Suncorp Foreign Currency Account Review
In this review, we’ll talk about Suncorp Foreign Currency Accounts’ strengths, weaknesses, fees, rates, competitors, and how to apply for your account.
The Suncorp Foreign Currency Account is an excellent option if you’re seeking an account to hold your foreign currency investments. With Suncorp’s Foreign Currency Account, you’ll easily invest in the most popular international currencies while having access to a few currencies that aren’t widely used but are local to countries near Australia.
- Full functionality for the most stable currencies
- Easy to understand informational material
- No monthly or yearly fees
- Negotiable interest rates
- Minimum starting deposit can be composed of different currencies
- High minimum starting deposit
- High minimum deposit/withdrawal transaction limits
- No fixed term deposit and limited transaction capabilities for the Chinese yuan
- High telegraph edit fees
- No cash withdrawal, only electronic transfer
Features Of The Suncorp Foreign Currency Account
The Suncorp Foreign Currency Account has all of the features that you’d expect from a foreign currency account, including fixed-term deposits, at-call deposits, electronic transfer sending and receiving, internet banking, and customer support by phone or email.
The Suncorp Foreign Currency Account is targeted at investors rather than travelers, and so many of the interest rates are negotiable depending on how much money you deposit into your account.
If you pick the at-call deposit option for your investment, you can convert it to AUD at any time, provided that you convert a minimum of $5000. Once you’ve converted the money, you can withdraw it electronically for $30.
If you pick the fixed term deposit, your investment is locked in for the duration of the term, but you’ll make more interest. You’ll earn a small amount of interest every month with the at-call deposit option.
What Currencies Are Available?
The Suncorp Foreign Currency Account offers an extensive selection of foreign currencies that you can choose from, although you won’t be able to use the fixed term deposit option with many of the currencies.
With the Suncorp Foreign Currency Account, the following currencies are available:
- Canadian dollar
- Swiss franc
- Chinese yuan
- Danish kroner
- EU euro
- Fiji dollar
- UK pound
- Hong Kong dollar
- Indian rupee
- Japanese Yen
- Norwegian kroner
- Papua New Guinea Kina
- Philippine peso
- Swedish kroner
- Singapore dollar
- Thai Baht
- US dollar
- South Africa Rand
Importantly, the Chinese yuan is only available with limited functionality, so if you intend on exchanging your AUD into yuan and want to use yuan as an investment vehicle, you should probably look for a different account.
The fees on the Suncorp Foreign Currency Account are mostly negotiable depending on how much your deposits total, but there are a couple of non-negotiable fees. These include the $30 telegraph fee for all electronic transfers and a hefty $30 telegraph editing fee.
You’ll also suffer an early withdrawal fee if you break the term of a fixed term deposit, though the account’s literature suggests that this fee is negotiable depending on how far into the term the deposit is and how much money you have in the account after breaking the term.
Like many foreign currency accounts, the Suncorp Foreign Currency Account has no monthly charges and no charges relating to querying your account’s status.
Unlike with other foreign currency accounts, exchange rates aren’t disclosed transparently with the Suncorp Foreign Currency Account because they’re negotiable. While you won’t get rich off of negotiating the exchange rate with the bank, this feature is yet another telling sign that the Suncorp Foreign Currency Account is intended for larger investors.
How To Apply
To apply for the Suncorp Foreign Currency Account, visit Suncorp’s site or call their account setup hotline at 1+ 300-557-818. You should be connected to a live representative immediately and have your account ready to go within half an hour; normal banking hours on business days apply.
Be sure to have all of your other bank account information handy when you start the account creation process so that it’ll go as quickly and as smoothly as possible. Remember to specify the kind of deposit that you’d like to make, the total amount that you intend to deposit, and what currencies you would like in exchange for your AUD deposit.
Additionally, remember to negotiate your exchange rates, interest rates, and fee structures during account creation so that you will get the best rates. If you choose not to negotiate, you’ll probably have to pay higher fees and also get lower rates, so it makes a big difference.
If the Suncorp Foreign Currency Account isn’t for you, there are a few similar accounts which may address your needs.
Commonwealth Bank Of Australia’s Foreign Currency Account
The Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s Foreign Currency Account is targeted at typical travellers rather than investors and is a good option if you don’t have a large enough deposit for the Suncorp Foreign Currency Account.
The CBA’s Foreign Currency Account has a much lower minimum deposit but has more fees and higher fees for transfers and transactions. You’ll pay 1% or $10 per transaction, and upwards of $60 money transfer fees.
Unlike with the Suncorp Foreign Currency Account, you can get cash withdrawals using the CBA account. Additionally, the CBA account is more transparent regarding the interest rates earned with its fixed term and at-call deposits, though the rates aren’t negotiable.
HSBC’s Foreign Term Deposit Account
HSBC’s Foreign Term Deposit Account strikes a balance between the Suncorp Foreign Currency Account’s investor focus and the CBA account’s traveler focus. While the HSBC account has a $5000 USD minimum deposit, it also has several term options for fixed-term deposits, which may be easier for smaller investors.
Like the Suncorp Foreign Currency Account, HSBC’s account has no monthly fee as long as the account balance is over $10000 AUD, and few general fees except for an early withdrawal fee of $40 AUD and a %3 foreign transaction fee.
The HSBC account is aimed at investors who travel frequently and may be smaller than the investors who opt for the Suncorp account. Interest rates are non-negotiable with the HSBC account.
A better multi-currency account with lower fees
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 TransferWise Borderless Account, click here or watch this video