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ATM Fee

$0

Over 3,000 rediATMs

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MyState Bank
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3.83

/ 5
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ATM Fee

$0

Free access to thousands of ATMs nationwide

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CUA
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3.83

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ATM Fee

$0

Over 13,000 ATMs customers can use in Australia with no ATM fees

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HSBC
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5.00

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ATM Fee

$0

Free access to thousands of ATMs nationwide

Company
CUA
Features
Apple Pay
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Samsung Pay
Linked account
Real Time Rating™

4.12

/ 5
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ATM Fee

$0

Over 7,000 ATMs

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NAB
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Samsung Pay
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Real Time Rating™

4.01

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ATM Fee

$0

Over 3,000 rediATMs

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Suncorp Bank
Features
Apple Pay
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Samsung Pay
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Real Time Rating™

4.42

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Learn more about bank accounts

Choosing a bank account can be an overwhelming task. Whether you’re looking for your first one, or simply want to see if you can get a better deal, you’ll be confronted with hundreds of options – many of which appear largely the same.

Then there are the fees – ATM fees, account-keeping fees, surcharge fees, transaction fees and so on. It’s hard to know what you should and shouldn’t be paying.

The good news is, bank account ATM fees are one fee that can often be avoided – either by shopping around for the right bank account or being savvy with the way you do your banking. Here are some pointers to help you.

What is an ATM fee?

Automated teller machines (ATMs) are either owned by a bank, interbank network or an independent provider – you can usually tell who owns it by the branding on the outside of the machine.

Often, the owner of the ATM will charge consumers a usage fee to withdraw money. The fee is sometimes imposed only to non-members of the bank who use the ATM. However, some banks charge all consumers withdrawal fees, regardless of who they bank with.

Not surprisingly, bank account ATM fees are quite controversial and many people oppose them due to the fact that ATMs are actually cheaper for banks to operate than human tellers.

What types of ATM fees are there?

There are two main types of ATM fees that are forwarded on to consumers:

  1. Surcharge fee: This fee is imposed by the financial institution or independent organisation that owns the ATM. It’s charged directly to the consumer using the machine for making a transaction.
  2. Foreign fee: This fee is enforced by the issuer of the bank account (usually the consumer’s chosen financial institution) when a consumer makes a withdrawal outside their network of machines – often internationally.

What is the average bank account ATM fee?

ATM withdrawal fees can vary from institution to institution. A typical fee is about $2.50. However, if it’s an independent or third-party ATM provider, the ATM fee can be $3 or $4. It’s unlikely that you’ll pay higher than $5 in Australia.

Which bank accounts offer no ATM fees?

Increasingly, financial institutions are offering bank accounts that waive ATM fees – surcharge, foreign or both.

However, you’ll be more likely to find ATM-fee-free bank accounts by choosing a smaller, more independent lender.

The key is to always do your research and make sure that you choose a bank account that suits your spending habits and lifestyle.

How do I avoid paying ATM fees?

There are a few ways to reduce your chances of paying ATM fees on bank account withdrawals:

  • Choose partner ATMs or ones owned by your financial institution. Often, your bank account won’t charge you fees if you withdraw money from an ATM that’s owned by them or one of their partner banks. If you’re not sure whether your bank has fee-free ATMs (or where they are), most banks have an ATM locator tool on their website that allows you to quickly locate them.
  • Shift your banking habits online. Mobile banking or internet banking not only helps you save time, but also money. Most financial institutions offer sophisticated online banking options or applications that allow you to check your balance, transfer money and pay bills without the reliance on cash.
  • Be savvy when travelling overseas. There are global alliance ATMs around the world that allow you to make withdrawals without getting hit with a heavy ATM fee. Alternatively, speak to your financial institution about different options like travel cards.
  • Scout out fee-free debit cards. Paying ATM fees isn’t always a given. Financial institutions are becoming increasingly competitive, meaning you can hunt around to find a bank account that waives fees altogether. Always make sure you check out the terms and conditions in detail before applying for a bank account (no matter how good it may seem).

Can I use my credit card for withdrawals to avoid bank account ATM fees?

While your credit card does allow you to withdraw from ATMs, it can come at a high cost. Credit card ATM withdrawals incur cash advance fees and interest rates. So, it’s a good idea to pay without cash where possible or stick to using your debit card for ATM withdrawals.

What changes have occurred to ATM fees on bank accounts?

Banks have been receiving increasing pressure to waive bank account ATM fees. In order to keep consumers happy and compete with fee-free bank accounts, all of the big four banks axed ATM fees in late 2017.

Frequently asked questions

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.

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 a bank account?

Closing a bank account is one of those tasks that’s easy to put in the too-hard basket. There are quite a few steps involved, some which may require you to hang on the phone for a while.  

Here’s a handy checklist of items to tick off, so the job gets done quicker. If you don’t do your banking online, the following steps can also be done at a branch.   

  • Cancel any scheduled or recurring payments
  • Update your direct debit details (such as loan repayments) with creditors
  • Export your payee address book (to keep a record of saved third-party bank account details)
  • Transfer the balance of your account (to the new bank account)
  • Close your account online, or by calling the bank or visiting a branch

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.

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.

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.

Do you need a bank account to get a credit card?

To get a credit card, you need to show proof of income, which will almost certainly require you to have a bank account.

Can I close a bank account with pending transactions?

You can close a bank account with pending transactions. But after the account is closed, any incoming transactions will be declined by your (old) bank.

The best way to ensure this doesn’t occur is to either wait to close your account until all pending transactions are complete, or contact the creditor and supply them with alternate bank details.

If you’re unsure whether you have any scheduled transactions, you can speak to a banking representative over the phone or via online support.

In most cases, your bank withholds the amount owing for pending transactions (such as online purchases).

Because the pending amount is deducted from your bank balance, you can close your bank account and the purchase will be honoured.

How do I open a bank account if I'm under 18?

The good news for savvy young folks like you wanting to take charge of your finances is that there are many bank accounts available for under-18s.

For bank accounts that require you to be 18 or older, you’ll have to rope in a parent or guardian to open the account for you.

Otherwise, you can apply by yourself online or at the branch of the bank, credit union or building society that has the account you would like to open. 

If applying online, you might be asked for a form of identification. For under-18s, this could be a Medicare card you’re listed on, your birth certificate and/or your current home address.

In most cases, you can verify your identity online (at the time of applying) or at the branch afterwards.

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.

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 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.

How can I close an ANZ Bank account from overseas?

There are two ways you can close your ANZ Bank account from overseas:

  • Call +64 4 472 7123 (toll charges apply)
  • Send a bank mail request via ANZ internet banking

Can you find your bank account number online?

If your bank offers online services, you should be able to find your bank account number online by logging into your account on your bank’s website and checking your details there.

Keep in mind that each type of account you have with a bank comes with a unique account number. This means if you have a bank account as well as a savings account, for example, your bank account number and your savings account number will be different.

If you don’t have access to your bank account online or can’t login, you should be able to find your account number on a mailed bank statement, if you have one.

Alternatively, you can call your bank’s customer service number or visit a branch to retrieve your account number.

What do I need to open a company bank account?

To open a company bank account, you will probably have to provide 100 points of ID, an ABN and an ACN. You will probably have to provide the details of all signatories as well.

Which bank is best for business accounts?

Unfortunately, there’s no definitive answer to the question of which bank is best for business accounts. That’s because ‘best’ will differ from customer to customer, depending on their unique circumstances. These include not only your company’s financial position, but also its size, its age and the sector in which it operates. Another factor to consider is what features you want in a bank account. Your business may require different features than another business; and your business may require different features tomorrow than it does today.

The best thing to do is to thoroughly research the market before opening a business account. And when you do open an account, you should reassess your options every year or two, because the market moves quickly. A particular bank might offer the best account today, but be surpassed by one or several rivals tomorrow.

Can I have a PayPal account without a bank account?

You don’t need a bank account to send or receive money through PayPal. However, you do need a bank account if you want to withdraw money from your PayPal account.

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 do I open a new bank account?

There are a number of ways to open a new bank account – online, over the phone or in the branch. The trick is to decide what type of bank account you want beforehand.

It might sound like a simple enough task, but there are literally hundreds of bank accounts to choose from. And each offer their own banking features and benefits.

A comparison site like RateCity can help you work out what bank account product matches your needs.

Once you’ve made up your mind what you want, it’s advisable to have the following information ready for the application process.

  • A couple of forms of identification (such as driver’s licence, Medicare card, passport)
  • Tax file number
  • Residential address, contact phone number and email (though email is not essential)

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.