Student bank account guide
While picking an everyday transaction account might seem like a straightforward exercise, look a bit closer and you’ll realise that they can come with more options than an Arts degree handbook.
Here are a few things you should take into account (*thunderous laughter*) when choosing a student bank account.
Student bank account fees and features
Transaction account fees
Monthly fees should not be a problem with a student bank account. All you need to do is take your student card down to a branch and show them you’re a full-time tertiary student to start enjoying fee-free banking.
ATM withdrawal fees
Don’t cough up $2 (or more!) of your hard-earned moulah for the privilege of using another provider’s ATM. Instead, make sure you know your provider’s ATM network, so you can enjoy fee free withdrawals.
Overseas ATM Fees
Is #wanderlust your middle name? Students who love to travel should make sure they choose an everyday transaction account with low overseas ATM withdrawal fees and a low foreign exchange commission, or opt for a prepaid travel card.
Sorry to break it to you, but you won’t be getting any. (At best 0.01%.) But, that’s okay! This account is really just a place to store the part of your paycheck you spend on hot chips and partying each month. Make sure the rest is in a high interest student savings account, so you can keep your money working harder than you do.
Bank Cards and Debit Cards
What’s the difference? A bank card is an EFTPOS card. It lets you withdraw money from an ATM and pay at the checkout.
But, if you’ve been known to procrastinate exam study by spending a night (or five) on ASOS, you need a debit card. It will be linked to the Visa or MasterCard network, to let you shop online and over the phone.
How to change transaction accounts without really trying (okay, by trying a bit…)
Step One: Find a new transaction account
If you’ve just had your 18th birthday, your bank has probably already sent you a pamphlet telling you which student bank account you should upgrade your kiddie saver to (hint: it’s theirs). But don’t let those suits tell you what to do with your green.
Read our breakdown of account fees and features above, and compare student bank accounts on Mozo to find the best account for you.
Step Two: Sign up for your new transaction account
You can sign up for a bank account at a branch, on the phone or online.
Step Three: Move payments across to your new account
Nothing lasts forever, and it’s now time to say goodbye to your old bank account. But, don’t just shut it down as soon as your shiny new bank account is on the scene.
You have a legal right to ask your new financial institution to contact your old provider to get a list of your regular direct debits (gym fees, bills) or direct credits (hello, pay day!) made from or to your old transaction account in the past 13 months. You are then able to pick and choose the payments you want to be rolled over to your new account. Then you just need to sign a form and your new financial institution will contact all of your selected organisations and give them your new account details.
You should probably keep a small amount of money in your old account, to cover any direct debits during the changeover period.
Step Four: Close that sucker down
While banks are happy to let you open as many bank accounts as you want over the Internet, when it comes to cutting ties they usually expect you to either close the account over the phone or make an in-person appearance.
So, if you opt for face-to-face, put on your finery (read: wear pants) and front up to your local branch during business hours.
Step Five: Have fun opening your account? Good, because it’s time to open another.
An everyday bank account is sort of like a lone hermit crab, you need to buy another one so it has a friend. (Or do two hermit crabs in the same tank kill each other? We can never remember…)
Once you’ve opened your everyday account, be sure to follow by opening a linked high interest savings account. Otherwise, your returns on your money will be more disappointing than your results last semester.
Step Six: Self-congratulation
Look at you! Two accounts and a portfolio of adult finances. You’re so account-able.