Understand how money works in Australia, including banking, purchasing, withdrawing cash, and debit/EFTPOS and credit cards.

About the Australian dollar (A$)

The Australian dollar (A$) is the unit of currency used in Australia. It is divided into:

  • coins with a value of five, ten, 20 and 50 cents
  • coins with a value of one and two dollars
  • notes, or bills, with a value of five, ten, 20, 50 and 100 dollars.

Making purchases in Australia

  • Cash is accepted at most storefronts for the purchase of goods and services. Most shops accept the following cards: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Bankcard and Diners Club
  • EFTPOS cards, which are linked to your savings account rather than a credit account. Some outlets, like supermarkets and petrol stations, will allow you to withdraw additional cash when paying for a purchase.

Some shops will require a minimum purchase of AU$10 or AU$20 for card payments.

Withdrawing money


Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) provide 24-hour access to your money in locations such as shopping centres, petrol stations, convenience stores, banks, along main shopping strips and in malls or plazas. If you are withdrawing money from an international bank account, please note that international withdrawal fees may apply. If you have an Australian bank account, it is free to withdraw money from an ATM that is linked to your bank. Withdrawing cash from the ATM of another bank might result in an additional charge of up to A$2.50 per transaction.


Banks are open limited hours on week days (usually 9.30am – 4.00pm). Some major banks are also open on Saturday mornings.You should consider opening a local bank account when you first arrive in Australia. This will save you money on international bank fees. If you are intending to work in Australia, a local bank account will provide an easy way for you to receive your pay.


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