Best Everyday Transaction Account
The Macquarie Transaction Account is a relatively unknown bank account which, at the time of writing, I consider to be probably the most comprehensive Australiank Everyday Transaction Account.
- No monthly/annual fee
- International Transaction Fees Waived
- No "surcharge" on overseas transactions
- No ATM fee charged Australia-wide
- A great mobile app
The set of features above is not unique to this account, but the combination of the features above in one account are definitely unique. There are similar cards that come close, such as ING Direct and MEBank with their fee-free ATMs Australia wide, and Citibank with their International Transaction fee waiver. However, this card combines the two features together.
I have no personal experience using the card for overseas purchases, so I am unable to comment on the exchange rate. However, if the exchange rate from the Citibank and 28 Degrees cards are anything to go by, the rates are determined by Mastercard and not Macquarie Bank and are published here. This is generally a very good rate - not far off what you'd see on xe.com.
- No physical branches
- Most transfers from other people will take at least a business day (because hardly anyone uses Macquarie Bank)
- You can find better Interest Rates if you're after a High Interest Savings Account
Read on for a more comprehensive breakdown.
Best Transaction Account
My post for this week has come a day late (sorry) because of the long weekend.
There are several important features in a good, versatile transaction account. Generally speaking, I would consider the following:
- ATM Access
- Fees (Late, Overdraft)
- International Transaction Fee Waivers
- Cashback (Remember ING Direct and their 2% PayWave cashback?)
- Freebies/Promotions (Citibank and their free wine)
- Ability to deposit cash into the accounts
- Internet & Mobile App/Website Banking experience
Of course, it is very unlikely you'll find one single account/card that covers all of the criteria above. This is in fact, part of the reason why I am personally a "bank slut" (for lack of a better term). I have bank accounts with:
- Commonwealth Bank
- ING Direct
- Qudos Bank
- Macquarie Bank (the account to be discussed below)
Do I need that many? Definitely not.
But a lot of them do not having ongoing fees (or monthly fees which are easily avoided), and this allows me the versatility to take advantage of multiple features offered by the different banks. In addition, some of these accounts would've been opened during promotional periods whereby there was a cash bonus, such as ANZ offering a $100 Gift Card.
The good thing about having multiple transaction accounts (relative to having multiple Credit Cards) is that there is no impact on your Credit rating. The negative impact, if anything, is mostly extra admin work.
The account I am focusing on today is the Macquarie Transaction Account.
Macquarie Bank Transaction Account
This bank account covers many of the criteria I outlined above.
Summary of features:
- No monthly/annual fee
- No minimum balance
- For those new to Australia, minimum balance requirements are rare in Australia
- Fee-free ATMs Australia-wide
- Unlike the similar perk offered by ING Direct, this perk is available with no qualifying criteria. ING Direct requires you to have a $1000 cumulative credit into your bank account in the preceding calendar month to have this perk activated in the following calendar month
- International transaction/foreign transaction fees waived for purchases
- Earn interest on balances >$5000
- The interest rate is lower than your typical Savings interest rate, but it is very rare for a transaction account to offer any significant interest at all. Most other banks offer 0.01% interest rates on their Transaction accounts.
- Great mobile app
- Apple Pay and Android Pay compatible
- No physical bank branches
- $5 Overseas ATM withdrawal fee
- This is important, as this card can almost replace the Citibank Plus Transaction Account as your overseas account as it waives international transaction fees, but the $5 Overseas ATM withdrawal fee makes its usefulness a little restrictive
- $30 for International Telegraphic Transfer
- This is also a fee that does not exist with the Citibank Plus Transaction Account
- $8 per "chargeback" request
- Not a "popular" bank that many people bank with, and as a result, the majority of bank transfers will not be instant
- This is as opposed to an ANZ to ANZ or Commonwealth Bank to Commonwealth Bank transfer - i.e. intra-bank transfers, which are often instant
Do you have any experiences using this account? Feel free to leave comments below!