I’m sure by this stage of being a university student you feel totally unequipped to deal with which bank you should be with – and fair enough – it’s hard to really know. At this stage most banks offer pretty similar packages to tertiary students – mostly around the idea that you should pay zero account fees and should prepare to maybe having savings at some point (let’s be real, never). Anyway, for your convenience Craccum has laid out all tertiary banking options for comparison. I would like to clarify that some banks didn’t even bother to respond to the media request (looking at you ASB) however because we have google skillz we have factored this out. We would also like to indicate that offering ‘access to online and mobile banking’ as a feature of a banking package is not a lucrative offer. If your bank doesn’t offer you at least that then it’s a pretty shitty bank.
Disclaimer: Craccum has chosen to list, and not rank, these banking options in light of our position as a student publication and not a financial institution. All comments are made from Craccum only and we recommend – and encourage – that you consider this information and make an informed choice on your own financial decisions and what is best for you. The table at the end is designed to summarise this information.
Our research discovered several main points around the options available for university students:
- All packages are almost the same (minus a few maybe key differences)
- All packages offered an overdraft facility however some had significantly larger (or increasingly larger) amounts available.
- There are many Savings account options which each have differing availability of money and interest rate.
- Some banks specify a credit card is available within their tertiary package. Others do not, this does not mean a student is necessarily unable to be issued a credit card – just that the bank will use it’s criteria to determine whether a credit card is suitable.
- Other credit card, overdraft and account options are available and students may be able to access these however they are not explicitly stated within their tertiary package. Students are best to enquire individually regarding other options and we suggest you spend some time on your bank’s website looking at all your options.
- 2.5% Interest Rate on Savings
Look, fair call to Heartland, they aren’t trying to be a student bank but from what I gathered from the website they don’t even offer an eftpos card – so this package might not work for any student unless they’re happy to bank transfer every payment. A massive Ka Pai however that they offered a full version of their website in Te Reo. Time to catch up every other bank in New Zealand.
- No account or transaction fees
- Interest Free Overdraft
- BNZ Flexi Visa Debit with Apple or Google Pay capability and no fee
- Benefits for students, apprentices, and graduates will expire: after five years, or two years after graduating, or if you discontinue your studying.
BNZ offer a pretty standard deal for students. Craccum appreciates their commitment to providing the essentials however notes their lack of credit card options. An increasing overdraft whilst recognizing the progression of being a student may not take into account the expenses that students accrue no matter what year of study they are.
- Student First account with no fees
- Visa Credit Card option (subject to criteria)
- Debit Card
- Standard Overdraft (subject to criteria)
TSB offers an incredibly no-frills tertiary package however it must be noted that their credit card and overdraft offerings are subject to criteria, which suggests there is a possibility you’ll be eligible but protects them against committing to students which we don’t vibe.
- No Transaction Fees
- A Debit Mastercard with no fee
- Interest Free Overdraft of up to $1,000
- High 4% interest rate on the first $4,000 in your Savings account.
The Cooperative Bank is a bank that runs on a (no surprise here) co-operative model. This model means that any profit the bank makes is returned to its customers. This means you are eligible for returns from the bank – which is a pretty cool model. The 4% interest rate on the savings account is the best on the market.
- No account fees
- Visa Debit Card with no annual fee
- Overdraft available
- Credit Card available with up to $500 limit and one year no account fee.
Kiwibank offer a really normal package for students but the fee on the credit card following the first year alongside the fees on the overdraft aren’t great. Other banks offer no account fee for the life of the account which we think is a better offer.
- No monthly account fee and no transaction fees
- ANZ Visa Debit Card with no annual card fee
- An interest free overdraft of up to 2,000
- An ANZ Credit Card with no account fee for one year
- A personal loan of 1,000 or more with no application fees
ANZ offer a pretty good package with options from debit cards, loans, overdraft and credit card. This is an package worth looking into.
- No base or transaction fees
- ASB Visa Debit with no fees and free fries
- Visa Light Credit Card
- Overdraft with Zero Interest
- Exclusive deals through Niesh
The Free Fries and Niesh deals seem very student hip but we suggest you look beyond this and consider this deal in light of other factors. If you’re choosing a bank because of free fries you need to consider your priorities.
- An Airpoints Debit Mastercard or Debit Mastercard with no fee
- No account fees
- Westpac PayTag
- Interest free overdraft of up to 2,000
- Airpoints, Hotpoints or Low Rate Mastercard
The best thing about Westpac is that they offer you Rewards on your debit or credit card for spending money and we think that’s pretty awesome. Specifically if you’re an out-of-town student and you want to fly home for the holidays – reducing the cost of those flights (and not flying Jetstar) is pretty cool.