Poll: Best Australian Transaction Bank Accounts in 2017

Moderators at OzBargain have decided to run yearly polls to decide the best products in popular categories that get asked repeatedly in the forum. Our aim is to have a central thread where users can vote on the items, suggest options and also change their vote throughout the year. The polls will end once the year is over.


Question

What is your favourite everyday Australian Transaction Bank Accounts year 2017?

Wait: What exactly is a "Transaction account"?

Transaction accounts, or 'savings accounts', as some banks like to call them, is a basic bank account that everyone should have and is often the account you typically use to spend money with, such as paying for basic expenses and bills.

However, these accounts can attract fees in various different forms: such as

  • Monthly account keeping fees
  • ATM fees (for using an ATM that belongs to another bank)
  • Phone, or Internet banking fees
  • EFTPOS and Branch fees
  • Foreign transaction fees and Overseas ATM access fees

Some of these accounts also offer it's members benefits, such as:

  • Support for contactless Mobile payment platforms such as Apple or Android Pay
  • Being able to earn some interest
  • Joint accounts
  • Fee-free money transfers to other banks
  • Cashbacks, Discounts and other freebies from businesses that have partnerships with the Bank you're with.

So what's your favourite Transaction account for the year 2017? Make your suggestions below, and be sure to justify why it's the best account for you.


  • Don't see an account that you like in the poll options? Make a (sensible) suggestion and we'll add it to the list.
  • You are allowed to change your vote.

How to Suggest a Poll option?

Image.

Poll Options expired

Comments

  • +4 votes

    Let's get started with Citibank's Plus Everyday Account. It offers the following:;

    • Pay no account fees or transaction fees
    • Use the following ATMs with no charge: Citibank, Westpac, St. George, Bank of Melbourne or BankSA
    • Pay $0 Citibank fees for any overseas ATM or in-store transactions (3rd party charges may still apply)
    • Fee-free international money transfers to any bank, anywhere (receiving bank may still charge)
    • Enjoy free, instant money transfers to Citibank accounts, in selected countries
    • Receive a free bottle of wine from award-winning wineries every time you dine at any Citibank Dining Program partner restaurant and pay with your Citibank Debit Card
    • can be used with Samsung Pay.
    • Citibank Plus Everyday Account has a standard variable rate of 0 % p.a

    It doesn't however, offer any integration with contactless mobile payments.

    • +2 votes

      also free to bank in foreign cheques, unlike most other accounts. Also exchange rates are typically better than big 4 competitors.

    •  

      It doesn't however, offer any integration with contactless mobile payments.

      Thats not entirely true, it works with Samsung Pay.

    •  

      You forgot to mention the free VISA debit card that makes all this happen.

    •  

      We should probably list the interest rates applicable to each account for comparative purposes.

      The Citibank Plus Everyday Account has a standard variable rate of 0 % p.a.

      •  

        Yeah, interest rate is important. Like imagine keeping $1,000 in there at 0.00% pa. That is 'costing' you up to $30/year (at 3.00%). So the 'fee-free' account is actually $2.50/month.

  • +2 votes

    I find ING Orange Everyday Transaction Account to be good, as long as it is used domestically. Fee-free withdrawal on all ATMs. And can be linked to a savings account which earns rather high interest (2.8%), as long as $1000 is deposited into an ING account. This means money can earn decent interest until it is needed. And the app is pretty good. Also supports Apple/Android Pay.

  • +1 vote

    First time. Not sure if this is how I am supposed to suggest a poll option.

    Edit: Thanks scrimshaw, it worked :-)

  • +5 votes

    Macquarie Transaction Account

    • No monthly deposit required to enjoy benefits
    • No monthly account fees
    • No international transaction fees
    • No ATM fees Australia wide
    • Android/Apple Pay support
    • Instant notification on your phone for transactions where money is deducted (purchase, ATM withdrawal, pre-authorisation charge)
    •  

      I would love to upvote MaqBank but my experience has been far from positive. They do offer a good account if you can get past the many flaws in their systems.

      I have have had transfers not go through and the money take weeks to return among many other issues.

    • +1 vote

      Macquarie Transaction and Platinum Transaction Accounts

      Balance Variable Interest Rate
      Up to $4,999.99 0.00 % p.a.
      $5,000 - $24,999.99 1.30 % p.a.
      $25,000 - $4,999,999.99 2.30 % p.a.
      $5,000,000 and above 1.30 % p.a.
    • -1 vote

      Anyone know the FX rate on international transactions?

      • -1 vote

        Zero fee with Platinum account.

        • -1 vote

          FX rate, not the fee. ie what exchange rate do they use? Some choose to use Visa/Mastercard floating, which is super close to the actual rate, some have a pretty big variation and they make money on the difference.

        • +2 votes

          @Cronium: They use the MasterCard rate exactly. I have confirmed with transactions I have made matched exactly the MasterCard website.

          Further, their in their T&C they state they use the MC rate, or otherwise the government mandated rate:

          An international transaction in a currency other than Australian dollars will be converted by MasterCard to Australian dollars. Unless the foreign currency transaction is in United States dollars, the foreign currency may be converted to United States dollars before being converted to Australian dollars. The exchange rate used for conversion is either a government mandated exchange rate or a wholesale exchange rate selected by MasterCard for the applicable currency on the day the transaction is processed. That rate may differ from the rate on the date the transaction occurred, or the date when the transaction is posted to your Account.

    • +1 vote

      My only gripe with Macquarie is that they do not offer Bank@Post.

  •  

    i keep a very small amount of money in CBA, and i'm paying $6 per month for account keeping. Any one know what would be the best CBA transaction account for me?

    • +3 votes

      There are so many fee-free accounts in the market (Citi Plus, ING, Macquarie, Ubank etc), why not look at other options? $6 per month is quite a hefty fee.

    • +1 vote

      Open a commbank CDIA account instead = no fee, I've been operating my side business through it. There's no compromise apart maybe doing transactions at a branch which may incur a fee?

      Access to:
      CBA ATMS = Instant cash deposits, CHQ Deposits, Deposit cash directly into your CC, pay other CBA external accounts, Cashless withdrawals
      Bank @ Post
      24/7 hour centre
      Best online/mobile banking which has pay to mobile numbers (ING doesn't have this feature…)

      Cons:
      No Apple Pay and must have commbank app on android device to access mobile pay
      Fees on international transactions

      • +1 vote

        +1 for the CDIA - a free CBA debit card is a winner just for sheer ATM deposit locations and coin count machines!

    •  

      Get out of CBA

    • +1 vote

      If you want to keep the CBA account without the $6 fee (assuming you're on a Smart Access account), just put $2000 in and take it right back out again. Works fine even between other CBA accounts (including those under the same name). You can also set up a recurring automated monthly transfer to do this for you.

    •  

      Just call them and tell them you don't want to pay the fee any more or you will move to a fee free bank account with another institution and they will drop it. It worked for my partner do it will likely work for you too.

  • +1 vote

    Let's add NAB into the mix.

    Features:

    • No monthly account fees, ever
    • No overdrawn fees
    • Smartphone app for Android and iPhones
    • 24/7 online access with NAB Internet Banking and the NAB app
    • Overseas Travel Notifications (protects your account when you're away)
    • Instant Digital Card (Android users only)

    The not so good:

    • NAB ATM's and Redi ATMS only — other ATMs will attract fees
    • only 0.01% Per annum interest rate
    • 3 percent International Transaction Fee
    • $5 Overseas ATM Access fee

    See all fees

    •  

      I think a major aspect is having accessible physical branches. Most of the other banks with a good dispersion of physical branches charges fees.

      Benefits of physical branches
      1) Opening a joint account
      2) Buying bank Cheques
      3) Rather straight forward cheque deposits

      Also another benefit of a common (well established?) bank is that some retailers offer Poli payments which are quite convenient.

  •  

    This is great! I'm looking for a good transaction account right now since CBA is now charging me $6 monthly fee because I'm no longer a student :(

  •  

    Let's add Bankwest into the mix

    • No monthly maintenance fees, but only if you put in $2,000 per month into account.
    • Otherwise, $6 a month is charged.
    • No ATM fees when you use a Bankwest, CBA, NAB, ANZ, Westpac, St George Bank, Bank of Melbourne and Bank of SA ATM.
    • Android Pay capable
    • There is a Overseas ATM access fee of $5
    • There are no check, electronic or counter withdrawal fees
    • Foreign transaction fee of 2.95% of the transaction amount
    • You'll get a Mastercard Debit card, which has special promos and offers
    •  

      FYI- Bankwest offer fee free business accounts.(no minimum deposit)

    •  

      But if you use Bankwest Zero Platinum Mastercard instead there are no foreign exchange fees and the full suite of Platinum extras such as free travel insurnace etc

      See my post regarding the Bankwest Retirement Savings account for over 55s.
      By far the best transaction account if you qualify.

  •  

    Lets add Westpac into the mix. With Westpac Choice:

    • You'll get a Debit Mastercard. It has special offers.
    • If you're a uni student OR you're under age of 31, you can also get a free STA Travel Card, which gives you offers on things like dining, visits to museums, accomodation and travel.
    • Pay no ATM fees at Westpac ATM's, St.George, BankSA, Bank of Melbourne ATM withdrawal and overseas, no fees from ATMs that are part of the global ATM alliance..
    • Mobile banking app and Android Pay supported.
    • You can pay somebody or receive a payment, using Pay to Mobile feature.
    • No withdrawal fees for telephone, internet, over-counter and direct debits.

    Unfortunately:

    • You must deposit $2,000 each month, to avoid the monthly $5 Account keeping fee.
    • This fee is waived for uni students studying full load, or youths under 21, and for people on a Health Care card and Pensioner Concession card.
    • Also waived for people new to Australia, such as migrants and expatriates, for the first 12 months only.
    • $15 fee for account over-draws.
    • $5 for using foreign ATM's that are not part of Global ATM alliance.
    • There's a 3 percent, or 2.2 percent foreign transaction fee, depending on the transaction type.
  • +1 vote

    While we are at it, might as well add Ubank Ultra Transaction Account into the mix :

    Pros:

    • No monthly fees
    • Can earn a high interest (2.87%) in the linked savings account, if deposit $200 per month.
    • Sweep feature (automatically moves money between the linked transaction and savings accounts each night, based on the limits you set) can be appealing to some.
      • no need to worry about moving funds from transactions to savings and vice versa.
      • great for scheduling future-dated payments, the sweep will move money to transaction account as needed, maximising interest in the savings account.
    • Supports Android Pay

    Cons:

    • NAB ATM's and Redi ATMS only — other ATMs will attract fees
  •  

    The best transaction account depends on your qualification.
    If you are over 55 or a Pensioner a whole new range of excellent transaction accounts become available and WITH INTEREST!
    In this category I suggest the Bankwest Retirement Savings Account for which anyone over 55 quaifies - would received a AAA rating.

  •  

    If you are looking for the best overall transaction account you cant go past ANZ's Online savings account.
    Maybe the only online savings account that offers good interest as well as the full suite of online transactions!
    Yes you still need an everyday account too for cash deposits and withdrawals and cheques and as a prerequisite to have the online account too.

  • +1 vote

    No Monthly account keeping fees
    No ATM fees (for using Redi ATM)
    No Phone, or Internet banking fees
    No EFTPOS and Branch fees
    NO Bank@Post fees

    One of the only financial institutions to have Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay.

    Lower overseas ATM fees (lower than all the Big 4)
    Participating in NPP

  •  

    bank west Hero pays 1.50% p.a. on balances up to $5,000 . simply transfer 2k between hero and linked telnet saver to avoid the monthly fee. has an over draft limit $100.00

    credit interest rate
    $0 to $5,000 1.50%
    $5,001 or more 0.00%

  •  

    (Qantas) Rewards are usually associated with credit cards, but BankWest has this "Bankwest Qantas Transaction Account", which gives you 12 points per $100 in your account each month.
    So if you have a min balance of $1000, you earn atleast 120 points a month.
    On top, you get 5 points per eligible transaction. You wont get any points for things like bank fee / government charges, gambling transactions etc

    $6 fee is waived if you deposit $2000 / month into it (Your salary?)

    You can use CBA ATM's. Also most 7-11's have a BW ATM.

    I reckon its not a bad deal. More here: https://www.bankwest.com.au/personal/bank-accounts/qantas-re...

  • +1 vote

    Toss-up between ING and Macquarie imo.

  •  

    ING does not do any ID checks when you sign up which seems to be odd. Most other banks I've signed up to require a 100 point ID check before opening.

    •  

      IIRC, before the account is opened you have to print a form and go to a Post Office with your 100 points and they will verify your ID on ING's behalf

  •  

    I've got;
    -Citibank plus everyday account for overseas card transactions
    - Macquarie transaction account for fee free ATM withdrawals Australia wide
    -UBank ultra transaction account for high 2.87% interest on my savings

    All fee free, works pretty good.
    Been happy with them all so far

  •  

    May I suggest AMP accounts? Seem to be well integrated and provides 3% on 'save' account and free access to big 4 ATMs(confirmed it with the rep). I myself have a ING accounts but need another savings account on the side.

    •  

      Very tempted to consider this as well. The only negative is that once a change in circumstance and you stop depositing the required $2000, you get charged $5 in fees - see pg 4 of T&C

      With the others, e.g. ING, Ubank, if you do not deposit the required amount, you only suffer a lower interest rate (base rate). Other than that, there is no penalty. So this means once the AMP account is not suitable anymore, one must remember to close it. Hence, may not suitable for someone like me, who is tardy when it comes to closing accounts.

      •  

        Hmm I should've read that. Plan is to deposit salary into the account and transfer out of it various savings account.

        •  

          Another thing: the bonus interest is given based on previous month's deposit (like ING). So if you are moving funds in for the first time, better to do it towards end of month, since you will only be getting the base rate for the 1st month.

  • +3 votes

    Just revoked my vote for ING in this poll. For me, the new condition that ING announced, i.e. 5+ card transactions required to get the bonus rate, means that it is no longer the best transaction account. Sure, this condition does not come into effect until March, and poll is about 2017. But still …

    If others feel the same, feel free to revoke, as the vote as it stands could be misleading (if seen by new users contemplating opening an account) by not taking into account this new condition.

  •  

    Anyone used the ME bank transaction account? Free ATM withdrawals without any requirements to deposit seem really good.

    • +1 vote

      Used it a while, and have now stopped using. I was fine with the weekly paypass (to earn the bonus rate) if I was around.
      When away overseas for short periods and could not fulfil the weekly paypass requirement, I asked for their goodwill to exempt this. After two times, a personnel specifically rang to say no more exemptions in future. It means planning and moving funds out for periods away. I decided it was too much trouble to do so.

      •  

        Good to hear I'm thinking of using it more as a transaction account than a savings account so not too bothered with the interest rate. How are the rest of the features of the account?

        • +1 vote

          As for the rest, I think it is very average. Sometimes even primitive.

          For e.g., when I was using it, you just could not add a payee with the same name in the address book. (We are not talking about the nickname of the payee, but the person's account name.) So if you are trying to set up payees for the same person, but different bank accounts, it is not a straightforward task. You would have to invent different variations - using upper/lowercase, different spaces, name variations - e.g. John^Doe, JOHN^DOE, JOHN^M^DOE, John^^^Doe … (the ^ denotes a space). Many other banks do not have this restriction; same account name, and different bank combinations can be added and given nicknames. Not sure if they have improved on this front as yet.

          Another thing is if you have your funds in Savings, but would like to schedule future-dated payments, it is not as convenient as, say, Macquarie, Ubank or CUA. This is because all payments have to be initiated from the transaction account (much like ING). Macquarie/Ubank/CUA let you pay from the Savings account directly to another bank. Ubank also has the sweep feature which sweeps needed funds to the transaction acct.

        •  

          @bluesky:Thanks for the feedback, what are you using now if you don't mind me asking?

        • +1 vote

          @joungs: I have a habit of never closing accounts I open, so quite a few choices really. Still using ING for ATM withdrawal, but once ING's requirement of 5+ trans comes into play in March, will probably switch to Macquarie, Ubank or NAB. Macquarie is also completely ATM fee-free, if that is your priority.

        • +1 vote

          @bluesky: yeah ubank is good for savings however their transaction account is a bit basic, sweep feature is nice though. I'll have a look at Macquarie cheers.

  •  

    Hands down ING because they are so awesome. Almost zero fees and higher interest rates because of no brick and mortar stores.
    Have earned quite a few of bonus interest with them.

    Although I should add - I was with ING in the US as well (I moved down to Aus 2 yrs ago). Back in the US they were fantastic but ended up getting taken over by Capital One which is a bank there. This changed ING to Capital One 360. There were still some nice account opening bonuses and stuff but somehow I felt the service was a notch lower.
    I hope ING in Australia does not sell to a bigger bank here.

  • +1 vote

    Just got this email from Macquarie:
    "With the holiday period just around the corner, we’ll no longer be charging the AUD$5 fee for withdrawing cash from an ATM overseas… we are waiving this fee from 8 December 2017 until further notice."

    With no international transaction or withdrawal fees, plus a significantly better website/app, Macquarie now appears to be a better choice than citibank, at least in countries where citibank ATMs are uncommon.

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