Compare international debit cards

Using an international debit card could save you time and money while you're overseas.

Debit cards let you access your money from ATMs and EFTPOS machines whenever you need. An international debit card lets you enjoy the same benefits when overseas while saving money on fees. It's also a safe way to bring cash overseas as there are a number of security measures in place to protect you.

HSBC Everyday Global Account

HSBC Everyday Global Account

Special offer: $100 bonus for new HSBC customers.
Earn 2% cashback on tap and pay purchases under $100.
Enjoy no foreign ATM or transaction fees and the flexibility to hold up to 10 currencies. Apple Pay and Google Pay available. T&C's apply to $100 bonus and 2% cashback offers.

  • Maximum Rate: 0% p.a.
  • Standard Variable Rate: 0% p.a.
  • Monthly fees: $0
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Compare your travel debit card options below

Updated February 28th, 2020
Name Product Debit Card Access ATM Withdrawal Fee Fee Free Deposit p.m. Monthly Account Fee
HSBC Everyday Global Account
The HSBC Everyday Global Account is both an everyday transaction account and a multi-currency account in one with no overseas ATM or transaction fees
Citi Global Currency Account
Pay $0 international transaction fees and $0 overseas ATM fees when you use a foreign currency linked with your account in a country that uses that currency. Make sure your debit card is linked to the correct currency before using an ATM, otherwise a foreign exchange fee applies.
ING Orange Everyday Account
Pay no International transaction fees and receive a rebate on overseas ATM withdrawal fees when you deposit $1,000 per month and make 5+ card purchases
St.George Complete Freedom Account
Special offer: $40 cash bonus for new customers (T&Cs apply).
$5 waivable monthly account fee.
Monthly account fee waived if you deposit at least $2,000 a month. No account fees for students and customers under 21.

Compare up to 4 providers

If you regularly travel overseas and want an efficient and cheap way to access your money, you may want to consider an international debit card. In Australia, most will be stamped with either a Visa or Mastercard logo that lets you use the card wherever those brands are accepted.

The money is debited directly from your account, rather than paid for by credit so you don't need to worry about interest charges or a credit check. Most debit cards will let you take money out of an ATM for free, as long as the ATM is within the bank's network. This includes international debit cards.

How does an international debit card work?

International debit cards tend to waive any international transaction fees or have a strong global ATM network alliance so you can avoid foreign ATM fees. This means that even when outside of Australia you will be able to find ATMs that are part of the bank’s network, so you won’t be charged extra for using the machine.

It’s important to note that these cards only hold Australian Dollars (AUD) and you don’t preload a foreign currency on it before you travel. All transactions and withdrawals are converted at the time, and the current exchange rate at the time will apply.

What exchange rate does my debit card use? Mastercard versus Visa

Are there accounts that allow you to keep $USD?

Yes, there are a number of Australian banks and international banks such as HSBC and Citibank where your funds can be kept in US dollars. These are called multi-currency accounts.

Questions to ask when comparing international debit cards

There are a few things you can compare to help you choose which bank to open an account with, including:

  • Does the bank offer a global ATM network? If you travel to various countries, check the global availability of the bank’s ATM network. Some may only have limited access across a certain region while others are available in almost every country. In Australia, Westpac and Citibank offer the most prominent global ATM networks.
  • Are there any global ATM fees? Check how much you will be charged for using a machine that is not a part of it.
  • What other typical fees could I be charged? Since your account provides you with an international debit card you may be paying higher monthly fees for your account. Be sure to check this before you apply as well as the monthly deposit requirements.
  • Am I still charged an international transaction fee? Review the international transaction fees in case you find a variation in the percentage deducted from your account when you make overseas purchases.
  • Is it a widely accepted card brand like Mastercard and Visa? Ensure that the debit card is stamped with a major card logo such as Visa or Mastercard.
  • What security features are included? If you are interested in an international debit card because of your extensive travelling, then look into its security features. Check to see what types of provisions are available if you lose the card outside of Australia and how much you will be charged to have the replacement issued to you in a foreign country.
  • Does it come with an additional card just in case I lose the first one? Prior to your travels, you can organise to have a secondary card if the bank supports this feature.

What are the benefits of using an international debit card?

  • It's flexible because you're spending your own money. With an international debit card you have the convenience of obtaining funds right from your own account when travelling overseas with no fuss.
  • It's secure because banks have security measures in place to protect you. Having this type of card when travelling gives you the option of moving about from location to location without having to carry large amounts of cash in your pocket.
  • It's convenient because you don't need to carry cash everywhere. You could save money by not needing to purchase traveller’s cheques or a traveller’s card when going overseas.


While an international debit card offers benefits, maintenance fees for accounts with international debit cards tend to be higher. Keep the high maintenance fees in mind when comparing accounts.

What are the potential risks?

There are certain things you should avoid with international debit cards not only in terms of cost, but also for your personal security:

  • Don't just rely on your debit card. If you rely solely on your international debit card for cash while travelling, you could find yourself with no means to pay for your stay and other necessities if your card is lost or stolen while away. It’s recommended that you bring a variety of travel money tools, like a credit card and cash too.
  • EFTPOS machines are scarce in some countries. Do some research prior to your travels to get an idea of the availability of ATMs and EFTPOS machines. You don't want to be stranded in a rural area with no cash.

Some common questions answered about international debit cards

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12 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    LeeNovember 27, 2016


    My daughter is going to Lund University in Sweden for 6 months. I thought a Citi Bank debit card would be a good idea as no atm fees vs her current Commbank debit card which charge atm fees. But when I searched for Citibank atms in Sweden there does not seem to be any? Do you know if this is the case?

    Also for travelling would you recommend a bankwest credit card or 28 degrees?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      DeeNovember 27, 2016Staff

      Hi Lee,

      Thanks for reaching out.

      Unfortunately, there are no Citibank ATMs in Sweden. However, according to some user reviews online, there are some ATMs in Europe that don’t charge ATM withdrawal fees regardless.

      As for travel credit cards, as a financial comparison website, we are unable to make any recommendation. You may want to check out this page for credit cards with no foreign fees.


  2. Default Gravatar
    mayAugust 12, 2016

    hi what is the best debit card for a 16 year old travelling to europe with no fees

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ShirleyAugust 15, 2016Staff

      Hi May,

      Thanks for your question. We don’t recommend specific products, services or providers.

      The Citibank Plus and Westpac Choice don’t have overseas ATM fees if you’re withdrawing from it’s network. The Citibank Plus also doesn’t charge international transaction fees.

      Our travel money Europe guide may also be of assistance.

      Hope this helps.

  3. Default Gravatar
    DavidMarch 10, 2016

    Is there a limit as to how much money you can deposit into a debit card account?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ShirleyMarch 11, 2016Staff

      Hi David,

      Thanks for your question.

      No there’s no limit to the amount of money you can deposit.

  4. Default Gravatar
    PeterFebruary 25, 2016

    My 15 yr old daughter is going to Italy and England on a school trip for 3 weeks. What is the best way for her to manage the funds ($1,000AUD) I will be supplying her with for the trip?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ShirleyFebruary 25, 2016Staff

      Hi Peter,

      Thanks for your question.

      Using an international debit card could be beneficial for your daughter. She can use the cards via EFTPOS or withdraw from an ATM. Your daughter or yourself can manage the funds via online banking. You may want to consider an account that doesn’t charge international transaction fees, such as the Citibank Plus.

      However, since she’s quite young she’ll most likely need your signature to open the account.

      Hope this helps.

  5. Default Gravatar
    SteveAugust 18, 2015

    Hello Shirley, thanks for your reply.
    I know that this is an Australian site, but the international nature of the problem makes it relevant. If done on the basis of pre-payment, does it matter what country?
    UK would have perhaps been easier, but all the sites I looked at were only interested in UK residents.

    PayPal will accept UnionPay from only the big 4 Chinese banks, not Citibank (yet at least).
    Paypal terms and conditions require that I have a valid card on file, and they keep hassling me to update my card information, but I have been buying things on ebay and as long as they can collect by direct debit from my UK bank they are allowing it.
    That could change of course.
    Since posting my question I have sent an email to explaining the situation, after all it isn’t their policy causing the problem.
    Perhaps they can sort something out.
    I can imagine an increasing number of people with similar problems.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ShirleyAugust 18, 2015Staff

      Hi Steve in Shanghai,

      Thanks for your response. Countries tend to have their own financial regulations, even when it comes to prepayment or prepaid cards.

      International debit cards, in this context, refers to debit cards that are issued in Australia that you can use overseas without being bombarded with fees.

      Sorry that we couldn’t be much of an assistance.

  6. Default Gravatar
    SteveAugust 17, 2015

    I am a UK citizen, now retired and living in Shanghai.
    I have a Citibank Debit card with UnionPay logo and I’m told it is policy in China not to issue Visa etc. cards to retired people.
    I have a Santander bank account in the UK, but the Visa debit card with that has now expired and the bank tells me their policy (now) is to not send replacement cards to China (too risky).
    I want to sell a stamp collection on ebay, but they require me to have a currently valid Visa card or similar.
    I am drowning in ‘Catch 22’s.
    Do you know of a provider of a suitable card on the basis of pre-payment ?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ShirleyAugust 18, 2015Staff

      Hi Steve in Shanghai,

      Thanks for your question.

      Please be mindful that is an Australian comparison and information service – for this reason we may not be the best people to speak to about your enquiry.

      You may want to try linking your Citibank Debit card to your Paypal account. That way if you sell your stamps on eBay you’ll still receive the funds conveniently.

      Hope this helps,

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