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The Features That Business Travellers Should Look for in a Debit Card

Debit cards offer a number of benefits that cash and other forms of payments don’t.

When choosing debit cards available for business trips, you should look carefully at the specific cards that are suited to be used for this purpose. Business debit cards give you the convenience of using your own money to make business purchases wherever the card is accepted. It’s also linked to a business transaction account or business savings accounts so you have more control over your business banking while travelling.

Rates last updated July 21st, 2017
Monthly Account Fee Debit Card Access ATM Withdrawal Fee Fee Free Deposit p.m. Details
St.George Business Cheque Account Plus
A low monthly fee to manage your business funds.
Visa $0 N/A No ATM fees when using St.George / Westpac / BankSA ATMs More
BankSA Business Cheque Account Plus
Prefer banking the old fashioned way? You'll appreciate the benefits of a BankSA Business Cheque Account Plus.
Visa $0 $0 Low monthly fee in return for unlimited electronic transactions. More
BankSA Freedom Business Account
Make tax time easier with better reporting. Separates personal and business transactions.
Visa $0 $0 Unlimited fee-free electronic transactions, fee-free ATM withdrawals at St.George, BankSA, Bank of Melbourne and Westpac ATMs. More
Rates last updated July 21st, 2017
Monthly Account Fee Debit Card Access ATM Withdrawal Fee Fee Free Deposit p.m. Details
NAB Classic Banking
$0 monthly account fees.
Tap and pay with your NAB Visa Debit card, NAB Pay for Android or NAB PayTag for iPhone.
Visa $0 $0 $0 account keeping fees with no deposit conditions. Unlimited free withdrawals at NAB and rediATMs. Go to site More
ING DIRECT Orange Everyday Account
$75 cash bonus & Apple Pay available.
Get a competitive ongoing variable rate when linked with an ING Direct Savings Maximiser.
Visa $0 $1,000 $0 monthly account keeping fees. Unlimited free withdrawals at any ATM in Australia if you deposit $1,000 each month. Go to site More
ANZ Access Advantage
Apple Pay, Android Pay & ANZ Mobile Pay.
Take advantage of Apple Pay by linking your ANZ Visa Debit card to an eligible iPhone and seamlessly pay for purchases with your phone.
Visa $0 $2,000 $0 account keeping fees if you deposit at least $2,000 per month. Otherwise, a $5 monthly fee applies. Unlimited free withdrawals at ANZ ATMs. Go to site More
Bankwest Qantas Transaction Account
Earn Qantas Points on eligible purchases and on your account balance.
Conditions apply.
Mastercard $0 $2,000 $0 account keeping fees when you deposit at least $2,000 into your account each month. Otherwise, a $6 monthly fee applies. Unlimited Free withdrawals at Bankwest and CommBank ATMs in Australia. Go to site More
Westpac Choice
$0 ATM withdrawal fee at 50,000+ ATMs globally.
Via Westpac's Global ATM Alliance. Get Cash without your debit card (conditions apply).
Mastercard $0 $2,000 $0 account keeping fees if you deposit at least $2,000 per month. Otherwise, a $5 monthly fee applies. Unlimited free withdrawals at St.George, Westpac, Bank of Melbourne and BankSA ATMs. Go to site More
BankSA Complete Freedom Account
Cardless Cash available. Open one in less than 3 minutes.
Visa $0 $2,000 $0 account keeping fees if you deposit at least $2,000 per month. Otherwise, a $5 monthly fee applies. Unlimited free withdrawals at BankSA, St.George, Westpac and Bank of Melbourne ATMs. Go to site More
Bank of Melbourne Complete Freedom
Get Cardless cash and shop securely with your Visa debit card. Customise SMS and email alerts.
Visa $0 $2,000 $0 account keeping fees if you deposit at least $2,000 per month. Otherwise, a $5 monthly fee applies. Unlimited free withdrawals at Bank of Melbourne, St.George, Westpac and BankSA ATMs. Go to site More
St.George Complete Freedom Account
10% Cash back for online gaming purchases and $50 cash bonus offer.
Waived account keeping fees when minimum deposit is met with no minimum balance.
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. Go to site More
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What are the key considerations when travelling with a business debit card?

  • Security

    One of the most important features of your business travel debit card is security. All debit cards have a number of different security standards that they are required to adhere to. Whether it’s protected by Visa or Mastercard, the security that a debit card offers is the biggest reason why you should use a card for your travels instead of cash. Cash is extremely easy to steal, and if you lose it when you’re travelling, it’s going to be near impossible to replace.

    However, be mindful that your debit card is linked to your business transaction account, which means whoever is in possession of your debit card has access to all the funds in the account. If the worst case scenario the debit card does get stolen you’ll need to notify the relevant bank immediately.

  • Convenience

    Debit cards are also better suited for business travel because they are easier to handle than cash. Business travellers are in a unique situation because their work may take them all over the world. This makes using cash for business expenses less than ideal, because each of the places you may travel to may require a different currency. Keeping each form of currency in cash for every place that you will travel is simply more trouble than it is worth. If you use cash, not only do you have to worry about the potential security problems, but you also have to worry about having the right amount of the right currencies as well. You can also organise your money online, over the phone or in person wherever your debit card is accepted.

  • Currency exchange

    Using a debit card also saves you the trouble of exchanging your leftover currency back to Australian dollars. This can save you the fee involved in doing the exchange twice.

  • Complimentary insurance

    Some high tier debit cards in Australia also offer complimentary insurances such as overseas travel insurance, purchase protection and extended warranty. Although purchase protection and extended warranty usually only applies to purchases made in Australia, complimentary overseas travel insurance can greatly benefit you when travelling. Instead of paying for an external travel insurance policy, you can save by meeting the terms and conditions set out on the business debit card.

  • Fees

    If you’re a frequent flyer or traveller, your number one feature to look at in a debit card is international usage and the fees that apply to it. You want to make sure that the debit card company will not gouge you with fees if you use your card abroad.

    With a debit card, the hassle of working with other currencies is taken care for you because most debit cards in Australia only deal with Australian dollars. While you don’t have to worry about having a certain amount of a currency, you do need to worry about foreign transaction fees and ATM fees. Some debit cards don’t charge these fees, but most of them do.

Debit cards can be used where Visa and Mastercard are accepted, whether it’s an ATM or over the counter. They are linked to your business bank account and cards are generally protected against fraud by banks and other security agreements.

Shirley Liu

Shirley is finder.com.au's publisher for banking and investments. She has completed a Masters in Commerce (Finance) and is the author of hundreds of articles. She is passionate about helping Aussies make an informed decision, save money and find the best deal for their needs.

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