Finding your ideal joint bank account is all about working out what your real needs are as a couple. A young couple just starting out their financial life will have very different needs from a married couple who have been together for 30 years and are now approaching retirement. Look at offers from a variety of institutions with Savvy and find out how to compare them so you can access the best deal possible.
Your first decision will be whether you need an everyday or transaction account, or whether a savings account or term deposit is more appropriate. If you want to shop online, pay bills, transfer money to other people and use payWave or PayPass for regular living expenses, look at joint transaction accounts. If you want somewhere to park your savings, look at either a straight savings account, an offset account or a term deposit.
Whatever your needs, Savvy can help you find the best bank account for a couple in Australia regardless of your banking requirements. By comparing joint bank accounts from a variety of different financial institutions, Savvy can present you with free factual and relevant comparison information to make your choice easier.
No-fee accounts have been available for children, students and pensioners for a long time, but now the best joint bank accounts for couples are also fee-free. Other accounts offer fee waivers or no-fee options if a certain sum is deposited each month, so compare fees carefully to make sure your banking is as low-cost as possible. Fees can include monthly account-keeping charges (usually around $5 to $10 a month) or fees to use other banks’ ATMs (often around $2 to $3 per transaction).
On savings accounts, bonus interest rates can be offered if certain deposit conditions are met. For example, the standard interest rate offered may be 0.2% p.a., but an additional 0.8% p.a. is offered if at least $1,000 is paid into the account each month.
Special offers such as Pay TV subscriptions, reward points, frequent flyer points and cashback offers are available for customers as an incentive to open a new joint account. Check out any special offers with Savvy to make sure you don’t miss out on a great deal.
Online or in person: what’s your style?
High street banks still exist and many credit unions and building societies have a bricks-and-mortar presence in major cities and regional centres. If you’re of a generation where you like to walk into a bank and speak to a bank teller, you should look for a bank which has a branch near you for convenience.
However, if you prefer to do all your banking online, a digital bank or a neobank may offer the best joint account for you as a couple. These online banks offer the very latest in banking technology, with features including:
Overseas transaction fees
If you travel a lot, or are students who likes to explore other countries, compare overseas transaction fees and how much the bank will charge you to use ATMs overseas, as such charges vary a great deal and can really add up if you are overseas for a considerable time.
If you’re a younger couple…
Your busy lives may mean you’re constantly on the go, so compatibility and ease of use considerations are features to look closely at. Make sure the bank account of your choice has low to no fees and a mobile app which is compatible with your smartphone or watch. For example, if you have an iPhone, make sure the account you choose allows you to use Apple Pay. If you’ve got a Samsung phone, make sure your account supports Samsung Pay. If your phone isn’t one of these brands, though, Google Pay compatibility is what you need to look out for.
When it comes to saving money, think about your longer-term future and find a savings account that matches your desired goals. Are you thinking of buying your own home together one day? If so, you may be saving for a deposit? In this case, a high-interest savings account which compounds your interest monthly, or even a term deposit, may be the best option to keep your savings secure and earn you the highest possible interest.
A term deposit is when you deposit a cash sum for a defined period, ranging from a month to a set number of years. By locking your cash savings away you’re able to get a higher interest rate than you’d receive in a standard savings account where your funds are at call. The fact your funds can’t be touched once they’re in a term deposit may help with the discipline of aggressively saving for a home deposit.
With a joint savings account, you may be able to opt for an account that offers a tiered rate of interest depending on the funds deposited each month. If you’re both earning an income, depositing your wages into your account may give you the highest interest rate possible, as some savings accounts have a requirement to deposit at least $1,000 a month or more to earn the highest interest rate.
If you already own your first home, an offset account linked to your home loan reduces the interest you pay on a dollar-for-dollar basis. Therefore, in an environment where interest rates on savings are low, it may be more financially worthwhile to opt for an offset account linked to your home loan rather than a savings account earning interest. Savvy can help you compare interest rates on both your home loan and your savings account to make sure you’re not missing out on a better deal.
If you’re an older couple…
Concession card holders:
Either one or both of you may be receiving the aged pension or may hold a concession card. If so, you can open a basic joint bank account that combines the two functions of savings and transactions. A concession account will allow you to shop, pay your bills and transfer money to other people, but you’ll still earn interest on the balance of the account. It may even be possible to include your children as co-signees on your joint account so they’re able to help you with shopping or run errands for you using a linked debit card. However, the interest earned with such an account won’t be the highest rate possible, so think carefully if a joint concession account is the most suitable option for your immediate needs.
Are you aged over 65 but not receiving an aged pension?
You should still be able to take advantage of a fee-free transaction account if you’re not in receipt of an aged pension but are still over the age of 65. Look for special offers which could give you either a cashback sum or other benefits you’ll find useful if you’re about to open a new transaction account.
If you’re not receiving a government pension but are still aged over 65, a savings account earning high interest may be the best joint account for you. If you get your superannuation pension paid into a pensioner savings account with a tiered interest system, you may qualify both for no account fees and the highest interest rate available.