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Business Bank Accounts with No Fees

A detailed look at business bank accounts, what they have to offer and how to find one with minimal or no bank fees with Savvy.

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, updated on July 31st, 2023       

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Compare bank accounts with no fees

Finding the best bank account can save you hundreds on fees and connect you with the very latest in smart banking technology.  Compare bank accounts from a wide variety of providers with Savvy to find the very best offers available on the market right now.

site-logos Up Everyday Account
  Monthly Account Fee Features Card Type ATM Fee Interest Rate  
site-logos $0
  • PayId,
  • Osko,
  • Samsung Pay,
  • Apple Pay,
  • Google Wallet,
Mastercard $0 0%
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Use invite code SAVVY10 for $10 upon successful sign-up. (Refer to offer T&Cs on Up website)

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site-logos ING Orange Everyday
  Monthly Account Fee Features Card Type ATM Fee Interest Rate  
site-logos $0
  • PayId,
  • Apple Pay,
  • Google Wallet,
Visa $0 0%
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Rebates on ATM fees anywhere in Oz. No ING international transaction fees. Zero monthly fees.

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site-logos NAB Classic Banking Account
  Monthly Account Fee Features Card Type ATM Fee Interest Rate  
site-logos $0
  • PayId,
  • Samsung Pay,
  • Apple Pay,
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Visa $0 0.01%
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No monthly account fees ever, with no conditions. Free use at over 7,000 ATMs around Australia. No overdrawn fees if you happen to go over your account balance. Open an account in less than 7 minutes.

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site-logos St.George Complete Freedom Account
  Monthly Account Fee Features Card Type ATM Fee Interest Rate  
site-logos $0
  • Samsung Pay,
  • Apple Pay,
  • Google Wallet,
Visa $0 0%
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Get $40 with a new Complete Freedom everyday bank account.

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site-logos Westpac Choice
  Monthly Account Fee Features Card Type ATM Fee Interest Rate  
site-logos $5
  • Samsung Pay,
  • Apple Pay,
  • Google Wallet,
Mastercard $0 $0
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Westpac Choice for easy day-to-day banking

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More about business bank accounts with no fees

Bank fees can eat away at your revenue and erode your profit margin, so it’s worth spending time working out how you can minimise them or avoid them altogether.  Savvy can help you find the best business bank account with either no fees or the lowest fees possible by presenting you with simple and clear comparison data about offers from a variety of financial institutions.  Let us help you choose the best low-cost business bank account available in Australia.

How do I compare and choose accounts to avoid paying fees?

Finding the best account with no fees is a matter of looking closely at an account’s terms and conditions to find out exactly what’s being offered for free.  It’s a matter of choosing your business bank account wisely, being aware of what fees you may be charged and avoiding them if at all possible. 

Here are a few tips to help you keep your banking fees to a minimum:

  • take advantage of fee-free accounts which offer no service or account-keeping fees
  • look for and compare banks offering several free transactions per month and use your free allocation on the most expensive transactions you undertake
  • keep a lookout for special offers, which can include free banking transactions for a year, as an incentive to switch banks
  • if you’re charged for each day you use a particular service, organise your payments in batches so you do them all at once, rather than piecemeal
  • if a bank offers a free transaction service in return for a minimum deposit per month, set up an auto-deposit so you can be sure you meet the requirement without having to think about it
  • if banking cash is an expense for you, look for a nearby bank which has a free-to-use, secure night banking facility and set up an account with that bank purely for that purpose and arrange an auto transfer to your regular business bank account
  • don't pay for services you don’t need – for example, some banks charge a monthly fee for providing an EFTPOS machine. If your business doesn’t need an EFTPOS machine, return it to your bank and ask them to cancel the monthly hire charge for it
  • question any fees or charges you’re not expecting and ask your bank to explain what those fees are for. Thousands of fees are charged incorrectly each year, according to the RBA, but only a small fraction of them is ever queried

Savvy can help you choose which bank account is the best for your business by offering a free, comprehensive comparison service.  We compare accounts and provide you with clear and easy-to-understand information so you can quickly see which one may be the best for your business.

What do banks usually charge fees for?

Banks can charge fees for account establishment, account-keeping (often called ‘monthly account fees’) and for almost every transaction you make, whether that be a payment to someone, a deposit, a transfer or a currency conversation. 

For this reason, it’s important to compare business bank accounts and look at all the features offered before you decide which one is right for your needs, as a fee-free business bank account may not necessarily offer you all the functionality you require. Savvy can help you in your search by comparing accounts side-by-side so you can see exactly what’s on offer, and which accounts offer the best deal.

The fees charged for the establishment and maintenance of your account will depend on whether you want a basic everyday transaction account suitable for a sole trader or small business or a high-end business account which may include additional features such as:

  • access to a special dedicated business banking platform
  • unlimited transaction size and number
  • multiple security tokens or security USBs
  • a tiered level of security access for designated users
  • auto budgeting information
  • access to business insight tools
  • auto-feed connectivity to accounting and business management software

The saying ‘you get what you pay for’ applies when it comes to business account functionality.  A basic business account may be quite suitable for you if you’re a sole trader or if there’s only one or two of you involved in the business.  However, once you start to expand your business or take on more employees, your business banking needs may increase exponentially.

How much are bank fees on average?

Some of the most common business banking fees charged in Australia include:

  • Establishment fee for business accounts – ranging from $0 up to $550 (for a leading bank’s high-end business account)
  • Account keeping fees – ranging from $0 to $75 or more a month
  • EFTPOS charge – either a percentage of the transaction value (1% to 3%) or up to $1.20 per transaction
  • Cash withdrawal from a branch – ranging from free to $2.50 per withdrawal
  • Direct debit/direct credit/BPAY payments – from free to $0.60 per transaction
  • Teller-assisted transactions – up to $2.50 per transaction
  • International Monetary Transfers – from $5 up to $35, or charged as a percentage of the transaction value (around 1% to 3% of the transaction value)
  • Priority payments or cheque clearing – up to $6 per cheque or payment
  • Overdrawn account fee – from $5 up to $25

As you can see from this list of the most common fees, almost every transaction you make can cost you and nibble away at your profit.  For this reason, it’s really important to compare accounts and choose a business account that best suits your needs and offers the least-expensive banking option for your business.

Types of bank account

Why compare bank accounts with Savvy?

Top tips for establishing good banking habits to reduce bank fees

Analyse your banking habits

By getting to know your own banking habits, you can choose products that allow you to carry on with your individual banking style without it causing you a fortune in fees.  For example, if you regularly use ATMs to withdraw cash, look for a bank that offers fee-free ATM usage.  If you regularly buy from a supplier that charges a percentage fee for using a Visa card, but Mastercard transactions are free, arrange to get a free Mastercard to avoid the cash fees.

Cherry-pick which products best suit your needs

You don’t have to stick with one bank and one account for all your financial needs: there’s no limit to the number of bank accounts you’re permitted to have in Australia.  It may make sense to have different products or accounts for different aspects of your business banking.  For example, if you make plenty of international transactions, look for a global or international account which doesn’t charge for international money transfers (IMTs) or allows you several free transactions per month. 

Set up auto-reminders and auto payments

It’s easy to get carried away with a busy life running your small business and forget to pay a credit card balance by its due date or allow an account to be overdrawn because you forgot a top-up payment.  Set up all your regular payments to be paid automatically. Set up reminders to be texted to you.  Authorise direct debits for regular payments, reducing your reliance on your memory and eliminating the chance of getting stung by overdrawn fees or hit with expensive penalty interest rates. 

Consider whether it’s cheaper to bundle your banking

Depending on your individual banking needs, it could work out cheaper to bundle your accounts with one institution if that bank offers bundling incentives.  For example, some banks waive all transaction fees if you have your transaction and savings accounts linked. Others offer you a free credit card linked to your transaction account.  Look at special offers and bonus offers carefully, and work out if you will be better off by bundling your accounts. 

Answers to more of your questions about business banking fees

How much do banks make from fees each year?

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) conducts an annual survey of bank fees in Australia.  It includes 15 institutions that represent around 90% of the Australian banking sector (by balance sheet size). The RBA’s figures show that, in 2020, income from bank fees amounted to $7.9 billion, with business banking fees accounting for two-thirds of banks’ overall fee income, so it’s fair to say that business bank fees are important in Australia.

Since I’m a sole trader, do I have to open a business bank account?

You don’t have to by law, but it’ll make life far easier for you (and your accountant) if you keep your personal and business funds separate.  If you combine your business and personal finances, it could be a nightmare come tax time when you need to work out exactly how much profit you’ve made and what your costs of doing business were.

Do I have to accept cash payments if I prefer electronic payments?

No – COVID-19 considerations have brought to the forefront the issue of whether a business can legally refuse payment in cash.  Through several legal case examples, it has been established that, in Australia, businesses can specify they don’t accept cash payments as long as it’s made clear before the business transaction has taken place.  However, it isn’t legal to discriminate against a person who may, for example, be too young to have a credit card (such as someone under 18 years old), so it’s not legal to specify that payments have to be made using a certain electronic method or credit or debit card.

 

Is it worth paying the extra fees for an overdraft facility?

This will depend on your business’s cashflow situation and how close to zero you run.  If you’re just starting up and don’t have much in the way of a cash buffer, it may be worth organising with your bank to have an overdraft facility to assist you with cashflow issues.  Overdrawn account fees can be very expensive and can be charged per day your account is overdrawn without prior authorisation.

If one of my customers pays me by cheque and the cheque is dishonoured, will I be charged the dishonour fee?

Yes – you may be charged a dishonour fee by your bank, and the customer will be charged a fee by their bank for having a cheque returned too.  If you are charged such a fee, it’s not considered unreasonable to pass that dishonour fee charge onto the customer who gave you the cheque or add it to their monthly account as a legitimate expense you’ve incurred as a result of their cheque being dishonoured.

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