Ratehacker: How To Earn $100 By Switching Banks

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It's no secret that Aussies are notoriously reluctant to switch banks. For most people, this has less to do with loyalty and more to do with the perceived time and effort involved. However, the days of spending hours on the phone trying to close your account are long over.

A recent Australian Bankers' Association (ABA) survey found the majority of customers who switch banks find the process easy - and you can currently score some tasty cashback offers and shopping perks as an extra incentive. Here are the best deals you can get right now.

With the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) cash rate sitting at just one per cent, Australians are seeing some of the lowest interest rates on savings and term deposit accounts in years. This could be a problem if you were relying on the interest earned on those accounts to fund your lifestyle, but when compared to some foreign banks, we are still the 'lucky country'.

German bank, Skatbank flipped the idea of earning interest on your savings on its head in 2014. Instead of savers being able to benefit from the interest earnt on their hard-earned cash, they have to pay for the privilege, with the bank charging wealthy depositors 0.4 per cent to hold their money – that’s a fee of €2,000 to hold €500,000.

Thankfully for us, Aussie banks are hungry for new business and so are offering cashbacks and shopping perks to court you into a new financial relationship.

Australian banks are hungry for new business

RateCity has crunched the numbers and found some of the best sign-up bonuses available for Australian consumers. So, if you're thinking about switching banks, you'll want to check out the offers of shopping perks and cold hard cash, to stir up new transaction account customers.

Which banks?

Westpac and its subsidiaries St George and Bank of Melbourne are giving new transaction account customers a $50 bonus, just for signing up. Whilst NAB, on the other hand, is looking for a longer-term connection, offering up to $10 cashback each month with a Platinum Visa Debit Card.

The biggest cashback currently available is from HSBC, with an offer of a $100 sign-up bonus and 2 per cent cash back on tap-and-go transactions. Of course, this is providing all conditions are met – which includes making a deposit of $2000 per month for three consecutive months, and you are only eligible for your 2 per cent cashback on up to $50 of purchases.

Insider Tip: Make sure you check the PDS before you decide to move your money. These may seem like fantastic deals, but you need to meet terms and conditions to qualify. For instance, the NAB Platinum Visa Debit Card has a monthly fee of $10, so the cashback offer only covers the fee of the Platinum Visa and doesn’t technically equate to cash in your hand.

Cashback sign up bonuses and offers

Account Offer Conditions

HSBC - Everyday Global Account

$100 sign-up bonus & up to $500 a month cashback

$100 bonus when you deposit $2,000+ for 3 consecutive months within the first 6 months. Get 2% cash back on tap and pay purchases under $100, up to $50 /month.

Bank of Melbourne - Complete Freedom

$50 sign-up bonus

$50 bonus when you open the account and deposit $500 within 30 days.

St. George - Complete Freedom

$40 sign-up bonus

$40 bonus when you open the account & deposit a minimum of $500 within 30 days.

Westpac – Choice Account

$50 sign-up bonus + $10 bonus

$50 bonus when you open an account before 9th October 2019 and make 5 eligible purchases within 30 days + $10 bonus if you order Westpac PayWear Card to make at least one (1) eligible purchase.

NAB – Platinum Visa Debit card

Up to $10 cashback a month

Up to $10 cash back per month on contactless purchases if you open a NAB Classic Bank Account with a Platinum Visa Debit card.

Data accurate as at 2nd September 2019. Check terms and conditions on each product for full details

Which banks are currently offering perks for switching?

It's not just free cash that banks are using to entice new customers. Banks are using their partnerships with major brands to their advantage.

Consumer spending is currently as low as the 1991 recession, so these perks offer the banks a way to woo customers, and also offer retailers a chance to turn new customers into loyal repeat buyers.

These perks include discounts, free bottles of wine and Qantas frequent flyer points – all for making the switch.

Insider Tip: Look out for bank accounts that offer both shopping perks and great account features like free ATM access, no foreign exchange fees or additional benefits like no monthly fees or overdraft charges. Don't be persuaded by the perks alone, as there are often conditions that need to be met.

Shopping perks and free bottles of wine

Account Offer Conditions

Citi - Global Currency and Plus Accounts

Free bottle of wine + fee wavier

No currency conversion or foreign exchange fees. Free bottle of wine every time you dine at nominated restaurants and pay with your Citi card.

Macquarie Bank - Transaction Account

Up to 10% discount on eGift cards + fee waiver

No currency conversion or foreign exchange fees, ATM fees refunded in Australia and get up to 10% off on eGift cards.

HSBC - Day to Day Account

Shopping offers

Special deals at over 1500 Australian retailers and over 27,000 outlets worldwide.

Bankwest - Qantas Transaction Account

Earn Qantas points

Earn 12 points per $100 in your account each month, 5 points per eligible purchase and 5 points each time you withdraw cash

Data accurate as at 2nd September 2019. Check terms and conditions on each product for full details

Is it worth switching transaction accounts?

RateCity.com.au research director Sally Tindall warns it's worth doing your homework before switching banks, as you may end up getting more bang for buck by opting for a bank account with extra features like low fees, free ATM access or Apple Pay.

"Free cash is very tempting but if you're looking for a new bank account, make sure that first and foremost it suits your financial needs," she said.

As with any financial product, it pays to do your homework and compare your options.

Insider Tip: When you're looking to switch banks, make sure you always check the fine print. Cashback for switching bank accounts may sound great at face value, but the fine print may stipulate certain conditions — like several deposits and transactions — to get the cashback and potentially other perks.

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