Bank of Sydney Foreign Currency Account Review
This complete Bank of Sydney Foreign Currency account review covers all the pros and cons. Plus, you’ll learn how to open your account. Is this the right foreign currency account for you? Let’s take a look:
If you frequently receive or send payments in a foreign currency, consider opening a Foreign Currency Account at the Bank of Sydney. These accounts let you manage foreign currency securely while also helping you save on conversion costs.
- No Account Keeping Fees
- No Minimum Balance for Account
- No Monthly Interest Payments
- Online Account Inquiry
- Cash handling fee applies
- No cheques included
- Minimum customer support
Features of Bank of Sydney Foreign Currency Account
The Bank of Sydney has been operating throughout Australia since 2001. They have a full Banking Licence. They offer a full range of personal and business banking services including accounts, loans and a variety of international financial services.
While the bank is mainly located in Australia, they do partner with banks and other financial institutions around the world. This is helpful if you want to make ATM transactions from your account while in a foreign country.
The basics of a foreign currency account are the same at any bank. But the specific features, level of service and all-around experience can vary dramatically. Here are some of the main highlights of a foreign currency account from the Bank of Sydney:
Real-time Currency Converter on Website: When dealing with foreign currency accounts, current and accurate foreign exchange rates are important when determining the true value of your accounts. The Bank of Sydney posts a currency converter on their webpage which you’ll want to check regularly.
If you have additional questions, call or email a bank representative directly. While the Bank of Sydney reps were helpful and knowledgeable, note that the Bank of Sydney doesn’t have a team dedicated exclusively to their foreign currency account holders.
Build Interest on Your Foreign Currency: Bank of Sydney foreign currency accounts earn monthly interest. Tier balanced interest is calculated on a 360-day year for U.S. dollars and Euros. Great Britain pounds and New Zealand dollars are based on a 365 year.
Easy Transfers at Locations Around the World: Deposit and receive funds at Bank of Sydney branch and partner locations worldwide. Online banking allows you to check the balance and transfer international funds. Direct entry is available for both credit and debit, but only in the currency of the account.
If you’re transferring 10,000 AUD or more, the Bank of Sydney offers special rates. You’ll need to contact the bank before the transfer in order the learn the details for your specific situation.
Currencies Available with a Bank of Sydney Foreign Currency Account
Bank of Sydney offers five major currencies for their currency account. Deposits for both individual and business accounts are available in U.S. dollars, British pounds, New Zealand dollars and Australian dollars.
Compared to other banks, the Bank of Sydney does offer a relatively limited selection of available currencies. However, the five currency options offered do cover most of the Western world.
If you want to convert into one of the currencies not listed above, contact the Bank of Sydney directly. They sometimes offer support for additional currencies.
Deposits and withdrawals are subject to a small cash handling fee. The exact amount depends on the size of the transaction. Additional detail is provided on the Bank of Sydney website or from an account representative.
Foreign currency account interest rates vary based on the value of the account. A balance under $50,000 doesn’t collect any interest. Higher balances collect tiered interest if the account is in either U.S. dollars or Euros. Be aware that the Bank of Sydney foreign currency accounts in Great Britain pounds do not collect interest.
Exchange rates will vary based on the currencies involved. While the Bank of Sydney posts a real-time currency counter directly on their site, you’ll probably want to use a separate counter as well. Accurate exchange rates help determine when you want to convert funds to maximize your investment.
The Treasure of the Bank of Sydney provides competitive rates for converting funds which are constantly updated. If you regularly convert between two currencies, using the Bank of Sydney can help you save quite a bit of money on conversion fees each year.
How to Apply for a Bank of Sydney Foreign Currency Account
Application is simple and quick. You can apply in-person at any local branch. You can also visit the Bank of Sydney website to apply online.
The Bank of Sydney uses one general enquiry form for all account types. You’ll want to select “Foreign Exchange” from the drop-down menu.
Unlike other banks, foreign currency accounts at the Bank of Sydney aren’t part of a larger wealth management service. So you might not want receive the level of personal attention that you would find at another bank.
At the same time, when a foreign currency account is part of a wealth management program, many times the bank requires a high minimum balance. Bank of Sydney has no minimum for their foreign currency accounts.
A better multi-currency account with lower fees
Wise (formerly known as TransferWise) released the Borderless Account in Australia. At first glance, it is significantly easier to set-up, receive and send foreign currency. The fee structure is also better than any of the other foreign currency account we've reviewed in Australia.
The thing that makes it different to every other foreign currency account, is that it allows you to up a local bank account in AUD, GBP, EUR or USD. That means if you open up a USD account, you’ll have your own ABA and account number (think BSB and account number).
It’s a big deal. Why?
Having your own local bank account makes it significantly easier, faster and cheaper to receive money.
To read our full review of the Wise Borderless Account, click here or watch this video