6 Best Banks for Non-Residents in Australia


Moving to Australia comes with a lot of arrangements, from updating your contact information to figuring out what to do with your belongings. Researching where to open an Australian bank account is also one of the items that is probably high on your to-do list.

At Remitly, we know that finding the right bank in Australia can be tricky, especially when moving to a new, unfamiliar country. This guide will help you figure out the ins and outs of Australian banks to determine what works best for your needs, along with some of our recommendations for the best banks in Australia to help you get started.

Key considerations when choosing a bank in Australia

When comparing banks in Australia, start with some basic questions.

  • Fees – Will the bank charge monthly administration fees for having an account? If so, how do those fees compare with fees from other banks in Australia?
  • Ease of setup – Is creating an account with the bank an easy, straightforward process?  
  • Ease of use – Does the bank make it easy to keep track of your account and manage your budget? For example, does the bank have an online bank option and a user-friendly mobile app?
  • Customer service – Can you easily contact the customer support staff? Are they available for 24/7 emergencies? Can they speak your native language?
  • Safety and security – Does the bank have safeguards to protect your account?
  • Additional features – Does the bank offer overdrafts, savings accounts, a student bank account, and other services you might need while living in Australia?

If the answers to the above satisfy you, you’ll know the bank is worth considering.

From there, you can go deeper into questions about your specific needs, whether opening a credit card account, looking into financing for a new home, personal and commercial insurance, or researching business banking options.

6 banks in Australia to consider joining

As you can imagine, you’ll find a multitude of different Australian banks and credit unions, each with its own distinct advantages. To get you started on the right path, we’ve handpicked six of the best banks in Australia that tick many boxes.

1. National Australia Bank (NAB)

Why it wins

The National Australia Bank, or NAB, is one of the leading banks in Australia, offering a great all-around service in the form of the NAB Classic Banking account. NAB has zero monthly fees, and the bank doesn’t charge you if you happen to exceed your account balance.

They also make getting started easy. You can open an account online in a matter of minutes, and after that, you can keep track of your spending through the smooth and intuitive NAB mobile app.

Many people who move to Australia are looking to build up their savings, and National Australia Bank has you covered there, too. They offer a few different savings account options depending on your needs. For example, a NAB iSaver account is ideal if you see yourself making withdrawals, while a NAB Reward Saver account will reward you with bonus interest if you make regular deposits with no withdrawals.

If you ever have any questions or run into issues, the bank’s online virtual assistant can help with any queries, and they can connect you with support staff directly.

2. ING Australia

Why it wins

According to many, ING is “Australia’s most recommended bank.” That makes sense when you consider some of the ING’s perks and services.

The most common day-to-day usage account at ING is the Orange Everyday account, with zero monthly fees.

ING also refunds any ATM fees you might incur anywhere in the world, like when overseas banking. The main requirement is that you must deposit at least $1,000 into your bank account and make at least five card purchases per month.

You can open an Orange Everyday account online in minutes, and the ING mobile app allows you to easily access your bank account, pay bills, send money to friends, and manage your spending on the go.

ING’s Savings Maximiser is a savings account that provides a great solution for people looking to put some money aside for the future and do some investment banking, and you can withdraw funds without worrying about charges or fees.

3. Commonwealth Bank

Why it wins

Commonwealth Bank, better known simply as CommBank, is one of the longest-established banks in Australia. The Smart Access account is available for a monthly $4 account service fee, but that fee is waived if you deposit $2,000 or more per month. You don’t have to worry about that fee if you’re under 25 or a full-time student, making it an easy choice if you’re studying abroad in Australia.

Applying to Commonwealth Bank takes just minutes, and the Commonwealth Bank mobile app is really handy. It has a feature known as Bill Sense, which helps you manage your spending by showing you how much you’ll need to set aside for bills in the coming months.

As you’d expect from a major bank, Commonwealth Bank has full retail banking services, a portfolio of personal loans and insurance packages, and some savings accounts that reward you for regular deposits. Thanks to a direct phone number and the option to message the bank online, you can easily contact the staff at Commonwealth Bank.


4. ME Bank

Why it wins

You’ll find quite a few digital or online-only banks in Australia, which can bring a lot of convenience. ME Bank is one of the best. The bank’s award-winning Everyday Transaction Account charges no fees and requires no minimum monthly deposits. You can open an account with ME Bank online in just five minutes.

And don’t worry, even though it has no physical branches, ME Bank makes it easy to chat with staff by phone or online.

ME Bank also offers a full suite of other services, including fee-free savings accounts, home loans, and credit card lines. Along with online banking, ME has a top-notch mobile app that provides immediate access to your bank account information, bill payments, and money transfers.

5. WestPac Banking Corporation

Why it wins

WestPac Banking Corporation was established in 1817, making it the oldest bank in Australia. It’s built up plenty of positive credibility in that time, growing to suit a modern user base with a ton of different features. WestPac has solutions for everyone, including savings accounts, business banking, asset management, and personal loans.

For everyday banking services, WestPac’s most popular account is WestPac Choice. Along with a secure debit card, this account offers cash flow insights, allowing you to track trends and maintain your monthly budget. The account requires a monthly account-keeping fee of $5, which is waived if you deposit $2,000 monthly. You can also ignore the fee if you are:

  • Under 30
  • A full-time student
  • An Australian Pensioner Concession or Health Care Card holder
  • An expatriate or otherwise new to Australia (for the initial 12 months)

Just because it’s the oldest bank in Australia doesn’t mean it hasn’t made modern upgrades. When you’re on the go, WestPac offers an easy-to-use mobile app that allows you to check your account balance, transfer funds, and manage all your cards.

The bank also has five other divisions, including WestPac Institutional Bank (for commercial, corporate, and government customers) and the Business Bank (for small- to medium-sized enterprises in Australia).

6. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ)

Why it wins

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) is the second largest bank in Australia based on assets. It has retail banking that offers ease of use and a wealth of account options.

ANZ Access is the bank’s everyday account option that is perfect for most people. With the ANZ Access app, you can make Fast Payments between accounts, tap to pay, and even make secure payments up to $1,000 with voice ID. The monthly service fee is $5, which is waived if you make a $2,000 deposit by the last calendar day of every month.

The bank has also introduced ANZ Plus, which comprises one everyday account and one savings account. ANZ Plus eliminates monthly account fees, and you don’t pay any withdrawal fees at major bank ATMs in Australia.

How to send money from your bank back home

After you set up your Australian bank account, you may be keen to start sending money back to friends and family back home—this is where Remitly comes in. We’re proud to support millions of people like you by offering a remittance service with clear exchange rates and low fees, making it easy and convenient to send money from banks in Australia to other countries.

The process is simple. Here’s how you can make it happen with Remitly:

  • Create an account through our website or app
  • Pick the country you’re sending money to
  • Pick how your recipient would like to receive the money
  • Enter a few details about your recipient
  • You can now send by paying through your bank card or via bank transfer