I was at the ATM getting some cash out to pay for my traditional Sunday night pizza when it dawned on me that in a lot of ways, the different types of bank accounts are very much akin to different types of pizza, with the account as a base and the features as toppings. With Sunday’s pizza now just another delicious faded memory, I’ve decided to fully explore this notion and in doing so, identify the best slices of bank account goodness out there.
Slice 1: The Margarita
Sometimes the best pizza is the simplest, and there’s no simpler pizza than an old fashioned margarita. In banking terms, this is the standard transaction account which gives you full access via EFTPOS, debit card and branch but no interest paid on the account. Not all margarita pizzas are created equal mind you and my slice of choice is NAB’s Classic banking account. It’s got no monthly fee, unlimited withdrawals from NAB and rediATMs as well as unlimited free access to your money via EFTPOS, internet banking, phone banking, branch and cheque book. There are similar accounts such as the Suncorp Everyday Basics account and the Citibank Plus Transaction account, but NAB has the widest distribution of ATMs and branches.
Slice 2: The Supreme
If you’re the type who wants it all, from pineapple to parmesan, nothing beats a Supreme pizza. In banking terms, you’ll be looking for a bank account that not only acts as a transaction account, but also pays high interest. My choice of supreme is the AMP eASYSaver (you’ll have to forgive their appalling capitalisation policy in naming the thing though!). You get 5.15% interest on every dollar, unlimited free access through internet, NAB and rediATMs, EFTPOS and an optional free chequebook.
There are other high-interest transaction accounts such as the BankWest Hero account, but AMP has the highest rate as well as no conditions with regards to balances or deposits. One thing to note however, is that this account has a $5 monthly fee, so you’ll need to hold a balance of at least $1,200 at all times to make the interest cover the fee.
Slice 3: The Gourmet
If you see yourself as a bit of a gourmand, there are niche accounts providing extra ATM benefits on top of being great everyday accounts as well.
The Moroccan Lamb and Tandoori Chicken banking equivalents come hot from the ovens of ING Direct and BankWest. ING DIRECT’s offering is the Orange Everyday account. There’s no monthly fee and unlimited free ATM withdrawals at any Australian ATM if you withdraw more than $200. On top of that there’s unlimited free EFTPOS transactions and ING Direct even pays you $0.50 if you withdraw more than $200 through EFTPOS. A few of those and you’ve got yourself some free garlic bread!
The second slice of choice is the BankWest Zero Transaction Account. Again, there’s no monthly fee, unlimited free ATM withdrawals at any ANZ, Commonwealth, NAB, Westpac or BankWest ATM as well as unlimited free EFTPOS transactions. The only catch is that you need to deposit $2000 a month into the account to maintain it, otherwise you’ll be switched over to another BankWest account.
The Crust: Final Thoughts
So next time you’re siting idly at home waiting for the delivery boy to arrive, instead of wallowing in your own hunger, use the time to see if there’s a bank account that’s more suited to your taste. It’s a slice of advice that could make things a lot easier for you.
Still hungry for information on bank accounts? Finish off that pizza and head over to Mozo Answers!