Bank account fees and charges vary between banks and between bank account products. Here are the most common fees and charges that you will likely see attached to a bank account:
- Bank account monthly fees. Many, if not most transaction accounts charge monthly fees for the privilege of holding your money. (They typically cover other privileges such as ATM withdrawals, EFTPOS transactions, online transactions and the like.) Hopefully, for that one monthly fee you'll receive unlimited transactions, or a sensible number of limited transactions, which means no unexpected mountains of activity charges.
- Bank account ATM fees. Most transaction accounts charge for foreign ATM withdrawals, and while they brag about their large networks and you always plan to use only the free machines, there will inevitably come a time - or many times - when you simply need to use the nearest machine - and get charged upwards of $2 for the privilege. Note that some accounts have wider fee-free networks than others.
- Bank account transaction fees. Many accounts either charge for electronic and EFTPOS transactions, or have a limited number of free transactions.
- International transaction fees. If you’re planning to use the debit card linked to your transaction account for shopping online from a store overseas, you could have to pay an overseas transaction fees of between 2-3%. This fees will also be applicable to withdrawals from overseas ATMs or any purchases you make in person while you're travelling.
- Overdraw charges. The subject of increasing debate, steep penalties of $30 or more are incurred when you run your money account out of moolah.
- Assisted banking withdrawal fees. Many banks in Australia charge a fee of about $2 for every assisted withdrawal in a branch or agency or via telephone banking. In case you're using have a checking account, don't forget that any cheque written by you and negotiated through the clearing system may also incur an additional fee.
Fee-free bank accounts
These idyllic fee-free bank accounts tend to impose some less idyllic conditions - but if you can meet them, you'll be as close to banking heaven as it gets. With these accounts, you're often looking at a combination of conditions such as: minimum monthly deposits, limited free transactions and online access only.
Before picking the best fee-free bank account, it's important for you to understand exactly what conditions you may need to fulfil to avoid any additional charges.
How to find a bank account with low fees and charges
It can be tricky to navigate the different bank account fees and charges to find the ideal combination of banking services to suit your needs. But at Mozo, we're all making financial decisions simpler for you. That's why, every year, our data experts crunch the numbers to find the best transaction accounts in Australia for our Mozo's Experts Choice Awards. Here, you'll find a list of bank accounts that come with no monthly account keeping fees, no ATM fees for in-network transactions, no minimum balance requirements and a fee free debit card.