Bendigo Bank foreign currency account review 
If you send and receive frequent international payments, travel often, or like to shop online with retailers based overseas you might be looking for a foreign currency or multi-currency account to help cut your international transaction costs.
Some Australian banks – including Bendigo Bank – do offer foreign currency accounts, although they can often be somewhat limited in terms of their features. This guide covers the options, fees and application process for the Bendigo Bank Foreign Currency At Call Deposit Account.
Table of contents
- What is the Bendigo Bank foreign currency account?
- Bendigo Bank foreign currency account alternatives
- Comparing Bendigo Bank foreign currency account
- Eligibility for a Bendigo Bank foreign currency account
- Bendigo Bank pricing
- How to use Bendigo Bank foreign currency account
- Bendigo Bank foreign currency account limits
- How to use Bendigo Bank foreign currency account abroad
What is Bendigo Bank foreign currency account?
This guide will focus on the Bendigo Bank Foreign Currency At Call Deposit Account – an instant access account which can be held in any of 11 different major world currencies. There’s a minimum deposit amount of 10,000 AUD or the equivalent, plus transaction fees which we’ll look at later.
It’s useful to know that you can’t withdraw from the Bendigo Bank Foreign Currency At Call Deposit Account in cash. There’s no linked debit card, so when you want to access your money you’ll have to initiate a transfer to another account in the currency you want to withdraw – or switch over to AUD to move your money to a local Australian account. This means the account isn’t a flexible option if you want to use it when you travel or to shop online for example, but it can be handy if you invest in foreign currencies or need to hold a fairly high balance amount for future use.
Pros and cons of Bendigo Bank foreign currency account
Let’s look at how the Bendigo Bank Foreign Currency At Call Deposit Account measures up in terms of pros and cons:
- Get branch service in person if you need it
- Supports 11 major currencies
- Funds are at call – meaning you can get more or less instant access to your money
- Fairly high 10,000 AUD minimum deposit
- No option for cash withdrawals or card spending
- Transaction fees and an account keeping fee apply
Bendigo Bank foreign currency account alternatives
Bendigo Bank isn’t the only option available to you if you want a way to manage your money in foreign currencies. Here’s a quick introduction to a few alternatives including Bank of Sydney’s foreign currency account as another traditional provider, and a couple of modern specialists which may be cheaper and more flexible.
Open your free account online, to receive payments with local bank details in a range of currencies, send money to 80+ countries, hold 50+ currencies and spend with your linked card in 170+ countries, too. All currency exchange uses the mid-market rate with low fees for the extra services you might need:
- Foreign Currencies: 50+
- Fees & Exchange Rates: Mid-market exchange rate, low transaction fees
- International Transfers: From 0.41% fee
- Debit Card: Available
Open a free standard account or upgrade to an account with a monthly fee to get more perks and a higher level of fee free transactions. 27+ supported currencies with a linked card for spending and withdrawals, and some great budgeting and saving tools:
- Foreign Currencies: 27+
- Fees & Exchange Rates: Mid-market exchange rate to plan limits, low transaction fees based on account type
- International Transfers: 0.3% – 2% fee, some accounts have fee free transfers included
- Debit Card: Available
Bank of Sydney Foreign Currency Account
If you need a face to face service and want to stick with a traditional bank, Bendigo Bank isn’t your only choice. Several other Australian banks support foreign currency accounts, including Bank of Sydney:
- Foreign Currencies: 3
- Fees & Exchange Rates: Exchange rates are likely to include a markup, no account keeping fee but transaction costs can apply
- International Transfers: 10 AUD – 25 AUD depending on payment type
- Debit Card: Not available
Online alternative providers can often offer a more flexible account with access to a greater range of international services, more currencies, and lower overall fees compared to traditional banks. Specialist accounts tend to be designed for day to day use, reflecting how frequently people transact internationally online and in person.
|Account keeping fees||50 AUD every 6 months||No account keeping fee||0 AUD – 24.99 AUD/month depending on account tier|
|Currencies you can hold and exchange||11||50+||27+|
|Exchange rates||Rates are likely to include a markup||Mid-market exchange rate||Mid-market exchange rate to plan limits|
|Local bank details||Not available||Available to be paid like a local from 30+ countries||Not available|
|Debit Card and ATM fees||Not available||
|International payment fees||30 AUD||From 0.41%||0.3% – 2% (paid account plans may offer up to 3 free transfers/month)|
How does Bendigo Bank foreign currency account compare?
Bendigo Bank isn’t your only option if you’re in the market for a way to hold, convert, send, spend and receive foreign currencies. Other accounts are available both from traditional banks and online specialist services. Let’s take a quick look at a few alternatives alongside Bendigo Bank to see how the features compare.
|Bendigo Bank||Wise||Revolut||Bank of Sydney|
|Availability||10,000 AUD minimum opening balance required||Available to customers in most countries around the world||Available to residents of Australia, the EEA, Singapore, Switzerland, Japan, the UK and the US||Australian residents, 18 years old+
|Currencies offered||11||50+||27+||EUR, GBP, USD|
|Account keeping fees||50 AUD/every six months||No account keeping fee||0 AUD – 24.99 AUD/month depending on account tier||No account keeping fee|
|International payment fees||30 AUD||From 0.41%||0.3% – 2% (paid account plans may offer up to 3 free transfers/month)||10 AUD – 25 AUD depending on payment type|
|Linked Debit Card||Not available||Available for spending in 170+ countries||Available||Not available|
Traditional banks in Australia may offer foreign currency or multi-currency accounts. However, it’s useful to know that these may not provide much in the way of flexibility or cover many currencies, compared to specialist providers like Wise and Revolut. Specialist alternatives can also often offer lower fees and better exchange rates.
In the end which account works best for you will depend on your personal preferences and requirements – use this guide to help you compare a few options and pick your perfect match.
What is the eligibility for a Bendigo Bank foreign currency account?
To open a Bendigo Bank Foreign Currency At Call Deposit Account you’ll need to also hold an AUD account with Bendigo Bank in the same name, and provide documents to support your account including proof of ID and address. Here’s what’s usually required:
- An existing Bendigo Bank AUD account in your name
- Proof of ID and address
- A minimum deposit of 10,000 AUD or more
Normally you’re asked to attend a Bendigo Bank branch to open your account – which also means the staff can advise you on the exact paperwork you’ll need to get your account up and running. There are also options to open your account remotely if you can have your documents certified by an acceptable certifier like a solicitor.
Who is it good for?
The Bendigo Bank foreign currency account is helpful for anyone who invests in or needs to hold a fairly high balance in a supported foreign currency, and who’s looking for a face to face in branch service.
Bendigo Bank’s foreign currency account covers 11 currencies, which is more than many other traditional banks. However, there’s no linked card for spending or withdrawals, which means the account can’t really be used for day to day spending easily. If you want a more flexible account and are happy to transact online or in an app there are other account options out there from specialists like Wise and Revolut which may suit you better.
When is a foreign or multi-currency account needed?
Foreign currency accounts can be opened by personal and business customers. They’re a good way to get paid from overseas, and to hold a balance in currencies other than AUD.
Depending on the account you choose, you can usually also make international payments without needing to convert currencies unnecessarily, which may cut down your costs. If you travel a lot or shop with overseas retailers, a multi-currency account with a linked card can also make it more convenient to get foreign cash when you need it, and lower the fees involved in overseas spending.
Here’s a quick overview of Bendigo Bank and the providers we looked at earlier, and who they may suit:
- Bendigo Bank – 11 currencies, with the option to get your money instantly when you need it as long as you hit the relevant cut-off times
- Wise – great fit for customers looking for a flexible online multi-currency account with linked debit card
- Revolut – strong contender if you want to upgrade to a monthly fee to get more free transactions and unlock some bonus features and perks
- Bank of Sydney – good if you’re sending and receiving GBP, USD or EUR and want in-branch service
How to open an foreign currency account with Bendigo Bank
To open a Bendigo Bank foreign currency account you’ll normally need to visit a branch in person and present your paperwork. You’ll also need a minimum deposit amount of at least 10,000 AUD to get started.
If you can’t get to a branch there’s an option to open an account by having an acceptable certifier check over your paperwork. Bendigo Bank acceptable certifiers may be a solicitor, police officer, accountant or Justice of the Peace for example. There are also special provisions for account opening for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in isolated areas.
What documents you’ll need
Bendigo Bank has to complete verification checks to comply with the law and make sure customers and their accounts are kept secure. That means you’ll need to provide a set of documents to support your application. Staff will inform you of the specific paperwork required but it’ll usually include:
- Proof of identity
- Proof of address
Bendigo Bank may also ask for extra information or documents relating to the source of the funds, the way you’ll use your account and why you need an account in Australia.
Bendigo Bank pricing
There’s an account keeping fee for your Bendigo Bank foreign currency account, plus some transaction fees which will apply depending on how you use the account. Here are the key costs you should consider before opening your account:
|Service||Bendigo Bank Foreign Currency At Call Deposit Account fee|
|Account keeping fee||50 AUD fee every 6 months if your balance is under 100,000 AUD|
|Outgoing telegraphic transfer||30 AUD|
|Return of a telegraphic transfer||25 AUD|
|Transaction fee for transfers to and from your account||20 AUD|
|Overdrawn fee||27.50 AUD daily|
Bendigo Bank exchange rate
Whenever you need to convert currencies to deposit or withdraw from your Bendigo Bank foreign currency account, the Bendigo Bank exchange rate will apply. The bank’s rate will also be used if you’re sending a payment in a foreign currency. You can check the applicable rates in a Bendigo Bank branch or get an indicative rate for your transaction type online – remember that different rates may apply for different transaction types.
It’s also worth remembering that Bendigo Bank’s exchange rate is likely to include a markup on the mid-market rate (the one you’ll find on Google). This is an extra fee, which may be in the region of about 3%. It’s pretty common for banks to add this charge into the rates used for converting currencies for international transfers – but it does make the entire process less transparent, and push up the costs overall.
How to use Bendigo Bank foreign currency account
You can send a payment from your Bendigo Bank foreign currency account in branch or through the online banking service. However you’ll need to call Bendigo to have this service set up for your account in the first place.
Sending a payment online is usually the most convenient option. Here are the basic steps:
- Log into your online or mobile banking service
- Look for the option for International Payments
- Follow the prompts to add the recipient’s information and details of the transfer
- Complete any required security or verification steps
You can deposit into your account in the following ways:
- Buy a foreign exchange contract from Bendigo Bank
- Telegraphic transfer of a supported currency
- Bank draft or international cheque in your name
You can withdraw your money from Bendigo Bank in the following ways:
- Telegraphic transfer
- Convert to AUD and deposit into your Bendigo Bank AUD account
How to use Bendigo Bank foreign currency account abroad
You’ll not get a linked spending and ATM card for your Bendigo Bank foreign currency account, which means you can’t easily use it for day to day spending internationally.
Bendigo Bank foreign currency accounts support the following holding currencies:
- United States dollars
- Japanese yen
- Singapore dollars
- Hong Kong dollars
- Swiss franc
- Pounds sterling
- New Zealand dollars
- Canadian dollars
- Swedish krona
- South African rand
Bendigo Bank foreign currency account limits
To open your Bendigo Bank foreign currency account you’ll need to deposit 10,000 AUD or the equivalent in another currency. You’ll also need to hold a minimum of 100,000 AUD to avoid paying the account keeping fee.
Are Bendigo Bank foreign currency accounts safe?
Yes. Bendigo Bank is a trusted provider which operates in accordance with all applicable financial legislation to keep customers and their money safe.
It’s worth noting however, that deposits in Bendigo Bank foreign currency accounts aren’t covered by the Australian government’s Financial Claims Scheme (FCS). The FCS can only cover deposits held in Australian dollars, so this would be the case whichever bank you choose to hold your foreign currency deposit.
Opening a multi-currency account has big advantages for anyone who lives an international lifestyle, loves to travel, or needs to send, receive or hold foreign currencies.
You’ll be able to pick between a few traditional banks if you need a physical branch presence, where you can transact in person – or you can look at alternative providers like Wise and Revolut which cover more currencies, and have linked debit cards for easier spending and withdrawals online and in person.
Ultimately, the best multi-currency account for your needs will depend on how you prefer to transact – use this guide as a starting point to find your perfect match.
- Does Bendigo Bank offer foreign currency accounts?
Yes. You can open a foreign currency account with Bendigo Bank in any of 11 supported currencies.
- Can I deposit foreign currency into my Bendigo Bank account?
You can deposit supported currencies into a foreign currency account by telegraphic transfer, cheque or bank draft.
- Does Bendigo Bank charge international fees?
Yes. Bendigo Bank foreign currency accounts have account keeping fees, plus transaction fees when you send or receive payments, or in the event your account goes overdrawn.
- Can I access my Bendigo Bank foreign currency account overseas?
Bendigo Bank foreign currency accounts don’t have a linked card which means they’re not really useful for travel needs. Check out alternative specialist accounts from providers like Wise and Revolut instead.