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Best Travel Credit Cards

Save money with a credit card that offers 0% foreign transaction fees or get value from complimentary insurance and other perks.

If you're thinking about a holiday you're not alone. Finder consumer surveys show that 54% of Australians plan to go overseas in the next 12 months. So if you plan to travel with a credit card, here are some options to help you save on foreign transaction fees and other holiday costs.

What's the best credit card for travel?

Credit cards offer different types of travel features including 0% foreign transaction fees, airport lounge access and frequent flyer rewards. To kick-start your comparison, we've picked out 4 credit cards with popular travel features.

Finder Credit Card Awards Winner 2024

Bankwest Zero Platinum Mastercard

  • No Annual Fee & 0% Balance Transfer Offer
  • $0 Annual fee
  • 14.99% Purchase rate

Pros & cons

  • 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 28 months
  • 0% foreign transaction fees online and overseas
  • 3 additional cardholders at no extra cost
  • Even with a $0 annual fee and 14.99% p.a. purchase rate, you must still be approved for a $6,000 minimum credit limit.
  • Charges a one-time 3% balance transfer fee

Why we like it

  • The Bankwest Zero Platinum Mastercard has a $0 annual fee and 0% foreign transaction fees.
  • It also has an introductory rate of 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 28 months, with a 3% BT fee.
  • Bankwest is one of the few providers that offers a digital card you can use straight away once you're approved and activate your account.

Top pick for travel features and 0% interest offer

ING Orange One Low Rate

  • 100% foreign transaction fee rebates
  • $0 Annual fee
  • 11.99% Purchase rate

Pros & cons

  • $0 annual fee for the life of the card
  • Low variable interest rate of 11.99% p.a. on purchases and cash advances
  • Must hold an Orange Everyday account or request to open one to receive this card
  • Several criteria to receive the ATM fee rebate and foreign transaction fee waivers

Why we like it

  • The ING Orange One Low Rate has a $0 annual fee.
  • It also includes a rebate on foreign transaction fees for customers with an Orange Everyday account who meet the minimum deposit and spend requirements.

Top pick for 0% foreign transaction fees

Latitude 28° Global Platinum Mastercard

  • 0% Foreign Currency Conversion Fees
  • $0 Annual fee
  • 27.49% Purchase rate

Pros & cons

  • Ongoing $0 annual fee
  • 0% foreign currency conversion fees on purchases
  • Free global data roaming with Flexiroam
  • Complimentary Flight Delay Pass
  • High purchase interest rate of 27.49% p.a.
  • Charges a payment handling fee of $1.95 for BPAY payments and $3.95 for payment at Australia Post. You can avoid the fee by using Latitude’s Online Service Centre or via direct debit.

Why we like it

  • 0% international transaction fees on purchases while you travel overseas or shop online.
  • $0 annual fee and no cost to add an additional cardholder.
  • Free data roaming with Flexiroam, which gives you a choice of SIMs and 3GB of free data for 15 days each calendar year to use in over 150 countries.
  • Free lounge access when your flight is delayed with the Flight Delay Pass at select airport lounges.

Top pick for no FX fee and lounge access credit card

CommBank Smart Awards Credit Card

  • Up to 75,000 bonus Awards Points or up to 30,000 Qantas Points
  • $228 Annual fee
  • 20.99% Purchase rate

Pros & cons

  • Up to 75,000 bonus CommBank Awards Points or up to 30,000 bonus Qantas Points
  • Points Boost for highest eligible purchase in each statement period
  • Included international travel insurance
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Airport lounge access with Mastercard Travel Pass provided by Dragon Pass
  • Choosing to earn Qantas Points attracts a $60 yearly fee
  • After the first $5,000 spent in a statement period, there is a relatively low earn rate of 0.5 CommBank Awards Points or 0.2 Qantas Points per $1 on eligible spending
  • $19 monthly fee unless you spend at least $2,000 in a statement period
  • Mastercard Travel Pass airport lounge access attracts a fee for each lounge visit
  • Offers up to 44 days interest-free on purchases, compared to other cards that offer up to 55 days

Why we like it

  • The CommBank Smart Awards Credit Card offers 0% foreign transaction fees and access to over 1,300 airport lounges for a fee through Mastercard Travel Pass by DragonPass.
  • It also includes international travel insurance that you can simply activate through internet banking or the CommBank app.
  • It currently offers 75,000 bonus CommBank Awards Points or 30,000 bonus Qantas Points when you apply as a new customer and spend $4,500 on eligible purchases within days of activation.
  • You also earn up to 1.5 CommBank Awards Points or up to 0.6 Qantas Points per $1 on eligible spending.

Can I use my everyday credit card overseas?

Yes, you can use any credit card when you travel overseas. Just like in Australia, the business will need to accept card payments, but that's common in a lot of popular travel destinations.

Keep in mind that many credit cards and debit cards charge a 2-3% foreign transaction fee when you make payments in another country. So before you go overseas with your everyday card, check its foreign currency fee to make sure it's affordable.

Credit cards with 0% foreign transaction fees

If you're trying to save money, the best credit card to use overseas is likely one with 0% foreign transaction fees. If you want a card that can help you earn points and get you there for free, you can compare frequent flyer credit cards.

Name Product Interest-free period Purchase rate p.a. Annual fee
Westpac Lite Card
Foreign currency conversion fee
0%
Up to 45 days on purchases
Purchase rate p.a.
9.9%
Annual fee
$108
Save with 0% foreign transaction fees, a low interest rate for purchases and cashback offers through Westpac Extras.
humm90 Platinum Mastercard
Foreign currency conversion fee
0%
Up to 110 days on purchases
Purchase rate p.a.
25.8%
Annual fee
$0 first year ($99 after)
Offers up to 110 days interest-free on purchases, 0% foreign transaction fees, $0 first-year annual fee and flexible instalment plan options.
More Info
ING Orange One Low Rate
Foreign currency conversion fee
3%
Up to 45 days on purchases
Purchase rate p.a.
11.99%
Annual fee
$0
$0 annual fee and 100% foreign transaction fee rebates for customers with an Orange Everyday account who meet the minimum deposit and spend requirements.
More Info
Bankwest Zero Platinum Mastercard
Finder Award
Finder Award
Foreign currency conversion fee
0%
Up to 55 days on purchases
Purchase rate p.a.
14.99%
Annual fee
$0
Get 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 28 months (with a 3% BT fee), ​an ongoing $0 annual fee and 0% foreign transaction fees.
More Info
Bankwest Breeze Platinum Mastercard
Foreign currency conversion fee
0%
Up to 55 days on purchases
Purchase rate p.a.
0% for 12 months, then 12.99%
Annual fee
$69
Get 0% p.a. interest on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months (with a 2% BT fee). Plus 0% foreign fees and complimentary overseas travel insurance.
More Info
Latitude 28° Global Platinum Mastercard
Foreign currency conversion fee
0%
Up to 55 days on purchases
Purchase rate p.a.
27.49%
Annual fee
$0
Save with 0% international transaction fees on purchases. Plus, complimentary Flight Delay Pass and global data roaming.
More Info
Coles Rewards Mastercard
Flybuys
Foreign currency conversion fee
0%
Up to 55 days on purchases
Purchase rate p.a.
19.99%
Annual fee
$99
Get 50,000 bonus Flybuys points (worth $250 Flybuys Dollars) and 0% international transaction fees on purchases.
More Info
HSBC Low Rate Credit Card
Foreign currency conversion fee
0%
Up to 55 days on purchases
Purchase rate p.a.
12.99%
Annual fee
$99
0% p.a. on balance transfers for 12 months. Plus, no overseas transaction fees and complimentary domestic travel insurance.
More Info
Bendigo Bank Ready Credit Card
Foreign currency conversion fee
0%
Up to 55 days on purchases
Purchase rate p.a.
19.99%
Annual fee
$0
Save with an ongoing $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees.
More Info
NAB StraightUp Card
Foreign currency conversion fee
0%
Purchase rate p.a.
0%
Annual fee
$0
Save with 0% p.a. interest charges and 0% foreign transaction fees. Plus, $0 monthly fees when you don't use the card or carry a balance.
More Info
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Types of travel credit cards

There are 4 main types of credit cards that offer features and benefits for travellers:

Credit card and card terminal
  • 0% foreign fees
    These credit cards don't charge an international currency conversion fee and can save you around 2-3% compared to some other credit and debit cards.
Travel insurance icon
  • Complimentary travel insurance
    Credit cards with complimentary overseas travel insurance typically offer cover for medical emergencies, travel delays and lost or stolen luggage. Some offer cancellation cover and many cover COVID-related claims.
Plane tickets
  • Frequent flyer
    A frequent flyer credit card offers you points for your everyday spending, which you can redeem for flights and other rewards.
Lounge passes
  • Lounge passes or travel credit
    Some premium credit cards offer airport lounge passes you can use before your flight. And a few cards offer flight or travel credit for overseas or domestic bookings.

Pros and cons of using a credit card overseas

Pros

  • Global acceptance. Australian credit cards can be used in most hotels, restaurants, stores, travel agencies and entertainment venues around the world.
  • Travel perks. Credit cards designed for overseas use often come with travel-related benefits like 0% foreign transaction fees, frequent flyer rewards programs, complimentary insurance or airport lounge passes.
  • Security and emergencies. A credit card can come in handy if you need to cover unexpected costs when you're travelling overseas. If your card is lost or stolen, you can report it and get the account locked. Credit card zero liability policies also mean any fraudulent transactions will be refunded.

Cons

  • Fees. Depending on the card, you may be charged a foreign transaction fee or surcharge for using a credit card overseas. This typically costs 2–3% (or more) of the transaction. Credit card annual fees can also add to your account costs and range from $0 to over $700. Cards with more perks like rewards and lounge passes tend to have higher annual fees than more basic ones.
  • Limitations. You'll need to meet eligibility requirements (such as income and credit score criteria) to be approved for a credit card.
  • Risk of debt. While a credit card is handy and offers some peace of mind, it can also lead to overspending, interest charges and ongoing debt.

How to compare travel credit cards

Credit card fees

When you're travelling overseas, there are 2 main credit card fees to watch out for:

  • Foreign transaction fees. When you pay for something in another currency, your Australian dollars are converted to the local currency. This typically attracts a fee between 2% and 3% of the transaction (both when you're overseas and shopping online with international merchants). You can avoid this fee with a credit card that doesn't charge a foreign currency conversion fee.
  • ATM withdrawal fees. Even if your credit card doesn't have ATM fees, using it to withdraw cash will attract a cash advance fee and interest charges. The only way to avoid these charges is to use a debit card or prepaid travel card when you want to withdraw cash.

💡 Tip: Don't forget about annual fees

When you're comparing credit cards for travel, remember to check the annual fee costs. Some cards with rewards and travel perks charge annual fees of $400 or more.

For some people, the value from perks will justify the cost of the annual fee but for others a card that offers a $0 annual fee will make more sense.

Rewards

Using a frequent flyer credit card is an easy way to earn points for reward flights or other travel perks. If you're collecting points through a few frequent flyer programs, you could also look at a rewards credit card that lets you transfer points to partnered airlines or hotel loyalty programs.

While rewards and frequent flyer points are great, using a rewards card that charges a foreign transaction fee while you're overseas will likely negate any value you'd get from these rewards.

💡 Tip: Bonus point offers

You can often get thousands of bonus points when you sign up for a new frequent flyer or rewards credit card. Usually, you'll need to meet a spend requirement to get them, such as spending $3,000 in the first 3 months.

Sometimes, you'll even earn enough bonus points to fly overseas – so keep an eye out for these credit card offers.

Complimentary insurance

Using a credit card that offers complimentary international travel insurance can help you save money on buying cover.

The complimentary travel insurance usually covers overseas medical insurance, transit accidents and travel delay. The cover usually extends to your spouse or any dependant 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.

It doesn't make sense to get a credit card just for travel insurance because of the potential ongoing costs and impact to your credit score. But I also wanted a card with 0% foreign transaction fees that I could use when I was on holiday overseas. And I didn't want to pay a high annual fee. So I chose a card that met these requirements to help save on costs.

Amy Bradney-George, credit card senior writer

Amy Bradney-George, credit card senior writer
Credit card travel insurance saved me $200 – here's how

Airport lounge access

A credit card that offers complimentary lounge passes gives you a way to relax in style before your flight.

If you're travelling overseas, look for a card that offers lounge access for international airports – such as American Express Centurion Lounges and Priority Pass lounges. If you're travelling in Australia, there are also cards that offer Qantas Club or Virgin Australia domestic lounge invitations.

Other travel perks

Some credit cards offer flights or yearly travel credit, concierge services to help with travel bookings, entertainment and restaurant reservations while you're away or more points per $1 spent overseas and on bookings with an airline partner.

There are also a few high-end cards that offer hotel status and perks. These types of benefits can add even more value and help justify the typically higher annual fees that some more premium cards charge.

What to think about when you travel with a credit card

  • Take a few travel money options

Instead of putting all of your eggs in one basket, you should take at least 2 travel money options with you. This may include a credit card or prepaid travel card, your debit 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.

💡 Tip: Global transaction accounts
If you plan to live and work overseas for a while, you could also consider a transaction account that lets you deposit and spend money in different currencies. For example, the Wise multi-currency account or the HSBC Everyday Global Account.

  • Track your spending

Create a travel budget and use your credit card to spend responsibly. You have to repay everything you put on the card – plus interest if you don't pay your balance in full.

  • Make repayments

If you are sent a credit card statement while you are travelling, you will need to make a payment by the due date as usual. If you have access to a secure internet connection, you can do this through online or mobile banking.

Alternatively, you could call your bank to pay by phone. If you're earning money overseas, check out Finder's guide to making repayments with foreign currency.

Planning your next trip? Check out our selection of frequent flyer credit cards and see if you can get a few thousand bonus Qantas or Velocity Points when you book your trip.

Frequently asked questions

Matt Corke

I always travel with my CBA Gold card. It has no foreign transaction fees and also has travel insurance included. The other benefit to using credit cards when you travel is that any fraud happens, it is dealt with swiftly by the bank.
— Matt Corke, Head of Publishing Ventures

Finder Award winner and finalists in 2024

Find out which brands ranked highly at 2024 Finder Awards for travel credit cards.

Every year the Finder Credit Card Awards celebrate Australia's top credit cards, with expert analysis of rates, fees and offers based on 12 months' worth of data. Because credit card offers change regularly, these cards might not currently have the most competitive deals but you can use them as a benchmark for current offers.

More guides on Finder

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16 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    TFJ100June 26, 2023

    A quick note that the Bendigo Ready Credit Card also has a good travel insurance option where you don’t need to pay the whole cost of your travel on the card to activate the travel insurance, just a portion. So, if you have already bought your overseas tickets, and don’t want to pay extra for travel insurance, you might still be able to claim using this card – read the PDS to see the rules. It is also one of the only cards that still has rental car excess reduction on it – so I book all my rental cars through this card

    Default Gravatar
    SaijaMarch 25, 2023

    Which cards are best for 2 card holders (husband & wife)?

      AvatarFinder
      AmyMarch 27, 2023Finder

      Hi Saija,
      Most credit cards in Australia allow you to share your account with someone by getting an additional card for them that’s linked to your account. A few credit cards also offer joint accounts, where both people share legal responsibility for the credit card account. You can learn more and compare different options in Finder’s guide to joint credit cards. I hope that helps.

    AvatarFinder
    JeniAugust 31, 2019Finder

    Hi Valerie,

    Thank you for getting in touch with Finder.

    As of this writing, there are some credit cards offering travel insurance for over 65. NAB covers up to 90 years old while Virgin Money, HSBC, and Citi did not include the traveler’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

    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
      JonathanJuly 6, 2015Finder

      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

    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
      ElizabethDecember 29, 2014Finder

      Hi Tony,

      Thanks for your question.

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

      I hope this will help.

      Thanks,

      Elizabeth

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