American Express Global Travel Card Review

Do you want a safe and simple way to access foreign currency when travelling overseas? Consider the AMEX Global Travel Card.

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Given the American Express connection, you can use this card in most countries around the world. This card functions as a prepaid card, where you get to use money you've already loaded. You can reload this card as often as you like. As a cardholder, you get access to a range of exclusive discounts and benefits.

Currencies and loading funds

Which currencies can I load on the card?

The American Express GlobalTravel Card comes in the form of a single currency card, so you can load no more than one currency. However, American Express makes these cards available in three major currencies and you can use as many as you like.

Supported currencies

Currencies you can get the American Express Global Travel Card in include:

  • US dollars (USD)
  • Pounds sterling (GBP)
  • Euros (EUR)

Exchange rates

You get to benefit through a fixed exchange rate when you add funds, which helps you avoid fluctuations in currency and secure an exchange rate for peace of mind before you travel.

If you reload it at an American Express Currency Exchange Store or authorised distributor, you find out the exchange rate prior to the transaction. If you use BPAY, the exchange rate that applies is the one that's in place when American Express processes your reload. This, in all likelihood, will be different from the date you make the BPAY payment.

How to load funds on the card

You have two options when loading funds on your card:

  • In person. Visit a participating American Express branch of either the authorised seller where you purchased the card or an American Express Currency Exchange store. You must have your card and an ID present to complete the transaction. Your money will be credited to your account immediately.
  • BPAY. You can also reload your card using BPAY. You'll need the biller code 768895 and the 15-digit card number as the customer reference number to complete the reload. These funds may take up to three days to appear in your account.
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How much will the card cost me?

These are the main fees for the American Express GlobalTravel Card:

Fees for using AMEX Global Travel Card
Initial load fee1% of the reload amount or $15 (whichever is lesser)
Reload fee1% of your reload or AUD $10 (the lesser amount)
ATM withdrawal feeThis fee depends on the currency you have on your card: EUR 2.20, GBP 1.25, USD 2.00

Bear in mind that you may have to pay an additional ATM operator fee, depending on the ATM.

Cross currency conversion fee3% (charged when you make a purchase or withdrawal in a currency other than the card's currency)

As part of an ongoing promotion, cardholders don't have to pay any cross currency conversion fee until 31 January 2017.

Emergency card replacement fee$0
Emergency funds access fee$0
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Using your card

You can use the American Express travel money card at ATMs, shops, restaurants and other kinds of businesses, provided you see the American Express logo. You can use this card to make online purchases as well.

You cannot use your card at ATMs or merchants within Australia or where Australian or American sanctions apply. These include:

  • Belarus
  • Burma/Myanmar
  • Cote d'lvoire
  • Cuba

  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Liberia

  • North Korea
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Zimbabwe

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Getting a card

  • Ordering your card.
    You can buy the American Express GlobalTravel Card at select American Express Currency Exchange stores (excluding ones located inside Westpac branches) or through partner credit unions. Ordering your card online is also an option, in which case you'll have to pick your card from a specified American Express Foreign Exchange store. You'll have to show two forms of acceptable ID to receive your card, whether you purchase it at a store or order it online.
  • Activating your card.
    While some sellers activate your card upon purchase, others don't. If you have to activate the card you can do so by calling the toll-free number listed on the package you receive your card in. Sign the back of the card as before using it. The welcome pack contains the card's PIN, which you can change at any time.
  • Loading funds on your card.
    You can load and reload funds to your card by visiting any American Express Currency Exchange store or authorised seller in Australia. Loading your card in person requires that you present your card along with an acceptable form of ID such as your driver's license or passport. Funds credit to your account instantly.
    You can use BPAY through your bank's Internet banking platform to load and reload funds to your card. In this case, funds can take up to three business days to reflect in your GlobalTravel Card account.
  • Managing your card online.
    When you get your card you have to register to use the secure online system. Once you do, you can use this platform to check your account balance and review the card's transaction history.If you end up losing your primary card, you should call the customer service centre. Do this to block your misplaced, lost or stolen card, and to activate your backup card.
  • Security.
    You get a backup card with your original card as a safety measure. You can use this card in case you end up losing, misplacing or damaging the original card. American Express does not hold you liable for unauthorised charges if it finds you have not contributed to them. You can contact the American Express Emergency Travel Assistance on 1800 057 234 (in Australia) or +1 801 849 2124 (overseas) if your card is lost or stolen or if you suspect fraudulent activity.

Benefits and drawbacks of the American Express Global Travel Card


  • Flexible PIN. You'll be given a default PIN, but you can change this to your preferred PIN.
  • Additional card. You'll receive a complimentary additional card which can come in handy as a backup.


  • Limited currencies. Unlike most prepaid travel cards, you can only load one currency on your card at a time and you have limited options to choose from.
  • Load fees. There's an initial load fee of $15 and then a reload fee of 1% or $10 (the lesser amount), while most cards usually only have one of those fees.

If you're looking for no more than a single currency travel money card, the American Express GlobalTravel Card deserves your attention. However, since there are a number of options to choose from, compare a few before deciding.

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7 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    VivienneSeptember 21, 2016

    We had a global card with American Express.Need to know if AE will be doing another card that we can load to take over seas.

  2. Default Gravatar
    LeoJune 29, 2016

    Local office of Amex advises that all Global Travel Cards are to be withdrawn in July 2016. Is this correct?

    • finder Customer Care
      SallyJuly 1, 2016Staff

      Hi Leo,

      Thanks for your question.

      Yes, that’s correct. The American Express Global Travel Card is no longer available for new applications.



  3. Default Gravatar
    stefanJanuary 24, 2014

    AMEX Global Travel Card has a back-up card which is not activated and will be activated only when the primary card is lost / stolen or otherwise used fraudulently.

    Why AMEX prepaid cards or credit cards don’t have a back-up card?

    • finder Customer Care
      ShirleyJanuary 28, 2014Staff

      Hi Stefan,

      Thanks for your comment.

      Unfortunately we can’t speak on behalf of American Express, but back-up cards are designed to be used in an emergency when you travel overseas.


  4. Default Gravatar
    stefanJanuary 23, 2014

    This back-up card is a great feature. Why Amex does not have this feature on all cards?

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