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What do you need to apply for a savings account?

Georgia Brown avatar
Georgia Brown
- 3 min read
What do you need to apply for a savings account?

If you’re looking to open a new savings account, there are a few things you’ll need to have ready for your application.

It makes sense to shop around for a savings account that offers a competitive interest rate rather than simply remaining loyal to your existing bank. After all, if you’re trying to grow your nest egg, every extra dollar counts.

You might like to consider using RateCity’s savings account leaderboards to view top-rated savings accounts under a selection of different categories, or our savings account comparison tables to compare a wide range of options.

In the instance that you do find a better offer with a different bank, you’ll need to prepare to submit an application to open an account. Different banking institutions may have slightly different application requirements, but when it comes to proving your identity, most will request that you supply one of the following options: 

  • One form of primary ID with a photo, or;
  • Two forms of primary ID without a photo, or;
  • One form of primary ID without a photo, PLUS one form of secondary ID.

If you’re not quite sure what is considered primary and secondary identification, here are some examples:

Primary photo ID

  • Current passport (Australian or foreign)
  • Current driver's licence (Australian or New Zealand)
  • Foreign national ID card
  • Proof of age card (issued in Australia)

Primary non-photo ID

  • Birth certificate (Australian or foreign)
  • Citizenship certificate (Australian or foreign)
  • Pension or health care card (issued by Centrelink or Veterans' Affairs)

Secondary ID 

  • Notice from the Australian Tax Office (ATO) with your full name and residential address (issued within the past 12 months)
  • Notice from a local government body or utility provider with your full name, residential address and services provided to you (issued within the past 3 months)
  • Notice from an Australian Government Entity recording the provision of financial benefits to you (issued within the past twelve months)

If you are under the age of 18 and/or do not have sufficient proof of ID to complete your application, consider reaching out to the banking institution for advice on how to move forward. Children under a certain age will typically need a parent or guardian to help them set up an account. 

Once you’ve got your identification sorted, you’ll also need to supply additional personal information, including:

  • Your full name
  • Your date of birth
  • Your residential address
  • Your contact details
  • Your tax file number
  • Details of any existing bank account you wish to link to your new savings account

The final step is to complete the application. Depending on which bank you’ve decided to save with, you may have the choice to apply online, over the phone, or in person at your local branch.

Compare savings accounts

Product database updated 22 Jun, 2024

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