06.Best Low-fee Bank Account
This award commends two banks moving in the right direction of low-fee transaction accounts. The two new accounts that met our criteria will help get money back into consumers' pockets and reduce the cost of everyday banking.
Full transaction account functionality
Fee-free for most everyday transactions
No monthly fee or penalty fees
No requirement to bundle with another product of the financial institution
No requirement to make monthly contributions
NAB Classic Banking
Winner: NAB Classic Banking
NAB Classic Banking has no penalty fees, monthly fee or fees for most everyday transactions. Unlike ING Direct, it doesn't require ATM withdrawals of at least $200 to avoid fees. Its low fees are open to all, not just those depositing their salary each month.
NAB recently dropped the $5 monthly account fee that applied to its standard transaction account. The Big Four bank also showed genuine leadership by abolishing overdrawn account fees on personal transaction and savings accounts, the most common source of customer complaints.
Runner up: ING Direct Orange Everyday
ING has no ATM or branch network in Australia, but customers can use other banks' ATMs and Australia Post's Bank@Post for deposits and withdrawals. Third-party ATM fees apply, but are rebated for transactions of at least $200, and when customers use their debit card to get at least $200 cash out from a retailer, ING puts 50c into their account (smaller cash-out withdrawals are fee-free). ING does not charge penalty fees; like most banks, interest applies to overdrawn accounts.
See our Money section for more tips and information about banking and savings accounts.