Top 10 Banks In Australia For International Students
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Did you know that Australia welcomed over 566,721 international students last year? This blog offers essential insights into pursuing higher education in Australia, focusing on financial aspects by drafting an overview of the top banks in Australia. Keep reading to uncover valuable information to choose the best bank for students in Australia.
Top 10 Best Banks In Australia For International Students
In Australia, there is a wide selection of banks, but the best ones for international students are chosen based on the services and benefits they provide. The table below provides detailed information about the top banks in Australia for international students.
1. Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA)
The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), also known as CommBank, is a leading provider of comprehensive financial services in Australia. Established under the Commonwealth Bank Act in 1911, it offers retail, premium, business, and institutional banking, as well as funds management, superannuation, insurance, investment, and share-broking products and services.
For international students, CBA presents the opportunity to open a SmartActive transaction account tailored to student needs. Some of the benefits and features available to international students
- No monthly account fees for those under 30 with the Everyday Account Smart Access.
- Immediate access to the digital version of the Debit Mastercard, allowing for in-store and online shopping, bill payments, and setting up recurring payments before the physical card arrives.
- Mobile money management through the CommBank app, enabling tracking and categorization of spending, smart budget creation, and the ability to set and achieve savings goals.
- Access to everyday value and exclusive shopping offers through the activation and use of CommBank Yello Cashback Offers.
- The opportunity to earn interest on savings with a NetBank Saver or GoalSaver account.
- The ability to commence investing in the financial future with as little as $50 by opening a CommSec Pocket account.
2. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ)
The Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) is a multinational banking and financial services company with its headquarters in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. It stands as Australia’s second-largest bank by assets and the fourth-largest bank by market capitalization. ANZ delivers banking and financial products and services to individual and business customers.
For international students, ANZ provides two banking products: the ANZ Access Advantage account and the ANZ Plus account. Here are some of the benefits and features available for international students:
ANZ Access Advantage account
- Unlimited transactions.
- Cashless withdrawals at ANZ ATMs.
- Choice of three different colored Visa Debit Cards.
- Access to the ANZ App.
- Potential cashback rewards.
- Fraud protections provided by ANZ.
- Personalized money reports.
ANZ Plus account
- No monthly account fees.
- No ATM fees at eligible Australian ATMs.
- Visa Debit card.
- Access to digital wallets.
- Digital statements.
- Possibility to earn interest on savings.
3. National Australia Bank (NAB)
NAB, or National Australia Bank, ranks as one of the top four financial institutions in Australia based on market capitalization, earnings, and customer base. Established in 1982 through the merger of the National Bank of Australasia and the Commercial Banking Company of Sydney, it provides financial services to Australian, New Zealand, and global customers.
For international students, NAB offers the NAB Classic Banking account, available for opening after they arrive in Australia. Key features and benefits of this account encompass:
- Absence of monthly account fees
- No ATM fees at over 7000 Australian ATMs
- Convenient account management via the NAB app or NAB online banking portal
- Provision of a NAB Visa Debit card Additionally, NAB presents the NAB Now Pay Later option, allowing for interest-free, fee-free splitting of purchase costs into four simple repayments over six weeks.
- Eligible customers can access account limits of up to $1,000 following credit assessments. This option incurs no account fees, no international transaction fees, no late fees, and no interest.
4. Westpac Bank
Westpac Banking Corporation, commonly known as Westpac, operates as an Australian multinational banking and financial services company with its headquarters at Westpac Place in Sydney, New South Wales. Originally founded in 1817 as the Bank of New South Wales, it underwent a significant transformation in 1981 when it acquired the Commercial Bank of Australia and was then rebranded as Westpac Banking Corporation.
For international students, Westpac provides the Westpac Choice everyday bank account. This account offers a variety of features and benefits, including:
- Debit Mastercard for online shopping, ATM cash access, and contactless payments (under AUD 100 threshold) via PayPass™
- Compatibility with Apple Pay for transactions using an Apple device
- Ability to withdraw cash using a phone at Westpac, St.George, Bank of Melbourne, or BankSA ATMs
- Instant online banking option to lock cards in case of loss or theft
- Global money transfer capabilities with online banking
5. Bank of Queensland
Bank of Queensland (BOQ), previously named the Brisbane Permanent Benefit Building and Investment Society (BPBBIS) from 1874 to 1970, operates as an Australian retail bank with its headquarters situated in Brisbane, Queensland.
For international students, BOQ provides a variety of products with competitive interest rates. Here are some of the benefits of banking with BOQ while pursuing your studies.
- Access to competitive interest rates across a range of products tailored to your specific needs
- Ability to manage your account via Internet banking, enabling effective tracking of student-related expenses
- Availability of a Customer Contact Centre to assist with your student banking requirements
6. Macquarie Bank
Macquarie Bank, also known as Macquarie Group Limited, functions as an Australian global financial services group. Operating in 34 markets, it engages in asset management, retail, and business banking, wealth management, leasing and asset financing, market access, commodity trading, renewables development, specialist advisory, capital raising, and principal investment.
For international students, Macquarie Bank provides various products with competitive interest rates. Here are some of the benefits of banking with Macquarie Bank while pursuing your studies.
- Access to an affordable online savings account with no monthly fees and robust digital banking
- New clients can swiftly apply for an account, have their identification verified, and commence banking within one minute
- Customers receive instant notifications when direct debits are made from their savings accounts
- Macquarie Bank offers customers an additional layer of security through its own authentication app
- Transactions conducted with Macquarie Bank are automatically classified
7. Bendigo Bank
Bendigo Bank, also known as Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, operates as an Australian retail bank with its headquarters located in Brisbane, Queensland. Originally established in 1858 as the Bank of New South Wales, it acquired the Commercial Bank of Australia in 1981 before being rebranded as Bendigo Bank in 1982.
For international students, Bendigo Bank presents the Student Account. Specifically tailored to assist students in earning while they learn, this account is available to full-time students, apprentices, and trainees. Notable features and benefits of this account include,
- Absence of monthly service fees
- Accessibility for full-time students over 12, apprentices, or trainees
- Mobile payment capability, enabling the use of a phone or smartwatch to make payments from the account
- Ability to access funds with a Debit Mastercard
- Provision of a Youth Debit Mastercard, ideal for students aged 12-15 years
- Opportunity to open a Reward Saver account and earn high interest on savings
8. AMP Bank Ltd
AMP Bank Ltd, a financial services company based in Australia and New Zealand, offers an array of services, including superannuation and investment products, financial advice, and banking products. The bank provides home loans, savings accounts, and a flexible Cash Management Account with no monthly or account fees. Established in 1998, AMP Bank Ltd is headquartered in NSW, Australia.
For international students and expats, AMP Bank Ltd offers a range of beneficial services. It provides a variety of bank accounts aimed at effectively managing money
- AMP Saver Account offers a standard annual interest rate of 1.20%
- It provides a Deposit Bonus Interest Rate of 4.00% per annum
- The combined interest rate totals 5.20% per annum
- This rate is applicable to balances up to $250,000
- The account requires a minimum deposit of $1,000 in the previous month
9. Suncorp Bank
Suncorp Bank, a subsidiary of the Suncorp Group, is headquartered in Brisbane, Australia. Its origins trace back to 1902 when it was established as the Queensland Agricultural Bank, subsequently evolving into the sixth-largest bank in Australia. The bank provides a diverse range of services, encompassing consumer banking, home loans, credit cards, bank accounts, savings accounts, and business banking.
For international students, Suncorp Bank features the Everyday Options Account, which includes the following key details:
- No monthly account fees
- Option to open and customize up to 9 sub-accounts
- Includes a Visa Debit card with 0% currency conversion fees
Bankwest, also known as the Bank of Western Australia, operates as a full-service bank located in Perth, Western Australia. Established in 1895, it has emerged as the sixth-largest bank in Australia. The bank provides a variety of services including consumer banking, home loans, credit cards, bank accounts, savings accounts, and business banking.
For international students, Bankwest offers the Easy Transaction Account with the following features.
- No monthly maintenance fee
- No foreign transaction fees for international purchases online or overseas with a Platinum Debit Mastercard
- Option to open and personalize up to 9 sub-accounts
Benefits Of Students Bank Account In Australia
A student bank account is a tailored financial resource created to address the distinct requirements of students. It provides a variety of advantages that aid students in efficiently managing their finances and establishing a robust base for their financial well-being.
The following are the benefits of possessing a student bank account within the top banks catering to international students in Australia.
- Fee Waivers and Discounts: Student bank accounts often come with benefits such as fee waivers and discounts, easing the financial burden on students. These perks contribute to cost savings and make banking more affordable for students.
- Overdraft Facilities: Many student accounts offer overdraft facilities, providing a financial buffer for students during times of unforeseen expenses or emergencies. This feature allows students to temporarily exceed their account balance without incurring hefty fees.
- Budgeting Tools and Financial Education: Student bank accounts frequently include budgeting tools and educational resources to assist students in managing their money wisely. These tools help students create and adhere to budgets, fostering financial discipline.
- Mobile Banking and Online Services: Modern student bank accounts come equipped with user-friendly mobile banking apps and online services. This convenience enables students to monitor their accounts, make transactions, and access banking services anytime, anywhere.
- Access to Student Loans and Credit Cards: Certain student bank accounts provide access to student loans and credit cards, helping students meet their educational expenses or build a credit history responsibly. These financial instruments can be valuable for students planning for their academic and financial future.
- Financial Independence and Responsibility: Having a student bank account encourages financial independence and responsibility. Students learn to manage their own finances, make informed financial decisions, and develop essential money management skills for the future.
- Seamless Transition to Full Banking Services: Student bank accounts often serve as a stepping stone to full-fledged banking services. As students progress in their academic and professional journey, these accounts can seamlessly transition into comprehensive banking solutions that cater to their evolving financial needs.
How To Open a Bank Account For International Students?
To establish an account with leading student banks in Australia as an international student, you typically need to fulfill specific requirements and provide certain documents. While the precise requirements might vary slightly among the top student banks in Australia, the usual documents and conditions include the following in the infographic below.
1. Valid Passport
- You are required to submit a valid passport as evidence of your identity and immigration status.
- Ensure that your passport is up-to-date and not expired.
2. Confirmation of Enrollment
- Top student banks in Australia will request proof of your enrollment in an Australian educational institution.
- This proof can take the form of an acceptance letter from your university or institution or a Confirmation of Enrollment (CoE).
3. Visa Documentation
Present your visa-related documents, such as a student visa or a temporary graduate visa (subclass 485), to validate your status as an international student.
4. Australian Residential Address
- Banks often require an Australian residential address.
- This address can be your on-campus housing address, the address of a private rental, or the address of a friend or relative who is hosting you.
5. Tax File Number (TFN)
- While not mandatory, having a Tax File Number (TFN) can be beneficial for banking purposes.
- A TFN allows you to earn interest on your savings without the deduction of taxes.
6. Student Identification
Bring your student ID card issued by your higher education institution as further confirmation of your student status.
7. Additional Identification Documents
Some banks may require additional identification documents, such as a driver's license or a certified copy of your birth certificate.
8. Initial Deposit
Many banks may request an initial deposit to activate your account. Be prepared to provide the necessary funds to start your account.
Also Read: Australia: Robust Economy
Tips for Selecting a Bank for International Students in Australia
Choosing the right bank as an international student in Australia is a crucial decision that significantly influences your financial well-being. Given the variety of banks and financial institutions available, it is essential to consider several factors before making your choice.
Here are some key considerations to keep in mind when choosing the best bank for international students in Australia. By taking these factors in the table below into account, you can make a well-informed decision aligned with your financial needs and objectives.
Also Read: Australia: Work/Life Balance
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