No-Fee Bank Accounts

A look at bank accounts which offer no-fee banking in Australia, comparing your options with Savvy.

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, updated on July 31st, 2023       

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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,
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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,
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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
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  • 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
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  • Google Wallet,
Mastercard $0 $0
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Westpac Choice for easy day-to-day banking

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You should always consult a given offer's PDS or further documentation in the process of deciding on which loan to choose, as well as seeking independent, professional advice. If you decide to apply with one of the lenders listed above via our website, you will not be dealing with Savvy; any applications or enquiries will be conducted directly with the lender offering that product.

More about no-fee bank accounts explained

Bank fees have been reduced in the past ten years with the introduction of online banks and internet banking.  However, some banks still do charge fees both for maintaining an account and for certain transactions.  Learn about who qualifies for no-fee bank accounts and how to keep your banking fees to a minimum with Savvy.  We help you compare bank accounts so you can potentially find a zero-fee option for your banking needs.

Do all banks normally charge fees for having a bank account?

Not all banks, credit unions or building societies charge monthly fees to open or maintain a bank account.  Many now offer everyday accounts with no monthly fees and no transaction fees.  However, even with such accounts advertised as ‘no-fee accounts’ you should expect charges in certain situations, such as if your account is overdrawn, you use other bank’s ATMs or receive money from overseas accounts.

It’s important to keep an eye on your bank statements and query any fees or charges you don’t recognise.  As The Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry found, it’s possible for banks to charge fees for services which aren’t provided if fees aren’t queried.

What sort of fees are charged and how much are they?

If monthly account fees are charged, they are generally in the range of $4 to $10 per month. Quite often business bank account fees are slightly more expensive than personal account fees, and the big four Australian banks tend to charge more fees than smaller banks, building societies and online banks

Other fees to watch out for are:

  • teller assisted transactions – you could pay between $2 and $4 to have a bank teller assist you with your transaction in some circumstances
  • cheque fees – if you have a chequebook linked to your account, you could be charged between $2 and $3.50 per cheque cleared
  • ATM fees – all banks offer free use of their ATM network for cash withdrawals, but if you use another bank’s ATM, the fees charged could be passed on to you, so expect to pay from $2 to $2.50 to withdraw cash
  • overseas transactions – expect to pay an international transaction fee of up to $5 to take money out from an overseas ATM, plus a percentage of the transaction amount (often from 3% to 5%) for overseas purchases or deposits from overseas accounts
  • dishonour fees – if a cheque you write is dishonoured because there are insufficient funds in your account, expect to pay around a $5 dishonour fee
  • scheduled payment dishonour fee – if a payment you’ve scheduled is dishonoured due to lack of funds, and multiple attempts are made before the payment is cancelled, expect to pay up to $5 for a dishonour fee
  • overdrawn fees – if your account is overdrawn, expect to be slugged around $10 to $15 plus substantial interest (up to 15% or more) on the overdrawn amount for each day your account remains in the red

Who qualifies for no-fee bank accounts?

The following categories of people qualify for fee-free banking with most financial institutions:

  • Children under 16 and young people from 16 years up to either 21 or 25 years old
  • Students, either full-time or part-time
  • Health care card and concession card holders
  • Veterans, war widows and widowers
  • Aged pensioners over 65 years old

Special offers offering no-fee banking

Many financial institutions offer special deals to attract new customers.  These often involve offering incentives to customers to switch banks, either in the form of no-fee banking for a set period, cashback offers or other incentives such as pay TV subscriptions, frequent flyer and reward program points, gym memberships, movie tickets and more. 

There are also special offers which provide fee-free banking as long as certain conditions are met, such as a minimum deposit limit per month (typically $1,000 or $2,000), no overdrawn fees or an increased savings amount each month.  Such offers can provide free banking as long as you’re able to easily satisfy the stated conditions.  If the conditions are too onerous, compare other account offers with Savvy and don’t be afraid to change bank accounts if there’s a better deal available.

How do I keep bank fees to a minimum?

The trick to no-cost banking is to read the terms and conditions of the bank account you’re intending to open so you’re aware of the fees charged – and then find a way around those conditions.  For example:

  • if you’re a student and travel a great deal, it may be worth you opening an international (also known as global) bank account, which can offer free overseas transactions and free use of overseas ATMs
  • if you like to withdraw cash at an ATM quite often, pick a bank which has plenty of ATMs in your area and convenient locations so you don’t get hit with fees to use another bank’s machine
  • if there’s a special offer of free banking in return for a minimum deposit, arrange to have your wages paid into that account to ensure you meet the minimum deposit requirement
  • if your institution offers a limited number of free transactions or bank teller transactions per month, make sure you do all your banking in weekly batches so you reduce the overall transactions you undertake
  • if you’re an active account user and tend to transfer money between your accounts regularly, think about having all your accounts with the same bank which offers free transactions between linked accounts

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More of your questions about no-fee bank accounts

What documents will the bank need to prove I’m eligible for a no-fee account?

This will depend on your age and why you qualify for a fee-free bank account.  If you’re under 16, a copy of your birth certificate should be sufficient proof to show to the bank.  If you’re a student, you may need a letter of study confirmation from your university, TAFE or college to prove to the bank that you’re genuinely a student.  If you’re a concession card holder, your concession card, aged pension card, health card or Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) card will be needed. Of course, if you’re new to the bank or financial institution, you’ll also need to show 100 points of ID to prove your identity, such as your passport, driver’s licence or another form of ID which shows your photo and signature.

What payment options are available with no-fee accounts?

The good news is that no-fee bank accounts offer the same transaction options as bank accounts for which hefty fees are charged.  There are also business bank accounts with no fees as well.  Financial institutions don’t tend to offer ‘cut-down’ or reduced service options in return for not charging fees.  A rare exception to this rule may be found in some concession bank accounts for pensioners, which are very simple transaction and savings accounts rolled into one account.  In return for a basic ‘no-frills’ account through which you can do basic banking transactions and receive interest on your account balance, the interest rate offered is at the lowest end of the scale.

Are there really no-fee bank accounts with cashback offers? What’s the catch?

Yes – there are zero-fee bank accounts in Australia which also offer cashback deals.  These accounts are not intended solely to entice new customers, but offer cashback offers in return for minimum deposit and transaction limits.  For example, one bank offers 2% cashback on every transaction made in the month, up to a limit of $50 cashback per month. This is on the condition of a minimum of $2,000 being deposited into the account per month and at least 20 transactions being made on a linked credit or debit card.

What should I do if I see fees being charged which I don’t agree with?

The Banking Royal Commission found thousands of instances of banks charging for services they did not provide.  If you notice fees or charges on your bank statement you don’t understand, you should raise an inquiry with your financial institution.  Contact customer service and explain that you don’t understand why certain fees were charged and allow your bank to explain the circumstances.

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