Travel debit cards to use overseas

A travel debit card can save you money on international ATM fees and foreign transaction fees when you're overseas.

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There's a bunch of Australian debit cards that now charge no overseas ATM fees and no foreign transaction fees. These are great travel debit card options that you can use at home in Australia or overseas to save on fees.

Not planning an overseas trip for a while (thanks, coronavirus)? These debit cards can still save you money when you shop online from overseas stores and retailers.

Bank account offer
HSBC Everyday Global Account
monthly fee
ATM withdrawal fee
  • Google Pay, Apple Pay
  • Monthly fees: $0
  • No international transaction fees
  • Up to 10 currencies

HSBC Everyday Global Account

Special offer: $100 cash bonus for new HSBC customers. Earn 2% cashback on tap and pay purchases, and transfer money overseas online to family or friends and pay $0 International Transfer Fee (save $8). T&Cs apply on all offers.
Special offer: $100 cash bonus for new HSBC customers. Earn 2% cashback on tap and pay purchases, and transfer money overseas online to family or friends and pay $0 International Transfer Fee (save $8). T&Cs apply on all offers.

Compare debit cards for overseas travel

Name Product Contactless Payments Instant Payments ATM Withdrawal Fee Monthly account fee
HSBC Everyday Global Account
Google Pay, Apple Pay
Special offer: $100 cash bonus for new HSBC customers.
Earn 2% cashback on tap and pay purchases, and transfer money overseas online to family or friends and pay $0 International Transfer Fee (save $8). T&Cs apply on all offers.
Enjoy no minimum ongoing balance or transaction requirements and the flexibility to hold up to 10 currencies. Apple Pay and Google Pay available.

Suncorp Everyday Options Account
Google Pay, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay
Osko, PayID
There's no international transaction fee when using your Suncorp Visa Debit card overseas, and no overseas ATM withdrawal fee charged by Suncorp (the ATM operator may charge its own fee though).
Citi Global Currency Account
Apple Pay, Samsung Pay
Osko, PayID
Earn up to 0.45% p.a. interest on your AUD balance. You can hold up to 10 different currencies in the account, and withdraw the correct local currency from international ATMs with no withdrawal fee and foreign currencies fee.
Citibank Plus Everyday Account
Apple Pay, Samsung Pay
Osko, PayID
Free international money transfers and free overseas Citibank ATM withdrawals.
Macquarie Transaction Account
Google Pay, Apple Pay
Everyday banking with a linked Mastercard and protection against unauthorised transactions.
Suncorp Everyday Essentials Account
Google Pay, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay
Affordable banking for low income customers and holders of concession and health care cards.
Suncorp Everyday Options Sub Account
Google Pay, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay
Osko, PayID
Ongoing, variable 0.05% p.a. when you maintain a minimum balance of $0.01 and over. Available on the entire balance.
UBank USpend
Google Pay, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Fitbit Pay, Garmin Pay
Earn up to 1.1% p.a. interest on your linked savings account. No foreign ATM or transaction fees.
$0 monthly account fee.
You must open the UBank USave with USpend Bonus savings account in order to get this account. Enjoy access to ATMs in Australia and overseas for free and a 0% foreign transaction fee for online purchases. Manage your spending with a built-in sweep facility that automatically moves money between your linked accounts based on the limits you set. Make contactless payments with Apple Pay and Google Pay.

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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How to save money when shopping online at international retailers

Even if you're not going overseas any time soon, you can still save money with a travel debit card. These debit cards often charge no international transaction fees for overseas transactions, and this includes transactions made online.

If you make an online purchase from a retailer located outside of Australia, you'd usually need to pay a foreign transaction fee of 3.5% (or more) on the value of your transaction. However if you opt for a debit card that waives this fee, you can save a fair bit of money.

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.

Looking for the best debit card for overseas travel?

There's no single bank account that's best for everyone as all our needs are different - and what's best for you might not be best for someone else. Keep in mind that we don't compare every product in the market, but we hope that our tools and information will allow you to compare your options and find the best bank account 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

    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.

      While we don’t provide a specific product recommendation, we can help guide you through the process of comparing your options. This page provides a list of debit cards for overseas travel and online shopping, you can use our comparison table to help you find the card that suits you. You can also visit our travel money guide for Sri Lanka to know your other travel money options.

      Once you have chosen a particular card, you may then click on the “Go to site” button and you will be redirected to the bank’s website where you can proceed with your application or get in touch with their representatives for further assistance.

      Before applying, please ensure that you meet all the eligibility criteria and read through the details of the needed requirements as well as the relevant Product Disclosure Statements/Terms and Conditions when comparing your options before making a decision on whether it is right for you. You can also contact the provider if you have specific questions.

      I hope this helps.

      Have a great day!


    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.


    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.


    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 operates 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. You may find 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.

    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.


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