powering smart financial decisions

Updated on 06 Jul, 2022

Real Time Ratings™

Real Time Ratings™ rates over 90 providers with a score out of 5, based on how much the bank account will cost and how much flexibility it offers.

What is Real Time Ratings™

Real Time RatingsTM is a world-first rating system that ranks bank accounts based on features, perks and fees.

Unlike other bank accounts rating systems that grade their products once or twice a year, Real Time RatingsTM results are calculated daily to capture product developments and specials as soon as they happen.

Bank accounts may be simple but choosing the right one for your needs can get tricky and time consuming. Real Time RatingsTM does the work for you, so you have the most up-to-date information at your disposal.

How we calculate Real Time Ratings™

Real Time RatingsTM analyses bank accounts from over 90 authorised deposit institutions to give each one a score out of five stars, based on the account’s features, perks and fees.

Each product is scored against important bank account features including:

  • Account keeping fees
  • Access to the New Payments Platform (NPP)
  • ATM fees charged by bank (domestic and international)
  • Fee refunds from ATM providers (domestic and international)
  • Currency conversion fees
  • Payment options (Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay)
  • Branch access
  • Managing foreign currencies (ability to hold foreign currencies and cost to transfer to foreign accounts)
  • Access to a banking app
  • Perks (vouchers, sign up bonuses, cashback specials, frequent flyer points and more)

The calculations for perks are based on the value of the perk(s) in the first year of opening the account based on the transaction habits of an everyday Australian, namely:

  • Average account balance: $1,000
  • Amount deposited each month: Approx. $5,500 (based on average salary of approx. $86K, post tax)
  • Number of visa debit purchases per day: 2
  • Overseas trips per year: 1 (including 4 ATM withdrawals)

Scores are calculated based on assigning points to the above features, perks and fees. The points reflect the relative importance of these, based on consumer research, analysis of what lenders are offering, feedback with brokers and expert opinion.

For example, more payment options, perks and low account keeping fees, currency and transactional fees were identified by our experts as fundamental flexibility features. The highest scores between 4 and 5 are likely to be for accounts that have more of these features.

Real Time Ratings™ Case Study

The following hypothetical examples show how Real Time Ratings™ may help a variety of different borrowers find the right bank account.

  • Lewis – the adventurer

Lewis loves to travel overseas as often as he can. However, every time he comes home and checks his bank statement, he sees multiple fees chipping away at his balance. His bank was stinging him with overseas fees, like currency conversion fees and foreign ATM withdrawal fees. He’d even been hit with overseas fees for shopping online on international websites while still in Australia.

He decided that for his next trip, he would switch to a bank account that suited travellers, so Lewis hopped on to RateCity to compare his options. He knows that most bank accounts are pretty similar, so he was worried he’d have to do a lot of research and digging through terms and conditions to see which ones didn’t charge these fees.

Thankfully, Lewis noticed that the bank accounts were all graded with a Real Time Ratings™ score out of five, that weighed accounts with little or no overseas fees highly. Using Real Time Ratings™, Lewis was able to narrow down a few 5-star bank account options. He found a bank account that has branches globally, doesn’t charge overseas fees and would help him keep costs down. He made the switch to that new bank that day.

How RateCity leaderboards work

We’ve built these leaderboards to help you quickly see what are the top banking products in each of the key categories.

The most recent Gold Award 2021