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Opening a Backpacker Bank Account in Australia

Includes links to banks with no monthly service fee for the first 12 months

If you're going to be living and working in Australia, you will you need a bank account where your employer can deposit your wage and so that you can make international money transfers, pay bills and rent, make payments by credit card and withdraw cash - all without worrying about excessive international banking fees. Opening a bank account in Australia can be done before you leave home or when you arrive.

 

Get the Survival Guide eBook which includes;

- Knowing where the hot second year visa jobs are and when so you can make a plan

- 16 tried and tested ways to find work in Australia

- How Aussie employers work

- Tips and a template to ensure your resume is Aussie-ready

Your Australian banking options:

  1. Open an Account from your home country through a travelers company
    [Hassle Factor = Very Low] [Cost Factor = Medium]
  2. Open an Australian bank account within 6 weeks of your arrival
    [Hassle Factor = Low] [Cost Factor = Low]
  3. Open an Australian bank account 6 weeks after your arrival
    [Hassle Factor = Medium] [Cost Factor = Low

Open an Australian bank account from your home country through a travelers company

To reduce stress and hassle opening a Bank Account through a travelers company is a popular way to go because they reduce the hassle of dealing with banks and they also help you with other useful things like a Tax File Number (which you need to work) and a Medicare Card (for medical purposes). 

Open an account within 6 weeks of your arrival

If you are planning to open an Australian bank account after you arrive, you should open it within six weeks of your arrival as then you will only need your passport as identification.

Open an account 6 weeks after your arrival

If you wait for more than 6 weeks after your arrival in Australia to open a bank account, you will need extra identification such as a birth certificate, driver's licence, credit card or bank card.

FAQs

How do I open a bank account in Australia through a travelers company?

Opening a bank account before you arrive in Australia through the use of a travelers company is a popular way to go because it gives you the extra piece of mind that everything is organized before you leave home. Travelers companies that offer assistance with opening a bank account also usually offer a number of other services as part of a package.

Some of the services often included are:

Prices range from about $79 to $900 for these packages, depending on what is included in the package. Higher cost packages often include accommodation for your first couple of days and sometimes guaranteed employment (usually short term, but hey, it's a start)

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How do I open a bank account in Australia by myself?

If you choose to open a bank account (Australia) within six weeks of your arrival you will only need your passport as identification. If you wait more than six weeks after your arrival in Australia to open an account you will need extra identification such as a like a birth certificate, driver's licence, credit card or bank card.

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What kind of bank account do I need?

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What kind of fees should I be aware of?

If you?re not careful, you can rack up quite a few bank fees in Australia. Most banks charge a variety of fees, so before opening an account you should always be aware of what charges you might have to pay and how you can avoid incurring unnecessary costs. Ask the bank for details.

The four most common types of fees are:

Always ask about any fees that may apply to your account and shop around for the best deal.

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How can I reduce the bank fees I pay?

Here are some quick ideas to reduce the amount of bank fees you might have to pay:

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Which bank should I choose?

The biggest banks in Australia are all Australian-owned and are known as 'The Big Four'. Recently banks have started competing for your business and are offering No monthly fees for the first 12 months.

Some other banks are Bendigo Bank and Bank of Queensland. Some international banks with a large presence in Australia are HSBC and ING Bank. (ING's offerings are limited to High Interest Savings accounts)

Before choosing a bank, make sure you shop around to find the best deal for you. Here are some initial questions to consider when you’re choosing a bank:

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How do I move money Internationally? (Banks and International Money Transfer Services)

Until the last few years, you really had no option but to use the bank you kept your money with to send money internationally. This kept fees were high due to lack of efficiency and competition. Fortunately, thanks to the internet, companies like Tranzfers and 1st Contact came along and launched services that can now save you significantly for your international money transfers.

HOW IT WORKS: Generally you move money online from your bank to the money transfer company's account (this is free, since they are in the same country) then when the money arrives you can choose to wait for the right exchange rate or have them exchange it automatically. This money is then deposited into your specified destination account. 24hr phone or online assistance with currency traders ensures everything runs smoothly.

COST: The fees you pay take the form of an upfront charge ranging from $15 - $30 plus a fee ranging between 0.7% and 2.5% which is based on the "mid-market" exchange rate. Banks tend to charge the upper ranges of these amounts while the specialty money transfer companies tend to charge at the lower end.

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