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Questions to ask when opening an everyday bank account

Not all everyday bank accounts are the same. Many offer a range of other features and services. Here are some tips that may assist you in working out which everyday bank account to go with.

Will I have to pay to use ATMs?

Generally speaking, you should be able to get cash out at any ATM in Australia; however you’ll generally pay a withdrawal fee when using an ATM that isn’t operated by your bank. The trick is to look for an everyday account that is linked to a large ATM network.

With Westpac for example, you’ll get access to Westpac, St.George, BankSA and Bank of Melbourne and select Westpac Group Partner ATMs without paying a fee. You’ll also pay no ATM withdrawal fee overseas when using one of the Global ATM Alliance or partner ATMs.1


What are the fees?

Most banks in Australia charge a Account-Keeping Fee. However, in some cases this fee can be waived if you meet certain conditions, such as having a minimum amount deposited into your account each month. This could include having your salary paid directly into your account.
With a Westpac Choice account, the Account-Keeping Fee is waived if you deposit at least $2,000 each month and it may also be waived in other circumstances, such as if you’re a fulltime tertiary student or under 30. 2


Does it have mobile banking to help manage money on the go?

These days banking is more about sorting your finances on the go – all with the help of your mobile phone.

Mobile banking apps have become a fairly standard offering for banks these days. However, the features they offer can vary significantly, so it’s worthwhile checking how they could help you bank with ease.

Westpac’s mobile banking app, for example, offers a range of services that go beyond just the ability to check your balance in a hurry and transfer between accounts. Some of its features include:

  • Transfer funds between accounts or to someone else’s account
  • Pay bills, transfer money internationally or make international payments3
  • View the available balance of up to three eligible accounts as well as recent transactions without needing to sign in
  • Get cash out at any Westpac ATM without needing a debit card by generating a code within the app4 (you can also share this code via SMS with someone else should you need to get cash to them)
  • Report a card lost or stolen or lock your card temporarily until you find it5
  • Update your details.


Can you open it online?

An everyday account should make your life easier, so opening the account should be seamless as well. Opening an account and verifying your identification can usually be done online. However, in some instances we may ask you to verify your ID at one of our local branches before we can open your account.

With Westpac, you can open a Westpac Choice account online in less than 3 minutes. If you live overseas and are thinking about moving to Australia, you can find out more about how to open your account here.

Things you should know

This information does not take your personal objectives, circumstances or needs into account. Consider its appropriateness to these factors before acting on it.

1. Other fees may be payable. A 3% Foreign Transaction Fee applies to overseas debit or credit card withdrawals. A3% cash advance fee applies to credit card withdrawals where the ‘credit’ option is selected. Refer to Global Alliance for a list of members.
2. $0 account-keeping fee will automatically apply for as long as any account holder on the account is Under 30, or whilst you are a full-time tertiary student. You will need to have your full-time tertiary student ID verified at any Westpac branch to enjoy the $0 Account-Keeping Fee. Other fees and charges may apply.   
3. The Foreign Transaction Fee is payable and will be incorporated into the $AUD transaction amount shown on your statement. The fee charged will either be: a) 3% of the $AUD transaction amount where a transaction is made in foreign currency and the merchant or financial institution accepting the card is located outside Australia (comprising of 2% Westpac Processing Fee plus 1% Westpac On-Charged Scheme Fee); or b) 2.2% of the $AUD transaction amount where a transaction is made in foreign currency and the merchant or financial institution accepting the card is located in Australia (comprising of 2% Westpac Processing Fee plus 0.2% Westpac On-Charged Scheme Fee).

4. Get up to $500 per day and a maximum of $1000 per week , subject to account daily maximum limits. Only available at Westpac ATMs in Australia.

5. Available on personal credit and Mastercard® debit cards only. Cards to which a temporary lock can be applied will be listed when you sign in to Mobile Banking or Online Banking and visit Lock a card temporarily under Cards services. Daily and weekly limits apply. See Westpac Emergency CashTM and Westpac Get CashTM Terms and conditions for details.