01.Save on bank fees
Last year, Australians paid $1.1bn for transaction accounts. And after a sharp fall in recent years, banks' deposit fee income is on the way up again, according to the RBA.
But there's no reason you should add to the banks' record profits: there are now plenty of accounts with no monthly fee and no fees for certain 'everyday' transactions. According to Peter Marshall, product data manager at Mozo "Seventy per cent of the 56 bank account providers in the Mozo database offer at least one account that has no monthly service fee, so there are plenty of options out there." (For details, see our table of fee-free accounts.)
Your average savings on monthly fees could be $60 per year. And many of the accounts that have a monthly fee waive it under certain conditions. Explains Marshall: "Usually the condition is deposits of at least $2000 in the month, however there are a few providers that either require smaller deposits,[for you] to maintain a minimum balance or [that] waive the fee if you have a minimum number of other products with them."
Of the big four banks, only NAB offers an account with no monthly fee without conditions; ANZ, CBA and Westpac all require a minimum deposit:
- NAB Classic Banking Account, no monthly fee
- ANZ Access Advantage, $5 monthly fee (waived if you deposit a minimum of $2000 per month)
- Commonwealth Bank Complete Access, $6 monthly fee (waived if you deposit a minimum of $2000 per month)
- Commonwealth Bank Smart Access, $4 monthly fee (waived if you deposit a minimum of $2000 per month)
- Westpac Choice, $5 monthly fee (waived if you deposit a minimum of $2000 per month).
Some banks also offer certain sweeteners to customers, for example:
- Citibank Plus Transaction account is great for travel money as it has no overseas ATM or purchase fees and no monthly fee
- ING Direct's Orange Everyday account offers 2% cash back on payWave purchases under $100 if you deposit at least $1,000 in the previous month, with no monthly fee.
But even with the best transaction accounts, interest usually isn't paid – so your extra savings are often best directed elsewhere; see our high-interest savings account report for more.