What is the best prepaid card?

Whether it's for travel, online shopping, rewards or anything else, here's what you need to know to find the right prepaid card for you.

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You can use a prepaid card to load and spend your money in Australia and around the world. Although they're often referred to as prepaid credit cards, they're not linked with a line of credit. The right prepaid card for you will depend on how you plan to use it. Use this guide to compare prepaid cards, understand how they work and decide if it's the right option for you.

How to find the right prepaid card for you

When you're searching for the best prepaid card for you, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What is the main reason I want the card? Are you spending overseas? Some prepaid cards are designed for travel and you can exchange your loaded Australian dollars into foreign currencies. If you want to earn rewards, some prepaid cards including Qantas Travel Money or Velocity Global Wallet collect frequent flyer points. You can also buy prepaid or gift cards for single use, which could be useful if you don't plan to top up the card. Deciding how you plan to use the card will help you
  2. How much am I willing to pay? Some prepaid cards charge fees for activating it, loading money or withdrawing cash. Compare the full list of fees that will apply before you decide on a card.
  3. How long will I use it? Prepaid cards sometimes charge an "inactivity fee" if you don't use them for a specific length of time (usually 12 months). If you only want to use the card temporarily, check if the card charges this fee and make sure you close the account before it applies.

Travelex Money Card

Travelex Money Card

  • Up to 10 currencies on 1 card
  • Lock in exchange rates
  • No overseas ATM fees

Travelex Money Card

Load and hold up to 10 foreign currencies at a time. Lock in exchange rates. Pay nothing for international ATM withdrawals.

  • No international ATM fees
  • 24/7 emergency assistance
  • Access wherever Mastercard is accepted
  • PIN security
  • Prepaid so you can manage your spending
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Compare prepaid travel money cards

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Available Currencies ATM Withdrawal Fee Initial Load Fee Reload fee
Travelex Money Card
AUD, USD, CAD, EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY, NZD, SGD, THB

Overseas: $0

Domestic: 2.95% of the amount withdrawn

1.1% of initial load value or $15, whichever is greater
1.1% of transaction value or $15, whichever is greater
Lock in exchange rates for up to 10 currencies, pay no overseas ATM fees and get exclusive merchant offers.
Cash Passport Platinum Mastercard
AUD, USD, CAD, EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY, NZD, SGD, THB, AED
USD $2.50, EUR €2.50, GBP £2.00, NZD $3.50, THB ฿80.00, CAD $3.50, HKD $18.00, JPY ¥260.00, SGD $3.50, AUD $3.50, AED 10.00
$0
$5
Up to 11 currencies on 1 card locked in exchange rates and no load fees.
NAB Traveller Card
AUD, USD, CAD, EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY, NZD, SGD, THB

Overseas: $0 per withdrawal via international ATMs

Domestic: $3.75 fee applies

$0
$0
Load up and lock in up to 10 currencies and benefit from no fees for reloading funds. Comes with a secondary card for added security.
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Other prepaid travel cards

Compare the features, load amounts and fees of the prepaid cards below.

Prepaid cardMastercard/VisaMin/max load (AUD)Issue feeOther features
Velocity Global WalletVisa$1 / $25,000$0For eligible purchases, you can earn Velocity Points per $1 you spend in Australia and overseas.
Qantas Travel MoneyMastercard$50 / $20,000$0Earn Qantas Points on all eligible purchases with no cost to open the account or keep the card.
NAB Traveller CardMastercard$50 / $45,000$0Supports 10 currencies and comes with 2 cards for convenience and security.
Commonwealth Bank Travel Money CardMastercard$1 / $100,000$15Load and use up to 13 foreign currencies, plus enjoy the security of a second backup card.
Westpac Global Currency CardVisa$100 / $50,000$0Load up to 5 different currencies on your card at a time, with 11 currencies available.

Features to compare

The features available on a prepaid card vary between products, so it's important to consider individual options before you apply. Here are the key details to look at when you're comparing cards:

  • Card acceptance. Most prepaid cards are Mastercard or Visa products that can be used in Australia and around the world. Some places may not accept prepaid cards (such as some hotels), so check if your card is eligible or prepare more than one option if you're travelling overseas.
  • Load amounts. Prepaid cards typically come with minimum and maximum amounts of money that you can load onto them at any given time. Most also have a maximum amount you can carry on the card. Depending on how much money you want access to on your prepaid card, these conditions will have an impact on which card is right for you.
  • Reload options. If you have a reloadable prepaid card, check how you can top up your account. Common options usually include bank transfer, BPAY or debit payments. It can sometimes take a few business days for funds to be loaded on your prepaid account, so check what these details are and make sure you give your funds enough time to appear in your account.
  • Supported currencies. Most travel cards in Australia support up to 10 international currencies. This usually includes USD, GBP, EUR, NZD and more. When you spend in a local currency that is supported by and loaded on your card, you can avoid foreign currency conversion fees. Check if the local currency you'll be spending in is supported by the travel card before you use it.
  • Account management. Some prepaid cards offer online and mobile account management. This will allow you to track your spending, manage funds and update card details on-the-go.
  • Security features. Prepaid cards usually offer similar security features to regular cards, including chip-and-PIN technology and 24/7 worldwide card support. Some cards also offer emergency card replacement and funds if your card is lost or stolen. Make sure you check what security measures are in place and who you need to contact in the case of an emergency regarding your card.
  • Rewards. If you want to reward your spending, consider using a frequent flyer travel card such as the Qantas Travel Money and Velocity Global Wallet.

What fees will be charged?

Not all prepaid cards charge the same fees, but these are some of the common costs that you may have to pay:

  • Issue fee. Some prepaid cards may charge you a fee upon activation. This can range from $5 to $24. There are also cards that don't charge an issue fee.
  • Additional card fee. You may receive an additional card which you can use as a back up if your primary card is lost or stolen. Check if any fees apply to request an additional card.
  • Loading fees. This fee is charged when you add money to the prepaid card balance. Some cards charge a fee for the initial load or reloads after that, so check what charges apply before you get the card.
  • Foreign currency fee. If you make payments in a currency that you don't have loaded onto your card, a fee of around 2-4% of the total transaction could apply.
  • ATM fee. Using your card to get cash out overseas or in Australia could attract additional fees from both the card issuer and the ATM provider.
  • Inactivity fee. This fee could be charged if you don't use your card for a period of time, usually 12 months or more and is usually applied as a monthly or annual charge.
  • Card cancellation fee. A fee of around $10-$20 or more may apply when you close the account.

There are many types of prepaid cards available in Australia, so it's important to compare your options to find the best one for you. Consider how you plan to use the card as well as the features and any fees that apply. Compare more prepaid card options on Finder.

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14 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    vickyFebruary 1, 2019

    Hello,

    If this card is loaded with British pounds, can it be used to pay bills in the UK? And are there daily transaction restrictions?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JeniFebruary 2, 2019Staff

      Hi Vicky,

      Thank you for getting in touch with finder.

      Your chosen prepaid credit card could be used in paying bills in the UK if you loaded that up with its available currency like pound sterling. Daily transaction limit depends on your chosen prepaid credit card. If you consider using the ANZ Travel Card, it has a daily limit of 6,000 AUD on POS payments and 3,000 AUD ATM withdrawal.

      I hope this helps.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

  2. Default Gravatar
    TimJuly 20, 2017

    Can you have your tax return deposited in a prepaid visa card.

    • Default Gravatar
      JonathanJuly 22, 2017

      Hello Tim,

      Tax returns are usually paid straight into your bank account using electronic funds transfer (EFT). If you haven’t provided your bank details you’ll be sent a cheque in the mail.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Jonathan

  3. Default Gravatar
    holygrailNovember 22, 2015

    Can the Woolworths prepaid credit card be used overseas?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JonathanNovember 22, 2015Staff

      Hi Holygrail, thanks for your inquiry

      We can confirm that the Woolworths Prepaid card can be used at over 30 million MasterCard merchants worldwide. You can find an ATM worldwide by using this link.

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

  4. Default Gravatar
    tanyaAugust 27, 2013

    hi, i am traveling to bali, do you have Indonesian rupiah available or is it just the currencies listed?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JacobAugust 27, 2013Staff

      Hi Tanya.

      It’s just the currencies that are listed. You can use your debit or credit card to withdraw the local currency from an ATM; however, unless you have a card that doesn’t chart you for currency conversion, you will get charged a foreign currency conversion fee. You can compare card that don’t charge this fee on this page.

      Thanks for your question.

  5. Default Gravatar
    PatrickJuly 3, 2013

    Can pre-paid credit cards be used to register at hotels and also to hire cars

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JacobJuly 3, 2013Staff

      Hi Patrick. Thanks for your question. Prepaid cards either offered in conjunction with Visa or MasterCard can be used wherever Visa and/or MasterCard are accepted – this includes millions of locations worldwide. I hope this helps. Jacob.

  6. Default Gravatar
    MattMarch 14, 2013

    Is there a minimum age for the cardholder of an ozforex card?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JacobMarch 19, 2013Staff

      Hi Matt. Minimum age for the Ozforex card is 18 – you get 2 cards when you apply. Thanks.

  7. Default Gravatar
    JohnSeptember 20, 2011

    We are looking for a credit card type system so we can get our clients to apply for. Then when clients receive a job completed for them, we can swipe the card and payment is received that day. It has to be a card that allows for a variable balance that caters for each individual client

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JacobApril 10, 2013Staff

      Ho John. Thanks for your question. Sorry for the time it’s taken to reply. You may want to consider a corporate credit card. Please contact your lender to discuss your options. Some of these cards allow companies to set spending levels and restrictions at different levels of the business. Some may offer rewards too. Jacob.

Credit Cards Comparison

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate Annual fee
HSBC Platinum Credit Card - Balance Transfer Offer
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 22 months
$129 p.a.
Save with a 22-month balance transfer offer. Plus, lounge passes, travel insurance and an annual fee refund when you spend an eligible $6k/year.
St.George Vertigo Classic
13.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months
$55 p.a.
Get 0% p.a. on balance transfers for up to 18 months with no balance transfer fee. Plus, a low annual fee and purchase rate. Ends 2 June 2020.
ANZ Frequent Flyer Black
20.24% p.a.
20.24% p.a.
$425 p.a.
Earn 120,000 bonus Qantas Points & $275 back when you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months. Plus, airport lounge passes. Ends 9 June 2020.
Westpac Low Rate Card
2019 Winner
Westpac Low Rate Card
13.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 16 months
$59 p.a.
A no frills, low rate card offering 0% p.a. interest on balance transfers for the first 16 months, with no balance transfer fee.
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* The credit card offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of credit cards 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 own personal financial circumstances when comparing cards.

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