The Westpac Banking Corporation was established in NSW in 1817 when it was known as the Bank of New South Wales. It’s one of Australia’s big four banks, also being the first and oldest bank in the country. Westpac bought Challenge Bank in 1995, the Bank of Melbourne in 1997 and St.George Bank in 2008, also acquiring BankSA in the process.
It now has 14 million customers worldwide and employs more than 40,000 people in Australia. It offers a complete financial service offering every type of personal and retail banking product. Savvy can help you decide which bank account is right for you by offering free bank account comparison information to help you look at the nitty-gritty of bank accounts and choose one that’s just right for your personal needs.
*Please note that Savvy does not represent Westpac for their banking products.
The bank’s main transaction account is known as its Westpac Choice bank account. It has an account fee of $5 per month, which is waived if you deposit at least $2,000 per month. There are also waivers for customers under the age of 30, full-time tertiary students, Australian concession card holders and pensioners, and new migrants (for the first 12 months). It offers cardless cash withdrawals with a linked credit or debit Mastercard (limited to three withdrawals per day), a $500 daily withdrawal limit and a $1,000 weekly withdrawal limit from Westpac branded ATMs. Apple Pay is also available, as well as an online and mobile app which works on an iPhone with IOS 8.2 or above.
There are two savings accounts available: a Westpac Life account and a Westpac eSaver account. The Westpac Life account offers no monthly fees, a base interest rate of 0.15% p.a. and a bonus rate of 0.10% p.a. each month your balance remains above $0 and your balance increases from the previous month.
A Westpac eSaver account offers a standard 0.05% p.a. interest rate, and an introductory offer of a bonus 0.2% p.a. for the first five months of opening a new eSaver account. Both these savings accounts have no account-keeping fees and access to the account-splitting feature called Savings Goals. This feature allows you to have up to six savings goals in sub-accounts and name and view each sub-account separately. A progress tracker lets you see at a glance how you’re progressing towards your savings goals.
The equivalent savings account for children and teens is called a Bump savings account, which a young person can hold up to the age of 17. For babies and children aged up to 11 years old, it’s mandatory to have a joint account with a parent or guardian, which has a built-in parental control function. Young people aged 12 to 17 can open a Bump account on their own, with the option of a joint account or parental control if requested. The base rate is 0.25% p.a. with a bonus of 0.20% p.a. available if a deposit is made into the account each month and the balance of the account is higher on the last day of the month compared to the previous month (and the account has a positive balance throughout the month).
Westpac’s 55+ and Retired account offers a combined transaction and savings account, offering zero account-keeping fees and a tiered rate of interest. The interest rate is 0.05% p.a. for balances up to $49,999, 0.10% p.a. for balances over $50,000 and up to $250,000 and 0.25% p.a. on the balance over $250,001. This account offers access to your funds using online, mobile and telephone banking, a linked debit card or credit Mastercard, [email protected] (allowing you to withdraw and deposit money at any Australian Post outlet) and free access to any of 50,000 ATMs around the world through the Global ATM Alliance.
As would be expected from one of Australia’s big four banks, a variety of term deposits are offered ranging from one month to five years. Westpac is currently (as of April 2022) offering a special interest rate of 0.30% p.a. for a five-month term deposit for a minimum of $5,000 up to $2 million. Other standard term deposit interest rates are 0.07% p.a. for three months, 0.15% p.a. for six months, 0.20% p.a. for nine months and 0.25% p.a. for 12 months. You have the option of having your interest paid monthly, yearly or at the maturity of your term deposit.
You can open an account online, in person or on the phone. Westpac says an online account can be opened in under three minutes. If you live in Australia, you need two of the following documents:
If you are new to Australia (and have been in the country for six weeks or fewer), you’ll need:
Plenty of options
As Westpac is a large full-service bank offering a wide variety of banking products, you’ll be able to find a suitable account whatever your banking needs
Savings account splitting
Westpac now offers account splitting for savings accounts, enabling you to split your Life savings account into six separate savings goals
No account fees for children, students, pensioners
Kids, students under 30 and pensioners get to enjoy the benefits of banking with one of Australia’s largest institutions with zero fees, with the usual $5 account-keeping fee waived
Hefty overseas transfer fee
The bank charges a heavy $20 for processing international payments where currency conversion is required
Mobile banking – light on features
Compared to some of its competitors, the Westpac mobile banking app is relatively light on features, with no account-splitting available on transaction accounts
Account-keeping fees for over 30’s
If you’re over 30 and under 55 (or still working) and don’t have a concession card, you’ll pay a $5 account-keeping fee if you don’t deposit a minimum of $2,000 into your Choice transaction account