Top ways you can avoid paying bank fees

Beat the banks at their own game by avoiding fees when you switch.


Comparison sites have taken the shovel to dozens of banking products and unearthed some treasures that will help you beat the banks at their fee-gouging ways.

So depending on which bank fees you find most objectionable and would like to avoid, take your pick of these fee-free products, or take them all.

Monthly account fees

Virtual bank ING does not have conventional branches and thus avoids having to pay the overheads forced on to other financial institutions. So, according to Mozo, it can afford to pass that saving on by offering customers accounts that are free of monthly fees.

Plus, as long as you maintain a balance of $1000, ING customers can use any ATM – that’s right … your nearest one will do – for free anywhere in Australia.

While ING reimburses ATM fees automatically, if you bank with ME Bank or Macquarie Bank and use another bank’s machine, they will refund fees at the end of the month.

Another comparison site, Canstar, has also discovered several zero-fee savings and transaction accounts. They are offered by HSBC, ME Bank and NAB.

Credit cards

Killer credit card charges are everybody’s enemy number one. American Express comes to the rescue with its zero annual fee Essential Credit Card. And with an interest rate of 14.99 per cent on purchases, it is more than competitive.

There are other credit cards that are free for the first year, but shows that their interest rates tend to be higher. This may be because the providers – ANZ, Woolworths and CUA – offer services not available from American Express.

Home loans

Budget lender U Bank offers a fee-free home loan with no ongoing or upfront fees, free extra repayments and redraw facility. Its 3.74 per cent variable interest rate is more than reasonable.

According to Canstar, other lenders offering some free home loan services include, Hunter United and Heritage Bank.

Would you switch banks to one that didn’t charge fees? Do you know of any other ways of saving on bank charges?



    To make a comment, please register or login
    26th Sep 2017
    SunCorp also have a 55+ savings account that has zero fees. I have not had any nasty surprises with this account and I have had that account for about 10 years.
    Nan Norma
    26th Sep 2017
    Never paid fees. I don't do anything to have to pay fees.
    26th Sep 2017
    I'm with you Nan Norma, I also do not pay fees and have not done so since I retired, the best thing I ever did was to scissor my credit card and use a debit card
    Nan Norma
    26th Sep 2017
    Canman. I do have a credit card. And use it all the time, BUT I never pay fees on it. None at all. Had it since 1992. The bank does not charge me an annual fee. I make pay into the credit card as soon as possible. I really can't understand how people get themselves into such debt over credit cards.
    26th Sep 2017
    I agree with you Nan Norma. If you can't pay off the credit card in full every month, you can't afford a credit card!
    26th Sep 2017
    There haven't been monthly account fees on my account for more than 20 years. And when there were, I never had to pay any.

    Bank fees are the easiest fees to avoid paying. You just have to know the rules of your account and play by them. It is not that hard.

    26th Sep 2017
    If everyone tried to avoid fees and charges, cost of other banking services will go up.

    The fees are small but the volume gives us good profits.
    If you really want to save money there are lots of better ways than worrying about bank fees which are really peanuts compared to money wasted on poor shopping habits and conserving energy costs, travel , holidays etc
    Nan Norma
    26th Sep 2017
    Since when was paying fees to withdraw your own money a good thing??? Never had to pay in the past when you were served by a real person.

    26th Sep 2017
    Those pesky overseas transaction charges still apply, time to do away with those too.