Everyday Transaction Account + Online Shopping/Overseas Travel

I know there have been some similar discussions before, but things have changed since. So I am looking at everyday transaction accounts that require little to no fees. I use the account to make purchases online sometimes in foreign currency. I typically travel overseas once or twice a year and would like the account to be overseas friendly( atm fees, exchange fees, etc.).

I have been comparing ING, Citibank and HSBC. ING was sitting at the bottom of my list as they charge a 2.5% transaction fee for overseas (assuming I spend 4k overseas a year that would charge $100 in transaction fees) and I am looking at spending a few months overseas so the whole 5 transactions per month condition could become annoying. HSBC and Citibank both charge no transaction fees overseas. When comparing the exchange rates between Citi and HSBC I found that the difference was typically between 0-1% or ($0-$40 difference on $4000 of overseas purchases). Apart from this, most other fees seem to be similar or identical. Some wording is a little confusing though and was hoping someone could shed some light and give opinions on the best option.


  • +5

    ING was sitting at the bottom of my list as they charge a 2.5% transaction fee for overseas (assuming I spend 4k overseas a year that would charge $100 in transaction fees)

    Nope, if you deposit $1000 per month into your account and do minimum 5 Card Transactions they charge no fees.
    If the bank is going to be your everyday bank, then ING is one of the best when it comes to overseas transactions.

    NOTE: The 5 card transactions can include overseas transactions, as long as physical card is used
    (i was in japan for 6 months and kept meeting my conditions by using my card at local convenience store)

    They also refund ATM fees etc if you use card overseas

    CitiBank i think is best if you simply want a card with no FTF but no requirements to get them free

    Note: Citi uses Mastercard now
    ING: is Visa

    Visa has better conversions rates usually, but charges banks higher fees which is why most banks have or are switching to Mastercard

    • Isn't the 5 transactions rebate on atm fees only? Under the fees category it still lists a 2.5% transaction fee for overseas purchases.

      • +2

        Nope, Removes all Overseas transaction fees
        ATM fees
        and ING"s Overseas ATM fee
        All refunded if you meet the criteria

        It lists the fee for those who do not meet the criteria and will be charged the fee

        • Yep, you're right. Initially, it lists atm fees as a rebate but further down it states all international fees are $0 if meeting the criteria. This has just shot ING but up my list. Is there really much of a difference between conversions through visa/mastercard? Are there any other benefits or negatives which visa vs mastercard?

          • +1

            @Rochie: ING are the only ones that rebate international ATM fees (if you meet the criteria) so I have them at the top of my list too :)

            I also have Citibank as a backup when travelling.

    • Not sure if things have changed, but I am pretty sure that MC normally has the better FX rate compared to Visa.

  • ING is my pick, but another to consider is Macquarie Bank.

    I found CitiBank's app to be horrible, HSBC's wasn't much better, and I didn't like the experience I had with either of their call centres.

    • Citibank app has been greatly improved over past 6 months, but i hear you on how bad it was

  • Also note that if you're willing, you can get 2% back on up to $2500/mo spend (so $50) on the HSBC account, which can help offset those FX rate differences - you just have to deposit $2000 to the account per month, and use mobile wallet/contactless (while in Aus) to make your transactions. I assume you can just rinse the $2k through, i.e. send it to another account once you've deposited, although I haven't tried myself.

    • The 2% cashback is very good, almost too good to last long. ING used to offer this and changed their mind when it became very popular.

      EDIT: Are you aware if the 2000 has to stay in the account or can we do a withdrawal after a few days to keep say a few hundred in HSBC?

      • You can withdraw it straight after it hits the account.

      • That was one other reason I was considering HSBC. But as you said, it probably won't be a long-running offer.

  • +2

    Up doesn't charge foreign transaction fees and uses the standard Mastercard exchange rate without any markup.
    Only drawbacks are that it doesn't rebate ATM fees and can only be accessed through the app on your phone.

    • Although it seems like OP is looking for a multi-currency account - I use Up too but you can only hold AUD so you can't transfer balances when rates are favourable, etc

      • Not neccesarily requiring multi currency as I often exchange cash in the country for favourable rates. I think I'm leaning towards ING as a friend sent me a refer code that gives us both $100 cash too. The service reviews have turned me away from hsbc a bit.

  • ING is top of my list and is my everyday account, but I also recently opened an Everyday Global with HSBC. If you meet their conditions ($2000 deposited per month, which you can then withdraw) for three months, they will give you $100. Free money! Also 2% cashback on tap&go purchases under $100, up to $50 per month.

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