Students get free Co-op membership with ME Bank account

ME Bank’s offer to pay its student customers' Co-op membership fees last year has proven to be a success, with over 9,000 students taking up the offer, which will be available again in 2015.

The joint ME Bank and Co-op debit Mastercard, offered for the first time in 2014, allows students to recoup their $25 Co-op membership fee if they open an ME Bank Everyday Transaction Account when they join the Co-op.

Students with the card earn 5% from any PayPass Tap & Go transactions they make of $100 or less. They are also free from the bite of monthly account-keeping fees.

The Co-op is Australia’s largest member-owned retailer, with 1.8 million members nationally. However, with 60 stores on university campuses across the country, it is best known as the place university students can get discounted textbooks.

Each year 100,000 new members join the organisation, mainly as university students who have realised that 15% off a $500 textbook bill more than covers the $25 joining fee.

ME Bank CEO Jamie McPhee likened their partnership to the Commonwealth Bank’s primary school banking program.

“As well as strategic, the partnership has proven successful by sourcing new and young customers,” he said.

“Co-op has unmatched access to university students, many of whom are still establishing financial independence and are less likely to be loyal to other financial institutions.”

The joint membership is automatically offered to students when they join the Co-Op.