Opening a Bank Account in Australia from Overseas

Piggy Bank

Before you read this entire page, I have made an Update below, and I can tell you now, I no longer answer the question of how you can “Open a Bank Account in Australia from Overseas”

The Big Four

Here in Australia, just as in many other countries, we have a “Big Four” in our banking world. Those banks are, in alphabetical order, ANZ, Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CommBank), National Australian Bank (NAB) and Westpac. It’s difficult to say which is the biggest out of those four, it depends which criteria you’re using as a measurement.

Is it profit? Is it equity? Is it market capitalisation? Is it the number of branches or even how many ATMs they have? Each and every one of these top 4 banks could probably come first or fourth depending which criteria you choose as a measurement.

Update November 2022

Over the years I’ve changed this page many times trying to keep up with the changing information as banks close branches, increase their numbers of ATMs, buyout other banks and increase their market capitalisation, among other things.

At one point I was also able to offer the name of the bank that made it easiest to open account from abroad, but now the criteria appears to be the same across all banks, most likely to comply with the laws that try and prevent money laundering.

So, sadly, I’m now in a position where I really cannot offer you advice around which is the best bank in Australia to open an account with, but I can tell you who the top four banks are. I’ve already mentioned them on this page, but here they are again. In no particular order, they are:

  • Commonwealth Bank
  • Westpac
  • NAB
  • ANZ

Simply Google which ever bank you fancy, look for their “Migrant Banking” section and check out what they have to offer and what you need to do to open a bank account with them.

My apologies for not being able to be as helpful as I would have liked.

Changing your local currency into Australian dollars

Of course, at some point you will need to exchange your local currency into Australian dollars when you move to Australia. Getting the best exchange rate possible is critical and for this I would strongly suggest that you do not use CommBank, or any high street bank anywhere in the world to do this.

To get the best exchange rate, you need to use a dedicated currency exchange company. For more information about that, please visit my page about currency exchange:




Visa Assessment Service
{ 147 comments… add one }
  • Duncan November 12, 2019, 12:18 pm |

    My children are planning to come to Australia in 2023 on a WHV is it possible to open an account in Aus now and feed savings into it over the next three years. Any info appreciated

    • Simon Elvins November 12, 2019, 2:48 pm |

      Yep. just pick one. they’re very helpful. Write to one if need be and explain the situ

  • Tori October 13, 2019, 8:25 pm |

    I need to open a bank account, I was looking for information on banks in Australia. Thank you for the information on the Big Four in the banking world of Austria. I will choose between these ANZ, Commonwealth Australian Bank, Australian National Bank (NAB) and Westpac.

  • Katie October 8, 2019, 9:40 pm |

    I am a foreigner from Hong Kong and would like to open an Australian bank account online. Do I have to go in person to the bank to verify my identification in order to withdraw the money? Can I have correspondence address in Hong Kong. Is there anyway that the identification documents can be proved online. Which bank would your suggest to me?

    Thx for your advice.

    • Simon Elvins October 9, 2019, 10:29 am |

      HEy Katie – Any of the big banks in Oz will do – they dont charge for using atms – westpac, anz etc are all about the same. Yes you will need to visit the bank in person to verify ID. 🙂

  • Sandie Kowuropa July 5, 2019, 3:46 pm |

    I live in Papua New Guinea. I am interested to open a Bank Account in Australia. I am planning to come to Australia in 2020. Please assist me.

    • Simon July 6, 2019, 11:03 am |

      Chose one of the big four – google will help you with this – then apply. You will not be able to use the account until you have visited the bank in person to verify your identity. You can of course deposit money before this but you wont have access until you go to the bank

  • Gordan May 30, 2019, 3:09 am |

    As I am still australian resident, and citizen, but living overseas, my question is, what can I do if i dont have physical address anymore (I dont intent to return to Australia) – how can I manage my bank accounts, from some virtual address, if possible?
    They removed me from voting lists, but I want to be able to renew only 3 documents I need, bank card, passport and driving licence.
    Btw, far best bank , if u live in Asia, is HSBC bank, no monthly fees, no ATM fees on HSBC atms overseas..

    • BobinOz May 31, 2019, 5:47 pm |

      All I can think of here is if you know someone who does live in Australia, then ask if you can use their place as a ‘care of’ address.

    • Matthew Ware September 4, 2019, 9:56 pm |

      I am in a similar position here in the UK. Westpac did let me set up an account in Australia but with my UK address, driver’s license etc. Also the ATM card will be sent to my UK address so I don’t need to worry about that going astray. It may be worth you looking at them, I’m sure they have a presence in SE Asia.


  • Simon February 8, 2019, 8:39 pm |

    Hey Guys

    We have just opened a WestPac account, BUT with a hitch – it appears that to withdraw any money i will actually need my tax file number. This number cannot be applied for until i physically arrive in Australia. Then, it can take a month to be approved etc. So, am i understanding this correctly? Therefore why do people advise to open the account before hand, from what i can see, there is no advantage to this, apart from perhaps adding cash to the account? Any advice is gratefully received 🙂

    • Buffalo Breath February 11, 2019, 9:22 am |

      Unless something recently changed, you do not need an Australia TFN just to open a bank account. There are other reasons to have one (like you’re working and need to file a tax return).
      I’m not an Australia resident or citizen. I don’t know current WestPac policies, but in mid 2017 I initially opened an ANZ Access Advantage account online. I was only able to add funds to it before visiting Australia. No withdrawals. I added about A$700 using Transferwise before visiting Melbourne. When I arrived in Melbourne I took the tram to their Docklands branch (where my account is and debit card was being held). I had to sign some documents and answer questions, but the only ID they wanted from me was my U.S. passport. My account was activated and I was able to use my debit card. I’ve been adding money to the account for my next visit, plus using the debit card once in a while.
      If you’re concerned about not being able to withdraw money before arriving in Australia, don’t add much until you come. That way you’re not tying up much money, and issues getting your money back if you end up never coming/visiting Australia should be minimal.

      • Simon February 11, 2019, 6:41 pm |

        Hey Buffalo Breath, thanks for taking the time to write. It does appear that i will need to produce the TFN to actually withdraw money. I have already opened the account etc which was easy but withdrawal seems the sticking point. I have written to Westpac to be sure 🙂

        • BobinOz February 11, 2019, 7:19 pm |

          I am as confused as Buffalo Breath about this, as far as I have been aware a TFN is only required so that the banks do not stop you emergency tax rates on any interest earned.

          I certainly did not need or have a TFN number to withdraw money from my account when I arrived here having opened it with Westpac from abroad. So hopefully when you receive a reply from them, it will be good.

          • Simon February 11, 2019, 8:55 pm |

            Ok so here is the email from Westpac – they mention a foreign Tax no – Any clues what that is?
            When you arrive in the country, please visit any Westpac branch in Australia
            • Let the banker know that you’re there to confirm your ID and unlock your account
            • Don’t forget to take your Customer ID Number and 2 forms of ID with you
            Your debit card will be ordered once your ID is confirmed.

            Foreign tax details
            If you haven’t already provided your Foreign Tax Identification Number (TIN), please bring it with you to unlock your account in branch. Your TIN may have a different name in some countries.

            • Simon February 12, 2019, 12:56 am |

              From Westpac today 11/02

              Simply provide Westpac with your NIN’s along with your identity documents which is a part of the identification process (this will unlock your account); following this once you have your Australian TFN’s you can simply contact Westpac to update your tax residency……..So there ya go, thanks all for making me go back and ask Westpac to clarify, much appreciated

              • BobinOz February 12, 2019, 7:41 pm |

                Ah, we got there in the end 🙂 It did seem a bit strange them wanting a TFN, so I’m glad they have changed their mind about that for now.

                Glad it all worked out, thanks for letting us know, Bob

      • Teoh April 12, 2019, 6:37 am |

        It would be appreciated if some one can offer some suggestions / advice…
        My mum is a non Australian resident/citizen – she is Vietnamese, i am a citizen of Australia. She would like to transfer some of her life savings to an Australian bank but with the intention that if anything happens to her in her in VN the funds can be inherited by me.
        1/ can she open an Aust bank acc and leaving it active for a long preiod?
        2/ if the funds generate interest is it easy for her to apply for a tax file number?
        3/ what can we do to ensure the savings can be inherited by me? An Aust will?
        Thanks in advance,

        • BobinOz April 17, 2019, 9:24 pm |

          This isn’t something I can help with, and given how important it is to get this right, I think you need to talk to a solicitor about the will and the banks about the account. I’m sure the tax office can help you with the TFN.

  • bob stevens October 11, 2018, 9:07 pm |

    Living in Aust but moving to the USA in 14 days time, Later I may need to set up a formal trust for my grandson and then a bank account associated with that formal trust in Australia. Is that possible to do from the USA as setting up an account relating to a formal trust in Australia brings with it other requirements not associated with just setting up a normal account, thanks

    • Buffalo Breath October 12, 2018, 8:37 am |

      I’m unsure of the answer, but to be on the safe side, set-up as much as you can in person at the bank branch, before leaving Australia.
      I live in the U.S. but also bank at ANZ. They require you to complete the process in person before you can withdraw money or issue a debit card. This is with all banks in Australia. I’m fairly certain this is the law to verify customer identity.

      • BobinOz October 12, 2018, 5:02 pm |

        Yes, I think that’s good advice Buffalo Breath, do as much as you can to set up the trust whilst you’re here in Australia. I think most big banks will be able to help you with this, but ‘I think’ the trustees will need to be living here in Australia.

        All things being equal that should not be a problem though and you will be able to choose your grandson’s parents or guardians, hopefully your child and their spouse.

  • Frederikke Nielsen August 28, 2018, 8:01 pm |

    Hi Bob

    I’m visiting Australia for 11 months on a working holiday visa. I would like to set up an Australian bank account and transfer some money from my Danish bank account to an Australian one before leaving Denmark. I’m considering opening an account before departure and transfer some money, so I have easy acces when I arrive in (Australia) Sydney. Do you know if Westpac charge any fees/how much for transferring from an non-australians account to an account within their bank? And does it matter whether I set up an account before arriving, or do you think it is better to get to Australia first, and then have a chat with a agency that knows about working holiday conditions in regards to bank accounts?

    Btw you blog rocks.
    Thanks in advance.
    BR Frederikke

    • BobinOz August 30, 2018, 6:55 pm |

      I think these are the kinds of questions you should be asking directly with the bank, they are the best people to advise you on this.

      At the moment I’m a little confused, they actually told me they were withdrawing their migrant banking offer because of the GDPR, but if you search online, it does still appear to be available.

      I’d find a contact email and get in touch with them direct for your answers. Sorry I can’t help more, but glad to hear you like my blog. Have a great time when you get here, Bob

  • Josie Serafica May 22, 2018, 1:19 pm |

    Hi Bob!
    My youngest son will be studying in Australia, specifically Monash in Melbourne, for the next 3 years, starting this July. We plan to open a bank account for him, jointly with me like an “and/or”, so we could transfer funds as needed. Should we go with a bank like ANZ that has a branch here in the Philippines, OR, your bank of choice Westpac?
    Thanks and cheers!

    • BobinOz May 22, 2018, 8:42 pm |

      In this situation, I think it probably makes sense to go with ANZ, there’s not that much difference between them and Westpac. As you have an ANZ where you live, you may as well go with that, because when your son finishes his studies, he can continue to use the same bank in the Philippines.

  • Nick February 17, 2018, 7:02 am |

    Hi Bob

    I’m an Australian living abroad,I just got into the crypto game and I want to open a Aussie bank account and deposit any profit I make to that account.
    How can I open a account online.

    Thanks mate.

    • BobinOz February 19, 2018, 4:29 pm |

      I think you would need to speak to the banks directly about that, especially if you do not intend to return to Australia within the next 12 months. If you are coming back within that time though, I don’t see why you cannot go through the process above to open an account online.

  • Chris December 30, 2017, 5:23 pm |

    Hi Bob,

    I’m a US citizen and I want to open a bank account in Australia. I’m not planning on moving there. Can I setup an online account and have my documents verified by an acceptable certifier? Will I eventually have to travel to Australia?

    • BobinOz January 2, 2018, 7:35 pm |

      This specific suggestion for opening a bank account in Australia is only for those expecting to move here within 12 months. As you have no plans to move here, I think you will need to contact some of our Australian banks direct to asked this question.

      I’m sure one of them will be able to help you. Good luck, Bob

      • Anna February 22, 2019, 7:48 pm |

        Hey Bob, i have the same situation. I am US citizen, and I am in Australia for just couple of weeks. I could open the bank account in here. But after visa time, i dont return to Australia, whether it is blocked?

        • BobinOz February 25, 2019, 6:59 pm |

          Same answer, you need to ask some of our Australian banks direct to find out if this is possible.

    • Glenn November 18, 2019, 5:03 pm |

      Hi Chris,

      I’m in the same situation as you were in when you posted this 23 months ago. Did you ever find a way to do this? Any bank you would recommend?

      I’m in the US and don’t plan on moving to AU, but I held a job in the US that was based out of NZ and has there stock on the AU market. I’m looking to setup an AU bank account so I can sell the stock, deposit the sales into the AU bank account then ultimately exchange the currency to USD and transfer it to my US bank account.

      Hopefully you get alerted to my reply 2 years later and have some suggestions. Or if Bob see’s this maybe you have some new insights. I’d appreciate it greatly.


      • BobinOz November 19, 2019, 6:30 pm |

        Sorry, I can’t help with this, I just don’t know. It might be an idea to speak to your accountant about how best to do this, as you wouldn’t want to create a tax liability for yourself if you don’t do it the best way.

        Might be worth looking into that.

        • Glenn November 20, 2019, 5:42 am |

          Hi Bob,

          Thanks for the reply. I did find this service after I posted my message. It will allow me to create an AU bank account for deposit, then can exchange to USD and withdraw to my bank account. This should hopefully meet my needs.

          I decided to wait until after the new year though as indeed my taxes for 2019 are already going to be interesting enough as I recently sold a house and bought another, left one job and started another, so why add another transaction to the mix. Plus I’m a top notch procrastinator so 2020 sounds good.


          • BobinOz November 20, 2019, 7:42 pm |

            Yes, that looks like a much better option, better than opening an actual bank account.

            If it is a large amount of money you’re talking about though, you might be able to set up the same sort of thing with TorFX and get a better exchange rate.

            I’ve been promoting them for quite a few years on this website and they really are one of the best. See my page about Currency Exchange.

            Wouldn’t do any harm for you to compare rates.

  • Alex November 13, 2017, 10:38 am |

    good day,

    is it possible to open a business account for non-resident company located in EU, UAE or off-shore?


    • BobinOz November 13, 2017, 6:21 pm |

      I don’t know is the short answer. I think you will have to speak to the banks directly about this. I’m sure it won’t be easy to set this up, the banks seem to be very concerned about potential money-laundering these days.

      Good luck though, Bob

  • alaa October 6, 2017, 6:37 pm |

    I’m Alaa from Iraq and I want to open a bank account in one of the good banks in Australia, can I do it or not? I want to open a bank account in Australia and deposit some extra money every month in my account. I want to raise some money to buy a small house in Australia because I am planning to live in Australia and I am now looking for work in Australia on farms. Can anyone Help me open an account ??

    • BobinOz October 7, 2017, 1:01 am |

      The bank account that you can open here is for people who intend to move to Australia within the next 12 months, that doesn’t sound like you. So your first problem is to find a bank which will allow you to open an account without a set date for arrival.

      Your second problem is buying a house here, if you are not resident in this country you will need permission from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB); Google it.

      Your third problem is getting a visa that will allow you to come here and live in the house you want to buy, for information about that, see my page about Visas.

      Good luck, Bob

      • alaa October 7, 2017, 4:14 am |

        thank you

  • Buffalo Breath August 18, 2017, 9:41 am |

    I think we’re making things way too complicated. I live in the U.S., am not an Australian citizen or resident, and was able to open an account at ANZ Bank (their Access Advantage account) with ease.

    Several years ago I was visiting Australia, and decided I’ll open account on my next visit. I just visited again this year.

    About two months before leaving I went to their migrant services website and applied online. The type of visa I have is a tourist (ETA) visa. Since I didn’t see that as a choice, I selected the closest visa to that. Their migrant services department in London called me. I explained that along with saying I didn’t have current plans on moving there. They were ok with that. I was not going to lie to the bank. Honesty is best. They provided me with logon credentials to view my account, but could not withdraw money until I presented my passport for ID verification at a branch. I also requested a Visa debit card. That would be available to collect at the branch I specified. Before I went to Australia, I deposited some money into the account using Transferwise.

    I then went to that branch when I visited Australia a month later. I was prepared for anything, bringing a bunch of documentation. As it turned out, all I needed was my passport. The account was activated and I picked up the debit card/set a PIN.

    I used the debit card quite a bit during my visit. I’m now back in the U.S. I’ll still add money to my account to have some savings in Australian dollars and for expenses on future trips.


    • BobinOz August 18, 2017, 2:11 pm |

      Well, opening an account from abroad with Westpac is pretty easy-peasy, this process isn’t complicated at all. Thanks for sharing your story though, I’m sure many people will find it useful.

      • Buffalo Breath August 20, 2017, 11:31 am |

        Wespac was my Plan B in case ANZ didn’t work out. Any of the four big Australian banks would have worked for me, I just happened to pick ANZ. All four have a bunch of branches in the major Australian cities, so any would work for me. When I went to the ANZ branch to finalize things, they were very nice and helpful. That was also a plus.

        • Gemma monks November 12, 2017, 5:24 am |

          Hi, my husband and I are in the early stages of migrating to Australia. ANZ let us open an account 12 months ago and deposit cash. We are heading to Australia next week to verify the accounts and get bank cards. I’m really pleased to read that you have the same account as us, I was worried that we would to the bank and they would say we couldn’t have the account because we don’t have a residency visa.

          The process for ANZ has been super easy and they are extremely helpful!!

          • Buffalo Breath January 29, 2018, 8:52 am |

            Thanks. I don’t check here often but am glad my ANZ post helped. ANZ is very helpful. I did some research and was prepared for anything, but it ended up being very easy. You do need to present yourself at a branch, that I combined with an already planned trip.

  • Andrew gooch July 19, 2017, 6:51 am |

    Hi Mark;
    I am an Australian citizen with a valid Australian passport but I have been living in Canada for most my life although I did spend about for years in the mid 90’s living in Australia. I have an online business that I would like to expand to Australia but I need a bank account for money to be deposited into while I continue to live here in Canada. What are my options?

    Thanks in advance!


    • Mark July 19, 2017, 8:26 am |

      Hi Andrew I should say first off its Bobs site I just pitch in mostly on Melbourne and the odd time when he has a few days off shall we say….You may have a reason I haven’t seen but not sure why you need an Aussie deposit account, unless its for customers who dont like paying plastic…Most of the web is done this way nowadays…As an easy fix alternative for receiving payment either by debit or credit card why not uses paypal…or there are several other merchant transfer payment processors…Im assuming you can already take Visa Amex Diners MC direct. maybe you cant so you will be a relatively compact operation..In which case paypal might be your best option, if there is some reason it needs to be a cash/ direct transfer then even your bank can take them if not there are loads of international money transfer outfits Try Transferwise Richard Branson is a backer to that even…After all you will need to get the money from Australia at some point otherwise you will run out of money.

  • Jessica June 18, 2017, 7:50 am |

    Do any of these banks allow opening a Canadian fund account? We’d like to send our funds and exchange it to AUD when the rate is favourable….
    By the way: your site is very helpful! We are planning to move to Australia in about 8 weeks and I’m finding many answers to my many questions!

    • Mark June 18, 2017, 8:59 am |

      Not sure they do but all you have to do is leave it wher it is and set up an account with a money transfer specialist broker ideally here in Aus then they are on the same time zone and get them to move it when the rate is favourable. Eg you bank online and sedn the money to them from Canada whilst here. I personally would not use a bank to foreign exchange they are amongst the worse on rates Tor fx down the side adverts here can probably help..One other thing though make sure your Canadian bank lift any daily transfer limit It may be say 40K Canadian and you want to transfer say 300K thats 8 days of transfers.

      • BobinOz June 19, 2017, 8:28 pm |

        I agree 100% with Mark on everything he has said here and I’m also pretty sure no one will be able to offer you an Australian bank account to hold Canadian funds. You might like to know I have lived here nearly 10 years, I still have my English bank account open and operating, it does come in handy from time to time.

        For example, buying a present for someone in the UK, having it sent direct to their address from the UK supplier and paying for it with my UK debit card. Thanks for the compliment Jessica as well, glad to hear you like my website.

  • Julie June 10, 2017, 1:22 pm |

    I was just wondering what type of account is the Choice Account.

    • BobinOz June 12, 2017, 8:40 pm |

      The Choice Account is just a regular cheque account, the sort of account you would have your wages go into automatically each month and would pay direct debit bills from. It’s not a savings account, it won’t earn you any interest, but you will get a debit card so you can pay and wave to buy things without cash.

      It’s the account I use on a daily basis.

      • Julie June 14, 2017, 10:07 am |

        Thank you very much.

      • saket September 13, 2017, 3:10 pm |

        Hi! Salary account and savings account are two different things? We can not have our salaries/wages go directly into savings account. Does this mean that we will have to open choice account for our salaries and savings account to earn some interest?

        • BobinOz September 14, 2017, 8:43 pm |

          Yes, I believe that is correct. I have two accounts with Westpac, one is the Choice account, that’s a cheque account, that’s where my salary goes. Then I have a savings account, I think it’s called an e-saver or something, that’s the account I get interest on.

          There is no such thing as a ‘salary account’ though, when you pay for something with a card you will be asked if you want the payment to come out of credit, savings or cheque. We’ve covered the last two of those, credit is obviously when you are paying by credit card.

  • Berdine Meeding April 1, 2017, 4:49 pm |

    We would like to move to Australia in about 10 years time, but we would like to save some money in a bank account in Australia for that event. Is it possible for us to open an account in Australia without living in Australia and to deposit or withdraw money via internet before we arrive in Australia.

    • BobinOz April 4, 2017, 6:14 pm |

      Well, I’m pretty sure you cannot do that with this particular bank account here, it is for people who intend to move to Australia within 12 months. Whether Westpac or any other bank can accommodate you, I’m afraid I don’t know, you would need to contact them directly to try and find out.

      Hope that helps, Bob

  • Zoe Taylor March 2, 2017, 11:34 pm |

    Hi Bob

    Could you please tell me if there are monthly charges for bank accounts or any other charges?



    • BobinOz March 3, 2017, 7:41 pm |

      Yes, there will be charges, please check them directly with the banks online.

  • Hakim Benzidane January 21, 2017, 1:14 am |

    Hi Bob,

    Great blog 🙂 I have a question (sorry if it is not on the right topic) but I was wondering if you could make (or perhaps you already amde it) a list of standard expenses you can get (ex: rent, car, home insurance, health insurance, city ratepayers, electricity, internet, mobile, etc.). I know that situations could vary (ppl having a car or not, ppl having children or not, etc.). It is just that my wife and 3 yo daughter will move to Melbourne (we were in Paris, now Munich) and I’d like to avoid surprises 🙂 Thx again !

    • BobinOz January 22, 2017, 8:38 pm |

      Thanks Hakim, glad you like it 🙂

      Well, no, I haven’t made such a list, but I do have a whole category on the cost of living in Australia, you can see a link to it in my categories list on the right-hand side of every page. I also have a page called The Cost of Living in Australia of Everything.

      Everybody’s expenses are different, and I know it can be quite daunting going to a new country, but I really can’t think that Australia has any real surprises when it comes to standard living expenses. The only thing I can think of that does sometimes catch people out is having to pay for their children’s education if they are here on some kind of temporary visa which means they do not qualify for the free state education.

      That can get quite complicated, but I do talk about it here…

      If there are any real surprises, I’d probably miss them in my list, and that would be misleading. That’s probably why I haven’t created one 🙂

      Good luck, Bob

      • Hakim Benzidane January 23, 2017, 6:47 am |

        Thanks for your quick reply 🙂 really helpful! Cheers

  • Ahmed January 15, 2017, 7:17 pm |

    Hi Bob,
    I am Ahmed from Egypt, I’ll visit Australia next Feb for only a week. Up till now I have no plan when exactly I can come to settle In Australia. I got a visa 189 that is available for 5 years.
    is it possible to open a bank account without a permanent address in Australia or not? If yes , are there any fees that I have to pay until I activate my account

    • BobinOz January 15, 2017, 7:55 pm |

      Hi Ahmed

      This particular scheme is for people who intend to arrive in Australia within the next 12 months, so if you are not sure when you will be arriving, I think it’s best that you speak to the bank direct to see if they can assist.

      Sorry I can’t be more helpful, the good luck. Bob

  • Glenn November 12, 2016, 3:22 am |

    Hi Bob,

    I’ll be migrating to Melbourne in January and am currently researching which bank to open an account with. I am planning to use ofx to transfer money on a regular basis till I finally arrive. The big 4 banks charge a fee for each inward overseas transfer. However, I have found that Citibank doesn’t charge any fee for the same. What are your thoughts on that ?


    • Mark November 12, 2016, 7:08 am |

      Hi Glenn Congratulations on the move, we did it nearly 12 months ago and wont be returning (save visits) yes the banks do charge around 20 dollars for an inbound international transfer but if you use oFx (check with them) or the advert for Tor FX is alongside me as I type, they have Australian accounts so it wont be an international transfer simple Au to Au bank. If I may add there is a bigger picture…If say an outfit In Dubai says they will give you 0.004 more then on say 20K GBP (I dont know where you are from) thats a decent 80 dollars minus the 20 fee is a tank of fuel or one heck of a lunch….However the thing to do is get two three or four of these fx types on hand plus say transferwise whose rate is immediately view-able rate and call your broker ofx ask the rate just after you have checked the others Ask them to match it if the others are better even if they give you the best rate, say they say you will get 16184.24 on 10K gbp ask them go on I am sure you can round that up to 16200 They will find a way especially if you always come back to them. If its a low amount say £1000 or so then probably not but 10 15 or 20K plus barter Try always to just use the one you end up with a rapport and then they deal easier after all on say 100K GBP even 0.001 cents is a hundred dollars better off, I move my salary from UK (haven;t bothered since Brexit) its a very volatile market.

      • BobinOz November 14, 2016, 12:09 am |

        Yes, as Mark has said, it’s all about the bottom line $$$. So Citibank do not charge an inward fee, but what are their other charges? All banks have charges because that’s how they make their money, so it’s just one charge to consider out of them all.

        For example, I have a BankWest business account as well as my personal Westpac account. I chose BankWest because it does not charge a monthly fee, all the other business accounts I looked at did. BankWest do charge me an incoming fee for international transfers though, it’s $10.

        That works for me though, because I don’t get many international money transfers, so it’s the cheapest way for me to have a business account. So you can’t look at one aspect of a banks charges in isolation, you have to look at all of the charges, and if you’re changing money the exchange rate, before you can side which one is best.

  • Jo Froggatt November 3, 2016, 12:40 am |

    Hope this isn’t a silly question. I remember reading a while ago about differences between UK credit & debit cards, compared with Australian bank cards, but I can’t seem to find the info now – I’m wondering whether you have any info on your website that you could point me towards, or if you could provide any info about how to use UK cards when initially visiting (& what option I’d need to choose if making a purchase or withdrawal on either), & the difference compared with the different types of Australian card?
    Your help is much appreciated.
    Thanks – Jo.

    • BobinOz November 3, 2016, 7:34 pm |

      Hi Jo

      No, not a silly question at all.

      As far as I am aware, all of our ATMs accept MasterCard and Visa, so providing your UK card is one or other, I’m pretty sure it will work just fine. I would think you would need to choose the ‘credit’ option from the screen.

      The only difference with using a UK card would be the exchange rate that you get, it won’t be as good as you will get from a proper currency exchange company, but I think it will be fine for day-to-day use. Not good for major purchases though.

      If you’re coming here on holiday, you might like to talk to your UK bank about a travel card, most banks offer these, but do be sure to check out the fees that apply. Sometimes you might just be better off using your usual card.

      If you are actually moving here, so here to stay, you can get a debit card from your bank, I have one from Westpac. The debit card just draws money straight out of your bank account, so it’s not a credit card and therefore does not need credit checks. Just money in your account.

      I’ve had mine for nine years now, and I still don’t have a credit card, my debit card is fine for me. I don’t like paying interest 🙂

      Hope that helps, Bob

      • Dev November 8, 2016, 3:41 pm |

        Hi Bob
        I opened a Westpac account through your website after having endless trouble trying to open a ANZ account.
        There’s a Westpac branch in London with great staff. We did our ID checks there , which means we can have our debit cards before we fly to Aus in December. They also put us in touch with someone in Australia that will help us with our tax codes, insurance, mortgage etc. As we moving in a month from UK to Melbourne, it is just a few less things too worry about.

        Thanks for all the advice , especially when you start the process and you don’t have a clue what to do.

        • BobinOz November 8, 2016, 5:49 pm |

          Hi Dev

          I didn’t know Westpac had a branch in London, that’s very useful for those ID checks. Glad to hear they sorted out your account very efficiently and also put you in touch with those other useful contacts. Sounds like they are doing a good job.

          Glad to hear my site has also been helpful to you, and I do hope your move goes very smoothly next month. Cheers, Bob

    • Paul Hayward November 4, 2016, 8:23 am |

      Hi Jo,

      Fortunately for me, my Australian debit card was ready for me to collect when I arrived in Australia and so I never had to use my UK cards. As far as I am aware though, if you do need to use your UK cards over here then there really is no difference, you may just get charged the normal fees for using your cards abroad.

      Over here they are very keen on using “pay wave” (I think it’s called), which is where you just tap your card on the scanner to pay, and any purchase under $100 doesn’t require your ‘pin’.

      If you want to get an Australian credit card, you have to be in the country for 3 months before you can apply – I assume that’s so you can get some sort of credit rating built up.

      Sorry I couldn’t have been of more help. Good luck.


      Sent from my iPhone

    • Mark November 4, 2016, 1:09 pm |

      Hi Jo as had already been said little difference Just like in the UK try and avoid taking cash out on a visa MasterCard or Amex as the costs are high and interest instantly added . Similarly you can use a debit card some even like Halifax and Nationwide with no charge *technically speaking” at any ATM. I say technically speaking as their rate is usually poorer than a foreign exchange so it could be averred their charges are hidden in the conversion rate. The bottom line is how much you will get in dollars against what you are charged in GBP if you are a short visitor its pointless opening an Aus account, just bring a some dollars with you for small purchases dont use a UK debit card for little purchases especially from a bank that charges the usual 2.75% fee Longer term open one and transfer using an agent like torfx or transferwise some money from UK and use on debit card from the Aus bank. I do use my Australia cards here and still make online purchase from UK Heck I even had Morrisons UK deliver six bottles of prosecco for a birthday present last week so do not if living here give up your UK cards or wherever you live. Similarity you can have a credit card when you land it depends on circumstances as they are unable to credit check but a hefty bank deposit and they have the company I work for account so I was given two credit cards.on arrival. Interest free for 15 months I will pay them off in full when that ends then every month but I have in 10 months amassed some 68K Quantas points. its always nice to get something free, thats enough for Australia to UK flight It may also be of help to those waiting for funds from UK.

  • sandra October 23, 2016, 8:48 pm |

    Hi Bob,
    thanks for the info. I am an australian citizen living in Europe but will be moving back in a couple of years so I will start my account from here before I leave for Aus. I will be hopefully moving with my partner who is Czech (I am too- have two citizenships) if he will be granted a partner visa. Do you know anything about the partner visa? Tips of recomendations? Thanks, Sandra

    • BobinOz October 24, 2016, 5:22 pm |

      No, sorry Sandra, only MARA registered migration agents can help with that sort of thing, it’s the law. If you think you need help with it, then you should get one, see my page about Migration agents.

  • Romain October 21, 2016, 3:17 am |

    Thanks a lot for your article and answers, especially about Transferwise.
    I have a inverse situation as most people here, as I moved out of Australia after few years leaving there. But I still have my account.
    A friend is now selling my possessions there and will put the money on my account.
    I was thinking to open a saving account because the rates are more interesting than in Europe.
    However, I saw few times the requirement of being permanent Australian resident.
    I know it wasn’t necessary when I opened my account but can I keep it from overseas? What about opening a saving account?
    Thanks for any help

    • BobinOz October 21, 2016, 8:54 pm |

      Really sorry Romain, but I have no idea about that one. I think it would be best if you contact the bank direct to ask them. Good luck, Bob

  • Carmel Reid October 19, 2016, 10:05 pm |

    Thank you – this was most helpful – I have set up both Choice and saver accounts. I was a bit confused because they don’t have an option for a tourist visa but I simply put ‘other’ and that seems fine.

    • BobinOz October 19, 2016, 11:22 pm |

      Perfect choice Carmel, that’s what I have as well; a Choice and a saver account. I hope you enjoy Australia when you get here.

  • miatsi October 12, 2016, 5:27 pm |

    Dear Bob, my sister in law wants to sponsor me for a student visa to Australia but according to the list of sponsors, she can’t. So was thinking if I can open an account with Westpac then she can transfer the money she wants to sponsor me with in that account, I can then have a bank statement in my name, which I can use to apply for my student visa. Is that possible I want to start school in February next year, im in Africa.

    • BobinOz October 12, 2016, 8:57 pm |

      That’s a question I cannot answer, you would need to speak to a MARA registered migration agent about that. See Would I Qualify?

  • Rams August 8, 2016, 3:42 am |

    Dear Bob,

    Could you please let me know who will help on 457 work permit visa? Whom should i contact for 457 VISA?

    Thank you in advance..

  • Arlette July 9, 2016, 10:34 am |

    Hi, so I’ve taken the task to compare migrant accounts across the Big 4 and when looking at Westpac’s branches and ATMs in Victoria, they have just 10 of them across the state (as on their website). This versus 35 with NAB. Am I missing something as I did read that you said they have the largest network? I looked at NSW as well and they too have just a handful. This would be a deal-breaker. Appreciate your thoughts. Thanks.

    • BobinOz July 10, 2016, 8:42 pm |

      Yes, you are definitely missing something. I’m not sure where you are pulling your information from, but Westpac now have around 3000 ATMs around the country according to their website, so they most certainly have more than 10 in Victoria.

      Even the NAB would have more than 35, for sure.

      Maybe your search is just picking up the closest ones to you according to your computers location. Maybe it’s just picking up the top 10. I can assure you though, you will never be far away from a Westpac ATM in Victoria or anywhere in Australia.

      Well, you may struggle to find one in the outback 🙂

      • Arlette July 13, 2016, 7:28 am |

        Thanks Bob!! I reached out to the bank and yes indeed, there is a glitch with the map application that pulls just one suburb when I my search criteria is ‘Victoria’! Zooming in and out just further confuses the tool and its results ;)!! Many thanks for your help.

        • BobinOz July 13, 2016, 9:30 pm |

          Well, I thought something was up somewhere. Glad to hear you’ve got it sorted now. Cheers, Bob

  • Tara June 24, 2016, 8:24 am |


    I am a UK student who will be moving to Oz for a year as part of an exchange programme, and have just set up a student account online with Commonwealth. In order to properly access my account I need to just pop in store when I arrive with my passport etc., but I was just wondering what if I will need to give them a permanent address? I am staying in a hotel for the first 7 nights, so if I order a debit card I may have already left the hotel by the time it arrives. I plan to find a flat to rent during this time, but would I need an actual debit card to pay my initial deposit/bond? Or just the bank account details?
    Sorry if this doesn’t make much sense haha!

    • BobinOz June 24, 2016, 8:10 pm |

      Well, yes, your question makes sense, but I’m afraid I don’t have an answer for you.

      I think this is something you will need to talk through with the bank when you get here, I’m sure they will be very understanding. I would also think if you spoke to the hotel about this, they would hold the letter for you to collect even if you’re no longer living there.

      I’m sure all you would need to do is agree to tell the bank as soon as you have a new and more permanent address that everything will be fine. Good luck, Bob

    • SaraR August 7, 2016, 7:04 am |

      It is usually possible to arrange to collect cards etc from the bank branch in this type of situation

  • Gabrio May 26, 2016, 10:39 pm |

    hey Bob,

    great article and I have a quick question, in regards to the requirements that they will check for the bank account you said “all you will need to show is your passport, a valid visa and an Australian residential address” 1 and 2 are no problem but me and my wife are moving for my job to stay there and will probably stay say 1-2 weeks at a temporary place while we look for a flat, a serviced apartment or hotel, would that be sufficient as address?

    If not, when we go and get a flat with an agency, wouldn’t they ask for our bank account as well? So that’s the chicken and egg game isn’t it? What comes first?


    • BobinOz May 27, 2016, 6:03 pm |

      I’m not 100% sure, so you may want to doublecheck with the bank, but I don’t see why a temporary address won’t work in this situation. I think they just need an address to send your bank card to, then all you would need to do is notify them of a change of address when you find somewhere more permanent.

      Hope that helps, Bob

      • Paul June 15, 2016, 2:25 am |

        Hi Bob,

        My question is about opening a bank account to get my Australian wage paid into, when I arrive in country that is. I have also asked this question on “How much money do I need to live in Australia” that I found before this link, so please ignore that.

        Basically I am coming over from the uk on a 457 visa and my contract is for 15 months. My work schedule is work 15 days and then 13 days off; great for travelling & exploring.
        My employer provides accommodation during my work periods, but this will change potentially every work period, and I intend to travel around Australia and Asia during my off periods.
        Therefore I will not have a fixed residential address, and may well never be in Perth where the companies HQ is located.

        Can I therefore open a bank account in Australia without a residential address? I obviously don’t want my wages paid into a uk bank as i’d lose out on exchange rates and comissuon charges etc.

        I do have friends that are renting a house in Adelaide.

        Thank you in anticipation.


        • BobinOz June 15, 2016, 9:08 pm |

          Then if your friends don’t mind, I suggest you use that address as your base. It just makes things easier. You will probably need to use the same address for your drivers license but as long as you make sure you keep in touch with those friends and answer any correspondence that gets sent to the house, I really don’t see a problem.

          I’m sure plenty of other people who work without a fixed location do the same thing.

          Good luck, Bob

          • Paul June 16, 2016, 1:00 am |

            Thanks for your answer Bob.

            One further question, don’t understand the part about having to use the same address for my driving licence. I only have a UK licence and wasn’t anticipating getting an Australian one, unless that is a requirement of course?


            • BobinOz June 16, 2016, 9:41 pm |

              I think you can only use your UK license for a certain amount of time, so you may need to get an Australian one at some point. Check with the transport department of whichever state it is you are moving to.

              The reason I suggested it is because when you get your ID checked at the bank, they will ask you for certain documents to prove who you are and where you live and the driving license may be one of them.

              • Paul June 19, 2016, 8:44 am |

                Thanks very much for your help; greatly appreciated 🙂

  • pek hooi lim May 24, 2016, 6:14 am |

    hi i am a malaysian . Can i open a bank account in melbourne australia with my documents certified at the high commission.

    • BobinOz May 24, 2016, 5:45 pm |

      I don’t know, you’d be better off asking the bank direct.

  • Apple May 18, 2016, 3:18 am |

    Hi all, may i know I’m Malaysian, i would like to open a saving account at Australia but I’m not moving to Australia this few years maybe will be plan move to Australia after 10 years. Now plan saving for my future life in Australia , any idea for this?

    • BobinOz May 18, 2016, 11:23 pm |

      I think you should contact the bank direct about this one, I’m not sure this is suitable for someone who does not intend to live in Australia for another 10 years. If you contact them direct, they will be able to help you out.

  • Ishaque May 7, 2016, 2:21 pm |

    I wish to explore investing/ doing business in Australia. I am a UK national. Please advise. Ishaque

    • BobinOz May 8, 2016, 9:37 pm |

      I couldn’t help you with that, it’s not what I do. If you are just looking to invest or do business here whilst remaining in the UK, then you probably just need to speak to some kind of Australian business advisor.

      If you actually want to live here in Australia, then you should probably speak to a lawyer who specialises in business investments and can also help you with the visa application.

  • Charlie March 12, 2016, 4:39 pm |

    We are in the proccess of trying to move to Australia and I would like to start moving money as soon as possible, if by any reason we do make it what happens to the money I have already deposided, would I be able when I close the acount to get my money back.

    • BobinOz March 14, 2016, 4:48 pm |

      Yes, providing you have had your identity check completed and you have full access to your account, you will be able to transfer it back.

  • Diana February 29, 2016, 1:46 pm |

    Great info. Thanks Bob.

    Opening an account overseas with westpac, can I withdraw and deposit from the account whilst overseas? I don’t plan to be coming to Australia in the near future. Do they send the bank card overseas or to the Australian address? Many thanks.

    • Diana February 29, 2016, 1:48 pm |

      Forgot to add, I am an Australian citizen.

      • BobinOz February 29, 2016, 11:55 pm |

        I’m not sure Diana, sounds to me as though what you need to do is open an account with Westpac using an address outside of Australia. For what it’s worth, I still have a UK bank account open and active that I can both deposit and withdraw from, and they do know I live in Australia.

        So I think it’s possible, but really you should check directly with Westpac to be sure. Good luck, Bob

  • Gaynor February 23, 2016, 4:00 pm |

    Hi I’m a UK citizen who will soon be retiring and planning to visit my son who lives in Ausralia on a regular basis. Can I set up an Australian bank acc despite not having a permanent address?

    • BobinOz February 23, 2016, 6:20 pm |

      I think you will need an address gain, but I don’t see why you cannot use your son’s address as a ‘care of’ or C/O address. It might be a good idea to get in touch with Westpac direct to talk about this.

  • Marina February 7, 2016, 4:21 am |

    Hi Bob i all ready have checking and saving in West pac Bank the only thing I need some like Hillsong Church will sponsor me I am very professional and i love to go to school over there.

    • BobinOz February 8, 2016, 5:28 pm |

      Well, I can’t help you get sponsorship, good luck with it though.

  • steph January 14, 2016, 11:14 pm |

    Hi could you advise how soon you are able to get you bank card once you have completed identity check.

    • BobinOz January 15, 2016, 9:11 pm |

      Once you have been verified they will send your card out to your address. Pretty sure I got mine within a week or so.

  • Mathew Kotai December 4, 2015, 1:32 am |

    Hi Bob, thanks for your highly important information.

    I live in Papua New Guinea and will be travelling to and fro on a Tourist Visa. Will it be possible for me to establish an eSaver Account?

    • BobinOz December 4, 2015, 7:42 pm |

      I’m not sure, you will have to take that one up with Westpac, hopefully they have some kind of account that will suit you.

  • sanaz November 12, 2015, 3:57 pm |

    Hi there
    Finally we’ve got our visa and we are coming to Austarila within 4 months.I know that we won’t be able to withdraw money till we get our identity check but just want to know if it is possible to check our account online when we open our bank account .
    if we transfer our salary to our account before coming should we pay tax for it or not?

    • BobinOz November 26, 2015, 10:07 pm |

      I’m pretty sure that having opened the account you will be able to log in and view it online, but that something you would need to confirm with Westpac.

      I can’t really answer the tax question, other than I think you only pay tax in the country in which you don’t the money. You might want to check that with your accountant know.

  • Karla Bayne Rodocker July 30, 2015, 4:47 am |

    My husband and I would like to open a bank account in Australia, but do not have plans to go and live there. We are US citizens, is this possible?

    • BobinOz July 30, 2015, 6:38 pm |

      I can’t think of any reason why not, but I do know that the specific account set up mentioned above is for people who are expected to arrive in Australia to live within the next 12 months.

      If I were you I would telephone Westpac or any of the other major banks direct to find out how to do it if it is indeed possible, probably the only tricky part would be validating your identity from abroad. But I’m sure there’s a way, you just need to phone and ask. Good luck, Bob

  • Vinod John March 1, 2015, 6:53 pm |

    Hello Bob, this appears to be a great forum. We have got our visas and will be relocating to Adelaide from Dubai by mid-May. Would appreciate your suggestions on opening bank account in this area, as well as areas for single apartments for monthly rent.

    • BobinOz March 1, 2015, 11:45 pm |

      Well, yes, my suggestions on opening a bank account in Adelaide is exactly the same, Westpac are a national bank and have branches all around Australia. I am happy to recommend them to you.

      For an area to rent single apartments, I suggest you ask that question on my page about Adelaide, you’ll find a link underneath the main navigation menu for Australian Cities.

      Good luck with your move, Bob

  • david January 25, 2015, 1:12 pm |

    I bank with the ANZ and find the presence of ATMs at Woolworths (Safeway) supermarkets (in addition to other locations) very convenient, but I’m sure all the major banks are much of a muchness.

    Do be very mindful, as Bob points out, that using a card to withdraw money at another financial institution’s ATM will cost you a fee. In addition to the Big 4 and other banks, don’t overlook credit unions and building societies.

    Here is a link to the Commonwealth Government’s list of authorised deposit-taking institutions as of 19/1/2015:

    One thing to bear in mind, especially, is going to one of the Big 4 banks to seek investment advice- you hear and read of tales where they invariably direct you to their products. My preference is to use someone independent and pay a one-off fee; that way you don’t have to worry about trailing commissions which reduce the return on any investment. Be mindful that some ostensibly ‘independent’ financial advice companies are owned by banks! You could, of course, not seek any financial advice and place money in term deposits, 10 year bonds, buy shares in blue chip companies or invest elsewhere. I can only stress that do your own research whether you want to invest on your own without advice or even research financial advisers to see if they are truly independent.

    • BobinOz January 27, 2015, 5:05 pm |

      Good point about independent financial advisers, as I mentioned in an earlier comment on this page, the Commbank was subject of a big investment scandal themselves very recently, perfect proof of what you’re saying David.

  • Simbagee September 17, 2014, 5:34 am |

    Hi, your website is so informative thanks for your great advice. We are emigrating to Melbourne And beginning to think about opening a bank account from the UK. I wondered if you might know whether the Australian bank credit check your UK credentials. Don’t have great credit histories in the UK and I’m hoping this won’t affect us when we move to Australia! Thanks in advance for any useful advise.

    • BobinOz September 17, 2014, 7:27 pm |

      I’m not sure they do, if I were you I’d just go ahead and open a bank account here, you can do that very easily, see my page how to open a bank account in Australia.

      • BobinOz September 17, 2014, 7:28 pm |

        Update: oh, you are already on that page 🙂 just go ahead and sign up, I think you’ll be fine.

  • Nicky August 13, 2014, 10:23 pm |

    Hi – just to share that there is a new kid on the block for money transfer etc. Its called and we are just about to use it to pay for our daughters school enrolment in Brisbane so I’ll let you know how we get on. They promise to beat literally everyone and you can transfer dosh or find out what the other person wants in AUS $ and let it transfer that exact amount. We got stung using paypal last week and had to pay a transfer fee and we didn’t get a great rate. It was only a little deposit on a rental but it all adds up I guess.

    • BobinOz August 14, 2014, 6:35 pm |


      An interesting looking service, but just so that nobody gets confused, this company looks okay for transferring a few hundred pounds to pay for something, like your child’s school fees as you say, but you wouldn’t want to use these people for currency exchange when it comes to moving larger sums of money to Australia pending a move.

      The way these people work, they cannot guarantee a rate when you do a deal, what they do is provide you with an estimated exchange rate. So if you do a transfer now then you pay the fee, then if the rate drops over 3% you have to wait for the rate to improve. This might not happen for weeks! If it drops less than 3% then less money gets sent and this is all in the agreement! They will convert the money at mid-market rate, so as this is fluctuating it can mean you receive a lot less than “estimated”.

      You also don’t receive funds for up to a week on their standard service – the people I recommend on my currency exchange page can do next day transfers with no fees. The company I recommend also have a Dun & Bradstreet Rating 1, so you know your money will be safe with them.

      As I say, okay for transferring a few hundred quid, but for higher amounts, I’d set up an account with TorFX.

      Cheers, Bob

  • Asim Safdar August 13, 2014, 12:47 pm |

    Hi all

    I found the Lebara Unlimited SIM amazingly useful when I came here to work as a GP in Brisbane. It allows UNLIMITED calls to 50 countries and about half of them incl UK, USA, Canada and most of Europe to MOBILES also! Just whacked it in my iPhone and away I went! see

    Your site was a great help Bob.
    I ended up with NAB and have found them as good as you describe Westpac also but I feel maybe ANZ has more ATMs… may move over as I opened with both from UK before coming.

    • BobinOz August 13, 2014, 8:47 pm |

      Never heard of that sim card before, so thanks for the tip, hopefully someone will find it helpful.

      One bank did have more ATMs, it may have been ANZ, but Westpac certainly had the most branches and also a huge network of ATMs as well.

  • Wen Ji August 13, 2014, 6:51 am |

    Thank you Bob

    We are planning to move to Brisbane next February. We have got lots of tips from you. Really appreciated. 🙂

    Thank you

    Wen Ji

    • BobinOz August 13, 2014, 8:23 pm |

      Glad to have helped Wen, hope your move goes well and you get to love this city as much as I do.

      Cheers, Bob

  • Ariane August 13, 2014, 3:23 am |

    Thank you Bob!
    Your artcicles are always really helpful 🙂
    I’ll go with Westpac I think (I’m leaving Montréal in two months!)

    • Hilary August 13, 2014, 7:39 am |

      Just to put in a thumbs up for Commbank. Have had an account with them for about three years and was able to open the account easily from UK. They have a branch in London where you can open the account and your Aus debit card is waiting at your nearest branch for you when you arrive in Aus. You just have to take ID with you. I never had any problem accessing Commbank ATMs around Sydney, not sure about Brissie though.

      TorFx do have a link with ANZ and I was told the bank are currently offering 4% on transfers of £20K, which sounded good. Have also managed to get a year without having to pay account fees, also good. Not sure about the availability of their ATMs but will soon find out.

      • BobinOz August 13, 2014, 8:16 pm |

        Good choice Ariane and I hope your upcoming move here from Montréal goes smoothly.

        Hilary, not a great time to be championing Commbank, you are aware of the current investment scandal surrounding that bank? That aside though, there’s not a huge amount to choose between the big four here, but I did do some quite hefty research before making my final recommendation. It was just a bonus for me that the bank I think that is best for branch and ATM coverage throughout the whole country also turned out to be the same people I’ve been banking with for seven years (and counting). So having personal experience of them obviously helped solidify my recommendation. Westpac are also currently offering free banking to new migrants, but I didn’t mention that in the article, I wanted it to be a bonus for when people click through 🙂

        I am also aware of the ANZ/TorFX connection, and although I really like TorFX and think they offer great service, I’m sticking with my recommendation of Westpac for my readers.

        Cheers, Bob

        • Hilary August 13, 2014, 10:09 pm |

          Eek, no Bob, had not heard of investment scandals with Commbank. Doesn’t sound good at all, thanks for the tip. Have a feeling I may be changing allegiances pretty soon then!

          Mind you, with all the awful stuff that’s gone on over here with banks I wouldn’t trust any of ’em.

          • BobinOz August 14, 2014, 6:16 pm |

            Well, I don’t think you need to panic Hilary, they are still a top four bank, they should be able to keep your money safe, just be careful of any investment advice 🙂

            And you are right, after what happened in Greece, I think we all have to be very careful with banks. Absolutely outrageous!

        • naznin April 1, 2016, 3:36 am |

          Dear Bob
          I’m in India and have an Australian wrspac account.
          No plans to visit australia this year.But I hve funds in my Westpac accounnow I need to withdrw it in India
          I got my ID check done
          And have sent the docs to Australia
          Will I now be able to withdraw or transfer funds from india?

          • BobinOz April 1, 2016, 7:03 pm |

            I don’t see why not, you should have full access to your account now that your ID check has been done. But, of course, you would need to exchange the currency to be able to withdraw it from your bank in India and for that you may be better off going through a dedicated currency exchange company for best rates.

            For example, see Currency Exchange.

            If it’s only a small amount though, I’m sure Westpac will be able to offer you currency exchange as well. I would check with them if I were you.

      • Tasman McMillan September 19, 2014, 1:45 am |

        I have 3 Commbank accounts. I also have an ANZ account to make money depositing easier from NZ. I’ve found that Commbank is the best, I’ve had a Westpac, NAB and BOQ.

        The Netbank, phone banking and Commbank iPhone app work a lot better than it’s competition, all seamlessly together and I’ve never had a problem with it in 7 years, unlike the other 4. They’ve given me a extremely competitive interest rate and they’ve never done the ‘dodgy’ by me or anyone I know.

  • Nicky June 21, 2014, 3:28 am |

    Thanks Bob. I know TorX the foreign exchange gang have a small tie up with ANZ so I was being steered in that direction but you hit the nail right on the head when you said “coverage” and online banking. My understanding is that unlike in the UK, Australian banks still charge you to withdraw money from another banks ATM so coverage was really important for our move to Brisbane too. I also found the Westpac move to Australia website really useful with a countdown checklist running from 3 months, 2 months, 1 month and 1 week before through to 1 week, 1 month ( you get it ! ) after your arrival. I like it that you can validate your identity before you go to. So it’s off to Westpac for me. Thanks loads again. ( I’m now hunting down anything from you on telephones as we are also going to buy pay as you go phones before leaving the UK and just need to buy some Oz SIM cards but not sure which network for calls, text and internet acess is best – hi hoooo )

    • BobinOz June 22, 2014, 8:02 pm |

      Yes, TorFX do have some kind of tie-up with ANZ, but I still do prefer Westpac. And you are right, you can often get charged $2.50 or $3.00 if you use the wrong cashpoint, so it’s good to stick to your own banks machines. So having lots of them as Westpac do is a big bonus.

      Mobile phone plans are another moving object, bit like banks, very hard to suggest the best option, but if it helps I’m with Vodafone and I only pay $20 a month and I never go over that plan. But then again, I never phone anyone 🙂

Leave a Comment

If your comment doesn’t get answered, find out why…..
FAQs and Comment Policy.