Opening a bank account in Australia was extremely quick and easy! In fact, I registered for a TFN, got an Australian SIM card, and opened a bank account all within the first couple of hours of landing in Australia!
WHAT WILL I NEED?
- A valid passport
- A tax number from your home country (this is the number your previous employers used for tax purposes. For example Social Insurance Number (SIN) if you’re a Canadian, Social Security Number (SSN) if you’re American, or NiNo if you are British)
- Some cash to deposit into your account
- Any bank card. This is only to use at the ATM in order to open your Australian account and deposit money into it. You will not be charged anything on this card.
*NOTE: You do NOT need a permanent Australian address or your Tax File Number (TFN) to open a bank account.
WHAT BANK SHOULD I GO WITH?
Most of the ATMs in Australia charge a small fee to withdraw cash. Although these charges will not break the bank, they can certainly add up, specially if your bank is charging you an extra fee on top of the ATM. You can avoid these charges by withdrawing cash at ATMs offered by your bank. Which brings me to my next point: register with one of the most common banks in Australia to have access to plenty of branches and ATMs.
Below are the 4 biggest bank chains in Australia
- National Australia Bank (NAB)
- Commonwealth Bank (CBA)
- Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ)
- Westpac (WBC)
I opened an account with commonwealth Bank and have been very happy with them. Below are some of the reasons why:
- Quick and easy to open an account
- Started using my account right away
- Commonwealth Banking App which is very easy to use and navigate. It even has a “find the nearest ATM” feature which has been very helpful!
- Lots of free ATMs
- Best feature – cardless cash which allows you to withdraw cash using only your phone! My card took 6 business days to arrive but I was using my account this entire time. This meant that my money was safe in the bank and I didn’t need to carry any excess cash on me while traveling. It’s also great for going on a night out or any adventures where you’re worried about losing your card. You can also use this feature to send cash to others to collect at an ATM – SO HELPFUL!
OPEN AN ACCOUNT BEFORE YOU MOVE TO AUSTRALIA
It only takes 20 minutes to open a bank account and you can start using it right away, however your bank card may take up to 7 business days to arrive. Here’s how you can plan ahead and have your card ready for when you need it.
- If you are traveling with a set itinerary, you can let the bank know where you’ll be in 7 business days from the day you open your account. This way they can mail your card to the town’s main post office for you to pick up.
- If you’re unsure of your travel plans, you can open an account online, up to 3 months in advance, and have your card ready for pick up when you arrive in Australia! You can also transfer money and view your account online, all before arriving in the country! Click here for more information on banking in Australia.