How the US Citizens Can Open a Bank Account in Australia?

Last Updated on April, 2024

‘I’m going to migrate to Australia.’

‘I need an Australian bank account for my business.’

‘I want to spread my assets across currencies.’ 

Okay. So, what? ‘I need an Australian bank account.’

Are you someone like me, tired of finding the right way to choose and create an Australian bank account? YES? Then, I’ll recommend you the best options! But before that, you should know specific details.

Because, after all, it’s all about the money, money, money!

Quick Summary

The process of opening a bank account in Australia for U.S. citizens involves selecting a bank, submitting necessary documents, and verifying documents in person upon arrival.

Wise and Revolut are recommended options for U.S. citizens looking to open an Australian bank account while still in the U.S. as they offer virtual accounts with convenient currency exchange options.

There may be different eligibility requirements and fees associated with opening a bank account from overseas, and it’s important to research and compare options before making a decision.

5 Steps to Open an Australian Bank Account Online As a US Citizen

a picture of a bank in australia

Here’s a quick guide in FIVE STEPS to open an online Australian bank account.

All that you have to do is:

  • Step 1: Go to the bank’s website that you have selected. Fill in the necessary details on their site, or use their contact numbers if you prefer calling. 
  • Make sure to call during Australian business hours.
  • Step 2: Know your exact arrival date in Australia, especially if you’re not there yet. Some banks may ask for this date during your account application.
  • Step 3: Have a permanent address in Australia. Banks usually need proof of residency; some may not accept an overseas address during the application.
  • Step 4: Scan and upload all the required documents, including your passport and visa.
  • Step 5: Once your online application is approved and you’re in Australia, visit the nearest branch to verify your documents and finalize your application.

BOOM! It’s as simple as that. 

How Can an American Open an Australian Bank Account?

Americans can open a bank account in Australia by contacting an Australian bank and beginning the process. You have the OPTION to open the account online but need specific documents.

After setting up the account, you can complete the process by visiting a bank branch when you arrive in Australia. Another choice is to open a specialized ‘virtual’ bank account with a currency exchange company like Wise (formerly TransferWise. Read more about Wise here!).

This allows you to have a bank account in various countries, including Australia, making currency exchanges fast and easy.

Applying for an Australian Bank Account is Simple With These Easy Eligibility Requirements

  • Arrival Date in Australia
  • If you’re not in Australia yet, you just need to know when you plan to arrive. Banks typically require you to arrive within 3 to 12 months after your application.
  • Age Requirement
  • Be 18 or older. Most banks in Australia have this requirement, but Westpac and Commonwealth offer accounts for younger customers.
  • Know Your Address
  • Banks want to know where you’ll be living, so if you’re not in Australia yet, you can provide your overseas address until you have an Australian one.
  • Document Upload
  • Upload the necessary documents.
  • Employer and Salary Details
  • Some banks may ask for this information in your digital application, depending on your visa type.

Documents to Be Provided to the Bank

a picture of a bank building

To open an Australian bank account online, you’ll need certain documents to prove your identity and eligibility to work in Australia.

Typically, these documents include:

  • Your passport
  • Visa
  • Proof of address
  • Tax information like TFN (Tax File Number)
  • Employer details and salary

Once you’ve applied online, schedule a visit to the bank branch to confirm your identity.

It’s essential to do this promptly after applying.

During the branch visit, you might be asked for additional documents such as:

  • An Australian residential address if you initially provided an overseas one.
  • An Australian Medicare card or National Identity card (or another form of ID like a birth certificate).

Opening an Australia and New Zealand Bank (ANZ) Account From the U.S.

Opening an ANZ Bank account from the U.S. is easy. ANZ offers accounts for international students, businesses, and those planning to move or live in Australia.

You can do it all from abroad, which takes five to ten minutes.

Now, let’s break down what you need!

  • Get Ready: Have an Australian address ready.
  • Plan Ahead: Start the process up to a year before arriving in Australia.
  • Age Check: Check your age. If you’re 12 years or older, you’re good to go.
  • Non-Resident Status: You should not currently live in Australia.
  • Tax: Be ready to share foreign tax details if needed.

How does it sound? EASY RIGHT? Open your ANZ account by visiting their website for Aussie banking!

Opening a National Australia Bank (NAB) Account From the U.S.

national australian bank (nab) logo

Opening an account with National Australia Bank (NAB) from the U.S. is easier than you think. They’ve got an ONLINE PROCESS that lets you set up a NAB Classic Banking account, and if you like, you can also go for a NAB iSaver account.

Here’s the lowdown on what you need:

  • Plan Ahead
  • Good news! You can start the account opening process up to a year before you touch down in Australia (same as ANZ’s procedure).
  • Age Check
  • You must be 18 years or older to create an account.
  • Info Needed
  • Have your passport number, email address, and visa information ready.
  • Travel Deets
  • Know your planned arrival date and the city you’ll be landing in.

Do you think NAB is your cup of tea? Well then, Aussie banking is just a click away! Check the NAB website to start the process. 

Opening Westpac Bank Account from the U.S.

You can get started up to a year before your Australia adventure, and the BEST PART? There is no need for an Australian address during the setup – it takes less than three minutes!

Here’s what you need:

  • Age Check
  • You should be 12 years or older.
  • Time Frame
  • Plan to arrive in Australia within a year.
  • Your Account, Your Name
  • The account needs to be registered in your OWN NAME.
  • Identity Check
  • Don’t forget that an identity check is necessary to withdraw funds within a year.
  • Tech-Savvy
  • Be ready to use online banking and receive electronic statements.

If you’re interested, visit the Westpac website and get your account rolling – it’s that simple!

Opening CommBank Account from the U.S.

a screenshot of the commbank website homepage

Opening a CommBank account from the U.S. is simple and based on your needs.

CommBank offers two account types – one for those planning to LIVE AND WORK in Australia and another designed for STUDENTS studying there.

Here’s what you need:

  • No Aussie Address Needed
  • Good news! You don’t need an Australian address to set up your account.
  • Time Flexibility
  • Start the account creation process up to three months before arriving in Australia.
  • Age Check
  • You’re eligible if you’re at least 14 years old.
  • Personal Touch
  • The account can be opened in your name personally.

If you’re a student, you’ll surely love this bank. Head over to the CommBank website to open your account.

What Are My Other Options?

However, if you’re not satisfied I’ll give you two more alternatives. Because If money is gone, it’s gone forever. Therefore, making SMART decisions before it’s too late is crucial. I can relate to your thoughts, as I went through a similar experience seven years ago.

I trust these blindly – no matter how much money I deposit. I recommend THEM for you below to experience the same benefits.

The Wise Account

wise logo

My priority is Wise. If you’re looking to open an Australian bank account while still in the U.S., a virtual bank account is your best option. Wise (formerly TransferWise) has your back!

Wise Account Basics

It’s like having a magic currency account that works in over 40 CURRENCIES, including U.S. and Australian dollars. You can open a ‘local’ bank account in the U.S., U.K., Eurozone, Australia, or New Zealand.

This means you get local banking details for each country, giving you an Australian bank account with its own unique account number. Plus, they give you a debit card for your spending needs.

And GUESS WHAT? It’s free to use when spending in the local currency. 

Money Matters

Receive money in GBP, EUR, USD, AUD, or NZD currencies. The Wise app keeps you in the loop on your account balance anytime, anywhere. Impressed? It’s not over yet. You can use your Wise multi-currency account to send money to over 50 countries.

Limits and Fees Wisdom

Just a heads up, the maximum amount you can stash in the U.S. borderless account is $1 million.

(Wow! What else?) Keep reading.

Fees Breakdown

No minimum or monthly account fees. You can add money via direct debit with a tiny 0.2% fee (that’s $2 if you add $1,000).

Converting between currencies may have a fee between 0.35% and 3%. Need cash? If you take out over $250 from an ATM within 30 days, there’s a 2% fee on amounts over $250.

For converting the U.S. to Aussie dollars: 0.45% (that’s $4.50 for $1,000). Converting Aussie to U.S. dollars: 0.47% (that’s $4.70 for $1,000).

Extra Perk

You can have a Wise debit card linked to your account and ENJOY through spending in Australia. You can gain additional insights by exploring their website. However, if you aren’t still SATISFIED – I have another option for you. 

That is,.. continue reading.

Revolut Account

revolut logo

Revolut multi-currency accounts have been open to all U.S. people for personal and business accounts since October 2020.

For personal accounts, you’ve got three choices:

  • Choice 1: Standard Plan
  • Good news! YIt’s totally free! There are no monthly fees; you can manage your money in 27 different currencies using their handy app.ou don’t need an Australian address to set up your account.
  • Choice 2: Premium Plans for AUD10.99/month
  • Start the account creYou get some cool extras for a small fee of AUD10.99 a month. Think of fee-free ATM withdrawals, top-notch customer service, physical cards, and disposable virtual cards.ation process up to three months before arriving in Australia.
  • Choice 3: Metal Plan for AUD29.99/month
  • Go big with the Metal plan for AUD29.99 each month. It has all the Premium perks plus a slick metal card to show off.

More Revolut Highlights

You can exchange your cash into 27 different currencies in one account. Manage everything using their super easy app. When sending money internationally, you get to use the mid-market exchange rate. 

Caution: Beware of fees on weekends, specific currencies, or if you’re a standard plan user sending over AUD9,000 monthly.

It’s not just for individuals – Revolut also has accounts for businesses and even the little ones! Check their website to find out more about these procedures in detail. Now, let’s explore the specifics – the fees associated with opening an account from overseas.

Continue reading.

Fees of Opening a Bank Account in Australia From Overseas

Opening an Australian bank account from overseas usually comes with minimal fees. Here’s a breakdown of fees for standard current accounts from Australia’s major banks:

ANZ (Australia and New Zealand Bank)

  • Monthly fee: $5/month
  • Overdraft fee: $100 upfront for overdrafts <$20,000

Commonwealth Bank (Commbank)

  • Monthly fee: $4/month (first 12 months free for new accounts)
  • Overdraft fee: $15 per account per day overdrawn

National Australia Bank (NAB)

  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Overdraft fee: $0

Westpac

  • Monthly fee: $4/month (first 12 months free for new accounts)
  • Overdraft fee: $15 per account per day overdrawn

Keep in mind that in addition to these, you should consider other fees like ATM fees and international money transfer fees when applying for a bank account. Each bank may have different policies, so be sure to check their official websites for the most up-to-date information.

Conclusion

Now what? Here’s a RECAP. To open an Australian bank account as a U.S. citizen,

  • Ensure you have the required documentation and meet the bank’s criteria.
  • Choose a reputable Australian bank, gather the necessary documents, and initiate the account setup.

It’s as simple as that! Remember: saving is your investment. 

Ready to start your financial journey in Australia? Secure your bank account with Wise or Revolut to ensure a great experience.

FAQs

It only takes 5-10 minutes to set up if you apply online. However, if you’re applying from outside Australia as a newcomer, you must physically visit a local branch upon arrival. This step requires presenting your identification and any required documents. Your new account can only be fully utilized once this step is completed.

The Wise Multi-Currency Account is the most convenient and accessible online bank account in Australia. You can open an account without providing proof of residency and still have all the features of a traditional Australian bank account.

The main difference between Revolut and Wise is that Revolut is known as the ‘global money app’ and is available in more countries than Wise, which is also from the UK and widely used in Europe. However, when it comes to the speed of transfers, Wise generally takes 0 to 2 days, while Revolut can take 3 to 5 days, especially when using SWIFT.

Yes, there is a minimum deposit required to open a bank account in Australia. Some banks do not charge monthly fees or limit transactions as long as a minimum amount of 2,000 AUD (1,377 USD) is deposited each month, which is less than the average monthly salary. In August 2021, 95% of money transfers were approved within 60 minutes.

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Allen Morning
I'm Allen Morning, with a background spanning over 15 years in international finance and education from Harvard and Stanford. I founded Currenciap with a vision to demystify and streamline global financial transactions. My journey in finance has fueled my commitment to creating a platform that is both user-friendly and efficient, making international finance accessible to everyone. You can find more about me here.

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