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Bank Accounts Australia

Opening up a bank account is one of the first tasks you need to do when arriving in Australia and New Zealand on Working Holiday Visa's. Like opening up a bank account anywhere, it's a tedious task and can get confusing thinking about charges and which bank has the most ATM's (cash points for the British).

There are a few points to consider regarding bank accounts and money handling in Australia and New Zealand.

  • Banks will charge for transactions (ATM withdrawls) if you withdraw from a different bank.
  • EFTPOS (electronic funds transfer point of sale) - is essentially the same as a debit card so you can pay by chip and pin but you can also get cashback at most places free of charge.

In order to open a bank account you will need:

  • Your Passport
  • Proof of Address (Your hostel should be able to help you with this)

Australia Banks & Bank Account Details

ANZ Bank

  • Everyday Visa Debit Account will cost you a monthly flat rate of $6. ANZ Banks are all over Australia so you will have no problem finding an ATM.

Commonwealth Bank

  • A Smart Access Account will cost you $4 per month with unlimited transactions at Commonwealth Banks. This is another very popular bank so no problems with finding ATM's to use.

NAB (National Australia Bank)

  • It is worth looking into this bank if you are arriving after 22nd January 2010. From this date a VisaDebit account will cost you nothing as they are stopping their transaction and monthly fees. It isn't the most popular bank but it is joining forces with rediATM's in January so you can get more free transactions at ATM's around the country. You may still be charged for using a different banks ATM.


  • A good bank to use if you are heading to work in New Zealand after Australia (or vice versa) is Westpac as it's a prominent bank in both countries. A Choice Account will cost you $5 per month for unlimited transactions at Westpac / St George Bank / Bank SA. However, if your monthly deposits into your account are less than $2000 per month you don't have to pay the $5 each month.

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