School leavers accounts

Want an account with no fees1?

Choose our Tertiary Account if you're going into full or part time tertiary study or an apprenticeship.

Choose our Career Starter Account if you’re 16-20 years old, and starting or already in a full time job.

mym managing your credit report

You'll start with:

A free Debit Mastercard® or Airpoints™ Debit Mastercard®2 with no annual fee, which you can use for your everyday purchases in person and online.

An everyday account with no account maintenance or electronic transaction fees1.

Then add the extras you like.

What's the difference between the Tertiary and Career Starter Accounts?

The Tertiary Account is for people who are studying full time or part time at a university, polytechnic or apprenticeship. Our Career Starter Account is for people between 16 and 20 years old who are either currently employed or going straight into a job. You’ll get a different everyday account and overdraft or credit limit, depending on which of the two accounts you have.

Choose your extras

  • OBS
    Westpac Bonus Saver, your savings account

    Get rewarded with bonus interest by increasing your balance by $20 each month*.

    More about Westpac Bonus Saver
  • CashNav
    CashNav, your spending tracker

    This free app helps you to keep track of budgeting and where you’re spending your money, so you can see where you may need to rein it in.

    More about CashNav
  • KiwiSaver
    KiwiSaver, for your first home or retirement

    Start planning for your future – with up to $521 in Government contributions for eligible members from the government added to your account each year too.

    Westpac KiwiSaver Scheme
  • Alerts
    Alerts, to keep you on top of things

    With Westpac One online banking you can set up free text or email alerts to help you avoid fees, keep track of your balance and other important things.

    More about Alerts

Other options with benefits for you

Your Tertiary or Career Starter Account gives you access to other Westpac products and benefits, like a credit card3, an overdraft or personal loan4 and insurance. Take a look at some of your options, and talk to us if you'd like to add any to your account.

  • An interest-free overdraft on your bank account: Up to $2,000 with no establishment fee4.

  • An Airpoints™, hotpoints® or low interest credit card: With no annual fee for the first year3.

  • Renters' contents insurance or Vehicle Cover: To cover your belongings and protect yourself against accident liability while flatting, or to insure your vehicle at the level you choose.

  • A personal loan: A discounted rate and no establishment fee4.

Fees and charges:

As you can see from the table below, you'll see that almost everything to do with your Tertiary or Career Starter account is free. See below the table for things that you will be charged for, such as using another bank’s ATM.

Fee type Fee Amount
Monthly account maintenance fee Waived for the life of the Tertiary or Career Starter account
Electronic transactions
EFTPOS, Westpac ATM transfers/withdrawals, automatic payments, direct debit, direct credit, bill payments, funds transfers and payments made over phone banking.
Manual transactions
(Cheques written, Westpac ATM deposits, deposits and withdrawals at a branch)
Airpoints™ Debit Mastercard® annual account fee Waived for life of the Tertiary of Career Starter account (normally $15.00)
Debit Mastercard® annual account fee Waived for life of Tertiary of Career Starter account (normally $10.00)
Overdraft Establishment fee Waived (normally $25.00)
Debit interest Interest free to agreed limit
Credit Card - annual account fee Airpoints™ Mastercard® First year free, normally $55 
hotpoints® Mastercard First year free, normally $44
Low Rate Mastercard First year free, normally $25 ($12.50 charged every 6 months)
Personal Loan Establishment fee Free
Debit interest Subject to change, check at time of loan application
Phone Banking Free
Email and text alerts
Your mobile service provider's normal text charges apply when you send a text to Westpac.
Email alerts Free
Texts you receive Free

However you will be charged for:

  • Unarranged overdraft: $9 per month plus debit interest. This is charged if you go overdrawn without an approved overdraft limit

Other service fees may apply, for example clearance fees. Click here for details or refer to our Transaction and Service Fees brochure (also available free of charge from any Westpac branch). Transaction and service fees are current as at 19 January 2021 and are subject to change.

Show fees Hide fees

frequently asked questions

To switch to the Tertiary Account you’ll need to:

  • Be a part-time or full‐time tertiary student studying at an NZQA-approved tertiary institute for at least 12 weeks, or completing a Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) approved New Zealand Apprenticeship and
  • Have New Zealand citizenship or residency. If you’re an international student, check out our International Student account here

To switch to the Career Starter Account you’ll need to:

  • Be a New Zealand resident in full-time employment (minimum 30 hours per week) who has completed secondary school in the past two years; and
  • Be aged between 16 and 20 years old when you sign up

These accounts are designed to give the essentials you need for the beginning of your financial independence – without being charged fees for things like electronic transactions or your debit card. While we do have everyday accounts such as our Westpac Everyday account that also has no transaction or account fees, a School leavers’ account also removes the annual fee from your debit card that comes with any transaction account. It also means that you can have the option of getting credit in the form of an interest free overdraft4, which you may not have access to if you weren’t on the Tertiary or Career Starter Account.

You can be on the Tertiary Account for the length of your study, and once you’ve finished we’ll be in touch and move you onto the Graduate Account. 

You can be on the Career Starter Account for two years to help get you started in your working career. After two years we’ll be in touch and move you onto a Westpac Everyday account, which means your electronic transactions will continue to be free1.

If you're already a Westpac customer, fill out this online application form for a Tertiary or Career Starter Account. We’ll process it, and when it’s accepted send you your debit card in the mail. From there, you can go to your Westpac One online banking and PIN your card – then you’re ready to go.

If you're new to Westpac, welcome. You’ll need to come into your nearest branch (we suggest you make an appointment if you don’t want to wait), then come and see us with some ID and proof of your address, like a bank statement or cell phone bill. We'll set you up with your account.


If you’re already a Westpac customer, we’ll switch you over to a Tertiary or Career Starter Account automatically when we approve your online application. You can start your online application here.

You can’t open a standard Tertiary Account, but we have a specially-designed International Student Account that will give you many of the same benefits – and more.