I know of some people who’s migrating to Melbourne in the next few months and I thought of writing something helpful for people who’s moving out of their comfort zone. So here’s a list of essential cards that one would need if one moves to Melbourne 🙂
1. Bank card
This is obviously necessary if you plan to work in the new city. T and myself didn’t research on this thoroughly when we moved here, partly because we (or maybe, just I) forgot we needed new bank accounts and because we thought we were to be in Melbourne for only 6 months.
But we are happy with the services we got from ANZ, the bank with branch offices that happened to be near T’s office and our apartment. ANZ provided friendly and efficient customer service – we managed to block T’s card asap when he lost it at Revolver Upstairs – and it has ATM machine almost everywhere. Also, the card is a Visa payWave one, so it takes less than a second to make payments.
For you who do not live at a place under your name (e.g. You’re living in an apartment under the company’s name or living at a friends/family’s house), making a bank card is needed because the bank will issue a bank statement with the address in which you’re living at. This will serve as a document which proves where you’re staying, and this document is needed when you want to buy a mobile phone line (and a library card).
Do remember to bring your passport when applying for a card.
2. Sim card
It took me about a month* to decide on which telecomm company and which mobile phone plan I would like to sign up for. There are Optus, Virgin, Telstra, Vodafone, and each of them had different types of plans.
In the end, I opted for Virgin’s monthly postpaid plan ’cause it had a sweet deal ($40 per month for 7gb data!) and it’s coverage is pretty good in the city and suburbs. And oh, if I don’t use up my data in a month, it will roll over to the next month! And I can stop the plan anytime I want, with no additional charges.
What you’d have to bring when buying a Sim card are your passport and a document which proves on where you’re staying.
*I could stay a month without an Australian line because I was tapping on my M1 plan’s data passport. Basically, I paid $10 extra for a month to use the 3gb data on my Singapore line. If I didn’t need to make or receive calls to Melbourne numbers, I’d have stayed on using the data passport. So yeah, if you’re holidaying in Australia and have an M1 line, just top up $10 to google map/whatsapp/whatsapp call/whatever else you need data for.
3. Myki card
Travelling in Melbourne city is free (which is why I save a lot on transportation!) but once you’re out of the range, you’d need to pay when taking the trams, trains and buses. The fare is definitely not as cheap as Singapore’s – you can see them here. (But you’ve no choice, right? You are the one who chose to move here. Haha!)
You can get this card at the train stations or 7-11. I know they sell it somewhere else too, but I can’t remember exactly where else.
It’d be good for you to download the PTV (Public Transport Victoria) app so that you know what time the transportation is coming, and which platform you’d need to be if you’re taking the train. I swear, my first time to the train station was overwhelming because it’s not like Singapore’s MRT, where trains go in only 2 directions, there were many platforms with many trains going to many directions. But I assure you, after a couple of times, you’d get used to it 🙂
On the note of transportation, we didn’t see the need to buy a car since we thought we were here for a short while. At times, when we had long weekends, we rented cars. And at other times, when we decide we wanted to be driven around, we used Uber. It is way cheaper than a cab.
4. Insurance card
Without an insurance card, medical care is going to be super expensive. Like seriously. Sure, maybe you think that you’d not fall ill or you think that insurance is meh and so you think it’s not vital. But I’m telling you, it is.
T and I are lucky to have this covered by the company he’s working in. We both fell sick once the past year. Just one visit to the doctor each had our medical bills totalling up to almost $200. Most of it, we managed to claim back from MediBank. But yeah, it’s crazy how a GP visit can go up to about $100.
Also, with our MediBank card, we had other benefits like having free dental check-up. I’ve always love going to the dentist so this was a major plus point for me! I think some insurance plans allows you to have free massages or make free glasses. So again, it’s worth checking this out 🙂
For those of you who plan to buy contact lens in Melbourne, please make sure you’ve got your eye prescription from Singapore. The shops here will not sell you contact lens unless you have a prescription, and heyho, a prescription here will cost about $70.
5. Supermarket rewards card
Okay, this isn’t really a need, but I highly recommend having it. You’d do weekly grocery shoppings, so why not sign up for something free, and get the rewards? It’s easy and you’d get surprised from time to time for getting vouchers…
I can’t think of any other important cards. Nevertheless, I hope this helps anyone who’s moving over to the most liveable city 😀