Travel Money Finder™ – Guide to Travelling With Money Overseas

Discover how far your travel money can take you.

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Whether you're looking for a fee-free credit card to avoid making the luxury handbags you're purchasing in Italy any more expensive or a pre-paid travel money card without ATM reload fees on your budget Bali break, there's the right travel money product out there for you. And we're here to help you find it.

We've compared the travel-friendly card options so you don't have to and can get back to the fun stuff, like planning your much-anticipated holiday.

Compare travel money cards

Name Product Available Currencies ATM Withdrawal Fee Initial Load Fee Reload fee
Cash Passport Platinum Mastercard
USD $2.50, EUR €2.50, GBP £2.00, NZD $3.50, THB ฿80.00, CAD $3.50, HKD $18.00, JPY ¥260.00, SGD $3.50, AUD $3.50, AED 10.00
Up to 11 currencies on 1 card locked in exchange rates and no load fees.

Compare up to 4 providers

Compare three travel money cards' available currencies side by side

Australian dollar (AUD)
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
United Arab Emirates dirham (AED)
  • No
  • No
  • Yes
Canadian dollar (CAD)
  • No
  • Yes
  • Yes
euro (EUR)
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Pound sterling (GBP)
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Hong Kong dollar (HKD)
  • No
  • Yes
  • Yes
Japanese yen (JPY)
  • No
  • Yes
  • Yes
New Zealand dollar (NZD)
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Singapore dollar (SGD)
  • No
  • Yes
  • Yes
Thai baht (THB)
  • No
  • Yes
  • Yes
US dollar (USD)
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes

What if I'm going to a destination not listed above?

You can still use a pre-paid travel card just as you would a credit card if the currency for the destination you're going to is not listed above.

Alternatively, you may want to consider travel-friendly credit card and debit card options.

Compare ATM withdrawal fees by destination for these travel money cards

Australian dollar (AUD)$0$3.75$3.50
United Arab Emirates dirham (AED)N/AN/A10
Canadian dollar (CAD)N/A$0$3.50
euro (EUR)$0€0€2.50
Pound sterling (GBP)$0£0£2.00
Hong Kong dollar (HKD)N/A$0$18
Japanese yen (JPY)N/A¥0¥260
New Zealand dollar (NZD)$0$0$3.50
Singapore dollar (SGD)N/A$0$3.5
Thai baht (THB)N/A฿0฿80
US dollar (USD)$0$0$2.5

How does getting cash out with travel money cards compare to debit cards?

Your travel money card doesn't just replace a debit or credit card when it comes to making payments, you can also use it to withdraw cash at ATMs around the world at the locked-in rate.

If your debit card is with one of the big four banks (ANZ, Commonwealth, NAB or Westpac), you'd pay $5 every time you withdraw cash at an overseas ATM.

What are the travel money card fees I should know about?

  • ATM withdrawal fees: Fees change depending on which card you have and which country you're in. Tip: The NAB Traveller Card (Discontinued) doesn't charge any ATM withdrawal fees.
  • Initial load and reload fees: Some cards charge you when you first put foreign currency onto the card and/or when you add more money to your balance. Tip: The NAB Traveller Card (Discontinued) doesn't charge these fees.
  • Currency conversion fees: Depending on the card, you can pay up 5% or more in currency conversion fees.Tip: Qantas Travel Money doesn't charge a currency conversion fee.

What have we compared so you can find your best travel money card for you?

Why should I get a pre-paid travel money card?

Think of it as a gift card to yourself to use when you're on the road.

Pre-paid travel money cards let you load different currencies onto the card at a locked in exchange rate, so you can better keep track of your spending while travelling and not have to worry about rising exchange rates.

There is no one "best" type of travel money to take overseas because your options vary from country to country and from person to person. So to find the best* travel money options for your next trip, you'll need to look at your holiday destination, how you want to spend money and what you can afford to take with you.

  • Pre-load money. Put money onto your card in an upfront loading so you know exactly what you have to spend while you're away. But don't worry - you can always re-load on the go if you need to.
  • Multiple currencies. You can use your travel card to convert your Australian dollars into your chosen supported currency or currencies. When you spend in a supported and loaded currency, you can avoid the currency conversion fees you'd usually be charged if you were using an Australian card overseas.
  • Locked-in exchange rates. When you convert your Australian dollars into a foreign currency that's supported by the card, the funds are converted based on the exchange rate available at that time. Depending on which way the currency goes, this can be a good way to avoid negative exchange rate fluctuations while you're travelling.
  • Frequent flyer points. Get a Qantas Cash or Velocity Global Wallet Card prepaid travel money card and you'll earn frequent flyer points for your spending both overseas and in Australia, with both cards offering higher point-earning rates for international transactions.

Looking for information about travel money cards for a specific destination?


Where are you travelling to?

Travel credit cards

Credit cards can give you financial security, flexibility and extra features when you travel overseas. There is also a range of cards designed to offer you more affordability by offering no currency conversion fees, foreign transaction fees or overseas ATM withdrawal fees. But remember to consider the other costs associated with the card, such as the annual fee and interest rates, so that you can decide if this is an option that will work for your trip.

Compare travel credit cards with 0% currency conversion fees

Name Product Foreign currency conversion fee Interest-free period Purchase rate Annual fee
NAB StraightUp Card
0% p.a.
Save with 0% interest charges and 0% foreign transaction fees. Plus, $0 monthly fees when you don't use the card or carry a balance.

Compare up to 4 providers

Benefits of using a credit card overseas

  • Access to credit. Your credit card limit is often larger than your savings, which can give you more flexibility when you travel.
  • Security. Credit cards come with a range of security features including fraud-monitoring services and zero-liability policies that help protect you if your card is lost, stolen or used for fraudulent transactions.
  • 0% foreign transaction fees. Many travel credit cards offer no currency conversion or ATM withdrawal fees, which could help you save when compared to regular credit cards or debit cards. Note that you'll still have to pay cash advance fees if you use a credit card to get cash out at an ATM.
  • Extras. Depending on the card, you could earn reward or frequent flyer points for your spending or get other travel perks such as complimentary overseas travel insurance, purchase protection and concierge services.

What else do I need to know when using a credit card for travel?

  • Acceptance. Most Australian credit cards are Visa, Mastercard or American Express, so you should be able to use them widely around the world. You may not be able to use some cards in some locations (such as Cuba, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, Sudan and Syria) due to economic sanctions. Check with the provider to confirm whether you can use your card in a specific country before you go overseas.
  • Fees. If you use your regular credit card overseas, it's likely you'll be charged currency conversion or foreign transaction fees. You'll also be charged cash advance fees if you use your card for ATM withdrawals. Cards designed for overseas use tend to come at a cost, so make sure that the cost of the annual fee doesn't outweigh the benefits you get from the card. Unless you have a card with 0% on purchases or interest-free days, all purchases will also collect interest.
  • Currency conversion costs. Look for a card that doesn't charge currency conversion or foreign transaction fees, otherwise you'll rack up fees every time you use your card for purchases in the local currency on your holiday.
  • Dynamic currency conversion. When you travel overseas with an Australian credit card, you could have the option of paying in the local currency or in Australian dollars. If you choose Australian dollars, your transaction will be processed using dynamic currency conversion, which usually costs more than paying in the foreign currency (even after the standard fees have been added).

Travel debit cards

If you have a Visa or Mastercard debit card that's linked to an everyday account, you could continue to use it when you're travelling overseas. This gives you a way to spend your own money without transferring or converting it beforehand. Some everyday debit cards offer travel benefits such as international ATM alliances to help you avoid overseas withdrawal fees or 0% currency conversion fees.

Compare travel debit cards

Name Product Card access ATM Withdrawal Fee Monthly Account Fee Internatonal ATM Fee Foreign transaction fee
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.
Enjoy no minimum ongoing balance or transaction requirements and the flexibility to hold up to 10 currencies. Apple Pay and Google Pay available.

Great Southern Bank Everyday Edge Account
Refund of international ATM withdrawal fees and international card transaction fees (conditions apply).
$0 monthly account fee. Unlimited fee-free everyday transactions.
Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay available. Savings Top Up tool automatically transfers to linked savings account.
Citi Global Currency Account
Earn up to 0.45% p.a. interest on your AUD balance.
$0 monthly account fee.
Enjoy one linked debit card to hold up to 10 currencies and receive foreign currencies for free.

Compare up to 4 providers

What are the benefits of travelling with a debit card?

  • Pay with your own money. Unlike a credit card with a line of credit or a prepaid card with a loaded amount of funds, a debit card gives you direct access to your transaction or savings account when you're in another country. This can save you time compared to loading money on a prepaid card and can help you avoid cash advance or interest charges that could apply on a credit card.
  • ATM availability worldwide. If your debit card is a Visa or Mastercard, you should be able to withdraw money from ATMs around the world. To avoid ATM withdrawal fees, look for a card with a global ATM network, such as Westpac's Global ATM Alliance or Citi's international ATM network.
  • Card fraud protection. Australian debit cards offer security features such as fraud-monitoring services and zero-liability policies that can help you get your money back if your card is used for fraud.

What do I need to know when I travel with my debit card?

  • Foreign transaction fees. Unless your debit card offers 0% international transaction fees, you could be charged between 1% and 4% for all payments made in a foreign currency.
  • Dynamic currency conversion. Similar to credit cards, you may have the option of paying in the local currency or in Australian dollars when you use your debit card overseas. Choosing Australian dollars means the transaction will be processed using dynamic currency conversion, which usually adds between 6% and 8% to the transaction cost.
  • No back-up or additional card. Unlike some travel money cards, debit card accounts do not provide a backup. This means that you may have to wait up to two weeks for a replacement if you've lost your card or had it stolen overseas.
  • Daily currency exchange rate. You will receive the daily exchange rate for your withdrawal from Mastercard or Visa. Due to the uncertainty of exchange rates, this may be favourable or provide a lower rate than securing a rate with a prepaid travel card before you leave the country. You can get an idea of how the Mastercard and Visa exchange rates compare here.

Read this guide to find out which debit cards are the best to use during your next overseas trip.

CASE STUDY: Do your homework first

Jeremy stood shoulder to shoulder with locals and tourists, trying to keep his footing as the metro made its way towards the Colosseum. As more and more people packed onto the train, Jeremy lost his girlfriend to the glacial movement of the crowd pulling her towards the back. When he felt a brush against his rear, he was a little surprised but thought nothing of it and put it down to one of those packed-train moments. A moment was all the pickpocket needed to steal Jeremy's wallet.

Jeremy got on the phone to his card protection service, Secure Sentinel. A call to this service is supposed to be the one-stop shop for cancelling cards, but Jeremy ended up having to call each bank separately, which led to a number of frustrating hours spent on the phone, instead of hours negotiating Italy's famous tourist traps. Luckily for Jeremy, he had done his homework.

Jeremy is a publisher at, so he knew to get a prepaid card before he left since they come with a backup. To his girlfriend's delight, the back-up card saved their trip and they were back on the streets of Rome the next day; albeit with an eye on their pockets. It almost wasn't such a sure thing. Like any smart traveller should, Jeremy had done his research before he left the country and he knew to spread his money between a couple of cards and his girlfriend.

Be like Jeremy and do your homework before you leave.

Travel debit cards draw funds from a savings account and enable you to access your funds while overseas and to manage your budget. The advantages of using a debit card can include international ATM alliances and no withdrawal fees, no currency conversion fees on foreign transactions and access to your savings.

Foreign cash

While cards are convenient and secure, it's a good idea to have some foreign cash on hand when you go overseas. This allows you to make payments when cards are not accepted, such as at smaller cafes, stores or even public transport ticket machines. It also means you'll have some funds available even if something happens to your card. You can buy foreign currency in Australia from specific outlets or order it online. You can also buy it when you're overseas, although this could be more expensive.

Compare foreign cash services

Name Product Minimum Order Amount Maximum Order Amount Delivery/Pickup Method Commission Fee
Foreign Xchange Travel Money
In Store,Home Delivery
Order multiple currencies in one transaction and have it delivered directly to your door anywhere in Australia. No delivery fee for orders over $1,000. A $10 flat fee applies to orders less than $1,000.

Compare up to 4 providers

Benefits of having foreign cash

  • Acceptance. As long as you have enough money, you can use foreign cash anywhere. In comparison, there could be some locations where cards are not accepted.
  • Convenience for smaller payments. Some businesses might have a minimum transaction amount for cards, which could make it easier to use cash. Similarly, if you're travelling to a country where tipping is required, such as the US or the UK, having cash could make it easier to leave a tip that's affordable for you.
  • Lock in exchange rates. If you buy currency before you go overseas, you'll be able to get it at the exchange rate offered for that day. This means you'll know exactly how much you have to spend when you're away.
  • Easy ordering services. If you order your currency online, you could have the choice of getting it delivered or picking it up at a nearby store. This could save you time and money when compared to last-minute foreign currency purchases you make at the airport.

Other factors to consider when getting foreign cash

  • Exchange rates. The exchange rates for buying currency can vary a lot depending on the company and where you are. So planning ahead will help you find a service that offers a competitive exchange rate for whatever currency you want to buy.
  • Currency conversion costs. Many foreign currency exchange services will charge a fee or commission for each transaction. You could also be charged a fee for delivery. Make sure you factor this cost in before you order money so you can budget accordingly.
  • Processing times. If you want foreign cash before you go overseas, keep in mind that some services may need to order the money for you. This could take a couple of weeks, so give yourself plenty of time between ordering money and going away.
  • Security. Remember that cash is easy to lose and tricky to insure. Aim to keep your money on you or locked up in a secure section of your luggage that would be hard for thieves to access. Also check your travel insurance policy to see how much you could be covered for if you lose your cash.

What other travel money options can I consider?

Traveller's cheques

Traveller's cheques were once a widely used form of travel money, but they're going the way of the dinosaur. You can weigh up whether they're worth your time below:

Benefits of traveller's cheques

  • Secure. Traveller's cheques are an extremely secure method to spend money overseas, requiring an ID check before they can be used.
  • Safe. Traveller's cheques are insurable and can be replaced if lost or stolen.

What else should I consider when looking at traveller's cheques?

  • Cost. You might be charged a purchase fee when you first pick up your traveller's cheque.
  • Acceptance. Traveller's cheques are not widely accepted, especially compared to Visa or Mastercard credit, debit and travel money cards.
  • Ease of use. Traveller's cheques can be bulky and awkward to store in your wallet or luggage. Plus, you'll have to go to the effort of getting them cashed rather than having immediate access to money like you would with a card or foreign cash.

Credit cards with complimentary travel insurance

A range of credit cards come with complimentary travel insurance that can help you save on buying cover upfront. Usually, you'll need to activate the cover or pay for some or all of your trip with the card to get this insurance. If you think you'll use this card when you're overseas, remember to also look at the other features of the card – including foreign transaction fees and interest rates.

Frequent flyer credit cards

As well as earning you points for your everyday spending, many frequent flyer credit cards offer travel perks such as airport lounge passes, travel insurance and concierge services. If you get a new frequent flyer card, you could also earn thousands of bonus points to help pay for your next trip. There are also some top-tier frequent flyer cards that offer flight or travel vouchers you can put towards the cost of your next trip. As with other credit cards, remember to check the rates and fees, so you know how much it will cost to use the card in Australia and overseas.

There is a wide range of travel money options you can choose from when you go overseas. So learning about the different types of cards and cash services means you'll be able to spend your money easily wherever you are in the world.

The most commonly asked travel money questions on the Internet

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316 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    KerryDecember 19, 2018

    I am going to the Uk in 2019. Confusions is supreme. I see there is information about conversation currency fees, however on individual travel card sites they claim 0 fees. If I have a facility with my current domestic bank that charges no fees to transfer money to another facility and I use a travel card that states they have 0 fees for upload and currency conversation fee, am I correct in believing that there will be no cost to me to upload AUD to GBP. I am traveling for about 3 months and with a budget of around AUD 20,000. What cards should I consider compared to using my domestic Credit and Debit cards. I have tried using your search engine for best card for country but it is not uploading.

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MayDecember 20, 2018Staff

      Hi Kerry,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      Sorry to hear about your confusion as to which card you would bring to the UK and apologies as well if you’re having a hard time uploading our page. Nevertheless, to help you narrow down your options, you can refer to our guide on travel money to the UK. From the page, you’d be able to compare your options for pre-paid, debit, and credit cards, and even foreign cash. Just click on the tabs to see the list. Once you have chosen a particular travel card, you may then click on the “Go to site” button and you will be redirected to the provider’s website where you can proceed with your application or get in touch with their representatives for further assistance.

      With regard to the cost, usually, there’s no cost in loading AUD to the prepaid travel cards. If the currency is supported by the card, say GBP, it’s also free.

      I hope this has helped.


    Default Gravatar
    BrendaDecember 10, 2017

    Hello, just wanted to let you know that unless I’m mistaken, the Qantas Cash card has differing information on your website. On one page it says that there is a 1% reload fee and on another that there is 0%. That said, thanks for offering unbiased easy to understand information, much obliged…

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MayDecember 10, 2017Staff

      Hi Brenda,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      There are actually two ways to reload your Qantas Cash Card. The first option is via bank transfer or BPAY which has 0% fee and the second option through Direct Debit that charges 1% of the total amount. As a sample, this is how Direct Debit works:

      If you wish to load or reload 200 AUD onto your card using Debit Card Load, you will be charged a fee of 1% of the load amount being AUD 200 x 1% = AUD 2. This means you will be required to pay AUD 202 to complete your Debit Card Load transaction.

      Please also note that you may be charged other fees by third parties in relation to the Debit Card reloading transaction like the fees charged by your financial institution.

      I hope this information helps.


    Default Gravatar
    JeanSeptember 16, 2017

    I am traveling to South Africa and wanted to take a prepaid debit card but do not know who to contact for something like that. I talked to Travelex but they do not deal in South African currency. Any suggestions?

      Default Gravatar
      DanielleSeptember 17, 2017

      Hi Jean,

      Thank you for contacting Finder.

      Our Travel money guide to South Africa will provide you some options that may suit your needs. On the page, is a comparison table for a list of travel debit cards and prepaid travel money cards. You can use the table to help narrow down your options. Once you have selected one, you may proceed by clicking the green “Go to Site” button.

      Before applying, please ensure that you read through 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.


    Default Gravatar
    BrendaSeptember 15, 2017

    Can i take english currency to greece or should i take euros

      Default Gravatar
      GruSeptember 16, 2017

      Hello Brenda.

      Thank you for reaching out to Finder.

      Yes, you may take English currency to Greece and have it changed to Euros there, but you may also take Euros. As to what you should bring is all up to you. Our Travel Money Guide to Greece might help you assess what would be best to bring. Please also note that exchange rates vary on a daily basis, also depending on the travel money provider or exchange bureau.

      Alternatively, you also have several other options to choose from aside from taking cash. You may use your debit or credit card, a travel card, or traveller’s cheque. Again, choosing what would best suit you and what you would be comfortable with is all up to you.

      Hope this helped.


    Default Gravatar
    DorothyJuly 10, 2017

    Which travel card is best for me – for 3 weeks in England in September

      Default Gravatar
      DanielleJuly 11, 2017

      Hi Dorothy,

      Thanks for your enquiry.

      The best card for you would be the one that best meets your needs, preference, and budget.

      To help you compare your options, please check our travel money options for UK trips. There’s a table on that page to help you compare your options. Aside from that, the same page comes with a guide on how you can best spend money in the UK.

      I hope this helps.


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