Need to know
- If your bank is charging you regular account-keeping or access fees, you might like to switch to a no-fee option
- Many banks, including the big four, offer transaction accounts that don't charge these fees, but these sometimes come with conditions
- Many smaller banks offer accounts that don't come with admin fees or any conditions
Ongoing account-keeping fees charged by banks are chipping away at our savings at a time when, according to CHOICE's September consumer pulse survey, 58% of us are worried about our level of disposable income.
With 96% of consumers also reporting their household expenses have gone up, most of us are on the hunt for savings. Bank accounts that sting you every month just for holding your money are an easy cull.
But, with a plethora of banks offering zero-fee everyday transaction accounts (each with their accompanying chunks of fine print), it can be time-consuming to find the ideal deposit destination.
To help, we've compiled a list of the best fee-free personal transaction accounts.
If you're looking to open a no-fee transaction account at one of Australia's big four institutions, your options are limited.
Pretty much all of these banks require you to meet certain conditions in return for waiving monthly fees on their transaction accounts.
These range from depositing a certain amount per month or being of a certain age, to only using a particular app instead of standard net banking.
NAB's Classic Banking Account is the least restrictive and only charges monthly fees if you opt for a platinum debit card over the bank's regular Visa offering.
This is where each of the big four stand on offering no-fee transaction accounts:
ANZ Plus Transaction Account – no monthly fee (account only accessible through the ANZ Plus app and not through standard ANZ online banking).
Access Advantage – $5 monthly fee (waived if you deposit at least $2000 per month, are under 25 or over 60, are a student, are receiving certain government support payments, or meet other criteria).
Everyday Account Smart Access – $4 monthly fee (waived if you deposit at least $2000 per month, are under 30, are a student or apprentice, are receiving certain pension payments, or meet other criteria).
Classic banking account – no monthly fee (A $10 monthly card fee applies if you use the NAB Platinum Visa Debit card).
Retirement Account – no monthly fee (For over 55s only).
Choice account – $5 monthly fee (waived if you deposit at least $2000 per month, are under 30, are a student, or hold certain concession cards). (Expatriates or customers new to Australia can also get a waiver for the first 12 months).
Many banks offer spending accounts that don't charge fees, but can come with conditions.
Luckily, there are a bunch of banks outside of the big four that offer fee-free spending accounts without asking you to meet certain conditions.
We've compiled a list of personal transaction accounts for adults that don't:
- charge regular, ongoing monthly or annual account-keeping, service or admin fees.
- charge debit card access fees, or set requirements or limitations on the number of deposits or transactions.
- require you to be a student, concession card holder, pension recipient or of a certain age.
- require you to have a home loan with the institution.
- require you to be a current or former worker in a particular sector, (such as the emergency services) or require you to be related to someone who meets this criteria.
- require you to be an Australian university graduate.
Before you start making deposits, it's important to check if an account will work for you. While some of these options pay interest on deposits, others don't, and while they don't charge you account-keeping fees, they might slug you for other services or for certain transactions.
Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.