There are endless options when it comes to banks and the range of different accounts they offer. Unless you really know what to look for it can be a challenge to work out which account best suits your needs. So to help you out if you’re trying to set up your first adult bank account, or if you’re considering changing accounts, below is a beginners guide to finding the best bank account for your needs.
Types of Bank Accounts
In Australia there are two main types of accounts; everyday transaction accounts and saving accounts. Transaction accounts are the accounts that you would use on a daily basis, this is the account you would most likely have a card for. With this type of account, you’ll also have access to internet banking, ATM transactions and BPAY. Savings accounts are for, well, saving. Usually, they give higher interest rates in comparison to transaction accounts. Some savings accounts also make it harder for you to withdraw money by putting restrictions on the account. This will be beneficial for helping you save. Most people will have one transaction account and one savings account- so don’t feel like you have to choose one or the other.
Each bank will have different variants of their accounts, each offering slightly different things. Here are some main things to consider when comparing accounts:
- Monthly fees. Look at what fees come with the account- there are lots of fee free accounts, so one of these may be the best option.
- Does the account come with a card free of charge? You should be able to get a debit card free with the account so you can easily shop online.
- Look for a well known bank that has lots of ATM’s to make it easier to deposit and withdraw money.
- Most banks offer internet banking services, go for an account that will allow you to manage your money online.
- Deposit amounts- some banks require you to make a minimum deposit to set up the account, whereas others encourage a certain amount per month to keep the account active. Consider these factors when setting up an account and find one that works best for you.
As with transaction accounts, savings accounts can differ slightly. Consider these things when choosing a savings account:
- Look at the fees that come with each account option.
- With savings accounts the interest rate is important. How much is the interest? How often is it paid into the account? Its also important to find out how much interest is lost if you withdraw money from the account.
- Minimum and maximum account balance. Compare the minimum or maximum you’ll be allowed to have in the savings account at any time.
Remember, you don’t need to have all of your accounts with the same bank. Sometimes banks offer incentives for you to keep both a transaction and a savings account with them, but still feel free to shop around to find the best deal. If you consider these tips, you should easily find an account that works for you.