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Why you shouldn't get your bank cheque from a bank

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The number of people paying by cheque has taken a dramatic dip in the era of internet and mobile banking, yet bank cheques remain a relatively safe and easy way to pay.

Bank cheques are drawn straight from your account and remove the need to lug around large wads of cash, which is ideal if you're placing a downpayment on a new home or buying a secondhand car. However, this convenience comes at a cost.

Financial site Mozo compared the prices of bank cheques issued by the major banks with those from other institutions such as credit unions and building societies and found charges vary from $5 to $15.

why you shouldn't get your bank cheque from a bank

Fees can also range within banks, depending on whether the cheque is issued online or in a branch.

We found Commonwealth Bank and Citibank among the most expensive for bank cheques, slugging customers with a $15 fee apiece, tailed by NAB at $12 and ING Direct at $11.

The fees were relatively lower at the smaller end of town with non-banks Gateway Credit Union, Hunter United and Newcastle Permanent all charging customers $5 for a standard bank cheque.

Of the big four banks, we found the cheapest was Westpac, which charges customers as little as $5 for issuing a bank cheque online. For those who prefer to go into a branch, Westpac and ANZ were found to offer the best value with an issue fee of $10.

These fees might seem miniscule compared with the other banking fees you pay but the reality is that they can add up over time, especially if you need to pay this way regularly.

In this case it would be worth checking with your bank if you are able to request a bank cheque online for a smaller fee.

For those looking for an alternative to bank cheques, money orders are usually issued and payable at a bank or post office and offer a more secure option than sending cash in the mail.

For a standard money order up to $5000, Australia Post charges $8.95, which is lower than what many banks charge for a bank cheque. The price is even lower if you want an online money order.

Mozo's comparison found Australia Post to be much cheaper than money transfer agents such as Western Union and MoneyGram, whose fees vary depending on the amount you want to send.

While bank cheques and money orders are convenient payment options, money orders are generally capped at around $5000.

This means they aren't as practical as bank cheques in situations where you need to pay large sums.

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Comments
Geoff
April 12, 2017 7.44pm

Why get a 'bank' cheque from the Commonwealth Bank. Ask for a counter cheque which is no charge.

PeterA
August 23, 2017 1.44pm

According to this:

https://www.nab.com.au/persona...

There is no charge to draw a bank cheque from NAB if you withdraw over $1000 from a nab "rewards saver" account.

Excuse me while I transfer the amount I wish to withdraw into my savings account (rather than my offset account).

Ana
August 31, 2017 7.13pm

ING only charge you $11 if you choose the platinum express post option, if you choose regular post there is no charge for a bank cheque!

Alex
October 27, 2017 10.54am

This article is incredibly misleading. As Ana said above ING Direct offer bank cheques sent via Registered Post for free. It's not hard to find that information either!

Sue
November 21, 2017 11.46am

Thanks to the people who made comments about the free ING bank cheques! Just another reason to love ING - plus you can order online and save the hassle of going to a bank or post office.

User 1
December 2, 2017 4.29pm

I'm pretty sure Ana, Alex, and Sue are actually one person working for ING 😂😂😂

MOD'S NOTE: Username has been moderated.

rei
February 15, 2018 3.04pm

no.. ING is pretty damn awesome and client oriented

Griffin
March 7, 2018 11.41pm

I've ordered a bank cheque from ING just the other day to buy a car. It was free. The author is definitely wrong and suspiciously so, considering how obvious ING are about their free cheques.

Money
Verified
March 7, 2018 11.44pm

Hi Griffin,

This story was published in April 2017.

The updated version - including how to get a free bank cheque from ING - is here: https://moneymag.com.au/cheape...

dean connolly
October 24, 2018 11.36am

Interestingly St George has taken upon itself to implement a three day clearance process on CASH BANK CHEQUES (SPIN THAT CASH BABY ON THE HIGH RISK MARKET FOR A FEW DAYS WHILST A 70 YEAR OLD LADY WAITS TO HAND OVER HER VEHICLE.....fkn ridiculous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!... how is anyone with St George supposed to sell a car ????
It is clear the current banking situation of thievEs in suits is not the only problem...Borderline IQ's and a lack of any Finacial License KNOWLEDGE AND obligation by a group of "customer service" monkeys totally unqualified to even answer telephones let alone deal with anything regarding laws or expectations.....Welcome to the Australian Liberalised Banking System...broken, bent, corrupt and a healthy hatred for thier clients. LOCK EM ALL UP.

Antony Bright
October 23, 2019 7.12pm

I need a certificate from Victoria Police and as a payment they only accept cheque or money order, it seems like these guys are frozen back to the 70s!

So if I want a cheque from my bank, Commbank, they charge $15 to issue it to me PLUS they will charge $1.50 to the entity which will withdraw the money, if this isn't robbery, tell me what is because maybe I'm stupid??

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