Monday, April 18, 2011

Thinking of changing banks and hidden bank fees

So a couple of weeks ago my budget did not match my bank account and I couldn't realise why, all my spending added up and I thought I hadn't missed noting any spending. I had a look at my transactions and found I had been charged $46 from my bank in bank fees, this is going to sound so stupid but I thought I was only charged $5 a month in bank fees. I had a look into all my accounts and fees and was shocked at what I found, I've been with my bank since I was 6years old and I'm really attached to my account for this reason. I know my bank account number off by heart and I also love their online banking account.

One of the benefits of my work is that I get fee free banking with their linked bank. I have opened an account but I haven't really used it yet but now I'm considering changing to my work bank full time. I've done a rough breakdown below of all my accounts and the benefits of my work bank.

Current Bank

Regular Account
- $5 monthly fee which comes with 15 free transactions a month (not including access fees, like other banks ATM's)
- $2 fee for staff assisted withdrawals - I had no idea about this.
- Once I exceed the 15 transactions on the account the charges are this
- $.50 for CBA ATM Cash withdrawals
- $.30 for CBA ATM Transfers
- $.50 for eftpos in Australia
- $.30 for self service phone withdrawals
- $.30 for online banking and online bill paying, direct debits
- $2 for non brand ATM withdrawals
I've held this account since I was 6 years old and It did not have any fees until I turned 18.
On this account I make on average 46 transactions a month, which means 31 of my monthly transactions are generating a fee of some sort.

Debit Card - I need to have a separate debit card as my regular account can not do debit cards
- $4 monthly fee
- no extra fees like my regular account

Savings account
- No fees
- 3% interest
- 3% bonus interest if I deposit a certain amount every month and don't withdraw it

Credit Card
- $17.94% Interest
- $4 a month account keeping fees
If I was to change accounts I would not change this and just keep this and pay it off.

Pros for existing bank
The account history
I love, love, love their online banking platform. It's so much more crisp and well put together and easy to use

The fees.
They're a market leader and they won't negotiate on fees with me

Work Banks

Regular Account
- comes with a debit card
- Fee free banking for everything except using other banks ATM's
- no monthly fees

Savings account
- no monthly fees
- Fee free banking
- 5% Interest per annum

No fees

The clunky online banking platform
the loss of my 18yr old transaction account :(

Not counting credit card interest I pay between $20 - $40 a month in account keeping fees. I've realised by writing this post that my attachment to my 18yr old banking account is not worth the waste of money.

However I have also been looking at HSBC and they have pretty much the same deal as my work bank. The HSBC everyday banking account has no monthly fees and transaction charges plus it also comes with a visa debit card attached the account. Their online savings account also has a rate of 5.25% interest which is lower then my Commonwealth account. I was planning to open a HSBC account before I left for the UK because the also operate in the UK I wouldn't need to go through the drama many expats have trying to open a bank account in the UK.

I've written this post over the past two weeks while researching the banks so now I think I've pretty much decided to open a HSBC account as there are no fees and I'm going to need to open one before I leave for the UK so why not do it now and save the drama. What do you guys think anyway? Would you go for the HSBC or for my work bank?


  1. That is a ridiculous amount of fees that you're paying each month! There are an increasing number of banks out there now offering fee-free accounts so you should definitely check them out and stop paying all that fees!

    We use HSBC for our everyday banking needs and I have to say that they are awesome! It's exactly what you said - no monthly fees or transaction fees. I can't remember if there is a limit on ATM withdrawals but we've gotten into a routine of taking a lump sum out once a month so if there is, it doesn't affect us. We're happy HSBC customers and would really recommend them. :)

    For savings account, have you looked at Ubank? They're offering one of the highest interest rates in the market at the moment - 6.51% with an ASP set up.

  2. Thank's for the Ubank reference, I'm looking into it now, what a great rate!


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