Best Australian Transaction (Day to Day) Account for 2021

Moderators at OzBargain are now running 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. For more information on how these polls work, or if you want to suggest a new poll that isn't covered already, please refer to our announcement thread here.


Question

What is the best Australian Transaction Account for 2021?

Transaction accounts are a basic day-to-day use account that everyone should have: It's an 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). Many banks however, have now ditched local ATM fees.
  • Phone, or Internet banking fees
  • EFTPOS and Branch fees
  • Foreign transaction fees and Overseas or International 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.

Last year, most of you voted for Up Everyday account, followed by the ING Orange Everyday. Up won by a landslide of 207 votes.


How do I suggest products to What Should I Buy polls?

If you have a product that you would like to suggest for the poll (that is currently not in the Poll Options), you'll need to make a top-level comment (i.e. not replying someone else's comment) and fill up "Suggestions" text box just above your comment:

Suggestion box

Do try to make a sensible suggestion (e.g making sure it's an actual transaction account) and include a brief argument as to why you would recommend the product, including what it's benefits are and current interest rate if possible.

Poll Options expired

Comments

  • +2
    Suggested ING Orange Everyday

    No foreign transaction fees, no ATM fees (local and internional, even on those ripoff commerical ATMs), fee free, good app.
    Saving account has a 1.35% interest rate

    Conditions are
    $1000 into the account, 5 transactions a month
    Need to increase savings balance each month to get the interest rate (don't need it for the transaction part)

    • +10

      Getting overseas local atm fees refunded by ing feels like cheating when you're travelling with other people.

    • +2

      Macquarie refunds commerical ATM operator fees unconditionally.

      Just in case people are not aware…

      • Macquarie refunds commerical ATM operator fees unconditionally.

        Can you elaborate on that?

        • +1

          No. But you can read it for yourself here https://www.macquarie.com.au/everyday-banking/transaction-ac...

          • +4

            @avoidfullprice:

            We will refund fees charged to you by domestic ATM operators in connection with domestic ATM transactions, but you’ll need to pay any other fee that you’re charged by any international ATM operator.

            • @Hellcrusher2903: Yup. And no need for $1000 into the account, 5 transactions a month etc. to get that rebate.

              Waived/refunded international ATM fees is a nice perk, but for day-to-day Australian transaction account?

              Waived/refunded international transaction fees is worth a mention.

    • No dead-set maximum daily transfer limit as well. While yes you can set one, but it's also fairly easy to change the upper limit. Other banks often require to fill out a form.

    • Also. I use it to buy Crypto currencies.

      One of the few banks I've found that didn't charge me 'cash advance on my purchases.
      So zero fees for buying things like Bitcoin and CRO.

      • who lets you use a credit to buy crypto without a cash advance?

        • Not use credit,
          When I tried to buy with a card, the bank chose to use my linked credit card instead of the debit side of it.
          ING wasn't such a dick about it.

    • 0% interest for ING Orange Everyday account. I guess you were referring to the Savings Maximiser account.

  • +2

    Up Bank

    Pros

    No monthly fees
    No local or international ATM fees (ATM fees charged by some foreign banks excluded)
    No foreign transaction fees

    Cons

    0.7% interest rate on savings

    • +2
      • +5

        That was an imagine of a skeleton with the title "JOINT ACCOUNTS COMING SOON" (saved you all an unnecessary click).

        • +1

          Joint accounts have now arrived with Up

      • +3

        Hands down the best banking app. All other banks need to focus on mobile banking as its the new norm.
        I particularly like the way it separates all transactions into categories to basically create a budget so you know where you are spending your money.
        Saved about $100 so far with the cashback offered too

        • I never get the cash back offers and been with CBA for years. I can't get through the query it.

    • +3

      Monthly account keeping fees : none

      Has a monthly fee of $4 - Waived if a minimum monthly deposit of $2000 is made or that you are under 25.

      Whilst this may not be a problem for some, the NAB Classic Banking account does not have a monthly fee or any age requirements.

      28D is a credit card, so is not relevant in this thread.

      • I agree with you, but my pay goes to CBA so no fees.
        and their app/website best in Australia, definitely compare to ANZ, CitiBank, ING and Westpac, as I been using all time of them time to time.
        I only do few international transaction, you could use Citibank card instead of 28D, i don't see the big deal.

        However in general, for day to day transaction, CBA is way better, specially when their app can customize almost anything.

        • +2

          The category is "Best Australian Transaction (Day to Day) Account for 2021" not best app/website.

          To say that there is no Monthly Account Keeping Fee is misleading.

          • @Baysew: I would consider waiving the fees in the same realm of $1000 monthly deposit + 5 transactions.

            Aren't they all conditions you must meet in order to take advantage of the promos?

  • +3

    HSBC gets my vote for the 2% cashback

  • +2
    Suggested Up Everyday Account

    *Edit - I'm hopeless with these "Suggested" templates :(

    • No monthly fees
    • No foreign transaction fees
    • No domestic or international ATM withdrawal fees (international banks may apply their own fees)
    • Excellent app
    • Support for Apple, Android, Fitbit, and Garmin Pay

    Saving account has a 0.70% interest rate

    Conditions are
    5 transactions a month

  • Which bank doesn't feel entitled to access my mobile phone? Let's start there.

  • +1
    Suggested 86 400
    • 1.2% interest rate with 1000 deposit
    • $10,000 OSKO [instant transfers] daily limit
    • Connect with other accounts to see all balances on one screen
    • No monthly fees/int'l fees
    • Send them electric bill to test competitiveness against a small list
    • [Negative] Only have phone app - No website/iPad app
    • People can direct debit and pay anyone directly out of their saving accounts as well. You don't need two steps (Savings -> Transaction, Transaction -> Anyone) like other banks. Their saving accounts have transaction account like features.

      Can't link a debit card to their saving account, however.

      No Bank @ Post support to deposit cash into account. Unlike ING or Up.

      Bill prediction is hit and miss

      • I don't see direct debit from savings as an upside, but maybe that's just me.
        Paying out of savings to someone else is another thing (for convenience).

        • You can pay out of savings to others

  • I upvoted “Up” for its ease in signing up and also that it has now transferwise integrated into its app for international payments. Very handy.

  • +1

    I have:
    ING for traveling (saved me +- $100 in ATM fees overseas on 1 trip) - that was before covid though.
    HSBC for transactions <$100 (2% cashback).
    AMP saver (for marginal .05% more on savings) - because everything matters.
    Citibank - no international fees without a fuzz (no deposit required etc.) I could probably change this to UP/Macquarie.
    NAB - the easiest one I could find to open from overseas without fees (years ago). Not using it actively anymore though.
    ANZ (because I used refinance promo) - but not using actively (only for churning through CCs and homeloan).
    (And various other accounts because of cashback promotions.)

    Probably worst experience so far is MyState - where Osko transfers are still not working. MyState admits there's an issue somewhere, but they can't fix it. I can't use the app, because it defaults to osko payments (so all payments via app automatically fail - after saying "successful transfer").

    Am I the only one with a spare wallet just for keeping debit cards you don't use often?
    (I actually rarely take cards with me, most common ones are in google pay anyway. But definitely can't fit them all in my wallet.)

  • +3
    Suggested Ubank USpend

    This answer includes both UBank’s Transaction account (USpend) and their linked savings account (USave) but you can use them as one account as described below.

    Pros:

    • Joint accounts and multiple savings accounts.
    • 1.1% interest on balances of Savings account(s), when depositing $200 per month into Savings/Transaction account - interest rate is applied to a combined balance of up to $250,000 held in your USave savings accounts, including joint accounts.
    • No additional spending requirements to make the bonus interest.
    • Apple Pay / Google Pay / Samsung Pay.
    • Can get paid directly into Savings account.
    • “LiveSweep” feature which automatically moves the exact amount you need from your Savings account to your Transaction account when you need it. This allows you to keep 100% of your money in the Savings account and earning bonus interest. The LiveSweep kicks in for direct debits, BPAY, ATM withdrawals, purchases (including cash out) when selecting Savings. ApplePay also allows you to setup ApplePay purchases (including cash out) to use Savings which means LiveSweep also works for this.
    • Uses EFTPOS system so can be setup with Beem It for instant transfers to/from other banks.
    • No international transaction fees.
    • No account keeping fees, no overdraw fees, no fees at NAB, ANZ, CBA and Westpac Group ATMs.
    • Scheduled transfers allowing you to automatically move money to other banks at regular intervals (say to get cashback offers etc).
    • iPad app (as well as iPhone/Android).
    • Purchase categorisation in app.
    • “Free2Spend” budgeting feature on iOS.
    • Owned by NAB (for a sense of security).

    Cons:

    • No PayID yet.
    • No fast payments out yet (only in) - Need to use Beem It for fast payments out.
    • Very slow feature development with no roadmap (although their purchase of 86000 may help) - They have been promising the above PayID/OSKO features for a few years.
    • No push notifications for transaction alerts (only emails).
    • Some features only available via app, website seems to be getting deprecated.
    • Online only bank - no branches.
    • No cashbacks.
    • +1

      Somewhat related, but Ubank is more of a savings/interest play for me. But where the transaction account comes into its own is the LiveSweep. I think everyone is familiar with banks and their zero interest transaction accounts and their interest-earning but highly limited savings accounts. One of the typical drawbacks of these savings accounts is you can't direct debit out of them - so setting up an autopay/direct debit for your credit card from your savings account doesn't work with many banks.

      Ubank's live sweep on the transaction account becomes very handy for these direct debits - I give the credit card bank (eg Amex) the USpend account number, and when Amex debits my account, if there isn't enough in the USpend account then UBank will automatically move the money from my USave account to fulfil the debit. That way, my card is auto paid without me having to worry about missing due dates and my cash stays in the savings account.

    • +1

      UBank now have fast payments out
      https://forums.whirlpool.net.au/thread/90kv06m3?p=258#r68968...

      UBank also have SMS notifications not only email

      • Oh that’s great news regarding Fast Payments! Just confirmed it’s working for me. Thanks for letting me know.

    • The fast pay and PayID issue can be fixed by having an NAB Account (No Fees).

      I personally use the NAB account to deposit cash and random coins at Australia Post / branch.

      I double check this and you can fast pay out to an NAB account. For other banks this is a hit and miss.

  • +2
    Suggested Revolut Standard Account

    I voted for Macquarie as that’s my main account, but I also have a Revlout account and for some specific use cases it’s pretty good.

    No monthly fee, no foreign transaction fee on card transactions, $350/month ATM withdrawals free worldwide, multi currency accounts, crypto, commodities (gold/Platinum etc), Cashback built in (like Cashrewards/ shop back), free junior card for your kids that you can control in the app and fund/lock. Oh and free virtual disposable card numbers, so you can order from dodgy sites without worrying about your card being stolen.

    I initially signed up so I could send money from my Australian bank account at Macquarie to my Euro bank account. Macquarie can’t do that and recommended OFX, but revolut had a better rate. I took up the card option and have been using it more for my overseas transactions ever since.

  • +5

    I vote for Up for its instant approval, making my life easier, having Osko, and extremely easy to navigate.
    Macquarie is also good, but it doesn't have Osko, which is annoying/unacceptable these days…

  • +2

    Now that Macquarie no longer supports EFTPOS, combined with them only allowing fast payments via PayID (and not BSB/acc #, which I was using Beem It to get around), is there a suitable alternative?

  • I voted MQ, also have Up, but it does not have Internet Banking yet, App only.

  • I have a secondary account that $200 from each pay (fortnightly) goes into that I spend on whatever, anyone recommend an account for such little money and transactions?

    • +1

      Ubank

  • +2

    Absolutely love my Macquarie Platinum Transaction Account. It was super slow to adopt PayID, but it got there eventually.

    The only downside I can think of is that if you wanted to physically deposit cash into your account, you need to go to the one branch at their Barangaroo building (in Sydney anyway). Otherwise, they're amazing. Their app is really good too. You can tell they've invested in their IT.

    • This is why I keep my old ING account open, if I need to deposit cash I can do so at a post office.

      • smart idea! was thinking of cancelling the ING for a switch

        • One other thing that the ING account will come in handy for is if you ever urgently need to Osko someone some funds and they've only given you their BSB and account number, not a PayID.

          Macquarie doesn't yet have proper Osko, but they do have instant send/receive PayID, so you can set up your email address as the PayID on your ING account (Macquarie insists on a mobile number for their PayID only - no other choice), then send the funds from your Macquarie account to your ING PayID, log into ING and send the funds to the other parties BSB and account number instantly from there.

  • Voted MQ - happy alternative to ING - seems to have larger instant transfer amounts (ING is stuck at 1k per day).

  • Does anyone know what the OSKO/PayID limits are for Up? They don't exactly state it on their site except $30,000 limit per day, of which I have no clue what the sub limits are for OSKO/PayID (currently assuming its the full $30,000).

    Currently with ING and $1,000 limit on OSKO/PayID is very limiting and a PITA.

    • +1

      From memory its $30k. But there's usually a delay if the amount is higher than what you have previously sent to the PayId.

      You can contact them within the app if you require more accurate information.

    • +1

      All the pros are standard.

      • This is the only customer-owned bank in the list, and it is also certified as a 'B Corp'.

        Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.

  • Voted MQ - HOWEVER, Once my account got locked at middle of night all of sudden, called customer service and advised, I had to call them (dedicated team) in the morning after 8:30 to get my account unlocked. I lost my access to the account and was not able to make a transaction until then.
    May be not a good idea to ditch big banks completely after all. Make a backup account in NAB or similar for such circumstances.

  • +3

    What makes Macquarie so good?

    • Interface, top notch web and app user experience. Very polished, and easy to do what I want to do. Free without account fees unlike those "deposit XXX and we'll 'waive' the fees"..

      That being said, uncompetitive savings interest rates (it's so low it barely matters), no 2% cashback like HSBC, or all ATM refunds with ING (with conditions met), means that its the best "all-rounder" but doesnt have all the features.

      Thats why I have every single one of the accounts listed in the OP poll above except for beyond purple - no idea what that is.

      I use HSBC for paywave, ING for ATM refunds when I need cash (hardly ever these days), 26800 for the highest non-honeymoon interest rates, and Macquarie for everything else - most day to day money transfers, payID, direct debits etc etc.

  • Merged from Best Everyday Banking Account?

    So when I first signed up for ING years ago (thanks to ozbargain), I got rebates on paywave, a great interest rate, free atm withdrawals, free foreign transaction fees, no monthly fees. I was living the dream.

    Unfortunately, most of these benefits are now gone/restricted or have conditions which I'm not likely to meet. I understand why with ongoing low interest rates but that doesn't mean I can't shop around :P

    So what's the go to everyday banking account these days?

    • Macquarie, Up and 86 400. Would be my recommendations to take a look at.

  • Looks like ING is about to have yet another shake-up in December.

    Pro: 1% cashback on gas, electricity and water bills, up to $100/year.
    Con: ATM fee rebates reduced to only 5/month.
    Con: International ATM and transaction fees increasing - but still eligible for waiver.

    Pretty small change, but overall nice.

  • -1

    I can see that Macquarie has topped the list, and For me, the main issue with Macquarie is that they are missing some features I would consider "basic" these days. Disclaimer: I don't have a Macquarie account myself, but know others that do.

    For example, fast payments on the NPP. Osko is clearly the most common implementation of fast payments with PayID, and most banks support this. Some also support fast payments outside Osko. Macquarie doesn't support Osko, which means payments to/from most other banks use the old slow system. It feels ridiculous when transferring to/from almost any other bank is instant.

    OK, why not just use Beem It to transfer to Macquarie? Great idea, that's how I dealt with UBank (which was really slow to turn on NPP). Problem is, Macquarie has turned off EFTPOS on its debit cards, which is my second gripe. This is ridiculous! EFTPOS is truly ubiquitous across Australia, charges lower fees to merchants, is Australian owned, and Macquarie just decides to… opt out? With many merchants now surcharging for card payments, having EFTPOS is a great way to avoid the surcharge in almost all cases. With EFTPOS on Apple Pay, you can select Savings and avoid the surcharge without taking the card with you. And with EFTPOS moving to support online payments, it will likely become an easy way to avoid surcharges on big purchases like airfares. If you're with Macquarie, not an option. /endrant (Sorry, it just irks me).

    My vote is Up, which I think is a truly excellent product, backed by the fairly ethical Bendigo/Adelaide Bank. If you want web-based internet banking, it's not for you (yet), but this is on their product tree. They are constantly adding new things and for me the app is a benchmark for what other banking apps should be. Despite being a smaller brand, if you do need urgent phone support it is provided via Bendigo (and their in-app chat support is great).

    Personally, I use a range of accounts to meet my needs:
    *Pay goes into Bank Australia and I use this to pay bills/boring expenses like groceries
    *Fun money (eating out/booze/tickets etc) goes to Up, with fun savings in an Up Saver. This means I'm using Up for most of my small day-to-day transactions, which is where it really shines.
    *Direct debits for regular bills go from UBank, with sweeps from a USave, to earn some interest on money put aside for bills/rent.

    Above combo not for everyone but I think that if you can be bothered with the admin a mix of accounts is often the way to go, especially with many banks not charging monthly fees, and fast payments between banks (except you know who) removing the friction of doing so. I know a lot of people just have a bunch of Orange Everyday accounts as a version of this.

    TL;DR - my vote goes to Up, which is smart, techy, and fun. Macquarie irks me more than it should. Sorry for the long post.

  • Suggested Heritage Transaction Account

    Had most of the others mentioned and turned over every few months after the bonus period.
    Now with Heritage. Seems reasonable (until I move again).

  • So if im adding money to a savings account but also withdrawing the same amount (not in a dodgy way, i want to put x in for auto bills) does it count towards the conditions that require montly deposits? It would be above the 1k most require per month, but also that 1k would be coming out within two weeks or so

    • It depends on the account. The main possibilities are:
      You cannot withdraw at all
      You can withdraw but must return to the account and increase the balance before end of the month eg. ING
      You can withdraw eg. UBank
      You need to check the T&C's carefully.

  • This one just entered the Australian market.
    It's actualky a UK one.
    Some pretty good features on the free tier of this one.

    https://www.revolut.com/en-PT/introducing-revolut-metal

  • What is the best Osko option? HSBC?
    Looking to jump from $5 account keeping Westpac

    • HSBC is not a good option for anything. They are very bureaucratic and horrible to deal with. From the bank accounts I have that have OSKO I would recommend:
      ING but daily limit $1000.
      Ubank and NAB but only on ap.
      MyState Bank but the daily limit is $2500, but check.

    • +1

      only thing going for hsbc is 2% cashback on tap purchases

  • +1

    https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/662910
    Up Bank has another Perk
    Split payments/bills with mates
    Get $10 for splitting $30 with 2 mates till Monday

  • Macquarie bank lets you add a document to your transaction. Does any other bank let you do that?

  • Why is MyState from Tassie not here?

    • +1

      If you feel they meet the information outlined in the original post it's a user generated poll so you're more than welcome to submit your choice.

  • Macquarie Transaction Account doesnt support Samsung pay, so Up it is.

    Also's Up Savers feature is the best thing ever - instant "virtual" savings account

    Also gives you an email ID ending with up.me that can be used as PayID.

    Just waiting for them to get a web interface, so I can move my salary account there too.

    • Why wait for a website to deposit your salary.

      • +1

        I do alot of moving around between accounts every other week, i need to have multiple windows open, just find it easier to do on the computer. so right now its just for my savings.

    • yeah the 0.5% pa interest rate is definitely the best thing ever

  • +5

    A new poll for 2022 will be added soon, within next few days or so when I have time.

  • A new poll is up. You'll find it stickied on the top of the Finance forums. https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/681645

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