Best Banks

When it comes to stashing away your money in a safe place, getting a loan, credit, or investing, there are a litany of options available today.

Traditional banks are now joined by mutual banks, credit unions and online-only banks, but which one is right for you will depend on your financial needs and personal preferences. Continue Reading...

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Rating

Based on 28,583 reviews
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Judo Bank

Judo Bank Award Winning Term Deposits 🏆 2024

4.6 

Great service and term deposit rates with an added loyality bonus including Government guaranteed .

Queensland Country Bank

Queensland Country Bank 🏆 2024

4.8  (1,099) Summary
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Lloyd D.
Lloyd D.QLD
  Branches
One on one service with friendly staff makes for a great dayGood service and great staff witch makes for a great day

make sur Show details

Qudos Bank

Qudos Bank 🏆 2024

4.7  (1,383) Summary
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A jones
A jonesAustralian Capital Territory5 posts
  Online
Judo Bank

Judo Bank 🏆 2024

4.6  (1,578) Summary
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Jen M.
Jen M.VIC
  Verified
Satisfied CustomerGreat interest rates, good communication, easy rollover and simple to change maturity instructions. Show details
Bank Australia

Bank Australia 🏆 2024

4.6  (2,508) Summary
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TBr
TBr
  Verified Branches
Business AccountI walked into the Canberra branch to open a business account, my first time attending a branch in person for many years. I was warmly greeted by Ari. He walked me through the whole process seamlessly and provided a really positive and professional experience. His product knowledge was exceptional and very reassuring as a new small business owner. Show details
Australian Mutual Bank

Australian Mutual Bank

4.7  (99) Summary
Mitchell
MitchellPerth2 posts
 
Great ratesLeonie from Penrith Branch was very helpful in refinancing my home-loan everything went smooth and I’m happy with the customer service. Yes I would recommend Australian Mutual Bank. Thanks again!! Show details
Auswide Bank

Auswide Bank

4.3  (234) Summary
pianoman
pianomanQLD2 posts
  Branches
Service with empathyTegan at Gympie branch is the most helpful and best bank employee I have ever had the pleasure to encounter. She has helped me through the dramas of my wife's passing and I thank her for that. Don't loose her, she is wonderful. Show reply
Bank First

Bank First

4.1  (191) Summary
Shane
ShaneNSW3 posts
 
Ridiculous wait time on hold with no call back serviceTrying to speak to someone is ridiculous. My wait time record is just under an hour. As I write this I've been on hold for 10min with no call back service.
All I want to do is increase my daily limit for transaction!!@
The Mutual Bank

The Mutual Bank

4.7  (49) Summary
Dallas W
Dallas W
 
Simply the bestFriendly and helpful staff, amazing rates and service. Why would I go anywhere else? Show reply
Great Southern Bank

Great Southern Bank

2.8  (895) Summary
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Hello M.
Hello M.
 
Slow and likely to harm your businessMaybe the worst ever. They seem to not understand making payments when and as they fall due. A bank that is likely to slow down your business with their slow payments and lack of haste. Wouldn't recommend
Great Southern Bank
Great Southern Bank   DM   
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Up

Up

2.8  (231) Summary
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Ryan
RyanQLD2 posts
 
TerribleCan’t ever get a hold of anyone, sent 2 emails and not heard anything back. I think if this is how their customer service is, I don’t think I want to sign up
Up
Up    DM   
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Beyond Bank

Beyond Bank

2.8  (202) Summary
PETER
PETERWA4 posts
  Online
ServiceWas told my card would take 10 days to be delivered ,well it arrived 1 day late.Very good service as formy experiencewith this Bank.Keep up the good work for ALL customers. Show 2 replies
MOVE Bank

MOVE Bank

3.1  (31) Summary
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Leah2424
Leah2424NSW6 posts
 
Rabobank

Rabobank

2.4  (62) Summary
Tim
TimVIC5 posts
  Online
Good bank for interest rates, easy to useBeen banking with them for a few years - great rates of interest - have to keep an eye on making sure you have the latest rate for interest, but otherwise works well. Show details
ING

ING

2.0  (1,268) Summary
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Margareth C.
Margareth C.
 
Controlling bank be awareING is not allowing transfers to Kraken to buy cryptocurrencies. Although I have personally approved the transaction over the phone the answer is still no. ING does not get to decided were I spend my money. Customer service was also rude and questioned me like I was at a police station. Disgusting!!
ME (Members Equity) Bank

ME (Members Equity) Bank

1.9  (995) Summary
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Dre
Dre16 posts
 
Dre
Dre  
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Heritage Bank

Heritage Bank

1.9  (318) Summary
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Micky
Micky2 posts
  Branches
Good old fashioned personal serviceExcellent customer service at Castle Hill branch. I have been with them since they first opened. I always find the staff polite and helpful. Show details
Bendigo Bank

Bendigo Bank

1.8  (591) Summary
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Cindy S.
Cindy S.
  Online
Very unhelpfulThe most useless bank I have ever dealt with. Trying to close up accounts. They are so rude on the phone and when I phoned the branch in Cairns. Not helpful one bit. Never deal with this bank ever again.
People's Choice Credit Union

People's Choice Credit Union

1.8  (282) Summary
beck d.
beck d.4 posts
  Online
Greater Bank

Greater Bank

1.8  (99) Summary
matthew
matthew2 posts
  Online
Woke and unhelpfulTried to activate my replacement card on two occasions, over the phone. The people I spoke to couldn't understand my situation and didn't want to assist me, said i needed to go to the branch which is difficult for me. looked up locations on their website and you have all the Woke rubbish on there. I will be voting with my feet. Show details
Police Bank

Police Bank

1.8  (59) Summary
AGi
AGiTAS2 posts
  Branches
Good BankI got my first home loan through Corina at the Hobart branch. Found Police bank to be straightforward no nonsense. They have low mortgage rates compared to other places. No monthly fees, nothing extra for offset accounts. Show details
BankSA

BankSA

1.7  (152) Summary
Rooster
Rooster6 posts
  BankSA
Credit card disputeHad a credit card dispute. They emailed me 4 times and I responded 4 times, so they closed the case as they said I didn't respond. USELESS!!!!!
G&C Mutual Bank

G&C Mutual Bank

2.0  (27) Summary
Sam
Sam3 posts
  Online
So doneI withdrew all my money after years of banking with them and they continued to charge me an account fee without notifying me.
Their online banking service is also just hard to use.
G&C Mutual Bank
G&C Mutual Bank   DM   
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ANZ Plus

ANZ Plus

1.8  (49) Summary
Hin
HinVIC
 
Avoid avoid avoidHorrible. Terrible product and service.
ANZ is currently holding my money and I can’t even pay for bills
ubank

ubank

1.5  (967) Summary
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Brooke
BrookeVIC6 posts
 
ubank
ubank   DM   
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Hi Brooke, we're sorry to hear this. We'd love to learn more about your feedback. Please send us a private message if you would like us to look into this for you.

Commonwealth Bank

Commonwealth Bank

1.5  (3,489) Summary
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Natasha
Natasha VIC7 posts
  Commonwealth Bank
BankWest

BankWest

1.5  (926) Summary
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Peter
PeterWA
  Online
Bank of Melbourne

Bank of Melbourne

1.5  (336) Summary
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jan
janVIC8 posts
  Online
removed human interaction with poorly designed transaction screensPaid a tradie - He says he hasn't received payment
Bank of Melbourne online transactions doesn't list payee or BSB & account no
The automated help desk has preset general information
Can not find a way of talking to a human Show details
NAB (National Australia Bank)

NAB (National Australia Bank)

1.4  (1,765) Summary
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Tom and Claire
Tom and ClaireQLD6 posts
  NAB
St. George

St. George

1.4  (975) Summary
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Clare
ClareNSW
  Online
Bank of Queensland

Bank of Queensland

1.4  (608) Summary
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Jamie P.
Jamie P.
  Bank of Queensland
Bank of Queensland
Bank of Queensland   DM   
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Judo Bank

Judo Bank Award Winning Term Deposits 🏆 2024

4.6 

Great service and term deposit rates with an added loyality bonus including Government guaranteed .

Glass jar full of coins

Types of Banks

Online-only banks

Also called digital-only banks or neobanks (meaning 'new banks'), online-only banks are rightly a newer addition to the banking market.

It's important to note that online-only banks are designed to be 100% online - they have no physical branches you can visit. This also differentiates them from online banking options offered by traditional banks, such as Netbank and Westpac online banking.

Pros
Can be more financially rewarding with more competitive rates and fees, due to costs cut from being branchless
Convenient online operation means 24/7 access to banking services after downloading a banking app
Faster service and exclusively digital services are offered that may be unavailable with online banking apps of traditional banks
Cons
Services are limited especially when it servicing credit card and home loan customers. However, some neobanks partner with chartered banks and credit unions to give loans to individuals and businesses.
Designed primary for smartphones via a banking app - this may be unappealing if don't like relying on technology for life admin
No physical branches means that if you prefer face-to-face banking customer service, you may be disappointed
ATM fees will often be charged when you use a neobank debit card, as many online-only banks don’t have their own dedicated ATMs
Potential start-up status means online-only banks can lack the years of experience and credibility of reputation that builds up over time, which some banking customers may value.

Services

  • Transaction accounts and savings accounts
  • Digital payment and money transfer
  • Home loans or other small loans are sometimes offered

Services often unique to online-only banks

  • Instant loan approval
  • Digital wallets such as Samsung Pay, Apple and Google Pay
  • Virtual cards
  • Online sign up vs in-branch sign-up
  • Spending trackers and budget setting

How safe are online only banks?

Online only banks are as safe as traditional banks and customer-owned banks. This is because to trade as a bank, they're required to be licensed by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority as ADIs - Authorised Deposit-taking Institutions. This means deposits of up to $250, 000 are protected under the government's Financial Claims Scheme - and that your dealings with licensed online-only banks are safe.

Online-only banks tend to use similar security measures as the internet banking portals of bigger banks, such as multi-factor authentication and biometrics. Since most online banks are still pretty new, they are often designed with advanced digital security measures.

Privately Owned Banks

Pros
Wide range of banking services, including more personalised services like private banking, which includes wealth management.
Physical branches are often plentiful if you prefer face-to-face customer service, and if you don't mind dropping in to the bank on your lunch break.
The multitude of ATMs means accessing your money at a pinch with zero ATM fees is more likely to be a reality.
Cons
High fees and rates can be charged for a number of occurrences, such as penalty fees for an overdrawn account. Rigid rules mean these fees are rarely waived.
Profits don't go to customers as they're primarily distributed to the Board of Directors and shareholders first.
Unethical investments are more common practice, done in order to maximise profits. For example, all Big 4 Banks lend money to the fossil fuel industry.

Privately-owned banks are also known as traditional banks, chartered banks, retail or commercial banks. They’re probably also what first springs to mind when you think of a bank.

They include the ‘Big 4’ Banks - Commbank, NAB, Westpac and ANZ. These banking giants have the lion’s share of banking customers in Australia, and they also own smaller subsidiary companies. For example, Westpac owns both St. George Bank and RAMS, and Bankwest, including the Bankwest online banking portal, is owned by the Commonwealth Bank.

Services

Privately owned banks offer a diverse range of banking services, often thanks to a combination of physical bank branches and online banking options.

These services include: Bank accounts and savings accounts, home loans, credit cards, reward credit cards, term deposits, personal loans, car loans, online banking portals, debit cards and international money transfer.

Local Banks

There are also plenty of smaller privately owned banks, which often service a particular state, such as the Queensland Country Bank.

Local banks often have more of a community focus than big banks, and while their profits aren’t shared by members, sometimes their benefits are reported to be more similar to customer-owned banks rather than big banks.

Customer-owned banks

Pros
Profits are reinvested into the business in the form of reduced fees and rates, and improved products and services.
Fees and rates are often more competitive than private banks. It's worth it to shop around instead of automatically opting for the household names in Australian banking.
Customer satisfaction is higher for members of customer-owned banks compared to privately-owned banks, according to a 2020 Roy Morgan survey.
Community initiatives are more generous than profit-driven banks, and customer-owned banks are less likely to engage in unethical investing.
Cons
Limited eligibility may apply, as some credit unions may be especially established for members of a certain profession or geographic location. For example, only current or retired teachers and their family members can join Teachers Mutual Bank.

Customer-owned banks include mutual banks, credit unions and building societies.

While a mutual bank has taken the administrative steps required by APRA to be called a 'bank' instead of a credit union, these three bank sub-types are very similar in operation. Importantly, they’re all owned by their customers or members, rather than private investors or shareholders.

The ethos of customer-owned banks is that profits go into improving products and customer service, rather than solely making a bank’s private stockholders and Board of Directors richer.

Services

Customer-owned banks usually offer the same range of banking services provided by the bigger players, including lending products (home loans, personal loans, car loans and credit cards) and deposit products (savings accounts and term deposits).

Community focus

In addition to reinvesting profits back into benefitting members, often customer-owned banks adopt more of a community focus in a broader sense.

For example, Bank Australia - the top rated bank on ProductReview.com.au - has a 927 hectare Conservation Reserve in Victoria, created for the purpose of wildlife and land conservation.

A fair few customer-owned banks also actively avoid lending money to the fossil fuel industry unlike the Big 4 Banks.

Teachers Mutual Bank was even recognised in 2019 as one of the ‘World’s Most Ethical Companies’ by the Ethisphere Institute.

What else to look for in a bank

Competitive rates and fees

  • Interest rates: There will likely be a number of complex variables to consider, such as the way interest is charged (e.g. fixed rate, variable rates, partially-fixed rates, etc.) However, generally, the interest rate should be high for a return on savings and other investments, and low if you're purchasing a lending product - for example, a home loan.
  • Account keeping fees: Many banks today have zero monthly account-keeping fees. This should especially be the case if you're a full-time student. While some banks have a seemingly low fee of around $5 per month, this can add up over time ($300 in 5 years). You'll likely be happier keeping this money in your proverbial pocket.
  • Other conditions, fees and charges: These can include penalty fees for an overdrawn account, phone banking fees, ATM fees and overseas transaction fees. In terms of conditions, you may only qualify for bonus interest rates for a savings account if you meet the minimum monthly deposit amount, don't withdraw any money, and have a linked transactions account with the same bank.

Customer Service

If customer service is important to you, it can be helpful to do a bit of research and read reviews, to find out which banks perform the best in this area.

If talking to a person to help you with your banking is a priority to you, you might prefer banks with physical branches and a reliable phone banking service. Online-only banks mainly have chatbots, so it's up to you whether this counts as a personalised customer service experience.

Convenience

Convenience is subjective. For some people, being able to do all their banking on a smartphone app is convenient, and to others, popping into a bank branch on their lunch break is more convenient. Banks with a healthy number of ATMs also get extra points for convenience, as you won't be hit with annoying transaction fees each time you withdraw.

If you have a wealth portfolio - for example an investment property - you may like to take advantage of private banking services, and a traditional bank may be more convenient for you.

In short, consider what would be convenient for your banking purposes and your lifestyle, and factor this into the decision of which bank to go with.

Transparency

How transparent and open a bank is about its business practices is important. According to the ABA'a Banking Code of Practice 2020, transparency for a bank mainly involves: clear and timely communication, as well as engaging in accountable dealings with customers.

What this involves will depend specifically on the time of service offered. For example, according to the Code of Practice, customers should be notified of transaction fees before they're incurred. For credit cards, customers should be reminded when an introductory offer is about to end, and credit-card holders should be able to reduce credit limits or close their accounts online.

To get a better overall picture of a bank's transparency, reading real-to-life reviews from customers of Australian banks can be helpful.

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