Backpacker Bank AccountsExclusive - Open your account through Jobs4travellers before you arrive in OZ and get the monthly account fee waived for 12 months Plus your Tax file number and two free International money transfers !! Arrange your Commonwealth Bank Account and Tax File number before you arrive ! CLICK HERE
I have a great backpacker job now what to do with all those reddies?
Unless you are hoping to stash your hard earned cash under you bed or in your rucksack chances are you will need a bank account. Most employers will pay your wages by electronic funds transfer, i.e straight into a bank account.
How do I get a Australian Bank Account?
Time is of the essence here and the process is straight forward. Once you land it go to your chosen bank and present your passport as identification. Make sure you do this within 6 weeks of arriving into the country. If you have left it longer than this you will need to show more forms of identification and this can pose problems as you may not be able to provide the extra documentation, such as utility bills in your name etc. Most banks will open the account on the spot and then send you your ATM cards (cash card) in the post. Make it easy and open your account before you enter Oz so you do not have to worry about it when you could be doing other more interesting stuff like...sleeping...partying..seeing the sites.
We can arrange a Commonwealth Bank account before you land in Oz and your tax file number once arrived so you can spend more time travelling !! CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO.
What.....I have to pay to give you my money?
Australian banks differ slightly than overseas banks and charge you a monthly account fee and pay little or no interest on everyday accounts. Fees vary from bank to bank but normally are around $5 per month and include a set number of transactions. Arguing about this and telling them that where you come form banking is free seems to do little! Some now offer unlimited transactions, eg cash machine withdrawals, EFTPOS transactions and counter assisted withdrawals but if not and you go over your monthly allowance you normally incur a fee of around 50 cents per transaction.
Exclusive - Open your account through Jobs4travellers before you arrive in OZ and get the monthly account fee waived for 12 months !!
Savings or Cheque?
Another difference with Australian bank accounts is the names they typically have for accounts. In your home country your everyday account may be called a current account. Your everyday normal account in OZ is called "savings account" and your savings or secondary account, should you want one, is called a "cheque account"! When you use your Eftpos card or a cash machine (ATM) you will be presented with 3 options on the screen, cheque, savings or credit. You must select which account you would like the money taken from. Obviously, if you only have a saving account and press cheque the transaction will be declined.
No this is not something from outer space but stands for Electronic Funds withdrawal at Point of Sale. If you are from the UK you may know this as "switch" or "maestro". Yes, the system where you put your card in the machine at the shop etc and then enter your pin and they debit your account. You can also ask for "cash back" where you can get cash from the till and they will deduct it from your bank account.
EFTPOS and ATM Cards
With a bank account you will normally receive an EFTPOS or ATM (cash machine) card so you can withdraw your money. If you use another banks ATM then you normally incur a fee of around $1.50 so best to stick to your own banks. In many pubs and shops you may well see stand alone ATM machines not linked to specific bank. These will charge you a fee of around $2 regardless of your bank to use.
Which Bank is Best?
This is a question of choice and what suits yours needs best. The biggest are Commonwealth bank, Westpac,NAB, St George and ANZ but there are also most international banks such as HSBC and Citi Bank. All offer slightly differing accounts but they all charge approximately the same fees and offer the same service provided you use their ATM machines and branches. One bank to consider, and the largest bank is the Commonwealth bank. They have the largest network of branches and ATM machines around Australia because if you are travelling around you get charged to use another banks ATM so it might make sense to use a bank which has ATM machines in all the places you are travelling to, plus the Commonwealth allow you to use Bankwest machines free as well. If you are sticking to the main cities then all the banks have ATM but you may struggle to find your own banks as you travel or in rural areas.
If you are in Australia on a working holiday visa then the chances of you being given are Australian credit card is near on impossible. This is not because they think you are a crook but just that you are only considered as a temporary resident, unlikely to have a local credit rating and the last thing they want to do is be chasing you for repayments when you are back in blighty!
Learn about TAX and SUPERANNUATION in Australia