debt collector can garnish your bank account, but only with a court order. This drastic action is usually taken only if you’ve ignored several notices asking you to pay the debt.

If this happens, there is nothing you can do to stop it other than immediately pay back your what you owe in full or make arrangements to pay it off in installments.

Once a garnishee order is issued, your bank will put a freeze on your account as it processes the order. This usually takes two to three days and you won’t be able to access any of your money during this time.

If you have Centrelink payments, they may be protected, depending on what the court order says.

Are bank accounts frozen when someone dies?

Yes, Australian bank accounts are frozen when someone dies. If you want to close the account of somebody who has died, you might have to provide proof of death and a copy of the will. You might also have to prove your relationship to the deceased person.

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.

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.

How do I open a bank account for a child?

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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Depending on the bank account, you might be able to choose what level of access the child has to their bank account (online and via the phone).

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 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.

Can I open a bank account in another country?

Despite having a bad rap for facilitating tax evasion, it is possible and legal to open a bank account in another country, also known as an ‘offshore account’.

Some people choose to open a bank account in another country to invest overseas, for higher interest-earning potential or to access foreign banking services.

The process for opening an offshore bank account differs depending on the financial institution and country in which you’re opening the account.

Typically, you will need to provide identification such as a passport, a local bank statement and a signed declaration proving the source of the money being used to open your account. Usually, deposits into offshore accounts can be made by international money transfer.