UBank Review: A Fresh Approach To Banking and Money Management

In this UBank Review, discover why UBank is a fresh alternative to everyday banks. UBank provides a non-traditional banking solution, a fantastic money management app, and unique cards to tap every day. And best of all, UBank keeps everything super simple and easy to manage from an account, app and desktop view. See how UBank can help you better manage your money and achieve financial independence.

Here are the main sections of this UBank review. We will discuss:

  • The UBank Saving & Spending accounts
  • The UBank Shared Account
  • The UBank App
  • The UBank Desktop App

Feel free to jump ahead my friends.

UBank Review: The Verdict

UBank is a fantastic alternative to the usual banks, with a fresh approach to shared accounts and a simple app to manage your money. Mailbox Moneyman recommends UBank and believes the visibility and usability of the App are great for couples or anyone looking for a new digital experience with their bank.

Here are a few highlights:

  • UBank is a mobile-first digital bank that takes a fresh approach to banking.
  • UBank is a division of NAB – so your money is safe and secure.
  • The UBank App is a simple but fantastic tool to help manage your money
  • The colored cards stand out and are pretty cool
  • UBank continues to evolve and improve its award-winning App.

And feel free to Join UBank and get a free $20 bonus by using the code: 4JHEG9R

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What is UBank

UBank was established in 2008 as Australia’s first digital bank as a division of NAB. It provides Savings accounts, home loans and a digital-first experience via its banking app.

UBank was set up as a non-traditional option in 2008 to target “self-directed customers”. This new segment of customers was known to Google (search) information and evaluate solutions themselves before purchasing or signing up for a product. A novel concept in 2008.

In 2021, NAB purchased 86 400 Australia’s first Neobank for $221 million. The Neobanks technology platform and mobile banking systems were merged with Ubank, to attract younger customers to the non-traditional banking solution.

How Is UBank Different From Other Banks?

UBank is different from other banks as it has a modern feel and new approach because of the 86 400 acquisition.

86 400 was a neo-bank with the latest tech, a mobile-first platform, money management tools and spending insights. It also created new concepts in banking such as the “shared” account. This is all fabulous stuff that is now utilized by UBank and its customers.

Even visually, UBank stands out with its dynamic colors and non-traditional cards. People bored of banks and younger customers not linked to a bank will enjoy this modern look. It makes the bank more visually engaging, it has a strong identity, and the branding pops.

UBank also continues to update its app. They have a roadmap that can be accessed, features that can be requested and voted on, and they send regular emails with app updates.

UBank is customer focused and will continue to evolve and innovate. This is great news for their customers. Now let’s take a look at their bank accounts.

UBank Spend & Save Accounts Review

When you sign up for a UBank account, you will receive a Spend and Save account. The Spend account is linked to a UBank card that you will receive in the mail. And the Save account is linked to the Spend account. And it is all managed via the app which keeps it all very simple.

There are no account fees and you can immediately start transacting via Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, Fitbit Pay and Garmin Pay.

The best part is that you don’t need to apply for a special account to earn interest on your savings. UBank gives you that option out of the box. The Savings account is there from day one and the interest rate is competitive with other banks.

The Spend & Save option becomes more powerful when paired with a Shared account, which I will discuss next.

UBank Shared Account Review

The UBank Shared account is the greatest feature available within the platform. Many couples do not share bank accounts because they don’t want their partner to see their spending. Or they just don’t want to share their money and finances. UBank solves this problem.


The shared account links two existing UBank Spend & Save accounts. Linking the accounts is really simple and done within the app. Once linked, the couple has a “Shared account” available.

The couple both have complete access and visibility to that one shared account. This can be used as a shared Save account, to potentially save together for big-ticket items together like a house. Or it can be used as a Shared Spend account, to manage expenses together.

Meanwhile, personal Spending and Saving accounts are still private and not visible to the other person. And both owners of the Shared account will receive another UBank card to manage the account. So their purple card is the shared card. The Aqua card is the personal card. This feature is great and very unique to UBank.

How Do the Shared and Savings/Spend Accounts Work in Real Life?

The Shared and Saving accounts solve a real-world problem. It helps separate your daily expenses as a limited bucket of money within UBank. This is handy if your home loan or offset account is with another bank. It makes it harder to transfer money instantly between accounts to spend more than you should.

So for example, Mrs. Moneyman gets paid into the Shared Account, which is used for everyday expenses such as groceries, shopping, etc.

Mr. Moneyman has some extra money coming in from his Spacer Side Hustle every month. That gets paid into his UBank Savings account. And if he needs money for something like a new videogame, he gets on his app, and transfers it to his UBank Spend account which clears instantly. Then he happily goes to his local game store and uses his Aqua card to make a purchase (Savings account).

Meanwhile, Mrs.Moneyman secretly transfers money into her savings account for her next tattoo and/or accommodation for a family holiday.

Having that shared bucket of money for everyday spending is fantastic. It helps align any couple in their spending and makes achieving financial independence a team sport. It also lets you live a little, guilt-free with a separate spending account.

The Great and Not-So-Great Features of a UBank Account

The Best features of Ubank is what sets it apart from other banks. These are the features that differentiate UBank from other banks.

  • The Shared account is great for couples and simple to set up
  • The colored cards that differentiate from accounts make it easy to use
  • UBank provides a competitive savings interest rate
  • The app and general UBank experience is fantastic.

The not-so-great features of uBank are minor but worth discussing.

  • ATM fees when taking money out from a Non-NAB ATM
  • Australia Post couldn’t deposit money onto the UBank card for some reason.

Now these minor quibbles are ye-olde world problems because most people never go to a post office and most people don’t use cash. However, if UBank enabled free cash withdrawals on all ATMs, that would be amazing.

Now let’s take a look at what holds all of these accounts together, the UBank App.

UBank App Review

The ubank app is a fantastic tool to help with basic spending management for your UBank accounts. It provides a monthly snapshot of your spending and it is designed to keep it super simple. At a glance, you can see how you are tracking with minimal clicks or swipes.

The UBank app also lets you connect up all of your other bank accounts, buy now pay later accounts and some Super accounts. This is perfect for total account transparency and this data can be accessed via the app. And it comes in handy for as we will see in my best features of the UBank App, which we will take a look at next.

What Are the Best Features of the UBank App?

The UBank app gives you the Goldilocks, “just right” amount of data and flexibility within the app. Data nerds will want to be able to tweak and access everything, so the app may feel lacking and simplistic. But most people that want visibility and functionality, with as little work as possible will appreciate the design.

Here are my favorite features of the UBank app.

1. Customizable Homepage

The UBank app is designed for simplicity. So it makes sense that the homepage is customizable. That means I can put my most important information at the top of the screen. So when I log in, 9 times out of 10 I can see what I want and not click or scroll. It’s right there and hits me between the eyes. This leads to my hierarchy of money numbers in order of importance, starting with the account total.

2. Account Total View

The UBank app can manage your three uBank accounts, the Spend, Save or Shared account. The main account I care about is the Shared account, as that is the account I share with my wife for everyday spending. So that is the number I care most about, and I can set it as the default on the top of my homepage. That is the big shiny number I think about every day, every month.

Now this may seem like a minor thing. But the other bank I use, I have about 5 accounts in the app, and I need to search for my big numbers. And I need to look and scroll and squint to find that number. UBank has it big, at the top and easy to see. So this is perfect.


3. In & Out Monthly Transaction Tracking

Your home budget should be run monthly, like a business. And you need to focus on what comes in and what goes out. The UBank app operates on the premise that you should spend less than you earn. That is front and center with the in and out chart.

The In & Out chart applies to everything within your uBank account. So the aim here is to spend less than you earn, which is one of Peter Thornhill’s rules.

If you missed the Peter Thornhill Ultimate Guide, learn his investing rules and how he became a Motivated Money Monster. Great Insights.

This simple visual is great to keep you aware of your spending each month. For example, imagine my surprise 3 days into the month and I see -$526.

The In & Out chart helps you navigate your finances and keep on track. The In column should be more than the Out column. If you have had a blowout like I did (-$526) at the start of the month, that needs to be monitored for the remainder of the month. Again, a great visual to keep you on track and to keep you honest.

4. Spending Footprint

The app has a spending footprint that aligns with the In & Out chart. It breaks your spending down into three buckets, “Treat Yourself”, “Essentials” and “Finance & Repayments”. This is a variation of the Barefoot Investor buckets that I’m a big fan of, and it keeps it simple.

UBank categorizes the data into sub-categories within these three buckets. The categories available such as shopping and Entertainment are limited, but the automatic categorization is accurate.


Unfortunately, you cannot re-categorize or exclude transactions, which again, is probably fine for the 99% of people that aren’t obsessive personal budget analysts. The data is a snapshot of spending and provides everything you need without too much interaction. So it works with no effort required.

5. Total Savings View

The UBank app lets you connect up other banks, BNPL and super accounts. This is pretty handy for the total savings view. Where you can track all of your savings accounts or just isolate your most important account.

In my case, the offset account linked to my home loan is important. So having that visible in my UBank app is really convenient and I don’t need to log into an extra account to see that data. It’s all there in my UBank app.

6. Coming Up View

Another great feature on the home page is the “coming up” section. This looks across all of your linked accounts and predicts what bills are coming up from over 200 companies. This is a great way to be aware of upcoming bills but it isn’t 100% accurate and complete. But is is still a nice feature.

What Are the Not-So-Great Features of the UBank App

The UBank App is probably the best banking app I have used. But there are a few minor things I think could be improved.

1. UBank doesn’t let you edit any transaction

UBank’s best feature is that it is so simple. But that comes at a cost as you cannot edit a transaction, or exclude a transaction. But it’s also nice to just look at your data and not spend time tweaking and editing. So maybe this negative is also a positive.

2. Linked Accounts don’t have real-time data

Linked bank accounts aren’t updated in real-time and an update can’t be forced. The data looks like it’s updated daily, but that is still perfectly fine.

I also found My Zip Pay Buy Now Pay Later account won’t update at all and I can’t force an update. This could be a bug, but I barely use my Zip Pay account so it’s not a big deal.

In both cases, at least the last refresh date is available so you know the data isn’t up to date.

3. App could be too complicated for some users

The UBank app is simple and intuitive to my mind, and the money management functionality is amazing. But I have used money management apps such as Pocketbook, WeMoney and my current favorite app, Frollo.

But users like my wife, prefer basic bank apps without any new functionality. She likes the usual banking app, where she can transfer money and look at a statement. That is it. So lifelong traditional bank app users may not appreciate the UBank app.

If you missed it the first time, Read the indepth Moneyman Frollo review. It is a simple but excellent App that is completely free.

UBank App Review – Overall

Overall, I enjoy the simplicity of the app for everyday spending. I specifically set up a Ubank account to separate my family’s living and lifestyle expenses from my offset, home loan money.

I wanted something simple my wife and I could use for basic visibility and money management. The app manages my UBank accounts perfectly and also helps with my main offset account. I use it every day and I recommend budget-conscious users that want an easy-to-use money management app give it a try.

UBank Desktop Review

Ubank is a mobile-first platform, so it’s not surprising that the desktop version doesn’t have all of the features that the mobile app has.  The desktop version has removed some charts but the core banking functionality remains. This includes access to your accounts, ability to transfer and pay bills.


There is less customization with the desktop version, such as flipping between account views, but all of your external non-ubank accounts that are linked via the app, are all visible and accessible via the desktop. 

The option of logging into your desktop is appreciated for tasks like paying bills or exporting statements. Trawling through data and paying bills is usually easier on a big screen, and the hybrid app/desktop experience works well. It’s not as nice as the app experience, but it’s not a deal breaker. And it doesn’t diminish the power of the UBank app.

UBank Review – Final Thoughts

After discussing the UBank accounts and App, let me wrap up my final thoughts.

UBank has a fresh approach to banking. I have been with every major bank in Australia over the last 20 years, and I can say UBank stands out a mile in comparison. I enjoy the non-traditional, user-friendly accounts and the app is amazing. And it’s all brought together with aqua and purple cards and unique branding.

I have had a great experience with the bank, my accounts and the App. I’d recommend anyone give it a try as a separate spending account and go from there.

I hope you enjoyed this lengthy review and let me know what you think of UBank in the comments below.

M. Moneyman

Join UBank and Get $20 to get you started (Use code 4JHEG9R)


And now a few quick answers to some commonly asked questions.

Is UBank Good?

UBank is a good bank because it is safe, it operates under NABs banking license and it has a non-traditional approach to banking. It recently merged with 86400, Australia’s first Neo-bank and UBank will likely continue to evolve and innovate when compared to other banks.

Is UBank Reliable?

As a new customer to UBank, I have had an account for one year. And I haven’t had any issues with the bank, the App or reliability at all.

However, if you look online and you will see negative reviews from customers that were on the old platform and were migrated to the new platform. Unfortunately, there were issues with transferring those customers to the new UBank platform. So there is a bit of noise from those customers.

However, new customers shouldn’t have any issues, so it might be worth taking these negative reviews and complaints with a grain of salt and don’t base any decisions on them.

Is UBank Legit?

Ubank was established in 2008 as a division of NAB (National Australia Bank). UBank also operates under NAB’s banking license and uses its technology structure and balance sheet. It has also recently acquired 86400, Australia’s first Neo Bank and merged technology and branding in 2021.

UBank has also won various industry awards, from the AFR, Money Magazine and other financial innovation awards over the years. UBank continues to evolve, and be the bank of choice for customers that appreciate a non-traditional bank.

So yes, UBank is legit.

Is UBank Safe?

UBank operates under NAB’s banking license. This means that deposits are guaranteed up to $250k under the Australian Government’s Financial Claims Scheme.

Ubank also has encryption technology to ensure your information is safe, which keeps your money secure. Banks in Australia are strictly regulated and UBank is as safe as NAB or any other bank

What is the New UBank App?

UBank launched its new UBank app in May 2022 after merging with 86 400, Australia’s first smart bank. The new UBank app provides digital insights and money management features within a new rebranded app. Please refer to the review above about the best features that make this app worth trying out.

Who is UBank Backed By?

UBank is backed by National Australia Bank (NAB) and was established as a division of NAB. UBank operates under NAB’s banking license and uses its technology and balance sheet. Established in 1981, NAB is publically owned and trades on the ASX.

UBank vs ING

UBank and ING are very different banks, with the main difference being ING has a higher savings interest rate and a more traditional banking app.

ING also has a total of 5 rebated ATM withdrawals, meaning they will cost you no money when you need cash. While UBank ATM fees are free only if a withdrawal is made on a NAB ATM.

UBank has a money management app linked to a Spend, Save and Shared account. Which is a new concept in banking for couples that share accounts.

It all comes down to preference, ING is more traditional with better savings rates and free ATM withdrawals, or UBank is a money management app with new ideas in banking and saving. New ideas are good right? That is why I personally have a UBank account.

What Fees Does UBank Have?

UBank offers unlimited transactions with no monthly fees, International fees and account fees. However, some ATM operators may charge a fee when withdrawing cash, and Ubank will pass on a fee for emergency card replacements or emergency cash.

Interestingly, not all banks offer no monthly account fees which should be a standard…

Does UBank Have Branches

UBank is a digital bank and doesn’t have any branches but they can be contacted online or via phone. However, NAB branches can be used by UBank customers to withdraw cash from an ATM with no ATM fee.


Financial Failure to Financially Free

As a lifelong financial failure with a young family and deep in debt, I was made redundant 3 times in 2 years and in serious trouble. I had a “Financial Awakening”, I learned about personal finance and gained a financial education to accumulate 7 figures in assets.

My personal goal is to invest in myself, compound my knowledge and build wealth using three simple strategies. Save more money. Make more money. Learn about money. I’m living proof, that through the power of financial education, anyone can achieve financial independence. My sincere hope is that you will be able to learn from my journey and my blog.

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