Keep Bank Account?

I have a bank account with Commonwealth that was opened for me by my parents when I was a kid, I've had it for 26 years. I've used it all through my life as my main account until the last year or so when I got a mortgage with ME bank, and I send my salary there for offset purposes. I use a commonwealth credit card for everyday purchases like groceries and move money to the commonwealth account for PayPal stuff, bills that I haven't got around to moving to the ME account and getting cash out and paying off the card.

I don't really need the account and I am being charged $4/month account keeping fees. I went into a branch and asked if it can be lowered but I'm not a student and apparently $4/month is the lowest they've got for non-students.

It sounds ridiculous to be sentimental about a bank account, which is just a bunch of numbers (that I've had memorised forever…). Have had the credit card a long time too (have also had the CC number memorised a long time, which makes online purchases so convenient). This also sounds ridiculous but the account number, BSB and my CC number have nice patterns in them. I am very attached to patterns.

ME bank has apple pay so that's not a reason to keep the commonwealth account. I love cardless cash in the commbank app but it won't kill me to keep a debit card in the car in the case that ME bank can't do something similar, though their website/internet banking is trash so I don't have high hopes. (I've lost the habit of taking a wallet around with me)

I should close the account, shouldn't I? It makes me so sad to contemplate that. I didn't think of asking while I was in the branch, but can an account be transferred to another person? Can I keep it until I have a kid and transfer ownership of it to them, so the numbers and transaction history don't get lost (and they'll be a kid, so no account fees until they're in their 20s)?

Poll Options

  • 12
    Keep it in your name, can't put a price on sentimentality
  • 0
    Keep it as you can transfer it to your kid later
  • 110
    Ditch it you idiot


  • Was it your old Dollarmite account?

    I'd close it, especially since there's an account keeping fee.

  • If you are sentimental about it and don't mind a small inconvenience, just get your pay paid into it. They waive fees if you have 2k hitting the account. Then just transfer it out to where you need it.

    • Or send $2000 from your offset to your CBA account to waive the account keeping fee, then send it back to your offset account

    • Thanks, I didn't know this was a way to avoid fees. You'd think the lady at the branch could have told me this considering I said I was thinking about closing the account 🙄

      • I've got an account with CBA. Never paid fees because my salary is deposited

      • Yes, please do this. This is what I do with my cba anyway since I like their bank app so much. Anyhow, with osko, once my salary hit cba account, it took one second to transfer to my offset mortgage account with another bank

  • It's not stupid to be sentimental about it. I have not taken the cheapest/most efficient paths in life at times due to sentimentality but what the hell.

  • Can you not get paid into the Commonwealth account, then just transfer it to ME and avoid the $4 monthly fee? Surely they won't charge it if you are getting money into it.

  • Close the account on principle. Other banks like NAB don't charge an account keeping fee.

  • I have this bank account which fortunately free anyway - do not use it for years due to offset account with other bank but still remember the numbers. And yes , if I were you due to the fees, I'll close it.

  • Look up dollarmite scandal. They tried to trick kids into banking with CBA in hopes of fleecing loyal adult customers who are none the wise. I believe Victoria banned them last year.

  • apparently $4/month is the lowest they've got for non-students.

    It is to be expected from the dodgy CBA.

  • +1 vote

    cba (the corporation) does not care about you, and you should not care about it.

  • +1 vote

    Keep it as your "core" account.
    More than likely your friends have this account number since you've had it for so long.

    Get your salary deposited there, and transfer straight out into your offset account (to avoid fees).

    You're going to refinance in the near future (most likely to another bank), and it's nice to not have to tell everyone (including work) your new bank details.

    • PayID does away with remembering bsb and account numbers.

      • When’s the last time you told work to pay you via PayID

        • We get paid with PayID.

          The mass adoption of new tech always takes a bit of time. Legacy banks used to record customer's savings in a passbook back in <80s. They then switch over to internet banking about 5 to 10 years later when the internet grew bigger. Millions of people use WeChat and Alipay to send money to family and friends.

  • If you're getting stung $4, get rid of it. If you can do something to avoid the fee then maybe, a little back up account and debit card can be useful should anything happen to your main card.

  • Paying fees on accounts is something no Ozbargainer should do. I think all banks in Australia have a $250,000 government guarantee so no need to keep money in the BIG4 anymore. I opened an Up bank account a week ago. It took about 5 minutes to get up and running including putting money in. Google/ Apple pay was also available immediately. There is an extensive list of things you don't pay fees for. Maybe in 25 years you will become sentimentally attached to a new account. I think it is a good idea to have an account with another institution. Up bank gives a MasterCard and ING a visa both are good ideas for dodging international purchase fees and inflated exchange rates.

  • All you need is your Dollarmites deposit pouch for memory sake. You can buy one on eBay for $4 probably if you don't have yours anymore.

  • There are other banks such as NAB, Macquarie Bank, 86400 you can look into when you need a bank that doesn't charge these account keeping fees.

  • I love booking annual appointments with my bank manager to have them spend their time configuring my separate accounts to automatically transfer $$ from here to there using their rules designed to confuse the customer.

    I now have no fees with them whatsoever and my money is making unknown chess moves in the dark to my advantage.

  • It sounds like you've made your decision, but can't bring yourself to do it. If your friend was asking you, what would you suggest to them?

    • I'd probably tell them to close it… But I'll investigate the money shuffling idea that's been proposed first

  • Have a similar situation with my CBA account, only I don't have a credit card, so its largely dormant.

    Told them I didn't want to pay the fee and asked them to waive it because I've been a loyal customer, and they did it.

  • If it makes you feel better OP, I used to have an ANZ bank account that cost $5pm with an additional $6pm for a debit card. I paid $11pm ($132 per year) for far too long before realising most other banks did the combo for free. I even had my pay going into the account but that didn't eliminate any of their fees.

    When I brought it up they said I was on an old account where they charged for debit cards but for a while now they had been giving debit cards away for free so I could switch over to one of the new debit cards however the $5pm account keeping fee would remain. I asked to be reimbursed the $11pm I had been paying (or the $6pm at the very least) and they said no and so I closed my account. I remember sometime around then that ANZ gave all of their female employees free additional superannuation too just for having a vagina. I don't think I will be banking with them again any time soon.

  • One way loyalty anywhere in life is terrible. Big corporations have been relying on this for centuries to line their pockets. Dollarmites was no more than a scam. Do business with people that actually create something that benefits both.

  • All of my money sits in my UBank account and I get my salary paid into my Commbank account, which like you I am sentimental about.

    That way I pay no fees to CBA to keep the account, and when I transfer my pay over to UBank I leave abour $30 or so in the CBA account in case I need to take cash out or something.

    I wouldn't use any of CBA's credit cards either as their offerings don't really give any benefit, especially their credit cards that have fees.

    • This is exactly how I do it too. For some reason my salary gets deposited a day earlier when it's directed to a CBA account.

  • Ask CBA to switch you to a no fee account if that's possible. No, bank account is not transferrable. Bank needs to keep your detail for seven years. Bank will wipe your information (the numbers and transaction history, etc.) in seven years under normal circumstance.

    You can scan / print / download the statements and burn them onto CD/DVD/HDD and save them in a safe.