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.

There is a wide range of credit cards that offer you travel benefits, such as savings on fees and complimentary extras. Depending on the card you choose, you could save with no foreign transaction fees and no ATM withdrawal fees and enjoy perks such as credit card travel insurance, reward points or airline lounge passes. Unfortunately, these cards aren't entirely cost-free though. As the right credit card for you 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 travel credit card option for you.

Compare credit cards with no foreign transaction fees

Rates last updated August 18th, 2018
Name Product Foreign Currency Conversion Fee Overseas ATM Withdrawal Fee Overseas Cash Advance Fee Annual fee Product Description
28 Degrees Platinum Mastercard
0% of transaction value
$0
3% of the cash advance or $4 (whichever is greater)
$0 p.a.
No foreign transaction fees on international purchases including international purchases online, together with a no annual fee.
ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures card
0% of transaction value
$5
$0
$225 p.a.
Receive 40,000 bonus Velocity Points, 2 yearly Virgin Australia lounge passes, plus enjoy $0 overseas purchase transaction fees.

Compare up to 4 providers

Some of the best* cards for travel

How to compare credit cards for overseas travelcredit card inserted in passport

As a few Australian credit cards on the market are designed for overseas use, here are some of the features you should compare to find the right one for you.

International acceptance

In your hunt for a credit card to use overseas, one of the first features to consider is international acceptance. 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 their use could attract higher fees. Make sure the card that you're using isn't restricted by economic sanctions before you travel.

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. If you have a card that's designed for overseas use and it comes with extra features, it's likely that it could also come with a higher annual fee. Before you apply, make sure the value you get from the card outweighs the cost. Some cards also come with no annual fees for a promotional period or for the life of the card, so you should also factor this into your comparison.
  • ATM withdrawal fees. If you use your credit card to withdraw funds overseas, you might be charged a few different fees. Firstly, most credit cards charge a cash advance fee when you use your card for ATM withdrawals (whether you're in Australia or overseas). As well as the cash advance fee, you'll immediately attract the cash advance interest rate. Secondly, many banks charge an overseas ATM withdrawal fee when using your card for this withdrawals outside of Australia. Thirdly, the local ATM provider might also charge a withdrawal fee. If you want to avoid this last fee, consider using a credit card that belongs to an ATM alliance.

Complimentary insurance

If you're travelling overseas, you're going to have to organise international travel insurance. Using a credit card that offers complimentary insurance can help you save the time and money you'd otherwise spend on standalone cover. Depending on the card, the international travel insurance usually includes overseas medical insurance, transit accident insurance and travel delay insurance to name a few. The cover might also extend to 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. Complimentary insurance is often a feature of platinum credit cards, so make sure the feature is worth the cost of the card before applying.

Rates last updated August 18th, 2018
Name Product Bonus Points Rewards Points per $ spent Complimentary Travel Insurance Annual fee Minimum Income Product Description
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - 0% Interest Offer


0.66
No
$129 p.a.
$35,000
Buy now and pay later with 0% p.a. interest on purchases for 14 months. Plus, 0% p.a. on balance transfers for up to 6 months.
Westpac Altitude Platinum Card - Qantas
60,000 bonus points


0.5
Yes
$50 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($200 p.a. thereafter)
$30,000
Earn 60,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $3,000 within 90 days of card approval. Plus, a $50 first year annual fee.
St.George Vertigo Platinum - Online Offer
Yes
$99 p.a.
Get platinum perks and save with 0% p.a. interest for up to 25 months on balance transfers with no BT fee.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Bonus Points Offer
60,000 bonus points


0.66
No
$64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
$35,000
Earn up to 60,000 bonus Velocity Points in the first 3 months and enjoy a discounted annual fee of $64 for the first year.
HSBC Platinum Credit Card


1
Yes
$129 p.a.
$40,000
Offers a 0% p.a. for 22 months balance transfer and an annual fee refund each year when you spend $6,000.
St.George Amplify Signature - Qantas - Online Offer
90,000 bonus points


0.75
Yes
$179 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($279 p.a. thereafter)
Offers 90,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $4,000 within 90 days, two yearly Qantas Club lounge passes and a reduced first year annual fee.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer


0.66
No
$64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
$35,000
Take advantage of 0% p.a. on balance transfers for up to 18 months. $64 in the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter), plus, bonus Velocity Points.
American Express Westpac Altitude Platinum Bundle - Qantas
75,000 bonus points


1


0.5
Yes
$50 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($249 p.a. thereafter)
$50,000
Up to 75,000 bonus Qantas Points when you meet the criteria with this dual Visa (issued & serviced by Westpac) & Amex (issued & serviced by Amex).
HSBC Platinum Qantas Credit Card
60,000 bonus points


1
Yes
$199 p.a.
$40,000
Receive 60,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $3,000 within 3 months of card approval, plus enjoy complimentary travel insurance.
American Express Westpac Altitude Platinum Bundle
75,000 bonus points


2


1
Yes
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($199 p.a. thereafter)
$50,000
$0 first year annual fee & up to 75,000 bonus Altitude Pts when you meet T&C with this Visa (issued by Westpac) & Amex (issued & serviced by Amex).
Citi Rewards Platinum Credit Card


1
Yes
$49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
$35,000
Earn reward Points per $1 spent, take advantage of a 0% p.a. for 26 month balance transfer offer, plus complimentary international travel insurance.
NAB Low Rate Platinum Card
Yes
$100 p.a.
Enjoy a 0% p.a. interest rate offer on purchases for 9 months and the protection of 7 complimentary insurances including overseas travel insurance.
Citi Platinum Credit Card - 100k Bonus Points
100,000 bonus points


1
Yes
$49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
$35,000
Earn 100,000 reward Points, enjoy a long-term balance transfer offer, a discounted first year annual fee and complimentary travel insurance.
ANZ Platinum Credit Card
Yes
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($87 p.a. thereafter)
$35,000
Receive a 0% p.a. for 18 month balance transfer offer and a $0 first year annual fee. Plus, complimentary overseas travel and medical insurance.
Bendigo Bank Low Rate Platinum Mastercard
No
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($89 p.a. thereafter)
Offers premium features such as mobile phone and tablet insurance and purchase protections, plus, a $0 first year annual fee.

Compare up to 4 providers

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 on foreign purchases. Compare frequent flyer credit cards with no foreign transaction fees to earn points without paying an extra cost overseas.

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

  • Adding funds to your credit card. There are certain people who add funds to their credit cards accounts before they leave for overseas, and they then make use of these funds through their card in the form of a debit card. By doing this, you can avoid paying interest. What you should know is that card providers don’t take any responsibility for funds you add to your credit card account. So, if your card is lost or stolen and used for unauthorised transactions, you might lose out on valuable funds.
  • Consider other options. Using your credit card is not the only way you can spend money overseas. You can turn to traveller’s cheques and travel money cards, and you can even look forward to using a Mastercard or Visa debit card. In fact, it's wise to organise more than one travel money option before travelling to ensure you're not stranded without cash in case your card is lost or stolen.
  • Excessive debt. A credit card may tempt you to overspend while on holiday. It's important to remember that you have to repay everything you charge (plus interest in most cases), so make sure that you're spending with a budget in mind so that your balance doesn't get out of control.

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

Pros

  • Global acceptance. If you're using a Mastercard or Visa credit card, you'll be able to use your credit card in millions of locations around the world. American Express and Diners Club cards are also accepted worldwide, though in fewer places than Visa or Mastercard.
  • 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. When you're travelling overseas, it's wise to have more than one way to access your cash. Even if you have a prepaid card or debit card organised for everyday spending, a credit card can be used as a backup and the security of credit could come in handy in an emergency.

Cons

  • Fees. Depending on the card, using your credit card overseas can come with many costs. Make sure you understand exactly what you'll pay when using your card for foreign transactions before you apply.
  • Limitations. Some cards come with limitations, including eligibility requirements, restrictions on how and where you can use the card.
  • Temptation to spend. While a line of credit can provide you with peace of mind, it might also tempt you to spend money that you don't really have. Remember that you'll have to pay back everything you charge (plus interest if you don't pay your balance in full).
As you’ve probably gathered by now, the ideal credit card you can use overseas is one that suits your requirements. Given the many options on offer, it’s ideal that you take some time to compare a few. For more tips, see our guide on how to use a credit card for your next holiday.

* 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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Related Posts

Credit Card Offers

Important Information*
Citi Clear Platinum - Exclusive Offer

Interest rate

14.99

Annual fee

49*

*$99 p.a. after first year

Westpac Low Rate Card

Interest rate

13.49

Annual fee

0*

*$59 p.a. after first year

Westpac Altitude Platinum Card - Qantas

Interest rate

20.24

Annual fee

50*

*$200 p.a. after first year

ANZ Low Rate

Interest rate

12.49

Annual fee

58

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14 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    JennyJuly 1, 2017

    What is Travelex card like?

    • finder 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

  2. 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.

    • finder 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

  3. 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

    • finder 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

  4. 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?

    • finder 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

  5. 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.

    • finder 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

    • finder 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.

  6. Default Gravatar
    renottaApril 26, 2013

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

    • finder 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.

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