Travel Money Comparison

Discover how far your travel money can take you.

Travelling overseas involves a lot of planning, and that includes your money.

Which option is right for your next trip?

Travel Money Card Comparison

Rates last updated November 25th, 2017
Name Product Description Available Currencies ATM Withdrawal Fee Reload Fee Initial Load Fee
You can load and hold up to eleven currencies on the Qantas Cash Mastercard with a locked-in exchange rate. A travel card to be used at home as well as overseas, rack up Qantas Points on all eligible purchases. Debit cards incur a 1% reload fee.
AUD, AED, CAD, EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY, NZD, SGD, THB, USD
AUD 1.95, CAD 2.00, EUR 1.50, GBP 1.25, HKD 15.00, JPY 160, NZD 2.50, SGD 2.50, USD 1.95, THB 70.00, AED 6.50
$0
$0
The NAB Traveller Card allows you to load up and lock in up to 10 currencies. Benefit from no fees for reloading funds. Comes with a secondary card for added security.
AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY, NZD, SGD, THB, USD

Overseas: $0 per withdrawal via international ATMs

Domestic: $3.75 fee applies

$0
$0

Compare up to 4 providers

What is a travel card?

Travel cards are prepaid debit cards designed for travel and foreign transactions. You can use these cards to lock in exchange rates and load several international currencies to avoid foreign transaction fees when you spend overseas.

A quick comparison of travel money cards

Travel Money Feature

Prepaid Travel Card

Credit Card

Debit Card

Fees
No currency conversion feesYesYesNo
No ATM withdrawal feesYesYesYes
No initial currency load feeNo--
Currency
Pre-load currenciesYesNoNo
Instant reload (no delay)Yes--
Convenience
Worldwide acceptanceYesYesYes
Emergency cash facilityNoYesNo
Purchase over the counter (EFTPOS)YesYesYes
Security
Chip & Pin protectionYesYesYes
Emergency card replacementYesYesNo
Backup cardsYesNoNo
Account management
Mobile applicationYesYesYes
Online account loginYesYesYes
Rewards
Reward points for spendingYesYesYes
Frequent flyer benefitsNoYesNo
Promotional interest rates (0% purchases / balance transfers)NoYesNo

This table is a general summary of the travel money products in the market. Features and benefits can vary between cards.

Latest pro tips for taking your money overseas

How to decide which type of travel money card is best* for you?

The best* travel money card for you will depend on your holiday destination, how you plan to use the card and what you can afford. Prepaid travel cards, credit cards and debit cards all have their uses, but the differences lie in their features and fees. As such, many travellers opt for more than one type for greater convenience and security. Here you can compare the different travel money options available on the Australian market to discover which one offers you the best value for your next holiday.

Prepaid Travel Money Cards

When you load Australian dollars onto a prepaid travel card, you can transfer them into the supported currencies (such as USD, GBP, Euros and NZD) so that you can spend or withdraw your own funds without the cost of currency conversion fees while overseas. To determine whether a travel card is the right choice for you, weigh up some of the pros and cons below.

Benefits of using a prepaid travel card

  • Multiple currencies. You can use your travel card to convert your Australian dollars into your chosen supported currency. 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 the supported foreign currency, the funds will be locked in at the exchange rate at the time. Depending on which way the currency goes, this can be a good way to avoid negative exchange rate fluctuations while you’re travelling.

Things to consider using prepaid travel cards

  • Availability. Most Australian prepaid travel cards are either Visa or Mastercard, meaning you can use them worldwide. While you can still use your card if the local currency is loaded or supported by your card, you’ll incur a currency conversion fee.
  • Fees. The fees you’ll have to pay will depend on the card, but some include a purchase fee, loading or reloading fee, currency conversion fee, inactivity fee and account closure fee.
  • ATM withdrawal limits. Some ATMs will only allow you to withdraw a small amount per transaction, so if you need a larger sum of cash you may need to make multiple withdrawals. If your prepaid travel card charges a fee per transaction, it could get expensive quickly.
  • Currencies. Your prepaid travel card will support a number of foreign currencies, though the exact ones will depend on the individual card. Look out for cards that support the local currency of your travel destination, otherwise you’ll have to shell out currency conversion fees each time you spend.

Qantas Cash

Qantas Cash

  • Earn up to 1.5 Qantas Points per eligible $1 spent
  • 11 currencies on one card
  • Lock in exchange rates

Qantas Cash

The Qantas Cash allows you to earn Qantas Points on all transactions including local and foreign transactions.

  • Choose from 11 currencies on the one card: USD, GBP, EUR, THB, NZD, SGD, HKD, CAD, JPY, AED and AUD.
  • Ability to load money and convert currencies 24/7 on the secure customer portal.
  • Locked-in exchange rates for multiple currencies and low and transparent fees.
  • Accepted electronically – at over 35 million locations in over 210 countries worldwide.
Go to site

Read the full guide to using prepaid travel money cards

Compare prepaid travel money cards

Rates last updated November 25th, 2017
Name Product Description Available Currencies ATM Withdrawal Fee Reload Fee Initial Load Fee
You can load and hold up to eleven currencies on the Qantas Cash Mastercard with a locked-in exchange rate. A travel card to be used at home as well as overseas, rack up Qantas Points on all eligible purchases. Debit cards incur a 1% reload fee.
AUD, AED, CAD, EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY, NZD, SGD, THB, USD
AUD 1.95, CAD 2.00, EUR 1.50, GBP 1.25, HKD 15.00, JPY 160, NZD 2.50, SGD 2.50, USD 1.95, THB 70.00, AED 6.50
$0
$0
The NAB Traveller Card allows you to load up and lock in up to 10 currencies. Benefit from no fees for reloading funds. Comes with a secondary card for added security.
AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY, NZD, SGD, THB, USD

Overseas: $0 per withdrawal via international ATMs

Domestic: $3.75 fee applies

$0
$0

Compare up to 4 providers

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 in Italy's famous tourist traps. Luckily for Jeremy, he had done his homework. Jeremy is a publisher at finder.com.au, so he knew to get a prepaid card before he left - they come with a backup. To his girlfriend's delight, the backup 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.

Back to top

Travel Credit Cards

Enjoy financial security, flexibility and extra features with a credit card. Look for a credit card that is designed for overseas use, preferably one that doesn’t charge currency conversion fees, foreign transaction fees or overseas ATM withdrawal fees. If you have a prepaid or debit card for everyday purchases, you might want to leave your credit card for emergencies. Plus, credit cards come with features like overseas travel insurance, a concierge service and rewards programs that could come in handy on your travel. Credit cards tend to be expensive, so you can weigh up the costs and the benefits here.

Benefits of using a credit card overseas

  • Access to credit. Credit cards offer greater financial flexibility than debit or prepaid cards. A line of credit is often larger than your savings, which can come in handy for large or emergency purchases. Remember that you have to repay everything you charge (plus interest) to the card.
  • Rewards. Earn rewards points as you spend on eligible purchases or, even better, bonus points when you spend overseas. These cards are typically more expensive, so make sure that the value of the rewards you redeem will outweigh the costs.
  • Extras. Credit cards designed for overseas use often come with travel perks such as complimentary overseas travel insurance, purchase protection and concierge services.

Considerations when using credit cards for travel

  • Availability. Most Australian credit cards are Visa, Mastercard or American Express, so you should be able to use them widely around the world. Some cards can’t be used in some locations (such as Cuba, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, Sudan and Syria) due to economic sanctions. Check with the provider to confirm whether your card can be used in your holiday destination before you leave.
  • 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.
  • Currencies. 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.

Bankwest Zero Platinum Mastercard

$0 annual fee
0% foreign transaction fees

Eligibility criteria, terms and conditions, fees and charges apply

Bankwest Zero Platinum Mastercard

A platinum credit card that features 0% foreign transaction fees, complimentary travel insurance covers and no annual fee.

  • $0 p.a. annual fee.
  • 17.99% p.a. on purchases
  • Cash advance rate of 21.99% p.a.
  • Up to 55 days interest free
Go to site

Compare travel credit cards

Rates last updated November 25th, 2017
Name Product Foreign Currency Conversion Fee Overseas ATM Withdrawal Fee Overseas Cash Advance Fee Annual fee Product Description
Bankwest Zero Platinum Mastercard
0% of transaction value
$0
The greater of 2% or $4
$0 p.a.
Receive complimentary international travel insurance, access to a 24/7 concierge service and 0% foreign transaction fees.
Bankwest Breeze Platinum Mastercard
0% of transaction value
$0
Greater of 2% or $4.00
$99 p.a.
Offers an introductory balance transfer rate of 0% p.a. for 13 months with a 2% BT fee, plus platinum perks.
ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures card
0% of transaction value
$0
$0
$225 p.a.
Receive 40,000 bonus Velocity Points when you spend $500 on eligible purchases in the first three months.
Westpac Lite Card
0% of transaction value
$0
$108 p.a.
Keep credit card costs low with a maximum credit limit of $4,000 and no foreign transaction fees.
Bankwest Qantas Platinum Mastercard
0% of transaction value
$0
2% or $4, whichever is greater
$160 p.a.
Enjoy a high credit limit with complimentary travel insurances and earn 0.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases.
Bankwest More Platinum Mastercard
0% of transaction value
$0
2% or $4, whichever is greater
$160 p.a.
No fees on overseas ATM withdrawal, no foreign transaction fees and earn 75,000 bonus More rewards points.

Compare up to 4 providers

Back to top

Travel Debit Cards

Travel debit cards draw funds from a savings account and enable you to access your funds whilst overseas and 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.

How debit cards can benefit you overseas

  • Access and manage your own cash whilst travelling. 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 savings. This saves you the inconvenience of loading a prepaid card but might deter the overspending that comes with credit.
  • Fewer fees than credit cards and prepaid travel cards. If you get a debit card designed for overseas use, you might not have to pay ATM withdrawal or currency conversion fees.
  • ATM availability worldwide. If your debit card is a Visa or Mastercard, you should be able to withdraw from ATMs around the world. To avoid ATM withdrawal fees, look for a card that belongs to the Global ATM Alliance.
  • Card fraud protection. Your provider is likely to offer protection against fraudulent transactions made on your account so long as you follow the requirements.

Considerations to keep in mind

  • No emergency cash facilities. Unlike a prepaid card, you won’t receive additional cash in the case of an emergency.
  • No backup/ additional card. Different to travel or credit cards, debit card accounts do not provide a backup. This means that you may have to wait up to two weeks for a replacement to arrive to your overseas destination.
  • 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 with a prepaid travel card before you leave the country. As a result having some funds available on a debit card for ATM withdrawals and purchases can come in handy. You can get an idea of how the Mastercard and Visa exchange rates compare here.

Comprehensive guide to using debit cards overseas

Compare travel debit cards

Rates last updated November 25th, 2017
$
Name Product Product Description Debit Card Access ATM Withdrawal Fee Monthly Account Fee Overseas ATM Withdrawal Fee Overseas Eftpos Fee
Bankwest Qantas Transaction Account
Earn Qantas Points on Debit Mastercard transactions, overseas ATM withdrawals and your account balance and get to travelling sooner.
Mastercard
$0
$0
2.95%
ING Orange Everyday Account
Receive an international ATM withdrawal fee rebate and an international transaction fee waiver when you meet the deposit and purchase criteria.
Visa
$0
$2.50
$2.50
Westpac Choice
Take advantage of Westpac's Global Alliance and save on overseas ATM fees at over 50,000 locations worldwide with fee-free cash withdrawals.
Mastercard
$0
$5
3%
St.George Complete Freedom Account
Part of the Westpac Global Alliance, save on overseas ATM fees at over 50,000 locations worldwide with fee-free cash withdrawals.
Visa
$0
$5
3%

Compare up to 4 providers

Foreign Cash

Holding a certain amount of foreign cash provides convenience and payment flexibility for your travelling needs. It is commonplace to exchange a practical amount of currency in Australia for when you land (for taxis, travel tariffs, food etc) to ensure a smooth transition into your new holiday destination. Exchanging money is as easy as ordering online and picking up in store.

Travelex Foreign Currency

Travelex Foreign Currency

  • Order currency online 24/7
  • Pick up in stores or airports
  • Get the best daily rate

Travelex Foreign Currency

Travelex makes it easy to exchange currencies so you can be prepared for your next holiday and start enjoying it as soon as you land.

  • Choose from over 40 currencies
  • Get the best rate when you order online
  • No commission when ordered online
  • Pay using BPAY, Visa or Mastercard
Go to site
Knowing how the Australian dollar (AUD) has performed against the foreign currency in the past few years and the months where it typically peaks will enable you to secure the best exchange rate for your foreign exchange transaction. Our travel money guides will inform you on some of the ways to access cash and ATMs worldwide.

Travellers Cheques

Travellers 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: How a travellers cheque could still work for you

  • Secure. Travellers cheques are an extremely secure method to spend money overseas.
  • Safe. They can be easily replaced if lost or stolen.

Considerations to keep in mind

  • Cost. You might be charged a purchase fee when you first pick up your travellers cheque.
  • Acceptance. Travellers cheques are generally accepted less than Visa or Mastercards.
  • Ease of use. Can be bulky and awkward to carry. Plus, you’ll have to go to the effort of getting them cashed rather than having immediate access to your cash like you would with a card.

The most commonly asked travel money questions on the internet

Back to top

Related Posts

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, read the PDS or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

312 Responses

  1. 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?

    • Staff
      DanielleSeptember 17, 2017Staff

      Hi Jean,

      Thank you for contacting finder. We are a comparison website and general information service, we’re more than happy to offer general advice.

      You may refer to this page for options that may suit your needs. You may review and compare the offers available on the table. Once you have selected one, you may proceed by clicking the green “Go to Site” button.

      I hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Danielle

  2. 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 for your trip to Greece.

      As a friendly reminder, please note that finder is an Australian comparison website and general information service.
      We can offer you general advice.

      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.
      You may continue reading up on the information we have on this page to 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.

      Cheers,
      Gru

  3. Default Gravatar
    DorothyJuly 10, 2017

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

    • Staff
      DanielleJuly 11, 2017Staff

      Hi Dorothy,

      Thank you for contacting finder. We are a comparison website and general information service, we’re more than happy to offer general advice.

      You may refer to this page for options that may suit your needs. You may review and compare the offers available on the table. Once you have selected one, you may proceed by clicking the green “Go to Site” button.

      I hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Danielle

  4. Default Gravatar
    KiaJune 17, 2017

    Hi,
    I am going to Russia is a couple weeks time and I would to known that if I load my 28 degree Platinum Mastercard card with Australia dollars, do I still have to pay any fees for withdrawing cash from ATM?
    Many thanks!

    • Default Gravatar
      JonathanJune 17, 2017

      Hi Kia!

      Thanks for the comment.

      The 28 Degrees Mastercard doesn’t charge for international ATM withdrawals, but ATM withdrawals may have a fee of 3% of the cash advance or $4 (whichever is greater). Local ATM operator fees may still apply too. This will be advised prior the transaction.

      You can read our guide right here.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Jonathan

  5. Default Gravatar
    FranndonMay 3, 2017

    We are currently holidaying in Bali. Before leaving we loaded our GE 28 Degrees Platinum Mastercard so it was in a positive/credit balance. We have done this on previous holidays & it worked perfectly for us.
    This time we are being charged a Cash Advance Fee everytime we withdraw money from an ATM.
    Is this correct, even though its our own savings & not technically a cash advance?

    • Staff
      AnndyMay 4, 2017Staff

      Hi Franndon,

      Thanks for your question.

      If you have preloaded money into your account, you will still incur a cash advance fee of 3% of the amount your withdraw or $4 (whichever is greater), even if technically it is not a cash advance. Also, third party ATM operators may charge a fee.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

  6. Default Gravatar
    JulieApril 26, 2017

    I am going to live in England for about 18 months or more and have CBA credit cards and debit cards. I will be wanting to withdraw money regularly and also use credit card, which would you recommend?

    • Staff
      HaroldApril 27, 2017Staff

      Hi Julie,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      Unfortunately, we cannot recommend what is best for you. Our company finder.com.au is a financial comparison website and general information service designed to help consumers to make a better decision. Please note we do not represent any company we feature on our pages.

      With Commonwealth Bank, MasterCard credit cards are accepted in millions of locations all over the world. Use your card to shop online, make purchases over the counter and withdraw cash from ATMs everywhere MasterCard is accepted.

      I hope this information has helped.

      Cheers,
      Harold

  7. Default Gravatar
    LINDAApril 3, 2017

    I am travelling to the US and Canada do I need to take US and Canadian money or convert US dollars while in the US to visit Canada. Would the exchange rate be higher in the US than purchasing Canadian dollars in Australia.

    I am looking for the easiest way to travel without carrying a lot of money on me.

    I have a velocity mastercard which I can load with my own money or would a Travelex travel card be a better way to go.

    I do not know whether to buy now while the US dollar is around .76 or wait closer to the time when I leave.

    • Staff
      AnndyMay 8, 2017Staff

      Hi Linda,

      Thanks for your question.

      When you travel overseas, it would be best to bring a combination of cash and card for your needs.

      Unfortunately, we can’t tell if the rate in the US is higher than in Australia when purchasing Canadian dollars. We also cannot forecast the movement of US dollar rate in the coming weeks.

      In regards to having a Velocity Mastercard, since you did not mention the full name of the card, I am unable to check its complete features and fees. Generally, credit cards charge foreign currency transactions fees while Travelex Travel Money does not charge currency conversion and international ATM withdrawal fees.

      You may check our travel money guide to Canada on this page for more information.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

  8. Default Gravatar
    SteveMarch 21, 2017

    I’m travelling from Australia to Argentina then NY and LA. what are the best options for travel cards when a credit card or any kind of loan is out of the question?

    • Staff
      AnndyMarch 24, 2017Staff

      Hi Steve,

      Thanks for your question.

      If you’ll be spending most of your time in the US, you may compare your travel card options here.

      Alternatively, you mentioned going to Argentina. Our travel card comparison page for South America can be found on this page.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

  9. Default Gravatar
    DonnaNovember 24, 2016

    Hi im going to the UK and europe i have a travel card i tried to get a 28degree credit card just for a backup but was denied I have a visa card but i don’t want to use it because of all the fees .what i want to know is would it be cheaper to transfer $2000 from my commonwealth credit card and put it in my commonwealth travel card while im still in australia and when i come back if i haven’t used the $2000 transfer back to the visa card

    • Staff
      MayNovember 24, 2016Staff

      Hi Donna,

      Thanks for your question.

      When transferring a balance/money from a credit card to another account, that would be treated as a cash advance, so most likely, you’ll be charged cash advance fee and interest on your credit card.

      So in this case, if you will load your CBA travel card with funds from your CBA Visa credit card, then the CA fees and interest will be applied to your credit card.

      Cheers,
      May

  10. Default Gravatar
    BrianNovember 15, 2016

    Hi Coming from UK to AU soon would i get a better rate taking sterling ? Regards Brian.

    • Staff
      HaroldNovember 15, 2016Staff

      Hello Brian,

      Thank you for your question.

      Since your destination is from UK to AU you may find this article useful.

      Cheers,
      Harold

Ask a question