28 Degrees MasterCard vs travel money card vs debit card

Rates and Fees verified correct on February 21st, 2017

What’s the best way to take money overseas?

What plastic do you take on holiday? Do you use a debit card, credit card or travel card?

We’ve rounded up the 28 Degrees MasterCard, the NAB Traveller Card and the Citibank Plus Transaction Account to find the best type of card to take overseas. Read on to find out which travel money option to take with you to your next travel destination.

Compare No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards

Rates last updated February 21st, 2017
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
28 Degrees Platinum MasterCard
No foreign transaction fees on international purchases including international purchases online, together with a no annual fee.
21.99% p.a. 4.99% p.a. for 6 months $0 p.a. Go to site More info
Bankwest Breeze Platinum MasterCard
A Platinum card offer with a 0% p.a. for 21 months on balance transfers and $0 on foreign transactions. Limited time only.
12.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 21 months with 2% balance transfer fee $99 p.a. Go to site More info
ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures card
Pay no overseas transaction fee on purchases and receive complimentary domestic return flight and lounge passes each year you hold the card when you spend $500 on eligible purchases within the first three months.
20.24% p.a. $225 p.a. Go to site More info
Bankwest Qantas Platinum MasterCard
Enjoy a high credit limit with complimentary travel insurances and up to 0.50 Qantas Point per $1 spent on eligible purchases.
20.49% p.a. 2.99% p.a. for 9 months $160 p.a. Go to site More info
Coles Rewards MasterCard
Earn 2 flybuys points for every $1 spent, pay no foreign transaction fees on online and international purchases and receive $100 off a single Coles Supermarket shop.
19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 6 months $89 p.a. Go to site More info

Using the 28 Degrees MasterCard for travel and international purchases

Credit cards charge a currency conversion fee when you shop or spend overseas, this fee is typically 3% of the entire transaction which may add up to hundreds of dollars over your trip. Some travel credit cards don’t charge for currency conversion, including the 28 Degrees MasterCard.

Currency conversion fee & ATM withdrawals

Credit cards usually charge 2-3% of the transaction amount for overseas transactions. Outstanding travel credit cards don't charge any fees for currency conversion or overseas ATM withdrawals. The 28 Degrees MasterCard is among a handful of credit cards that don't charge for these transactions. Also receive $0 annual fee, and offers up to 55 interest-free days on purchases.

28 Degrees MasterCard ATM fees & cash advance fees

The 28 Degrees MasterCard doesn’t charge for international ATM withdrawals either, but ATM withdrawals attract a fee of 3% of the cash advance or $4 (whichever is greater). Local ATM operator fees may still apply as well. Most of the time these fees are advised at the time of the transaction.

Using prepaid travel cards overseas - NAB Traveller Card

Travel cards are designed to be used overseas. Secure and preload your funds onto the card before you travel at a set exchange rate and hold multiple foreign currencies on the card at the one time. Preloading your currency can help you save money and organise your travel money before you travel. This feature is only available with prepaid travel cards, making it an option to consider before you head overseas.

These accounts let you hold multiple foreign currencies at once, so you can spend overseas without incurring additional costs for currency conversion. By loading a travel card with US dollars, for instance, and spending in US dollars, you can avoid this fee.

Security overseas

Unlike some credit cards, which charge a fee when an additional card is issued, a second travel card is given to you for free when you open an account. The second card acts as a backup incase the first card is lost or stolen.

Because they are issued by Visa and MasterCard: the usual anti-fraud protections apply to these cards.

ATM withdrawals

Travel cards attract an additional ATM fee for overseas withdrawals. In many cases the fee is less than the flat fee charged by your debit or credit card provider. The NAB Traveller Card, has an ATM fee of $0 per withdrawal on international ATMs and $3.75 per withdrawal at any Australian ATMs.

Moving and transferring funds

NAB call it the ‘NAB Currency to Currency foreign exchange rate’. This rate is used when you load and reload the NAB Traveller Card or move funds between currencies on the account.

The MasterCard exchange rate applies when you spend in a currency not loaded on to the card. It’s a little lower than the NAB travel card rate; however, the NAB currency conversion fee of 4% is charged on top of the exchange rate.

Travel Money Card Comparison

Rates last updated February 21st, 2017
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, AED, CAD, EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY, NZD, SGD, THB, USD 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
Travelex Travel Card
Travelex Travel Card
AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY, NZD, SGD, THB, 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

Using debit cards overseas - Citi Plus Transaction Account

It’s easy to take your debit card with you travelling — there’s nothing to sort out and you have access to your bank account. Although this option may be more convenient in the short term, it could be a more expensive option in the long run.

The Citibank Plus Transaction Account doesn’t charge for international transactions, and Citibank’s global ATM presence means you shouldn’t have to venture far to find an ATM where you can withdraw for free.

Security overseas

Unlike travel cards, transaction accounts generally hold the majority of a traveller’s budget. Much like other travel plastic, you’re protected if you’ve been defrauded by the card scheme’s anti-fraud guarantees.

ATM withdrawals

The Citibank Plus Everyday Account has no fees for foreign transactions or ATM withdrawals, making this card a product to consider for your overseas travels.

Compare travel debit cards

Rates last updated February 21st, 2017
Monthly Account Fee Debit Card Access ATM Withdrawal Fee Fee Free Deposit p.m. Details
St.George Complete Freedom Account
$0 Overseas ATM fee when you withdraw from the Global ATM alliance network.
Visa $0 $2,000 $0 account keeping fees if you deposit at least $2,000 per month. Otherwise, a $5 fee applies. Unlimited free withdrawals at St.George, Westpac and BankSA ATMs. Open More
Westpac Choice
$0 Overseas ATM fee when you withdraw from the Global ATM alliance network.
Mastercard $0 $2,000 No monthly service fee if you deposit a minimum of $2,000 per month otherwise $5 monthly fee applies. No ATM fees when using St.George, Westpac, BankSA or Bank of Melbourne ATMs in Australia. Open More
Bank of Melbourne Express Freedom
$0 Overseas ATM fee when you withdraw from the Global ATM alliance network.
Visa $0 $1,000 No monthly service fee if you deposit a minimum of $1,000 per month otherwise $3 monthly fee applies. Free access to Bank of Melbourne, St.George, Westpac and BankSA ATMs. Open More
Bankwest Qantas Transaction Account
No overseas ATM withdrawal fees (charged by Bankwest), 3rd party ATM fees and international transaction fees may still apply.
Mastercard $0 $2,000 No monthly fees when you deposit at least $2,000 into your account each month. Free access to Bankwest and CommBank ATMs in Australia. No overseas ATM withdrawal fees (charged by Bankwest) though third party fees may apply. Open More
Bankwest Platinum Debit MasterCard
Link to an eligible Bankwest transaction account. Plus no overseas ATM withdrawal fees
Mastercard $0 $4,000 No overseas ATM fees charged by Bankwest, No monthly account fee when you deposit at least $4,000 per month. More
Citibank Plus Everyday Account
No international transaction fees and no overseas ATM withdrawals fees if you use a Citibank ATM overseas.
Visa $0 $0 No ATM fees using Citibank, Westpac, BankSA and St.George branded ATMs in Australia. Use overseas Citibank ATMs for free. More

Popular questions for using the 28 Degrees MasterCard

  • Q: Can you use 28 Degrees MasterCard as a debit card?
    Yes. You can transfer money onto the 28 Degrees credit card and use it like a debit card.
    If you preload the account with a positive balance you won’t get charged interest on purchases and cash withdrawals as you’re using your own money.
  • Q: The 28 Degrees credit card cash advance fee & credit card cash withdrawals
    The 28 Degrees credit card cash advance fee is charged every time the MasterCard is used for an ATM withdrawal. A local ATM fee is also charged when you use the 28 Degrees MasterCard to withdraw cash overseas.
    By putting the 28 Degrees card into credit, you waive the MasterCard Zero Liability Guarantee. This guarantee protects you if you’re defrauded.

Use a combination of travel money for best results

Each of the products on this page has it’s own advantages and disadvantages and will appeal to different people. It comes down to how you spend and the type of holiday or trip you’re going on. Compare your travel money options here.

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47 Responses to 28 Degrees MasterCard vs travel money card vs debit card

  1. Default Gravatar
    Buster | September 29, 2016

    I am spend USD 20k per month online and am looking for ways to reduce my fees and costs which about to over $1000 per month. I was about to switch from using my CBA credit cards to using a CBA travel card as it had no intl transaction fees. It turned out that the rate they use on their travel cards meant that i would be worse off than using my credit card, even with 3% fees.

    28degrees have told me that they use the exchange rate found at xe.com (which is the ‘mid rate’ with no buy/sell differential) and also charge no fees. They were, however, unable to provide me this important detail in writing.

    Are they telling the truth?

    • Staff
      Sally | October 17, 2016

      Hi Buster,

      Thanks for your question.

      According to the 28 Degrees Mastercard website (in the frequently asked questions section), the exchange rate is determined by MasterCard International on a daily basis in accordance with daily foreign exchange fluctuations. The conversion will involve two calculations if the transaction is made in foreign currency. First, it will be converted to US dollars and then converted to Australian dollars for listing on your transactions. You can calculate the conversion rate using the Mastercard currency conversion tool.

      The foreign exchange rate is calculated by MasterCard International on a daily basis according to daily foreign exchange fluctuations. The conversion will consist of two calculations if the transaction is made in foreign currency – it will first be converted to US dollars and then converted to Australian dollars for listing on your transactions. You can calculate the conversion rate using the MasterCard currency conversion tool.

      I hope this has helped.



  2. Default Gravatar
    blu | September 26, 2016

    hello i will be going to peru only, for 4 months and am needing to find best card to use there. What might be the best debit card and travel load card available with least fees namely the atm use and currency convert fees. thx

    • Staff
      Anndy | September 26, 2016

      Hi Blu,

      Thanks for reaching out.

      If you are travelling to Peru, you can compare your prepaid, credit and debit card options here.

      I hope this helps.


  3. Default Gravatar
    Wendy | May 28, 2016

    When overseas and using the 28 degrees card as a debit card with own funds , which option do you choose when transacting at an ATM savings or credit and if using the card for credit do you choose credit?

    • Staff
      Sally | May 31, 2016

      Hi Wendy,

      Thanks for your question.

      If you’re using the card for a credit purchase, select “credit”. If you’d like to withdraw funds that are loaded on your card, try selecting “Savings” at the ATM. Please note that while your withdrawals won’t incur the standard interest rate, you will be charged a cash advance fee of either 3% or $4 (whichever is greater).

      I hope this has helped.



  4. Default Gravatar
    Sharon | May 12, 2016

    does the card offer complimentary travel insurance o/s.

    • Staff
      Sally | May 13, 2016

      Hi Sharon,

      Thanks for your question.

      Unfortunately, the 28 Degrees MasterCard doesn’t offer complimentary travel insurance.

      You can compare cards with complimentary travel insurance here.

      I hope this has helped.



  5. Default Gravatar
    Jono | May 11, 2016

    If I have a 28 degree master card, am I able to deposit the money I get in the 28 degree account into another bank account without any fees? With a 0% for 12 months MasterCard?

    • Staff
      Sally | May 17, 2016

      Hi Jono,

      Thanks for your question.

      Just to confirm, are you looking to conduct a balance transfer your debt from your 28 Degrees MasterCard to a card with a 0% offer for 12 months?

      If so, you can compare balance transfer cards with 0% for 12 months here.

      I hope this has helped.



  6. Default Gravatar
    Jake | May 9, 2016

    Bit of a newbie here, but just want to confirm – with the 28 degrees card, for making purchases in Europe, for instance paying for accommodation (not cash withdrawals), I’m assuming this wouldn’t attract the cash advance fee of 3%? And therefore the main fee is the 21.99% interest p/a to be paid back?
    Cheers for your time,


    • Staff
      Sally | May 10, 2016

      Hi Jake,

      Thanks for your question.

      No, accommodation transactions shouldn’t be considered as cash advances. As a purchase, you should only attract the standard interest rate on purchases.

      I hope this has helped.



  7. Default Gravatar
    tokalon | April 2, 2016

    I’m looking for a debit card, which I can pre-load with AUD & then convert into EUROS. I used to have Ozfx card, which was brilliant because there were only minimal charge on each ATM withdrawal & basically, no other fees(unfortunately, they have discontinued this card) What do you recommend as being the debit card with least fees/charges?


    • Staff
      Sally | April 4, 2016

      Hi Tokalon,

      Thanks for your question.

      The charges you will receive will depend on where you’re travelling and how you use the card, so it’s difficult for us to make recommendations.

      Instead, you can start comparing your prepaid travel card options here.

      You can use the comparison table to compare the fees for ATM withdrawals, reloads and purchase fees.

      I hope this has helped.



    • Staff
      Shirley | April 4, 2016

      Hi Tokalon,

      Thanks for your question.

      Unfortunately debit cards in Australia can only hold AUD. If you’d like to have EUR on your card, you may want to consider a travel card instead.

      finder.com.au is not in a position to recommend specific products and services – please use our comparison table to investigate fees.

  8. Default Gravatar
    Art | March 15, 2016

    Hi Sally,

    Thanks for the all the info, it’s been really helpful. I’m about to go on a round the world trip and I’m considering getting the citibank travel debit card. I am an Australian citizen but I’ve lived in Japan for the past 3 years. My question is would you know if I am able to load that travel card (or any travel card for that matter) with a foreign currency (yen?). My idea was to forgo the yen to australian currency conversation and load up a card with all yen, and then to withdraw it in whatever currency of the country I am in. Do you think that is feasible?

    Kind regards,

    • Staff
      Sally | March 17, 2016

      Hi Art,

      Thanks for your the question and feedback. We’re glad to hear that you’ve found the information useful!

      Usually, you can only load Australian travel cards with Australian dollars, which you could then convert to yen. Instead, you might need to convert your yen to Australian dollars first.

      I hope this has helped.



  9. Default Gravatar
    Carol | December 10, 2015

    Hi, when using my twenty eight degree credit card in USA the machine has asked whether I am paying in US dollars or Aus dollars? Which should I be saying? We are from Australia.

    • Staff
      Sally | December 14, 2015

      Hi Carol,

      Thanks for your question.

      You’ll want to pay in US Dollars, otherwise the machine may charge you a third-party currency conversion fee.



  10. Default Gravatar
    Lyn | September 22, 2015

    We are travelling to Scandinavia in 2016 visiting Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway. Each has different currencies which are not interchangeable. We usually use a 28 degrees MasterCard and Qantas debit card ( not avail in these currencies) but need to be able to access cash for small purchases. Is there a debit card that we can load in these currencies?
    We would appreciate advice.

    • Staff
      Sally | September 23, 2015

      Hi Lyn,

      Thanks for your question.

      As most of these currencies aren’t available on most Australian debit or prepaid travel cards, you may want to consider a Citibank Everyday Account.

      This card supports Euros, Danish Krone, Swedish Krona and Norwegian Krone (among a number of other currencies).

      The card also doesn’t charge any foreign transaction fees or ATM withdrawal fees.

      Compare this option with the others you have considered to determine which will work best for you.

      I hope this has helped.



    • Default Gravatar
      Lyn | September 25, 2015

      Thanks Sally

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