Compare Bank Accounts

Even though the banks aren’t rewarding savers as much as they used to, they’re still competing hard for your business, so some good deals are there to be found. Check out our range of Australian bank account offers, and apply online today.

 If you’re looking for more information on what type of account is right for you, just scroll through our guide to Everyday Transaction Accounts, Savings Accounts and Term Deposits below. If you still need more information, Ask Creditworld.


Bank Accounts Guide

Below is information on common bank account features, how to change accounts and what to consider when comparing bank accounts.

Choosing a Bank Account

Everyday Transaction Accounts:

There are many options to consider when choosing a bank account. Most providers will offer Visa or MasterCard debit card options, free online banking and paperless billing.

Depending on how you prefer to do your banking, there are often online, face-to-face, and phone banking options. For phone banking, check if customer service is available 24/7 and whether it is a free-phone number. Online banking has become easy-to-use and is usually the most efficient form of banking. Some banks may offer lower fees in return for online-only facilities.

You may have to pay monthly fees for access to the account. Some providers may offer a no-fee option if you deposit a certain amount into the account each month. Check for other fees attached to the account, such as fees for using other banks' ATMs. In this case, it might be a good idea to check how many ATMs are available to you in your area.

Other charges can include fees to deposit cheques, fees to use in-bank facilities, and fees to transfer money to other accounts. Check for the amount you will be charged if the account becomes overdrawn, or if you will be charged a dishonour fee if a payment leaving your account is declined.

Savings Accounts:

Savings accounts will generally offer a fixed or variable interest rate, calculated daily and paid monthly. It's best to compare what is on offer and choose the best option to suit you. Some accounts may come with introductory offers, but take note of the rates you will receive when the offer ends.

Online savings accounts are a good option, as they usually allow easy transfers between accounts. Check whether you have to pay monthly fees on the account; if a minimum balance is required to keep the account live; options to deposit money to the account; options for withdrawals; if fund transfers are immediate; if you can link the savings account with your current bank account; and whether you will incur any fees by using the transfer service. Comparing the accounts together will also give an idea of what common features are included and which are most important to you.

Term Deposits:

Putting money into a term deposit is a way of saving money with a guaranteed return. You can choose the amount you want to invest and the length of time of the investment: from 90 days to five years. Early withdrawal penalties usually apply - in the form of rate deductions, a withdrawal fee, or a forfeit of one month's interest payment

The rate you receive on your term deposit will usually rely on the amount and length of time of your investment. Larger amounts and longer terms will usually yield higher rates. You can also choose when you would like to receive interest. If it is a shorter term (up to one year), the interest will usually be paid when the term deposit matures. For longer investments, you can choose to have the interest paid monthly, quarterly, half yearly, yearly or at maturity.

Changing Bank Accounts

Most providers make opening a new account online as easy and pain-free as possible. You will need to provide details such as your address and tax file number, and sometimes a form of identification. Your account information, new bank card and security details will usually be sent out by post and take a few days to arrive, so it's a good idea to keep your old account open until your new account is fully up and running.

If you are looking to close a bank account there are a few steps to follow to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible. A practical idea is allow yourself some overlap time and keep your old account live for a while in order to be able to switch funds over easily and updated any existing payment arrangements from the old account such as your salary, direct debit options etc. to the newly opened account. Some of these may take a specified number of business days to update, so ensure you allow time for this to complete.

Make a full review of your old account before it is closed. Check payments in and out, and ensure arrangements are made to cover these payments in your new account. Make sure any direct debits are updated, or you may incur fees from your old bank and the institution the payment is going to. Give your employer the updated banking details to ensure you receive your wages in the new account. If you are self-employed, update payment details on invoices, and allow any invoices you have already sent out to be paid prior to closing the old account.

To close the old account, you may have to visit the branch with identification and inform them of your decision. Some providers will allow you to close your account over the phone, while some may need the request in writing. Make sure the account is closed properly. If the account stays open with no money in it, fees may to be charged.

Best Bank Account for me?

When making any financial decision, it is important to do your homework. Research all options thoroughly, talk to a financial adviser if necessary, get advice online, and make sure you choose the option that is most suitable for your needs. Read through all terms and conditions and take time to make the decision. Take a good look at your financial situation, think about where you will be in five or ten years time, and decide what you want to get out of your account.

Most important factors to consider:

Frequency of use:

Will this be an account that is used regularly or not very often? If you plan to access the account on a regular basis, then it's important to ensure this is easy to do. Online banking is an extremely useful way of keeping an eye on your finances. You can track credits and debits on your account, make payments, and transfer money to your other accounts, to other people and institutions. Banking online usually incurs less fees than over-the-counter transactions, such as overseas transfers of funds.

Fees:

How you plan to use the account and how much you are going to keep in it can affect the fees you are charged. There are no-fee options if you deposit a certain amount into the account, so by putting your monthly salary into the account, you may save on monthly fees.

If you regularly use your bank card to take money out of an ATM, then make sure you choose an account that doesn't limit the number of free ATM transactions you are allowed. Other charges include dishonour and overdraft fees, direct debit fees, and money transfer charges. If you already incur these charges regularly, then choose a bank that offers the best rates.

Saving:

Term deposits offer a great way to save money. Early withdrawal penalties will discourage you from dipping into your savings before the term deposit matures. You will also know exactly what the return on your investment will be. Longer terms and higher amounts generally provide better rates of interest, which also encourages better saving habits.

If you are not good at saving, and you think you may need easier access to your savings, then a high-interest savings account may be a better option than a term deposit. Check on all options available, and take into account fees, variable rates of interest, how easy it is to access your savings, and whether you will incur penalties in doing so.