Home from your holiday with cash left on your travel money card? Here’s how to get it back.
So you didn’t get the time to shop as much as you’d planned, and you’ve still got preloaded foreign currency left unspent on your travel money card. All isn’t lost. You can still get that money back. Read on to learn how.
How to get the remaining funds off your travel money card
It can be as easy as internet banking or it might require a trip down to the bank, depending on your card provider. Here’s how it works with the major Australian prepaid travel cards.
Before the ANZ Travel Card card expiry date, you can redeem any remaining funds for cash at an ATM (subject to the minimum ATM withdrawal amount and ATM withdrawal fees), by electronically transferring the amount to your account or by cancelling the card. You may cancel it by calling 1800 094 003, or by visiting any ANZ Branch or ANZ Foreign Exchange Centre and completing a card closure form.
The Cash Passport MasterCard attracts a monthly inactivity fee of $0, a domestic ATM fee per withdrawal of 2.95%, and a negative balance fee of $0. If you would prefer to cancel your Cash Passport instead of keeping it for another trip, you can move the remaining balance to your bank account for a fee of $10 by calling Customer Service at +44 20 7166 7822.
The Travelex Travel Card card attracts a monthly inactivity fee of $4 after 12 months of no usage, which can whittle away at your balance. It also charges a 2.95% withdrawal fee on domestic withdrawals within Australia. There’s a $20 negative balance fee which can easily occur if you withdraw more than your balance (which is difficult to ascertain given the foreign exchange rate at the time, and other incidental charges). You can close your card at any distribution outlet and move remaining funds to your nominated bank account for an extra fee of $10.
The NAB Traveller Card attracts a monthly inactivity fee if you have funds left on the card but no transaction activity for 12 months. NAB also charges domestic ATM withdrawal fees (in Australia) which are charged in Australian dollars so make sure you have AUD on your card if you’re attempting to make a withdrawal from the ATM. Otherwise, you may incur more foreign exchange fees or worse, negative balance fees. NAB customers can transfer remaining funds to their linked NAB accounts and keep their cards for future use. Other customers can close their cards at a NAB branch or by completing the Cash Out form at the NAB Traveller Card website. All remaining funds will be converted back to Australian dollars and credited to your nominated Australian bank account.
You can continue to shop online with the Westpac Global Currency Card or make free cash withdrawals from any Westpac Group ATM after transferring your foreign funds back into Australian dollars via the Westpac Customer Service Centre. Alternatively, you can also close your card by calling 1300 797 470 and have the remaining balance returned to your Australian bank account.
Valid for up to 3 years with no monthly inactivity fee, you can use the Commonwealth Bank Travel Money Card on your next holiday or close it off and empty the remaining funds into your account at no charge. CommBank account holders can transfer the money in real-time on NetBank at prevailing retail foreign exchange rates, while non-CommBank users can do the same by visiting a branch office. You can also withdraw the funds from any CommBank ATM free-of-charge after converting the foreign currency to Australian dollars, either via NetBank or by calling the Travel Money Customer Service Centre.
With the Suncorp Cash Passport Travel Card, you can withdraw your remaining funds from a local ATM or close your account and have the funds transferred into your nominated account. Do note that withdrawals within Australia incur a 2.95% fee, negative balances incur a $20 fee and over-the-counter cash withdrawals incur a $10 fee. A $10 fee is also charged for account closures and cashing out any remaining value. You can do this by logging into the Suncorp Bank Multi-Cash Currency portal.
The Qantas Cash card doesn’t incur an inactivity fee or ATM withdrawal fees, but a foreign exchange rate will apply when withdrawal is made in Australia on funds that are not in Australian dollars. While there is no negative balance penalty either, you will be liable for any negative balance as well as costs and interests incurred by Qantas in recovering the amount owed. You can close your card at any time at no cost by writing to or emailing MasterCard Qantas Cash Global Support.
The Velocity Global Wallet charges a monthly inactivity fee of $1 after 12 months without transaction activity. ATM withdrawals within Australia are free but there is a foreign exchange fee of 3% which may apply. There is no negative balance fee or card closure fee, and you may close your account and transfer any remaining funds to a nominated Australian bank account anytime.
If you have funds remaining on your Australia Post Load&Go card, you can either exchange the money back into your Australian dollars currency wallet and withdraw the funds from an ATM or fill out the Load&Go balance redemption form to have the funds sent to you via an Australia Post Money Order. It doesn't cost anything to close the account, but you will be charged $1 every month a balance remains in your account following expiry.
Withdrawn since 30 November 2015, the OzForex Travel Card card is now off the market. If you happen to have it and have not spent or cleared out your balance before 30 November 2015, you will need to contact OFX to organise a fund transfer to your chosen account.Back to top
Some mistakes to avoid with leftover funds in your travel card
If you have money left over on your travel card, be sure to take note of and avoid the following possible pitfalls:
- Leaving your card open. If you’re not travelling anytime soon, you might want to close the card once you’ve withdrawn your funds. Otherwise, you may still have to pay any inactivity fees or annual maintenance fees attached to the card.
- Expired cards. Most providers send a goodwill email to remind you of an impending expiry date. You can then request for closure, but failure to do so will unfortunately result in “Unclaimed Monies”.
- Unclaimed monies. While banks previously forfeited your money once your card expired, unclaimed monies legislation now dictates that balances above $500 (which are left untouched after three years or unclaimed after card expiry) must be transferred to the Commonwealth Bank and held in trust. You can run a free search of all unclaimed monies through the MoneySmart website. Amounts below $500 are essentially forfeited if you don’t close your account and claim them.
- Spending foreign currencies in Australia. Some banks charge domestic ATM withdrawal fees on your travel card, so be very careful reading the fine print. Since all fees are debited in Australian dollars, if you only have foreign currency on your card, that will incur more foreign currency conversion fees.
It is important to know the rules and conditions around your travel card. Depending on the fees and exclusions set by your provider, it may be wiser to withdraw remaining funds and close the account instead of keeping it for your next vacation. It is also worthwhile to factor in things like the card’s loading and reloading fees as well as foreign currency trends when comparing your options.Back to top