Compare Australian debit cards for overseas travel

The right debit card can save you money on international ATM fees and foreign transaction fees when you travel.

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With a bunch of Australian debit cards now charging no overseas ATM fees and no foreign transaction fees, a debit card is an easy, convenient option to consider for your next overseas trip. Organising foreign cash ahead of your trip can be a hassle, so opting for a standard debit card that you open online for free in a matter of minutes is a stress-free option that will not only save you time, but will save you money on fees too.

Travel Debit Card Offer

HSBC Everyday Global Account

HSBC Everyday Global Account

Travel Debit Card Offer

Special offer: $100 bonus for new HSBC customers. Earn 2% cashback on tap and pay purchases under $100. Enjoy no foreign ATM or transaction fees and the flexibility to hold up to 10 currencies. Apple Pay and Google Pay available. T&C's apply to $100 bonus and 2% cashback offers.

  • Account keeping fee: $0
  • Linked debit card: Visa
  • Atm withdrawal fee: $0
  • Overseas EFTPOS fee: 0%
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Compare debit cards for overseas travel

Updated February 27th, 2020
Name Product Debit Card Access ATM Withdrawal Fee Fee Free Deposit p.m. Monthly Account Fee
HSBC Everyday Global Account
Special offer: $100 bonus for new HSBC customers.
Earn 2% cashback on tap and pay purchases under $100.
Enjoy no foreign ATM or transaction fees and the flexibility to hold up to 10 currencies. Apple Pay and Google Pay available. T&C's apply to $100 bonus and 2% cashback offers.
ING Orange Everyday Account
$0 international transaction fees. ATM fee rebate. Pay no International transaction fees and receive a rebate on overseas ATM withdrawal fees when you deposit $1,000 per month and make 5+ card purchases a month
Xinja bank account
100% app-based everyday bank account.
$0 monthly account fee.
A digital bank account with no ATM fees in Australia or overseas, plus no currency conversion fees. Xinja app offers spending categorisation features.
Citi Global Currency Account
$0 transaction fee on international purchases.
Save on international transaction fees by using local currencies with your debit card.
If you’re shopping online on a US site, you can set your debit card transaction currency to USD to pay no international transaction fees.

Compare up to 4 providers

Updated February 27th, 2020
Name Product Debit Card Access ATM Withdrawal Fee Fee Free Deposit p.m. Monthly Account Fee
HSBC Everyday Global Account
The HSBC Everyday Global Account is both an everyday transaction account and a multi-currency account in one with no overseas ATM or transaction fees
Citi Global Currency Account
Pay $0 international transaction fees and $0 overseas ATM fees when you use a foreign currency linked with your account in a country that uses that currency. Make sure your debit card is linked to the correct currency before using an ATM, otherwise a foreign exchange fee applies.
ING Orange Everyday Account
Pay no International transaction fees and receive a rebate on overseas ATM withdrawal fees when you deposit $1,000 per month and make 5+ card purchases
St.George Complete Freedom Account
Special offer: $40 cash bonus for new customers (T&Cs apply).
$5 waivable monthly account fee.
Monthly account fee waived if you deposit at least $2,000 a month. No account fees for students and customers under 21.

Compare up to 4 providers

You can also find a comparison of travel friendly credit cards and travel cards by reading our travel money guide. The following article will examine which debit card is the best* to use when you're overseas

How does a debit card work for overseas travel?

You can use your standard Australian debit card overseas just as you would when you're home in Australia. You can use the debit card to make purchases in stores or to withdraw cash from overseas ATMs. A debit card comes linked to your transaction or everyday banking account, giving you easy access to your own money while you're travelling.

Choosing a debit card that charges no overseas ATM fees and no foreign transaction fees is the best way to avoid unnecessary fees while you're travelling. These debit cards, such as the cards in the table above, can be used anywhere you're travelling internationally and help you save big on fees.

Debit card features that make them a good travel money option

The features that come with your debit card will vary from card to card, but here’s some of the standards you expect:

Access your own funds when travelling

Using a debit card will allow you to access your own funds while travelling overseas. Unlike a line of credit, spending your own money can help curb your spending and keep your budget in check. Plus, you don't need to worry about pre-loading your card with different currencies like you do with a foreign currency card.

Visa or Mastercard global acceptance

As long as you have a globally accepted debit card (such as a Visa or Mastercard), you should be able to access your funds easily internationally. You can use such a card at EFTPOS terminals, to withdraw cash from ATMs and to make purchases online.

Easy account management

You can manage your account and keep track of your travel budget using online account management. Most banks offer online banking and mobile phone apps, so you should have no trouble managing your funds on the go.

Easy to apply for online

Getting a debit card is much easier than getting a credit card because you don’t have to meet minimum income requirements. You can apply for a debit card online in a matter of minutes and you'll receive your card in the mail a few days later.

There's world-class security and fraud protection

Most modern day Australian debit cards make use of microchip technology, which provides increased protection against fraudulent use when compared to cards that rely on magnetic strips. Both, Visa and Mastercard, have online security programs in place to offer extra peace of mind when your card details make it to the online world.

You can take advantage of zero liability

Visa and Mastercard, both, have zero liability policies in place, so when you, as a cardholder, exercise due caution in using your card overseas, your card provider does not hold you liable for fraudulent and suspicious transactions made using your card.

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What else should I consider when using a travel debit card?

Before you get a debit card, know that not all are the same, even if they come with Visa and Mastercard affiliations. As a result, the following aspects require your consideration as well.

Is there a Global ATM alliance so you can get fee-free withdrawals overseas?

When you use your debit card to withdraw money from ATMs when overseas, you might have to pay ATM fees.The good thing is certain Australian financial institutions have ATM alliances with international banks, giving their customers fee-free access to their ATMs. Westpac debit cardholders, for instance, can access Barclays branded ATMs across Europe for free, and Commonwealth Bank customers can find Commonwealth Bank ATMs across Asia.

Does the card charge international transaction fees?

An international transaction fee is charged when you make a transaction in another currency that's not AUD. When you're shopping overseas, these will slowly add up so you may want to get a card that doesn't charge this fee.

Does the card come with linked travel insurance?

Some debit cards come with complimentary travel insurance. Depending what you’re eligible for, you could find that these come in handy if you lose or misplace your luggage or find yourself confronted by a medical emergency or flight cancellation.

Are there any international Visa and Mastercard benefits?

Visa and Mastercard debit cards give cardholders access to a range of special global offers and promotions.

What are the pros and cons of using a debit card for overseas travel?

The pros

  • You can access your funds anytime, anywhere. A Visa or Mastercard debit card gives you instant access to money in your bank account, no matter where in the world you are; all you have to do is look for the Visa or Mastercard logo.
  • You can avoid overseas ATM fees. If you use a partner ATM, you don’t have to pay any additional ATM fees. Or, just opt for a debit card that charges no overseas ATM fees at all!
  • You can avoid international transaction fees. Opt for a debit card that has the option of waiving international transaction fees, so you don’t have to worry about paying international transaction fees with each purchase.
  • It's a safe way to spend your money with fraud protection. Debit cards give you a safe and secure way to access money when travelling overseas, given that multiple security layers work in keeping your information secure.
  • Use it at home or overseas. There's no need to switch between different banking products when you travel and when you're home in Australia. If you choose the right debit card, you can use the one account for all your day-to-day banking at home and take it overseas too.

The cons

  • Getting your card replaced overseas is difficult. Replacing a lost or stolen debit card when you’re travelling overseas might not happen in a hurry and you might have to pay a fee for the same.

What's the best* debit card to use overseas?

This depends on what features are important to you and how you like to access your money when travelling. However, selecting a debit card with the following features is a great way to save money when you're overseas.

  • No overseas ATM fees (or access to an ATM network that charges no fees)
  • No foreign transaction fees (or the option to have these waived when the account conditions are met)
  • A good mobile banking app to keep track of your money when you're on the go exploring a new country
  • 24/7 customer service: it's nice to know there will be someone available to help you if something happens to your card late at night or early in the morning.

*Definition: Best debit card for overseas travel

It's important to note that there is no one 'best' debit card for overseas travel, and what is best for you may not be best for someone else. Consider what features you need in a debit card including the fees, interest rates, ATM network, mobile app etc. before deciding what is right for you.

Wait, I need some extra help!

Use a globally accepted debit card to gain access to your own funds without the temptation of overspending. The fees and rates that come with using your card will vary from card to card though, so make sure to compare your options to ensure the cost doesn’t outweigh the benefits.

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12 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    AmandaMay 21, 2018

    Going to Sri Lanka. We have 28 degrees for shopping, hotel payments etc. Is there a debit card available that would give us better rates for cash withdrawals in Sri Lanka. Thanks.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JeniMay 21, 2018Staff

      Hi Amanda,

      Thank you for getting in touch with finder.

      As a friendly reminder, while we do not represent any company we feature on our pages, we can offer you general advice.

      In this page, you can also consider benefits that these cards offer to choose the one that you’d use in Sri Lanka. Currently, we wouldn’t be able to provide further info on rates as it changes depending on the day that you have your transaction.

      You may also want to know your other travel money options by checking out this link.

      I hope this helps.

      Have a great day!


  2. Default Gravatar
    GigioAugust 3, 2017

    If I use my debit / credit card overseas to purchase items Restuarants etc but do not use A T M S to get cash out I know I will incur 3% transaction fee is there any other charges I can incur because I have looked at getting a travel card and loading it with foreign currency but the conversation rates are very low then if I dont spend all the money I would be charged a fee again to convert the money back to aussie dollars what can you advise

    • Default Gravatar
      ArnoldAugust 4, 2017

      Hi Gigio,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      For credit cards, you have to take note of 3 charges. Foreign transaction fees, Annual fees, and ATM withdrawal fees. For travel money cards, you need to be mindful of conversion rates and the time it takes to reload the card. Travel money cards can take up to 3 days to make funds available when you transfer more money onto your card in a reload. This is not ideal because it can leave you stranded if you do not have another payment method with you and you have run out of money on that card. For convenience, I would opt for a credit card. You may check a list of overseas travel credit cards here

      Hope this information helped.


  3. Default Gravatar
    KieranFebruary 8, 2017


    just slightly confused about this point stated above:

    You can avoid international transaction fees. Just about every Australian debit card you use overseas will require that you pay currency conversion fees every time you use your card.

    This is down as a benefit which confuses me. Could you please explain why this is a positive?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      DeeFebruary 8, 2017Staff

      Hi Kieran,

      Thanks for your question.

      That statement falls under benefits because unlike the usual debit cards with high-interest charges on foreign currency transactions, the travel debit cards we feature on this page have minimal or no foreign transaction fees.


  4. Default Gravatar
    RichardOctober 26, 2016

    I am co-treasurer for a group of 40 travelling to South Africa for a month. We want to pre-fund an account in Australia before leaving and have access to the money in South Africa to meet group expenses. A debit card for myself and my co treasurer seems the best. Question is which card is best for wide access within South Africa?
    Look forward to your suggestions. Thanks

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ClarizzaOctober 26, 2016Staff

      Hi Richard,

      Thanks for your question.

      There are a couple of things to consider when looking for a debit card to use overseas. Fees and access – there are some debit cards on the market that charge little to no fees for international transactions or ATM withdrawals. For example, Citibank Plus doesn’t charge ATM withdrawal fees from Citibank branded ATMs or international transaction fees. However in South Africa, although Citibank operate there, there are no ATMs so you may be charged ATM fees by the owner of the ATM.

      It sounds like you’re keen to use a prepaid travel money card so you may find the our Travel Money Comparison page useful. Travel money cards allow you to load it with your own cash before you travel overseas. This means you can ‘lock-in’ exchange rates and avoid ATM withdrawal fees.

      Please note, we are a comparison site and as such can provide general advice only.

  5. Default Gravatar
    Julie-AnnOctober 2, 2016

    I am moving to China from Australia and have a commonwealth bank savings/debit card account which l want to keep active to pay for loan repayments in Australia, and will have my wages paid in RMB at a Chinese bank. Can l manage my Australian account online, and can l transfer funds from my Chinese account into my commonwealth acct in Australia. Lastly, do you advise l get a travel debit card from the commonwealth bank before l leave?
    Thank you :)

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ClarizzaOctober 5, 2016Staff

      Hi Julie-Ann,

      Thanks for your question.

      Yes, you can continue managing your account from overseas, however please be mindful international transfers will incur fees.

      If you would like to open a travel debit card, we recommend looking into how its features would benefit you. The travel debit card features will vary between products and it would be worth comparing these before opening an account. For example, with the Citibank Plus Everyday account, you can make withdrawals from any Citibank ATM around the world at no charge. There are also no international transaction fees. This Travel Money Debit Cards page might also help you compare other products.

      Hope that helps.


  6. Default Gravatar
    MaureenJune 24, 2016

    Which debit card charges no atm fees while in uk..

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ClarizzaJune 28, 2016Staff

      Hi Maureen,

      Thanks for your question. We are an Australian comparison site and as such provide general advice only. Our Travel Debit Card page might be of assistance – you can compare travel debit cards direct on the page. The Citibank Plus Everyday Account featured on this page does not charge ATM withdrawal fees at any Citibank branded ATMs around the world, including the UK.

      Hope this helps.


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