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Everyday banking - how to avoid the rip-offs

Jarrod Chan

Digital Nomad in Multiple Career Paths

The right everyday banking setup is your trusty spaceship in a galaxy of rip-offs

Just like you, the banks of today have grown up since you first deposited pocket money in a bank account. This is a big win for the people. Having to keep up with increasing customer expectations and a giant digital revolution, today’s banks offer more convenience and better value than ever before.

But figuring out the best everyday banking deal for you isn’t always easy. There are still plenty of rip-offs out there.

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In this topic we’ll cover:

  • How not to be like me (when it comes to everyday banking)
  • Revealed: the one bank (or a few) to rule them all
  • Other nuggets of gold to stay tuned for


Set and forget, but only when the set is right

Let’s be honest, everyday banking can be boring. We can jazz it up as the dynamic duo of a savings account to fund your summer holiday and a transaction account to cut loose at Friday drinks, but ultimately it’s just one account that earns interest plus another that pays for stuff.

It’s something you want to set and forget. But as I learned in my early working years, getting the ‘set’ right isn’t easy.

My first grad job was with a Big 4 bank, and despite learning banking inside out, I still didn’t review my banking setup. I kept the same account I’d had since denim-on-denim was first introduced to the world. Thanks, Britney and JT.

This meant that for an embarrassingly long time, I missed out on much better value and better banking options elsewhere. The point is, don’t be like me.

Getting this right when you first start professional life is a big step towards winning at life.


Alright Houston, what’s the solution?

Let’s get down to business (if you don’t sing Mulan to this then you spent your childhood doing the wrong things)

There are many ways to defeat the Huns, so to make sure we choose the right weapon for you, we’ve broken down our top picks into these recurring categories:

Across these two categories, we’ve undertaken our own research and drawn on our own expert experience to recommend only the best deals for you. Ready? Let’s go!


Price is Right

price is right table
ING offers market-leading rebates for overseas travel while still providing a decent savings rate and therefore wins “Best Traveller”. For the reliability of a big 4 bank, convenient online banking and a competitive savings rate, uBank is our winner for “Best All-Rounder.” 

Finally, the new kid on the block UP will give you the best interest rate on the market with the bonus of no international purchase fees, rounding out our winners as the “Best Return”.

If you can stay on top of it, it’s also helpful to get different accounts for different situations. For example, open a uBank Ultra and USaver account for everyday use, and an ING Orange Everyday just for your holidays. This means the calendar month before you intend to travel, you just need to meet eligibility requirements to unlock the overseas benefits of your ING card. 

This can give you a lot more flexibility with how you use your money. However if that all seems like too much effort, then no stress - you can’t go wrong choosing just one of these banks to go with!


More than Money

more than money table
If you want your money to have a more positive impact on the planet and society, or you want to avoid supporting the big bad banks, then Bank Australia offers a great alternative for social impact, snatching our “Best Ethics” award. To access a full suite of services both in-app and over the phone (such as Cardless Cash and 24/7 Australian call centres), it’s hard to go past the convenience CBA offers, winning our “Best Full Service” award. However you trade-off a leading interest rate for this.

Finally, another digital bank 86400 offers leading app usability, letting you see all your banks in one interface, while also providing the best interest rate on the market. However, 86400 loses to UP as it still charges international purchase fees.

sponsored section for Unibank

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Meet UniBank - the bank that understands students

As the name suggests, UniBank* is a bank dedicated to students with banking that gives you more. Our commitment is to know what is important to you. That’s why we conducted our latest UniBank Survey of 1,436 students, to find out what your main money challenges and concerns are.

Our research showed the level of debt students have is their number one concern, followed by being short of cash at the end of the month. Sound familiar? We also asked students if what their bank does with their money matters to them and an overwhelming 70% said “yes”.

This research has helped us enhance our student banking offering for 2020. We are developing a money management program called Money Hero, which is launching in the second half of this year. So stay tuned!

To find out why UniBank is the bank for students, visit unibank.com.au/join/student-banking

* Membership eligibility applies to join the bank. Membership is open to citizens or permanent residents of Australia who are current or retired employees, students and graduates of Australian Universities or family members of members of the Bank.

UniBank is a division of Teachers Mutual Bank Limited ABN 30 087 650 459 AFSL/Australian Credit Licence 238981

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Let’s wrap it up

So there you have it! The one bank to rule them all depends on what you’re after (promise we’re not just sitting on the fence).

Stay tuned for upcoming topics or check out other useful articles here. We’ve got plenty more gold to help you make the leap from top student to top professional!

Got feedback? We’d love to hear from you! Shoot us an email at [email protected]


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Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is general in nature only and does not constitute personal financial advice. The information has been prepared without taking into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs.