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 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:
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.
- 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)
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. However, unlike other card providers, CBA do not charge a foreign currency conversion fee when this happens. 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’.
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.
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.