In 2014, banks made nearly $2 billion from fees and commissions from their customers. We can’t tell you how much of that was from everyday transaction accounts, but we can tell you how to cut your share.

Everyday transaction account fees can quickly add up. But by using the right type of account and getting any exemptions you qualify for, you can reduce or be rid of most of them.

The trick is knowing which will work best for you.

Fee types

There are two main types of charges an everyday account can have: a monthly base fee and transaction fees. Transaction fees may be charged for using ATMs, eftpos, internet and phone banking, making electronic payments, or using a branch.

Transactions involving a staff member – in a branch or through a contact centre – may cost more than using your bank’s automated services. If you use another bank’s ATM, you’re likely to get slugged a $1 charge on top of any transaction fee your bank might charge – and that might not be covered by any exemption.

An everyday account can attract charges for other services. For instance, when you set up or change an automatic payment, for an overdraft facility, or for text messaging services.

We’ve looked only at base and transaction fees, including other bank ATM fees – the usual costs of running an account for a month.

Lower-cost accounts

To read about lower-cost accounts, become a paying member.


To read about exemptions, become a paying member.

Which account?

To read about choosing an account, become a paying member.

We say

To read our tips, become a paying member.