Money & banking
The Australian dollar, which is divided into 100 cents, is the currency of Australia and is legal tender throughout its states and territories, including Victoria.
General circulation coin denominations are 5 cents, 10 cents, 20 cents, 50 cents, 1 dollar and 2 dollars. Standard issue samples of the reverse design of each of these coins are shown below. The obverse design of all these coins is a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II.
From time to time, special issue coins featuring different reverse side artwork are released for general circulation. The size and shape of the coin is the same as the standard issue. These special releases are limited to coins with denominations of 20 cents, 50 cents, 1 dollar and 2 dollars.
As there are no 1 and 2 cent coins in general circulation, cash transactions are rounded up or down to the nearest five cents. There is generally no rounding with electronic payments.
Polymer banknotes are available in the denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 dollars. Standard issue samples of the front and back of each of these banknotes is shown below.
All major banks can exchange foreign currency, as well as foreign exchange bureaus and outlets at international airports. For current conversion rates, see the Universal Currency Converter.
Visa and MasterCard are overwhelmingly the most popular and widely accepted credit cards throughout Victoria. American Express and Diners Club enjoy good acceptance. JCB (Japanese credit card) is accepted by a growing number of tourism-related businesses, particularly hotels in Melbourne and some of the more popular tourist centres in Victoria.
Banks and ATMs
Banks are open weekdays (Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays) with some offering services on weekends. Some smaller towns may have limited banking facilities provided by authorised bank agencies, typically at the local post office or newsagent.
The Australian banking sector is dominated by four major banks - ANZ, Commonwealth, National and Westpac. They are well represented throughout Victoria and the rest of Australia.
Automatic teller machines (ATMs) belonging to banks in Australia are located at many of their branches and also at other locations, such as in shopping centres and convenience stores. Several independent financial institutions provide ATMs that any bank customer can use for a small fee. They are typically located within clubs, restaurants, service stations, newsagents and shopping centres.
A list of Australian-owned retail banks operating in Victoria, including their fee-free ATM network, is provided below.
|Retail bank||Other trading names or divisions||Fee-free ATMs|
|AMP Bank (no branches)|
|Bank of Queensland|
|Bendigo Bank||Rural Bank (no branches)|
|National Australia Bank||UBank (no branches)|
|Westpac||Bank of Melbourne|
Goods & services tax (GST)
GST is a tax on most goods and services in Australia. There are a few exemptions, including basic food items and beverages, but not food or drink purchased for consumption on premises such as at restaurants. To avoid confusion, the law requires that the prices displayed for goods or services must be inclusive of the GST component.
The Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS) enables Australian residents and overseas visitors to possibly claim a GST refund on goods bought within Australia that are then taken out of the country. For full details, read further about the Tourist Refund Scheme.