Q&A: Published responses to our user's credit card and travel money questions
We receive a number of interesting - and sometimes challenging - comments from our users every day. In particular, we respond to a lot of questions regarding travel credit cards, rewards, and credit card travel insurance on a daily basis. Rather than leaving all of our responses in the comment section, we've answered some of these questions on this page in hopes that it will enlighten any users with similar questions.
Questions, responses and resources
- Which credit card will help me earn points with Qantas or Emirates?
There are a wide variety of cards that directly earn Qantas Points or Emirates Skywards miles for your everyday spending. There are many other rewards cards that allow you to earn issuer-specific points that can be converted to your frequent flyer program of choice. You can view finder's Qantas Frequent Flyer Credit Card comparison here and Emirates Credit Card comparison here. If you're interested in Virgin Australia's Velocity Frequent Flyer Points, you can compare cards here.
- I don't want to pay fees for high-end cards. What are my options?
Rewards and frequent flyer cards often come at the cost of relatively high annual fees. 'You don't get something for nothing' applies here. Fees often range from $100-200 p.a. all the way to $1,200. However, American Express does offer two frequent flyer credit cards that are free of an annual fee. These cards are linked to Virgin and Qantas frequent flyer programs, and can be found in the American Express comparison table. Many rewards cards also offer a $0 or discounted annual fee for the first year, reverting to the standard fee thereafter.
To calculate whether these cards are a cost-effective option, you will need to ensure that the net value of any rewards are greater than the card's annual fee. Therefore, the higher the annual fee, the more you have to spend before the card becomes a cost effective product.
- Should I use a credit card with complimentary travel insurance or organise separate travel insurance?
Both complimentary and individual travel insurance pose potential benefits and savings. However, it is your unique financial circumstance that will determine which option is right for you. The differences between credit card complimentary travel insurance and separate travel insurance include the period of cover, excess for claims and the terms for claim eligibility.
- Is there a difference between Visa and Mastercard?
At face value, these companies are essentially the same. There are a couple of small differences, in terms of acceptance, although both Visa and Mastercard are accepted in millions of locations worldwide. In my personal experience when I was travelling around the world, I did not find a place where Visa was accepted and Mastercard wasn't, and vice versa. The second small difference comes in the interchange fee schedule. Unless you're spending tens of thousands of dollars per transaction, this usually isn't taken into consideration, as the interchange fees, which are the backend fees that come with using your credit card, only differ by a point of a percent.
- Can I spend overseas without incurring a currency conversion fee?
Check out finder's 0% foreign fees credit cards and you'll be able to compare travel-friendly credit cards that don't charge a cross currency conversion fee. This is usually a fee of 2% or 3% that you incur when you make a transaction in a currency other than Australian Dollars. There are currently only a handful of cards in the market, so your options are quite limited when it comes to avoiding currency conversion fees.
Some cards are better to use than others when overseas and fees and charges will vary depending on how you use you card. Watch out for the following:
- ATM purchases. If you're using your card to withdraw from an overseas ATM, you could incur the 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.
- Over-the-counter purchases. Making a purchase over the counter overseas is generally a cheaper option as you will only be charged the cross currency conversion fee and the purchase rate of interest.
- I'd like to add an additional cardholder no additional fees.
There are many cards on the market that offer additional cardholders at no cost. The primary cardholder is still responsible for all liabilities and keeping the account in good standing. When you earn rewards or frequent flyer points, spending on the additional cards will earn points to the primary account and pool the points together.
- I want a credit card that earns uncapped frequent flyer points.
The credit card market in Australia offers several cards with no cap on points earning. While most cards to apply a cap, be sure to consider if you're actually likely to reach that cap per statement period.
Have more questions?
If any of your questions have been left unanswered, feel free to leave a comment and we will do our best to provide you with further information.