*Best credit card for overseas travel

Spend with ease using a travel credit card on your next overseas trip.

Travelling overseas requires a lot of planning and there’s almost nothing more important than getting your finances sorted before your trip. You don’t want to be caught out paying excessive conversion fees when travelling, so it's best to find a credit card that suits your needs and will help you avoid financial hassles on your next holiday.

Although there is no such thing as one best card, you can now use credit cards designed specifically for travelling overseas. This is great news for travellers who want to get more from their credit card when travelling. Travel credit cards usually offer:

  • No currency conversion fees
  • Complimentary travel insurance
  • Access to a frequent flyer program.

Travel credit cards are suitable for those who frequently travel overseas or for those who want the option of using credit overseas.

Comparison of credit cards for overseas travel

Rates last updated September 20th, 2017
Name Product Foreign Currency Conversion Fee (MC) Foreign Currency Conversion Fee (VISA) Overseas ATM Withdrawal Fee Overseas Cash Advance Fee Annual fee Product Description
ANZ Frequent Flyer Black
3% of transaction value
$5
The greater of 2% of cash advance amount or a minimum of $4.00
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($425 p.a. thereafter)
Receive 75,000 bonus Qantas Points when you apply online, are approved and spend $2,500 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months.
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
3% of transaction value
$99 p.a.
Earn 1 Reward Point per $1 of eligible spend and receive complimentary travel and purchase protection insurances.
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card
$195 p.a.
Receive a $200 Travel Credit every year and complimentary domestic and international travel insurance.
HSBC Platinum Qantas Credit Card
3% of transaction value
The higher of $4 or 3.0% of the total transaction amount
$199 p.a.
Receive 60,000 bonus Qantas Points when you meet the spend requirement and earn up to 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent.
ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures card
0% of transaction value
$0
$225 p.a.
Receive 40,000 bonus Velocity Points when you spend $500 on eligible purchases in the first three months.
Commonwealth Bank Business Awards Platinum Credit Card
3% of transaction value
$4.00 or 1.5% of the cash advance amount (whichever is greater)
$300 p.a.
Earn up to 3 Awards points per $1 spent and receive complimentary travel and unauthorised transaction insurances.

Compare up to 4 providers

How do the *best credit cards for overseas travel work?

It’s important to note that the best card is subjective and will depend on your travelling preferences, and what you want out of your card. The best cards work by helping you save money and receive rewards while using your card overseas. Travel credit cards can help you avoid fees and charges such as currency conversion fees and ATM fees. They can also provide additional value beyond a normal credit card through complimentary travel insurance and reward programs. However, these additional features usually come at the cost of a higher annual fee than your standard credit card.

They can also provide additional value beyond a normal credit card through complimentary travel insurance and reward programs. However, these additional features usually come at the cost of a higher annual fee than your standard credit card.

What are the *best types of credit cards for travelling?

  1. Frequent Flyer credit cards - Frequent Flyer credit cards are linked to frequent flyer programs such as Velocity and Qantas Frequent Flyer. When you use your card overseas, you accumulate points that you can use on flights, upgrades and gifts. Great for those who are constantly travelling.
  2. Rewards credit cards - Reward credit cards are just what the name implies, they reward you for your use. Using your card, especially overseas, will gain points that you can use in various reward programs. Overseas transactions tend to be worth more points than regular domestic transactions.
  3. Business credit cards - Business credit cards are designed for business use rather than personal use. If you travel overseas for business, or have employees travelling overseas for business, using a business credit card for all business transactions overseas is a good way to track spending and separate personal and business travel spending.
  4. Platinum credit cards - Platinum credit cards also include Black and Gold cards. They have more features and service than a regular credit card. For this reason, the annual fee is much higher. Platinum cards reward you for travelling overseas and often provide complimentary travel insurance and support while travelling.

What to look for in the *best credit card for overseas travel?

  • No currency conversion fees - Converting funds to your desired currency typically attracts a fee. The most effective credit cards for overseas travel won’t involve a currency conversion fee and can help you save in additional fees. You can’t avoid converting money overseas so it’s crucial you compare this feature.
  • No overseas ATM withdrawal fees - Withdrawing money overseas from ATM's can also involve fees, which can end up being quite expensive. The ideal credit cards will offer low or no ATM withdrawal fees. This is another important feature to consider, as it can help you save while travelling.
  • Complimentary travel insurance - When you’re travelling overseas, travel insurance is crucial protection. Complimentary travel insurance can help you save significantly in insurance cover and can protect you against unexpected setbacks and emergencies. The travel card for you could be based on complimentary travel insurance and whether your needs are met by this service.
  • Linked to a frequent flyer program - With some overseas travel credit cards, using your card can help you gain frequent flyer points. You can earn these points while travelling and then use these points for flights, upgrades and gifts. Each credit card will be linked to different reward programs so compare and find one that suits you.
  • Earn more points for overseas purchases - Some credit cards may also offer you the opportunity to earn more points when making overseas purchases. This is a great way to build up your points and earn rewards. Each credit card will have different conditions around earning points for overseas purchases so it’s important you compare your options.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Be rewarded for travelling - Credit cards for overseas travel will reward you just for travelling. You can be rewarded for making purchases overseas and earn points for loyalty or reward programs. Simply using your credit card overseas will give you more from your credit card.
  • Save money - Credit cards can also help you save money. You can save money by avoiding conversion and ATM withdrawals fees, along with complimentary travel insurance. All of these things can help you save hundreds.
  • Acceptance - Credit cards will also be widely accepted in most locations so you can use your card wherever you travel.

Cons

  • Fees - Depending on what type of credit card you have, you may be charged with fees and surcharges in certain locations for using your card.
  • Higher annual fees - If your card comes with premium features, such as complimentary travel insurance or concierge services, they will likely come at a cost of higher annual fees.
  • High interest rates - Overseas travel credit cards tend to attract much higher rates than regular credit cards.
  • Excess interest - If you don't pay off your balance on time, you can incur excessive interest.

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FAQs

Visa and Mastercard are the most widely accepted credit cards and you can use them in millions of locations around the world.
In most cases you can, however, they do tend to attract a high interest rate.
Virgin’s Velocity, Qantas Frequent Flyer, FlyBuys and each provider's own reward programs are some that are offered. The reward program on offer will vary depending on the credit card and bank.
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* The offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of products finder.com.au has access to track details from and is not representative of all the products available in the market. Products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of terms "Best" and "Top" are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your personal financial circumstances when comparing products.

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