Fees are charged by banks in return for the products and services they provide. Each account is designed to meet different needs, so fees and charges will vary. It’s important to understand the different fees that could be charged by your bank.

By being smart about how you do your banking and ensuring you have the right products to suit your needs, you can reduce the fees you’re paying, and in many cases, pay no fees at all.

If you think you may be paying more fees than you need to, here are some things to consider:

1. Find a bank account that suits your banking needs

It’s important to check the different bank accounts on offer to see which is most suitable for you. Make sure you know the fees associated with using services provided by your bank, especially those related to accounts, transactions or overseas purchases.

2. Ask about your eligibility for fee exemptions

If you’re aged under 18, a full-time tertiary student, have a concession card issued by the Government, such as a Pensioner Concession Card, or you rely on over-the-counter services because of a disability that prevents you from using electronic banking facilities, you may be entitled to apply for a fee exemption. Talk to your bank.

3. Reduce the number of bank accounts you have

To help avoid potentially paying extra fees, consider consolidating or linking your accounts, especially if you’re paying a monthly fee to hold them. This will also help you keep better track of your money.

4. Try to use your own bank’s ATMs

Try to only withdraw cash from an ATM owned by your bank, or networked with your bank, to avoid fees charged by different banks or ATM operators. Call your bank or check your banking app to find your nearest bank ATM.

5. Withdraw cash when using EFTPOS to pay for things

To avoid paying excess withdrawal fees, take the opportunity to use EFTPOS where possible to withdraw cash while you’re making a purchase. This is most popular at supermarkets.

6. Use internet banking or mobile banking apps

Most banks offer fee-free access for transactions and payments made online or on mobile banking apps, including viewing and printing account statements, transferring money, and paying bills using BPAY. Talk to your bank if you need help getting online banking set up.

7. Register for telephone banking

If online banking isn’t for you, you can carry out most of your banking over the phone without paying transaction fees for services. Some transactions assisted by an operator may incur a fee.

8. Keep track of your account balances

Regularly check your account to make sure you’ve got sufficient funds to cover withdrawals and direct debits to avoid overdrawing your account and incurring fees. Talk to your bank about setting up SMS or email alerts when your account reaches a certain balance to help you manage your cash-flow.

9. Check your statements regularly

Review every account statement you receive and keep an eye on the fees you’re paying. Be aware of how much your bank account or product costs you, and think about how you might minimise those costs.

10. Check global alliances before travelling

Before going overseas, find out if your bank is part of a network or global alliance with overseas providers to avoid paying additional fees at branches and ATMs outside Australia.

For more information on the most common fees that apply to transaction accounts, credit products and home loans, download our fact sheet here.