How to open a bank account with BankSA. The requirements, account types and fees.

Roberto Efflandrin

Opened in 1848, The Savings Bank of South Australia merged with the State Bank of South Australia in 1984 to form BankSA before eventually becoming a division of Westpac Banking Corporation in 2008.

Primarily serving South Australians, BankSA offers a variety of products and services including a variety of bank accounts.

In this guide, we’ll take a look at the different types of accounts on offer, any associated fees, what’s required to open an account and other key details. Ensuring you can make an informed choice on whether BankSA is right for your needs.

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BankSA offers several different account types including everyday transaction accounts and savings accounts, with options available to suit everyone including retirees, concession card holders and newcomers to Australia.¹

For this guide, we will focus on the primary transaction account and savings accounts on offer.

BankSA everyday account

Known as a Complete Freedom account, this everyday transaction account offers unlimited access to your funds with options to pay in-person with a linked debit card, online or via mobile wallets.¹

This account is also advised as being the ideal BankSA migrant account option for any newcomers to Australia.²

BankSA Maxi Saver account

A basic savings account, this option offers a competitive introductory interest rate for new account holders for a period of three months.³

To hold this account, customers must also have an active everyday account with BankSA.

BankSA Incentive Saver account

Offering a higher rate of interest than the Maxi Saver account, this savings account also rewards customers with bonus interest so long as minimum deposit requirements are met each month.³

A word on BankSA joint accounts

If you’re seeking to open a joint account, currently BankSA permits joint account access on their Complete Freedom account, Maxi Saver and Incentive Saver accounts.⁴

How do you open these account types?

BankSA advises that opening any account with them is a quick and simple process that takes between 10 to 15 minutes to complete online.⁵

If preferred, you may also open an account in person at one of their branches.

How to open an everyday or savings account with BankSA?

To open a BankSA new account online you can follow the below steps.

  1. Using the BankSA website select your chosen account and click ‘open now’ or through the app, select ‘open account’ from the main menu.
  2. Follow the prompts provided to complete the application form.
  3. Once approved, you can start using your new account.

Keep in mind, as noted above, that to open a savings account, you may first need to open an everyday account.

How to open a joint account with BankSA?

To open a joint account as a new customer, simply follow the steps above and select joint account access when prompted.

For existing customers, depending on the type of account you are opening, all joint applicants may need to attend in person at a branch to complete their application.⁴

If you are a migrant that is not yet in Australia, BankSA does allow you to open an account from overseas.

So long as you can complete the application form with the required information, such as a residential address in Australia, there are no restrictions on this.⁶

Cost, running fees that come with the Everyday account

As with most banks, BankSA account fees apply when using their services.

The below is a brief look of the fees and charges associated with BankSA’s Complete Freedom account compared against an alternative everyday account option offered by Wise for context.

Fees BankSA - Complete Freedom Account¹ Wise Account
Account fees (monthly) AUD$0 AUD$0
International transfer fee⁷ AUD$0.00 per transfer made in foreign currency

AUD$20.00 per transfer made in Australian Dollars

This is in addition to any third-party fees levied by intermediary banks en route.

Payout fee + variable conversion fee starting from 0.42%

(e.g. for a transfer of AUD$1,000 to GBP, the total fee charged is $5.32 AUD)

You can make a fee calculation here.

Currency conversion fee 3% of the transacted amount in addition to any withdrawal fees. 0.48% variable fee for AUD to GBP. Click to check up to date fees.
ATM withdrawals AUD$0 fee for withdrawals made within Australia.

AUD$5 per transaction for withdrawals made at an overseas ATM.

**Note: **ATM service providers may charge additional fees. Check their terms of use.

You can withdraw money free twice a month — as long as the total amount is under AUD$350. After that, there is a fixed fee of AUD$1.50 charge per transaction. If you take out over AUD$350 in one month, there is a 1.75% on the amount exceeding that. See card fees here.

**Note: **ATM service providers may charge additional fees. Check their terms of use.

Card maintenance fees None None

Reference rate only - actual rate may vary. Information last checked on 04 April 2024

What do I need to open an account? Eligibility, documents and other key details.

Who is eligible to open an account with BankSA?

To be eligible for an account with BankSA and to complete the application process, BankSA requires that you⁶:

  • Be over 14 years of age
  • Have an Australian residential address

Which documents do I need to open an account?

When opening an account with BankSA, you’ll need at least two of the following documents to hand ⁸:

  • An Australian or foreign passport
  • An Australian or overseas drivers licence
  • Birth certificate or citizenship certificate

Where these are unavailable, additional documentation such as a Medicare card, lease agreement or tax assessment notice among other documents may also be required.

For overseas applicants, any documents not in English must be accompanied by a translation prepared by an accredited translation service.⁸

Do I need to deposit money to open a BankSA account?

No, there is no minimum opening balance required to open an account with BankSA.⁷

Do I need to go to a bank branch, can I do this online or from abroad?

As BankSA allows for most accounts to be opened online, there is often no need for applicants to be within Australia at the time they apply.

However, as a residential address is an eligibility requirement, if you do not have access to one, even as a temporary measure, applying may not be possible until you have arrived.

What else do I need to know?

BankSA may not necessarily be suitable for your needs, we recommend considering the following before opening an account:

  • Based in South Australia, there are no branches for BankSA outside of the state. This may make it more challenging to access in person assistance should you reside elsewhere.
  • Currently, BankSA offers few options for everyday transaction accounts and with limited features compared with competing bank alternatives.

You can find out more by contacting BankSA here.

To speak with BankSA about any of their accounts or how you can open one from within Australia or from abroad, you can do so via:

  • 13 13 76 in Australia
  • +61 2 9155 7850 from overseas

Alternatives to BankSA

Should BankSA not be the right fit for your needs, you may like to consider an account with one of the big four banks in Australia, these being:

  • Commonwealth Bank
  • Westpac
  • ANZ Banking Group and
  • National Australia Bank

As larger entities, their available products and services may be more diversified, offering tailored solutions such as specialised migrant accounts that can be easily opened from overseas.

Alternatively, non-bank solution Wise offers the utmost in flexibility and convenience. Enjoy simplified transactions with minimal, competitive fees and easy access to your funds both in Australia and abroad.

The Wise Account

If you’re looking for an option that is great for daily spending in Australia and overseas, the Wise is worth a look.

You can open a Wise Account for free and hold money in over 40 currencies and send money to 160 countries. You can also order local account details for 10 world currencies including AUD.

You can also use the Wise Debit card to spend money in 150+ countries without markups and hidden transaction fees. The mid-market rate is used when switching between currencies, helping to keep costs low when sending money internationally. It’s the rate you see on a Google conversion search.

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Please see Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise Fees & Pricing for the most up-to-date pricing and fee information.


  1. BankSA - Transaction Accounts Comparison
  2. BankSA - Migrant Account
  3. BankSA - Savings Accounts Comparison
  4. BankSA - Joint Accounts
  5. BankSA - Opening An Account
  6. BankSA - Eligibility & Documentation
  7. BankSA - Terms, Conditions & Fees pg. 3, 30
  8. BankSA - Foreign Applicants Accepted Documents

Sources checked on: 04 April 2024

*Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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