Friday, 25 April 2008

Looking For No-Fee Bank Accounts in Australia

I am currently with the Commonwealth Bank. My parents signed me up for an account when I was little and I haven't changed since.

The Commonwealth Bank gives me a streamline account, which is where my wage goes. It also provides a savings account called Netbank Savers that earns 7 per cent per year.

The Commonwealth Bank also gives me a key card that I can use to buy things. It is a debit card that allows eftpos. I also use ATMs quite a lot to withdraw cash because every time I use a credit or debit card I have a paranoid fear that something will go wrong because of the unpredictability of technology. Handing over cash is very certain. Of course, the ATM could always stuff up when I'm withdrawing currency, but if this happens it's not as embarrassing since the problem is between you and the machine. Once I went to a Chinese restaurant and tried to pay the bill using my key card. The key card didn't work. I don't know why. It was really embarrassing because I had to ask my grandma for money. She had some cash in her wallet. All the people were looking at me while I did this.

I don't has any worries with the Commonwealth Bank. They provide excellent service, in my opinion. It is no wonder then that CBA is the second biggest Australian company listed on the ASX, just below BHP Billiton. What I do have a problem with is the Commonwealth Bank's fees. They charge $5 per month, which will start when I am no longer a student. They also charge fees for use of their ATMs.

I am therefore thinking about moving elsewhere, maybe getting the HSBC Online Savers Account or maybe getting something from Bankwest or Members Equity Bank.

Many of these discount services that have no fees usually have some catch like no ATM use. I could probably live with ATMs. I can just use my credit card all the time and then pay off my credit card before it starts charging interest. I will need good self-control.

I'll also have to talk to my employer and ask her to direct my wages to my new account.

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