There's a lot of choices with banking the same as in any other country there's loads of choices of accounts and branches. One thing I would highly recommend is setting up and Australian bank account before you even leave your own country. This is really simple to do and can be done online in as little as 5 minutes. You just go onto the bank of your choices website and can set up the bank account often just filling in a couple of forms, you can even do this as far as up to 12 months before you head to Australia. Then you can transfer money into it when you're ready. I would definitely recommend doing this as then the money is in your Australian bank account when you arrive, doing this saves you a lot of money in transfer fees or getting travellers cheques, and also saves you carrying cash and the chance of losing it. The only cost you will pay will be from your home account for transferring it and this was £20 for me and a sometimes you might be charged some from the receiver, but it wont be a lot and you can always email them to check.
When transferring your money from your home bank account they will ask you how much you want to transfer and will give you a conversion rate, telling you how much in Australian dollars will be in your bank account. You can then check this online to make sure its there, it can take up to 5 working days maybe more dependent on your bank. Upon arrival in Australia, you just go to the Branch with your passport and they will set it all up for you, you can then collect your cards, they will even help you with online banking and getting an App for your phone which I used all the time, it's so useful and incredibly easy to use.
The Main Banks and Options:
So there are three main banks which I would choose from if your wanting a bank account in Australia. There are others but the reason I picked these three are they are the main banks and most widely used, they also have a lot of cash points all over the country which is very useful for obvious reasons. I myself used Commonwealth Bank and found them to be very helpful and ATM's readily available.
⦁ The Bank Account is an everyday account Smart Access.
⦁ There is a $0 ATM withdrawal fee.
⦁ $0 monthly account fees – $4 monthly account fee will be waived if you deposit at least $2,000 per month (or $1000 if you’re aged 21 to 24).
⦁ You can access your money anywhere as MasterCard is accepted at over 35 million locations worldwide.
⦁ They have Tap and Pay so you can just tap your card to pay for items.
⦁ Mobile App Banking, which all you need is your secure 4 digit pin to access your accounts from any mobile device.
⦁ Make International money transfers.
⦁ Over 4000 ATM's and 1000 branches in Australia.
⦁ You can apply online in under 10 minutes.
⦁ Withdraw money from an ATM without a card, using Cardless Cash in the Comm-bank app which is incredibly useful if you lose your card and need money while waiting for a new one.
⦁ You also get a few account options with this Card such as a Savings account.
⦁ You get an everyday banking account and a savings account when setting up the bank online.
⦁ $0 monthly service fee for the first 12 months for new migrant and ex-pat customers (other fees apply).
⦁ No withdrawal fee at over 3,000 Westpac, St. George, Bank of Melbourne and BankSA ATM's in Australia.
⦁ Online, Mobile and Tablet banking offering a range of enhanced features to help you bank on the go.
⦁ Has Tap and Pay so you can just tap your card to pay for items without inputting your pin.
⦁ Also offers Cardless cash without a debit card it sends you a code through text or you can call them which is great if you lose your card.
⦁ No Australian address needed to apply from abroad and it takes as little as 5 minutes.
⦁ Over 3000 ATM's in Australia.
⦁ No monthly account fees, ever, no matter how you bank. No minimum deposits.
⦁ Apply online it takes as little as 5 minutes.
⦁ NAB visa debit card with payWave at no extra cost, so you can shop wherever Visa is accepted without entering your pin for amounts up to $100.
⦁ Unlimited access to your money through NAB internet banking or NAB telephone banking, in any branch, through their ATM network (including rediATM's), using EFTPOS, or through an optional cheque book.
⦁ They don't directly charge you for using other ATM's but the owners of other ATM's might directly charge you. If they do, you'll see a message and you'll have the option to quit before you're charged.
⦁ Over 3,400 NAB ATM's in Australia.