What is the best credit card to use overseas?

Avoid international transaction fees and enjoy complimentary travel insurance with a credit card on your next holiday.

Updated

Fact checked
Young traveler woman in Singapore street market checking the map.

There is a wide range of credit cards that offer travel benefits, such as savings on fees and complimentary extras. You could save with no foreign transaction fees and no ATM withdrawal fees and enjoy credit card travel insurance, frequent flyer points or airline lounge passes.

The type of credit card that you should use will depend on where you're travelling, your spending plans and your financial situation. You can use this guide to compare your options and find the right credit card to use overseas.

Bankwest Credit Card Offer

Bankwest Zero Platinum Mastercard

$0 annual fee
0% foreign transaction fees

Eligibility criteria, terms and conditions, fees and charges apply

Bankwest Credit Card Offer

Save with a $0 annual fee, 0% foreign transaction fees and a balance transfer offer. Plus, complimentary overseas travel insurance.

  • Ongoing $0 annual fee
  • 17.99% p.a. purchase rate | 21.99% p.a. cash advance rate
  • 0% foreign transaction fees online and overseas
  • 2.99% on balance transfers for 9 months, reverts to 17.99%
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Compare credit cards with no foreign transaction fees

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Foreign Currency Conversion Fee Overseas ATM withdrawal fee Purchase rate (p.a.) Annual fee
Bankwest Zero Platinum Mastercard

0%
$0
17.99% p.a.
$0 p.a.
Offers a $0 annual fee, 0% foreign transaction fees, complimentary international travel insurance and a balance transfer offer.
Coles Rewards Mastercard

0%
$5
19.99% p.a.
$99 p.a.
Earn 2 flybuys points / $1 spent and save with a 0% balance transfer offer. Plus, 0% international transaction fees on purchases.
ING Orange One

2.5%
$2.50
11.99% p.a.
$0 p.a.
Keep costs low with $0 annual fee and 100% foreign transaction fee rebates. Available when you hold or open an Orange Everyday account.
ING Orange One Platinum

2.5%
$2.50
16.99% p.a.
$149 p.a.
Enjoy up to $30 cashback per month and 100% foreign transaction fee rebates. Available when you hold or open an Orange Everyday account.
Westpac Lite Card

0%
9.9% p.a.
$108 p.a.
Keep credit card costs low with a maximum credit limit of $4,000, a 9.9% p.a. purchase interest rate and no foreign transaction fees.
Latitude 28° Global Platinum Mastercard

0%
$0
21.99% p.a.
$0 p.a.
Save with 0% foreign transaction fees on purchases. Plus, complimentary flight delay passes and a global wifi access.
Bankwest Breeze Platinum Mastercard

0%
$0
12.99% p.a.
$99 p.a.
Get 0% interest on balance transfers for 6 months (with a 2% fee), complimentary travel insurance and no foreign transaction fees.
HSBC Low Rate Credit Card

0%
12.99% p.a.
$99 p.a.
Receive up to 20 months interest-free on balance transfers with a 2% BT fee. Also enjoy exclusive offers with the home&Away Privilege Program.
Commonwealth Bank Low Fee Gold Credit Card

0%
0% for 15 months, reverts to 19.74% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($89 p.a. thereafter)
Save with 0% p.a. for 15 months on purchases and an ongoing annual fee waiver when you meet the spend requirement. Plus, included insurances.
Skye Mastercard

0%
$0
23.99% p.a.
$99 p.a.
Get 110 days interest-free, 0% foreign transaction fees and flexible instalment plan options.
Bankwest Qantas Platinum Mastercard

0%
$0
20.49% p.a.
$160 p.a.
Enjoy 0% foreign transaction fees, complimentary travel insurances and earn 0.75 Qantas Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases.
Bankwest More Platinum Mastercard

0%
$0
19.99% p.a.
$160 p.a.
Earn 2 More Rewards Points per $1 spent, 75,000 bonus points when you meet the spend requirement and save with 0% foreign transaction fees.
Commonwealth Bank Ultimate Awards Card

0%
20.24% p.a.
$420 p.a.
Earn up to 3 Awards points / $1 spent, save with 0% international transaction fees and gain access to over 1,000 airport lounges.
Bankwest More World Mastercard

0%
$0
19.99% p.a.
$270 p.a.
Earn 115,000 bonus points when you meet the spend requirement, receive complimentary travel insurance and 10 LoungeKey passes per year.
Bankwest Qantas World Mastercard

0%
$0
20.49% p.a.
$270 p.a.
Earn uncapped Qantas Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases, pay 0% foreign transaction fees and receive complimentary travel insurance.
Macquarie Black Card

0%
20.7% p.a.
$149 p.a.
Earn 20,000 bonus Macquarie Reward points and receive a 0% p.a. balance transfer offer for 14 months.
Macquarie Platinum Card

0%
20.7% p.a.
$99 p.a.
Earn 20,000 bonus points and receive a 0% p.a. balance transfer offer for 14 months.
Macquarie Black Card with Qantas Rewards

0%
20.7% p.a.
$149 p.a.
Earn 20,000 bonus Qantas Points and receive a 0% p.a. interest rate on balance transfers for 14 months.
Macquarie Platinum Card with Qantas Rewards

3%
20.7% p.a.
$99 p.a.
Collect 20,000 bonus Qantas Points and enjoy a 0% p.a. balance transfer offer for 14 months.
Macquarie RateSaver Card

0%
15.95% p.a.
$69 p.a.
Receive up to 55 days interest-free on purchases, a 0% p.a. for 14 month balance transfer offer and exclusive offers from Visa Entertainment.
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Some of the best cards for travel

How to compare credit cards for overseas travel

When you're comparing credit card for your next international trip, compare products that don't charge extra fees when you make foreign transactions, offer travel perks and are accepted overseas. Some of the factors to consider include:

Credit card fees

To understand how much your card could cost you, consider the following fees when comparing which cards to use outside Australia:

  • Foreign transaction fees. When you make an international purchase using your card, your Australian dollars are converted to the local currency. When this happens, you're usually charged a fee between 2% and 3%. If you want to avoid this fee each time you make a transaction overseas, consider a credit card that doesn't charge a foreign currency conversion fee.
  • Annual fees. While some travel credit cards charge $0 annual fee, others with lots of extra fees may charge a higher annual fee. Make sure that any value you get from using the card and its extra fees helps outweigh the annual fee.
  • ATM withdrawal fees. If you use your credit card to withdraw funds overseas, you will be charged a cash advance interest rate and fee. Your card may also charge a separate ATM withdrawal fee. The local ATM provider may also charge a third-party fee. To avoid these charges, consider using a debit card or prepaid travel card to withdraw cash instead.

Complimentary insurance

Using a credit card that offers complimentary international travel insurance can help you save the time and money you'd otherwise spend on standalone cover. The complimentary travel insurance usually covers overseas medical insurance, transit accidents and travel delay. The cover usually extends your spouse or any dependent children travelling with you. As well as travel insurance, some credit cards offer purchase security insurance and extended warranty so you can shop with peace of mind.

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Bonus Points Rewards Points per $ spent Complimentary travel insurance Annual fee Minimum Income
Qantas American Express Ultimate Card
55,000 bonus points
Amex
1.25
Yes
$450 p.a.
$65,000
Get 55,000 bonus Qantas Points, a $450 Qantas Travel Credit and 2 yearly complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations with this premium card.
ANZ Frequent Flyer Black
120,000 bonus points
Visa/MC
1
Yes
$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.
Qantas Premier Platinum
100,000 bonus points
Visa/MC
1
Yes
$299 p.a.
$35,000
Get up to 100,000 bonus Qantas Points, 75 bonus Status Credits and a 0% p.a. balance transfer rate for the first 18 months.
HSBC Platinum Credit Card - Balance Transfer Offer
Visa/MC
1
Yes
$129 p.a.
$40,000
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.
American Express Business Explorer Credit Card
75,000 bonus points
Amex
2
Yes
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($395 p.a. thereafter)
ABN holders w/ $75,000 revenue. Get 75,000 bonus points and a $0 first year annual fee. Plus, 2 airport lounge passes.
Westpac Altitude Platinum Qantas
60,000 bonus points
Visa/MC
0.5
Yes
$200 p.a.
$30,000
Get 60,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $3,000 within 90 days.
Citi Rewards Card - Exclusive Offer
Visa/MC
1
Yes
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($199 p.a. thereafter)
$35,000
Finder Exclusive
Save with 0% p.a. interest on balance transfers for the first 26 months (with a 1.5% BT fee) and a $0 annual fee for the first year.
Bankwest Zero Platinum Mastercard
Yes
$0 p.a.
Offers a $0 annual fee, 0% foreign transaction fees, complimentary international travel insurance and a balance transfer offer.
Macquarie Platinum Card
20,000 bonus points
Visa/MC
1.25
Yes
$99 p.a.
$50,000
Earn 20,000 bonus points and receive a 0% p.a. balance transfer offer for 14 months.
Bank of Melbourne Amplify Platinum - Qantas
60,000 bonus points
Visa/MC
0.5
Yes
$99 p.a.
Receive 60,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $2,000 within 90 days and earn up to 0.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent. Ends 2 June 2020.
NAB Rewards Signature Card
120,000 bonus points
Visa/MC
1.25
Yes
$295 p.a.
Earn up to 120,000 bonus NAB Rewards Points when you meet the spend criteria. Plus, a points booster and uncapped rewards earning potential.
Bankwest More World Mastercard
115,000 bonus points
Visa/MC
2.5
Yes
$270 p.a.
$76,000
Receive two complimentary airport lounge visits per year through Priority Pass and pay no foreign transaction fees on purchases.
Westpac Altitude Black - Qantas
120,000 bonus points
Visa/MC
0.75
Yes
$300 p.a.
$75,000
Earn up to 120,000 bonus Qantas Points when you meet the spend requirement. Plus, 2 yearly Qantas Club lounge invitations.
Suncorp Clear Options Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
Visa/MC
1.25
Yes
$49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
$35,000
Finder Exclusive ends 30 September 2019:
Save with a 0% balance transfer offer and a $49 first year annual fee when you apply online.
Woolworths Qantas Platinum Credit Card
Visa/MC
1
Yes
$99 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($169 p.a. thereafter)
$30,000
Enjoy a 0% p.a. balance transfer offer for 14 months and a discounted $99 first year annual fee. Plus, complimentary overseas travel insurance.
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Frequent flyer rewards

Using frequent flyer credit card is an easy way to pick up reward points as you spend overseas. Depending on the card, you might be able to redeem these points for flights with a specific airline, accommodation with partner hotels, travel vouchers, cashback on your account or products from a rewards store. If your card is designed for overseas use, you could earn more points per $1 on foreign purchases. Compare frequent flyer credit cards with no foreign transaction fees to earn points without forking out for extra fees.

International acceptance

Make sure the card that you're using isn't restricted by economic sanctions before you travel. Credit cards with affiliation to Visa or Mastercard find acceptance in most countries around the world, at ATMs and EFTPOS terminals alike. Acceptance of Diners Club and American Express cards is not as widespread and could attract surcharges.

Airport lounge passes and other travel perks

You can escape the chaos of the airport and relax before your flight with a credit card that offers complimentary lounge passes. Some credit cards in Australia offer invitations to Qantas Club, Virgin Australia, American Express and Priority Pass lounges in Australia and around the world. The perks will vary between lounges but you can usually expect complimentary food, beverages and access to high-speed Wi-Fi, comfortable seats and work stations.

Some credit cards also offer cardholders complimentary flights. You may need to meet a spend requirement to access the perk, but it's an easy way to save on travel costs and offset any card fees.

What should I be aware of when using a credit card overseas?

  • Adding funds to your credit card. Some travellers add money to their credit cards accounts before they leave for overseas. Then they use their card like a type of debit card to pay with their own cash rather than credit. If your card allows you to do this, you can avoid paying interest. However, banks don’t take responsibility for money you add to your account. If your card is lost or stolen and used for unauthorised transactions, those funds won't be eligible by zero liability cover.
  • Take multiple travel money options. Instead of putting all of your eggs in one basket, you should take multiple travel money options with you. This may include a debit card or prepaid travel card as well as your credit card and some cash. That way you'll have a backup if your card is lost or stolen and can avoid being charged credit card fees withdrawing cash from an ATM.
  • Attracting debt. Create a travel budget and use your credit card to spend responsibly. You have to repay everything you charge, plus interest if you don't pay your balance in full.

What are the pros and cons of using a credit card overseas?

Pros

  • Global acceptance. Most Australian credit cards can be used in hotels, restaurants and stores around the world.
  • Travel perks. Credit cards designed for overseas use often come with travel-related benefits such as frequent flyer rewards programs, complimentary insurance and airline lounge passes.
  • Security of credit. A credit card can come in handy when you need to cover unexpected or emergency costs while you're travelling overseas. As mentioned above, it's also wise to organise multiple travel money options in case your cash or card is lost or stolen on your travels.

Cons

  • Fees. Depending on the card you choose, you may be charged a foreign transaction fee or surcharge for using a credit card overseas.
  • Limitations. You'll need to meet eligibility requirements (such as a minimum annual income and credit score criteria) to be approved for a credit card.
  • Risk of debt. While a line of credit can provide you with peace of mind, you may be tempted to overspend. Use your credit card responsibly and stick to a budget that you can repay in full by the end of the statement period to make the most of your card.

There are many types of credit cards to suit Australians travelling overseas. Whether you want to avoid foreign transaction fees, earn points as you spend or take advantage of complimentary travel insurance, make sure to compare your options before you choose the right card for your international trip.

*The products compared on this page are chosen from a range of offers available to us and are not representative of all the products available in the market. There is no perfect order or perfect ranking system for the products we list on our Site, so we provide you with the functionality to self-select, re-order and compare products. The initial display order is influenced by a range of factors including conversion rates, product costs and commercial arrangements, so please don't interpret the listing order as an endorsement or recommendation from us. We're happy to provide you with the tools you need to make better decisions, but we'd like you to make your own decisions and compare and assess products based on your own preferences, circumstances and needs.

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16 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    ValerieAugust 30, 2019

    Are there any credit cards that offer travel insurance for over 80?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JeniAugust 31, 2019Staff

      Hi Valerie,

      Thank you for getting in touch with Finder.

      There are some credit cards that offer complimentary travel insurance for travellers older than 80 years old like NAB which covers up to 90 years old while Virgin Money, HSBC and Citi did not include the traveller’s age limit so long that there’s no pre-existing medical condition. It is recommended that you contact your chosen provider on this matter for further clarification. Once you have decided which credit card to apply with, please make sure though to read the eligibility criteria, features and details of the card, as well as the relevant PDS/ T&Cs of the card before making a decision and consider whether the product is right for you.

      I hope this helps.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

  2. Default Gravatar
    JennyJuly 1, 2017

    What is Travelex card like?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      RenchJuly 1, 2017Staff

      Hi Jenny,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      Please visit this page to check further details for Travelex Money Card. Here is also a review for Travelex Foreign Currency and International Payments by going on this page.

      Hope this information helped.

      Cheers,
      Rench

  3. Default Gravatar
    BebeJuly 3, 2015

    If I have a 28 degrees Mastercard, does it mean when I withdraw cash from an overseas ATM that there will not be a withdrawal fee?
    Thanks for your help in clarifying my query.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JonathanJuly 6, 2015Staff

      Hi Bebe, thanks for your inquiry!

      The 28 Degrees MasterCard provides no international transaction fees on purchases, which only covers currency conversion rate charges. Overseas ATM withdrawals may still incur a charge, depending on the local ATM’s withdrawal policies and fees.

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

  4. Default Gravatar
    TonyDecember 29, 2014

    Hi,

    Is there any card that offers zero foreign transaction fee, and currency conversion fees? If not what card offers the lowest fees.

    Regards
    Tony

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ElizabethDecember 29, 2014Staff

      Hi Tony,

      Thanks for your question.

      You can compare a range of cards that charge no foreign currency conversion fees or transaction fees on this page.

      I hope this will help.

      Thanks,

      Elizabeth

  5. Default Gravatar
    nNovember 28, 2014

    Hi,
    Can I obtain cash out at the point of purchase in the USA like we can here in Oz?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ElizabethNovember 28, 2014Staff

      Hi N,

      Thanks for your question.

      This is possible, but it’s up to the discretion of the retailer.

      I hope this has helped.

      Thanks,

      Elizabeth

  6. Default Gravatar
    PaulDecember 4, 2013

    I have been told that to avoid bank currency exchange rates that if you load your credit card up with extra money that there is no foreign exchange rate charge – is this true ?
    I have the NAB premium card.

    • Default Gravatar
      EmmaSeptember 1, 2014

      Hello,

      I would like to avoid taking a credit card and have the Qantas traveller card but am a little confused with conversion – I am going to Brazil and the card does not hold the Brazilian Real, but if I load it up with Australian or American money, can I still use it at an ATM in Brazil ie: will the machine convert my money and give out Brazilian Real? Thank-you.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ShirleySeptember 1, 2014Staff

      Hi Emma,

      Thanks for your question.

      Yes you can still use an ATM in Brazil, just make sure it displays the same symbol on your card (Mastercard/Visa/Amex etc). Usually the ATM gives out the local currency as well.

      Please note a currency conversion fee could apply, because you don’t have the preloaded currency read in your card.

      Cheers,
      Shirley

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JacobDecember 4, 2013Staff

      Hi Paul.

      This is not correct. You will be charged a currency conversion fee regardless of whether your account is in a positive balance. You can compare travel money options on this page. These cards do not charge a currency conversion fee when you carry out a transaction in a currency other than Australian dollars.

      Thanks for your question.

  7. Default Gravatar
    renottaApril 26, 2013

    i want know how can i get cash from my international credit card.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JacobApril 26, 2013Staff

      Hi Renotta. Thanks for your question. There are a couple of ways you can access cash from a credit card when you use it overseas – either you can withdraw it from an ATM, or you can use your card to make a purchase over the counter. Fees and charges will vary depending on how you use you card. If you’re using your card to withdraw from an overseas ATM, you will incur: cash advance interest rate, cash advance fee, international ATM fee, local ATM fee and cross currency conversion fee – these charges vary depending on the card and the ATM you use. Making a purchase over the counter is cheaper overseas and you just get charged the cross currency conversion fee and the purchase rate of interest – excluding any interest free days. There are cards that do not charge some of the fees listed above, you can check the fees in ‘fees table’ at the bottom of each card’s review and application page, and you can compare travel money options here. Let me know if you have any questions about travel money. Bon Voyage! 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.
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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