Here’s all you need to know about foreign currency accounts with Bank of Sydney. The fees requirements and foreign exchange rates.
If you’re looking to open a bank account in Australia, you’re likely to consider one of the ‘big four’ banks. Commonwealth Bank, also known as CommBank, is one of these. It offers a full range of consumer financial services, including everyday transaction accounts and savings accounts.
In this guide, we’ll show you how to open a bank account with Commonwealth Bank. We’ll cover account types, costs, the documents and details you’ll need to open an account. Let’s jump right in.
|Looking for a stress-free international account, with your very own local AUD account account details?|
Commonwealth Bank has a great range of consumer bank accounts to choose from, including everyday transaction accounts and savings accounts for different types of saver.
The most popular everyday transaction account at Commonwealth Bank is Smart Access¹. This is a flexible account with a debit Mastercard, online and app banking, along with a number of rewards and other features. You can open the Everyday Account Smart Access as a joint account, and it also operates as a student account with no monthly fees for under 25s and full-time students².
There are three main savings accounts to choose from at CommBank, depending how you prefer to save³:
- NetBank Saver — a flexible access account linked to your CommBank transaction account, offering interest on your money
- GoalSaver — a bonus interest reward account which allows you to save regularly and save for particular goals
- Term Deposits — a fixed rate interest account offering higher interest rates if you lock away savings of $5,000+ for a fixed term.
Let’s run through the process for opening each of the most popular account types with Commonwealth Bank.
If you’re aged 14+ and have an Australian residential address, you can apply for an everyday account online. According to the bank, it should take around 15 minutes to complete your application⁴.
Here’s what to do:
- Head to the bank’s website, check the details of the Smart Access account and click ‘Open now’ to start your application
- Follow the online application process and provide all requested personal details
- Complete an ID check online — you’ll need ID documents to hand (we’ll cover what you need in just a moment). You can also verify your ID in a local branch if you prefer.
- Provide your tax residency information if requested
- Submit your application
- Start banking right away by logging onto NetBank or using the CommBank app. Your debit Mastercard should arrive soon, and you’ll need to activate it before first use
Here’s the lowdown on opening a savings account:
To open this account, you’ll need an Australian residential address and an eligible CommBank transaction account. If you don’t have one, you can open both the NetBank account and a Smart Access everyday access account at the same time — these will be linked together⁵.
You can apply for this account online, following the same steps as with an everyday transaction account, or in branch if you prefer.
It’s not mandatory to have a CommBank everyday transaction account before you can open a GoalSaver savings account⁶, but you can link the two together if you already have one. You’ll also need to have an Australian residential address and be over 18, but otherwise the online application process is the same as with other CommBank accounts. You can also visit your nearest branch to apply if you prefer.
To open this fixed term savings account, you’ll need to:
- Be over 18
- Have an existing CommBank account and NetBank ID
- Have an Australian residential address
- Have a minimum deposit of $5,000.
If you meet all of the above, you can open your Term Deposits account online by logging into NetBank. But if you’re a new customer, you’ll need to apply by phone or in a local branch⁷.
Commonwealth Bank also offers its popular everyday Smart Access account for expats, letting you apply up to three months before you arrive, or three months after⁸.
You don’t need an Australian address, and you can start the application process online from abroad. However, once you arrive, you’ll need to pop into a Commonwealth Bank branch to verify your ID and provide tax residency details.
|Fees||Commonwealth Everyday Account⁹||Wise|
|Account monthly fees||$4 (waived for under 25s, students and for monthly deposits over $2,000)||Free to hold up to $23,000 AUD per month. 0.00437% daily holding fee for any amount over $23,000 AUD¹²|
|International transfer fee||$30 AUD per transfer if done at a branch. $6.00 AUD per transfer if done on the web or app¹³. Bank’s own conversion rate¹⁴ and potential intermediary/recipient bank fees¹³||0.45% variable fee(e.g. for a transfer of $1,000 AUD to GBP, the fee charged is $5.14 AUD) You can make a fee calculation here.|
|ATM withdrawals||Free at Commonwealth ATMs (other ATM providers may charge a fee) — $2 AUD for international withdrawals at Commonwealth ATMs — $5 AUD plus 3% for any other cash withdrawals overseas||You can take out money for free twice a month — as long as the total amount is under $350 AUD. After that, there is a $1.50 AUD per transaction fixed fee. If you take out over $350 AUD in one month, there is a 1.75% on the amount exceeding that. See card fees here.|
*Information last checked on 06.10.21
Ready to open a bank account? Here’s what you need to know to start your application.
For most Commonwealth accounts, you’ll need one form of valid photo ID ready for ID verification. This includes your passport, or your current Australian or New Zealand driving licence¹⁰.
If you don’t have a photo ID, you’ll need to provide two forms of non-photographic ID. For example, your birth certificate, citizenship certificate and/or your Centrelink pension or health card. More info here.
Other documents and details you might need (depending on the account) include:
- Your NetBank Client Number (for savings accounts requiring an existing CommBank account)
- Your Tax File Number (TFN) or TFN Exemption1
- Details of your tax residency status.
There’s no minimum deposit required to open a Commonwealth everyday bank account, but remember that the $4 account-keeping fee is waived if you can deposit at least $2,000 a month⁹.
If you’re opening a Term Deposits savings account, you’ll need to make a minimum opening deposit of $5,000⁷.
If you have an Australian residential address and meet the other eligibility criteria, you should be able to complete your application for your Commonwealth bank account online. The exception is the Term Deposits account, which requires an in-branch visit if you don’t already bank with CommBank.
Expats and new arrivals can start the application process online, but you’ll need to visit a Commonwealth Bank branch once you arrive in Australia to verify your ID.
You can reach out to Commonwealth Bank using the details below.
- Call 13 2221 from anywhere in Australia
- From overseas, call +61 2 9999 3283
- You can also get fast-track access to customer services through the CommBank App.
If you’re shopping around for the best Australian bank accounts for your needs, you may also want to take a look at other major banks on the ‘big four’ list. This includes Westpac Bank, ANZ Bank, and National Australia Bank.
Wise offers international payment services as well as a smart and flexible Multi-Currency account. If you’re looking for an alternative to traditional banks, which also cuts the costs of sending money overseas, Wise is tailor-made for you.
Your multi-currency account can hold 40+ currencies, receive fee free payments using your very own AUD account details, send money to 160+ countries, always using the real exchange rate — with a low and transparent fee. You can also have a debit card to spend with at home and avoid foreign transaction fees while abroad.
If you’re an expat, this could be a great money-saving option for sending money to and from your Australian bank account before the big move.
Sources used for this article:
- Commbank everyday account smart access
- Account info for students
- Commbank savings accounts
- Online application smart access account
- NetBank saver info
- Goal saver account info
- Commbank term deposits
- Commbank moving to Australia accounts
- Everyday account fees
- Documents needed for opening an account
- Commbank contact us
- Wise holding large amounts fees
- International money transfer fees Commbank
- Commbank's exchange rate with margin
Sources checked on 11 October 2021.
This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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