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

Information verified correct on January 21st, 2017

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

When it comes to the 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 January 21st, 2017
Monthly Account Fee Debit Card Access ATM Withdrawal Fee Fee Free Deposit p.m. Details
St.George Business Cheque Account Plus
A business cheque account with no monthly fees.
Visa $0 N/A No ATM fees when using St.George / Westpac / BankSA ATMs More
BankSA Business Cheque Account Plus
Get access to your business funds with a debit card. Enjoy unlimited fee-free electronic transactions.
Visa $0 $0 Low monthly fee in return for unlimited electronic transactions. More
BankSA Freedom Business Account
A flexible business transaction account with linked debit card and 15 free transactions per month.
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 January 21st, 2017
Monthly Account Fee Debit Card Access ATM Withdrawal Fee Fee Free Deposit p.m. Details
HSBC Day to Day Transaction Account
Your Visa debit card unlocks special privileges worldwide with the HSBC home&Away Privilege Program.
Visa $0 $0 $0 monthly fees. No ATM fees at over 3,000 HSBC, Westpac, St.George, Bank of Melbourne and BankSA ATMs. Open More
NAB Classic Banking
Tap and Pay with your Android Phone using NAB Pay.
No minimum deposit required.
Visa $0 $0 No monthly account fees, ever. Free use at over 3,400 NAB and RediATMs Australia wide and $0 overdrawn fees. Open More
ING DIRECT Orange Everyday Account
$75 cash bonus up for grabs
Get a competitive ongoing variable rate when linked with a Savings Maximiser.
Visa $0 $1,000 No monthly fees, and you can use any ATM in Australia for free when you deposit $1,000 each month e.g your salary. Open More
Bankwest Qantas Transaction Account
Earn Qantas Points on eligible purchases and on your account balance.
Conditions apply.
Mastercard $0 $2,000 No monthly fees when you deposit at least $2,000 into your account each month. Free access to Bankwest and CommBank ATMs in Australia. No overseas ATM withdrawal fees (charged by Bankwest) though third party fees may apply. Open More
ANZ Access Advantage
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 No monthly account fee when you deposit at least $2,000 per month. Other fee waivers available based on your personal situation. Open 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 No ATM fees when using St.George, Westpac, BankSA or Bank of Melbourne ATMs in Australia. Deposit at least $2,000 per month and enjoy no monthly service fee. Open More
Bankwest Easy Transaction Account
Pay no ATM fees at over 10,000 ATMs in Australia (conditions apply).
Mastercard $0 $2,000 Minimum deposit of $2,000 per month needed to waive the monthly account fee otherwise a $6 monthly fee applies. No ATM fee applicable at Bankwest, CBA, NAB, ANZ, Westpac, St.George, BoM and BankSA ATMs in Australia. Open More
BankSA Complete Freedom Account
Open one in less than 5 minutes with Cardless Cash available.
Visa $0 $2,000 No monthly account keeping fees when you deposit at least $2,000 in the account each month. Free access to BankSA, St.George, Westpac and Bank of Melbourne ATMs. Open 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 No ATM fees when you use Bank of Melbourne, BankSA, St.George or Westpac ATMs. No monthly fees when you deposit at least $2000 into this account each month. Open More
St.George Complete Freedom Account
10% Cash back for online gaming purchases.
Waived account keeping fees when minimum deposit is met with no minimum balance.
Visa $0 $2,000 No account keeping fees, if you deposit $2,000 per month plus no minimum balance required. No ATM fees when using St.George, Westpac and BankSA ATMs. Open More
BankSA Express Freedom Account
Get Cardless Cash, free SMS and email alerts.
Visa $0 $1,000 Avoid ATM fees when using BankSA, St.George, Bank of Melbourne and Westpac ATMs. Avoid the monthly fee if you deposit $1000 into this account each month. Open More
Bank of Melbourne Express Freedom
Get Cardless Cash and PAYG branch and cheque services.
Visa $0 $1,000 No ATM fees when you use Bank of Melbourne, St.George, Westpac and BankSA ATMs. No monthly fees if you deposit $1000 into your account each month. Open 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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