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Commonwealth Bank Travel Money Card Review

Rates and Fees verified correct on May 27th, 2016

Reloading funds and currencies

You can load as many as 13 currencies onto your Travel Money Card at once. If you travel to a country and have its currency loaded, the card uses the applicable currency automatically.

Supported currencies

Here are the currencies you can load onto your Travel Money Card.

  • United States dollars (USD)
  • Euros (EUR)
  • Great British pounds (GBP)
  • Australian dollars (AUD)
  • Japanese yen (JPY)
  • New Zealand dollars (NZD)
  • Hong Kong dollars (HKD)
  • Canadian dollars (CAD)
  • Singapore dollars (SGD)
  • Thai baht (THB)
  • Vietnamese dong (VND)
  • Chinese renminbi (CNY)
  • Emirati dirham (AED)

Currency order

A currency order applies if you draw money in a currency you haven't preloaded on the card. The default order is:

1. United States dollars (USD) 2. Euros (EUR) 3. Great British pounds (GBP) 4. Australian dollars (AUD)  5. Japanese yen (JPY)  6. New Zealand dollars (NZD) 7. Hong Kong dollars (HKD) 8. Canadian dollars (CAD) 9. Singapore dollars (SGD) 10. Thai baht (THB) 11. Vietnamese dong (VND) 12. Chinese renminbi (CNY) 13. Emirati dirham (AED)

You can change this currency order online or over the phone.

Exchange rates

Commonwealth Bank sets exchange rates for loading, reloading and closure of Travel Money Cards. The applicable rate is its retail foreign exchange rate at the time of the transaction. You’ll get a quote for the latest rate at the time of loading or reloading your card.

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Where can you use the card?

This card can be used wherever MasterCard is accepted. This means you can use your card at over 35 million locations online and in store around the world.

How much will the card cost me?

The Travel Money Card offers several fee-free services, but you have to pay fees in some situations:

Main fees associated with
Commonwealth Bank Travel Money Card
Card issue fee$15
Initial load fee
Reload fee$0
Transfer between currencies$0
Purchase transaction fee
ATM withdrawal feeA cash withdrawal fee applies, which varies depending on currency you’re withdrawing.
The fee applies in the currency you withdraw the cash. Here’s the full list:AUD 3.50, CAD 3.00, EUR 2.20, GBP 2.00, HKD 17, JPY 220, NZD 3.50, SGD 3.50, THB 80.00, USD 2.50, VND 50000
ATM balance enquiry fee
MS alerts fee$0
Emergency cash advance fee$0
Transfer to Commonwealth Bank transaction account fee$0
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Managing your card

Commonwealth Bank gives you several different options for ordering and managing your card.

  • Ordering your card.
    You can apply for the Travel Money Card online or by visiting any Commonwealth Bank branch. If you are an existing Gold, Platinum or Diamond Credit Card customer, a Platinum Debit MasterCard customer or a student, the bank waives the card issue fee if you apply in branch. You should receive your card via mail within six business days, at which time you can also view its details via the NetBank. Delivery outside metropolitan areas may take longer.
  • Loading funds on your card.
    You can load and reload funds onto your Travel Money Card in different ways. One option is to transfer funds from a Commonwealth Bank transaction account using online banking or by calling the Travel Money Customer Service Centre. You can add funds by visiting a Commonwealth Bank branch, using a Commonwealth Bank transaction account, cash or a credit card cash advance. Adding funds using BPAY is also an option.
  • Activating your card.
    If you apply at a branch, the bank activates your card automatically. You can set up the PINs for your primary and backup cards in branch, online or over the phone. If you apply online, you’ll have to activate the card and set up a PIN before you can use it. You can do this online using your Travel Money Card and a six digit registration code you choose when you purchase the card.
  • Online.
    The online platform gives you the ability to monitor your card’s activity from any Internet-enabled computer or smartphone. The online platform lets you change your PIN, check balances in different currencies, view transaction history, reload the card, transfer between currencies, transfer to and from Commonwealth Bank accounts, and change the currency order as well as lock and unlock your card. Reloading your card when you transfer through NetBank or the CommBank app.

Security and emergency contact details

The Travel Money card is protected by chip, PIN and signature. You’ll also be covered by 24/7 fraud monitoring. You’ll receive a complimentary additional card, meaning you’ll still have access to your cash if your card is lost or stolen.

If your card has been lost or stolen you can contact the customer service team 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on:

  • Within Australia: 1300 660 700 (local call).
  • Outside Australia: +61 2 9374 0609* (call charges apply).
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Getting your card

  • Ordering your card. You can either order your card in person or through your NetBank. If you’re a Gold, Platinum and Diamond credit card holder, a Platinum Debit MasterCard customer or a student, the purchase fee will be waived. Cards purchased through NetBank will take around five business days to arrive.
  • Activating. If you purchased your card in-store, your card will be activated on the spot and you can set up your PINs for both cards. If you ordered it through NetBank, you’ll need to contact the customer service team to activate your card and confirm your PINs.
  • Loading funds. Once you’ve received and activated your card, you can start loading funds on the card. You can load funds on your card in a few ways:
    • Online transfer. You can transfer funds from an eligible Commonwealth Bank transaction account via netbank. You’ll need to log on to NetBank, go to the ‘Transfers & BPAY’ page and select the transaction account you’d like to transfer from.
    • Phone transfer. You can call the Travel Money Customer Service Centre and transfer funds from an eligible Commonwealth Bank account.
    • BPAY. Use the BPAY Biller Code 113167 and enter your customer reference number which is your 16-digit Travel Money Card number.
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Benefits and drawbacks

Pros

  • Multiple currencies. The Commonwealth Bank Travel Money card offers one of the largest ranges of currencies in the Australian prepaid travel card market. For example, this is the only card that let’s you load Vietnamese dong, Chinese Renminbi and Emirati Dirham.
  • No currency conversion fees. Even if you’re spending in an unsupported currency or a currency that isn’t loaded on your card, you won’t be charged currency conversion fees.
  • Smartphone app. You can manage your Travel Money card through your netbank, meaning you’ll have no trouble checking your balance and transferring currencies on the go.

Cons

  • ATM fees. You’ll be charged every time you use your card to withdraw from an ATM. Commonwealth Bank also doesn’t have an international ATM alliance.
  • No rewards. The Travel Money card doesn’t come linked to a rewards program, so you can’t earn points as you spend.
  • Online fee. If you order your card online, you’ll be charged a $15 fee.

When you travel overseas, the Travel Money Card offered by Commonwealth Bank can help you manage your finances easily. However, since this is not the only card of its kind, make sure you compare your options carefully.

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Frequently asked questions

How can I manage my Travel Money Card while I'm overseas?

You can manage your card through Netbank — Commbank's Internet banking portal — and also through SMS alerts and phone banking.

What happens if I lose my card?

These cards come with a backup in the case the first card is lost or stolen. If you lose your primary card, contact CBA on (61+) 1300 660 700 (open 24 hours a day 7 days a week) and they will block the lost or stolen card and activate the backup card, you can continue to use the backup card as normal.

If both cards are lost or stolen, you can arrange for replacement cards to be sent out to you. There is a fee of $15 when you request that replacement cards be issued. This is debited from the funds in your account. Provided that you have not changed the default currency order, the currency which is highest in the currency order will be debited when you order a replacement card. You can also access tan emergency cash advance for no extra fee.

How do I redeem remaining funds on my travel money card when I return home?

If you have funds remaining on your card when you return home, you have a couple of options for getting the money off your card.

You can withdraw the funds from a Commonwealth Bank ATM in Australia for no charge or you can use the card to make over the counter purchases. If you don’t have money in your Australian currency wallet, a currency conversion fee of 2% will apply.

You can also transfer funds back to Australian dollars by calling the CBA customer service centre on (+61) 1300 660 700 or by visiting the CBA travel money online portal. You can also close your card redeem the funds on the card by dropping into a CBA branch.

What can I do if my Commonwealth Bank Travel Money Card is not working at the ATM?

If your travel money card is not working at the ATM, double check the following things:

The ATM accepts MasterCard cards.
You have the correct PIN and you’re not using the 6-digit registration code - if you enter an incorrect PIN three times in a row, your card will be locked.
That you have activated the card.
You’re not trying to withdraw more than your available balance, or that you haven’t exceeded your transaction limits for the day.

What happens when my card expires?

Each card has an expiry date. If you have $100 or more on the card, you will be notified by the bank that your travel money card is about to expire one month before the expire date. If you do not redeem the funds prior to the card’s expiry, any funds left on the card will be lost.

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266 Responses to Commonwealth Bank Travel Money Card Review

  1. Default Gravatar
    Leona | May 24, 2016

    I attempted to withdraw cash in Madrid. ATM wanted 8 digit pin & mine is only 4. I tried 4 zeros in front, nothing happened & card was retained. I retrieved it at bank but don’ know if it is stopped. What do I do about pin in future?

    • Staff
      Sally | May 24, 2016

      Hi Leona,

      Thanks for your question.

      If you’re unsure if your card has been frozen, you should contact the Travel Money customer service team on +61 2 9374 0609.

      The Commonwealth Bank Travel Money guide explains that if you’re asked to provide a 6 digit PIN, you should enter two 0s after you enter your four-digit PIN. So rather than entering the extra 0s before your PIN, try adding them after this time.
      I hope this has helped.

      Cheers,

      Sally

  2. Default Gravatar
    James | May 23, 2016

    Worthwhile knowing that this card – for reasons unknown – doesn’t offer PayWave or Contactless payment. This is rather a shame, since if it had it, it would be rather excellent. I’ve been using the Velocity Global Wallet for a while, but have just discovered it has a 3% conversion fee, while this has none.

    Also worth knowing that this card, even though it is a MasterCard, isn’t accepted on the London Underground for travel. That’s a little annoying, and I don’t quite understand why.

    Am I right in thinking that the only benefit of converting money from one currency to another is to gain certainty on the exchange rate? If I just left everything in AUD, that wouldn’t incur any additional charges – it would just use whatever today’s exchange rate is?

    • Staff
      Sally | May 24, 2016

      Hi James,

      Thanks for your feedback on the Commonwealth Bank Travel Money card.

      As this particular card doesn’t charge a currency conversion fee, the locked-in exchange rate is indeed the reason why you would transfer your Australian dollars to the supported local currency on the card before you started spending.

      However, the way you use the card is entirely up to you, so this might be the most convenient way to handle your funds.

      Cheers,

      Sally

  3. Default Gravatar
    Col | May 19, 2016

    I have a Comm Bank Travel Card and will be travelling in UK and Europe in June. What are ATM charges and is there any charge for purchases, restaurants, shops etc?

    • Staff
      May | May 19, 2016

      Hi Col,

      Thanks for your question.

      Commonwealth Bank Travel Money Card does not charge purchase transaction fees either upon making purchases on-line, in-store or over the phone. But when you withdraw cash, the fees will depend on the currency you are withdrawing. You can find the complete list of fees and charges on the PDS I’ve sent to your email.

      I hope this has helped.

      Cheers,
      May

  4. Default Gravatar
    Lewis | May 6, 2016

    hey there. can i reload money onto a travel money card through the commbank app? if so, how do i do this?

    • Staff
      Sally | May 9, 2016

      Hi Lewis,

      Yes, you can reload funds on your Commonwealth Bank Travel Money Card through NetBank.

      I’ve emailed you a link, but all you need to do is select reload travel money card and follow the prompts to transfer funds to your travel money card.

      I hope this has helped.

      Cheers,

      Sally

  5. Default Gravatar
    savvy | May 1, 2016

    Hi there. I have a Travel Money Card that was issued in 2014, and I havent used it since then.

    Can I still use this? And if so, will the fees/charges referred to above apply to this card (ie no reload fee)?

    Cheers

    • Default Gravatar
      jack | May 5, 2016

      What is the maximum amount that can be loaded onto a Commonwealth Bank travel card?

    • Staff
      May | May 5, 2016

      Hi Jack,

      Thanks for your question.

      The maximum amount that you can load and reload onto a Commonwealth Bank travel money card is AU$100,000 or foreign currency equivalent and the minimum load and reload per currency is AU$1 or foreign currency equivalent.

      Cheers,
      May

    • Staff
      Sally | May 2, 2016

      Hi Savvy,

      Thanks for your question.

      The Commonwealth Bank Travel Money Card has an expiry date on the front, so make sure you haven’t gone past this date. Otherwise, you’ll need to contact Commonwealth Bank to request a new card. Please note that if your card has been expired for more than 12 months, you won’t be able to retrieve any remaining funds on your card.

      If the card is still valid, it should have the same fees and charges as the ones listed in this review.

      Cheers,

      Sally

  6. Default Gravatar
    Mike | April 9, 2016

    If I order a card and already have netbank can I activate the card and use it before it arrives ?

    • Staff
      Sally | April 13, 2016

      Hi Mike,

      Thanks for your question.

      The card can only be actiavted once you’ve received the card itself, so you can’t use it through NetBank before you’ve received the card.

      I hope this has helped.

      Cheers,

      Sally

  7. Default Gravatar
    Alex | April 7, 2016

    Previously when travelling, CBA charged a reload fee. So i take it this is not the case anymore?

    • Staff
      Sally | April 8, 2016

      Hi Alex,

      That’s correct. There isn’t a fee for loading or reloading the Commonwealth Bank Travel Money Card.

      Cheers,

      Sally

  8. Default Gravatar
    mark | March 21, 2016

    If my travel card is loaded with Australian dollars can I get local currency from atm in Vietnam

    • Staff
      Sally | March 22, 2016

      Hi Mark,

      Thanks for your question.

      If your card is loaded with Australian dollars, you can still withdraw funds in Vietnamese dong from ATMs that accept MasterCard. Just keep in mind that the current exchange rate will be applied.

      I hope this has helped.

      Cheers,

      Sally

  9. Default Gravatar
    Simone | March 16, 2016

    Can I get Swiss Franks CHF out of an ATM when I have USD or EUROS loaded on the CBA Travel card in Switzerland?

    • Staff
      Sally | March 17, 2016

      Hi Simone,

      If that is the local currency, then yes, you should be able to withdraw Swiss Franks using your CBA Travel Card.

      However, please note that it will be subject to the exchange rates that are in place that day.

      I hope this has helped.

      Cheers,

      Sally

  10. Default Gravatar
    Anette | March 4, 2016

    Hi, I’m in Finland and I just tried to use my Travel money card in a shop it didn’t work and said Incorrect Pin. I then tried to get money from an ATM but same thing happened. Both places support MasterCard! I Even confirmed the pin from the netbank but nothing. Very frustrating start a holiday like this…

    • Staff
      Sally | March 4, 2016

      Hi Anette,

      Thanks for getting in touch and we’re sorry to hear about the frustrating experience you’ve had with your Commonwealth Bank Travel Money Card.

      Did you select credit when making the purchase and withdrawal? If not, this could be why it read as an incorrect PIN.

      If not, you might need to get in contact with the CommBank Travel Money customer service team directly on (+61) 2 9374 0609 to report the issue.

      I hope this has helped.

      Cheers,

      Sally

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