As a recent survey from the RBA showed, Australians are increasingly becoming more reliant on digital payments, making transaction accounts important for many consumers. With so many options available when it comes to storing your money, what should you look for?
As Canstar unveils the winners of the 2017 Everyday Banking Award, we look at the industry trends to help you understand how your bank compares. The major find from this year is that if you are incurring any account-keeping or transaction fees, you’re probably paying more than you need to.
Transaction account trends for 2017
Out of the 127 transaction accounts we researched, 70 have no monthly account-keeping fee and 28 waive the monthly fee when a deposit is made into the account (ranging from $500-$2,500 each month). We also found 47 accounts don’t charge fees for common transaction types, such as internet transfers, eftpos transactions, direct debits and other electronic transaction types.
How does your transaction account measure up? Use the Canstar website to compare.
The biggest shake-up to transaction account fees this year has been the decision by the major four banks to drop ATM fees charged to consumers who bank with other institutions.
CBA, Westpac, ANZ and NAB banks recently made the call to abolish the fees, with other institutions widely expected to follow suit. However, you may still find yourself paying to use an ATM if it is not part of one of the networks which no longer charges fees, with third-party ATMs still likely to charge a direct fee for the convenience that they provide.
What fees are charged on transaction accounts?
Not all transaction accounts are created equal, making it essential to compare your options to find the best deal for you. Some common fees to look out for on various transaction accounts include:
|Monthly account-keeping fees||$0.00||$2.54||$10.00|
|Electronic transaction fees||$0.00||$0.12||$2.00|
|ATM withdrawal fees*||$0.00||$2.51||$4.38|
|Branch deposit fees||$0.00||$0.03||$2.50|
|Over-the-counter transaction fees||$0.00||$0.87||$5.00|
|Overseas ATM withdrawal fee||0.00%||2.60%||5.00%|
|Source: www.canstar.com.au, 27 September 2017.
*ATM withdrawal fee includes the average fee charged by third-party ATM owners.
Check out our comparison table below which features a snapshot of the current low fee transaction accounts. Please note that this table has been formulated based on a High transactor in NSW, with results sorted by star rating, followed by monthly fee.
How to say goodbye to banking fees
Firstly, make sure you check your statements to determine if you are being charged banking fees. There could be fees you weren’t aware of and could avoid, such as staff-assisted phone transactions and branch withdrawals.
Becoming familiar with these charges can help you mitigate them in the future by adjusting your behaviour by using internet banking or getting cash out at the supermarket instead of using ATMs.
Some banks offer to waive fees on accounts for certain consumers, such as mortgage holders, students and pensions so be sure to ask your bank if you qualify. If you don’t, why not shop around to see if there is a better deal available? For more tips, read our article about avoiding fees with your transaction account.