What is it with bank accounts that we feel we can’t leave them? Is it because it housed our first, eagerly awaited pay cheque and to show our gratitude we willingly fork out $5 a month as thanks.
With so many fee free accounts around these days, I know no one should be paying monthly account keeping fees, it’s crazy. We give enough to our banks in the way of annual, establishment, ATM and handling fees, they don’t need a monthly fee as well.
So, after 16 years with the same bank, which has charged me $5 a month each and every month at a total cost of almost $1,000, it was time to say goodbye.
So, here’s what I did.
1. Compared bank accounts
My first call of action was to hop online to see the different bank accounts currently on offer. I chose the NAB Classic Banking Account because it comes with free ATM access within the NAB and rediATM network, no monthly fee and a debit card for all my everyday purchases.
After signing up to the account, I had to go into a NAB branch for an ID check and this was the biggest hurdle for me. I’m ashamed to say that it took me 6 months after signing up until I finally went into the branch to finalise my account set up. A week later, I was sent a debit card, internet banking was set up and I was on my way.
2. Moved over all my direct debits
I know my new bank could have helped with this but it was actually pretty painless to move these myself online. I simply looked through my statement and made a list of who I needed to contact to update them of my new details. This included friends and family who would have my ‘payee’ details saved on file.
3. Got to know my new bank
Just like switching to any new provider, there were some differences when it came to transfers, online banking, statements, mobile apps, etc, so I had a play around with these to get on top of how it all worked.
4. Farewelled my old bank
I’m happy to say not one tear was shed for my childhood bank account and once all my direct debits were moved across and everyone had got the message about my new bank account, I swiftly closed my old account by giving my previous provider a call. Surprisingly, this was a quick process without the begging-for-my business service I was expecting.
And that’s it, I saved myself $60 a year and can now sleep better at night knowing my hard-earned isn’t going into the pockets of the banks.
Want to do the same? Check out these bank accounts that are free of the bite of an account keeping fee:
ING DIRECT Orange Everyday – $0 account keeping fees, 2% cashback on domestic contactless purchases and no ATM fees as long as you deposit $1,000 a month.
HSBC Day to Day Account – $0 account keeping fees, access to over 3,000 ATMs around Australia including the HSBC, Westpac, St. George, Bank of Melbourne and BankSA networks.
NAB Classic Banking Account – $0 account keeping fees, access to the NAB and rediATM networks, unlimited counter withdrawals/deposits and phone and internet purchases.
ME EveryDay Transaction Account – $0 account keeping fees, access to the ME Bank, Westpac, St. George, Bank of Melbourne and BankSA ATM networks and receive 5% cash back on domestic contactless purchases for the first 6 months.