Banking for international students
About to make your way to Australia to study? Opening a bank account before you arrive will mean that you’re ready to hit the ground running as soon as you get off the plane.
It’s easy enough to do, you can open a Student Smart Access account instantly in the three months leading up to your trip. This means you can start transferring money across and monitor your balance all before your first day of classes. There are no monthly account fees1 while you’re a student, so you don’t have to worry about losing money if you set things up in advance.
Once you get to Australia, all you have to do is pop in to a CommBank branch with some identification to order a Debit MasterCard® which you can use in stores and at over 4,300 CommBank and Bankwest ATMs across the country. As a student all your electronic withdrawals in Australia are fee-free2.
You’ll also have secure online banking through NetBank and our award-winning CommBank app.
Just in case you’re not too familiar with our money, Australia uses a system of decimal currency with 100 cents in the dollar. We use $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 notes and have silver 5 cent, 10 cent, 20 cent and 50 cent pieces and gold $1 and $2 coins.
If you’re going to be transferring money from another currency, you want to try and get the best exchange rate possible. Keep an eye on the exchange rate in the months before your trip so that you know when may be a good time to transfer your money. You can track exchange rates with our foreign exchange calculator and also exchange currency you have at a CommBank branch when you arrive.
Whether you’re living with family in Australia, on campus or in a share house, picking the right accommodation will have a big impact on your time here. Check out our tips on how to choose what’s right for you and also save while you’re away from home with our student accommodation options.
Things you should know
1 The $4 monthly account fee is waived for the first 6 months if you’re a customer looking to move to Australia and open your account using our online application form. After 6 months the monthly account fee will apply unless you visit a branch to show your current student identification.
2 Access fees apply on all overseas ATMs, including the ATMs of ASB Bank in New Zealand and Commonwealth Bank in Indonesia and Vietnam, EFTPOS and Debit MasterCard transactions overseas (or purchases involving currency conversion), transfer group payments to third parties, International Money Transfers and separate services such as bank cheques, periodic payments and transfers/deposits to other banks. The owner of another ATM may apply an ATM owner’s fee at the time of the transaction.
The advice on this website has been prepared without considering your objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of that, you should, before acting on the advice, consider its appropriateness to your circumstances. Please view our Financial Services Guide (PDF68KB). Full terms and conditions for the transaction and savings accounts (PDF 660KB) mentioned and Electronic Banking are available here or from any branch of the Commonwealth Bank.
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