St.George Bank grew from two building societies formed in Sydney in 1937. The St. George and Cronulla Building Society grew rapidly from the 1940s into the 1990s and gained its banking licence in 1992. It acquired Advance Bank in 1997, with its subsidiary BankSA, and merged with Westpac in 2008. In 2010, the bank was de-registered as a separate legal entity and now operates under Westpac’s authorised deposit-taking institution (ADI) licence.
It’s the fifth-largest bank in Australia and offers a wide range of retail banking products, as well as business and commercial construction loans and automotive finance. Savvy can assist you in choosing a bank account that is just right for your needs by providing free bank account comparison information to help simplify the process of finding the best one for your needs.
*Please note that Savvy does not represent St.George Bank for their personal banking products.
The bank offers a complete range of bank accounts for customers of all ages, ranging from children’s accounts to special accounts for aged pensioners and retirees.
St.George Bank’s main transaction account is known as a Complete Freedom account. It’s a fee-free transaction account offering access to a spending tracker tool through its mobile app. It can also be used as an offset account if linked to a home loan, and is also available as one of the best joint bank accounts.
The tracker tool divides your spending into categories such as ‘dining out’ or ‘food and beverages’ so you’re able to see where your money has been spent. It also offers the opportunity to receive alerts on your phone (such as when a payment is coming out of your account, or wages have been paid into it). A Quick Balance option also allows you to see your account balance at a glance on your phone or smartwatch.
A linked Visa credit or debit card is also available, as well as PayID payments, [email protected] options, Apple Pay and access to the Global ATM Alliance network of over 50,000 free overseas ATMs. In addition, there’s access to the My Offers Hub, a rewards scheme offering discounts on major retail brands as well as gift cards and subscriptions.
A current offer available until the end of September 2022 offers $40 cash for new customers opening a Complete Freedom account, as long as $500 is deposited into the account within 30 days of opening it and five eligible purchases are made on a linked St.George Bank debit card in the first month. This offer is available to new customers in Australia who have never previously held a St.George Bank, Bank of Melbourne or BankSA account.
For young people aged between 12 and 14, a linked Freedom Card is offered instead of a Visa debit card, which is issued once a teenager reaches 15 years of age. A concession account is offered to concession card holders, which waives the usual dishonour and overdrawn fees charged by the bank.
Retirees and pensioners aged over 55 can open a Retirement Access Plus account, which is a hybrid transaction and savings account offering interest which is split according to the account balance. Up to $50,000 the interest rate is 0.05% p.a. On the portion of your account over $50,001 up to $250,000, the interest rate is 0.10% p.a., and on any amount over $250,000, it’s 0.25% p.a.
St.George Bank’s main two savings accounts are an Incentive Saver account and a Maxi Saver account. The Incentive Saver account has a base rate of 0.15% p.a. and a bonus rate of 0.10% p.a. if your account balance remains above $0 for the month and you grow your account balance by at least $50 in that month (if you’re aged over 21) or by at least a cent if you’re aged under 21.
The Maxi Saver account has a base rate of 0.05% p.a. but comes with a special offer of a 0.25% p.a. introductory rate for the first three months for new Maxi Saver customers. To open a Maxi Saver account, you also need to have a linked everyday transaction account. There aren’t any account-keeping fees for either of these savings accounts and no charge for teller-assisted enquiries at bank branches.
St.George Bank offers a wide range of term deposit options as you’d expect from one of Australia’s larger banks. Terms range from one month up to five years, with an interest rate of 0.07% p.a. offered for a three-month term, 0.15% p.a. for a six-month term and 0.25% for a 12 to 24-month term with interest paid annually. The highest interest rate on offer is 0.3% p.a. for a term over 24 months up to 60 months. In terms of available balances, you can take out a term deposit for as little as $1,000 up to a maximum of $2 million.
You can apply for a St.George Bank account either online, over the phone or in person. You’ll need to complete an application form if you’re opening your account in person or follow the application prompts if applying online.
The identification documents you’ll be required to provide include:
Access to the Global ATM Alliance
If you’re heading overseas, enjoy using over 50,000 ATMs free of charge through the Global ATM Alliance, of which St.George Bank (through its parent Westpac) is a member.
No account-keeping fees
No account-keeping fees are charged on savings or transactions accounts, so you don’t have to be a child or an aged pensioner to enjoy fee-free banking
Spending tracking feature
The ability to monitor your spending through St.George Bank’s mobile app and see it being categorised helps you keep an eye on where your money is going
A transaction charge of 3% is made for any foreign currency conversion which involves changing any foreign currency into Australian dollars
Account splitting unavailable
The bank does not currently allow customers to split their savings accounts into sub-accounts, which is a feature increasingly offered by competitive banks
Interest rates disappoint
The interest rates offered on savings accounts and term deposits aren’t among the highest, so if you’re after the best interest rate on your savings, you should compare other accounts with Savvy