What is the Best Credit Card* to use Overseas?

best credit cards for travelAvoid currency conversion and overseas ATM fees and enjoy complimentary travel insurance with a credit card on your next holiday.

There are many ways for Australians to take their cash on holiday, including credit cards designed for overseas use. These credit cards generally charge low or no foreign transaction fees, no currency conversion fees and no ATM withdrawal fees while offering travel-centric perks such as complimentary travel insurance, rewards programs and 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 card for you.

Bankwest Zero Platinum Mastercard

Bankwest Credit Card Offer

With the Bankwest Zero Platinum Mastercard, you pay no annual fee ever and also save on foreign transaction fees on purchases.

  • $0 p.a. annual fee
  • 17.99% p.a. on purchases
  • 2.99% p.a. for 9 months on balance transfers
  • Cash Advance Rate of 21.99% p.a.
  • Up to 55 days interest free

Compare credit cards with no foreign transaction fees

Rates last updated June 25th, 2017
Name Product Product Description Foreign Currency Conversion Fee (MC) Foreign Currency Conversion Fee (VISA) Overseas ATM Withdrawal Fee Overseas Cash Advance Fee Annual fee
Bankwest Zero Platinum Mastercard
An introductory offer on balance transfers, plus complimentary travel insurance & access to a 24/7 Concierge service.
0% of transaction value
$0
The greater of 2% or $4.00
$0 p.a.
Bankwest Qantas Platinum Mastercard
Enjoy a high credit limit with complimentary travel insurances and earn 0.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases.
0% of transaction value
2% or $4.00, whichever is greater
$160 p.a.
28 Degrees Platinum Mastercard
Receive up to 55 days interest-free on purchases and access to a 24/7 concierge service.
0% of transaction value
$0
3% of the cash advance or $4 (whichever is greater)
$0 p.a.
Bankwest Qantas World Mastercard
Earn uncapped Qantas Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases and receive complimentary travel insurance.
0% of transaction value
$270 p.a.

Compare up to 4 providers

creditcard-inserted-in-passport

How to compare credit cards for overseas travel

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.

Sponsorship - Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Exclusive - BT - PE-43719

Exclusive Credit Card Offer

Exclusive to finder.com.au, Virgin Money is offering a long-term balance transfer with a 0% balance transfer fee.

  • Enjoy an exclusive offer of 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 18 months and no balance transfer fee (reverts to cash advance rate).
  • Receive a $129 Virgin Australia Gift Voucher each year. Conditions and spend criteria apply.
  • Earn up to 2 bonus Velocity Points per $1 spent in the first 3 months (capped at 10,000 bonus points per month).
  • Pay a reduced annual fee of $64 in the first year, $129 p.a. thereafter.
  • Eligibility criteria, T&Cs, fees and charges apply.

    Rates last updated June 25th, 2017
    Name Product Product Description Bonus Points Rewards Points per $ spent (VISA/MC) Rewards Points per $ spent (AMEX) Complimentary Travel Insurance Annual fee Minimum Income
    St.George Vertigo Platinum
    Take advantage of a 0% p.a. for 20 months on balance transfers offer with no balance transfer fee.
    0
    0
    Yes
    $99 p.a.
    HSBC Platinum Credit Card
    Take advantage of a 0% p.a. for 22 months on balance transfers offer with a 2% p.a. balance transfer fee.
    1
    0
    Yes
    $99 p.a.
    $40,000
    HSBC Platinum Qantas Credit Card
    Enjoy complimentary membership to the Qantas Frequent Flyer program and the ability to pay with Apple Pay.
    60,000 bonus points
    1
    0
    Yes
    $199 p.a.
    $40,000
    ANZ Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
    Receive a low introductory offer of 0% p.a. on purchases for 3 months and 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 12 months.
    0
    0
    Yes
    $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($87 p.a. thereafter)
    $35,000
    Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Exclusive Offer
    Earn 2 Velocity Points on top of the standard earn rate per $1 spent within the first 3 months.
    0.66
    No
    $64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
    $35,000
    ANZ Frequent Flyer Black
    Earn 75 Bonus Status Credits when you apply by 30 September 2017, buy and fly return with Qantas by 31 January 2018.
    75,000 bonus points
    1
    Yes
    $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($425 p.a. thereafter)
    $75,000
    ANZ Low Rate Platinum
    Take advantage of a 0% p.a. for 16 months on balance transfers offer with a 2% p.a. balance transfer fee.
    Yes
    $99 p.a.
    $35,000
    ANZ Frequent Flyer Platinum
    Enjoy complimentary membership to the Qantas Frequent Flyer program and access to a 24/7 concierge service.
    50,000 bonus points
    0.75
    Yes
    $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($295 p.a. thereafter)
    $35,000
    American Express Explorer® Credit Card
    Receive a $400 travel voucher and two complimentary American Express Lounge passes each year.
    50,000 bonus points
    2
    Yes
    $395 p.a.
    $65,000
    NAB Premium Card
    Take advantage of a 0% p.a. for 20 months on balance transfers.
    0
    0
    Yes
    $90 p.a.
    Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Platinum
    Take advantage of a 0% p.a. for 20 months on balance transfers offer with no balance transfer fee.
    0
    0
    Yes
    $99 p.a.
    Bankwest Zero Platinum Mastercard
    Save overseas with a 0% foreign transaction rate and up to 55 days interest-free on purchases.
    0
    0
    Yes
    $0 p.a.
    ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures card
    No overseas transaction fee on purchases, plus a complimentary domestic return flight each year when you meet the eligibility criteria.
    1.5
    Yes
    $225 p.a.
    $35,000
    ANZ Rewards Black Credit Card
    Up to 55 days interest-free on purchases and unlimited access to participating Véloce airport lounges outside of Australia.
    75,000 bonus points
    2
    Yes
    $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($375 p.a. thereafter)
    $75,000
    American Express Platinum Business Card
    Provides easy tracking and management of business expenses with reporting that meets ATO requirements.
    100,000 bonus points
    0
    1
    Yes
    $1,500 p.a.
    $75,000
    Qantas American Express Premium Card - Exclusive Offer
    Take advantage of 50,000 bonus Qantas Points when you meet the minimum spend criteria and a 0% p.a. introductory rate on balance transfers.
    50,000 bonus points
    1.25
    Yes
    $249 p.a.
    $40,000
    Virgin Australia Velocity High Flyer Card - 30k Bonus Points offer
    Receive a $129 Virgin Australia Gift Voucher and two complimentary Single Entry Virgin Australia domestic Lounge passes each year.
    30,000 bonus points
    1
    Yes
    $144 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($289 p.a. thereafter)
    $75,000
    American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card
    Receive a $200 travel credit each year and a balance transfer offer of 0% p.a. for 12 months.
    1
    Yes
    $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($195 p.a. thereafter)
    $50,000
    NAB Velocity Rewards Premium Card
    Offers up to 1 Velocity point per $1 on purchases, combined with complimentary insurance covers and a concierge service.
    0.5
    1
    Yes
    $150 p.a.
    American Express Velocity Platinum Card
    Receive a complimentary domestic return flight with Virgin Australia and two single entry passes to Virgin Australia lounges every year.
    100,000 bonus points
    0
    1.5
    Yes
    $375 p.a.
    $65,000
    Bank of Melbourne Amplify Platinum
    Choose between Amplify Rewards or Amplify Qantas programs and receive up to 55 days interest-free on purchases.
    40,000 bonus points
    1
    0
    Yes
    $99 p.a.
    $35,000
    Bank of Melbourne Amplify Signature
    Choose to switch between Amplify Rewards or Amplify Qantas programs and earn uncapped reward points.
    60,000 bonus points
    1.5
    0
    Yes
    $279 p.a.
    $75,000
    American Express Platinum Card
    Receive a $300 Platinum travel credit each year, access to over 1,000 VIP lounges worldwide and Platinum Fare Guarantee.
    80,000 bonus points
    0
    1
    Yes
    $1,200 p.a.
    $100,000
    Citi Qantas Signature Credit Card
    Receive complimentary Priority Pass standard membership, with two airport lounge visits per year.
    50,000 bonus points
    0.5
    Yes
    $199 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($395 p.a. thereafter)
    $75,000
    Bankwest Qantas World Mastercard
    Earn uncapped Qantas Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases. Also enjoy no foreign transaction fees on online and overseas spend.
    0.66
    0
    Yes
    $270 p.a.
    Bankwest More World Mastercard
    Receive two complimentary airport lounge visits per year through Priority Pass and pay no foreign transaction fees on purchases.
    115,000 bonus points
    2.5
    Yes
    $270 p.a.
    NAB Qantas Rewards Premium Card
    Customers can get comprehensive complimentary insurance through this card and a low balance transfer rate for the first 6 months.
    0.5
    1
    Yes
    $250 p.a.
    NAB flybuys Rewards Card
    Earn 1 flybuys point per $1 spent on everyday purchases and receive 7 complimentary insurance covers.
    1
    0
    Yes
    $95 p.a.
    St.George Amplify Platinum
    Earn uncapped rewards points, receive up to up to 55 days interest-free on purchases and complimentary additional cards.
    40,000 bonus points
    1
    0
    Yes
    $99 p.a.
    $35,000
    St.George Amplify Signature
    Receive two complimentary airport lounge passes per year, Birthday Bonus perks and access to a 24/7 concierge service.
    60,000 bonus points
    1.5
    0
    Yes
    $279 p.a.
    BankSA Vertigo Platinum
    Take advantage of a 0% p.a. for 14 months on balance transfers offer with no balance transfer fee.
    0
    0
    Yes
    $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
    Citi Rewards Platinum Credit Card
    Featuring a 0% p.a. for 24 months on balance transfers offer with a 1.5% p.a. bBT fee and membership to the Citi Rewards Program.
    1
    0
    Yes
    $49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
    $35,000
    ANZ Platinum Credit Card
    Featuring a 0% p.a. for 16 months on balance transfers offer with a 2% p.a. balance transfer fee.
    0
    0
    Yes
    $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($87 p.a. thereafter)
    $35,000
    NAB Rewards Platinum Card
    Collect 50,000 bonus points when you spend $2,500 on everyday purchases within 60 days of account opening.
    50,000 bonus points
    1
    Yes
    $195 p.a.
    American Express Velocity Escape Card
    Featuring a 0% p.a. for 12 months on balance transfers offer with a 1% p.a. balance transfer fee.
    1
    No
    $0 p.a.
    $40,000

    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, cash back 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.

    San Francisco bridge

    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.

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    12 Responses to What is the Best Credit Card* to use Overseas?

    1. Default Gravatar
      Bebe | July 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.

      • Staff
        Jonathan | July 6, 2015

        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

    2. Default Gravatar
      Tony | December 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

      • Staff
        Elizabeth | December 29, 2014

        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

    3. Default Gravatar
      n | November 28, 2014

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

      • Staff
        Elizabeth | November 28, 2014

        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

    4. Default Gravatar
      Paul | December 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
        Emma | September 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.

      • Staff
        Shirley | September 1, 2014

        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

      • Staff
        Jacob | December 4, 2013

        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.

    5. Default Gravatar
      renotta | April 26, 2013

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

      • Staff
        Jacob | April 26, 2013

        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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