Moving to Sydney, made easy.

Moving to Sydney from overseas?

We'll show you how to get your finances in order with our ultimate guide.

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Australia has modern banking institutions and is in many ways ahead of other developed countries, so you can count on conveniences like managing basic transactions through a mobile app. 

Sydney has dozens of banks and credit unions, but as you walk around the city it's clear there are the "big four": Westpac, National Australia Bank (NAB), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), and Australia & New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ). There more or less that same, but there are some slight differences.

Westpac offers online and mobile banking and charges a $5 monthly maintenance fee unless you deposit at least $2,000 a month, are under the age of 21, are a full time tertiary student, a pensioner, or during your first 12 months as an expat. You can apply for an account online before you arrive in Australia. 

NAB offers online and mobile banking and is the only major bank that doesn't charge a monthly fee regardless of account balance. NAB also supports opening an account online from overseas.

Commonwealth offers online and mobile banking. A $4 monthly account fee is charged, but will be waived if you deposit at least $2,000 per month (or $1,000 if you’re aged 21 to 24). They are the only major bank that does not support opening an account from overseas.

ANZ offers online and mobile banking and charges a $5 monthly fee that is waived if you deposit at least $2,000 a month or are under 25. You can open an account online before you arrive in Australia.

To open a bank account you'll need to pass a 100 point check to prove your identity. Different types of documents are worth varying amounts of points (it's like a video game, but not fun). The points break down as follows:

  1. Birth Certificate or Passport or Citizenship Certification (you can only use one): 70 points
  2. Any card which displays your name and a photograph of you, including an Australian Driver License or Public Service Employee ID card or Pension card: 40 points
  3. Any card which displays your name (Medicare card, credit card, store account card, library card, union card): 25 points
  4. Documents which display your name and address (car registration, foreign driver license, utility bill, rental receipts, records from another financial institution): 25 points

For example, you could provide a passport (70 points), a credit card (25 points), and a foreign driver license (25 points) to get a total of 120 points and qualify to open a bank account. If you apply online to open a bank account, you'll still need to provide this documentation.

Helpful Money Resources
Tips for expats on foreign currency exchange.
Living Away From Home Allowance (LAFHA). How to get this extra money from the government. 

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