Commonwealth Bank Travel Money Guide

Rates and Fees verified correct on May 24th, 2016


CommBank’s range of travel money services let you choose from travel cards, traveller's cheques, currency exchange or a combination of these three options when you go overseas. It also offers travel insurance to help keep your money safe and give you peace of mind wherever you go.

Here, we take a look at the different features and benefits of these products and who they are suited to so that you can make more informed decisions about what CommBank travel money products will suit your needs.

History of Commonwealth Bank

The Commonwealth Bank or ‘CommBank’ is one of Australia’s leading issuers of financial services and is one of the most recognised financial brands in Australia. They provide a full range of retail banking services including home loans, credit cards, personal loans, transaction accounts and term deposits.

The group also offers 24-hour access to banking services through telephone banking and has one of the most extensive EFTPOS and ATM networks in Australia (not overseas). They are also a leader in the online financial services in Australia with facilities such as NetBank, Commsec and apps like CommBank and Kaching - though there are no apps for CBA travel money.

  • Money magazine’s Bank of the Year 2013

Commonwealth Bank Travel Money Card

Rates last updated May 24th, 2016
Available Currencies ATM Withdrawal Fee Reload Fee Initial Load Fee
Commonwealth Bank Travel Money Card
Commonwealth Bank Travel Money Card
AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY, NZD, SGD, THB, USD, VND, CNY, AED 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 $0 $0 More

Travel cards

The CommBank Travel Money Card is designed to be a convenient and affordable way to access money wherever you are in the world.

This prepaid, reloadable debit MasterCard lets you load up to 13 currencies at a time, which means you can lock in exchange rates before you leave. You can also use the card at more than 38 million locations, wherever MasterCard is accepted.

Benefits of CommBank Travel Money Card

  • Security. The card features 24/7 fraud monitoring and chip-and-PIN technology.
  • Free backup card. You get a free additional card so that you’ll still have access to cash if the Travel Money Card is lost or stolen.
  • Card issue fee. There is a one-off $15 fee for issuing the card. This cost can be waived if you are a CommBank GoldPlatinum or Diamond credit card customer, or a Platinum Debit MasterCard customer.
  • NetBank access. The card is managed through CommBank’s secure NetBank service, as well as the CommBank mobile app.
  • SMS alerts. Set up SMS alerts so you know when your balance on the card is getting low.
  • ATM fees. There are set fees for ATM withdrawals made with the card that vary depending on the location and currencies loaded onto the card. For example, ATM withdrawals in Australia are charged AUD$3.50, while in the USA they are US$2.50.
  • No reload or transaction fees. CommBank charges no fees for reloading the card or using it for transactions (other than ATM withdrawals).
  • NetBank or BPAY loading options. You can load money onto the card directly with an eligible CommBank account, or transfer money from any account using BPAY.

When you use the CommBank Travel Money card overseas, it will automatically use the currency of the country you’re in, providing you have that currency loaded on your card and can pay for the full transaction. This means you can avoid foreign transaction charges that can come from using an Australian debit card or credit card.

The CommBank Travel Money card lasts for three years and there are no fees for inactivity or cancellation of the card, giving you flexibility to use it as much or as little as you want without paying more for the service.

Read the full review and benefits of CommBank Travel Money Card

Other CommBank debit and credit cards for travel

You can also use your regular CommBank debit card or credit card for overseas transactions. While this is often a convenient option, it’s important to be aware that it could attract a range of fees, including:

  • International transaction fee. When you use a CommBank debit card or credit card overseas, you will be charged an additional 2% to 3% of the total transaction amount depending on the type of card (American Express, MasterCard or Visa).
  • Cash advance fee. A fee of AUD$2.50 or 2.00% of the transaction amount (whichever is greater) will be charged for cash withdrawals or other cash advance transactions made on a CommBank credit card when you are overseas.
  • Emergency issue/lost/replacement card. If you lose your card overseas, a $20 fee will be charged to replace it.

There could also be other fees for using your CommBank debit card or credit card overseas, so make sure you check the standard fees and charges brochure and plan ahead if you want to take your regular CommBank card/s with you.

Traveller's cheques

Traveller's cheques can be used like cash or exchanged for local currency in many locations around the world.

Unlike cash, however, traveller's cheques usually have a fixed value and recorded serial number that makes it easier to verify their value if they are lost or stolen. You’ll also be able to replace the cheques with a single phone call, and could be reimbursed within just 24 hours in some cases.

CommBank offers American Express traveller's cheques in five foreign currencies:

  1. United States Dollars
  2. Euros
  3. Great British Pounds
  4. Canadian Dollars
  5. Japanese Yen

Like prepaid travel money cards, traveller's cheques let you lock in an exchange rate before you travel, which can make it easier to budget for trips. There’s no expiry date on them either, so you can save any unused cheques for your next trip or cash them in when you get back.

CommBank traveller's cheques can be purchased in branch or online via ExpressFX. There is a purchase fee of 1% of the total sale amount (minimum $12 per currency), with different minimum and maximum values for the cheques depending on the chosen currency.

This type of travel money is usually recommended for travel in one particular country or area, as the currency you purchase is fixed according to the cheque. Not every merchant will accept traveller's cheques as payment, so make sure you check these details or have another money option before you go abroad.

Currency exchange

CommBank’s foreign cash service gives you the chance to buy or sell money in a wide range of currencies whenever you need it. This means you can have the correct cash on hand when you arrive in another country, which is often useful making small purchases such as meals at airports, or for catching a taxi to wherever you’re staying.

It also allows you to save money by locking in competitive exchange rates before you leave and means you can avoid expensive foreign ATM fees. The range of currencies available through CommBank includes:

  • Brazil Real (BRL)
  • Canadian Dollar (CAD)
  • Chilean Peso (CLP)
  • Chinese Renminbi (CNY)
  • Euro (EUR)
  • Fijian Dollar (FJD)
  • Great British Pound (GBP)
  • Hong Kong Dollar (HKD)
  • Indian Rupee (INR)
  • Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)
  • Japanese Yen (JPY)
  • Mexican Peso (MXN)
  • New Zealand Dollar (NZD)
  • Philippine Peso (PHP)
  • Singapore Dollar (SGD)
  • South African Rand (ZAR)
  • Swiss Franc (CHF)
  • Thai Baht (THB)
  • US Dollar (USD)
  • Vietnamese Dong (VND)

You can buy foreign currency from CommBank in branches, online via ExpressFX or at selected Foreign Exchange ATMs around Australia. There is a 1% fee for foreign cash purchases made at CommBank with a minimum charge of $8, and purchases made online will arrive at your nominated bank branch within 48-72 business hours.

If you need a currency that is not currently listed, CommBank can also order it in for you. Just make sure you leave enough time for it to arrive at your selected CommBank branch before you go overseas.

Travel insurance for CommBank

CommBank has a wide range of travel insurance options to suit your budget and needs, so that you can protect yourself and your valuables when you travel overseas. Policies are available for individuals and families, with basic, comprehensive and multi-trip options. CommBank travel insurance is underwritten by Allianz Global Assistance and features a range of benefits, including:

  • Emergency medical assistance and hospitalisation overseas. Allianz Global Assistance provides emergency assistance when necessary. All hospitalisation cost will be covered, but you must do your best to keep expenses to a minimum.
  • Cancellation fees and lost deposits. All unused travel and accommodation costs will be covered by your travel insurance plan.
  • Luggage and personal effects. Your plan will cover the replacement or repair of lost or damaged luggage. In the case of misplaced or misdirected luggage, you will need to show written proof from the carrier.
  • Travel documents. Your policy will cover the replacement of stolen or destroyed travel documents, bank cards and traveller's cheques.

Complimentary travel insurance included with Commonwealth Bank Credit Cards

Complimentary travel insurance is included if you are a current cardholder of a Commonwealth Bank Gold, Platinum or Diamond Cardholder (personal or business).

Compare CommBank credit cards with complimentary travel insurance

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CommBank Travel Money Card frequently asked questions

Do I have to take more than one form of cash with me overseas?

It’s often a good idea to have several payment options available when you travel so that you can make a purchase using the most appropriate method at the time. Having several ways to access money – such as a travel money card, cash and a regular credit card – can also help you reduce fees.

I have a problem with my CommBank Travel Money Card, who do I contact?

Please contact the CommBank Travel Money customer service centre available 24/7. If you’re within Australia please call 1300 660 700, if you’re overseas please call +61 2 9374 0609.

What happens if I don’t have a sufficient amount of money on my Travel Money Card?

If you have other currencies loaded on the card, they may be used to pay for the transaction. The amount will be converted at a foreign currency exchange rate determined by CommBank. As each transaction needs to be in one currency, if you don’t have enough funds on the card, the transaction will be declined.

I need a replacement CommBank Travel Money Card. What do I do?

You can request a replacement card by contacting the customer service team on +61 2 9374 0609. Alternatively, you can login to NetBank to make an online enquiry using the following steps:

  1. From the home page in NetBank, select More
  2. Under security select lost, stolen or damaged card
  3. Choose the card and select an action you would like to perform
  4. Follow the prompts.

I have a CommBank Travel Money Card but I am traveling to a couple of destinations where there is a currency that’s not available on the card. My question is what is the best currency to have as my default currency?

The default currency you may wish to choose will depend on a few things. Regardless of the currency you use, you won’t be charged a foreign currency fee or currency conversion fee. You may like to consider the exchange rate and which loaded currency will give you the most value for your money when shopping overseas to help you make a decision.

I have returned from a trip with foreign cash/traveller's cheques. What are the fees to exchange them for Australian dollars?

CommBank will buy back foreign cash or exchange traveller's cheques for a fee of $8 per transaction. You can also choose to have the bank donate foreign currency coins to UNICEF on your behalf.

Will I have to pay commission to exchange my traveller’s cheques?

Commission charges may apply and can vary by country and/or exchange partner. For information on where to use your traveller’s cheques, visit the American Express website.

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This page was last modified on 28 April 2016 at 16:28.

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82 Responses to Commonwealth Bank Travel Money Guide

  1. Default Gravatar
    Justin | May 5, 2016

    Hi Sally,

    when I load money onto a comm bank travel card, USD, from my netbank account what conversion rate is used, is it the interbank rate or a commonwealth bank exchange rate that is 3-5% more expensive?

    Can I load or deposit USDs onto the travel card either in cash when in the USA say at a bank or by bank transfer (eg a friend wants to transfer USD onto my travel card from his bank in the US). Is that possible?


    • Staff
      Sally | May 5, 2016

      Hi Justin,

      Thanks for your questions.

      It should be the Commonwealth Bank exchange rate.

      Unfortunately, you can’t load USD directly on the card. Instead, you have to transfer the funds in AUD and then exchange them to USD.



  2. Default Gravatar
    sue50 | April 20, 2016


    • Staff
      Sally | April 21, 2016

      Hi Sue,

      Thanks for your question.

      No, there isn’t an inactive or closure fee when you’re finished with the card.

      I hope this has helped.



  3. Default Gravatar
    Andrew | March 13, 2016

    My son lives in America and survives by using his travel cards. He has lost one travel card and the other has been damaged. He now would like replacement cards and has asked me for an e-mail address to follow up with the Commonwealth bank. Can this be provided as he has problems scrolling through the various web pages the bank has on line?

    • Staff
      Sally | March 14, 2016

      Hi Andrew,

      Thanks for your question.

      If your son needs a replacement Commonwealth Bank Travel Money Card, he can contact the customer service team on +61 2 9374 0609.

      Otherwise, he will need to login to his NetBank to make an online enquiry. He can do this by following these instructions:
      1. From the home page in NetBank, select More
      2. Under security select Lost, stolen or damaged card
      3. Choose the card and select an action you would like to perform
      4. Follow the prompts.

      I hope this has helped.



  4. Default Gravatar
    A | March 5, 2016

    When you pay a hotel bill 2 charges appear on the account, one correctly charged and the other the same amount as Pending. As a result the funds are tied up and you can’t access the funds. I have returned from overseas and still can’t access my money – and the bank says they can’t help. I don’t know if I will get my money back. I would not recommend this card. I used cash passport previously and the same thing happened. I thought I would be safe with CBA. I have called travel money customer service to no avail.

    • Staff
      Sally | March 7, 2016

      Hi AM

      Thanks for your question and we’re sorry to hear about the inconvenience you’ve had with the Commonwealth Bank Travel Money Guide.

      You should receive your funds back, but generally it’s recommended that you use your credit card for hotel deposits rather than a prepaid card as the funds do often get tied up.

      If you’re unsure, you might need to contact the hotel to determine how long it’ll be until you get your funds back.

      I’m sorry there isn’t much more we can do. Good luck!



  5. Default Gravatar
    Joanne | January 14, 2016

    I have read people have trouble using the travel money card in the USA and pressing credit as there is no name on the front of the card . I am planning to use this at supermarkets and restaurants do you think this will be an issue . I am leaving in 3 days for California , Vegas and Hawaii in 3 days

    • Staff
      Sally | January 15, 2016

      Hi Joanne,

      Thanks for your question.

      The Commonwealth Bank card is designed for use in many countries overseas, including the US. However, some stores in the US may not accept your card if your name isn’t printed on the front.

      In this case, you might like to take a backup credit card that has your name on it or withdraw cash to use in the restaurant if you’re unsure.



  6. Default Gravatar
    Karina | December 31, 2015

    Hello it appears that there have been 3 different double chargers on different transactions on my travel money card. I am currently overseas and need access to this money asap! This is extremely inconvenient and I need urgent help on this issue so it dose not continue! Can you help me ? Regards Karina

    • Staff
      Sally | January 4, 2016

      Hi Karina,

      Thanks for your question.

      If you’ve been charged double for a single transaction, you’ll need to contact the Commonwealth Bank Travel Money customer service team immediately to resolve the issue. You can contact them on 13 2221 at any time to report an issue.

      I hope this has helped.



  7. Default Gravatar
    cathy | November 15, 2015

    Hi can i use my debit card/keycard in Kuala Lumper and Malaysia?
    What will be the fees charged if i make debit card wdl?


    • Staff
      Sally | November 16, 2015

      Hi Cathy,

      Thanks for your question.

      If you’re referring to your Commonwealth Bank Debit MasterCard, you will incur some charges if you use the card for overseas purchases. If you use your card to withdraw cash at an ASB Bank ATM in New Zealand or at a CBA ATM outside of Australia, you’ll be charged $2.00 per transaction. If you use another Cirrus, MasterCard or Visa Plus ATM to withdraw cash you’ll incur AUD$5.00 plus 3.00% of the transaction value.

      You’ll also incur a currency conversion fee of 3.00% of the transaction amount each time you make a purchase in a foreign currency.

      As the Commonwealth Bank Travel Money card doesn’t charge a currency conversion fee for foreign transactions, you may like to consider using this card.

      For further Malaysia travel money tips, please see our South East Asia Travel Money guide.



  8. Default Gravatar
    Erin | September 23, 2015

    Hi I am travelling to Mongolia on the 4th October the currency there is Tugrik. Would I be able to use the card there

    • Staff
      Sally | September 23, 2015

      Hi Erin,

      Thank you for your question.

      Although the Mongolian Tugrik isn’t a supported currency on the Commonwealth Bank Travel Money card, you should still be able to use the card anywhere MasterCard is accepted.

      The card doesn’t charge currency conversion fees, so you will be able to access your funds without incurring this fee even if you don’t have Tugrik currency loaded on the card.

      I hope this has helped.



  9. Default Gravatar
    Bev | September 21, 2015

    I have a CBA travel money card, we are traveling to a couple of destinations who’s currency is not on the currency list. My question is what is the best currency to have as my default currency?

    • Staff
      Sally | September 22, 2015

      Hi Bev,

      Thanks for your question.

      As a financial comparison service, we can’t actually recommend any specific product, strategy or services to our users as the ‘best’ option will always depend on your individual needs.

      However, the default currency you may wish to choose will depend on a few things. Regardless of the currency you use, you won’t be charged a foreign currency fee or currency conversion fee. You may like to consider the exchange rate and which loaded currency will give you the most value for your money when shopping overseas.

      I hope this has helped.



  10. Default Gravatar
    michelle | September 7, 2015

    I am traveling to greece and the islands snd I am worried about whether or not I can use a cash card easily

    • Staff
      Sally | September 7, 2015

      Hi Michelle,

      Thank you for your question.

      The ATM limits that were applied in July were not applied to foreign cards. As such, tourists with activated and loaded travel money cards should have no issue accessing their funds while travelling in Greece.

      However, in case there are still some ATM shortages or limited accessibility, it may be an idea to prepare more than one source of funds for your trip. For example, you may wish to carry your travel money card and some cash to give yourself a backup.

      For further information, please visit our Greece Travel Money Guide and our “How to prepare for your trip to Greece during the financial crisis” article.

      I hope this has helped.



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