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

Roberto Efflandrin

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.

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Types of Commonwealth Bank accounts

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.

Commonwealth Bank everyday accounts

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.

Commonwealth Bank savings accounts

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.

How do you open these account types?

Let’s run through the process for opening each of the most popular account types with Commonwealth Bank.

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How to open an Everyday Account Smart Access account with Commbank

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:

  1. Head to the bank’s website, check the details of the Smart Access account and click ‘Open now’ to start your application
  2. Follow the online application process and provide all requested personal details
  3. 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.
  4. Provide your tax residency information if requested
  5. Submit your application
  6. 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

How to open a savings account with Commbank

Here’s the lowdown on opening a savings account:

NetBank 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.

GoalSaver savings account

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.

Term Deposits savings account

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 accounts for expats

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.

Cost, running fees that come with the account

FeesCommonwealth Everyday Account⁹Wise
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 fees¹³0.45% 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 withdrawalsFree 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 overseasYou 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

What do I need to open a Commbank account? Requirements, documents and what to keep in mind.

Ready to open a bank account? Here’s what you need to know to start your application.

Which documents do I need to open an account?

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.

Do I need to deposit money to open a Commonwealth Bank account?

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.

Can I open a Commbank account online or from abroad?

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.

Commonwealth Bank contact details.

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.

Alternatives to Commonwealth Bank

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.

Try Wise

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Sources used for this article:

  1. Commbank everyday account smart access
  2. Account info for students
  3. Commbank savings accounts
  4. Online application smart access account
  5. NetBank saver info
  6. Goal saver account info
  7. Commbank term deposits
  8. Commbank moving to Australia accounts
  9. Everyday account fees
  10. Documents needed for opening an account
  11. Commbank contact us
  12. Wise holding large amounts fees
  13. International money transfer fees Commbank
  14. Commbank's exchange rate with margin

Sources checked on 11 October 2021.


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