Your finances play a huge part in your move to Australia. Making the move is expensive, and so is setting up your new life. When you move to Australia, you will likely be bringing a chunk of money over to your Australia bank account to help you get settled and you want to know that is going to be in safe hands when you get here.
When you land, you will collect your bank cards and start setting up your new life in Australia. This involves buying lots of new things, finding a rental, a school and finding a job…
Here is something to think about: How long have you been with your bank in the UK (or where ever you are moving from)? My guess is you’ve banked there for many, many years. Maybe even your entire life. (I switched bank once to get a better account and it was such a headache moving direct debits over and making sure money was in both accounts for a while. It’s not something I want to have to do again.)
Your Australian bank account isn’t just the place where you transfer the funds from your house sale and your savings – it’s likely to be the bank you stay with long term. So your Australia bank needs to be one that you feel happy with for the foreseeable future as once you’ve gone through all of the moving paperwork, the chances are you really won’t want the hassle of moving banks again later.
So to make sure you choose the right Australia bank right away, here are my top six things to consider when choosing your Australian bank account from overseas.
What is the bank’s ATM (cash point) coverage like?
Knowing you can get access to your money in many locations is really important. Some ATMs charge a withdrawal fee if you aren’t a customer so it’s useful to know you are choosing a bank that has a wide network of its own ATMs so you won’t have to pay fees to get to your money.
Are there lots of branches around?
Do some research to check there is a branch near to where you are moving as sometimes it’s handy to be able to go in in person.
What is the customer service like?
You want to choose a bank that will take care of you, one that is easy to contact and one that is committed to supporting your move to Australia and beyond.
Does the bank have an appreciation of the specialist needs of migrants?
Migrants like us have very different banking needs. We might be moving over with a large chunk of money. We might want to buy a home soon after arriving with little credit history and a new job. Make sure the bank you choose has specialist support staff to help you through the move and to ensure you stay in control of your finances going forward.
If you like to do your banking on the go, how do their online banking services measure up and do they have an app?
Some banks have easier systems than others to navigate, and some apps are better than others.
Can you see yourself banking with them long-term?
Is it a trusted brand that people recommend? After all of the moving admin, the last thing you want is to have to move your account when you arrive. Choose your bank carefully now – it’s a big decision.
I partner with Commonwealth Bank of Australia (often known as CBA or CommBank in Australia) and they are committed to supporting my readers on their move to Australia. If you’d like to find out more about banking with Commonwealth Bank, read this post about opening your bank account in Australia.