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Real Time Rating™
App banking
Online banking
Visa debit card


No monthly account keeping fees.

Winner of Best Bank Account, RateCity Gold Awards 2023

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Using a major bank ATM in Australia

Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, NPP

Real Time Rating™
App banking
Online banking
Visa debit card


An easy, everyday banking account packed with flexible options to help you spend, budget & save better. $0 monthly account keeping fees & option to add up to 9 sub-accounts.
Payment Options


Over 3,000 rediATMs

Apple Pay, Google Pay, NPP

NAB Retirement Account
Real Time Rating™
App banking
Online banking
Overseas ATM facilities
Visa debit card
Payment Options


Over 7,000 ATMs

Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, NPP

Smart Access Account for Youth
Real Time Rating™
App banking
Online banking
Overseas ATM facilities
MasterCard debit card
Payment Options


Over 4,000 ATMs

Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, NPP

Access Basic Account
Real Time Rating™
App banking
Online banking
Overseas ATM facilities
Visa debit card
Payment Options


Over 2,000 ATMs

Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, NPP

What's new in bank accounts in November 2023

Finding an ATM or a bank branch is getting harder across the country, with new figures showing the number of ATMs and branches has dropped by more than one in ten over the last financial year. Over the last five years, ATM numbers have more than halved (-55%). This trend comes as Australians increasingly ditch cash in favour of electronic banking. 

Meanwhile, if you’re still feeling the cost of living pinch, you’re not alone. Inflation rose 1.2% in Australia over the three months to September, with the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS) quarterly CPI indicators showing an increase of 5.4% annually. Following the release of this data, all of the big four banks updated their forecasts to indicate a cash rate hike was likely this month. 

One small financial change that may help ease the financial pressure is to consider switching to a bank account that charges low or no account-keeping fees. Every little fee you’re charged adds up, and ditching this expense could help you to keep more money in your back pocket.

Some of the fee-free bank accounts on the RateCity database at the time of writing include:

Updated by Alex Ritchie on 1 November 2023

What is a bank account?

A bank account, also known as a transaction account, is an everyday account used to manage your finances. Everything from paying bills to depositing your income to withdrawing cash is managed through a bank account. 

Bank accounts allow you to make payments in a number of ways:

  • Online shopping
  • Electronic payments (including paywave)
  • Digital wallet (e.g. Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay)
  • ATMs
  • Direct debit
  • Bpay
  • Branch access
  • Cheques

Are there different types of bank accounts?

The main deposit accounts you can open in Australia include:

  • Transaction accounts. Your classic banking account. A transaction account allows you easy access to funds deposited by yourself or others via online banking, mobile banking or Mastercard or Visa debit cards. Money can be withdrawn via ATM or in branch. 
  • Savings accounts. A savings account is a bank account that allows you to accrue interest on your regular deposits. They may come with bonus interest rates that can only be earned from meeting conditions, such as not making withdrawals, or for an introductory period. These accounts are designed to help you meet your savings goals.
  • Term deposit. A term deposit is a type of depositing account in which you lock away your savings at a set interest rate for an agreed upon period of time. They are different to savings accounts, in that once the money is deposited, it's much more difficult to access until the account has reached maturity. This is designed to help you not dip into your funds. 

What's the difference between bank accounts and savings accounts?

Bank accounts are different from savings accounts in that they’re not designed to accumulate money. Instead, this is the account which you use for your everyday banking, while savers can earn interest on the money in their savings account.

Many savings accounts offer a base interest rate and a bonus interest rate. Fulfilling the bonus rate's terms and conditions is often the key to benefiting from a high interest savings account. Sometimes a saver account offers a high introductory rate, where you only earn extra interest on your savings for a limited time.

Another saving option for Australians wanting to earn interest towards their savings goals is a term deposit, where you agree to deposit a sum of money for a pre-set term, and receive a fixed amount of interest on these savings. Generally, the more money you deposit, and the longer the term you choose, the more likely you are to benefit from a high interest rate.

What fees apply to bank accounts?

Fees can differ from one bank account to another, but the main fees you may encounter include: 

  • Monthly account-keeping fees
  • ATM withdrawal fees
  • Phone banking fees
  • EFTPOS fees
  • Internet banking fees
  • Branch fees
  • Paper statement fees
  • Overdraft fees (if you withdraw more than what is available in your account)
  • International transaction fees

Yes, this sounds like a lot of fees. But the good news is that most banks offer a basic everyday bank account that has:

  • No account-keeping fees
  • Free monthly statements
  • No minimum deposit amounts
  • For more information around which fees a bank account may charge, check out the product disclosure statement (PDS) and T&Cs, generally located on the provider's website.

What are some tips to get the most out of a bank account?

Use a debit card over a credit card

Bank accounts usually come with Mastercard or Visa debit cards, which can be used similarly to a credit card, both online and in-store. When you use a debit card, you’re spending your own money rather than credit. If you don’t want to be hit with interest on your purchases, it may be a good idea to use your debit card instead of your credit card.

Be careful with security

Once someone has your bank account details, they could use it to spend your money. When it comes to your physical cards and online banking, it’s worthwhile changing your codes and passwords often, and avoiding using predictable passwords or PINs (like your name or date of birth). Always check your bank statements to make sure you’ve been charged correctly, and that there aren’t any charges that weren’t authorised by you. If there is a suspicious transaction, contact your financial institution immediately. 

Keep essential funds in your bank account

Australians sometimes save large amounts of money in their everyday transaction accounts, which can be a mistake. It may be better to keep only the money you need for your everyday banking in your transaction account, and to move the rest to a savings account, where you can earn interest at a higher interest rate. You generally don’t need to access large amounts day-to-day, so always budget and designate funds to where you think they best belong. 

Check out online and mobile platforms

Most banks, credit unions or building societies have apps or websites for mobile banking or internet banking. These online banking platforms allow savers to view their balance, pay bills or transfer money on the go.

What are the pros and cons of having multiple bank accounts?


  • Different accounts for different purposes - If you like to be organised, then you may prefer using different bank accounts for different purposes. For example, you could have one bank account for day-to-day expenses (such as petrol and food), another account for rent or mortgage repayments, and a third account for your child’s pocket money. For some people, this level of organisation could be one way to budget effectively.
  • Access special features and bonuses - Often, a bank, credit union or building society will offer special rewards, bonuses or benefits for opening a bank account, such as a lower introductory fee, waived account-keeping fees, or even a fee free deal. Opening up more than one bank account could increase these benefits. Banks also sometimes offer package deals. For example, the bank could offer you perks if you take out multiple banking products (including a bank account). It’s important to do your research on any financial product before signing up and make sure you’re signing up to one that best suits your financial situation, not the one with the most attractive perks.


  • Multiple bank accounts can just be plain confusing – If you’re not overly organised or lose track of things easily, then multiple bank accounts might not be for you. Constantly moving and sorting funds can be complicated and time-consuming. If you prefer a more hands-off approach to your money, then one bank account may be the way to go.
  • You can be hit with multiple fees – Bank accounts often come with a mixed bag of fees, from monthly account fees and overdraft fees to ATM withdrawal fees. So, having multiple bank accounts could increase your risk of paying more fees. If you’re opening multiple accounts to take advantage of features and benefits, then be aware that once you add up the fees across multiple bank accounts, the benefits may not be worth it in the end.

Which bank account is the best?

Bank accounts are offered by basically every bank, credit union and building society in Australia, from ANZ to Citibank, NAB, HSBC, Westpac, Bankwest, Commonwealth Bank, ING, Suncorp and UBank, to name just a few. 

Many everyday banking accounts from different institutions are fairly similar to one another, though a few offer special features and benefits that could benefit certain Australians, depending on their financial situation.

There is no single “best” bank account for everyone, so always do your research to make sure you’re getting one that suits your individual needs.

Fact Checked

This article was reviewed by Personal Finance Editor Mark Bristow before it was published as part of RateCity's Fact Check process.

Frequently Asked Questions about bank accounts

How can I deposit cash into my bank account?

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.

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.

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.


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.

What do you need to open bank accounts?

Opening a bank account is one of the simplest online tasks you could perform. The hard part is deciding which type of bank account you want to open.

All banking institutions have a website where you hit ‘apply’ on the account of your choice and step through an application in less than 10 minutes.

Here’s a list of information that is generally required for applications.

  • Identification (driver’s licence, passport, proof of age card, proof of citizenship and/or birth certificate)
  • Tax file number (so you don’t get charged the highest tax rate)
  • Address, contact email and phone number

If you decide to open a new account at the branch, make sure you ask beforehand what information you need to take with you, or take all of the above to be safe.

Are bank accounts frozen when someone dies?

Yes, typically Australian bank accounts are frozen when someone dies. 

If you are a family member or beneficiary, contact the deceased’s financial institution(s) as soon as possible to inform them of the situation. Be prepared to provide personal information about your loved one, such as their date of birth, address, and other forms of identification. In order to close an account, you may be required to provide a copy of the death certificate and fill out some legal forms.

If you can’t provide a copy of the death certificate, some financial institutions may accept other documents as proof of death, such as a medical certificate; a letter from the deceased solicitor or the coroner; funeral bills; a grant of probate; or a probate bond.

You may also need to provide self-identification documents to confirm your relationship with the deceased.

If there are outstanding debts or payments to be made on behalf of your loved one, you may be able to arrange for these transactions to be permitted through discussions with the deceased’s financial institution.

How quickly and easily funds are released often depends on the amount of money in the deceased’s account.

Most financial institutions have a ‘low-value cap’, allowing payouts without the need for probate or letters of administration. For example, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) sets its cap at $50,000 but Westpac’s is twice as high at $100,000.

Higher-value bank accounts may require a ‘grant of probate’ for funds to be released. This is a legal document authorising the executor to carry out the instructions in the deceased person’s will.

Once all requirements have been met funds are typically paid to the executor of the estate, whose obligation it is to distribute the monies to any beneficiaries, adherent to the instructions laid out in the deceased’s will.

After all funds have been distributed the bank will officially close the deceased’s account and notify the executor.

If the deceased shared any joint bank accounts, these will typically remain open and all finances will be deferred to the, now primary, account holder. However, circumstances may change if there is a will and specific funds are bequeathed to others.

Contacting a solicitor to assist with financial arrangements and other legal issues may be a sensible option.

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 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.

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.