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Commonwealth Bank Travel Money Card Review

Rates and Fees verified correct on March 28th, 2015

Commonwealth Bank Travel Money Card review

Designed for convenience, the Commonwealth Bank’s (CBA) travel money card allows you to load up to thirteen currencies onto the card at a time. You’ll need to manage these foreign currencies to make sure you have enough funds to complete a transaction in whichever country you're in. And there’s no charge to convert a preloaded foreign currency into another currency and this can be done through the CBA travel money online banking platform.

A nice point about this card is that it allows you to preload Vietnamese Dong (VND), Chinese Renminbi (CNY) and Emirati Dirham (AED). Vietnam is a major holiday destination for Australians and currently, this is the only card in the market that allows you to preload VND. This card is also a worthy option for Australians looking to explore the popular holiday desintaitons Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

What currencies can I load onto the card?

Australian Dollars (AUD) United States Dollars (USD) British Pounds (GBP) Euros (EUR) New Zealand Dollars (NZD) Canadian Dollars (CAD)
Japanese Yen (JPY) Singapore Dollars (SGD) Hong Kong Dollars (HKD) Thai Baht (THB) Vietnamese Dong (VND) Chinese Renminbi (CNY)
Emirati Dirham (AED)

Using the card

You can purchase the card either at a branch or through NetBank. If you buy the card through NetBank, you will need to activate it and set a PIN before you can start using it.

This card can be used everywhere MasterCard is accepted. Because you’re using the MasterCard network, even though it’s a prepaid card and you’re using your own money - press ‘credit’ when you make a purchase or withdraw money from the ATM.

 


Fees and limits

ATM fees

ATM fees are charged both by the travel card provider and by the ATM owner. ATM charges depend on the currency you’re withdrawing. ATM fees are charged at the time of the transaction and are as follows:

AUD3.50 USD2.50 GBP2.00 EUR2.20 NZD3.50 CAD3.00 JPY220 SGD3.50 HKD17 THB80.00
VND50000 CNY15.00 AED10.00

Reloading

You can reload your card in branch or at a customer service centre, but these two methods are pretty much useless when you’re abroad. BPAY is the other reload method. There’s a 1% fee each time you reload, but unlike other products there’s no initial load fee.

Default currency order
  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)

Currency orders

Most travel cards have a default order of which currencies are used first in certain circumstances. You’ll need to be aware of the currency order when you top up your card using BPAY. You can change the currency order at any time, but if you don’t, funds will automatically go into the first wallet in the ‘default currency order’ and then the next and so on. This presents problems if you spend in a currency wallet with nothing in it. Funds will automatically be transferred from the next wallet. Their website says that, ‘The rate applicable to the conversion is the retail foreign exchange rate at the time of the conversion’. Banks get the ‘retail rate’ by adding a margin to the ‘interbank rate’.

Limits

You can load between $1 and $100,000 onto the card and you can have a maximum balance of $100,000 at any one time. There are no daily limits on the number of ATM transactions you can make but you can only withdraw up to $2,500 from an ATM in a 24 hour period. It’s a similar situation with EFTPOS transactions. There are no daily limits on the number of transactions you can make; however, the value of EFTPOS / POS transactions is capped at $7,500 per day.

Travel card fee waiver

If you are a Commonwealth Bank Low Fee Gold MasterCard or Low Rate Gold MasterCard cardholder and you apply for the Commonwealth Bank Travel Card.

Present your existing Commonwealth Bank credit card in-store and pay no Commonwealth Bank Travel Card issue fee.

 


Frequently asked questions

What is ‘Travel Money Online’?

This is the Commonwealth Bank’s online travel money portal. It allows you to manage your travel money card online. You can do things like check the current balance of your currency wallets, view your transaction history, change your PIN and transfer money between currencies. You can not manage your Commonwealth Bank Travel Card from NetBank.

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 the cash in your account through the MasterCard Emergency Cash Advance program.

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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The CBA Travel Card


Travel money card comparison

Rates last updated March 28th, 2015
Available Currencies ATM Withdrawal Fee Reload Fee Initial Load Fee
ANZ Travel Card
ANZ Travel Card
AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY, NZD, SGD, THB, USD, AUD 3.50, CAD 3.00, EUR 2.20, GBP 2.00, HKD 20.00, JPY 260, NZD 4.50, SGD 4.00, THB 95, USD 2.50, 1.1% of the value purchased $0 Go to site More
Qantas Card with Qantas Cash
Qantas Card with Qantas Cash
AUD, USD, GBP, EUR, THB, NZD, SGD, HKD, CAD, JPY, AED AUD 1.95, CAD 2.00, EUR 1.50, GBP 1.25, HKD 15.00, JPY 160, NZD 2.50, SGD 2.50, USD 1.95, THB 70.00, AED 6.50 $0 $0 Go to site More
OzForex Travel Card
OzForex Travel Card
AUD, USD, EUR, GBP, NZD, HKD, SGD, CAD, JPY AUD 2.95, CAD 2.95, EUR 2.00, GBP 2.00, HKD 15.00, JPY 210, NZD 4.25, SGD 3.50, USD 2.25 $0 $15 Go to site More
Multi Currency - Cash Passport
Multi Currency - Cash Passport
AUD, USD, EUR, GBP, NZD, THB, CAD, HKD, JPY, SGD $0 for International ATM withdrawal and 2.95% of the amount withdrawn in Australia $5 $0 Go to site More
Travelex Travel Card
Travelex Travel Card
AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY, NZD, SGD, USD Travelex does not charge an ATM withdrawal fee when you use your Travelex Multi-currency Cash Passport to withdraw currencies that are loaded on the card at overseas ATMs where MasterCard is accepted. The greater of 1.1% of the initial load / reload amount or AU$15.00 $0 Go to site More
Rates last updated March 28th, 2015
Currency Conversion Fee Monthly Inactivity Fee Multiple Currencies on One Card? Maximum Load Amount
ANZ Travel Card
ANZ Travel Card
3% $3 Yes $80,000 Go to site More
Qantas Card with Qantas Cash
Qantas Card with Qantas Cash
3% $0 Yes $20,000 Go to site More
OzForex Travel Card
OzForex Travel Card
3% $0 Yes $25,000 Go to site More
Multi Currency - Cash Passport
Multi Currency - Cash Passport
5.95% $4 Yes $100,000 Go to site More
Travelex Travel Card
Travelex Travel Card
5.95% AU$4.00 per month No Go to site More
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4 Responses to Commonwealth Bank Travel Money Card Review

  1. Default Gravatar
    Rod | January 30, 2015

    Hi,

    I am currently in Thailand and have a commonwealth bank travel card. I am being charged ridiculous fees to withdrawal money at ATMs here in Thailand…

    Eg. I just made a withdrawal of 5000thb and was charged an additional 428Thb on top of the 5000!!!

    Just wanting to know why this is happening as it has happened on every withdrawal and sometimes a larger amount…

    Thanks
    Rod

  2. Default Gravatar
    alaska | January 25, 2015

    i am in europe at the moment and have a commonwealth travel card. i am trying to change my flight details and it costs $200. i have only $30 in my smart access account. i have way over that amount in my travel card but its in euros. how do i change over $200 of that money back into australian dollars and into my smart access account? thank you

    • Staff
      Shirley | January 27, 2015

      Hi Alaska,

      Thanks for your question.

      You’ll need to log into NetBank to redeem the funds back to AUD (the same process when you converted your funds in the first place).

      You can then perform an account transfer to send the funds back into your Smart Access account. You’ll need your BSB, account number and account name of your nominated account.

      Cheers,
      Shirley

  3. Default Gravatar
    Teresa | January 13, 2015

    if i put money in today through netbank how long before you get it in chile south america.

    • Staff
      Shirley | January 14, 2015

      Hi Teresa,

      Thanks for your question.

      Reloads made to your Commbank Travel Money card through BPAY from an eligible Commonwealth Bank transaction account will be available within 24 hours.

      There may be a longer delay (usually no more than two business days) for reloads made through BPAY from another financial institution.

      Cheers,
      Shirley

  4. Default Gravatar
    Dean | January 1, 2015

    No so much a question but a comment. I am currently travelling Japan with a CBA travel card. I have used the card to check into a couple of hotels that have done a pre authorisation. I have then paid on checkout using the same card. What happens is that you end up with two transactions for the same amount on the card. The authorisation is a pending transaction whilst the payment in a processed transaction. You can not use the amount held as pending until the hotel cancels it or it expires which us raking about three weeks. My advice is only use he travel card when making actual payment and not as a pre authorisation.

    Cheers

  5. Default Gravatar
    wans | December 19, 2014

    Used card in US. Accepted for meal, then sign and add tip. Look later to find insufficient funds for meal and tip. What happens?

    • Staff
      Shirley | December 19, 2014

      Hi Wans,

      Thanks for your question.

      If you have multiple currencies on your card, there are some circumstances in which a default currency order may apply, like in the example you’ve described where you had insufficient USD.

      The funds are taken out of your next currency of order but the Commonwealth Bank doesn’t charge a fee for this – instead the funds are subject to exchange rates.

      Cheers,
      Shirley

  6. Default Gravatar
    Geoffrey | December 19, 2014

    What is the max POS amount per day able to be spent Overseas with Commbank Travel Card.

    • Staff
      Shirley | December 19, 2014

      Hi Geoffrey,

      Thanks for your question.

      Please refer to the section under the heading ‘limits’ on this page for all the details.

      Cheers,
      Shirley

  7. Default Gravatar
    Haidi | December 9, 2014

    Hi – Are you able to receive refunds on the Commbank Travel Card? I had two processed just over 24 hours ago but it isn’t pending in my transactions on my Internet banking. Thanks.

    • Staff
      Shirley | December 10, 2014

      Hi Haidi,

      Thanks for your question.

      Your refund should be able to go through with your CommBank Travel Money card. Please allow up to three business days for this.

      If the funds still don’t appear, please get in touch with their customer service team directly to flag the issue.

      Cheers,
      Shirley

  8. Default Gravatar
    kat | November 28, 2014

    what bank in glasgow scotland can my aunt use with her card as she is having problems getting any bank to allow her to use it. she can pay for goods but not use it either in an atm or a teller

    • Staff
      Shirley | November 28, 2014

      Hi Kat,

      Thanks for your question.

      Please get in touch with Commonwealth Bank directly regarding your enquiry – see this link for their contact details.

      All the best,
      Shirley

  9. Default Gravatar
    Aaron | November 17, 2014

    I’m looking into getting the Commonwealth Travel Money Card for convenience and have a question regarding how exchange rate is calculated.

    The PDS states that:

    ‘Australian Dollars to your primary currency according to your currency order at a retail foreign exchange rate determined by us’

    Looking into the retail foreign exchange rate for CBA states that it is: 0.6582 for the Travel Money Card.

    Considering the exchange rate sits around 0.7 EUR to 1 AUD doesn’t this mean there is essentially a 5% transaction fee when topping up this card?

    Is this an issue that can be avoided by selecting a different travel card / intl. debit card provider?

    • Staff
      Shirley | November 17, 2014

      Hi Aaron,

      Thanks for your question.

      In some cases this can be avoided, it will depend on what exchange rates that other financial institutions are offering.

      If you’d like, you can check out other travel cards that we compare to see how their exchange rates differ. For example, Ozforex offers exchange rates with one of the lowest margins in the market.

      All the best,
      Shirley

  10. Default Gravatar
    georgia | October 6, 2014

    hi have a travel card with US$ i got in australia, when using it at a atm in Hawaii I’m charged a the currency rate at the time,i was under the impression i was locked in at the rate i brought

    Regards georgia

    • Staff
      Shirley | October 7, 2014

      Hi Georgia,

      Thanks for your question.

      It could be that you were transacting in a different currency (one that isn’t on your card) and so the retail foreign exchange rate at the time of transfer applies.

      If you’re sure that you had sufficient funds available at the time, please get in touch with Travel Money Online to discuss the problem.

      All the best,
      Shirley

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